Amps for KEF Blade 2


I am looking for advice from owners or dealers of the KEF Blade 2 loudspeakers. I am concerned my current pair of amps will not be sufficient for the B2s because of an article written about the original Blades published on July 5, 2013 in The Absolute Sound:

"The Blades have a nasty kick in their crossover that will suck an amplifier dry quicker than a student downing free tequila shots ... Just don’t be tempted to cheapskate on the driving amps, or you’ll live to regret it. Tube amps at least have an output transformer to hide behind, but when the Blades suck out a solid-state design, they celebrate by spotlighting their tweeter something chronic. To give you some idea of the lengths required, the otherwise excellent Rowland 625 [550 watts into 4 Ohms] wasn’t up to the job, it taking a pair of the 725 monoblocs [650 watts into 4 Ohms] to restore order. "

Are the Blade 2s just as demanding as the original Blades in terms of amplification? I would guess not due to the smaller 6.5 inch woofers, but this is just an uneducated guess. I own a pair of Benchmark AHB2 amps, which according to the manufacturer produce “a little over 500 watts into 4 Ohms”. Will this be enough?
e91811

Showing 4 responses by yyzsantabarbara

e91811,

It has been a year since the last post here. I was wondering how you liked the AHB2 with your Blade 2? What is the rest of your system?

I am all over the map on DAC | Pre | Amp choices for the Blades (for my living room). I am going to try and listen to the Theta Prometheus, Bryston 7BSST3, and the AHB2 with the Blades . If I go this route I am thinking of something like a Briscati M12 (includes DAC + analog volume + soon to be Roon Ready via ethernet).

The other option which I think will definitely work great is getting high quality separates for the Blades. However, there will be a substantial increase in costs doing this. Your approach of using the AHB2 is something I thought might be a way to get around high cost amps for the Blades.
e91811,
Thanks for the feedback. I will have to do the home demo with the Benchmark amps. I was also thinking of the PS Audio DS or the Briscati M12 (soon to include ROON via ethernet).

dbphd,
I think the Ayre maybe a little weak for the Blades from what I have read about the Blades.The JC1 is a popular amp for the Blades. I heard the Hegel 360 integrated with the Blades and it can drive it well. Another alternative amp, and 1 I am considering along with the Benchmark, is the Theta Prometheus. A fellow A’Goner sent me an email indicating that it was a phenomenal combo with the Blades. A well known KEF rep came to his house and said it was one of the best Blade + amp combos he had ever heard. I won’t get into details of the email since it was a private message. The Theta measures similar to the Benchmark but 2x the cost..

I also have the KEF LS50 and I am amazed at how good it now sounds with my new integrated, a PeachTree Nova 150 ($1500). My prior amp, a Parasound A23, never sounded this good with the LS50,



dbphd,
I only noticed today that you had asked me about whether I had the Blades in a previous post. Sorry for not responding. I do not own them yet but today I have the money to buy them (worked a 2nd job for them). So some time in 2018 I will buy them.

I am actually now going for the Blades for my office because I have a new baby (who is very active at 19 months) and I am seeing that the living room could be problematic. Another poster on A’Gon related that he was able to get the Blades to sound good in a 14 x 13 room so that gives me hope for the office.

Just as an FYI, I have a few choices in electronics to figure out from the following list:

1) [PS Audio DS DAC or Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC] + MD 102 Analog Tuner + new Luxman 509x integrated. Not sure if it has enough power, but most reviewers state that Luxman underreports the power specs. I we see soon enough.

2) Briscati M12 (DAC + analog volume) + MD 102 Analog Tuner + [Theta Prometheus or Benchmark AHB2 or Luxman m900u or Briscati M15]

3) Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC (cannot use my MD 102 tuner here) + [Theta Prometheus or Benchmark AHB2 or Luxman m900u or Briscati M15]. Sell the tuner and listen to my beloved KRCW via internet.

I had a large list of high end integrated’s I was looking at but I am starting to see that there are a few really high quality DACs with good volume control or preamps with built in DACs.

KEF uses a variety of amps to demo the Blades. The latest love connection seems to be with Hegel. The new Hegel 590 integrated and the Blade have some sort of development deal.