| audio, gear, kenwood, vintage | 22 comments

My primary set of speakers. These vintage Kenwood KL-4080 speakers were in near mint shape when I bought them, and after replacing the capacitors in the passive crossovers, they sound good as new.

I picked up this pair of vintage Kenwood KL-4080 speakers earlier this year for an amazing $60 on Kijiji. They were made some time in the early 70s, and appear to be part of a family including the KL-5080 and KL-7080. The user manual says copyright 1970, so that's my best guess for date of manufacture. They happened to be in a near perfect condition—only some scuffs and minor damage to the wood veneer—but the speaker cones themselves were mint.

Rated for a maximum input of 50 watts, these 3-way speakers have the advanatageous option of tri-amping, so you may power the two tweeters, mid-range, and the woofer all separately with a dedicated crossover—a feature I understand is somewhat rare to see on speakers of this age. Alas, I only have a single receiver (not even capable of bi-amping!), so I'm stuck with the built in passive crossover system. It sounds just fine to me.

The back of each speaker also has a knob to adjust the sound between "normal", "clear" and "soft" settings. The "clear" setting noticibly enhances the high frequencies, while "soft" reduces the mid-range frequencies. I prefer a little more pronounced highs, so I leave them on "clear".

A few months after purchasing them, I decided to take on the job of replacing the capacitors in the passive crossover of each speaker in an attempt to improve the sound. I assumed the originals were most likely dried up as a result of being 30+ years old. I opened up the back to find that it was actually a very unintimidating job, even for myself who has very little soldering experience. Each speaker ended up needing two 22uf 50v capacitors and one 2.2uf 50v capacitor. They also needed to be bi-polar (or non-polar) which I found out is common for speaker crossovers. I found suitable replacements from a local electronics supply shop (costing $12 total) and went to work.

The work went quick and easy without any problems. I re-assembled the speakers and wired them up to give them a test. They sounded great. Before I did the repairs, I could hear a little bit of distortion in some of the higher frequencies, but now it's completely gone.

I've had them running with the new capacitors for several weeks now without any problems, so I guess it's safe to say they're gonna hold up. Success!

22 comments

kitty approves

Man, your amp is super good looking.

Or at least I think that's your amp... F'ing stereos, how do they work?

Wow nice set up!! Where did you find those speaker stands?

I got them for free when I bought the speakers, but I don't think they belong together. It's just a coincidence that they look like a good match.

There's no identifying marks on them anywhere, either.

This is an unbelievable site. So much helpful info and interesting sections!

Hi there I got the 7080 and they sound good to be unknow to the public good base with was hard to find in vintage speakers from 70
they are not the best like my pionner 99a but they are no the worse and they are beutifull crafman

got the same speakers , they scream groovy , at a glance I knew they were cool .

i've got the Trio KL 5060A 3 way with horn tweeters and iron grilles beats the hell out of my Yamahas, they are just amazing sounding speakers with deep bass and silky smooth highs. i drive the with a 1970 Yamaha natural sound NS series old receiver CS-70 it a real match for that analog 70's sound.

Love the cabinet. Any information where I could find one like that?

LOVE the table/cabinet. Dream setup. Where did you find that table?

I bought these off of you and was running them off a macintosh ma230 and now soon to be running on a marantz 2250. Still sound good but will soon be replaced by klipsch heresy

Hello Jeff. I have these speakers. I see pic's of with the grill off. I can't seem to get the grill of mine. Any trick to it.Thanks Dave

There is a screw in the right down corner.
Got those speakers..mine start to sound strange sometime (cracking : like switching on radio). From the mids... :/ Any idea what should I try ?

I just bought a pair for $30 today, and I'm PUMPED! Now to touch them up and find something at IKEA that resembles those period perfect stands!

Thanks for posting this.

I still have the speaker stands in the picture if you want em

Brian, if you still have those stands, I'm interested.

I just got a pair of the kl-4080 myself, I noticed crackling from one of the midranges upon initial testing, turns out the glue had dried out along he outside edge of the cone and above a low volume the come edge vibrated. I put some aleenes tacky glue in a glue syringe gently lifted and glued the perimeter back down. I checked the other one and it was halfway loose so I good that one aswell. They work like new.

Hi, everybody! I found today in a local vintage store a set of KL 5060.The set is looking very nice but the guy asks for them $175.I assumed that the price is pumped out and didint purchase them.Im wondering if i made a mistake - they were looking so fine!

Just bringing my KL 4080s up from the basement to listen for the first time

I also have a pair of the same speakers that I bought at a Salvation Army for 75.00 mint condition ! Came with a Zenith Record player/cassette !

Hi,

I have the same speakers, but i'm not very happy with them :-)
Perhaps because woofer foam are very rigid.
I test crossover capacitor: it's ok.
Your foam are flexible ?
Thanks
Philippe

That's a beautiful and humble stereo setup! Just found your article as i'm new to the world of retro hifi. God help me :D I've picked up a few bits of gear and speaker wise some kl-4090's which have by all accounts been in storage wrapped for 50 years! I pick up tomorrow. How did you find out what to replace? Are there guides online?