Infinity Systems Kappa 5.1 Series II Floorstanding Speakers

Kappa 5.1 Series II

3 way, bass reflex design

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Douglas J   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2017]

These being older speakers, I'm writing this review for people who might have stumbled upon them either second or third hand. At this point, it isn't unusual to find them for $50. You might even find them in the garbage because many owners are under the impression that rotted surrounds means their speakers are blown.

About these speakers, if you do come across them and are unsure about them, they're really nice. They aren't audiophile quality, but you won't be getting audiophile quality out of a speaker from the 90s that retailed for about $600 when new. But what you will get is one heck of a fine tweeter. The tweeters in these are as good as any. These Kappas can seem a little distant in the midrange depending on what kind of music you like. I've found them to be fairly versatile. They can be driven rather well by anything halfway decent. You don't need a ridiculous amp to push them. Anyone who tells you differently is wrong. I've connected them to a menagerie of systems from a really powerful B&K amp to a mid-70's Scott receiver that pumps out 45 wpc. I currently have them powered by a rather average, 15 year old Denon home theater receiver. They sound good no matter what and go plenty loud enough.

One thing about them that I particularly like is that they are comfortable playing any genre of music. Not all speakers pull this off. Many suffer when playing rock but sound great with jazz or classical. These handle all really well. If I have a complaint about them, and it's probably unfair of me to hold them to such a standard, is that I feel that I can hear the cabinet at certain, low frequencies at moderately high volumes. Maybe I'm imagining it. If you find yourself staring at a pair of these and can get them with the surrounds already replaced, pay up to $200 for them. The tweeters alone sell on ebay for $100/pair, and you can get close to another $100 for the other drivers. You can't lose. But you should be able to get them for much less than $200. And if they need new surrounds, search youtube for how to install replacements. The foam surrounds themselves can be bought for $20-30 for a kit that includes glue and brushes. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed in these speakers considering the going price these days. With proper placement, these really are a nice speaker with big sound in a not so big enclosure. I'm not all that familiar with more modern Infinity speakers, but from what I've read, speakers of this time marked the end of an era for Infinity. The EMIT tweeters were expensive and Infinity stopped using them. Collectors largely ignore what came later. They even ignore these to a lesser extent. That's OK with me. It keeps the price of this era low enough to make a quality speaker very affordable. Hopefully, this information has helped you make your decision.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   AudioPhile [Nov 04, 2015]

I'm not absolutely positive about the year my pair of Kappa 5.1's were originally purchased. I was told late '90's. I got them free from a family member in 2013. The foam surrounds had deteriorated and he was not interested in repairing them. Replacement parts and repair kits are still widely available. With very little effort and a very small investment, they were fully functional again and sounding great. They have fantastic bass response and excellent high frequency extension. That tweeter is fantastic. They are missing a little in the mids, but if you use the Kappas as front mains and add center channel as part of a theater setup, you won't notice. I use mine primarily for home theater, but also for stereo music. Wide frequency response makes them great for modern music/ rock. They spent some time with both old Kenwood and Primare amplifiers. Great speaker to find used, but do expect to repair the foam surrounds on the woofer and mid-range driver after about a decade of use.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Zoro'sZipper   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 23, 2009]

For shear musicality you can't beat the Kappas. Not for the price, that is. I paid $450 in 1995 which was a 25% off sale price. I state the price I paid to make the point that I was on a very limited budget and didn't expect to be able to get superior quality sound for less than $750. I found the Kappa 5.1s at the lately departed Circuit City. I couldn't believe my ears that they were as inexpensive as they were. They easily outdid all equally priced competitors and more expensive models, too. My only complaint is the midrange could be a little stronger. I have since heard the Kappa 6.1s which have a much better mid range driver that is extremely crip and full. CC didn't have the 6.1s at the time so the 5.1s came home and have been pumping out amazing sound for 15 years.

The bass is very good for an 8 in. driver, tight and rarely punchy. Coupled and low pass filtered with a sub woofer the 5.1s can blast beautifully at 100+ watts. The character is warm and full thanks the the cabinet wood and size. Modern plastic or composite speakers can't compare to sound from good wide wood. I will probably keep them for another 15 years.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Edward Z. Rosental   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 23, 2009]

For shear musicality, the Kappas are hard to beat. The emitter twitter is a marvel. The overall sound is very well balanced and smooth. I feel the midrange could be stronger, the Kappa 6.1 midrange is much fuller and crisp, but I cheaped out and stuck with the 5.1s. The bass is very well defined and tight, especially for an 8 inch driver. The cabinet wood and size are a major plus.

As front speakers they are transparent, in fact as a center channel its excellent. If coupled with a good powered sub, they don't miss a beat and can blast 150+ watts easy. Modern Speaker boxes are usually plastic or mixed materials that just don't have the warmth and depth of good wide wood. Use 'em every day. 15 years old and going strong.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim Provencher   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

Best sounding speakers I heard for the price at the time.
EMIT-R tweeters produce incredible highs, midrange and woofer also very good. Others have mentioned the speakers needing lots of power, but after initial break-in I didn't find that to be the case. I feel these speakers sound very good at low listening levels, and can handle lots of power also without distortion.

