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KLH Model Twenty-Plus Turntable and Speakers

Stephen Coles

Today, my KLH Model Twenty-Plus and I celebrate our one year anniversary. Here’s what I wrote in my journal the day after I responded to the Craigslist ad:

There they sat — three gorgeous wooden pods, floating atop white metal bases patterned after Eero Saarinen’s famous “Tulip” design. It’s named for a flower, but the Finn must have had water in mind when he drew these shapes. After a droplet submerges below the surface, the water recoils skyward in a form very much like Saarinen’s, with a bead of liquid on top. In this case, the beads are walnut boxes — two house stereo speakers, and the third, a turntable and radio hidden inside a lidded cabinet.

Sadly, the 20+ has yet to spin more than a few records because the power cord won’t stay connected. I’m sure it’s a simple fix, but I have neither the tools nor the skills to do the job. Can anyone recommend a cheap Bay Area electrician? Or maybe you’re handy with screws and wires and want to trade a few drinks for your services.

KLH Model Twenty-Plus (angle)

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20 Comments

  1. 05.19.07 — Andrew Hayden

    Nice Model Twenty Plus, it’s worth having it checked out and repaired as needed. These sound fantastic when fixed properly. I wrote an article in ARC on KLH modular systems and mention the Twenty Plus.

  2. 05.20.07 Stephen

    Thanks, Andrew. Any tips on searching for a qualified technician to tune ‘er up?

  3. 06.28.07 — Justin

    My parents had those as we were growing up. Very awesome set. I would love to have them and retro fit them with new speakers and new turntable.

  4. 08.04.07 — Bruce

    I have a Twenty Plus as well, although mine still has the original speaker covers, which are a tan burlap color with metal KLH badges in the bottom right corners. Mine also differs from yours in that mine has a little turquoise patch on the top of the tone arm’s cartridge. My understanding is that they were around $500 new. The woman I bought mine from had bought it new from a store in Arizona in late ’64 or early ’65. I paid $100 for it. She told me the turntable didn’t work and that cost me $10 to fix. It just needed oiling and cleaning. Mine works like a charm and adorns my living room in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I buy and sell and collect records. I have 5 or 6 working turntables in my house and I believe it may be the coolest stereo ever made.

  5. 08.13.07 — tin

    hi,
    i just got the klh 20 turntable and have problems operating it. i’m really confused with the manual & auto switch. the tonearm just acting weird. maybe it’s something i’m, doing wrong. just wondering where i can find a manual for it. if anyone can help me out, that will be much appreciated. thank you, tin

  6. 10.18.07 Wayne Scott Sandifer

    I have my 1967 Model Twenty-also with the small turquoise stripe on the tonearm! During it’s time and for years later, this was hard to beat for 450 bucks! The TT may be a tad weak but all in all a wonderful unit still!

  7. 03.15.08 — Thomas

    I have a KLH model 20. Ive spent weeks looking for a replacement catridge/ needle.. SO far Ive found nothing.. Any ideas / tips/ urls anything that would help me get my record player working?

  8. 05.15.08 — Carrie

    I have a Model Twenty-Plus in fair condition from my grandparents house. Having a very hard time finding any information on actual value…any suggestions on where to look?

  9. 07.05.08 — Ben

    @Carrie: The Twenty-Plus set is scarce enough (and the ones that are out there are in such varying conditions) that any given set is probably worth pretty much just what someone is willing to pay for it… :)
    Looking to get yours to a good home? Drop me a line at ben (underscore) zotto at yahoo.

  10. 09.01.08 deltasleep

    You can find a new needle and cartridge from partsexpress.com
    The turntable uses a Pickering V-15. Mine has an awful rumble. Can anybody recommend the best way to get it open? The amp and speakers are so well balanced it blows my socks off, and I really want to get the turntable running solid. I am refinishing the cabinets and I’ll drop a link off when I blog the pictures.

  11. 09.17.08 — George

    I have this same stereo. It was working perfectly when I bought it but now only the speaker on one side works I’ve changed the wires around and both speakers work so I’m thinking a tube might need to be replaced. Do you know anything about it? or where I can find the info. It’s a great stereo and I have a large collection of records that I love to play. You have a great site

  12. 09.17.08 — Roger Harris

    I was lucky enough to buy a Model Twenty Plus recently-a refurbished one with Model Seventeen speakers. The FM has amazing reception and clarity of sound which I have come to expect from KLH and the phono has 4 speeds-yes, even a 16 rpm setting. Anyone know where to get any 16 rpm records?
    My second KLH love and only other indulgence I will allow, right now anyway, is a Model Eight radio, whose sound just makes me shake my head. I do not consider myself an audiophile but i love vintage KLH products and urge others to try them.
    I also have some KLH Research Ten Series, CL-4 floor standing speakers, circa 1976, in storage- I am the original owner. I may sell them by the end of the year if anyone is interested. They worked fine the last time i tested them.

  13. 10.24.08 — Marconi

    I just picked up a beautiful Twenty-Plus 3 piece set from a yardsale for $25. It always pays to ask if they have any stereo equipment they want to sell…they said yes and went into the house and brought this out….even has the stands, manual and paperwork…sweet. Now to clean it up and test it. This one is going on ebay soon! Ciao!

  14. 10.24.08 — Marconi

    Well. I cleaned everything up and everything looks near mint…wood is new looking. I hooked everything up and discovered that the left channel is out…drat. I removed the bottom cover and sprayed all of the pots with contact cleaner and blew out the dust. Still only get a slight hum out of the left channel…right channel sounds great. I need to get this fixed before I sell it…the value would be so much more if it worked correctly. Is there anything I can check that might be a common problem with this unit? I saw where others are having the same problem. Thanks, Marconi

  15. 11.24.08 — j clock

    have been looking to buy model tewnty or twenty-plus. Anybody have one to sell?

  16. 01.30.09 — john

    looking for a model 20 set to purchase

  17. 03.10.09 — Richard

    I have a model 20+ identical in every way to the photos you see shown above with one exception, my grill covers are an ivory color matching the color of the tulip shaped bases.

  18. 08.08.09 — Harold W.

    J. Clock and John…I have a Model Twenty if you are still looking. The speakers are missing and a vacuum tube or two may need replacement. It comes with original Plexiglas dust cover! All functions work and the player has a removable power cord.

  19. 09.26.09 — Skip

    I have a Model Twenty with Twenty speakers. It has a gray turntable instead of white and “chrome” knobs. I also have a pair of Model 6 speakers with a Marantz 2238 and a 2245. It’s hard to beat the vintage KLH sound. I have been looking for a Twenty Plus for over a year with no luck. Does anyone know where I can find one?

  20. 12.28.09 — Skip Cole

    I recently got a Twenty Plus and had the same problem with only one channel working. I had a hard time finding someone to work on it but finally did and now it is working great. I understand that the cartridge is a Pickering V 15. I have not had a chance to check it out because the Twenty Plus is in FL and I am in Maine. I am wondering however if a standard Pickering V 15 would fit the slender tone arm. Does anyone know what I should get for a replacement cartridge and where? Also does anyone have a manual?
    Skip

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