Believe the hype KLH Six is an amazing speaker

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Onebean, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    After asking for recommendations for speakers to pair with my Scott 222C, several members mentioned KLH Six as a good match. I started looking for a pair while I waited for my Scott to arrive. Getting impatient I bought a pair off eBay in what appeared to be ok shape. They arrived about the same time as the Scott, and I quickly hooked them up. To my disappointment one tweeter was dead and they did not sound good. Cosmetically they are challenged, but very fixable. I set them aside and hooked up my ADS L-880’s. The 880’s sounded great with the Scott, so I just enjoyed them. An AK member graciously set me up with a replacement tweeter, so I recapped the sixes and replaced the tweeter. I ran them in for a while with one of my solid state receivers, once they were back together. After some break in, I set them up in place of the 880’s, and they are killer. Top to bottom they get it done. Nice imaging, and great midrange. I kind of expected they would struggle in the midrange because they are 2-way. Not true. They are just right.

    Last year I was in Chicago for work, and hit one of the hifi shops for some demos. I listened to several systems with the high end system containing tube electronics, and full range speaker well past the $10,000 mark. My 12 watt Scott and the KLH’s give me more than that mega buck system. In fairness, my system has been tweaked to my room, and it doesn’t look nearly as nice as the mega buck gear, but when the sixes can compete with a pair of $10,000 speakers, I get excited. It gives us folks with shallow pockets a chance to enjoy what the cork sniffers enjoy.

    I’ll be doing some head to head comparisons with my ADS L-880’s soon, and I’ll pass along my findings. The L-880’s are very nice sounding too, so it will be fun to compare them.

    My advice is watch your local Craigslist and grab a pair when they pop up for a good price. They are simple to recap, and deliver the goods with tube gear for sure.

    Onebean
     
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  2. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  3. peerson

    peerson Well-Known Member

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    Did you re-seal the woofers? Makes a huge difference with the Acoustic Suspension KLH Model Six. For accurate "East Coast" bass. The KLH needs the cabinet to be pretty tightly sealed. There are many posts here about getting the most from the KLHs.
     
  4. pete1729

    pete1729 Super Member

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    I have KLH Model Sixes and a Pilot EL84 integrated amp. I know what you are talking about.
     
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  5. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The Sixes are also antique and a bit of history. I find it fascinating that a speaker originally sold in 1957 still competes and beats modern stuff. The fact that you can pick these up now for such prices makes them an extreme bargain. They are in my main rotation with my Fisher KX-100 tube amp.
     
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  6. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's on the to do list, along with a cabinet refinish and rebuilding the grilles that are broke in half. For now I'm just enjoying them.

    Tim and Pete, I'm glad to hear your experience is similar to mine. I haven't tried them with solid state yet (other than letting them run on repeat in my basement for about 8 hours to break them in a bit), but I plan to give them some time on my Marantz 2270.

    I shamefully admit I turned my nose up at KLH. My introduction to the brand was in the 80's, and like many premium brands, KLH had fallen from it's glory at that point.

    If your getting into Hi-Fi for the first time, returning to Hi-Fi, or getting into vintage tube gear, these are an unbelievable bang for the buck.
     

     

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  7. Gridslayer

    Gridslayer This and that... Subscriber

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    I'm having a similar experience with my newly acquired Bozaks. Makes me want to seek out a pair of KLH. At these prices, one can pick up several models, listen a while, perhaps do a recap, and choose what works. I'm going to keep an eye out for some sixes or seventeens... Enjoy!
     
  8. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great combo for sure. Now for the 2270, be on the lookout for a pair of Model Fives.
     
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  9. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Your entire set-up is terrific - - that's my kind of gear, too. More than 45 years ago I put together a system with some small AR two-ways and a Scott 222-D, and I've still got those components to this day! I like your low "stereo table" on casters and that Pioneer RTR, too. Definitely use the correct goop for re-sealing the woofers - - what'd you use for new caps in this speaker?
     
  10. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks ra.ra. I used the Russian K73-16 PETP caps.
     
  11. ra.ra

    ra.ra Super Member

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    Wow, that's pretty interesting.....just curious, what led you to that decision?
     

     

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  12. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I started using Russian surplus caps in my DIY projects years ago on the advice from AK member Grainger. They are an incredible value. Lots of members here are using them with fantastic results. They are often compared with much higher priced caps. I've read some members even preferring them over high end Audio Note and Mundorf. I use a Russian Teflon as a bypass cap in one of my phono stages and it took a very good phono stage up a significant notch.
     
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  13. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I drove my Sixes with a Marantz 2220B and that worked really well too. I didn't find the little 2220B as underpowered and I do like Rock and Roll, but I run at more moderate levels than when I was much younger. Still it filled the downstairs of the house with music.

    In terms of falling from glory... By the late 1970's they were in steep decline in terms of their offerings. The magic was gone. I only buy the vintage KLH stuff that is proven to be of good quality and value.

