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KHL Model 18 and Model Ref 16 questions


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I stumbled upon 2 different pairs of KHL speakers (Model 18 and smaller Model Ref 16) at Goodwill store for only $25 for all 4 speakers. I figured I could not go wrong at that price (and was pleasantly surprised once I checked internet reviews for KHL).

I'm a novice on stereos and speakers and have some questions:

1) I do not know how old these are, but have read blogs taking about "recapping".  They look to be in great shape and the foam around bass speakers look fine/not cracked, so they don't look too old. Will I be able to tell if they need to be recapped just by listening to them? If they are not too old, I'm thinking I may not need to recap (replace resistors). If they are 15-20 years old then I plan to recap.

2) The wire connections on back are plug in "jacks", not the spring loaded black and red wire connectors I'm used to seeing. How can I track down some speaker wire with the correct male connector to plug into the speakers? I'm hoping to avoid making my own by splitting an RCA type jack and soldering speaker wire (per online post I read). I do not have a RadioShack nearby, but can drive an hour to get their recommendations if needed.

3) I've read that many KHL speakers came with their own amplifier. I have an older Sony 60 Watt receiver/tape deck Model HST-D105. Do I need to get an amplifier to push enough wattage for these speakers? They say "Use with 5 to 120 watt amplifier" on back. I have a feeling I should upgrade or add a separate amplifier to my system to get the punch I'm sure (per online reviews) these can deliver.

I emailed Just Speakers for help but they do not support KHL speakers.

Many thanks in advance for your time and recommendations.



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Hi Ken and welcome to the CSP

So... first of all, it's KLH

I'm not familiar with the model numbers you cite. They are not from the "classic" KLH era. For the classics, model numbers were always spelled out and the Model Eighteen was an FM tuner. The KLH Reference series is a pretty new speaker, KLH only in name. A picture is worth a thousand words, so please post pics.

As to your questions:

  1. If these are newer speakers it will not be necessary to re-cap them. In any case, it is virtually never necessary to replace resistors. Just replace the capacitors.
  2. Not sure what  the jacks are you are referring to. Again--photos would help. If it is a single jack that would be an RCA type and such speaker wires are available mail order. If there are 2 jacks on each speaker, one red and one black these are banana jacks and should accept banana plugs or bare wire.
  3. KLH speakers did not come with their own amp. Some models were part of a compact system that did include an amp/turntable/tuner unit and a pair of speakers but if you have a 60wpc receiver that should work.

Hope this helps. Again--post pictures (edit them down to about 100KB or so each). We'll try to help.


PS: I googled KLH Model 18 speakers and found these. Is this what you have?  https://www.amazon.com/KLH-Reference-Series-18-Speakers/dp/B00000J3G2


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