Everything about my favorite speakers – KLIPSCH KG-4. Specs, upgrades, sound demos, videos, reviews.

I’ve tried to put together as much info as possible into just one page, so you don’t have to search for many uncategorized bits of information. Yes, correct, I’m trying to compile the most detailed page about one of my favorite speakers – KLIPSCH KG-4.

SPECS:


KLIPSCH KG-4 LOUDSPEAKERS SPECS

PRICE NEW: 400 USD
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 38Hz-20kHz(+-)3dB
SENSITIVITY: 94dB @ 1watt/1meter
POWER HANDLING: 100 watts maximum continuous (500 watts peak)
NOMINAL IMPEDANCE: 6 ohms
TWEETER: K-74-K 1″ (2.54cm) Phenolic dome compression driver
HIGH FREQUENCY HORN: 90(o)x40(o) Exponential Horn
WOOFER: Two K-8-K 8″ (20.32cm) Poly ICG cone active / KD-12 12″ (30.48cm) Fiber-composite cone passive
ENCLOSURE MATERIAL: Medium density fiberboard construction (MDF)
ENCLOSURE TYPE: Bass reflex via passive radiator
DIMENSIONS: 24.25″ (61.6cm) x 15.75″ (40cm) x 10.75″ (27.3cm)
WEIGHT: 40 lbs. (18.2kg)
FINISHES: Walnut Oil, Oak Oil, Finished Black
BUILT FROM: 1985
BUILT UNTIL: 1992

KLIPSCH KG-4 WOOFER K-8-K SPECS

Impedance = 4.00 Ohms
Re = 7.00 Ohms
Xmax = 4.0000mm
Watts = 100.0000Watts
Sensitivity = 88.58db
Qms = 5.900
Qes = 0.405
Qts = 0.379
Vas = 3.0724cuFT = 86.987 liters
Fs = 27.99Hz

 

PRAISING KLIPSCH KG-4


I’ve heard a lot of speakers. Cheap, expensive, big, small, tall, round – you name it. I own several pairs of speakers thinking they are “OK”. I visit local major audio show rooms for auditions monthly. The speakers shown there are usually top notch, “technological edge” and all that other marketing mumbo-jumbo. Besides the loud marketing lingo and small yacht price tag I found their sound “probably OK”. I mean I was not quite impressed. But… One day I’ve heard Klipsch KG4 at my friend’s house. It have changed everything. Apparently I was living in the darkness. Seriously. Compared to all other speakers – KG4 is simply a touch of angel’s wing. They use horn tweeter for high frequencies reproduction, two drivers for wide frequency range and bass reflex via passive radiator cabinet design. May be this is a special magic mix that makes their sound so awesome.

CLOSER LOOK

The two-way KG 4 floor standing loudspeaker was first introduced in 1985 and manufactured by Klipsch until 1992. While no longer in production KG 4 model loudspeakers are still owned and listened to by Klipsch fans around the world. I haven’t tried them as a part of home theater, so I use them strictly for 2 channel stereo setups.

THE BUILD and THE FEATURES

DRIVERS. The two-way Klipsch KG4 speakers are each fitted with a phenolic horn tweeter and two poly woofer diaphragms set in a medium-density fiberboard enclosure. The woofers are each 8 inches and the tweeter is 1 inch. This drivers combination allows to reproduce the frequency range of 38-20,000 Hz, offering close to the full range of human hearing; they have a slight accentuation of high-range frequencies. There is a place where you can order a titanium replacement for the tweeter that may improve the sound. Check the UPGRADE A in ADDITIONS section below. The Klipsch KG4 speaker system provides 100 watts of continuous power per channel and what is especially nice – they are quite sensitive (94 decibell) and will sing with virtually any class of amplifier.

CABINET & FINISH. The 40 pounds cabinet is quite sturdy and available in different finishes: Walnut Oil, Oak Oil, and Black. My favorite is Walnut Oil.

GRILLS. Classy looking grills with plastic clips. Very sturdy speaker fabric of gray color.

