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Andy

Rare KLH Electrostatic

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See ebay number 140102645601. Never seen this one before, seller mentions it having a Janzen woofer, but it looks like the early epoxied KLH woofer to me. The cabinet looks like solid walnut much like the Model Eight cabinet of 1960-62.

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>See ebay number 140102645601. Never seen this one before,

>seller mentions it having a Janzen woofer, but it looks like

>the early epoxied KLH woofer to me. The cabinet looks like

>solid walnut much like the Model Eight cabinet of 1960-62.

Andy,

I believe that this eBay item is a KLH Model Two woofer system and enclosure, with what looks like KLH-assembled prototype enclosure with JansZen electrostatic panels permanently attached. Kloss' fondness for the Janszen electrostatic drivers was apparent here and with the models One and Two, and later the Model Nine electrostatic, which was also a JansZen design. This eBay item also lends credance to the idea that all early KLHs were epoxied-in designs! The epoxied-in design, incidentally, was the reason KLH could claim very close production tolerance from one model to the next. The design allowed very close tolerances.

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/2164.jpg

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/dc/user_files/2165.jpg

Model Six Epoxied-in Woofer (from eBay image)

The Model One had two parallel-connected 32-ohm a/s woofers mounted in separate 2.25 cu. ft. enclosures, but with space above for the 16-ohm JansZen electrostatic array; the Model Two had a single 16-ohm woofer in a 1.5 cu. ft. enclosure with space above for the JansZen tweeter. The Model Three, of course, was the woofer-only enclosure similar to the Model Two, but without space for the tweeter array. The Model Four was a model three system with the addition of the (initially) General Electric tweeter and later the excellent KLH-built thin-shell tweeter(2) that was also used in the Model Six and other versions.

--Tom Tyson

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Hi Andy...

This speaker is an engineering prototype, number 24. The woofer is ours but the high frequency drivers might be anybodies, not ours at this point. There were many prototypes created and tested within the anechoic chamber, using many different OEM drivers as comparisons to what we were building. The final electrostat that was all KLH was called the DVR driver and was subsequently also used by Infinity, a sister company also owned by Eastern Air Devices (EAD) and called the Emit tweeter. Both these drivers were designed by Daniel Von Recklinghausen.

Mark

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Guest soundbug1

Hello fellow audio lovers. I'm the seller on Ebay and I was given a heads up about this thread. I wanted to let Mark know that I quoted him on my listing...I hope this is OK.

I wanted to ask Mark how he knows what number prototype this was? That seems like VERY specific information and it is cool that one can poinpoint the exact number.

I posted this speaker on the AUDIO CIRCUIT website many years ago and got responses that stated the the woofer looked like early Janszen. Since I'm not expert in these older speakers, I thought I would take their word over mine...guess they (and I ) were wrong. I have since made corrections.

I'll be peeking back in to see if anyone else posts any info. I guess there is a (slight) possibility that there could be a (match) for this unit?

Mark Voigt

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Maybe electrostatic type speakers were limited to the Model nine at KLH because Henry Kloss himself didn't push for this developement beyond the Model Nine. In an interveiw Kloss said, "Arthur Janzen with his Janzen Laboratories, joined KLH as a fourth member with his company and his product and proceeded to develop the low-frequeny panels that resulted in in a full range electrostatic speaker. That was the Model Nine. It's the one speaker I didn't have anything to do with. A great speaker." Lander interveiw - 1996.

This prototype might have been an interesting addition to the KLH line up, but this never happened. Radio Shack's Realistic Electrostat-2 was on the market in 1962 selling for $54.95. A KLH electrostatic in combination with their standard 10" woofer would have stood out in the speaker industry, but might have stepped on the toes of the very successful Model Six which was doing very well in 1962.

Andy

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>Maybe electrostatic type speakers were limited to the Model

>nine at KLH because Henry Kloss himself didn't push for this

>developement beyond the Model Nine.

