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sean kirk

KLH or AR? Can you help?

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Hi all.

I have a chance to get a pair of AR4x in good shape for $200 or a pair of KLH model 24 twenty four series II for $140, also in good shape.

WE have a a small home and don't need big speakers, so both fit. Which are more durable, dependable, and of course, sound better?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Best.

Sean

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In good shape is a bit different than restored and ready for future use.  Both are at the age that refurbishment will be needed to get good SQ out of the speaker so that you are happy.

The difference in pricing makes sense as the 4ax is probably a better speaker.  My take though is that unless they have been refurbished, those prices are a bit high.  I just picked up a very clean pair of KLH 24's for $25.  Only has the one cap to replace, no controls that need attention etc so it will be an easy refurbishment.  The KLH 17 would probably be a better comparison to the AR. 

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Thank you for the reply :D

We are in Santa Barbara, so finding vintage speakers at any price lower than $150 is pretty tough. All are in high demand and yes these will probably need to be refurbishment one day. I took the AR4x's home for a listen (the local record store let me do so) and they sound great. I currenty use JBL Control 5 studio monitors as our home speakers. THE AR4x speakers sounded pretty good compared; warmer, but not as much of a spread.

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Welcome Sean

My 1st speakers were AR-4x's, purchased new in 1969 and I still have them. I have also had KLH 24s. There were at least 3 versions of the 24, some with screw terminals and some with RCA jacks (those were part of a compact system).

Although the speakers are comparable, I'd go with the 4x. There is a link to an article somewhere within these pages, addressing how well the 4x stands up. But bear in mind you WILL need to replace the capacitors and either clean the pots or replace them with L-pads. Not difficult (that was my 1st speaker restoration project and I got a lot of help here).

IMHO the 4x's are easily worth $200.

-Kent

PS: It wasn't an article, it was this thread:

 

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Which are more durable, dependable, and of course, sound better?

I'd say both are equally durable and dependable - after all, here they are 45+ years later and ready to play.  You've heard the 4x's and say they sound great which is a plus.  I haven't heard the 24's, they are probably nice enough, but the 4x's are special-er.

But the 4x does have a weak point, the pots, they deteriorate over time.  And the cross-over cap may fail.  It requires a little dexterity with a soldering iron to replace the cap, but not much.  There is a lot of info on restoring the 4x here and elsewhere.  In fact, I used one of Kent's threads here to restore mine.

So add my vote for the 4x :-)

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Definitely go with the 4xs, incredible bass for a small speaker and perfect for smaller rooms. I have my '67 4xs in my living room, and they're pure magic. 

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Thanks for all the kind replies. I went with the 4x's. They sound amazing though I found (after buying them) that one side is stronger than the other (louder). But love them, and they look amazing next to my Dual 1249 turntable and Older wood Kenwood receiver. Ahhh... vintage sound. 

248780-kenwood_kr5600_vintage_receiver.jpg

IMG_2981.jpg

image.jpg

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Thanks! Loving getting back into music and home stereo relaxing with vinyl.

I have a question:

Does anyone know this: HEATHKIT AA-22 STEREO AMPLIFIER

Will it power the AR speakers as well as the receiver I have now (Kenwood).

00T0T_35DXJw1onMe_600x450.jpg

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Depends......

What are the power ratings of the two? Kenwoods, like other '70s Japanese receivers were pretty powerful. I'm not familiar with the Heathkit. ARs like power. The AR amp was 60wpc and that's good for the little 4x's. 

Love the look of both. Bear in mind tht any vintage electronics should be checked out by a qualified tech. Some parts just wear out or go bad. And with a Heathkit, you don't know the skill level of the hobbyist who assembled it.

Having said all that, my 1st stereo sounded pretty sweet with AR-4x speakers driven by a kit-built dynaco ST-35 (17wpc) tube amp. YMMV.

-Kent

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That Heathkit appears to be an early solid-state integrated amp putting out 20 watts per channel, appearing here on the catalog cover in the same year that the AR-4 debuted.

 

heathkit AA-22.jpg

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39 minutes ago, JKent said:

Depends......

What are the power ratings of the two? Kenwoods, like other '70s Japanese receivers were pretty powerful. I'm not familiar with the Heathkit. ARs like power. The AR amp was 60wpc and that's good for the little 4x's. 

Love the look of both. Bear in mind tht any vintage electronics should be checked out by a qualified tech. Some parts just wear out or go bad. And with a Heathkit, you don't know the skill level of the hobbyist who assembled it.

 

Having said all that, my 1st stereo sounded pretty sweet with AR-4x speakers driven by a kit-built dynaco ST-35 (17wpc) tube amp. YMMV.

-Kent

i think its only 20 amps per channel (see above post). Not enough I take it...

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I don't know your Heathkit amp at all, but your notes tend to suggest a later version (with "E" designation) from 1973. Even the AR literature casually mentioned 15 watts as being sufficient power, and I would think your amp might be a fine companion to a pair of 4x's. I have one set-up that matches AR-4's with a vintage solid-state Sherwood receiver that is rated somewhere between 18 and 22 watts per channel, and this pairing works very well together. I believe that your beautiful Kenwood KR-5600 may be rated at 40 watts per.

This thread was where I saw the 20 watts mentioned.

https://www.avforums.com/threads/heathkit-intergrated-amp-model-aa-22.677270/

1971 AR specs.jpg

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1 hour ago, sean kirk said:

it says 40w of power.

I believe that's combined left + right, so 20 watts per channel.

As long as you don't over-drive the amp it should be fine. Over-driving causes clipping. Clipping fries tweeters, especially those like the AR-4x that are not ferrofluid cooled.

For normal listening in an average size room, enjoy either amp, as ra.ra. advised. As I mentioned, my 1st setup drove 4x's with 17 watts per channel and I still have them 47 years later. Sorry if I misled you.

-Kent

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The Heathkit catalog listing shows a 20 watt output into 8 ohms by the Heath rating method, or a "music power" rating of 33 watts into the same load.

And I believe the AA-22 used early Mullard or IRC germanium output transistors.

Did something happen to your nice Kenwood receiver?

aa22a.JPG

aa22b.JPG

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On 7/12/2016 at 4:34 PM, sean kirk said:

Thanks for all the kind replies. I went with the 4x's. They sound amazing though I found (after buying them) that one side is stronger than the other (louder). But love them, and they look amazing next to my Dual 1249 turntable and Older wood Kenwood receiver. Ahhh... vintage sound. 

Did you recap your 4x's? Simple project and it may solve the difference in output that you perceive. Loud Rock music through an underpowered amp into your 4x's would probably not be a good idea. Also, the vintage amp designs didn't have any speaker protection built in which is one reason why AR offered fusing options.

Roger

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1 hour ago, ar_pro said:

The Heathkit catalog listing shows a 20 watt output into 8 ohms by the Heath rating method, or a "music power" rating of 33 watts into the same load.

And I believe the AA-22 used early Mullard or IRC germanium output transistors.

Did something happen to your nice Kenwood receiver?

aa22a.JPG

aa22b.JPG

I still have the Kenwood, but thought this might look cool as its the same era and I don't use the receiver aspect of my Kenwood. But ultimately I want the best sound quality and if the added power of the Kenwood would drive the AR's better, ill stick with the Kenwood.

 

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