Weakness:

None for the price

Others also metioned these speakers sounded better than their larger siblings and I agree, that is one thing which prompted me to purchase these. The larger Kappas were much more costly and didn't seem to produce the clarity in the highs and midrange of the 5.1. I would give them 5 stars in their price range, but will give them 4 overall. Obviously you can find better speakers if your willing to spend a lot more money, but these are incredible in their price range.

My system:
Onkyo TX-SV919THX
Onkyo ED-901 AC-3 processor
Infinity Kappa 5.1 fronts
Energy RVS-1 center speaker
Infinity in-walls (surrounds) don't remember model#
Onkyo Integra M-504 amplifier

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
MM   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 30, 1999]

All I can say is --WOW--!!! These speakers blow away any of the competition in the same price range and many in higher price ranges. I personally feel that the 5.1's sound better than their bigger brothers. The separation is superb and the presence is outstanding. And with the compact size the bass is incredible, tight and resposive and not overpowering. I found these by accident when I was considering much pricier speakers and I will never let them go. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Chris Hebert   Audiophile [Nov 02, 1999]
Strength:

Tight clean bass, mid's and high's sound very true, wide sound stage for a speaker of this size.

Weakness:

Slight heaviness on the bass.

Originally I was looking for speakers in a much higher range,(Linn AV 51, NHT 2.9, B&W 804's)but due to room in a new apt and wanting to wait till getting a larger place, I decided to get an intrim speaker. I found the 5.1's at a Harman/Kardon outlet store, and was very impressed with the sound. The 5.1's sounded better than the larger 8.1's they had there at a third of the price. They seemed to break in at about 3 months. They are definatly worth auditioning if your looking for a lower mid range speaker to mate with a reciever. In my set up now I am using
mains Infinity kappa 5.1's
center Infinity kappa video series II
rears NHT Super Zeros
sub JBL THX PS 300

Similar Products Used: Infinity RS 4000's
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
J C   Audiophile [Nov 29, 1999]
Strength:

Incredible Highs, Sweet and detailed, with the right amp not overly bright! wonderfully tight bass and uncolored mids, a steal if found for under $500

Weakness:

There not made anymore, and I feel the new line of infinity speakers is not in the same league

What a beautiful speaker, The Kappa EMIT-R tweeter is among the best in the world, details details is all I can hear, makes my components sound terrible, definately one of the best bookshelf's produced, 3 way, 8 inch woofer, 4.5 mids and the EMIT-T Tweeter, god I wish I could find more of these babies! Definately recomended

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
lccplucker   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 18, 1999]
Strength:

Clear, balanced sound, slightly on the warm side

Weakness:

needs plenty of power

A very fine performer: sweet detailed highs, clear midrange and good bass. I originally powered these speakers with a HK AVR20 (65 watts per side) and found the amp a little underpowered. However, after upgrading to a HK AVR85 (90 watts a side) these speakers really came alive and sound super, especially at high volumes (they sounded constrained before). Moreover, they are pretty to look at and nicely made. The hardwood veneers add to the classy sound.

Similar Products Used: RS 2000.3, JBL Control, Speakerlab 6
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
The Pikester   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 20, 1999]

Being a long time fan of bluegrass music (300+ CD's), I have always preferred acoustic suspension speakers due to thier tight reproduction of acoustic bass and thier emphasis on vocals and the high-frequency instrumentation associated with this "twangy-wangy" music. To that end, I purchased a pair of Boston Acoustics A70's (beginning to date myself now), drove them with a Carver Cube and Carver preamp and was more than satisfied for some time. In fact, I sold this system to a friend for $150 bucks (which I considered to be a very good deal), and am still impressed with it every time we crank it up. But I moved up to the Boston T930's, powered them with an Adcom 545II and a vintage Luxman C-120A and found myself in bluegrass heaven. This was my system for some 8 years which served my bluegrass purposes extremely well, but was somewhat lacking in the full-range-reach-out-and-shake-your-spine-power needed for, say, a Blue Oyster Cult jam session. In come the Infinity's. I lucked in to this deal when my brother-in-law wanted to upgrade his Kappa 5.1's to Klipsch KSF 10.5'S. A step down in my opinion, nevertheless I now own a mint pair of Infinity's. Like I say, coming from an acoustic suspension background, the bass output of the Infinity's knocked my socks off. The twin ports hum out the bass smoothly and effortlessly where the Boston's would thump and cleanly fade away. Not saying one is better than the other, only that it is a totally different sound. After reading other reviews on this site claiming excessive bass from the Infinity line, I would have to disagree. I find the low end ever-present, but not too overemphasized. The mids and highs give the same impression, this is a speaker that aims to impress. If your looking for a subtle, nuetral sounding pair of speakers, you should probably look elsewhere. But if you want speakers that smack you in the face and scream, "Check this out Jack!", then the 5.1's are worth a listen.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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