Well, in terms of actually marketing a finished loudspeaker with electrostatic panels, the Model Nine was indeed the only production KLH electrostatic speaker. However, Kloss did "push" for the electrostatic and was fascinated with the electrostatic's uniform response and low distortion, and the Model One, Two and Three were specifically designed to be used with JansZen's 130 electrostatic panel. Kloss is also known to have looked for a high-frequency device that could compete with Acoustic Research's early dome tweeter, and the electrostatic was the closest thing to it in terms of distortion and uniform response (on-axis).

>This prototype might have been an interesting addition to the

>KLH line up, but this never happened. Radio Shack's Realistic

>Electrostat-2 was on the market in 1962 selling for $54.95. A

>KLH electrostatic in combination with their standard 10"

>woofer would have stood out in the speaker industry, but might

>have stepped on the toes of the very successful Model Six

>which was doing very well in 1962.

>

I doubt that the KLH Six was ever in jeopardy with something like this. The cabinet of this prototype is much larger and the crossover, etc., much more complex in such to make the speaker much more expensive. This would have been a high-end, floor-mounted type speaker, I believe, similar to the Model One or Model Two.

It is also most unusual that KLH would have allowed a speaker prototype to get out of the factory or out of the hands of a factory person. The fact that this electrostatic prototype ended up at a dealer's location much later on certainly raises questions, and shines an unfavorable light on KLH's ability to protect its own property. Of course, someone might have stolen this speaker early on, but most likely it was loaned to a dealer and forgotten somehow.

--Tom Tyson

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>Hi Andy...

>

>This speaker is an engineering prototype, number 24. The

>woofer is ours but the high frequency drivers might be

>anybodies, not ours at this point. There were many prototypes

>created and tested within the anechoic chamber, using many

>different OEM drivers as comparisons to what we were building.

>The final electrostat that was all KLH was called the DVR

>driver and was subsequently also used by Infinity, a sister

>company also owned by Eastern Air Devices (EAD) and called the

>Emit tweeter. Both these drivers were designed by Daniel Von

>Recklinghausen.

>

>Mark

Mark,

The tweeter you are referring to ("DVR" or EMIT) was *not* an electrostatic tweeter but a ribbon-type tweeter. This came much later in time at KLH, long after Henry Kloss had left the company. Although both electrostatic and EMITs used a thin, low-mass mylar-type diaphram of sorts, the EMIT tweeter had an etched voice coil suspended between two very powerful cobalt magnets. The "capacitive" electrostatic, of course, uses no voice coil whatsoever. It also had a lower-mass diaphram and thus was more linear in output than the EMIT, but also much more problematic, fragile and costly.

The prototype KLH that we're discussing here -- apparently made around 1962 -- had true electrostatic panels (likely JansZen) that were directly mounted onto the front panel of that early KLH speaker, probably the cabinet from an early Model Two (or Model Seven). Note the use of oil-filled capacitors (dating the speaker to the early 1960s or before) and the presence of the transformer, thus verifying the use of an electrostatic panel. The front panel on this prototype was removable for purposes of testing and so forth, but the rear was sealed in place. All production-model acoustic-suspension KLH speakers had cabinets that were permanently glued together. The woofer is almost certainly the KLH Three or KLH Four 16-ohm epoxied woofer (KLH called it an eleven-inch woofer I believe), but the woofer and enclosure might also be the KLH Seven, now that I think of it. The Seven was the last of the epoxied speakers, but it had the thin-shell dynamic tweeters (two, just like the Model Four), and it had the larger 2.6 cu. ft. enclosure, pretty much what this animal appears to be. The Model Seven system was basically an updated Model Four in the larger enclosure, much like the Model Twelve was to the Model Five -- both using similar components.

--Tom Tyson

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A couple of further notes; this prototrype enclosure does look to be the same as the Model Seven's which had dimentions of 24.75 x 21.5 x 11.75 inches with a volume of 2.6 cu ft. The Model Seven was being sold through Radio Shack in 1962 for $203. (walnut) in addition to other outlets where the price would have been slightly higher.

