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Norman Nicolai

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About Norman Nicolai

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  • Birthday August 13

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  • Location
    Bloomfield, NJ
  • Interests
    Vintage Fisher, Sherwood, and Harman Kardon receivers, AR turntables, KLH, Advent, EPI, and Paradigm loudspeakers.

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  1. Sounds like you got a good deal on all that equipment, although how good a deal really depends on the equipments condition and how much work it needs. But overall, sounds like a pretty good score. Good luck with the equipment, please post some photos and let us know how everything sounds once it's hooked up! I have 2 sets of Model 17's. As you probably know, since you've referenced Roy's Goo in the link, they will probably need to be recapped.
  2. Here's a direct link to the site JKent was referring to: http://baselaudiolab.com/ADVENT_LA_XO.html I had the site saved in my browser since I have changed a number of Advent capacitors. As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure it was JKent who referred me to the site originally! As you will see, Advent changed crossover units during the production run in the OLA, so there is no way of knowing what you need without opening up the cabinet.
  3. Welcome to the forum! Your speakers were probably made in the mid-60's. From what I have read the original Model 6's had the woofers epoxied into the cabinets. Your drivers are screwed into the cabinets, so they definitely date from 1964, or after. However, they were probably manufactured not long after 1964 because the rear metal plate is mounted flush to the cabinet along with a speaker terminal configuration that allows you to bypass the tweeters and use the woofers only. If I am not mistaken, some time in the mid-to-late 1960's KLH Model 6's recessed the metal plates into the cabinet for the terminals, and the tweeterless connection option was eliminated. So your speakers probably date between 1964-1968. You will want to get a matching black enameled tweeter to match the one you have. Some Model 6's, including the set I own, have silver colored tweeters. The tweeters are the same ones that were used in the KLH 17's and 20's, and you will find both black and silver tweeters in those models depending on their dates of manufacture. The capacitors in the crossover unit will certainly need to be replaced also. KLH speakers are notorious for using incredibly cheap caps. Not sure from the photos, but it looks like a previous owner may have coated the cloth speaker surrounds with something other than an ideal sealant. If you post again, please include a close up of the surrounds to see if that was done. Except for a few ported designs, all acoustic suspension KLH speakers need a relatively airtight seal with the cabinets to sound their best. The original surround sealant was a specialized "dope" that KLH would add to the porous surround fabric to keep them airtight. Some people used a rubberized sealant on the fabric to keep them airtight once the seal from the factory "dope" deteriorated. If your woofers were treated with something other than the real KLH stuff, the performance of the woofers may possibly be somewhat compromised. Hard to tell from your photos, but they look kind of suspicious. Hope this helps.
  4. I own both OLA's and NLA's and have never heard of anything other than foam surrounds for either set of speakers. Both sets of surrounds in my speakers have been replaced. Frankly, I'm surprised you only got around 12 years out of a set of foam surrounds. I would think 20 years or more is closer to the norm. At least that what I got out of foam surrounds for other speakers that I've owned. Perhaps humidity and temperature may affect the service life of a set of surrounds. Personally, I don't think I would try to replace foam with another material. If the speakers were originally designed with foam surrounds you may significantly degrade the sound by going to another surround material. Besides, if rubber or cloth performed as well as foam on Advents, I imagine we would be inundated with both advertisements from vendors and claims by enthusiasts on how well they worked, both on this forum and others. IMHO, stick with the original foam.
