Are you interested in the new generation of "old school" design loudspeakers?


So is Danny Richie of GR Research. Though known for his open baffle loudspeaker and subwoofer designs, as well as narrow baffle sealed loudspeakers, Danny has received in for analysis and possible upgrades a number of the new "old school" design loudspeakers that have been recently introduced by the likes of KLH. Being a good businessman, he obviously realized he could offer his own version of such a design, free of the "problems" he found in those of others.


In this 30 minute video Danny discusses the design of his newest offering: the "Brute". Even if you’re not interested in this specific topic, you may find the video of value in general loudspeaker terms. He has made many other videos, all addressing either a specific topic, or a specific loudspeaker. There are easy to find: Go onto YouTube and do a search for GR Research.


To dispel any suspicions, no, I am in no way affiliated with Danny Richie and/or GR Research, other than being a very satisfied customer.






Big, I get the name, that seems like a great price for that much speaker and building them would be fun.

@thespeakerdude , why not order a pair, build them, and do a review for this thread? Seems right up your alley.

By the way, the prices mentioned in the video are per pair, not per speaker.


As many of you know, I am a fan of level controls, as most vintage speakers came with.

So, I immediately checked, and the KLH Model 5 comes with a 3 position Acoustic Balance Switch. It is preset for: ’normal’, ’live’; very live’ (no position for dull).

download manual here:


Pre-set positions control the changes equally, so balance between L & R is easily maintained, however pre-set limits the changes you can make for your individual space.

Both my Electro-Voice and Acoustic Research AR-2ax come with 2 level controls: L-Pads, Changes relative to the unchanged woofer: 1 for the mid and 1 for the tweeter. Each: Center is normal; up any amount for dull rooms/down any amount for live rooms.

Using L=Pads with no pre-positioning, you have to work hard to get the L & R to match. SPL meter with test tones helps, then your ears on very familiar content with excellent imaging.

Independent L and R, and freely adjustable can help with irregular spaces

Klipsch Heritage and JBL Synthesis speakers are unbelievably realistic sounding and dynamic.  Get a decent amp and an EQ and you will be in heaven.  

Danny says it's his favorite speaker, but then, he would have to say that unless he really means it. All kidding aside, I'm all in favor of the old school look and approach. The major downside (if you can call it that) is the music sounds like it's coming straight out from the front plane of the speakers and to negate that somewhat, you need to sit back a good distance. That, and it helps with driver integration. You can still get decent stage depth even when sitting close.

It never bothered me with my JBL 4319 monitors as the scale and impact simply can't be done with smaller drivers. Smaller drivers can get as loud but there's more to it than SPL. There's an ease to the sound that's so convincing and addictive with larger drivers.

The only reason I went to a smaller monitor was that the JBLs overloaded my smallish room.

All the best,

I am really pleased with my Yamaha NS-5000 speakers.  Inside the speaker is a lot of cutting edge engineering, despite the old school looks.  They image much better than the much slimmer KEFs they replaced, so I see no downside of having a large baffle.

Interesting how any wide front baffle 3-way is now considered by some as "old school". Sounds like old is new again. 

My Klipsch Cornwall IV’s are definitely old school but I am quite amazed at how well they throw such a large and wide soundstage.  They also have less phase issues compared to other high end speakers I have owned.  Relaxed, musical, detailed, dynamic and smooth with natural tone…old way seems to be the right way!

I have the KLH Model5. I purchased before the price change. After breaking in they have turned out to be very musical. Happy listening 🎶 

Accoustat is a 70s-80s design that still cuts it.  I always wanted the big ones but didn't have the money.  Later I went Martin Logan and haven't regretted it.

KLH-5 vs AR-2ax

If you are handy, and want a project:

I re-built two pairs of AR-2ax speakers last year. My first decent speakers when in college. Shown here

bought for basement/shop: sounded so good I moved them to my office and ordered the 2nd pair for the basement/shop.

