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KLH five. Any good?


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I am new to collecting vintage gear but an avid audiophile and recording studio owner. I wanted to find out people's opinion on the KLH five's? I found a pair locally in seemingly good shape for $150. I am planning to pwer them with a HK 330B. Let me know any thoughts or what I should look out for.

Appreciate any help


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They were designed to compete directly with the famed AR3a.

The 5's drivers typically don't go bad. The woofers have cloth surrounds and need re-sealing on rare occasions. The crossover caps are what typically need replacing. If they're really bad, you won't have any mids or tweeter sound. The toilet paper tube test or a handy dB meter will tell you if they work or not.

Also, a cleaning of the internals of the rotary switches with a spray cleaner won't hurt.

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Put a toilt paper or paper towel core close to the each driver and fiddle with the contour knobs to confirm their functioning. If you hear nothing, the driver is either burnt out or the cap is bad. You'll need to pull the driver, disconnect one of the wires at the back and test for ohms. you should get something in the 2-5 ohms range. If nothing, then the driver is bad.

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Hi Dinesh and welcome to CSP.

I agree with Carl but would add the following: A lot has been written here about the Fives. I have restored a few, and recommend that you replace the capacitors and the resistors. The caps are old and in some cases PVC caps were used and they tend to leak. The resistors were 5 watt and I have seen some that were burned so I recommend using 10 watt. Finally (or maybe firstly) you should check the woofer by pushing it in. If it comes back slowly that's good. If it springs right back there is a leak and you need something like Roy's surround sealant.

Read the threads here about the Fives then ask any questions you may have. Here's one to get you started:


No need to use those $$ Clarity Caps. Dayton, Solen, Erse, Carli are all good.


PS: There is a photo in this thread: http://www.classicsp...?showtopic=6313 that shows a rebuild using Dayton caps and Mills resistors from Parts Express. This is what I would recommend. The Daytons are reasonably priced and the Mills, although pricey for resistors ($4.25 each) are high quality and easy to work with. You can also use regular Xicon wire-wound resistors for about 50 cents each or the Dayton "non-inductive" ones for about $1.25 ea.

You could also use Carli caps from Madisound--very inexpensive but not "exactly" the right values. Instead of 3, 4, 16 and 25uF you would have to use 2.7, 3.9, 15 and parallel 10+15 for the 25. Those are all close enough. Or substitute a 60 cent "surplus" cap for the 10 and use a 2.7 Panasonic "surplus" for the 3.

Of course you "could" go with the big Clarity SA range (or other esoteric) caps. They're expensive, but I did a crossover for CSP member Rob and he loves them. Another good choice (IMHO) is the Clarity PX range cap. They cost more than Daytons or Solens but are nice. Some people like to use fancier caps for the tweeters and mids and cheaper caps (even NPEs for the woofers).

The resistor values are 5, 6, 10 and 15. Madisound has Eagles only in the 15 ohm value, Mundorfs for the 10, 4.7 (close enough to 5) and 5.6 (close enough to 6).

PPS: Another good source is http://meniscusaudio.com/ They sell Erse and Solen caps, and Lynk metal oxide resistors. The resistors (similar to Mundorf) are available in 5.1, 6.2, 10 and 15 ohm for $1.27 each. The Erse PulseX caps come in 3.3, 3.9, 15 and 20 + 4.7 and are reasonably priced. Solens come in 3, 3.9, 15 and 25. Pricing for Erse and Solen is similar and there's nothing wrong with mixing (use Erse for all but 25uF, use Solen for that).

Just my $.02

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I have used a pair of KLH 5s for many years and believe they are a very neutral sounding speaker which will transfer in sound exactly what the amp hands to it in electricity. I have found that they are also good at pointing out anomalys in an amplifier or other equipment upstream, but you can listen to them all day long without ear fatigue with good equipment. By all means at least replace the crossover capacitors, and the resistors if you wish. I'd say that you got an extremely good deal for $150.00 and you will be looking no further for a set of speakers or at least that is the way I've been since 1973. They are not meant for neighborhood parties outside but really excel at classical and jazz music or even voice inside.

Happy listening.


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