Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

It’s hard to take seriously specs like -3dB at 35Hz and 92dB sensitivity in a small, closed box like the KLH Albany bookshelf speaker. It denies Hofmann’s Law, the “H” in KLH, from the early ’70s, relating box volume, sensitivity, and bass extension.

Allen Edelstein
United States

It’s an interesting point, Allen. KLH cofounder Josef Anton Hofmann’s “law” that loudspeaker engineers could only ever implement two of the three elements that you note in their designs still broadly holds true. As I noted in my most recent editorial, as impressed as I am with many aspects of KLH’s new loudspeaker lineup, I have my own doubts about their speakers’ stated low-frequency limits and sensitivity figures.

Regarding the Albany, I think there was a reason that KLH elected to pair the bookshelf model with one of their subwoofers during the dealer event I attended -- it needed more bass. I’ll reserve any further judgment since I am not formally reviewing the Albany. I am reviewing the flagship Kendall, however, a ported, floorstanding model the company boasts as having 96dB sensitivity and a -3dB limit of 25Hz. KLH told me the former specification is measured in-room, not anechoically, and I’m assuming the latter is, too. It may be that KLH is -- let’s call it liberal -- with their specs, but then again, so are many other manufacturers. No matter. We will be measuring the Kendall in the anechoic chamber at Canada’s National Research Council and our findings will accompany my review. . . . Hans Wetzel