They are a smaller version of the KLH-5, i.e. AR-2ax only 24" high; KLH are 34" high. (AR-2ax are around 1 cubic feet less). both 3 way, drivers essentially the same.

AR-2ax cost me $500/pair incl new parts + $250 delivery =$750/pair delivered

KLH-5 is $2,500/pair plus delivery (est $500) = $3,000/pair _maybe less)

Both KLH-5 and AR-2ax are true bookshelf speakers, i.e. only 11.5" deep, fit a 12" deep shelf. No port, both have level controls as mentioned above.

Of course they can be free-standing, the AR-2ax would need a taller stand, not included in my cost.


Re-build AR-2ax, prices are for a pair

woofer re-foam kit: $30

new tweeters: $180.

new level controls (4): $40.

crossover parts, parts express: $50.

linen grill cloth $40.


remove woofers, remove stuffing, remove crossover board, remove tweeters

re-foam woofers; install new tweeters; change level controls on crossover board; change 4 caps and 6 resistors; re-install crossover board.

change existing wire connections for new parts. I used crimped bullet connectors, different colors.

stuff with polyester fill (walmart, cheap)

It was pretty easy, and they sound better than any bookshelf speaker I have tried.



KLH-5 new/perfect

AR-2ax: decent touch up of wood cabinets in good shape, or, if on shelf, only front edges and their corners matter.

Here’s a nice pair worth restoring



A few years ago I contemplated buying some older Klipsch and putting new in parts. Then I learned the guy who sold the Klipsch parts also had his own speaker, the late Bob Crites.  They are wide but really nice sounding.  

I bought a pair of KLH Model 5 recently and have to say I am loving them.  I keep thinking I really need a much higher end speaker given the rest of my system, but when I listen to them I really have to question that thought.  

New KLH speakers have zero to do with the old ones except how they look, the name, and the acoustic suspension design. My first great sounding rig was maybe in 1970 or so with a KLH compact system (model 20 or 24...the one without a tuner), that sounded amazing compared to pretty much anything else...due to the speakers really. My current Heresy IIIs are a version of something from 1957 and have been regularly revised by the same company.

Love my Wharfedale Linton Heritage speakers. A brilliant design in the big baffle 3-way genre and a steal at $1400 USD, with stands.

Very informative video! Watched it a couple of days ago and enjoyed the detail he goes into regarding the design principles behind this speaker. 

Already went down that road.  Kind of where I started my audio journey.  Plenty of vintage three-ways still out there in decent shape.

If you enjoy refinishing cabinets, soldering-up crossovers and hunting down hen's-tooth drivers, it's a great way to kill time.

I've had AR-3a, AR-2ax, original KLH 5, Klipsch Heresy, Klipsch Chorus II,  Yamaha NS-690, all restored or had upgraded crossovers installed.

No big JBLs, though.  Never found a pair at a price I was willing to pay for beat-up 40-year old speakers.

A pair of KEF 104/2 beat them all, at least to my ears and in my space.  Narrower box with smaller drivers, and a heck of a crossover.

New Magnepans (1.7i) pushed the KEFs out, but not by much.  Those old KEFs were something special.

Recently (last year) built a pair of CSS Criton 1TD-X stand-mounts.  Running with a pair of REL T7/x subs, I may have a new favorite.  Smallest speaker I've had in my room and they sound absolutely fantastic.  Again, to my ears, with my gear.

I have a relatively small room and the little speakers just appear to work.

Jury is still out whether or not they will displace the Maggies long-term.

It was high school graduation time in 1971 and I was invited to a friend's grad party at his cousins bachelor pad.  [yes, that is what we called it.]  He had a Kenwood receiver, a turntable and those KLH speakers.  I had an eight-track all in one stereo system that I paid probably $60 for.  Of course I made him play something an when he did, I swore I was gonna have something like this.  This was the turning point in the quest for great sound.  I was a poor college guy for the next few years, but made it happen soon after.  And I am still chasing it.

