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Norman Nicolai

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About Norman Nicolai

  • Birthday August 13

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    Bloomfield, NJ
  • Interests
    Vintage Fisher receivers; AR and Pioneer turntables; KLH, AR, Advent, and EPI loudspeakers. Oh, and wine, too.

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  1. I think IARrybody is correct. If you look closely at the photos of the speakers in the Craigslist ad, they look like they have the texture of vinyl. I just did some quick research online and there are ads for AR-8's indicating that the speakers are vinyl covered.
  2. Nice work, JKent! Curious. How does the Model Eight sound compared to Henry’s later creation, the Tivoli Model One tabletop radio? I’ve never heard a Model Eight but have a couple of Model One’s. I used to keep a Model One on my desk and listened to it throughout the day at work before I retired. Not great at high volume but thoroughly enjoyable at low to moderate listening levels.
  3. Nice work! Can’t wait to see the finished product. I always shy away from purchasing speakers with cabinets that badly damaged. It’s nice to see how it’s done.
  4. I’m with JKent and RTally on this. Personally, I think the Model Six is the better speaker. I’ve owned the Model Twenty in the past, and currently own the Model Six and the Model Seventeen. The Seventeens still amaze me sometimes on how good they can sound on certain pieces of music, but the Sixes are still the better overall speaker, plus they can dig a bit deeper on bass response with the larger woofer and cabinet. Along with the AR 2ax’s that I own, the Six’s are my favorite vintage speaker. Why someone is listing a Model Twenty for more than a Model Six, I cannot say. Perhaps the Twenty’s are fully restored, and the Six’s need work. I imagine you realize that you will have to recap and reseal them to have them sound as good as they did when new? I don’t think you mentioned that, but it very probably needs to be done.
  5. Hi jhouse55, The hand drawn schematic from another thread was the best guide I came across. The wiring with the original dual capacitor arrangement was confusing. The schematic made it clear for me. Frankly, I don’t recall whether I used single capacitors or dual capacitors wired in parallel. As long as they are decent capacitors and the uF matches the schematic, you should be okay.
  6. Follow up: I never got rid of the KLH Model 17's or the EPI 100's...And then last month I saw another pair of EPI 100's that were so cheap that I could not resist and had to purchased them. The new EPI's are vinyl clad unfortunately, but they have the original version tweeter, just like my walnut veneered 100's. They have not yet been recapped, still sound great, and are now part of my garage system, along with an old Sansui receiver, and three other sets of speakers. So yes, me to!
  7. I don’t want to start a war here, but I think that the statement you object to is very carefully worded, and not really inaccurate. True, Henry Kloss did not invent the acoustic suspension speaker design. That accolade belongs to Edgar Villchur alone. But as a founding partner in AR, and as head of production design and operations, Kloss was instrumental in bringing Villchur’s design to life and to the buying public. From everything I have read, it’s hard to imagine AR ever getting off the ground without the contributions of Henry Kloss.
  8. From what I have both read and experienced first hand, it’s not unusual for the 2-ax tweeters to go bad. Most of them are over 50 years old. My tweeters produced no sound after I purchased a pair of 2-ax’s last year. What color are the domes on the tweeter, brown or black? The brown domed tweeters can be rebuilt at this site: https://www.ebay.com/itm/193473033903?hash=item2d0be436af:g:fRcAAOSwCNpaw-sP I’m not sure if anyone offers a service to rebuild the tweeters with black domes. The other option is to replace the tweeters with a non-AR aftermarket tweeter with similar sound, which is what I did since my tweeters were black domed. It’s a little less expensive to go this route, and it’s documented in this thread from the Classic Speaker Pages site. You have to get half way through the thread before it talks about the replacement tweeters, but the beginning is instructive if you plan on reworking or replacing the L-pads: Good luck, and don’t hesitate to come back to this site if you need help! I got much needed assistance here.
