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KLH 6 Need a Durable Material for Speaker Grills


rob
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This is how the grills on my KLH 6 speakers looked when I bought them used.

The owner broke the grills when he removed them to show the speakers-

I tried 1/4 Masonite (friend cut holes out) they cracked in the same place when I carefully stretched new cloth on-

I reinforced the cracks with thin strips of aluminum and super glue-didn't work very well- 

Looking for recommendations on a more durable material for making new speaker grills-

They are worth it. New caps, wiring, batting and refinishing the cabs-oh, and the sound.

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IMG_2038.JPG

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Maybe just make those thin parts wider so the round cutout is truncated. I don’t think it will affect the bass. I’d glue 3/4” strips of Masonite on each side using epoxy 

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I fooled around with using strips of balsa wood glued to the inside of the original Masonite to reinforce the area that’s cracked. It held up pretty well using Elmer’s glue. However, then you have the problem of the grill not sitting flush on the speaker because of the additional thickness of the reinforcing balsa. My solution was to glue a small block of 1/2 inch wood on to the speaker front, and then attach the Velcro to the block. It’s an offset pushing the grill slightly forward allowing for the thickness of the wood on the Masonite. If you’ve ever seen Advent speakers they always have that block and that offset because of the depth of the tweeters.

To be honest, I never used this on a Model 6, just a set of Model 17’s that I’m currently working on. It will change the look of the speaker grill ever so slightly, but it seemed to work.

Some photos illustrating my solution:

 

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7 hours ago, Norman Nicolai said:

using strips of balsa wood

Yeah--funny thing about balsa wood. I always thought of it as flimsy, fragile stuff used for rubber-band airplanes. Turns out it's incredibly strong. When the guys at GM were developing the C5 Corvette they were looking for strong light weight material for the floorboards. They chose balsa wood because of its strength-to-weight ratio.

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With balsa, as with most other wood, you just have to make sure that the stress will be exerted at a right angle to the way the grain runs, otherwise it's not very strong. I have the grain running with the long length of the Masonite on the the grille. Although it is not clear in the original photo, the balsa is about six inches long.

I've included a better photo.

Apropos of JKent's Corvette C5 story, during WW2 the British made a high performance fighter aircraft, the de Havilland Mosquito, almost entirely out of wood, much of it balsa that was laminated in cross grain layers. It is incredibly strong for its weight.

 

IMG_1484.jpg.e18568fd349d6adb2a445929279a85a6.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 3/11/2021 at 10:03 AM, rob said:

This is how the grills on my KLH 6 speakers looked when I bought them used.

The owner broke the grills when he removed them to show the speakers-

I tried 1/4 Masonite (friend cut holes out) they cracked in the same place when I carefully stretched new cloth on-

I reinforced the cracks with thin strips of aluminum and super glue-didn't work very well- 

Looking for recommendations on a more durable material for making new speaker grills-

They are worth it. New caps, wiring, batting and refinishing the cabs-oh, and the sound.

-

IMG_2038.JPG

Masonite is also not the best to staple into. I use 1/4” ply, works great!

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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. 

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