Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Onebean, Jan 30, 2019.
I second that!
You wont be sorry if you find a nice set. The "Imperial 6" looks like mine with the "Marantz 6G" having the big foam blocks type of grill. Most of them have long disintegrated......but the speaker is the same.
Agree! Just be prepared for the restoration and the costs unless you're lucky to find them in a thrift or yard sale.
@Bodyblue can you give more detail on the differences? I'm a big fan of my Model 6s - they have been my favorite speaker for a few years now, but am curious how the Imperials would compare. I'd be driving them with a Marantz 1060, 2245, or a Pioneer sx-626. On the tube front, a Pilot 240, which sounds really sweet with the Model 6s tho it maybe a little under powered. I'm listening in a spare bedroom and am not cranking any Black Sabbath
Has anybody compared the Imperial 6s to Wharfedale W60s?
I can try. I used my Imperials with my 1060 by itself before I got the 250 power amp and they sounded awesome, just like they do with 125wpc. The KLHs work fine with lower power units as you have seen but I think the Imperials sound better at lower volumes. The bass comes through at lower levels than it does with the KLHs. To me, that is the biggest difference. The bass on the KLHs at higher volumes sounds a bit "tighter" like acoustic suspension speakers do. The Imperials have more of an "open" sound if that makes sense. The highs I honestly cant tell the difference in. I think the Imperials can probably get louder without damage (KLHs have a rep of being easy to bottom the bass driver) but I have never got close to that. My 6s have been refoamed and the spiders rebuilt with new crossovers and my Imperials have been recapped. So I think it is a fair comparison. One thing I will say is that the Imperials sound even better when using Marantz amplification. They were made to sound good with the like amps and show it.
If one is running a lower power amp and listens at lower volumes I would say the Imperials are the better unit for that use. If one is using a 40wpc + and listens at higher volumes then I would say it is a toss up. As for looks, I like the lighter walnut stain and better fabric on the grills of the Imperials. If you find a "Marantz 6" it has the crappy foam grills but is the same speaker. With the grills off they both are hideous! LOL
Dont take the above as any way negative about the KLHs. I absolutely love both the Imperials and KLHs.......and I like both of them better than the Dynaco A25s which was my biggest surprise.
I also had a set of the W60s. I had them for around 3 weeks before I sold them. I thought they boring and lifeless. But the Imperials, KLHs and A 25 spanked them and took their lunch money. Way too laid back for my tastes.
Just by the visual, I'd expect the Imperials to go deeper. Maybe it's
a perspective distortion, but it looks like more cone acreage and
definitely a more spacious cabinet.
Cool! Thanks. That's exactly what I was interested in, and what I'm looking for. I do listen at mostly lower volumes and find the Model 6s tend to lose a little focus on the bass. It's there and it sounds good, but it's not what I would say "tight." What I do love about the Model 6s is that no matter what you put in front of them, they have that nice full, lush sound. I guess now I need to look for some Imperial 6s to get that bigger bass presence at lower volumes. Thanks for taking the time to write down your observations.
They do go a bit deeper I think. The Imperials do have a bigger cabinet and have a long throw woofer.
Now if you see an Imperial 7 you will see a 12 in woofer stuffed into the same cabinet along with a mid......and all the ones I have heard dont sound nearly as good. The bass rolls off like crazy. What was funny was the 7s sold like crazy but the 6s hardly moved at all.
I also have a set of Imperial 5s. The are about the size of the KLH 17. They have an 8 in woofer and the same tweeter as the 6. I had a really nice set of KLH 17s that I really liked but when I got the Imperial 5s I sold the 17s. No contest in bass.
I'm anxious to listen to my 6's that I recently acquired with the Marantz tube find, they are the early ones that are all glued together. I'm not wanting to try and get inside these any time soon, would hate to damage everything. I'll have to give them a listen and see if they need attention.
No problem, I dont have the audiophile vocabulary really but I did my best. You might also ask my friend @Lavane also. He has a set of Imperal 6s with a tube amp and seems to really like them with tubes.
Oil caps were installed on Sixes, best I can tell, up to about serial number 18xxx. That's the latest
there is confirmation.
I was able to read the serial on one, 5901.
5901 makes them very early. Most likely first year production run! As long as the tweets seem to be alive the crossovers should still be good. Your issue will still be that the cloth surrounds will be dried out which means a lot of air is moving through them so bass response will not be any where close to its optimum. The grills will still need to come off and the surrounds re-treated for optimal performance. I had to build new grills for mine. Grills come up regularly on the auction site as well.
Even with a 6wpc tube amp i get pretty good bass at low volumes with the 6's.
replacement tweets for the 6's are easy to find used. New production can be found at parts express. I've used the 6's with various tube amps and they sound fine. The SET amp connected to them right now tops out at around 6wpc. They don't get crazy loud, but do sound really nice at lower volumes. What tube gear did you just get?
If a guy wanted to get a little more definition out of them, perhaps a little more soundstage/imaging is what I mean, would replacing the current tweeter with something a little more modern do the trick? Now don't shoot me for considering mods to a classic. Just curious here what is possible, has been tried, etc.
A few months ago I contacted Parts Express and they did not have anything other than the stock units. I was thinking about a silk dome but can't find one.
Marantz5's and 7 preamp, these 6's were hooked to them. Marantz gear is gone already.
I saw that thread! That was a killer score.
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