I'm curious about the mention of this prototype being labeled number 24 due to the number 24 written on the woofer cone since it's written as (24.) - this really reminds me of the fact that KLH wrote woofer cone weight on models Five, Twenty Three and many Model Twelves. Yes these models were later, 1968-72 but it makes me wonder. I'd like to decifer the full meaning of "DENNY FEB. 1962 ROLL" which is stamped on the inside of this cabinet.

Andy

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Tom...

You are correct about being an electrostatic speaker. Apparently I didn't read close enuf to find out it was a plug-in unit. The DVR driver looked very similar when actually produced to the ones in the photo. The emit was not as tall.

As far as the number was concerned, engineering marked the cones so when they were set up in the chamber, several at a time, they could be easily identified without moving them to see if anything was on the rear. I don't recall ever seeing the magnet weight written on the cones, at least not during my tenure there. In the early days, I suspect anything might have occurred and since I wasn't there, most of my comments are based on the period I was there. I did have some on-going contacts with earlier products however.

I just finished cleaning my glasses so I will pay closer attention to the comments. Sometimes its hell getting old.

Mark

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Tom...

You are correct about being an electrostatic speaker. Apparently I didn't read close enuf to find out it was a plug-in unit. The DVR driver looked very similar when actually produced to the ones in the photo. The emit was not as tall.

As far as the number was concerned, engineering marked the cones so when they were set up in the chamber, several at a time, they could be easily identified without moving them to see if anything was on the rear. I don't recall ever seeing the magnet weight written on the cones, at least not during my tenure there. In the early days, I suspect anything might have occurred and since I wasn't there, most of my comments are based on the period I was there. I did have some on-going contacts with earlier products however.

I just finished cleaning my glasses so I will pay closer attention to the comments. Sometimes its hell getting old.

Mark,

Well, it’s hard to say for certain who made the tweeters, but it seems likely they were JansZens since Kloss’ first speakers were made specifically to use with the JansZen 130 electrostatic. It a pretty sure thing that the panels are electrostatic, since there are two transformers and special chokes in the crossover. In any event, the design is very interesting, to say the least! JansZen went one to develop their version of such a speaker, and it had an acoustic-suspension woofer. It was not particularly successful and was discontinued after a short period if I remember correctly.

Andy, since you are the resident KLH historian, I think you should acquire this prototype for your KLH museum.

--Tom Tyson

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Tom,

I found an ad for the Janzen Z-600 from 1969, one woofer, two electrostatic panels in a cabinet very close to the size of this KLH prototype.

Thank for the compliment about being the resident KLH historian, much of what I've learned is from the folks on these Classic Speaker Pages, yourself included.

It will be interesting to see what kind of bidding will accure on this unique piece of KLH history. I'm tempted. Who ever the new owner is, they will likely have the only example known!

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Guest soundbug1

Seller here again...

Would like to thank everyone for their cool info on this speaker. I learn something new every day.

I'm hopeing the speaker sells to someone who knows what it is and all you guys are very into this stuff. Be nice to see it get a PROPER home.

I'm a turntable nut and I love tonearms. If there is anyone here that would possibly want to make a trade for the speaker I'd be open to considering any tonearms. I know some of them are REALLY expensive and I'm not looking to swindle someone or anything. I have no idea what my speaker is worth so perhaps a trade would be a possibility.

I have not made this offer to anyone else and I thought since you guys are really into this old KLH stuff, you might find this to be an interesting proposition...No Money.

You can contact me direct at soundbug1@cox.net

Hope this is not offending anyone here....

Mark Voigt

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>Tom,

>

>I found an ad for the Janzen Z-600 from 1969, one woofer, two

>electrostatic panels in a cabinet very close to the size of

>this KLH prototype.

>

>Thank for the compliment about being the resident KLH

>historian, much of what I've learned is from the folks on

>these Classic Speaker Pages, yourself included.

>

>It will be interesting to see what kind of bidding will accure

>on this unique piece of KLH history. I'm tempted. Who ever the

>new owner is, they will likely have the only example known!

