KLH Model Nine’s Incoming

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Robert D

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Looks like there is one set here for sale.

 

JonFo

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Given that they’ll be in the den, the subs will be placed based on esthetics vs. where they would sound the best (and we all know from experience that those two factors rarely coincide). Which is one reason I want some room correction for the bass. Most probably the subs will be on the front wall, just behind each speaker, (positioned at about 1/3 and 2/3 of the length of the wall) and they should be equidistant from the main listening position.
Ah, in which case, the AntiMode should do the right thing, as the timing will be about the same for both subs.
 

Cosmos

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Cosmos, thanks for the reply. I am familiar with the bracket and the benefits of putting two pairs together. Unfortunately, I don’t think my wife would allow that in our den. Maybe some day. Can’t believe you own 7 pairs of these! That’s insane! Have you had any of them refurbished by David Janssen? If not, I can highly recommend his refurbishment and upgrade service. He brings them back to better than original condition and is really focused on continuing his father’s legacy and giving new life to these aging, but amazing, speakers.

I know the Marantz and some Macintosh tube amps were the standard for these back then. I found I couldn’t go as loud as I wanted with my Conrad Johnson Premier 140 tube amp before I ran into clipping. No problems with the Pass Labs. I get the volume level I want (low 80’s dB’s average) without clipping or sending too much voltage to the speakers. At the dynamic peaks, I’m seeing voltage peaks of close to 24 volts and David said I don’t want to feed them more than 35 volts. So I think I’m in a safe range, and the amp stays in class A bias and sounds incredible. Thanks so much for your input. Would love to hear more about your journey with the Model Nine’s. How on earth did you end up with seven pairs?
Rich,

It took a while to accumulate seven pair and each involved a road trip. The first pair was a gift from a guy in Toronto that I met through Audiokarma. Another really rough pair was a gift from a guy in Pittsburgh that found them in the basement of a house he was renovating that had been abandoned. One pair was in Barrington IL and another from Nashville. Frankly, I just don't remember where the rest came from.

The woofer panels are generally good, but the Tweeters are a challenge as is the power supply. i had a lot of guidance from Russ Knotts of www.justrealmusic.com. He's an electrostatic speaker genius and became a personal friend. Off the top of my head I'd guess there is four or five days work in each pair and a couple have yet to be updated. I've had one set of woofer panels re-coated, more as an experiment. Both Russ and I have built several panels to replace the Tweeter panels. The originals loose the electrical connection between the wire post and the panel and they are NOT something that you can take apart to fix! At least we've had no luck doing so..

Overall, it was a journey. One year, I hosted a room at an AKFest in Detroit with two pair, but had serious amp problems in that setup. The factory installed smoke was released in one of the tube mono-blocks pre-show. Frank Van Alstine of "Audio by Van Alstine" (Audio by Van Alstine) came to the rescue with a loaner amp and preamp for the weekend. He had the room next door and while he knew what they were, had never heard Nines and especially not on his gear. While I loved his amps and story, for whatever reason I never reached a setup "Synergy" with the system that weekend. While the sound was really good that all the visitors heard, I know it never reached the potential on the KLH Nines. Set up well, they are incredible. When they are set up right and you close your eyes, you'd swear Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, or others had come to privately play for you in your home. Their limitation, like all Electrostatic speakers, is efficiency and dynamics. Further, they will let you know when a recording is poorly done.

Enjoy the music. The chase for playback perfection can be fun and frustrating, but it's about the music!
 

Cosmos

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Looks like there is one set here for sale.

From my experience, I do not believe ANY pair of original KLH Nines will play well without intervention and repair. It sure has not happened for me. In fact, most I have come across were put into storage because they needed repair. Just an FYI FWIW.
 

Robert D

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Rich,

It took a while to accumulate seven pair and each involved a road trip. The first pair was a gift from a guy in Toronto that I met through Audiokarma. Another really rough pair was a gift from a guy in Pittsburgh that found them in the basement of a house he was renovating that had been abandoned. One pair was in Barrington IL and another from Nashville. Frankly, I just don't remember where the rest came from.

The woofer panels are generally good, but the Tweeters are a challenge as is the power supply. i had a lot of guidance from Russ Knotts of www.justrealmusic.com. He's an electrostatic speaker genius and became a personal friend. Off the top of my head I'd guess there is four or five days work in each pair and a couple have yet to be updated. I've had one set of woofer panels re-coated, more as an experiment. Both Russ and I have built several panels to replace the Tweeter panels. The originals loose the electrical connection between the wire post and the panel and they are NOT something that you can take apart to fix! At least we've had no luck doing so..