WIRE TERMINALS. The binding-post terminals have a very good quality, so AWG12 cable goes easily, they also accept banana plugs.

RISERS. There are small detachable risers provided, but I would not count on them, I recommend stands. Risers have small metal pins to protect your flooring. See UPGRADE D in ADDITIONS section below.

ROOM PLACEMENT

Room placement is very critical. I would not put them in the “dead” corners,  they are best in some distance from corners and walls and at a little angle so the sound crosses well in front of the sweet spot of the “listening area”. You need to experiment and you will notice how the sound changes. Also I’d recommend to experiment with the wall distance, do NOT put them too close to the wall, try and listen, this may affect the bass greatly. Another thing – stands. Although KG-4 have their own risers – I do believe they sound better on the stands. See UPGRADE D in ADDITIONS section below.

SOUND

The highs are never painfully sharp. They are silky. The bass is not disturbing, but it is full bodied and fast. Mids are simply in the right place and very well articulated. The sound is big. Really big. it is huge. Wall of sound. The sound is so springy deep and tangible so you can cut it with the knife. I do believe that KG-4 sounds better when put on the stands. I have to admit thought, that sound is far from being analytical, it is full of life and emotional. These speakers love drums, but may be harsh on complex vocals. Overall – near perfect speakers for rock, jazz and electronica. Classical music lovers probably will have other preferences.

See my videos with sound demonstration in VIDEOS section below.

CONCLUSION

The price for the new? 400-550 dollars street price in the end of 80’s. I was less impressed by the system with the cost of my house, but these speakers are just a pleasure for the ears, especially considering the budget. Apparently, KG4 is still very famous and popular! Although Internet is full of very mixed reviews – there are haters and lovers, but obviously there are no unmoved listeners! Quite a result for a 30 years old speakers with the price of a few hundred. Wow! Yes, my review is biased! I simply love them.

ADDITIONS


ADDITION 1: RECOMMENDED CABLES

Usually I do not care about cables so much, the rule is very simple – the cable must be decent. The rest is marketing to me. But there are connoisseurs who have their own opinion and I’d rather include it here. The common recommendation is: NO SILVER! Below is the list of recommended cables:
  • Cardas Golden Cross to begin with
  • Cardas Golden Reference will give better results
  • Argentum Acoustics
  • XLO Ref.3 and up
I know, the price of these cables is even higher than the price for the speakers… and I never personally tried these cables with my KG-4, so don’t take my word, I’m just trying to collect as much info about KG-4 as I can.

ADDITION 2: POPULAR UPGRADES

UPGRADE A: Bob Crites have designed and contracted a fabricator to make a titanium replacement for the phenolic horn drivers showing scope readings of a virtually, very flat response on supposedly sounding much smoother and liquid. According to some owners – a 50 USD tweeter upgrade gives very smooth, open, and airy sound, but without the jagged harshness.

I wanted to keep my speakers in original state, so never tried this upgrade.

UPGRADE B: New crossovers. The same fella makes crossovers for your beloved KG-4 with better capacitors. Mine are in a good shape, so I had no desire to replace the entire crossover.
Bob Crites crossover repair kits page: http://www.critesspeakers.com/crossover_repair_kits.html
UPGRADE C: original speaker fabric. The fabric used by Klipsch for many years was the Klipsch Heritage #17. Bob Crites has it as well.
UPGRADE D: I have made my own stands for KG-4. I’m very pleased with the sound and look. Now I have the sound waves leveled with my ears, the audible difference is not that huge, but it is noticeable: bass is lighter and probably tighter, the rest of the sound palette haven’t changed, highs are a tad crispier.
The overall look of the stands presented in this video:

 

VIDEOS


Soundcheck 1, Technics SA-500 vintage receiver:

Soundcheck 2, Technics SA-500 vintage receiver:

Soundcheck 3, TEAC CD-Player via Sony receiver, KLIPSCH KG-4 speakers:

Just a general overview:

Technics high-end setup drives KLIPSCH KG-4:

Three how-to videos about building KLIPSCH KG-4 stands:

Part 1:

Part2:

Part3:

 

LINKS


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