KLH Model 19 Speakers

aka KLH Model Nineteen

Discussion and specifications for the KLH Model 19 Speakers. Once part of an integrated system, including a separate phonograph/FM Tuner.


 English Knol Project

This article written by Will Johnson, wjhonson@aol.com

Today (19 Dec 2009) I picked up a pair of KLH Model 19 speakers.  They have what appear to be two woofers, but no tweeter!  That is, the two sound drivers in each cabinet, look exactly the same. (It turns out these are called "full-range" drivers, which I guess means they are a woofer and tweeter in one.)  The connector on the back appears to be an RCA jack.  The cabinets are a dark wood, a few sites say it's walnut. Also these units are "ported", that is they have a hollow cardboard tube a few inches deep, which allows the sound in the back to come to the front... I think that's what it does.  The name "KLH" stands for the principals in the company, the "K" is Henry Kloss (1929-2002).

Henry Kloss had a long history in speaker design.  When Edgar Villchur, a teacher at New York University, designed a new type of loudspeaker, he and Henry Kloss founded Acoustic Research.  Two other partners, Malcolm Low and J. Anton "Tony" Hofmann, supplied $5000 in capital. Thus was born the AR-1, the world's first acoustic-suspension loudspeaker system, with its relatively small enclosure and proportionally prodigious bass. (citation)  Kloss, Low and Hofmann then founded KLH in 1957.  Kloss later moved on to more fame by founding Advent in 1967.  He left Advent, and in 1988 co-founded Cambridge Soundworks.

There is a forum devoted to discussing classic KLH speakers at this link.
Google search for KLH "Model 19" Speakers
Google search for KLH "Model Nineteen"

KLH Model 19  18 FM Tuner (Credit: Lee Bey: The Urban Observer)

The KLH Model 19 was a system consisting of two speaker cabinets, each with two full-range drivers (as stated above), a phonograph and an integrated FM tuner.

On the left you can see a picture, where the owner Lee Bey states this is a Model 19, but evidently (see below) this is a Model 18 !

The pair I picked up were without the FM-tuner/phonograph, just the two speakers.  I tried to hook these up to my television but the sound output was really low.  Hard to trouble shoot that, as there are too many points of failure and I don't like RCA jacks on speakers personally (if that's even what this connector is), so I pulled out the components and reached inside and snipped the wires off.  Then I just pulled the wires out the backside hole.  I hooked these up to my amp and they sound great.

Here on the right, you can see a picture of what the turntable that came with the Model Nineteen looked like. The large knob is the FM dial. There is an article discussing all of these integrated systems at this link.  In that article, that author states that the essential difference, between the various new models that KLH all offered for sale starting in 1965, was the size of the speaker.  But also, the FM Tuner was on some models integrated with the phonograph as a single unit.

I happened the same day to have picked up a pair of Dual speakers that look similar to the Dual LU43's but a bit bigger.  I couldn't find a match online, so these must be a bit older Dual's.  At any rate, one of the tweeters on those was blown, and those Duals are junky modern speakers anyway, probably selling for five to ten dollars each at a thrift store.  So I took them apart, removed the gold screw-down connectors, and hooked those screw-downs, as the connectors for my Model 19 speakers.  Works just fine and looks much better than having a speaker wire dangling out the back.

Advertisement for the Model Nineteen from the
Tucson Daily Citizen (newspaper), Feb 1966

I've been unable to find any good picture of the KLH Model Nineteen speakers.  If you have one, shoot it to me!  There was a pair for sale on Ebay at the end of November 2009, but the auction is over, and the pictures are gone!  I wrote the lady a note and maybe she'll be willing to let me use her pictures here.

I've just been informed that the Model Nineteen had an integrated FM Tuner, so the picture above of the separate tuner, must be for the Model Eighteen.  Meanwhile see some more pictures of the Model Eighteen FM Tuner, including the backplate stating that it is, in fact a Model Eighteen at this link. I've been told that the Model 14B speakers which you can see at this link, is similar, and it does look similar to the ones I have.

Well guess what folks?  I being the brilliant researcher which I am, was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and found the ad on the left here in an old newspaper.  Am I good or what?

So now we have clear proof that the Model Nineteen had the FM Tuner integrated, that's the big knob you see at the front of the phonograph.  And you can see here the speakers, each about half the size of the phonograph.

The dimensions of the speakers are given in that ad. 14"W x 8"H x 8 1/4" D, and the original list price in 1966 was $299.  Imagine that.


KLH Nineteen

I have a KLH turntable AND two KLH speakers. Both of these are Model Nineteen. I could take pictures for you. Could you help me get a new needle for it? Possibly new speakers, too?

Anonymous - 15 Mar 2011