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Rolox

Eminence Kappa 15C question

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I know there are many threads about that woofer already but none that answers completely my question:

 

Currently using K33E in peavey FH1 bass horns, in an ACTIVE bi-amp configuration. Crossover is 400Hz 24dB. 

 

Would you guys consider it's worth the swap to Kappa 15C knowing I'm in an active set-up and can modulate the low pass to match the midrange horn much better than if I had a passive network? Is there, besides the 5dB lift in the 200 to 500Hz range, a QUALITY to the mid bass (more punch? more definition?) that makes the Kappa 15C the better woofer, even tho I don't need to go up to 500Hz and have an active crossover?

 

I kinda feel the answer will be positive but I'd like to not waste time and money (even tho they are cheap) if the improvement is tiny.

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Does your setup NEED more output between 200 and 500 Hz?  I doubt it.  My FH-1s with 1504-4 woofers did not.  La Scalas do not.    Check the Xmax of the 15C.  It is less than a quarter of a  K-33.  You'll want the extra xmax below 60 to 80 Hz.  It would be worth a call to Eminence to confirm, but I think the 15C is a poor choice for a short horn like a La Scala or FH-1. 

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The Kappa 15C performs very well in the LaScala bass bin (or Belle in my case) but if your K33E is performing to spec, it may not be worth the expense. I have two sets of Belles, and two LS. Each pair has a different set of woofers - K33, K43, Kappa 15C and Crites cast basket 15. All four perform well with subtle pluses and minuses. For the most part, I would be hard pressed to say I hear a difference, but critical listening must not be my strong suit. I can tell crap when I hear it, but subtle differences in good drivers, not so much.

Bang for the buck the 15C may be the winner, but I would not replace a working K33. I was replacing blown woofers in a pair of beaters and took @ClaudeJ1 suggestion on the 15C and never regretted it for a moment.

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2 minutes ago, MookieStl said:

The Kappa 15C performs very well in the LaScala bass bin (or Belle in my case) but if your K33E is performing to spec, it may not be worth the expense. I have two sets of Belles, and two LS. Each pair has a different set of woofers - K33, K43, Kappa 15C and Crites cast basket 15. All four perform well with subtle pluses and minuses. For the most part, I would be hard pressed to say I hear a difference, but critical listening must not be my strong suit. I can tell crap when I hear it, but subtle differences in good drivers, not so much.

Bang for the buck the 15C may be the winner, but I would not replace a working K33. I was replacing blown woofers in a pair of beaters and took @ClaudeJ1 suggestion on the 15C and never regretted it for a moment.

The 15 c wins bang for buck but also the best output at 400 Hz. where it meets the midrange horn and hands off. More detail in saxes, guitars, female vocals, etc.

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So the 15C has the uper bass like a K43 but also better bottom end? I'm amazed at the upper bass that comes out of the MWMs.

 

My beater LS have K33s my son got from JWC. They looked brand new. I will leave them there, they sound fine

Bruce

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13 minutes ago, Marvel said:

So the 15C has the uper bass like a K43 but also better bottom end? I'm amazed at the upper bass that comes out of the MWMs.

 

My beater LS have K33s my son got from JWC. They looked brand new. I will leave them there, they sound fine

Bruce

I don't notice any improved bottom end. It is the upper bass that makes them stand out. No less on the bottom end either.

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43 minutes ago, Marvel said:

So the 15C has the uper bass like a K43 but also better bottom end? I'm amazed at the upper bass that comes out of the MWMs.

 

My beater LS have K33s my son got from JWC. They looked brand new. I will leave them there, they sound fine

Bruce

The MWM was designed for a K33, according to Gary Gillum, the co-patent holder, who I interviewed about this, about 12 years ago. I'm a fan of the K43 also, but the 15C is good for the LaScala as is the K43. There's a huge difference between a 104 Hz. horn and a 45 Hz. horn!!!

 

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On 2/4/2020 at 2:14 AM, Rolox said:

I kinda feel the answer will be positive but I'd like to not waste time and money (even tho they are cheap) if the improvement is tiny.

As one of the original proponents (if not THE original proponent) of the Kappa 15C in bass horns, all can say is:  If you have good K33's in FH-1's (mine went down to 30 Hz. in a small room with an FH-1), and you can do active PEQ, then don't bother with the 15C, it's for the passive guys.

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Full range with lower power amps or properly crossed over to a sub near 90 Hz its a great alternative.

 

 

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On 2/5/2020 at 10:39 PM, JohnA said:

Does your setup NEED more output between 200 and 500 Hz?  I doubt it.  My FH-1s with 1504-4 woofers did not.  La Scalas do not.    Check the Xmax of the 15C.  It is less than a quarter of a  K-33.  You'll want the extra xmax below 60 to 80 Hz.  It would be worth a call to Eminence to confirm, but I think the 15C is a poor choice for a short horn like a La Scala or FH-1. 

Well, I'm using a 25watts class D amp on the 40Hz-400Hz range; below 40Hz is filtered at 24dB/octave; even when pushing the volume with bass heavy music, I doubt I'd ever meet the 15C x-max (I may be wrong); I live in a normal apartment, not a airplane hangar :)

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12 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

As one of the original proponents of the Kappa 15C, all can say is:  If you have good K33's in FH-1's (minne went down to 30 Hz. in a small room), and you can do active PEQ, then don't bother with the 15C, it's for the passive guys.

 

I do have good K33 (bought new about 20 years ago but never abused); however, I don't use (and don't want to use) an EQ anywhere in the system (analogue crossover); so my question is would the 15C bring more DEFINITION and neutrality; seems to me that a flatter response (which is what a 5dB raise on top of the passband does by reducing the difference between the bump at 160Hz and the upper range) could be good? Isn't the 15C a more "articulate" driver?

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On 2/6/2020 at 1:44 AM, MookieStl said:

I don't notice any improved bottom end. It is the upper bass that makes them stand out. No less on the bottom end either.

How would you describe that improvement? Does the upper bass sound more defined and articulate, or is it just a matter of better matching the midrange output level near crossover frequency (if it's ever possible to dissociate both things)?

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8 hours ago, Rolox said:

How would you describe that improvement? Does the upper bass sound more defined and articulate, or is it just a matter of better matching the midrange output level near crossover frequency (if it's ever possible to dissociate both things)?

Yes, and Yes.

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I think I’ve made up my mind: I will buy the Kappa 15C as soon as possible. I’ve had time to search for more posts regarding that driver and it seems to me everything I need. Plus in a home audio context with high pass filter and low power amps there’s no worries to have regarding the X-max. 

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On 2/10/2020 at 1:16 PM, Rolox said:

I think I’ve made up my mind: I will buy the Kappa 15C as soon as possible. I’ve had time to search for more posts regarding that driver and it seems to me everything I need. Plus in a home audio context with high pass filter and low power amps there’s no worries to have regarding the X-max. 

In a Belle, LaScala, MWM, or my Quarter Pie Horn, a movement of HALF of the Xmax causes a 120 db output, both channels driven. No worries since an FH1 is similar.

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On 3/16/2020 at 4:12 AM, ClaudeJ1 said:

In a Belle, LaScala, MWM, or my Quarter Pie Horn, a movement of HALF of the Xmax causes a 120 db output, both channels driven. No worries since an FH1 is similar.

Thanks for clarifying that. I rarely listen at more than 95dB, and that is already very, very rare. Knowing I have a lot of margin is the cherry on the cake and helps one feel confident 😉

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