I'll never forget my drum instructor's system which included KLH-5's, Marantz receiver, reel-to-reel tape machine and turntable. Playing Woodstock by CSN&Y at high volume. Playing along with the drum set. Those speakers were tight.

Just looking at AR-2ax for fun

These, $110. usd, new tweeters, new level controls, cab't might be in decent shape, need to ask seller for more photos


have to have UPS Canada wrap & ship, seller simply drops them off in your name.

Interesting, and KLH speakers were good for their time. Henry Kloss went on to Advent as everyone knows. Advent’s were nice as well. For their time.

HOWEVER, take a pair of those speakers and put them next to a similar modern box speaker and you will hear the differences immediately. As for putting them next to Magnepan speakers, well, I will let YOU do that and not try to bias your opinions in any way.

If you enjoy woodworking (I owned a wood business in my day) have at it. It is a lot of fun. If you want accurate speakers, well, you decide for yourself.


If you think about it, just about every new speaker today is just an updated, possibly improved or modified version of an existing design which often is a good thing & are noticeably better. 

The last truly innovative designs may be Magneplanars, Apogee full range ribbons & before them the Heil Air Motion Transformer mid range / tweeter. Also DSP, subwoofers too. I love tube amps & horns when done well & enjoy both in my system w/ modern designs with much better comps& drivers than were available  years ago.  

Back in the late 70's, I had a pair of JBL L-166 Horizons that I bought at an employee discount of $500. (about $1700 in 2023 dollars). They were amazing, at the time, being driven by a Sansui AU-717 and other upper end, mainstream source devices. I think my current Revel stand mounts have better definition and imaging, but a sub is needed in place of that 12" JBL Alnico driven woofer. 

What I really miss about those L-166's are those cool, but ugly waffle grills and the beautifully finished walnut veneer cabinets. They were a visual statement that smaller, modern standmounts simply can't match.

When my beloved Snell speakers got swamped in a flood in my lower level listening room, I had to replace them. I needed speakers of reasonable efficiency as I was driving them with Quicksilver 40 watt tube monoblocks.

I was willing to spend $10,000 on speakers and honestly, found no speaker I could live with and enjoy more than the new KLH5s. Designed well, manufactured to a high standard in Asia, I suspect has a lot to do with being able to deliver a speaker like this at such a low price point.

I live in a big city where there are 5 -6 are brick and mortar hifi shops and got to listen to a lot of speakers. Did I hear other speakers that had better pinpoint imaging...Yes. Did I hear other speakers with better detail...yes. Did I hear other speakers that were overall better... yes but at well above the $10,000 price point. Did I hear other speakers that let me sit back and simply enjoy the music and that made for an engaging musical listening experience...mostly No! But these do.

@alvinnir2 +1 ... I can relate. I’ve had the same experience over many years - decades, actually - w my Epi 100 speakers... I recently went shopping and there were speakers $5000, $7000, $9000 that were MAYBE a little better in bass and imaging, but not by THAT much, and not any better, or at least not by much at all, in the treble, and the Epi still move me (and everybody else that hears them) with their charming, smooth, clear and enjoyable sound quality. Enjoy what you have there; those KLH 5 are supposedly something special, as you attest.

After that recent shopping realization, I did end up w the Heresy IV, because they were different than my Epi’s approach, and they were less expensive than the next closest competitor, to my ears, plus they totally look the old-school business, lol.... so that’s it for now, until I move to Arizona (bye bye California, thanks for the money, lol) when I will get a new-school speaker for the main living area: the Q Acoustics Concept 50. That’ll round out the stable, but two out of the three are old-school design and sound more-than just fine.

The ease to the sound of larger drivers may be in part due to a three or four way having less Doppler distortion from the much shorter mid and upper midrange wavelengths riding along and launching from the woofer producing long deep bass wavelengths.

