The new Reference line from Kef is truly outstanding and a bargin compared to other prodcuts of similar price points.
- 72 posts total
- 72 posts total
I've heard quite a few Kef set-up's here and there over the years, even sold some way back when at a chain stores some time ago. I've always found Kef's to be a nicely balanced sounding speaker across the board, at all levels, with a good even sound. While I haven't heard their high end offerings recently, I always remember them being good speakers for any given price range.
Yeah, maybe someone can update us here on any recent offerings we audiophiles should consider on the mid/upper to pricer end, cause, I lost count here in the US. yeah, I never hear much here, cause they probably don't market much over here either - which I suspect has a lot to do with it. Basically, no one sells them hard in my parts, anyway.
Is KEF no longer relevant? Only if you are tone deaf.
The new Reference Series in my opinion is one of the smoothest sounding most neutral and most realistic group of speakers I've ever listened to, with a sense of transparency and openness of sound rivaling electrostatics, but without some of the obvious problems associated with that driver technology. Their older reference series speakers still sound remarkably neutral and musical. I had a pair of 104.2's (which I picked up in the mid-80s) which I sold in order to get the Gallo 3.1 Reference. Although the Gallo is a very fine speaker, with some very interesting technical innovations, it does not have the upper midrange neutrality of the much older 104.2, with a discernible drop out in the presence region. Although this can be compensated for (using the Audyssey roommate equalization program), I overall found the result not as satisfying as some of the older KEF reference series technology, and certainly not as good sounding as the newer reference series, which are unfortunately way out of my price range.
Currently I have a pair of Reference 107's (purchased through Audiogon of course), which along with their amazing low end, have a typical Kef exceptional neutrality through the mid range, lacking only a state-of-the-art tweeter. If you compare the new Kef reference series to any corresponding B&W 800 series model, the Kef comes out on top consistently in any kind of head-to-head testing. It's a significantly more neutral sounding speaker system.
It's interesting that no one on this posting has mentioned the replacement for the Muon, namely the new Kef Blade series. It's got about the same absolutely stratospheric price, but by all accounts is not only their best speaker ever, but has to be in the finals of any competition for the best loudspeaker period. It has a number of very interesting design innovations, and a significantly revised and enhanced midrange/tweeter Uni-Q driver.
I recently heard a pair of the 102/2's with a subwoofer embarrass a $20,000 speaker. If you have negative conceptions about Kef, take some of your favorite materials and go have a listen to the new reference series. There is a reason why this series has been the most positively reviewed series in the history of this manufacturer. It's really an exceptional group of speakers.