  5. Thanks for the info, JKent. I wanted to reply to you earlier, but the site has been closed down. Didn't realize I missed checking in every day until it wasn't there. The newer Model 17's (newer for me) are the ones with the silver faceplate tweeters. They are still in my garage and I have not yet had a chance to take them apart and look at the SN, since I'm still preoccupied with working on the original 17's I purchased. One of the tweeters from the first set of black screened 17's has a date stamped on the back, April 10, 1969. I've already assembled the other restored speaker, so I don't have a date for that tweeter. BTW, using the center channel from my Fisher 500B, I connected the finished and assembled 17 to a restored Heathkit W5M mono tube power amp, and it sounded fantastic! Not quite as good as my KLH 6's, the main Left and Right speakers for that setup, but better than I remember my old KLH Model 20's sounding. But that's only from memory, and a distant memory at that, since I got rid of the 20's over fifteen years ago. The equipment I have now, compared to what I owned then, may also account for some of the difference. At some point, when everything is done, I'm looking forward to doing a side-side comparison of the two sets of Model 17's. If there is a difference, I'll probably keep the subjectively better set, and either sell or gift the other set. It's funny, I got into this hobby of restoring speakers with the idea that I would sell them after restoration. Aside from the problem of there not being much of a market for the restored items, I kind of like having them around. I may run out of room soon, but I am having trouble parting with my work.
  6. I've been searching the site but have been unable to see a thread about the different colored Model 17 tweeters. i just purchased a second set of Model 17 speakers and the tweeters are silver colored. The tweeters in my existing Model 17 speakers are black. Thirty years ago I owned a set of Model 20's, which are almost identical to the 17's except for a 4 ohm woofer, and those tweeters were black also. Does anyone know if there is a difference between the different color tweeters? Is it merely a different generation of speaker, or are there differences in sound? BTW, my KLH Model 6 speakers have the silver colored tweeters. Thanks!
  7. Interesting that you should mention Roy's goo in relation to the Model 5. When I first heard the Model 5's, only about 5 months ago, I recommended Roy's goo to the owner of the speakers. He purchased a jar, but I've yet to hear back from him regarding the results. I should visit him to get another listen. I was not aware of the Cambridge Sound Works Model 6. Something new to research online. It's not like I don't have the spare time to investigate new things since I have been at home constantly the last 3 weeks! I look at eBay, Craigslist, and Estatesales.net every day looking for new speaker projects. But I haven't been out of the house to pursue anything for a while. Thanks, and stay safe JKent.
  8. Thanks for posting this, JKENT. I've only heard the original Model 5's once and was not that impressed. I'm more partial to the sound of my restored Model 6's. Having said that, I'm not sure that hearing a speaker only once is a fair. So much depends on the listening room, the electronics driving the speaker, and the music itself. Nevertheless, I would still love to hear the new Model 5's, as well as the old Model 5's in a different listening environment. I'm also really pleased to hear that someone is committed to bringing the KLH brand back to what it once was.
  9. Welcome to the Forum! I wish I had that kind of luck finding classic speakers in the trash... Sounds like you are on the right track, following the tried and true formula for proper KLH speaker restoration: Replace the capacitors in the crossover, never use anything other than the RoyC dope on the surrounds, and gently refinish the walnut cabinets. From the photos you have supplied, it looks like the cabinets are in good shape. I hope the drivers are in as good a shape, although you don't show any photos of those. For cabinet refinishing I've used thinned tung oil on a set of Model 17's, Minwax Restore-a-Finish on a set of 22A's, and Watco's Walnut Danish Oil finish on a set of Model 6's. I like the finish I got on the 22A's and 6's the best. YMMV. I look forward to seeing photos of your progress. Don't hesitate to use the Forum if you need any future advice. It's never steered me wrong.
  10. I'm almost finished restoring the first KLH Model 17 speaker. Hand sanded the cabinets. Changed the capacitors and reinstalled the drivers. Put the first coat of slightly thinned tung oil on the cabinets and once it was rubbed in and dry I had my first listen. I did a side-by-side comparison with a set of both Original Large and New Large Advents and thought the Model 17 more than held it's own. As a matter of fact I think I prefered the Model 17 to the Advents. It's only a single listen on one amplifier (Harman Kardon HK 3490) in a basement room with less that ideal acoustics, but nevertheless the Model 17 was impressive. I'll post some photos of the unrestored speaker and the restored one next to each other very soon. And I will also post when the 2nd speaker is completed with more listening comparisons to some recently restored KLH Model 6's, Model 22A's, and EPI 100 speakers that I own, along with how they sound when paired to my Fisher and Sherwood tube receivers. One other thing. I narrowly lost out on a set of AR3a's at an estate sale in Clifton, NJ yesterday. They sold for $100 for the pair with a receiver thrown in the bargain. I was there when they opened the doors to the sale but another dude beat me to the basement where the speakers were located. The 3a's looked a little scratched and threadbare, but who cares for $100! Oh well, my search continues for a cheap set of AR classic speakers...
