KLH Model 6 Floorstanding Speakers

KLH Model 6 Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

Early acoustic suspension system made under original AR patent for similar

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 12  
[Dec 21, 2017]
Frank
Audio Enthusiast

The KLH 6 is one of the finest speakers of its type ever made.
PS: I rarely see any info on KLH 4's Which I believe has a 12" woofer This speaker is similar to AR 3 With a better high end. From 1964 to 1976 I was a high end audio tech.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 23, 2015]
Steve W
Casual Listener

I was given these speakers as a gift from a customer that restored speakers for a hobby. These were on his list but he was backlogged so he let me have them to restore myself. Both woofers were blown snd a tweeter was dead but the cabinets were on goid shape and the collectible KLH medallion was still on both speakers. Mine were very early 1958 models with the epoxied suspension woofers. Only way to repair them was to purchase screw in replacements and replace the mounting board. Both tweeters were cap issues and the replacement woofer was easily adapted to a new board and was reassembled. Some new Irish linen for the covers and wood stain for the cabinets and i have some beutiful furniture grade speakers that sound fantastic. Power capacity seems to ge about 75 watts as i have a 130 watt Hitachi 905 that seems to start breaking apart at 70w on the scale. Classic music sounds live, hip hop sounds peaky and is not this speakers strong suit. Classic rock via FM or vinyl sounds great as well as CD. If you can score them for under 200 and they work, you are ahead of the game, you can find them under 100 but usually have cap issues whuch can be fixed by drilling out the studs that hold the plate in the back and pulling out the baffle material. If you need to pop the front out, use a hamner and wood drift through the back and hamner the corners of the front panel out, it will peel off as it is glued as well as the fabric cover.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 18, 2010]
NonyaBidnis
AudioPhile

KLH Model 6s are some of the best vintage loudspeakes out there. They are largish two-way 10" speakers designed at least in part by Henry Kloss of AR/KLH/Advent fame. The sound of the KLH 6s is possibly the smoothest of all of the box speakers of their era (roughly 1958 through 1972), including the AR 2axs, Dynaco A-25s, Large Advents, JBL L-100s, and so on. The highs of the KLH 6s start to roll off more quickly (at a lower frequency) than with some other vintage box speakers, but they don't sound dull--they just sound relaxing. The midrange and lower highs come off as smoother and less harsh than those of the Large Advent or New Large Advent, both excellent two-ways in largish boxes (and also designed at least in part by Kloss). The bass of KLH 6s is not quite as tight and punchy through the midbass as that of the Advents, but I was recently surprised by how deep the bass of the 6s goes. A pair of KLH 6s can make the walls rattle with well-recorded Bach organ music. The KLH 6s are especially good with classical, jazz, and female vocals. There's something about their smoothness through the midrange and lower highs that's really seductive. They're pretty dynamic as well (moreso than Dynaco A-25s, I think), though the slightly larger Advents (as well as ADS 810s and JBL L-100s) are possibly even more dynamic sounding. Neither the ADS nor the JBL is as smooth and "invisible" as the KLH, though. Of all of the high quality vintage boxes mentioned above, I think it's easiest to forget about the speakers and listen to the music with KLH 6s. The one word that captures them is "musical." Note that the very earliest KLH 6s had drivers that were epoxied to the front baffles and front grilles that couldn't be removed. Replacing drivers or updating crossovers is virtually impossible with these earliest 6s. If the front grilles come off and you see screws holding the woofers in, you're set. Another positive about KLH 6s relative to ARs and Advents: the KLH 6s' woofer surounds are treated cloth, not foam, so the woofer surrounds of the 6s are generally intact, even though the speakers are 40+ years old. Great speakers, especially if you prefer mellow and musical over etched and "detailed." They're also relatively "undiscovered" and can often be had for under $100/pair as of 2010.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 31, 2008]
johnjohnjohn
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Classy real wood finish. Smooth, detailed, full range sound. Surprisingly open and realistic sounding midrange. A ridiculous bargain on today's used market. Much easier to restore than same vintage ARs.

Weakness:

Slightly heavy upper bass (100hz - 300hz range). Cloth surround needs resealing to sound its best. Liquid electrical tape is best (flexible, adheres well, elastic, long lasting, comes in black) but I find XL49 (made by Orange County Speaker) has the same qualities and is equally good. I suspect that Pliobond and Permatex Hi Tack Gasket sealant may also work. Check out Classic Speaker Pages.

