The KLH Nine is the superb sounding and history making, full-range electrostatic loudspeaker that Arthur A. Janszen (AAJ) created at JansZen Laboratory and put into field tests in 1957. This design was then taken on by KLH and put into production at the end of the 1950's, with AAJ as V.P. Engineering.
The KLH Nine was the first truly full range electrostatic speaker. Even fairly recently, it was declared one of the 12 most significant speakers of all time, and has been written about repeatedly (example). Production began in late 1959 and continued for nearly twenty years. The list price was initially about $2,000/pair, which translates to about $17,800 in 2019 dollars (https://westegg.com/inflation/).
Each 6' x 2' x 3" thick speaker panel comprises ten woofers and a single 4" square tweeter. The treble back wave, being emitted from such a small area, does not intersect itself, and thus does not create the prominent, artificial sounding comb-filtering artifacts that large area panels do.The 800 Hz hand-off from woofers to tweeter is accomplished by way of a single transformer's innovative design, having different windings on q common core, with different inductive characteristics for the woofer and tweeter output signals. The Nine might thus be considered crossover-less, despite being 2-way.
The bass response is flat to 40 Hz, at least when new or refurbished, and the treble extends to 30 kHz. They were also durable, and could handle 60W amplifiers without damage. Neither aspect could be expected of its contemporaries from QUAD. Of course, with the advent of solid state amplifiers and the ensuing power wars, people did try connecting bigger amplifiers, and were able to melt the wax out of the supplies and punch pinholes in the woofer diaphragms that eventually caused failures.
Over the past decade or so, we've accumulated a fair number of pairs for refurbishment or upgrade to your specifications. We can also receive your pairs for refurbishment or upgrade, or take them in partial trade for pairs we may have already serviced.
Although there are pairs still in service without having required repair, there are several things that can go wrong with this model after 40 to 60 years:
We're uniquely qualified to address these issues.
We offer a refurbishment service as well as an upgrade service. You can order pairs that start out as one of our original vintage pairs, or you can send us your own pair for refurbishment or upgrading.
Refubishment. This entails completely dismantling these speakers right down to the sticks, and then rebuilding them to better than original condition, with better joinery and finishes, fully rebuilt woofers and tweeters, and modernized supply units fitted with components that will not age appreciably over many subsequent decades. JansZen refurbished Nines come with a full, transferable, two-year warranty.
Our own pairs, refurbished to better than new condition, are rebuilt to order for half the inflation-adjusted original price, namely $8,900. Lead time varies depending on our backorder queue, which includes orders for our new products. It's generally at least six weeks, and can be as long as fourteen weeks.
Upgrade. In addition to what's entailed in the refurbishment service, the upgrade also includes replacement of the original tweeters with our new ones, which requires several modifications; changes to the supply; creation of an acoustically transparent window ahead of the tweeters; furniture grade finishing of the
frames; and replacement of the grill cloth with fine linen. The price for those built from our stock of original pairs is $12,250/pair.
If you supply your own KLH Nines, you will get credit for them. The credit is a function of condition, and varies from $200 for pairs in poor condition to $2000 for functional pairs in cosmetically fine condition with no rust, mold, or stains. After ordering, we ask that you wait to ship them to us until your order is next in the backlog queue.
Again, we maintain a modest stock of pairs for refurbishment or upgrading. As of this writing, we have eleven pairs.
To inquire about KLH Nines, please refer to the contact page.
October 1960 Audio Magazine cover, showing a pair of KLH Nines, and at the center, also the Model Eight table radio. Although the Nine was entirely Arthur A. Janszen's development, he also developed the EQ network for the drivers in the Eight's matching speaker enclosure (not shown).
Upgraded pair in David Janszen's office
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