One of the reasons, I think, why I like the sound of my 12 inch full range drivers, and the sound of a planar mid/tweeter combination with bass below 250 Hz filtered out.

Yes, love big speaker sound.  I rediscovered that sound with the lintons, and now with ls3/6.

You can't cheat physics.  I do not think i will go with slim towers again.

@clearthinker ,   I used Acoustat 2+2s for decades. They were great speakers with just a few flaws. ESLs are it for me.

Op, Wait for the "Bullet", or "Bully", with dsp and a built-in subwoofer that could go down to 20 Hz, according to GR. Will it be nice?! The woofer that comes with this speaker is a guitar amp driver. Light weight and seems a cheap stuff. Unitl, please build one (i mean Bullet / Bully) and do some in-depth review for the good of the group here.

Love the "old school" speakers of late, updated of course with modern drivers and crossover designs, and the knowledge of how to properly brace a cabinet for little (if any) resonances.

I still don’t understand why Steve Gutenberg didn’t like the KLH Model 5 good enough to do a review of them. Most other reviewers (and owners) have liked them just fine.

My current main speakers are vintage recapped AR-9, but I’m thinking of replacing them with something along the lines of the JBL L-100 Classic which would really be more sized to my listening space in the living room. Are the JBL worth roughly 2X what the Model 5 are? Not sure. A subwoofer is probably required with either one, at least for Electronica/Prog Rock.

I know the general idea these days is that narrow baffle speakers image better, so there is that, but as the old saw goes, "there’s no replacement for displacement", and that can be true even if you don’t listen crazy loud.

While narrow towers and bookies blend in with a room, old school speakers make a statement to anyone visiting that you are "serious" about stereo. LOL.

Moonwatcher - The new JBL 100's are better than the originals - I've heard both although not side by side w/ the same sources. They're still well made by a legendary, quality company. That said, if you're looking for big dynamic room filling sound that is also detailed w/ nice imaging, you might try the Volti Audio Razz. Its a modern version of old school technology w/ high quality horn loaded midrange & tweeters, ported 12" woofer in a very well made cabinet w/ a high quality crossover. It's a bit more expensive that the JBL's but better in every way whether you like classical or rocking out. They're sold direct from Volti so going to one of the shows is probably your best bet to hear them but may be worth it. 

@jonwolfpell the Volti Audio Razz are beautiful. Those finishes are amazing. I'd love the Natural Ash. A bit out of my price range so I’d probably settle for the JBL L-100. (Which I think were on sale a while back for $4000/pair). But yes, I’d love an opportunity to hear those Razz and how they compare well the horns do and how smooth they are voiced. At 90 lbs. each they must be built like a tank so I bet the cabinets have no resonances at all.

After hearing and owning my Atlante 3 monitors, if I had the cash and space I'd go for the 3-way 5 series.

All the best,

Sort of off topic, but my perspective here is of a headphone only audiophile. There is virtually no headphone equivalent of this discussion, since the design sophistication of high-end headphones has just recently exploded such that there have been really big improvements in the technology. Also in IEM design. There is not much of any "old school of classic products" in this design area going back more than 10 or 15 years or so.

There is the general feeling that the latest technology in planar magnetic headphone designs are in fact drastically better than in the past, and the oldest "old classics" are designs like the Sennheiser HD800 ring driver series. The latest big thing in headphone (and IEM) design is the use of the Heil driver air motion transformer technology, which I think is a true breakthrough.

Another big difference is the great difficulty or impossibility in the hobbyist refurbishing beat-up old headphones and IEMs, or in modifying them with new drivers, etc. That just isn't generally practical in this area of audio. So it is unfortunately apparent that headphone audio offers less than loudspeaker audio in the way of direct participation in engineering and modification and refurbishing, in getting intimately involved in the hobby.

In my opinion the major advantage of headphone systems is that they can offer sound quality in $10,000 to $15,000 systems better than speaker-based systems up in the $100,000 region, with the important exception of natural imaging and sound staging, where speaker setups always have the advantage. As they say, life is a series of tradeoffs.