Overall, it was a journey. One year, I hosted a room at an AKFest in Detroit with two pair, but had serious amp problems in that setup. The factory installed smoke was released in one of the tube mono-blocks pre-show. Frank Van Alstine of "Audio by Van Alstine" (Audio by Van Alstine) came to the rescue with a loaner amp and preamp for the weekend. He had the room next door and while he knew what they were, had never heard Nines and especially not on his gear. While I loved his amps and story, for whatever reason I never reached a setup "Synergy" with the system that weekend. While the sound was really good that all the visitors heard, I know it never reached the potential on the KLH Nines. Set up well, they are incredible. When they are set up right and you close your eyes, you'd swear Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, or others had come to privately play for you in your home. Their limitation, like all Electrostatic speakers, is efficiency and dynamics. Further, they will let you know when a recording is poorly done.

Enjoy the music. The chase for playback perfection can be fun and frustrating, but it's about the music!
I got to know Russ too. He's great. I took my Prodigies to him to see if he could recoat the panels. He gave me a dozen of his fresh eggs. He's got chickens there. The eggs were good! Russ knows his stuff and has a lot of really cool life experiences. We talked for hours on the phone.
 

Rich

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Rich,

It took a while to accumulate seven pair and each involved a road trip. The first pair was a gift from a guy in Toronto that I met through Audiokarma. Another really rough pair was a gift from a guy in Pittsburgh that found them in the basement of a house he was renovating that had been abandoned. One pair was in Barrington IL and another from Nashville. Frankly, I just don't remember where the rest came from.

The woofer panels are generally good, but the Tweeters are a challenge as is the power supply. i had a lot of guidance from Russ Knotts of www.justrealmusic.com. He's an electrostatic speaker genius and became a personal friend. Off the top of my head I'd guess there is four or five days work in each pair and a couple have yet to be updated. I've had one set of woofer panels re-coated, more as an experiment. Both Russ and I have built several panels to replace the Tweeter panels. The originals loose the electrical connection between the wire post and the panel and they are NOT something that you can take apart to fix! At least we've had no luck doing so..

Overall, it was a journey. One year, I hosted a room at an AKFest in Detroit with two pair, but had serious amp problems in that setup. The factory installed smoke was released in one of the tube mono-blocks pre-show. Frank Van Alstine of "Audio by Van Alstine" (Audio by Van Alstine) came to the rescue with a loaner amp and preamp for the weekend. He had the room next door and while he knew what they were, had never heard Nines and especially not on his gear. While I loved his amps and story, for whatever reason I never reached a setup "Synergy" with the system that weekend. While the sound was really good that all the visitors heard, I know it never reached the potential on the KLH Nines. Set up well, they are incredible. When they are set up right and you close your eyes, you'd swear Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, or others had come to privately play for you in your home. Their limitation, like all Electrostatic speakers, is efficiency and dynamics. Further, they will let you know when a recording is poorly done.

Enjoy the music. The chase for playback perfection can be fun and frustrating, but it's about the music!
Cosmos, very interesting stuff. Cool that you got to host a room with two pair, but a shame about the amp mishap. I highly recommend you give David Janssen a call just to shoot the sh!t with him. He probably knows more about these particular speakers than anyone alive and has restored many, many pairs. Even if you didn’t hire him to restore any for you, he could give you some great insight and ideas. He’s a really nice guy and very knowledgeable. Also, regarding the tweeters, David replaces the tweeter panels with the current model he uses in his own speaker designs. It has better dispersion than the original and a slightly different crossover point, and therefore requires some modifications to the electronics as well. But perhaps you could get him to sell you a DIY kit to replace tweeter panels with his. Just a thought. But either way, I think you could learn a lot from speaking with him. If you were ever looking to offload any of them, I expect he may give you a decent price. He buys them, restores them, and sells them.

You are dead on about the sound of these speakers. They truly are incredible. I’ve got great synergy with my Pass Labs X-350.5 and am really enjoying the sound. I demoed them yesterday for a musician friend of mine who’s done a lot of recording and really understands the sound engineering side of things. He was blown away with the imaging and soundstage projection of the Model Nine’s.
 

Robert D

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Cosmos, very interesting stuff. Cool that you got to host a room with two pair, but a shame about the amp mishap. I highly recommend you give David Janssen a call just to shoot the sh!t with him. He probably knows more about these particular speakers than anyone alive and has restored many, many pairs. Even if you didn’t hire him to restore any for you, he could give you some great insight and ideas. He’s a really nice guy and very knowledgeable. Also, regarding the tweeters, David replaces the tweeter panels with the current model he uses in his own speaker designs. It has better dispersion than the original and a slightly different crossover point, and therefore requires some modifications to the electronics as well. But perhaps you could get him to sell you a DIY kit to replace tweeter panels with his. Just a thought. But either way, I think you could learn a lot from speaking with him. If you were ever looking to offload any of them, I expect he may give you a decent price. He buys them, restores them, and sells them.

