My First "Stereo"

April 14, 2023

My first "stereo" was a previously owned RCA console. I knew nothing about audio or hi-fi. When it did not sound anything like the Baltimore Symphony in the Lyric Theater (I am dating myself) I started by pulling out the tubes, cute little glass bottles that generated the sound. Not that doing so taught me anything or fixed the vague sound. At some point soon the console ended in the trash. By some lucky process in a few years I was using legendary Marantz tube gear and the legendary original Quad electrostatic speakers. I was by then in the hi-fi business having taken over my father's business. One day someone brought the Quads into my store not having a clue what they were. I knew what they were only by reading audio magazines. I dropped them off at friendly customer's house to have him play with them since he was a serious music listener with a good system. A few days later he had them hanging from the ceiling of his living room and the sound was magnificent, nothing like any speaker either he or I had heard before. He bought them from the guy who brought them to me. He was so bewitched by those speakers he soon purchased from me an even better pair of electrostatic speakers, a pair of KLH Nine electrostatic panels, having been impressed how much more like real music the Quads were than his AR3 box speakers and now the KLH's kicked things up few notches. He gave me the Quads. More to the story: Fate smiled upon him when he discovered someone selling a double pair of KLH Nine speakers! A double pair, two panels on each side, was truly the Holy Grail of loudspeakers back in the 1960's and 1970's. The KLH Nine has often been noted as one of the ten best speakers of all time. Even today they are hard to equal at any price for naturalness of the sound of music.

A few years ago I passed up purchasing that double pair from his estate. I don't know what I was thinking. I had the room for them. I had the money for them. It just seemed like too much work to buy, move, set up speakes six feet tall and four feet wide on each side. After the opportunity passed I realized that I missed. But, now for the rest of my story. A few months ago I discovered that someone I knew from the audio manufacturing world was downsizing and had a double pair of KLH Nines. To paraphrase Edgar Allan Poe. you who by now might know the nature of my soul would not presume I would pass up the rae opportunity this time. So now after forty seven years I have my own double pair shipped all the way from Park City, Utah. Now please don"t ask how wonderful they are. You would be consumed by envy. But there is a take home message. If you really wish to have a large helping of realistic you-are-there music in your home, the initial struggle with size and price will pale in comparison to the enjoyment you will get. Find and sieze the opprotunity. (No, you don't need a double pairof KLH Nine's)

Here is an image of one channel of a double pair (Not my image.)

klh 9 speakers online