KLH MODEL NINE ELECTROSTATIC SPEAKERS.


Hello, i recently acquired 2 pairs of these speakers and they are 16 ohm.
My question is, if i run these with one power amp (Krell Ksa-80)and run two pairs of speaker cables (2 for left/2 for right) would this bring the ohms down to 8 ohm?
Also do i need to run the second set of speaker cables directly back from the amp to speaker or can i jump a short pair of cables from speaker to speaker?
My plan is too run all 4 speakers with one amp for now as i just want to hear how they sound.
First though i need to make up some power cords as they did not come with any!
Thanks in Advance!
x1884
I would exercise some caution with loading a vintage amp. The amp probably needs to be recapped and I would not subject it to anything other than one pair of speakers at a time. I once burned up an old Marantz power amp playing around with multiple speakers.
You should be able to get satisfying volumes even at 16 Ohms. It's a pity that these speakers are not being driven by tube amps, which do really well with higher impedance speakers.
Sounds like that would work. You can jumper the wires or use double runs. Both ways are pictured here.

http://www.bcae1.com/spkrmlti.htm
Perfect, so i'll connect them in parallel and the load will go from 16 ohms to 8 ohms which is good.
You may want to reach out to Janszen, whose father designed the 9. His company, in Ohio, offers restoration services, and he may have some tips on how to check and bring a pair back into service to avoid problems.
They were glorious speakers in their day- I fondly remember double pairs being driven by Marantz tube amps back in the late 60's. FWIW, there are a couple of owners on this forum who may chime in with other tips based on their actual experience in owning and running them. I still have multiple pairs of Quads, but would be reluctant to press the old pair back in to service without having them thoroughly gone over first.

Here is the link to janszen:

http://www.janszenloudspeaker.com/JansZen%20-%20KLH%20Nine%20Refurb%20&%20Upgrade%2090202.pdf
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+1 to Mechans and Whart. Be careful.
This is about the speakers and not the amp.
The amp is fine and has been recapped for those that are concerned about it.........
All i want to do is get these up and running and if i really really prefer them over my current speakers i'll keep them and if not they will be up for sale.
So i'm not going out and buying tube amps just so i can try out a set of speakers i may not be holding onto.
My suggestion above also concerned the relationship between the speakers and the amp; electrostats have some pretty extreme impedance dips (at least the older Quads did) and present a difficult load for some amps. So, apart from the fact that the KLH9 would probably sound better with the right tube amp, I would just make sure that your Krell can deal with the load the speaker presents.
Good luck.
KLH 9s were one of the first speakers we played with our amps. One of the earlier and better high end ESL attempts. Tube amps can play them really well- a Citation 2 was a great vintage amp on those speakers.
A little late to the discussion, but here it goes:  I restored a double pair of Nines about 10 months ago and I can attest they are amazing.  The absolute cleanest bass I have ever heard.  I have been communicating with David Jensen (invaluable help to my restoration efforts and overall great guy-- Thanks Mr Janzsen) and also have the original documentation from KLH.  One of the myths about the Nines, as far as I can tell, is the fear of very low impedance at high frequencies and possibly destroying less capable amps.  The documentation clearly states that the Nines are mostly 16 ohms through most of the spectrum and increasing to about 30 ohms at the low end.  Interestingly, that is the reason while tubes sound good with Nines, the impedance is benign to tubes which relies on transformers to match them, not because it can handle low impedances better.  It is also a very benign impedance to SS amps.

After the restoration I tried mine on a Fisher X-202-B and eventually restored a 100 W/channel Bogen MO-100 with a pair of brand new 6550 tubes on each. They did sound great but I must acknowledge that at least for my ears a good SS amp is a much better choice.  The bass is way cleaner and well defined, the mids sound great and the highs are crystal clear.  The tube amps always sounded a bit muddy compared to the SS. Whether we like it or not, you have an output transformer at the amp driving a step-up transformer at the Nines.  Saturation at low frequencies can be an issue and attenuation and distortion at the higher end can also limit things.  I don't have upwards of $40,000 at the moment to get 4 Marantz 9s :-) , but the physics are the same.

Most importantly, as Mr Janszen and the documentation emphasizes, the real danger is to drive the speakers at voltages higher than about 26 volts, which translate to about 90 to 100 Watts for an 8 ohms load (a pair of Nines).  Any higher and the bass panels may arc and cause damage to the membrane.

So to answer your original question, yes you can drive a double pair of Nines with any amp up to 100 Watts/channel (a pair per channel) all day long.  Better to be close to 100 watts to avoid clipping.  The original owner drove them with a Dynaco 120 solid state amp (60 W/channel) and eventually with an Adcom 545.  I drive them with a BGW 250E at the moment which sounds surprisingly good.

Let us know if you kept the Nines.  They are great speakers.

Elias
My Dad owned the KLH Nines back in the day. Dad used a number of different tube amps at the time, mostly Marantz 9; but also Citation, don't remember model number, as wells some other. All I recall was the sound was glorious! Best, Rob