You are dead on about the sound of these speakers. They truly are incredible. I’ve got great synergy with my Pass Labs X-350.5 and am really enjoying the sound. I demoed them yesterday for a musician friend of mine who’s done a lot of recording and really understands the sound engineering side of things. He was blown away with the imaging and soundstage projection of the Model Nine’s.
Is David Janssen selling a new speaker now then? Ive not heard of that.

This must be it. Made here in Ohio too, close to my home!

 

Robert D

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Here is his webpage that describes his service for the KLH Nines. Wow, he sells the Nines right now.

Turnkey. We maintain a stock of original KLH Nines, and make them available refurbished to Level 1 for $9490/ pair, which is half the inflation-adjusted original 1959 price of $2000, or Level 2 for $12,670/pair, which is 2/3 the inflation-adjusted original price. We feel this is a bargain, considering they have been then brought up to modern standards.

 

Cosmos

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Cosmos, very interesting stuff. Cool that you got to host a room with two pair, but a shame about the amp mishap. I highly recommend you give David Janssen a call just to shoot the sh!t with him. He probably knows more about these particular speakers than anyone alive and has restored many, many pairs. Even if you didn’t hire him to restore any for you, he could give you some great insight and ideas. He’s a really nice guy and very knowledgeable. Also, regarding the tweeters, David replaces the tweeter panels with the current model he uses in his own speaker designs. It has better dispersion than the original and a slightly different crossover point, and therefore requires some modifications to the electronics as well. But perhaps you could get him to sell you a DIY kit to replace tweeter panels with his. Just a thought. But either way, I think you could learn a lot from speaking with him. If you were ever looking to offload any of them, I expect he may give you a decent price. He buys them, restores them, and sells them.

You are dead on about the sound of these speakers. They truly are incredible. I’ve got great synergy with my Pass Labs X-350.5 and am really enjoying the sound. I demoed them yesterday for a musician friend of mine who’s done a lot of recording and really understands the sound engineering side of things. He was blown away with the imaging and soundstage projection of the Model Nine’s.
Rich,

I've had a few conversations with David. He seemed like a good guy and knowledgeable about them. For whatever reason, we never connected to achieve something. However, I think I will contact him about tweeter panels though. I dont recall him ever mentioning them. I also have one set of power supplies that I removed the potting material from, but never worked on yet. This conversation is inspiring to get back to it..
 

Rich

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Has anyone here heard the Janszen speakers? They arent dipoles either, that makes sense.
I auditioned them when I dropped off my Nine’s. They’re fantastic speakers. It’s a hybrid electrostat similar to ML’s but much more compact. They are very esthetically pleasing, but still have that electrostat magic.
 

Robert D

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I auditioned them when I dropped off my Nine’s. They’re fantastic speakers. It’s a hybrid electrostat similar to ML’s but much more compact. They are very esthetically pleasing, but still have that electrostat magic.
How do they compare to Martin Logans and your Model 9 speakers in sound quality? Wondering how good they are. Something to consider for the future perhaps. For price, the Martin Logan 11 A would be the closest to compare. The electro stat panel on the Janszen speakers looks much smaller than the Martin Logan's.
 

Rich

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How do they compare to Martin Logans and your Model 9 speakers in sound quality? Wondering how good they are. Something to consider for the future perhaps. For price, the Martin Logan 11 A would be the closest to compare. The electro stat panel on the Janszen speakers looks much smaller than the Martin Logan's.
Honestly, it’s hard to compare without having them in the same room on the same equipment. He was streaming from a Bluetooth audio source direct to a very basic pro amp in a pretty small room (by my standards) with some basic acoustic treatments, and the speakers sounded great. The electrostatic panel is smaller, but I didn’t notice any negative effects from that. Horizontal dispersion is a little narrower than ML’s (20 degrees vs 30 degrees) but again, sitting in the sweet spot you won’t notice that. It’s got two 8” woofers vs. two 10” woofers on my Summits, yet surprisingly the Janszen digs deeper (20 Hz. vs. 24 Hz. on the Summits). His speakers sounded more like my Summits than not. But like I say, it was a quick audition in an unfamiliar room playing mostly unfamiliar music. So I can’t really make any serious comparisons. He’s got some advanced technology in his speakers and honestly, considering their size and esthetics (high WAF factor), they sounded incredible.
 
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