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I saw some KLH Nine's on CL yesterday. Out of curiosity, I responded. The guy responded a couple of hours later while I was spraying weeds. So I bought them, mainly as an excuse to get me out of spraying more weeds. So here are my questions:
1) What have I gotten myself into? Any rebuild tips?
2) Are they worth rebuilding?
It depends on the condition as to how much work is involved. Remove the back covers and cloth screen to access the panels. The panels are easily removed. Clean each panel of any gray or black residue and remove any dust. Check the voltages on the tweeter and each bass panel. This will require a HV probe for your voltmeter. The DC supply should be about 1KV for the tweeter and 5.5 KV for the bass panels. If the dc voltages are significantly below those figures, one or more of the voltage multiplier diodes has failed. The hard part is melting the wax out of the power supply boxes to access the diodes, which requires putting them in your stove until the wax melts.
A fully operational pair of KLH Nines is a revelation; more transparent than the Quads and more detailed; more alive sounding. Better bass with no fear of overdriving them. I used a pair for 20 years.
Thank-you, everyone, for your posts. I made the mistake of suggesting replacing our stove over the holidays. My wife now is objecting to my proposed use of her new stove. I'm thinking about trying to cover it with potatoes and carrots, and see if I can get away with it, but I think my chances are slim.
Or I may try a heat gun or build a stove. I have some heating elements and temperature probes, figure insulation and steel and I'm in business.
report back on the results of your quest. Personally I'd be tempted to send them off to Janzsen for one of the refurbs.
If they don't work out for you, please drop me an email. I might be interested in buying them from you and sending them off.
I'm in the process of changing the diodes. I have an electrometer so I intend to get the high voltage within spec, then hook them up to see what condition the panels are in. I e-mailed David Janszen asking about availability of parts. He e-mailed right back, saying they don't have parts but he made some suggestions and he is an obvious avenue of support. My intention is to get them working and compare them to ESL63's. I won't keep both and will let you know if it is the Nine's that I will be selling.
So far I have found 1 bass panel in each speaker that doesn't pass high voltage along to the next panel(s). Took the first one apart, it just needs some conductive paint. I had to ask David Janszen a couple of questions, but panel removal and disassembly was pretty easy.
Only one way to go as far as I'm concerned. David Janszen, son of the designer of the Nines, has operated Janszen Audio for a number of years now. In addition to designing and building new models under the Janszen name he also rebuilds original Model Nines.
In my experience David is very honest and open in his dealings. Contact him to evaluate the ones you bought. Then you can better decide if you want to have them rebuilt.
Go to the source, or in this case the closest thing to it.
"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk
Suggest you email Kent McCollum at Electrostatic Solutions. He will know the answer, very likely can rebuild them.
Are they worth refurbing? Good question.
I bought an old pair of Acoustat Monitor 4's and paid to have the servos rebuilt. Damned glad I did. I have no idea where I could possibly buy the kind of performance I'm getting from those Acoustats in any other new speaker for what the refurb cost me.
Only way to know is to have them refurbed and then judge the value. Based on my personal experience, I suspect you would find the refurb worth it.
You probably are already aware of the info at the below link.
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