KLH Audio Has New Representation in Australia
Melbourne-based distributor Jay Vee Technologies has snapped up Australian distribution rights for legacy US brand, KLH Audio.
The acquisition is seen as a deft move for a brand that’s seen as a “sleeper” by veteran audiophiles who still celebrate KLH’s mammoth contribution to audio.
While the company hasn’t had an Aussie distributor for about three decades, KLH in its heyday racked up awards for its often unique but always great sounding models. Back in the day, KLH was a strong selling speaker brand in Australia with models ranging from the affordable to the tear-inducing price tag of its upper range of loudspeakers.
At the time, and this isn’t as well-known as it deserves to be, KLH was the largest speaker brand in the world. Located in those days in Cambridge, Massachusetts, KLH had a workforce of more than 300 employees and shipped 30,000 speakers annually to six continents. Also now largely forgotten by many is the significant fact that Henry Kloss was one of the company’s three founders. The others were Malcolm S. Low and Josef Hofmann.
KLH’s milestones include the forerunner to the now ubiquitous Tivoli Model One radio of today. It was called the Model Eight, and it was the first-ever high sensitivity FM table radio.
This was followed by a loudspeaker regarded by many as one of the finest ever made. It was called the KLH Model Nine, and it was an electrostatic model. A speaker that The Absolute Sound’s Neil Garder, rates as one of the best dozen ever made. KLH had many other award-winning pioneering products. Who could forget the Model Eleven, the world’s first portable solid-state radio?
Ray Dolby is now universally known for his noise reduction technology. But he can thank KLH for putting him on the global stage. It was KLH who introduced Ray Dolby to consumers by using his technology in the Model Forty reel-to-reel tape recorder and the first ever to carry Dolby noise reduction.
KLH was no slouch in loudspeaker design. The Model Five, Six and Model Seventeen used the acoustic suspension system developed by audio luminaries, Edgar Villchur and Henry Kloss. If the name Villchur resonates, it’s probably because he’s credited with designing the world’s first three-point suspension turntable. But others say the schoolteacher who lived in Essendon, Melbourne and developed the Orpheus Silex three-point suspension turntable in 1940 should get the credit.
Fast forwarding to the present, KLH Audio now makes a huge range of loudspeakers including the newly updated and award-winning Model Five, 3-way 10” loudspeaker. Today's offering of this classic speaker has real wood veneers, cast aluminum baskets, and uses those same acoustic suspension design principles made famous by founder Henry Kloss.
Available now in English Walnut or West African Mahogany veneer, there's also optional Stonewash Linen and Old World Linen grilles, along with an options 5-degree slant dedicated riser stands available. The Model Five sells in Australia for $3,998 /pair.
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher was born in England and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia. He developed an early love of music and playing bass guitar before discovering the studio and the other side of the mixing desk. After a few years writing for audio magazines, Marc saw the future in digital publishing and founded the first version of StereoNET, known at the time as Planet Audio, in 1999.
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