I have not heard the Model 6 but I do have a pair of KLH 17s which are supposed to be similar. Anyway, this review is about the Model 5s which are similar to the Model 6 in using an 11" woofer and 1.75" tweeter except it is a 3-way with 2 midrange drivers instead of the 6's 2-way design. Frankly these speakers blew me away when I hooked them up after fixing their crossovers (both tweeters were DOA when i got them but for what I paid for the speakers who cares. The problem was bad capacitors). Bottom line: these things really crank! With a good 50Wamp, new caulking and a bit of liquid electric tape to seal the woofer surrounds, I heard tremendous bass - deep, solid and full. Just like the AR3As I briefly owned last year, except the 5's images like a modern speaker which the ARs could not do in a million years. The 5's also have a wide open midrange and crisp highs (AR3As sound muffled by comparison). I don't care what the press say, the KLH 5s are more detailed and are more fun to listen to than the ARs. They sound like a speaker from the 80s, not the 60s. I also compared it to the original large Advents which I also own. Well, all I can say is if you like the sound of the Advents but find its upper midrange gritty like I do, you will love the KLH Model 5 (to be fair the Advents are more neutral in the upper bass though I find the slightly exaggerated upper bass of the 5s not the least objectionable). Also, overall I find the KLH 5s similar but somehow more "expensive sounding" than the Advents (not sure it's the right adjective but I think most readers know what I mean). This is not surprising, since the Model 5 listed for twice the price ($470/pr in 1968) and was rumored to have been at least partly designed by Henry Kloss (who left KLH in 1967). To sum up, I did not expect this level of performance from a pair of 40 year old speakers. I did not think they would sound as good as the ARs or Advents but they do, and then some. At their usual eBay price of around $250 they are a steal. The way they sound in my room I think they put a few $2K -$3K speakers to shame. The KLH 5's are the best vintage speakers I've heard. Of course with buying vintage gear the challenge is finding a working pair. At least I now know how to restore them.

Customer Service

company no longer in business

Similar Products Used:

EPI, Advents, ARs, other model KLHs. I will not name the modern speakers with which I compared. I do not want to embarrass their makers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 24, 2007]
John Brown
Casual Listener

Strength:

Beautiful sound, clear, smooth, strong response. Worth what most on eBay charge.

Weakness:

No way to open them and replace the tweeter without causing damage to the box.

Having salvaged these from the scrap heap at a church clean out, I'm quite pleased with the results. The tweeters are apparently long since dead, and the cabinets haven't had the easiest of lives. The woofers, however are still in excellent shape and produce clear and smooth sound through their range. For nearly 50 year old speakers, or any speakers gotten similarly, they are incredible. With one grill cloth missing, torn out, they certainly could look better, but the sound makes up for any minor cosmetic issues.

Similar Products Used:

A pair of big Advents gotten in a similar fashion.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 22, 2007]
anthony stanco
Audio Enthusiast

I took my KLH6's home, having to carry them to the bus, then to the ferry baggage cart and then from the cart to my office, 200 yards from the dock. They are beasts, and almost killed me. Then I got them home. I set them up along with my Advent loudseakers which are of nearly identicle size, give or take a few mm. and started to compare. Mellow, more mellow, rich, but comparitively dull compared to the advents. I next compared them to the Cambridge Audio 6's I have, and again, no contest on the highs, but the KLH6 still has this wonderful warm and fuzzy resonance that makes it a keeper. Because it is an 8ohm speaker, as are the Advents, my amp was able to drive both at once, side by side. I found the combination really pleasing, as both speakers seem to share aspects of Kloss's ear which makes them harmonious, clear, and rich in duet. Generally I don't subscribe to "more is better," and muddy is bad. My 6's are in good shape, while I haven't been able to get my AR2a's to sound as good. Maybe my amp needs upgrading to make a fair comparison of the AR2a's to the KLH 6's, but I always liked the sound of the AR4's. I think the KLH 6's have more in common with the AR4's than the 2a's, even with the 4's smaller package. I'll probably be criticized for that observation, but . . . .

