Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ChrisR2060, Mar 23, 2021.
Andrew Robinson discusses the KLH Model 5 vs the Forte IVs in his new Forte IV review.
Intrigued by these new Fives. Trying to arrange an in home demo - but it will be May earliest, likely June before that can occur.
Meantime, any real world listening reviews from others here would be most interesting!
We will be wishing you great luck with that my friend. Maybe she'll love the linen grille version!
Yeah he was unique. Speakers, projection TV, table radio, etc etc. A really nice guy, too. I'm glad they've resurrected the brand, though the retro look of the driver trim rings looks like cheap "white van" crap if I squint. The look of the trim rings is OK but the finish should be different. Love the integrated stands. I'd be really curious to hear these versus Wharfedale Lintons which I like very much.
My pair arrived a few days ago and I'm in love with em. I was originally looking at getting the JBL L82s as an upgrade but decided to try the Model 5's first and I'm glad I did. The finish is much nicer in person than the pictures they post on their website. So far, I can tell say that Zero Fidelity (Sean's) assessment seems to be spot on. I can certainly say that while they are specified at 90db sensitivity, they do need a bit of power to really show you what they are capable of.
Good for you! Thanks for posting your initial impressions. Please update us as they break in more.
Will do. The manual states they need about 8 hours to break in. I'm around that mark, probably near 12 hours, and they're already sounding better with each session.
To me, they're incredibly addictive. They aren't speakers you use to analyze your equipment or focus strictly on the hifi end of listening. They're very musical and I keep gorging on music with them...it's affecting my sleep. Not a bad thing, however!
A few pics would be nice. (-; What r u feeding em with, ss or tubes? My mid 80’s ADS 880s sound terrific driven by 40wpc Mystere PA11.
Really like the 3way with a 10” down low, smooth, detailed, balanced, the 880 for me is a highlite of the AS design. Would love to hear the two side by side. I bet the KLH r sweet! Enjoy...
Not being provocative, but why did you spend $2,000 on speakers you never heard? Serious.
We’re in the same boat. I’m saving up for the L-82s and the KLH is VERY INTRIGUING. If I had the money now, I’d try to listen to some in a store or wait to get feedback from more sources.
I’m psyched you love them. I want them to be awesome. They’re cheaper and better looking than the L82. Especially with the white grille.
Paimon, like iluzun I’d like to know what the new Model Five’s are paired with, SS or tubes, analog or digital. More info please for us poor starved Model Fiveless souls!
I have called KLH to find a listening room that have them in stock but have come up empty. Going tomorrow to a store in northern NJ to hear other KLH speakers, the Concord and the Kendall, but no Model Five.
I don't know the Hifi stores in NOLA, but here in Memphis, there's no one within 300 miles who will have the Model 5s for audition.
I understand that. I, personally, would wait for more reviews in the absence of getting a listen in person. But I'm glad Paimon took the plunge. So I can get his feedback, risk-free!
I don't live near anywhere I could easily audition them, or any other speakers, really. I have to take a risk whenever I buy gear. Is what it is. I have used speakers and gear that Zero Fidelity has reviewed and I find his assessments to be accurate to what speakers sound like in my room. I had my heart set on the L82s but since the KLHs were $750 cheaper (the stands for the JBL'S are apparently mandatory), I figured I take a chance. If I liked em then I saved almost $800.
So forgive me, I'm a young guy and my goal right now is to build a solid foundation for my system that will last me a long time. Therefore, some of my gear isn't up to par with some of what you all are likely running.
Technics 1210gr w/ Nagaoka MP 150 - -> Project Tube Box DS w/ Genalex Gold Lion Gold Pin 12AX7
Tidal hifi and Spotify - - >Schiit Modi 3 and Loki
Nakamichi 480 cassette deck
All going into an IOTAVX stack (SA3 and PA3).
Currently trying to upload some close up pics of the veneer and grill for you all. Lighting is bad in my room so I'll have to wait until I can snap a larger Pic. I was off put by the mahogany when looking online but I like it much better in person. I do think the grills clash with it, however, but that's up to personal taste (I don't listen with them on anyway). FYI, the magnets in grills are super strong. It'll startle you when you first put them back on and they slap away from your hands.
Are you still going to try and hear some L82s?
I'll give my sound impressions thus far. Take what I say with a grain of salt as this is all (obviously) my opinion. They are also still breaking in.
First off, the KLH's are pretty forgiving when it comes to room placement. The manual states that they should be 6-8ft apart, 6-24" away from back wall, 24" away from the side walls, and the listening position should be 8-10ft away. My room is 12x14ft w/ 8ft ceilings, so not very large. I have the speakers about a foot from the back wall, about 6'-4" apart, and I'm around 7ft away (I have a limited amount of freedom of placement, unfortunately). Despite how large the speakers are, they are in no way boomy or bloated in my listening space. Because of their sealed design, I suspect they are able to thrive in smaller spaces.
