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Stereo, Amp suggestions for KLF30


emmvette
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I'm looking for some recommendations on what could pair well with KLF30's.  My brother is going to dust his off and we've started looking for something to drive them with. The budget is $350 max, so no fancy tube amp suggestions.  What kind of power do we really need to drive the dual 12" drivers?  I've been looking for some used NAD, Nakamichi, Harmon Kardon, or similar rigs but haven't come up with just the right one yet.  I missed out on a refreshed Harmon Kardon HK930 for $350 a few months back; I was sad about that.

 

Being efficient they probably don't need a ton of watts, but I'm interested in hearing if any of you have tried something in the 50 watt range and then found out it wasn't enough.  I suppose it's possible to find a tube amp stereo for $350, but it likely won't be a Fisher 400.  

 

Let me know your experiences, Klipsch forum!

 

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I would look for a 1970s HK 430 or HK 630 they sound awesome. If you want new look at Accessories 4less ….you can get AVR and just run 2 channels. I would recommend this one it has phono and pre outs for future power amp if you do that.   

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/intdtr404/integra-dtr-40.4-7.2-ch-x-110-watts-thx-a/v-receiver/1.html 

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KLF-30's do good with low power, high power and anything in between as long as it's 'quality' power. On the other hand, they can be very impressive with a cheap, high power pro-amp. They will rock. However......

If the cabs aren't solid (leaking away bass) they will not sound right. The mids and highs will sound shrill and fatigued because the bass isn't right. Also, make sure ALL drivers are not out of phase. It is known with these speakers (as well as other Klipsch models) that the positive and negative markings are not all the same and have been hooked up wrong somewhere along the line.

Before you start rolling amps, make sure the cabinets and drivers are in order or you're just pissing in the wind. Been there....done THAT.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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@emmvette,

3 hours ago, emmvette said:

NAD, Nakamichi, Harmon Kardon

 

The three brands you mentioned above are all very good.  Models probably vary.

 

3 hours ago, emmvette said:

What kind of power do we really need to drive the dual 12" drivers?

As for power needed,

  • What is the volume of your room in cu.ft.
  • Is the room "live," "dead," or "medium?"
  • How far away do you sit?
  • How loud do you play music?  Classical full orchestra probably needs very short (instantaneous; measured in milliseconds) peaks of about 115 dB peaks at your ears, according to Paul W. Klipsch (but he pointed out that 115 dB continuous or average would be "Too damn loud."  While controversial, to get those peaks you probably need blunt, longer peaks of about 105 dB, at your ears, not at 1m away from the speaker!  Who knows what the usual power capacity in watts would have to be?  It is common to call 85 dB "average" level, but it's really not an arithmetical average (mean).  Klipsch called it "Medium Level," which is much better.

It happens that the KLF-30 is 3 dB less sensitive than the Klipschorn, which makes it extraordinarily sensitive ("efficient").  It happens that I have Klipschorns in a room of known characteristics.  So, after subtracting 3 dB SPL for the difference in sensitivity, in a 4,000 cu.ft. room, moderately treated, so a bit deader than the typical living room, at 13 feet away from the center line between the speakers, we have, very conservatively:

 

Power needed @13 feet:

 

Medium Classical Passages: Less than 1/2 watt (89 dB)  

Very Loud, Blunt Peaks: 64 watts (110 dB)* 

Very Brief, Very Loud Peaks for just a moment, measured in milliseconds: 128 watts, 113 dB**

 

* To be conservative, use a honestly rated amp of 64 watts per channel or greater; we don't know how blunt the peaks will be.  I used the blunt peaks in "Fanfare for the Common Man," by Copland

** O.K, this doesn't quite reach the 115 dB PWK specified for "blood stirring" instantaneous peaks, but I held this calculation to 3 dB headroom (128 watts) over the blunt peak level (64 watts) to be conservative and conventional.  According to Dope From Hope, Vol.16, No. 1, January 1977, a good amplifier driving a good speaker would be capable of passing presumably very brief peaks of 10 dB higher than the nominally "average" power, presumably without clipping, depending on the brevity of the peak.  

 

N.B. Some speakers are more difficult to drive than others at the same sensitivity, due to impedance issues, and other factors.  I don't know if the KLF-30 is one of the difficult ones.  Somebody else here will know.