  9. One thing you can do to prevent water spotting in the future is to add a layer of finishing oil to your cabinets every year or two. AR speakers were usually oil finished, meaning they used some sort of oil/varnish combination as the finishing agent on top of the wood stain used to finish the cabinet. Oil finishes don’t last forever. That is they start to dry and lose some of their protective capacity every year. That’s the bad news, as you discovered when your 2ax’s got wet. The good news is that you can add a layer of Tung, Teak, or Danish oil to the surface every couple of years to keep them looking new and keep some level of water resistance. If you don’t want to bother with that, simply add a few layers of urethane varnish to the surface of the speaker cabinets. Three layers of urethane varnish will last for many years, and will make the cabinets pretty water mark resistant. But once you have done that you can never use an oil finish on the cabinet again. You’ve pretty much sealed the wood with a layer of plastic and it will be incapable of absorbing any oil finishes again.
  10. I fashioned a set of speaker stands for my pair of KLH Model Six speakers out of some recycled wine crates. Each stand was sanded and finished with three coats of satin finish spar urethane. There are 25 lbs of play sand in each crate for rigidity. A little crude, but it combines three of my favorite retirement pastimes: wine, audio, and furniture refinishing.
  11. LouB, I would try using balsa reinforcement on the old grills before going through the effort of fashioning new grills. The balsa makes the old grill considerably stronger than the original grill. You can also add balsa preemptively to reinforce the area around the tweeter if you are concerned about that area giving way.
  12. "You make it sound like owning these speakers is an investment. Neither speaker is particularly valuable, in spite of being very popular. In my market, neither of them would bring much over $100 to 150 unless they were in pristine condition. But they are an easy sell considering their popularity." It's not that they are an investment, but I am a collector with over 13 different sets of speakers, so value is one consideration among many. I really don't expect them to gain much in value considering that there are so many for sale on eBay and Craigslist, especially the Model 17 which is widely available. I've already sold 1 set of Model 17's and a set of 22A's. Right now, the keepers in my collection are the KLH Model 6, AR-2ax, and a pair of stacked OLA's, all rewired, recapped and refinished by me. I also have a couple of sets of Paradigm bookshelf speakers which are in the LR and DR because of their small size and WAF. As I said in the original post, I really don't want to get rid of anything, by my basement is beginning to look pretty cluttered and somethings gotta give. I guess I'm looking to outside input to help me make a decision. (I'm also very aware that if this qualifies as a difficult decision in my life, I'm a pretty fortunate guy, especially during these difficult times...) I'll probably wind up parting with the M17's if only because the M100's are the only set of EPI's that I own. BTW, I've never heard any of the EPI/Epicure multi-directional speakers. They certainly look intriguing. Thanks for your input, RTally.
  13. I need to make space in my basement because it's getting too crowded with sets of vintage speakers. I've decided to part ways with either a set of KLH Model 17's or a set of EPI M100's. The EPI's are an early edition with Walnut cabinets, rubber woofer surrounds, and the first generation tweeter. The KLH speakers are probably from the early 1970's and are in good shape, refinished, recapped, and sealed recently with Roy's goo. The EPI's are also recapped, refinished, with new binding posts replacing the original EPI garbage. The EPI's have better bass response, even though the woofers are smaller. The KLH Model 17's sound a bit more neutral, although they do not go as deep, and they are a bit rolled off on the highs. Before I make up my mind I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about the long range value prospects for either speaker. I'm kind of torn and don't really want to get rid of either, but I have some new stuff coming in and I need the space. Any opinions? Thanks.
  14. Just wanted to resurrect this stream in order to find out if anyone has yet heard the new KLH Model 5 speakers? I’ve read and seen positive reviews online but I’m wondering if anyone with “Classic Speaker Pages” ears has listened to them first hand? A couple of reviews: I’ve called a number of audio stores that normally stock the KLH brand. None of them have the Model 5. I think it’s going to be hard to find.
  15. Thanks for including the thread from that older post, JKent. I had read that the 12’s and the 5’s had interchangeable woofers from more than one site. I was wondering where you got your information, and it looks pretty definitive. That’s why I love this site. I always learn something.
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