Just came across this new breed of old school speakers from the UK, the Stratton Acoustics Elypsis 1512:

Yes, those are two 15" woofers and a 12" midrange. The highlighted link tells the story behind them.

All the best,

@nonoise  UKthe Stratton Acoustics Elypsis 1512:


Now those are some neat speakers. 96db, 8ohm. While bass is evident, can only imagine how the midrange and high frequency might sound. The partial see-through stands in that photo are clever too.   

@decooney , Yes. they remind me of the old JBLs that are refurbished by KenRick Sounds in Japan (they have a YouTube channel). You get that nice, big, effortless sound that only drivers this size can do. 

All the best,

@nonoise those look like a home version of the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound.  Phil Lesh would approve - four 15” woofers in your living room.

@nonoise reminds me of the old JBLs that are refurbished by KenRick Sounds in Japan (they have a YouTube channel).


Ah yes, a channel I use to watch quite often after it was started. l will have to revisit it for sure. Could not have imagined even just a few years ago watching Kenrick’s stuff, now we’d see people brining back some of these monster creations. About four years ago I helped on a local design/build of three pairs of Onken Altec speaker creations (JP influence too). Got a chance to hear final results. Was nice.

For whatever reason always preferred this wider front with shallow depth featured here on this Stratton Acoustic. For me, its just inspiring to look at these photos. Absolutely dig this type of stuff. Yet again, I’m an old speaker nerd. If I had a place large enough, i’d get a pair, just sit and listen! Sure fun to look at. Total throwback!


Agreed, and then some. If I only had the space and the money, I'd be one happy camper.

All the best,

My speakers are big 3-way "bookshelf" speakers, similar in style/size to the Brute. They are the now 40+ year old Infinity RS-1.5. I came to them after having a series of much more expensive and more modern speakers. I paid $264 for the Infinitys about 5 years ago and haven't had a desire to replace them. They are just so easy to listen to, a truely musical speaker. So nice, so easy. 

I'm thinking about upgrading my turntable. Would it be weird to be using a 40+ year old speaker, that cost $264, with a new, modern turntable that cost $4000+?  I hope so. I like weird...

@reubent no, not weird, and if they are a good match with the rest of your system, and you like them, keep using them, get more life out of them. Be aware the woofer and midrange foam and rubber  surrounds around the cones become hard, brittle, can deteriorate and become less supple with age. Reconing with new surrounds may be an option. The caps in the crossovers can dry out, a few bits to replace there, and the adjusting pots get cleaned. The EMITs seem to last, maybe they can measured - worth finding a local tech for future refresh.  Best of luck. 

Derek Hughes, who designs for Graham Audio here in the UK, has produced some interesting designs. Two in particular are the Graham LS5/5 and the LS5/1 which are reanimations of the 1960s BBC monitors.

I own a pair of the latter speakers, and they sound excellent in my room.


In theory I would like some good old school horns… but sadly I have not found any I like yet. I keep it on the back burner of things to buy one day. 

Are you interested in the new generation of "old school" design loudspeakers

No, not if the OP means nostalgic or appearance.  I go strictly for performance goals within my budget so follow the latest technology components.  Because this is my first high-end audio system, so I valued "neutral+linear" over "musical" audio chain so I can better evaluate component changes.  

  • Vimberg Mino D for my main system
  • Volti Rival for my foray into flea watt amps

On the horizon, "musical" speakers I'm targeting is the DeVore Orangutan O/96 and the Fleetwood Sound Deville.  Also, I'm a big fan of speaker designer guru Andrew Jones so will likely purchase his latest creation - MoFi Electronics SourcePoint 10.

I heard the Volti Audio Razz twice, both times they sounded fantastic.  

@darkmatter i own the ls5/5s and am fully enamored. How do the 5/1s, which I’ve never heard, compare?