    Go ahead and re-seal those woofers and let us know what you think. If they haven't been previously re-sealed then you are probably in for a treat when you do. Just don't over-do the amount you use and use the right stuff. There are lots of threads on the topic.
     
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  14. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I picked up a pair earlier in the month and had them rebuilt after one of my amp lost a channel and toasted on of the woofers. I had both woofers professionally reconed and the suspension rebuilt. Since the cones are not avail anymore my guy used a 3d printer to adapt Advent cones. They were also recapped. I find them a truly nice sounding speaker

    You may find that after listening to two way speakers for a while that three way dont sound as good. My three favorites I am using now are Marantz Imperial 6, KLH 6 and Dynaco A25........ all two way.

    I was using the KLH on my main rig with 125 wpc Marantz 250 and they love power. The bass is tight and ass kicking with rock and the highs searing with Jazz and strings. Now they are in the bedroom with a 100 wpc STA 2600 and just sound great!

    I am sure they sound fine with your 20wpc HH Scott but feed them some real power and you will like them that much more.

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  15. gbroot

    gbroot Super Member

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    You can tell if they need new sealant brushed on to the surrounds by doing the "thumb test". Press the woofer in with your thumbs and release. If it takes a second or so to return then they're good to go. If they spring right back then new sealant needs to be brushed onto the surrounds and also the dust cap. Ebay seller Vintage-AR has the correct sealant. Use nothing else.

    I can tell you the change in bass response is very noticeable once resealed. I have the KLH 5's (3 way) and the 6's. Each have their own magic and I really don't prefer one over the other. The 6's are set up in a smaller listening area and the 5's in a much larger open area. As mentioned many times here on AK, Henry Kloss said "he got the 6's right". I couldn't agree more. That might be one reason that CBS (or was it NBC???) studios in NYC used the 6's as their studio monitors for 2 decades. Another KLH Model 6 shout out thread!!!!
     
  16. dly66

    dly66 Active Member

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    I have a pair of Model 17s, the 6s smaller sibling, in my workroom very good sounding speakers. Were in excellent shape found at a GW in Winston-Salem. Resealed and recapped. Seem to play well with most all of my vintage collection, ranging from old Sansui models like the 2000A and 3000A to more modern such as Kenwood KR-7400, Yamaha CA-610II, and even later Onkyo A-8700.
     

     

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  17. kirk57

    kirk57 Some guy on the Internet Subscriber

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    I’m in Chicago and would be interested to know what speaker was used in the system that was bested by a pair of KLH 6, and what shop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  18. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    kirk, my point wasn't to criticize any particular gear or shop, and I won't do that. It's just not fair. As we all know, there are many factors that play into the overall sound of the system. I spent a total of about 45 minutes listening to a few tracks I'm familiar with, and my assessment was based on that. We all know how one component can make your system sound great, or loose it's magic. In a large room with limited room treatment it would be very easy for these components to not be playing at their best. The whole system could have been suffering from a poor phono cartridge choice or alignment, who knows.

    My point is, listening to that system, choosing to purchase it based on what you heard, and laying down around $20,000 for it would be a tough pill to swallow when you heard these KLH Sixes with the right amp and front end. Are they equal to $10,000 speakers, no. First and foremost, they lack the fit and finish, which by the way was amazing. Deep beautiful colored wood grain with a finish that would make even the most seasoned woodworker pay attention. I'm talking strikingly beautiful. Is that finish worth $9800? Not to me, remember the shallow pockets I mentioned earlier. Set up in a room correctly, with the right amp and source, would they sound better than the Sixes, I would guess the answer is yes. Do they sound 500 times better, no way. I can safely say they wouldn't even sound twice as good. I know that's tough to measure. From the store to my home, without a doubt the Sixes had better midrange, deeper base, better imaging with a rock solid center image, and beautiful non-fatiguing highs. I also thought my ADS L880's were better than the beauty queens in all aspects.

    Hopefully this gives bargain hunters the motivation to seek these gems out and enjoy them for what they are, or can be with a little work. A very nice sounding speaker that many of the members on this board can enjoy in a main or secondary system. If you have the deep pockets for the beauty queens, and you like them, please buy them. I want to see these brands and shops remain successful, and our hobby to regain the popularity it enjoyed when the Sixes were produced. I also want to say the guys at the shop were true gentleman. They were friendly and helpful, and if they were irritated at my tire kicking, they did not show it.
     
  19. FlaCharlie

    FlaCharlie AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In most cases if your vintage KLH tweeter isn't working, it's the crossover, not the tweeter. Obviously, if the tweeter measures bad, it's bad, but in most cases the crossovers just need new caps.
     
  20. Onebean

    Onebean AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yea. Mine had a broken wire. I’ve seen threads on soldering that wire, but mine broke super close to the cone.
     

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