 

 

 

 

 

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Similar to the RF-7's the KLF-30, and 20 for that matter sound better with as much clean power as you can give them. I am powering two pair of my 30s with Emotiva XPA-1 500 and 600 watt monoblocks. My third pair is running off an Emotiva XPA-2 with 300 wpc. 

 

My advice is to find a decent amp, B&K, BGW, Adcom, NAD, Sherbourn among others... and feed them some good quality power on the cheap 

 

265 wpc for this one, seems to be in good shape too https://www.ebay.com/itm/BGW-750B-750C-Amp-Amplifier-Just-Serviced/303083648660?hash=item4691317694:g:FAkAAOSwL8xcaFep&frcectupt=true

 

 

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7 hours ago, teaman said:

Similar to the RF-7's the KLF-30, and 20 for that matter sound better with as much clean power as you can give them. I am powering two pair of my 30s with Emotiva XPA-1 500 and 600 watt monoblocks. My third pair is running off an Emotiva XPA-2 with 300 wpc. 

 

My advice is to find a decent amp, B&K, BGW, Adcom, NAD, Sherbourn among others... and feed them some good quality power on the cheap 

 

265 wpc for this one, seems to be in good shape too https://www.ebay.com/itm/BGW-750B-750C-Amp-Amplifier-Just-Serviced/303083648660?hash=item4691317694:g:FAkAAOSwL8xcaFep&frcectupt=true

 

 

Using Bel Canto REF-1000s (something like the 500 or 1000s works well).  They need lots of clean power if in a larger room.  Smaller room, not as much though as teaman said, quality power.  Also the amp needs to provide lots of current.  Their impedance isn''t benign.

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I live about 30 minutes from you. I have a Harman Kardon 430 if you want to hear how it would sound with your KLF’s. Shoot me a PM if you’re interested, and I can bring it over for you to try out before you make your decision. I won’t be selling mine, but at least you’ll get to hear it first. It’s a great sounding receiver.

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15 hours ago, garyrc said:

I don't know if the KLF-30 is one of the difficult ones.  Somebody else here will know.

More often than not, speakers with dual woofers have them wired in parallel and thus tend to present a low-ish load. To be on the safe side, @emmvette, you should probably limit your choice of amps to those rated into 4 ohm loads.  There should be plenty of viable options to choose from on the used market in Chicago.

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19 hours ago, emmvette said:

I'm looking for some recommendations on what could pair well with KLF30's.  My brother is going to dust his off and we've started looking for something to drive them with. The budget is $350 max, so no fancy tube amp suggestions.  What kind of power do we really need to drive the dual 12" drivers?  I've been looking for some used NAD, Nakamichi, Harmon Kardon, or similar rigs but haven't come up with just the right one yet.  I missed out on a refreshed Harmon Kardon HK930 for $350 a few months back; I was sad about that.

 

Being efficient they probably don't need a ton of watts, but I'm interested in hearing if any of you have tried something in the 50 watt range and then found out it wasn't enough.  I suppose it's possible to find a tube amp stereo for $350, but it likely won't be a Fisher 400.  

 

Let me know your experiences, Klipsch forum!

 

 

Do you have any sort of receiver, integrated amp, etc., currently that might have preamp outputs?  If so, you could use that and find a separate power amp which would give you typically more power than having to having to "pay" for other controls that you might not need.  Also, with any older gear (30+ years) like some mentioned, they would need to be gone through and be updated thus adding more expense.  

 

IF you happened to have a preamp, integrated, or receiver with amplifier outputs, look at a separate power amp instead and maybe something newer that will be less hassle.  Something like a 75wpc Onkyo M-5010 can be had for $250 or so and there are others in that same range.  A used Onkyo M-282 is around $150 and a good 100wpc amp.  I was a rep for Onkyo/Integra for about 10 years.  Used Crown amps are also a good bet.

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Just a remark about power ... don't have klf30's :) .  Used to run my KPT-904's with a Marantz 2252B (52wpc) and it was very, very good.  But, upgraded to a Crown K1 (350wpc) and indeed there is a difference :D  Bass is tighter/faster :D 

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2 hours ago, Ski Bum said:

More often than not, speakers with dual woofers have them wired in parallel and thus tend to present a low-ish load. To be on the safe side, @emmvette, you should probably limit your choice of amps to those rated into 4 ohm loads.  There should be plenty of viable options to choose from on the used market in Chicago.

 

I hadn't considered this.  Are the dual 12" woofers wired in parallel resulting in a 4 ohm load? 

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