As of 11/2010, my current shop labor rate is $50 per hour.
Basic restoration labor covers the time it takes to remove all the
components and disassemble the cabinets,
fix any structural problems and/or substrate issues, apply new paper-backed veneer to
"B" style Khorn cabinets, sand and detail the veneer to prep for finish, satin spray
lacquer finish, detail and cleaning after the lacquer, re-assembly of the cabinets and
installation of components. It takes me about 60 hours of labor to do
this work, which costs $3,000.
Material costs for the basic restoration (listed above) runs about $900. This includes the veneer, veneer glue, finish, fillers, solvents, sandpaper, fasteners, and other miscellaneous supplies. The veneer cost is based on a premium material like rosewood at $9 per square ft. X 64 square feet = $576 (included in the $900 cost).
So, if you brought me your Khorns, had me do the basic restoration work only,
and picked them back up, your total cost for the labor and materials would be
estimated at $3,900, and your Khorns would look like brand new Khorns, only with
an exotic veneer!
If your Khorns are NOT the "B" style (with the extra riser), and you want them to be "B" style, I can build risers and an extra "plate" at a cost of $300.
If your Khorns are "C" style (without the extra riser), and we're leaving them
that way, deduct $300 from the
veneering cost above.
If your Khorns do not have factory finished/painted backs, you might consider having me finish them while I'm doing the other work. Finishing the backs of Khorns is kind of a luxury item, because when they're tucked in the corners, nobody sees the backs. But Klipsch finished the backs of Khorns (except for "raw" versions), so most people also want to have their newly restored Khorns completely finished. When I finish the backs of Khorns, I spend quite a bit of time filling, sanding, and prepping before I actually get to do the painting. I use a satin black spray paint as a finish coat. Finishing the backs adds another $150 in materials and 15 hours labor for a total of $900.
If the backs of your Khorns are already factory finished, you might consider having me refinish them as part of the restoration. Applying new veneer will damage the factory black paint on the edges when the veneer is trimmed and sanded. The cost for refinishing the backs of factory finished Khorns, may cost less money than the unfinished ones.
In addition to finishing the backs, I also offer the option of enclosing the back part of the bass horn with 3/4" plywood to create an enclosed horn. This enables the listener to toe their Khorns in or out a little bit in the corners with very little compromise of the sound quality, since the speaker is not depending on the corner walls of the room to complete the horn. This also eliminates the questions of whether or not the bass horn is properly sealed in the corners. I've had the opportunity to directly compare the sound of an identical pairs of Khorns with and without enclosed backs, and there is definately an improvement in bass clarity with the enclosed backs. So much so, that it even improves the low-midrange clarity. Enclosing the backs requires that I also make new side grill frames and I also always completely finish or refinish the paint on the backs as well. So the cost of enclosing the backs is considerably higher, since I'm providing labor and materials for four side grill frames and cloth, enclosing the backs with plywood, extending the plates of the upper horn section by 3/4" so they match the added thickness of the plywood enclosing the bass horns, and finishing the backs of the cabinets.
Total estimated hours for this work is 35, materials cost is $250, for a total
of $2,000 for this option.
When replacing grill cloth, it takes quite a few hours to remove the staples from the six grills. It takes about 2 hours for each to install new grill cloth. I figure 15 hours labor for this job, and the materials cost for black grill cloth and staples runs about $100 for a total of $850.
If the side grill frames are broken, they can sometimes be repaired. I simply charge by the hour for this repair work. Sometimes the frames are broken so badly that it just makes sense to build new frames. The cost of building new frames, sanding and painting them, and covering them with new black grill cloth (including covering the upper frames with cloth) is $1,000. We save a little bit by me not having to remove staples from frames that we know need to be replaced anyway.
Please keep in mind that upgrading to the V-Trac horn lowers the grill cloth
pricing above, since the grill cloth is included with the V-Trac.
When I do complete restorations, I often add upgraded components to the speakers.
So here's a list of options and pricing:
Crites cast-frame woofers $299 - with trade in of a pair of good working K33's $225.
Crites tweeters $180 - with trade in of a pair of good working K77's $100.
Beyma CP-25 tweeters $270 - with trade in of a pair of good working K77's $190.
Volti Audio VTK400 crossover networks $739 - with trade in of a good working pair of Klipsch Type A or AA networks - $650.
V-Trac horns and BMS4592ND-MID 2" midrange drivers $1,736.50 - with trade in of a pair of good working K400 horns and K55 drivers $1,600.
New wiring kit, including high grade, tinned wire, twisted pair, with soldered
gold-plated connectors $150.
Of course we always have to consider the shipping cost both ways. Volti Audio gets very good discounted truck freight shipping through Fedex Freight, and we can arrange for the shipping both ways through our account. Liftgate service is provided at your end to help with the loading.
However, the speakers need to be crated prior to shipping, and this may be difficult
or impossible for some of our customers to do themselves. So in some
circumstances, it may make sense to use a "pack and ship" company like "Craters and
Freighters" to come pick up the speakers, pack them and ship them to us, and then
we'll use Fedex Freight for the return.
As you can see, total restorations can be kind of expensive, and it's not something that I do very many of anymore. But when you consider what you're getting for your money, I think you'll find my services to be a good value. The quality level of everything I do is very high, and I'm very particular about all the details of the whole transaction from start to finish. One way to look at it is to compare the cost to brand new Khorns, which cost about $8,000 for a pair delivered directly from Klipsch.
While one of my complete restorations with all upgrades will cost more than new Khorns, there's a huge difference in the performance of the two. The upgraded Volti Audio Khorns provide superior sound in every way, while the beauty and rarity of the exotic veneer work will be appreciated in your living room every day.
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