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KLH Nine

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General information[contribute]

The KLH Nine is an electrostatic speaker.

John McEnroe (July 2001): The Model Nine was introduced in 1964 it had a price tag of $1100 a pair. Despite being sold under the KLH name, this speaker was designed by Arthur Janszen and William Bremmen.

Michael L Squires (December 2001): I owned a double set of KLH Nines 1974-80. The speaker was designed by Janszen, and uses the same tweeter panel as the Janszen Z-130. The woofer panels are unique. The 1976 review overstates power requirements, I drove mine with 4 Dyna MKIII's (modified version covered in Audio Amateur, 1977) to levels loud enough to generate complaints from neighbors (KLH spec'd a double pair at max 105 dB SPL.

The double Nine, driven by a compatible amp, is the best system I've ever heard for large symphonic works or opera. On the other hand, I've dropped out of the the hobby ca 1980.

Carl Hammer (December 2001): In the late 70s-early 80s, I had a double pair of KLH-9s. They produced very good midrange and bass, but the Jantzen tweeter was definitely lacking. I added a Infinity Servo-Statik 1A crossover/bass amp and subwoofer unit for bass to approximately 16 Hz. Also added a set of RTR 6 electrostatic tweeters outboard to the outside of the KLHs. The RTR units had 6 elements each. Disconnecting the KLH tweeters and using the RTRs made a very good improvement to the overall sound. Of course, this hodgepodge took up a lot of real estate, but was quite good for the time. Had quite a few folks come to see and hear this setup.

Christian Steingruber (December 2001): It is hard to find reports about the KLH 9 in European mags. Angus Mckenzie of Hifi-Choice wrote only a few words about the KLH 9 in its "Speaker Survey" in 1976 :

"The most inefficient loudspeaker that I have yet come across was the KLH 9 electrostatic , which required appr. 8dB more drive than a Quad for the same output level. We did try a pair of KLH 9's as a possible reference standard, but found that the requirement of a 200 W amplifier to drive them was a bit ridiculous, especially when the acoustic output at that level was not particularly loud. The speaker was also rejected because of its extremely poor polar diagram at high frequencies. Notwithstanding these criticisms, though, the KLH 9's certainly do sound very nice indeed if the listener is precisely in the hot seat position. "

Werner Ogiers (December 2001): KLH has manufactured a kind of Quad ESL in license, the KLH-9. After hearing this speaker a guy named Jim Winey decided to built a speaker of his own. This speaker later evolved in the Magnepan.

John Hamm (December 2001): The granddaddy of all. The KLH Model 9 Full range electrostat. From what I recall about 6' tall 2'6" wide. The proto-typical picture of an electrostat. Very, very low efficiency AND low power handling. Anybody that tested them recommended two pair for reasonable listening levels.

John Bruss (October 2004): This loudpeaker is 68" tall or more since I've seen them and their tops were at my eye level and I'm 72" tall.

Per Andreasen (December 2004): KLH, in USA, made a very famous fullrange ESL, called model nine, to my knowledge, it was produced for quite many years.

steven Schneider (April 3, 2010): I have two three sets of them. I found that I could play a double pair using 50 watt tube amps such as Heath Kit W7As and they sounded fine. My Eico HF89 amplifiers had trouble powering them but now I am running McIntosh MC275 amplifiers and they have no problem. With the single pair you can run them using the 16 ohm tap in the amplifiers. In the double pair you must use the 8 ohm setting. The speakers that I have to compare them with are University 315 coaxile speakers, JBL Hartrsfield speakers and kit speakers with Electrovoice drivers. Each of the types of speakers plays a certain type of music better. However, the KLH model 9 speakers are not forgiving of a poor recording. You can spot a poor recording instantly. Digital records don't sound good but Mercury Living Presence sound terrific. Using the double pannels the base is quite low. These and my Hartsfield speakers are my favorite. Thanks,

Forum topics on the KLH Nine

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