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Kan they do it?
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terry
Senior Contributor 200+


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:21 pm    Post subject: Kan they do it? Reply with quote

I posted this on the Pink Fish Forum but thought that it should be here too.

Over a considerable period I have read with interest many threads and posts which dealt with Kans. I have also read with disbelief that people with relatively expensive equipment are happy with these small boxes.

It is difficult in the Northern parts of the UK to get an opportunity to even meet with a fellow audiophile never mind hear other equipment! Hence, on the spur of the moment last week, I bought a pair of original Kans just so that I could hear them.

The Kans arrived this morning. My initial reaction was shock and horror at the size. They were even smaller than I was expecting. My expectation was thus not very high for their performance. I took them out of the box and placed them on top of my 1m high KEF 'coffins' and connected them to my system. I was astounded!

All I have read has suggested that the sound from Kans is 'thin' and lacking in bass. I heard the contrary. I couldn't believe that the small boxes could produce such a rich and big sound.

I know that advocates of Kans suggest that they need plenty of power from the amps and a good source. With Naim CDSII/XPS and Naim 82/Hicap/250 I know that the power and quality is there in my system and the Kans really let it through.

I switched back to my large main speakers for a short time and centainly there is more detail and more bass and better defined bass there but the Kans haven't yet even been placed with care in any spot. They still sit on top of my main speakers. I know I can tighten that bass and get a better top end by taking care with positioning.

I now know why so many people love them and are happy not to change them. I now have a problem - where are they going to sited in my room.

Kan they do it? They certainly do!

Terry
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David
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry, do you see your Kans replacing your Concertos?

Which version do you have?

I am considering some used Kan Is.

David
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terry
Senior Contributor 200+


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
Terry, do you see your Kans replacing your Concertos?


David, definitely not - the Concertos are much better. The Kans did however surprise me with the 'size' of the sound.

David wrote:
Which version do you have?


I have been so busy that I haven't had any time to investigate any further. They are early Kans Serial Number 012457 and 8. No logo on front and not bi-wired. I am looking forward to doing some further investigation though when I can get a few spare moments.

I also very nearly bought a pair of LS3/5as last week. Just pipped at the last moment by another bidder.

Terry
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David
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx Terry, I missed some ls3/5a's recently that went for $700 Cdn. which I think is about equivalent to 300 GBP or so. Cdn. $s are about .75 US now.

What is the going rate for Kan I s in your neck of the woods. Don't worry about the conversion.

I saw some Kan IVs that went for about $260 US equivalent of 225 euros on ebay. I know from your site that there have been numerous revisions to the Kans, and that although considered very good are not up to the ls3/5a.

Best regards

David
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David
I paid 160 GB pounds for the Kans. I suspect that that was a fairly good bargain although they are early Kans. I haven't done a study of the prices but I seem to remember seeing others around the 180-200 pounds for the early Kans. Perhaps Hans has a better idea of prices in Europe.
Terry
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hans 67
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Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 39
Location: Holland

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:27 am    Post subject: prices and more Reply with quote

Hello all,

first I must say that I think the only KAN's are the mk I's and the mk II's, sorry. The later versions do not use the KEF B110 and are cheaper build.

The KAN's and the LS3/5a's are 2 totally different speakers. You may not compare them (yes, size and KEF B110). They both do things very good, but these are different things. It is a matter of taste not quality.

Most people prefer the later mk II's (with kustone and biwire) above all previous versions. But the early mk I's do the KAN things better. The later mk II's are smoother (going towards LS3/5a's (do not reach them by far)). If you prefer the real KAN sound then you must go for the earlier versions.

The KAN's are rare here in Holland. And not very well known. A little while ago someone offered a pair of mk I's with mk II stands for 300 Euro. I think that is a good price. But they did not sell fast (I do not know if he has sold them already).

Greetings, Hans
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hans

Am I correct in saying that allthough Kan IIs did not use the original B110s they did still use B110s in the form of B110B. I extracted the following information from the site called Pink Fish Media. Is this information incorrect?

1982 began doping the B110 with some sticky black mastic for damping purposes.

May 1985 Change to new long throw low frequency driver Kef B110B.

Terry



 
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hans 67
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Joined: 11 May 2003
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Location: Holland

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: versions Reply with quote

Hello all,

sorry for the confusion. With later versions I did mean to say that the versions after the mk II (thus the mk III and mk IV) do not use the KEF B110. I was replying to David who mentioned the mk IV's. Thus I meant to say that only the KAN mk I and the mk II are real KAN's! I think that the information on Pink Fish Media is correct. They also do not mention the mk III's and mk IV's.