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 22, 2007]
anthony stanco
Audio Enthusiast

I took my KLH6's home, having to carry them to the bus, then to the ferry baggage cart and then from the cart to my office, 200 yards from the dock. They are beasts, and almost killed me. Then I got them home. I set them up along with my Advent loudseakers which are of nearly identicle size, give or take a few mm. and started to compare. Mellow, more mellow, rich, but comparitively dull compared to the advents. I next compared them to the Cambridge Audio 6's I have, and again, no contest on the highs, but the KLH6 still has this wonderful warm and fuzzy resonance that makes it a keeper. Because it is an 8ohm speaker, as are the Advents, my amp was able to drive both at once, side by side. I found the combination really pleasing, as both speakers seem to share aspects of Kloss's ear which makes them harmonious, clear, and rich in duet. Generally I don't subscribe to "more is better," and muddy is bad. My 6's are in good shape, while I haven't been able to get my AR2a's to sound as good. Maybe my amp needs upgrading to make a fair comparison of the AR2a's to the KLH 6's, but I always liked the sound of the AR4's. I think the KLH 6's have more in common with the AR4's than the 2a's, even with the 4's smaller package. I'll probably be criticized for that observation, but . . . .

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 27, 2001]
George
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Great all around performer

Weakness:

Not the deepest bass, or the high end of todays designs

First of all, there are some learned reviews previous to mine, but I beg to differ with the gentlemen who described the woofer as a 12". It is a 10" acoustic suspension two-way and that's that.

I got my original pair from Record World on Long Island in 1974. That pair of speakers is in my 16 yr old daughters bedroom rig. They perform as flawlessly today as they did 27 yrs ago when I got them. Super smooth and clean sound. Yeah you could get the tweeter to ring with the right material, but so what. The price was superb.

I have since picked up MINT pairs of these for as little as $50. This was pre-ebay, so that kind of pricing may not be available today. I have two pair in house right now. I am TOYING with the idea of getting another pair to use as dual center channel speakers, in a surround rig that will employ six Model 6's!

As an aside, the KLH Model 30, had the EXACT same driver complement as the 6, in a cabinet only half as DEEP. Height and width were the same. Speaker terminals on the back were SINGLE RCA JACKS! Why would Kloss do this? Here's why. Cause he was smart. Some of his KLH receivers of the day featured the Dynaco "DynaQuad" surround circuit. The rear channel output jacks on these receivers were RCA jacks. It was likely, that if you bought one of those receivers, you would buy a pair of Model 6's to go with it. Well the perfect surround set-up would feature 4 of the EXACT same speaker. Pair of Model 6's wouldn't FIT on a bookshelf pulling surround duties. VOILA! Saw the cabinet in half so that it would. Man was a genius. I HAVE a pair of those Model 30's.
I also have a Model 52A receiver, WITH the surround circuit.
I also have the Model 18 fm tuner. My 11 yr old daughters bedroom rig consists of KLH Model 17's (once again, I have to differ with the previous review, the 17 has an 8" woofer, not a 10) being driven by an old Dynaco DynaQuad integrated amp.

I'm a real Kloss freak, collect EVERYTHING I can, and am proud to say I met both him AND Edgar Villchur, at the 40th anniversary party thrown by Acoustic Research in 1994 at Grand Central Station.

Similar Products Used:

Other KLH's, Advents, AR's

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 11, 2001]
Peter Henderson
Audiophile

Strength:

Very clean bass, full bodied but not fat sound compared to modern speakers, well balanced sound, good imaging, well-designed and built to last.

Weakness:

The bass is so good down to 40hz it makes you want the rest of it. Lacks crystalline highs of a good modern system. Big sound with good imaging for its size but not equal to the better mini-monitors. Not as detailed as AR2ax but smoother. Sound is not as loose and funky as old EMIs or Bozaks.

I own several small 2-way speakers of more recent vintage. Bought these relatively huge Model Sixes for a hundred bucks on Ebay out of nostalgia --when I was a kid they were the speaker to have. They still impress, and are a safe used buy because unlike Advents Henry Kloss built them to last (cost constraints.) They use cloth surrounds instead of rot-away foam, and the 3 position tone contour switch works perfectly after 30 - 40 years, unlike old ARs with their scratchy/dead pots. The crossover uses a paper and oil capacitor (priced those lately?) The sound is smooth and balanced with clean and very extended bass and a full-bodied lower midrange/upper bass that puts most modern speakers to shame. The sound on strings and low pitched woodwinds is a real treat after listing to modern audiophile stand-mounts, which lean out below middle C. Bass clarinet sounds good enough to bite into, and you can hear the true timbres of the lower strings, even low notes from acoustic guitar. The string tone is better than my Celestion 700s, though I think the AR2ax has an even better string tone, and more stable imaging, too, but the AR2axs are more colored, have a certain nasality that announces itself from time to time, and the bass is not quite as deep and clean as the KLH. (Yeah, I bought an old pair of 2ax'es as well -- dueling 60s classics!) I find myself toggling the contour switch depending on what I am listening to. The sound can be border on dull, even with the contour switched for max highs, if your ears are habituated to modern metal dome tweeters and the like. On some music this is a problem, but on most music I find the highs acceptably crisp and quite smooth and euphonic. Also there is the fast transient attack that the previous reviewer alluded to. I have them set up about a foot off the floor and a bit out from the wall. There is surprising depth on some recordings, and a good sense of power. They are very listenable, the speaker equivalent of an old pair of loafers. Sound good on just about any good music, and there is very little music on which they sound clearly inadequate. They do have a slightly restrained, overdamped quality like other "New England Sound" speakers of the day, but you may not notice unless you compare them to good horns or large-ish ported systems. In their day I found systems from Bozak and EMI to have a livelier, more animated sound than either KLH or AR models, but less neutral. I hope to repeat this test someday when I get the space and money to buy some old Bozaks. In the meanwhile, a used pair of Sixes are a great budget alternative to the small cheap 2 ways carried in stores -- the bass is much better and the rest of the range is likely to be better as well, if less extroverted. These are speakers for grown-ups.