Andy,

I was looking back at some KLH Seven information, and I believe that the Seven was introduced somewhere around 1964. It was loosely based on the Model Six, but with a larger enclosure for a lower resonance frequency. Strangely, it had exactly the same sensitivity as the Six. I have a Larry Zide (*American Record Guide*) review on the Seven that was dated 1964, and he was known to review something significant when it was introduced. The cabinet on the eBay prototype, which appears to be dated around 1962, is definitely much closer to the Model Seven than either the much earlier Model Two or the later and larger KLH Twelve. Most likely Henry Kloss was looking for a "flagship" speaker to head the line in the early 1960s, and the Seven looked to be what was finally used.

The KLH Four was made from around December, 1957, until 1963 or 1964, I believe, and it was being phasing out perhaps around the time the KLH Seven was coming on-stream. The Seven could produce bass response better than the Six and close to the Four at a slightly lower price ($203 vs. $231 in Walnut), and the Seven also had the two tweeters like the later-version KLH Four (the first version of the Four had a single GE tweeter).

At the expense of "assumption," I believe that this eBay prototype KLH in question might have been an attempt at something that eventually turned into the KLH Seven. Therefore, Andy, you need to "belly-up" and buy the thing on eBay before someone else snatches it away at the last minute. It would be a shame to let that thing get away from the KLH historical collection.

--Tom Tyson

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Tom,

Information on the Model Seven; I have a 1961 Radio Shack catalog which would have been printed in the fall of 1960. Within this cataloge is offered the KLH Model Seven in mahoganny, birch, or walnut with prices ranging from $189. to $203. An introduction date of 1960 makes sense to me because KLH introduces models in consecutive order, models 1,2,3,4 etc. The exception in their number system, for unknown reasons are the Models Five which first appeared as the high feequency unit in 1957-8, then as the robust 3-way speaker of 1968-72. And then the Model Twelve, 1968. I could never figure out why they skipped the number Twelve in their system which should have come up in late 1962 or early 1963 just before the Model Thirteen stereophonic adapter.

Also in this 1961 Radio Shack catalog is the KLH Model Eight radio-$139. Model Six speaker- $129.

There's more great loudspeakeers in the catalog, Acoustic Research Models AR-1, AR-2, AR-2a, AR-3, and the AR-3st. The list of higher end audio in the catalog goes on....Jensen, Electro-Voice, University. The list of amps,tuners and turntables is no less impressive, Eico, McIntosh, Sherwood, Fisher and Bogen...the list goes on. I'm amazed at what could be bought through Radio Shack in those days, they covered it all.

Andy-

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Radio Shack back then was no comparison to the franchised Radio Shack of today. I used to go to the original Radio Shack in Boston on lower Washington Street during the late 50s. It was a gadgeteers dream with many surplus bins to scrounge around in. I was in the process of building a pair of 60W Ultra-linear Williamsons (which I still use). I bought a pair of beefy power transformers that were for the RCA 630 TV chassis. A dollar apiece, maybe. 600V and 100V oil-filled capacitors formed the HV power supply for the output tubes (electrolytics operating at lower voltage for the 6SN7s). These were marked USN with a 1944 date. 50 cents apiece. Still working fine.

In the mid-50s they were introducing the Realistic line. An FM tuner for $40 was available. It got good reviews and was said to be built by Harmon-Kardon.

Then they opened a large store on Commonwealth Avenue (near Boston University) and later evolved into 'Radio Schlock' with their many stores. And moved the enterprise to Texas.

John

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On 3/31/2007 at 9:33 AM, KLHSvcMgr said:

Hi Andy...

This speaker is an engineering prototype, number 24. The woofer is ours but the high frequency drivers might be anybodies, not ours at this point. There were many prototypes created and tested within the anechoic chamber, using many different OEM drivers as comparisons to what we were building. The final electrostat that was all KLH was called the DVR driver and was subsequently also used by Infinity, a sister company also owned by Eastern Air Devices (EAD) and called the Emit tweeter. Both these drivers were designed by Daniel Von Recklinghausen.

Mark

Posting this 1976 KLH print ad here as future reference for those wanting more info about DVR tweeter.  I understand it is essentially a rebadged EMIT.   

Namikis

 

DVTR Tweeter.jpg

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