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First KLH Speakers


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Does anyone know what year The first KLH speakers were sold, I did find a pair of model 15s with drivers dated 1962, they're cabinets are think plywood with walnut veneer, removable backs, built like a brick and sound great. Also, a little off topic....I came across a KLH model 40 reel to reel tape recorder from 1968, it turns out that it was the worlds first consumer product with Dolby noise reduction. It's one amazing machine, 60 lbs. the workmanship is the best I've seen in a tape recorder, thick aluminum faceplate, solid walnut cabinet, a piece of art! Best of all, it works.

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Henry Kloss left AR in 1957, I think, just before the AR-2 was released for production. In fact, the AR-2 had a serious problem with the woofer wanting to "walk" out of the gap, and Villchur re-designed the woofer after Henry left to fix that problem. Anyway, I think Kloss, Hoffman and Lowe (sp? on both) started KLH almost immediately after that -- probably 1958. There was a KLH Model One, Two and a Three, none of which were especially noteworthy speakers. The KLH Six came out in 1959 or 1960, as George mentions, along with the KLH Model Four (deeper bass and a hybrid three-way speaker). Both these speakers had the expoxy woofer frame, etc.

SteveF might have some additional information on the history of KLH in the early years.

--Tom Tyson

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> Or you can ignore my advice to read the printed data on

>this website, and just wait for the heavyweights like Steve

>and Tom to check in! They keep everybody honest.


> Tom,


> Hoffman and Lowe are indeed spelled Hoffman and Lowe.

>There, I feel my presence haas been validated! Talk to me

>about bomber navigation.


> George

Your presence has been more than validated many times over! I think everyone enjoys your contributions -- I know I do. Bomb-Nav... this reveals my age. Think in terms of early B-52B's and you'll see that you would not have refueled any of those relics. 'Nuff said!

--Tom Tyson

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Bomb-navs (I believe) are still driving around in the "H"s Tom, so bomb-nav didn't reveal anything. HOWEVER, B-models...........

I thought you looked fairly young at the 40th bash to be quite honest. Your comment about my presence being validated many times over has got me walking on air over here my friend. That was very kind of you to say. Thanks.

Isn't it about time someone, HELLO KEN, was indicating details about numero 50? It was mentioned in an earlier conversation (perhaps by you?) as a possibility. I guess maybe not with Henry Kloss gone.


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  • 1 month later...

I apologize for not having done this sooner, but as the saying goes, "Better late than never!"

Anyway, here is the historically accurate, definitive info on the very first KLH speakers from 1957-58, the Models ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, and FIVE.


A sealed box using two 32-ohm 12-inch woofers in parallel (16-ohm system), with dimensions of 38 x 25 x 16" HWD. This was a woofer-midrange system only, with the treble handled by an external unit, such as KLH’s own or the Janzen electrostatic. The price was $390 ea. in walnut—incredibly expensive in 1957 dollars, considering that the AR-3 was $225 ea. for a FULL-RANGE system.


Another woofer-midrange system, but smaller and less expensive than the ONE. A 12" woofer in a cabinet measuring 21.5 x 25 x 12" HWD. The cabinet was horizontally-oriented, with 6" tall legs at each corner. A real cold-war/1950’s-looking piece. List was $206 in walnut.


Still another woofer-midrange system. Same internal volume as the TWO (1.5 cu. Ft.), but a traditional bookshelf enclosure, without legs. Dimensions were 13.5 x 25 x 12" HWD, and list was $181 ea. in walnut.


A full-range speaker system in the same enclosure as the THREE, but with a small cone tweeter (actual size of tweeter not given in literature). The HF level could be adjusted between 1.5kHz and 6kHz, and also above 6kHz. The range of adjustment was 5dB in both ranges.


No, this is NOT the KLH-5 that we all know so well—the excellent 12" 3-way bookshelf that was the 3a’s direct competitor in the late 1960’s.

Instead, this MODEL FIVE was a multiple tweeter array using three cone tweeters that was designed "specifically to be used with KLH Models One, Two, and Three. The Model Five is a two-way system covering the range from 1500-20,000 cycles per second, using three direct-radiator speakers in a divergent array."

It measured 7 x 23 x 6" HWD, and slid into a space allotted for it behind the grille in the models One and Two. It could be placed on top of the Three if that speaker were used horizontally. It was available in a utility black finish only, since it would normally not be in view when used with the One and Two. List price was $100 ea.

What an unusual collection of products, to say the least, with which Henry Kloss chose to begin his company! The absolutely conventional—and superb—KLH-6 followed in 1959, and from that point on, the company became a true force in the US speaker industry.

Steve F.

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