Similar Products Used:

Scott S-3, EPI 110, Original Advent, AR3, various modern speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 07, 1999]
David L. Winebrenner
an Audio Enthusiast

A sealed two way bookshelf size speaker system about 25 in X 14 in. X 14 in deep. avalable in oiled walnut, lacquered walnut, unfinished birch, and (yecccchh!) maroonish colored mahagony. It had a 12" woofer with fabric suspension (a la AR-3 except 8 ohms not 4 ohm like the classic AR, and a rather mundane 3 " paper cone tweeter. The woofer is the best part of this system. it is a really well made alnico V 12 incher with verrrry low 13-15 HZ free air resonance in a very well made 3/4" plywood box with fine wood veneers. The woofer produce nice undistorted fundamental frequecies down to 35-38HZ and works well with amplifiers in the 35-75 watt per channel range. The tweeter doesn't really do anything much above 10-11KHZ mainly due to its fairly large size which severely limits its top end response. KLH probably didn't have much choice with this woofer. As good as the woofer is iut really doesn't doo anything much above 700 HZ. Even this ralther large tweeter has trouble getting down to an octave below that pooint ot afford smooth crossover. This system however has really nice potential with another hole for a tiny i" dia. supper tweeter. Tiny super tweeters like that were not generally available on the open market then, (1962) but, of course they are now. This would be a really nice little hop-up project for someone on a very limited budget and with a little time and trouble. It competed fairly well with the very early two way AR2 (about $100.00 back then) but the 3 way AR-2A of the same era was a better performer in some areas of smoothness and so-forth but the extreme bottom end was a a tad better and more extended than the AR-2A with it's 10" acoustic suspension woofer. They had a really nice nubby texture off white natural fiber grill fabric sort of like what used to be found on the top end JBL Hartsfield model. Four of these, (two in parallel at 4 OHMS on each channel) was a very nice combination if you kept them more than 20-40 inches apart to prevent mutual coupling. Sensitivity of 88 db at one meter typical of acoustic suspension designs. By far their most successful product in the market in the early to mid 60's. This would be a really nice alternative to the typical vinyl/melamine modern dog-house speaker system. Especially if you could find them in a garage sale or estate sale cheap and then add a super tweeter from you favorite supplier and a 2.3 mfd capacitor in series (cheap at about $ 1-2.00 ea. at radio shack)to creat a simple 6 db/ocatave 8-10 KHZ, 8 ohm crossover to keep midrange and bass out of the super tweeter). Has a 3 position switch on the back to control existing tweeter level. (norm, decrease and increase position). In those days KLH actually manufactured their own drivers. The had their own paper pulping machines and used screens shaped like cones to blow the pulp onto and form their own cones. They had a coil winding shop and a machine shop to make woofer and tweeter frames as well as nice cabinet shop. The manufacturer still exists but I have no idea whether the still make their own cones or not nor do I know who owns the comany now. in the late 50's and early sixties the general knoedge about this co. was that Henry Kloss (of later Advent fame and some others had formed this small co. in the late 50's as a direct competitor for Acoustic Research.) A really nice amplifier for this unit is the Dynaco stereo 70, 35w /35w, power amp running from your favorite preamp. If you listen to the first Advent speaker ever produced back (also designed by Henry Kloss back) in 1970, you will notice some vague similarities although the larger Advent from that period is a far better performing system overall. But best of all, chances are if you do find one, the woofer with its fabric suspension will probably be in excellent condition with NO rotting edge suspensions as in later 70's-90's designs with the gray urethane crap.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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