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KLH MODEL 6s paired with a new receiver?


Elliotfish
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Greetings...Does anyone have experience on pairing  KLH MODEL 6s with a newer receiver. I am currently driving them with an ONKYO TX830 (1989) and I've heard the MODEL 6s could sound better depending on receiver. I think they sound pretty good now but I'm curious. I also have an older KENWOOD KR4070 (1978). But I think both my receivers are limited in their specs. The ONKYO is "supposed" to be 58 Watts and the KENWOOD is 40 Watts. I'm looking at a new YAMAHA R-N803 or R-N602 (100 watt and 80 watt)  I've read Yamaha and Marantz receivers are still high quality so I wonder if they would make the KLHs sound any better.  Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I KNOW I'm probably supposed to power them with a tube amp or restored vintage receiver but not sure I want to go that route so just looking for alternative. THANKS

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I think that unless your 30 and 40 year old receivers have been gone over by a good tech they may be tired and not up to par. Your Yamaha choices should work well as would Onkyo, Denon and others. But if your TX830 is within specs I doubt you’ll hear much improvement . The TX8xx series receivers are very good . That Kenwood is a real nice unit too but may be a little underpowered for the Sixes

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/19/2021 at 8:35 AM, Elliotfish said:

Greetings...Does anyone have experience on pairing  KLH MODEL 6s with a newer receiver. I am currently driving them with an ONKYO TX830 (1989) and I've heard the MODEL 6s could sound better depending on receiver. I think they sound pretty good now but I'm curious. I also have an older KENWOOD KR4070 (1978). But I think both my receivers are limited in their specs. The ONKYO is "supposed" to be 58 Watts and the KENWOOD is 40 Watts. I'm looking at a new YAMAHA R-N803 or R-N602 (100 watt and 80 watt)  I've read Yamaha and Marantz receivers are still high quality so I wonder if they would make the KLHs sound any better.  Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I KNOW I'm probably supposed to power them with a tube amp or restored vintage receiver but not sure I want to go that route so just looking for alternative. THANKS

Where did you get the idea that you had to power them with a tube amp or vintage receiver?  Of course they sound fine with lower power stuff but I have found my 6s (and my Large Advents and all my other acoustic suspension speakers) sound better with more power rather than less.  My set is different than most 6s since after one woofer was blown apart by a crappy Darlington power pack I had both rebuilt.  A local speaker repair company (a one man outfit) used his 3D printer and some Advent foam to create new surrounds out of modern foam.  The result was a much better sounding speaker with much faster bass. 

 

I appreciate tube amps but I prefer clean SS sound, especially with older speakers with paper cone tweets.  I have owned over 40 receivers and still have a few.  When they were new, almost any of the mid to higher end units sounded great.  Now that they are 40+ years old, the best way to choose a vintage unit is NOT the brand, but the condition.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Elliotfish said:

I got the idea from this and other audiophile forums.

 

Vintage gear is fun and part of the hobby but it needs care and attention. Modern amps or receivers will give you the most bang for the buck.

As I said in the 2nd post your Yamaha choices will work fine, as will many other modern amps. 100wpc will work great.

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I assume your Six's are early enough so that getting into them would be difficult, although I'm guessing that the caps might be getting a bit tired by now. But if you are able to remove the grilles it would certainly be worthwhile redoping the woofer. Details on how to do that and with what are easy to find on this site if you do a search but suffice to say it's extremely easy to accomplish and will help improve the bottom end of the speaker.

 

As to what to drive them with a good quality amp with at least 35-40 watts would be my suggestion. Either the Onkyo or Kenwood should make those speakers sing(especially the Kenwood) assuming they are in relatively good shape. Yes they are old, and may very well be somewhat out of spec, but how much that is going to affect what you're actually hearing is debatable IMO.

 

If you decide to find a vintage amp(which I concur with) for solid state some examples might be  the Harman Kardon HK430 or 730, or Sony STR 6060/6120, Sherwood S7900/8900, Marantz 2230/2245 and up(also the 1060 integrated. As for tube, Dynaco ST70, Fisher 400 or 500C, and other examples from Eico/Heathkit/Pilot/Sherwood. Of course there are many more examples. All of these would need to have at least basic restoration done to them by a trusted tech, assuming you are not going to do it yourself.