I know these are rated at 42hz +/- 3b, but these sound like they go much lower or at least give the impression of having much fuller bass. Of course, this is amp and room dependent, but like I mentioned earlier the bass is not at all overwhelming or booming. It's full, textured, slightly warm and quite frankly, addictive. I suspect in rooms similar to mine, a sub won't be needed unless you're running a home theater or just need the lowest of low notes. For most music, I don't feel like I'm missing much in the low end. When it comes to the midrange, I think there is a slight bump in the lower midrange and the upper midrange is pretty neutral. If you have tone controls then you could tailor it to taste.
The treble is pretty interesting. The attenuator knob on the back gives you three options for adjusting sound above 400hz: HI (flat), (MID) -1.5db, (LO) -3B. Out of the box I left them on the "MID" position. Here, the treble was a hair too bright for my taste but in no way was it grainy, harsh, or unrefined sounding (I'm pretty sensitive to harsh and super bright speakers). I suspect the "HI" position will satisfy those who like their music tipped up in the high end. Personally, I leave it on "LO" and find it gives me a balanced presentation in my room. The treble is also slightly forward sounding, so despite having it on -3b, it's never boring. In fact, it's pretty much consistently engaging. Detail retrieval is perfect for my taste. While I have my share of great recordings, the vast majority of my collection consists of rough recordings and even intentionally lofi productions (ie. Black metal, some indie shoegaze records). The KLH's sound great with everything I throw at them. The detail seems to stop right at the border of where compression and bad recording quality will start to punish you, yet rewards you when you give them music that is well recorded.
When it comes to soundstage and imaging, the speakers keep improving with break in. No, they won't disappear in a room nor do I think the sound will extend beyond the sides of the baffle. What I'm getting, however, is a wall of sound with a SUPER solid center image and the imaging that is between the speakers can be quite holographic at times (especially when I run my tube phono stage). Higher end gear, I believe, might give a nice 3D sound if that's what you enjoy. Seriously, you have to actively try to NOT get a solid center image with these. The sweet spot seems fairly wide as well. In fact, they're almost enveloping with how they present sound (in my room).
When it comes to dynamics, they perform fairly well at lower volumes, but it's when you feed them power and turn them up that you get a sense of how dynamic they are. Obviously they will not be as dynamic as say, a Klipsch Heresy or horn loaded speakers, but they're still explosive when the recordings call for it. I do think amps with high current and headroom will be needed if you want to truly rock out with them but they will reward you for doing so.
Despite all this, however, I don't really find myself focusing on the "hifi" traits of the speakers. They're incredibly musical and no matter what I play, whether it be jazz, my 80's post-punk records, synth, hip-hop, extreme metal, anything...I just end up focusing on the music. They do so much right when it comes to what I ask from a loudspeaker. While they can definitely be used for close listening, they're more-so FUN speakers to listen to, which is something I sorely missed with my previous speakers.
Most likely not. For now I'm very satisfied. Of course, if by some miracle I could audition a pair, I would out of curiosity.
Thanks for the very detailed review.
Thanks for sharing the in depth notes. These look like great speakers.
I might be wrong on this, but the "HI" on the treble attenuation should equal more attenuation - thus greater roll-off and a softer top end. I also recall either the Andrew Robinson or Zero Fidelity YT review mentioning as much.
Just acquired a pair of new Model 5's. Keep in mind that these are available in furniture stores. That said, the "mahogany" veneer is in reality well executed vinyl not wood. The standard grills are attractive enough so I see little need for the $200 upgrade. I am listening to these in a 25 ft square room with cathedral ceilings and hardwood floors including one 8x8 area rug and a couch. This is strictly a reference as the mod 5's will remain about one ft from the wall. I do not intend to move them around to enhance the sound stage or my listening experience from a fixed position. To that end the mid 5's serve me well. The sound stage between the speakers is pin point and rock solid. The voice projects as though the vocalist is standing at a mic. The Mod 5's do project well in to the room (excellent presence) and can be played at high volumes with minimal distortion. There is a 250 watt 8 ohm Acurus powering the system. The 5's stand up very well. At this writing the 5's are not yet fully broken in. Much has been said about the benefit of having the stands included. I concur with that and add that the 5 degree incline on the stands helps the bass to arrive at listening ear at the same instant as the treble. The tilt can also make bass consistent throughout the room. Overall I am enjoying the 5's very much.
So you're saying that KLH is lying about their veneer? The KLH site: "Our updated version of this classic speaker has real wood veneers"
Model Five Floorstanding Speaker | KLH Floorstanding Speakers
They wouldn't be $2K if they were made in the USA or even UK. JBL L82 and L100 also made in far east. Technics decks made in Malaysia. I can't see much that is affordable that is now made in USA or Europe with exception of Rega, Project and Schiit . Even if product assembled in the west parts are likely bought in from China or other cheaper labour areas. If you apply your logic to buying product you are stuck with buying vintage - and when you have to repair/upgrade components you might have to use Chinese.
And this makes me very glad my new speaker buying days have long since passed.
There is nothing wrong with gear made in China or other non-Western countries. Quality and crap know no borders. Some let their world view adversely affect their enjoyment of music.
Love the Vandersteen 1's, but they're much more finicky about placement. Not for everyone.
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