  11. Thanks for the info, Kent! As it turns out I may be reading your initial post more carefully because I just got my hands on a pair of Model 17's late last week. The drivers are fine but the cabinets are in rough shape. I'm going to have to refinish them completely, including removing the previous finish along with some sanding, staining and sealing. The grilles are also shot, with the fabric torn on both speakers.The caps are on order from Parts Express. Your post about the correct sequencing on assembling the binding post was very useful. It explains why I had some trouble with one of the Model 6's I restored some months ago. (Yeah, what was Henry thinking on using metal back plates along with metal binding posts...) As soon as I put the finishing touches on the pair of EPI M100W speakers I have been working on, I can start the Model 17 restoration project. I used to own a set of Model 20's from 1971 to 1985. They were my primary speakers during that period of time. It should be interesting to hear how the 17's compare. Unfortunately, I will be relying on a flawed sonic memory, along with my reduced hearing ability today, compared to when I was in my 20's.
  12. Just discovered this thread. Kent, you mentioned sealing the dust caps as well as the surrounds. That's the first time I ever heard about coating the dust caps with anything to help make the cabinets airtight. Can you elaborate on that a bit? I've used the sealing dope on the cloth surrounds, but never anything on dust caps. BTW. Just to chime in on reworking the wood cabinets. I recently restored a set of KLH Model 22A speakers. I did a light sanding on the cabinets, then applied a coat of Watco Rejuvenating Oil, followed by a couple of coats of Butcher's paste wax, and was very pleased with the result. The finished product looked better than anything else I've tried with with restored speaker cabinets. For now, I don't know if it's because of the factory Model 22A finish, and I don't know if that will work with other KLH cabinets. I do know it looks better than the Tung Oil finish I used on my Model 6 restoration. Stay tuned.
  13. Just a final note on this. I never got an additional reply to my post so I started to search a bit more and came up with another posting regarding the KLH Model 22A crossover. I found a schematic of the 22A replacement crossover in this posting and hoping that it was correct, I ordered the capacitors from Parts Express and put it together. With fingers crossed, I wired the speakers to my HK 3490, selected a source recording and slowly turned the volume up. It worked! I refinished the cabinets after the speakers were put back together and now have a set of classic vintage KLH speakers, purchased at an estate sale for $30. The 22A's do not have the bass or high frequency response of my restored Model 6 KLH speakers, but they sound better than when I first took them home. They sound somewhat colored by a boosted midrange, so acoustic guitar and jazz sound quite good, especially hooked up to my Sherwood S8000IV receiver. I will post a photo, eventually.
  14. Here are some photos of the drivers and the inductor coil that you asked for. Does this help? I’m still confused about how to replace the existing capacitors and where the new capacitors would be placed within the circuit. Thanks.
  15. I’m trying to replace the capacitors in a KLH Model 22A crossover unit. The first two photos are the same capacitor, only rolled down to reveal more info on the type of capacitor. It has three wires, two on one side, and one on the other. One of the wires is connected to what I believe is a resistor, shown in the third and last photo. 1. Can I purchase a replacement for this capacitor on Parts Express? If so, specifically what should I be looking for? 2. Should I replace the resistor also? Again, what specifically should I order? if it is not perfectly apparent from my questions, I am a total novice, so any replies should be worded as if you are talking to a three year old. BTW, before I took the speakers apart, they did not sound too bad. However, from everything I have read on this Forum and on others, the capacitors on KLH speakers always need to be replaced, being approx thirty years old, which is why I am attempting a replacement, hoping for even better sound from the speakers. Other than sanding and oiling the cabinets, the only other repair I am considering is is re-doping the fabric on the woofer surrounds. Thanks!
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