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1 hour ago, Elliotfish said:

I got the idea from this and other audiophile forums.

 

If you have not joined AudioKarma, think about it.  There is a great diversity of opinion over there.  Older speakers like the KLH 6, especially ones that have not had any work done on them are not really the best for tubes, truth be told.  Tubes have what is called "warm" sound.  It is a type of distortion that many find pleasing to their ears and that is why it is so popular......but not nearly as popular as solid state.  Older speakers with no fresh caps and tubes simply wont give you the best sound.  "Warm" can easily become muffled highs and in lower power amps, lack of bass.

 

I like tubes even though I dont find them worth the trouble.  I prefer the clean sound of solid state, especially with older speakers.  I have three systems going all the time (4 with the HT) and all use vintage speakers (KLH 6, Marantz Imperial 6, Nova 7Bs, OLAs, Nova 8Bs, Polk Monitor 10s etc) that have been recapped with a few sets with fully rebuilt woofers.

 

Want to really hear what your KLHs can do?  Like the poster above said, give them 100 wpc from a SS amp or receiver and then judge.

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I have 4 vintage tube receivers and a set of HeathKit tubed W5M monoblocks. None of my tubed equipment is rated above 36 WPC. The tube equipment sounds great at moderate volume levels in the smaller rooms in my house paired with my vintage KLH Sixes, Seventeens, AR-2Ax's, and EPI 100's. Recently I purchased a used SS Mitsubishi DA-A10 power amplifier to use with my stacked OLA Advents. The DA-A10 is conservatively rated at 100 WPC. I never understood what was special about stacked Advents until they were hooked up to an amp with sufficient power like the DA-A10. So I have come full circle. I started out with solid state, went to tubes, and I'm now back to solid state. Vintage tube equipment is great but requires a great deal of attention. If you can afford modern high priced, high powered tube equipment, go for it. But for anyone on a reasonable budget, solid state power is a great deal cheaper and you will probably get more from your vintage speakers.

This is a great hobby. The journey, listening to and learning about different types of equipment, at least for me, provides most of the pleasure. But the advice everyone is offering here pretty valuable and spot on. I wouldn't want to deprive you of your own journey or your own learning curve, but try higher powered the solid state equipment first.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Just wanted to add to the thread that I recently acquired a McIntosh MC225. I have been using it with a pair of Klipsch La Scala's and Cornwalls. Great sound, obviously. But yesterday I hooked it up to a completely stock, sealed pair of Six's. These are quite early, with serial numbers in the high teens. They have always sounded excellent with pretty much any amp I've run with them. No lack of highs, great bass, etc. But the combination of the 225 with them might be the best I've ever heard them. While the 225 is an old tube amp(yes, it's been completely restored) I find it to be quicker and less heavy then other tube amps of the same era. I also own McIntosh MC30 mono blocks, and they definitely have more of that traditional, warm, slightly thicker presentation. Tube rectification I presume has something to do with that. They sound perfect teamed up with the La Scala's. But the 225 is solid state rectification, and while officially rated at 25 watts, is closer to 35. Whatever. The point is that at least in this case, tube gear teamed up with unrestored Six's worked out extremely well. I don't plan on putting the 225 on any other speaker at this point.

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THANKS VERY MUCH for all input. So far, so good with my sixes paired with a new YAMAHA R-N803. Sometimes I think they sound a little "thin" but a few minutes later they sound so full...must be my ears. And the "soundstage" on the sixes is very impressive. 

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30 minutes ago, Elliotfish said:

THANKS VERY MUCH for all input. So far, so good with my sixes paired with a new YAMAHA R-N803. Sometimes I think they sound a little "thin" but a few minutes later they sound so full...must be my ears. And the "soundstage" on the sixes is very impressive. 

Probably everything warming up helps flesh things out.

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