Jump to content

KLH Model 18, 21, and 8


Recommended Posts

After falling in love with Tivoli audio, I am now thinking about buying KLH model 18 or 21.

Without much knowledge about classic models, I am here to get some help.

1. KLH Model 18

It seems like just the tuner is on sale, most of the cases.

I am wondering which speaker model from KLH would go nicely with model 18.

What is the original speaker goes with it? Any good mix and match?

2. KLH Model 21

It seems like this model, along with model 8, is far more famous than 18.

I am wondering why.... What makes it to be famous?

3. KLH Model 8

I don't see any model 8 available for purchase online.

Fair price range for model 8?

Which model would you buy among the three?

Which model would you buy between model 18 and 21?

Or..should I just go for the big model 20...??

Thanks for your advice, in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi kloss. Welcome to the CSP. To try to answer:

  1. Yes--the Eighteen is a stereo tuner only. You would have to use it with a power amp and speakers or with powered speakers. It does have a volume control, so you could use it with AR Powered Partners or similar. If you go with an amp and speakers you can use anything. The 18 is only a tuner.
  2. The 21 is a sold state mono radio. Known for its FM sensitivity and its sound. My technician loves this radio and has several (btw there were FIVE different "Model Twenty-One" radios). It is an FM radio built into an acoustic suspension speaker. Has the KLH 4" full-range speaker. These often sell for 100-150 in great condition and are well worth it for a table radio.
  3. I have restored and sold dozens (approaching 100) Model Eights. You can read my restoration booklet, attached to post #1 here: [edit: see post #4 below]

My bias is for the Eight but it has vacuum tubes and not everyone likes them. Biggest bang for the buck is a Twenty-One IF you get a good one (I've bought some that even my professional technician could not bring up to spec). A properly working 21 will absolutely blow away a Tivoli--no comparison. The 21 rundown: Original Twenty-One with walnut veneer cabinet and beige plastic grille and knobs; Twenty-One II essentially the same but with black knobs and black cloth grille. Twenty-One FM a little bigger, vinyl covered cabinet, foam grille (now deteriorated) a different look but the same speaker and great sound. Twenty-One AM/FM identical to the FM but with (well, figure it out) Twenty-One CL similar to the FM and the AM/FM but with the addition of a clock (that will always break). The biggest of the lot.

Forget the 18 unless you want stereo and are willing to buy an amp and speakers.

The 20 has lots of problems, especially the crappy Garrard turntable, but if working properly can be quite nice. Big 2-way speakers will fill a room more than a table radio.

Hope this helps.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the link for the KLH Eight booklet: http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=6387

Attached is a photo of 4 of the 5 Twenty-Ones. Top to bottom: 21, 21/II, 21-FM, 21-CL.

Grille cloth on the 21/II has turned brown with age.

The 21-FM has a new grille I made and it should have a round silver & turquoise metal label that says "acoustic suspension speaker" on the grille. Only the original 21 lacked this label.. The missing 21-AM/FM would look like the FM.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I've restored (cosmetic only) several KLH Model 21s and one Model 8. If you can deal with tubes, the 8 is the way to go. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The version I restored was the earlier one with two 3" drivers in the small speaker cabinet. There's something about tubes, even in a small mono radio. As for the 21, it's great too, and I use one in my kitchen. I recently had an empty pair of KLH Model 26 cabinets come my way (similar to 24s, with RCA jacks), so I put generic 8" woofers and some spare Dynaco A-25 tweeters in the cabs. One is sitting around but the other is now hooked up to the 21 in my kitchen and it sounds great! I did write a review of the KLH Model 8, in which I compare it with the Model 21. I'll link that one if I can find it.


How in the heck do I attach pictures from my own computer? I have a cool one of the KLH Model 8 as I was working on it, and another of a nice KLH Model 21 I recently refinished. I'd love to share 'em but can't figure out how.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which part of posting pics are you having problems with.

What I do is at the bottom of your reply beside the POST click More reply options and then it will show the options for selecting files.

If the problem is that after you have selected a file, it`s say`s the file is to large then you may have to make the pictures smaller which I don`t know how to do but Kent does. I had to retake the pics I wanted to post because I had the camera set to extra fine for printing.

Hope that helps a little.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...


The Twenty-One/II is the second from top in my photo above. Real walnut veneer cabinet, black cloth grille (that tends to fade to brown) and an excellent Waller tuner. I happen to think the /II is better than the original.

The original speaker is excellent so only replace it if it is blown. If you do replace it be sure to use an original KLH 4" driver. The 4" was used in all of the 21 radios, some 8 radios, and a number of small speakers. It was also the mid on the Model Five. These are readily available on ebay. 

The black cloth grille can be touched up with roll on dye from Michaels. You could even use a fat black magic marker.

If you don't want to DIY, maybe CSP member ra.ra. would be interested. He's in the Boston area.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...