Reviving a Classic: The Rebirth of KLH Audio Page 2

S&V: It’s great to hear that the Model Nine is still in the plan. How many models are in the current KLH lineup?
Kelley: The current KLH lineup includes products designed for two-channel and multichannel applications. So, in addition to several bookshelf and floorstanding models, we have matching center-channel speakers, surrounds, and powered subwoofers. We also have a line of architectural in-wall and in-ceiling models that includes a series of higher-end, closed back, acoustic suspension models.

S&V: What are KLH’s top selling models these days? And what do you think is driving those sales?
Kelley: Our best-selling models are the KLH Model Five, Model Three, and Kendall in a variety of genuine wood veneers. The high-performance sound of these models has far exceeded the expectations of our customers and the market in general. They are routinely compared with products costing considerably more — some exponentially so. Our dealers frequently praise us for giving them the opportunity to bring premium sound and fit and finish to a broader demographic. And then there’s the timeless KLH design and our industry-leading warranty, both of which reinforce the brand promise.

The KLH Model Five in black.

S&V: Expand on the KLH promise and the particulars of the KLH warranty — what sets it apart from the competition?
Kelley: When I purchased KLH, an important part of my vision was to reestablish the KLH brand as a global market leader in premium sound. This really begins with the KLH brand promise, and every product we create and everything we do must consistently align with that promise: “To inspire, uplift, and empower people through the pure joy of music.” It is important to not lose sight of why people buy speakers in the first place.

We are all busy — our lives are filled with impossible schedule demands and we are pulled in many different directions throughout the day, so people are genuinely searching for a respite from the daily chaos of life. I believe firmly in the healing power of music, and further believe music reconnects us to moments in time and moves us through a full range of emotions, which is important for the human spirit. Simply stated, music plays a vital role in our daily lives, and we never lose sight of that fundamental truth at KLH.

KLH provides an industry-leading 10-year warranty because we believe you cannot put a price on peace of mind. Most of our competitors offer 2 to 5-year warranties. Moreover, every team member at KLH is empowered to take every reasonable step necessary to resolve any warranty claim or customer issue. We design, engineer, and manufacture our speakers to exceedingly high standards, rigorously testing every product prior to delivery and employing every measure possible to ensure a lifetime of worry-free listening enjoyment. At KLH, the brand promise is part of our culture, and we live it every day. [Editor’s note:: KLH also offers a 60-day return policy.]

S&V: We have seen a resurgence of retro audio products in recent years and KLH is obviously part of that with products like your remake of the Model Five and the new Model Three. What’s driving this trend and who’s buying these products?
Kelley: In some respects, the interest in retro audio products never really went away. For example, Klipsch has continued to find success with its Heritage line, which never went out of production. But if you take an even closer look, you will discover an audio community that has a high level of enthusiasm for the classic speaker designs of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. There are still many people out there who love their original Acoustic Research AR-3’s or JBL L100’s. I have been in the audio industry a long time and I’ve seen a lot of products come and go, which gives you a special appreciation for the ones that find enduring success. In our case, we have such a product in the KLH Model Five.

First, and foremost, people are buying these speakers because they sound great. The acoustic suspension design also solves difficult placement challenges because they can be placed 6 inches from the wall versus a typical bass-reflex design that requires 24-36 inches of space from the wall. The vintage look of the product is also timeless and has broad appeal to generations of music lovers.

We also have many people purchasing these speakers today who either owned them in the past, knew someone who owned them, or wanted to buy them back in the day but simply could not afford them. We are also seeing a younger crowd of audio enthusiasts turning to classic speaker designs. They really like retro styling, which is quite different from the speaker designs they were familiar with growing up. Many younger audio enthusiasts also grew up during the period of disposable electronics, so they genuinely appreciate KLH’s timeless design, great sound, simplicity, and use of sustainable materials and packaging.

S&V: What’s on the horizon? Any new products or remakes of other classic KLH models in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Kelley: We do have a higher-end Model Seven in the pipeline, but it is not a remake of a classic KLH model. Our philosophy is not so much to remake classic models as it is to start with the classic KLH look and apply modern materials and engineering to the acoustic-suspension design principles our co-founder Henry Kloss helped pioneer.

The yet-to-be-released KLH Model Seven is due out later this year.

S&V: Sounds exciting and we are honored to be the first to share this news with our readers. Can you tell me a little more about the Model Seven — when you plan to introduce it and maybe give us a sense of what price range you’re shooting for?
Kelley: The Model Seven will be the big brother to the Model Five. It will remain a 3-way design, but the Model Seven will use a much larger 13-inch woofer and 5-inch midrange driver. There aren’t very many contemporary loudspeaker designs that use a 13-inch woofer. But our 13-inch acoustic-suspension system is designed to operate in a very manageable 2.5 cubic foot enclosure. The loudspeaker is wider to accommodate the larger woofer, but its depth is under 10 inches. This gives it an appearance that is reminiscent of the original Boston Acoustics speakers of the late 1970s and early ’80s. And just like the KLH Model Three and Model Five, we will include the riser base to bring the loudspeaker to the proper listening angle and height. The Model Seven will be available in the third quarter, and the target retail price will be around $4,200 a pair.

S&V: What would Henry Kloss think of the new KLH?
Kelley: I like to think Henry would feel honored and pleased with the steady and considerable progress we have made. We are proud of the work we have done so far to reinvigorate the KLH brand with new products that reflect the original design philosophy of Henry Kloss. However, our work is just beginning, so stay tuned for even more excitement.


vincentdperrone's picture

What sets KLH Audio apart is their dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each product is meticulously engineered to reproduce music with incredible accuracy, offering an immersive and engaging listening experience. From the design of the cabinets to the selection of components, KLH leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of sonic excellence. Also, KLH Audio's commitment to affordability is commendable. By offering high-quality audio equipment at accessible price points, they have made it possible for a wider audience to enjoy the beauty of their products.

The revival of KLH Audio is a testament to the enduring appeal of classic audio equipment and the power of reinvention. With their resurgence, they have once again earned a place among the industry's top contenders, and audio enthusiasts can rejoice in the return of this beloved brand.