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lakecat

Some 12's came up for sale...

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Completely rebuilt with crossovers....and cabs redone. Are they worth pursuing?...with me having AR 3's and 3a's?.... I read the woofers are different than on 5's. Does this mean one could never find this woofer if something happened? Thanks for any replies.

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Hey 'cat

I like the Twelves but never had a chance to do an A/B comparison with the AR-3a's. They're big, so you need to have room for them. And yes--the woofers are definitely different from the Fives but they do come up on ebay from time to time. The Twelves have such low WAF and are usually so cheap people part them out,

I bought mine for $100 with a KLH Eighteen thrown in but alas had no room for them and ended up selling them.

If the price is right (and it usually is) these are great speakers.

Good luck and keep us posted.

-Kent

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2 hours ago, lakecat said:

I read the woofers are different than on 5's.

Pic of KLH Twelve woofer attached - - - most notable by double deep magnet - - I think otherwise identical to woofer used in the Five.

1 hour ago, JKent said:

The Twelves have such low WAF.....

Kent, I have heard you express this before, but I don't understand where this sentiment comes from - - - please explain. The materials and finish on a set of Twelve cabinets is about as close as you can get for contemporary period "furniture", and the box proportions are wonderful. Even the crossover control boxes have very nice wood veneer. With the "mid-century modern" aesthetic being the latest craze of the urban hipsters, I'd think these would be highly sought after. Pic of your elegant pair attached. 

Twelve woofer 2.jpg

KLH Twelve w:new linen.jpg

Twelve early.jpg

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8 hours ago, ra.ra said:

Kent, I have heard you express this before, but I don't understand where this sentiment comes from - - - please explain.

Well, as you know I happen to like the Twelves. And what you say  about materials and finish is correct. But I hear a lot of people (both men AND women, so maybe WAF is unfair) that they have nice Bose (or other mini) speakers and they sound "great." Many people either don't have room for big speakers or, more commonly IMHO, don't want to see them.

Recently I was showing a visitor my workroom where, besides too many KLH radios I have a pair of AR-91s. He made the comment about his little speakers sounding "just as good" so I had to demonstrate the 91s. He was flabbergasted. Now every time I see him he says "I can't believe how good those speakers sound!"

The Twelves should have the same impact. One very cool thing is the contour boxes, which can be hidden out of sight using the Velcro on the back of the speakers but which can also be used with long wires to fine-tune the sound from the listening position. Great speakers.

-Kent

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12 hours ago, JKent said:

Many people either don't have room for big speakers or..... don't want to see them.

I suspected that probably your comment was mostly about size, and IMO, your observations are correct about what most people find suitable in today's balance of home accessories vs. interior decor. (Alexa, anyone?) KLH Twelves are indeed large loudspeakers and therefore have a limit to their appeal or usefulness. The inclusion of the brochure pic above with the sculpture on top and the low cabinet profile is meant to suggest how this speaker can begin to calmly integrate with a certain sophisticated interior aesthetic. Compared to say, an AR-9 - - which, to me, has very serious WAF issues - - and the KLH Twelve almost seems like a cuddly favorite house pet. OK, a St. Bernard perhaps, but......... :lol:  

Several years ago I stashed away that pic of your Twelves, and with the new grille cloth, oiled wood, and fresh badge, your restoration really does show off the beauty of this model. Typical fine work from you, and as you've stated, a truly great speaker. See the KLH blurb attached - - I always enjoy some of the informal language that KLH used in their literature.

On 7/1/2019 at 8:41 AM, lakecat said:

Are they worth pursuing?

The Twelves are definitely worth taking a close look at - - - they are a rather unique speaker model. Price will be, of course, a primary factor, especially with speakers that have already had significant "work" done on them. And then there's the issue of practicality - - - you already have a very fine collection of excellent classic loudspeakers, and the Twelves do require a bit of dedicated real estate. But if you do have the necessary space, budget, and level of curiosity, most likely you will find these a very enjoyable addition to your collection.    

Twelve blurb.jpg

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2 hours ago, ra.ra said:

The inclusion of the brochure pic above with the sculpture on top and the low cabinet profile is meant to suggest how this speaker can begin to calmly integrate with a certain sophisticated interior aesthetic. Compared to say, an AR-9 - - which, to me, has very serious WAF issues

Yes, I suppose you're right. I have friends who happen to have impeccable taste in interior decorating, who have a pair of big Tannoys in their  not-huge NYC apartment. Not sure of the model but they look a bit like the Orbitus. About as big as the Twelves. And they have a pair of MicroStatic tweeters on top! So if you have the room yes--the Twelves will blend into the decor (especially MCM) better than many floor standers. That's why my 91s are in the work room ?

As far as "informal language" my favorite is the Twenty Plus ad. Another MCM beauty, the ad says "the Plus is cosmetics, pure and simple. That's not unusual in our business, though perhaps telling you about it is."  Gotta love truth in advertising!

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I am still debating on these. I am deciding if I am crossing the "hoarder" line!...and if want is more than need. These are being sold thru a consignment so I doubt if I could even hear them before buying. My attraction is the rarity and having that beast mode look...and probably sound of them. I had the fives that I completely redid and liked them...but moved them on when they just couldn't outdo the 3a. 

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Well, it sure looks crummy. The good news is KLH used to put "tic tac toe" patterns on some woofers, presumably to add mass (or maybe to stiffen) so that repai may not affect the sound. OTOH, the right way to fix tears is from the back with white glue and coffee filter paper. Maybe you could use this as a bargaining chip to lower the price.

Are you just hoarding? I dunno. Depends on whether you will listen to them and enjoy them, or just "have" them. As I've said many times, they're nice speakers. If you liked the Fives these have more tonal control and will go a bit deeper.

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