No, 8 ohms are the norm, it is 4 ohms and below that are hard to drive. The tweeter it probably all right. You can remove such things in several ways, using a vacuum cleaner VERY carefully, a bent pin, and gently pushing it with a finger. The current Exposure Classic CD player has a very good reputation and some of the older ones as well. Plug it in, turn it on at a low volume and see what it sounds like, I think the NAD would work fine, check the heat sinks when it has been on for a while to see if it is getting too hot. Do not use the "soft clipping" feature as it cuts the available power in half.
Thanks. I'll leave the soft clipping off. The NAD Amp is in perfect condition - always took care of it. Can you overheat an Amp by trying to power speakers that are too demanding?
Yes but it is not common and it is usually headbangers who do it. What makes you think the 103.2 are demanding? Usually you run into problems with low impedance speakers. It all depends on using discretion, if you have a very large room and play loudly then you need a lot of power, but for jazz in a normal room you are not going to be drawing large amounts of power constantly. I can't give guarantees but I would try it. After 15 minutes feel the heat sinks, if they are very hot you have a problem, if not go ahead.
Above post is correct, the 103.2 is not demanding to drive at all, 8 ohms will be fine with that amp. I have a pair of KEF 103.2's and I found them to have a very nice, polite, accurate tonal balance at the expense of volume and sensitivity.. you will not be able to play them loud. And should not, as the "computer" STOP circuit will cut in and reduce volume automatically... these are very inefficient and do not play loud at all (to my ears) but they do have good tonality. Don't worry about the tweeter "wrinkle" as mine have one too.
Thanks all for your responses. Greatly appreciated. I thought 8 ohm was more difficult to drive than 4 ohm; obviously shows how much I know.
I played around with the KEFs last night and hooked them up to the NAD 320BEE integrated amp, and the exposure CD player with some basic van den hul speaker cable and cheap interconnects. Very different sound than what I am used to from my arcam/exposure/wharfedale system. A larger soundstage than my current system, but extremely bright, fatiguing even (even my wife noticed it; and she thinks that there is no difference between a sony boombox and hifi...). Nothing sounded "wrong" or "broken" but the tweeter is very unforgiving to subpar recordings. I actually wondered if it was the exposure CD player (as that was the first time I had used it). I hooked up my old NAD entry-level 521i CD player and the sound became much warmer and less forward. Not as detailed, but surprisingly I think it might pair better with the KEFs than the Exposure CD player, despite the massive price difference between the 2 CD players.
The KEFs' speaker cable inputs are the size of pin-holes. The van den hul cable I have is exposed/bare wire at the connection points and it is very difficult to secure a connection with the speakers. Is there a pin or some type of speaker connection piece that I can put onto my bare speaker cables to make the connection more secure to the KEFs? Sorry if that makes no sense, I don't know all the terminology.
I suppose an appropriate followup question would be that if the speaker cables cannot be retrofitted, so-to-speak, do people have a recommendation for a decent "second-system" inexpensive speaker cable that they would recommend, with a "pin-type" connection? Any recommendation for a cheap but decent interconnect?
I would think that they are probably for Banana plugs. Go to the local Radio Shack and check. You can fasten them to the ends of your speaker wire, get the non solder ones,
"Extremely bright" "fatiguing" ?? sorry that doesn't seem right.. cables? cd player? don't know why it should sound that way to you..
Yes they should accept bananas fine.
Xiekitchen -- why doesn't that seem right? The sound is open, yet thin and sharp, without the warmth I am familiar with in my current main system.
Like your Dad, I had KEF 102s and 104s driven by NAD 3200 power envelope amp. A gift from Pink Floyd and A & M Studios in 1987. Just gave them to my daughter in 2007 and they still lumber on.
Great mid ranges with KEF; true BBC studio monitor. Made for long listening sessions.
The firm's owner died shortly after your speakers were made and the company was bought by a Hong Kong company. The quality went down. In the early 1980s, KEF made the speaker components for the BBC, not Harbeth and Tannoy, so the 103s were the real deal.
Much has changed in two decades. With that said, the new Neat speakers and Spendor A1 and A6 speakers, two English brands, sound very similar to the KEFs from twenty years ago.
Remember to secure the KEF Cube, a sister piece of electronics that allowed you make many adjustments to the speakers. It is a small black metalic box with two buttons on the front.
By the way, the Exposure 2010 integrated amp and CD player are wonderful components that will marry well.
"Remember to secure the KEF Cube"
That's what I was thinking too. Didn't those KEFs come with some type of bass boost "black box" that was inserted into the reciever's tape loop? Maybe that is why they sound somewhat bright.
I think those speakers had bases (not bass this time, lol) that were to be filled with sand or lead shoot to provide "mass damping"...or was that another model?
Was said to help reduce sound coloration.
(I never really owned KEFs, but a former coworker used to rave daily about his KEFs and details such as this.)
Well, I don't know of any "black box" - at least my father doesn't have it. It's strange to me for speakers so large that the bass sounds so thin. I'm moving into a new home so I'll have to play around with placement. KEFs are front firing, so I imagine less of an issue with moving away from wall. With the exposure CD player, NAD amp, and KEF speakers all being English, I'm surprised the sound isn't warmer. I might think about pairing a sub with the system, but I've generally stayed away from subs.
The cube was designed to adjust in the bass range. You really need to secure one. Look on eBay.
I have a pair of these in a second system and they are wonderful. They're not perfect cosmetically but they sing beautifully. The 103.2 are an amazing set of speakers. They rival a lot of high end monitors today. I believe that the drivers were made by Vifa.
correction, just did a quick google search and the drivers are KEF not Vifa. I was misinformed.
A trick, set your electronics to 4 ohm and power the Kefs accordingly. Better bass in tandem with the cube.
KEF made the drivers. They were the true BBC monitor. Vocals sound great.
I know this site is 2 years old but just saw it. I have alot of experience with 103.2's as I sold alot of the new and continue to own a pair.
A couple of things you need to know.
1. Kef made all of their own drivers. No outsourcing at that time.
2. The Cube mentioned was for a later version of the 103's. The 103.2 did not come with or had as an option, a bass cube.
3. If your 103.2's start sounding dull or lifeless the crossover needs to be recapped. Very common problem as speakers were from 1979-1981. Be sure to use good caps with proper value. There are a number of vendors to use. If you can solder, you can do it yourself.
4. Speakers sound best off the floor at least 12-15" and you might consider tilting them back to get proper sweet spot.
5. The 103.2's used 2 different speaker cable terminals depending on when they were made. They used push pin terminals for a short time (very cheesy quality that does not allow thicker cables nor are they able to secure cable properly for a good connection. Most 103.2's however used threaded terminals that allow better cable, spade terminal if spade wide enough, and banana plug ends as well.
6. They were mostly available in walnut with teak and rosewood as options througout their time.
7. If speakers are kept out of extreme heat and direct sunshine the drivers, because of the butyl surround should last for many, many years.
Hope this helps. They were great speakers in their day and if given quality power, still sound great today!