The doping on the B110A's made them smoother sounding but at the expense of detail retrieval. The B110B's are smoother sounding by themselves because of the different surround. And also this surround limits detail retrieval.

Greetings, Hans
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hans
Thanks for that clarification. Do you have any documentation or details which I could publish on the site? Perhaps you would write a document about Kans, the specs, the changes in design etc which I could publish for others to read. Full credits would of course be provided for the author.
Best wishes
Terry
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David
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kans I was looking for had stands, but went for nearly the selling price of new Kans, with warranty, no shipping charges etc. Nearly $800 Cdn.

What can you say about ebay?

Some bargains, mostly no bargains. Terry you got a steal on yours.

David
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David
I suspect that Kans will be speakers which will always be sought after. Who knows they may start appreciating. $800 seems a bit excessive though. I could be tempted to sell mine on for that! Very Happy
Terry
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proffski
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1296
Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the early KANS sounded better. The Cabinets were purchased from a licensed manufacturer who went bust, originaly they were destined to be LS35a. When the consignment run out, the next lot of cabinets were NOT to BBC specification. Also the B110 was dropped for a more efficient unit but lacking subtelty. I have an early KAN for historical collecting reasons, but do not like the in your face sound.
There is a wealth of information out on the net about the LS35a and the Kan, it makes good reading. Whatever the viewpoint, they are a great collectors item, do not sell them, enjoy!
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Nime
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
It was fascinating reading about the differences between the various guises of the Kan. I had Mk1 Kans from new and loved and hated them for over 15 years until finally breaking free from their spell.

Towards the end I opened them up and rebuilt them in GRP spherical fishing floats. Running them in parallel with DIY coupled cavity subwoofers. I had 'discovered' classical organ music after hearing a Vierne recital on BBC Radio 3. Ironic that I should hear it on Kans. Confused

Reading about the difference between the Mk1 & Mk11 (biwired) finally answered something that has puzzled me for decades. I fell in love with Mk1 Kans driven by an LP12 32/160 Naim setup. But when I returned to the dealer for another listen I was sat in front of a set of biwired 2x250. I hated them! Detested the sound. Cold, lifeless, boring, limp...despite having exactly the same top flight LP12 up front.

To cut a long story short I was invited round to the nearby home of one of the staff who had Mk1 Kans to confirm my feelings about the Mk1's. Back came all the emotion, the power to stun, the "must listen" factor. I went straight back to the shop and bought Mk1's.

They were always magical despite my not being able to afford the Naim pre/power for some years. True they were a little 'hard'and tiring at high levels. But even at the end of our long relationship they could still send a shiver up my spine like nothing else I've heard.

I still have them and plan to use them in a second system.

Nime
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David
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everybody,

Just got my Kan 1s. Made in US by Isobarik Corporation, but Linns still the same. Spoke to a fellow who used to sell Linn/ Naim and he said that Linn did source the manufacturing for the North American market to a New York based firm.

They are the Mk 1, with banana connectors on the rear, well made, Teak veneer, not chipboard construction, B110 and Scanspeak drivers. Great condition for being probably 20 years old. Linn couldn't give me the manufacture date, but a rep from the former US distributor said they would be about 1984 or 1985. The serial numbers are in the 3000s, so they must have had a different numbering system for the US made Kans.

Connected them to my Nait 1, in a small bedroom, and was knocked out by their realistic sound. Bass was quite adequate given the small size of the enclosure and given that I just set them on top of my MF MC-2s. No blue tack just gravity. Voices are very clear and bass clean and tight. Guitar, sounds like guitar, no bass overhang.

Brought them to the living room-much larger 15 x 22 feet and hooked them up to my Citation 19 amp and RGR pre. They performed much better in the smaller room, with the Nait. There didn't seem to be any problem for the Nait to drive, although, it has been said they need a lot of power. I will check the power leds on the Citation to see what they are drawing. There is some magic in the combination. I can't wait to get my new quad Svetlanas for my ST-70 and try it out. The Kans are a bright speaker and I am looking forward to trying them with tubes. I know a lot of LS3/5a owners use the ST-70.

Bottom line, I don't know what they did or how they did it, but it is a wonderful little speaker even after all these years. I hear the II is even better, and one pair went for 175 GBP on ebay just recently, which is about the price that the 1s have been going for.

Listen to some Kans, and if you get a chance buy a set while they are still a relative bargain.

David
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Parts
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006
Posts: 174
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I would refesh this thread.

I have still got my Kan MkII, and quite happy with them, I have to say they can be quite impressive with the right ancillaries.

Here is a pic, nice and plain with simple lines.

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