Kef 205/2

Good Morning All!

My setup consists of:

Kef 205/2
Mcintosh MC501's
Audio Research Ref 3
Fully Mod Primare CD31
PS Audio PPP (CD, Pre)
Shunyata Hydra 2 (Amps)
Nordost Quattro Fill CD to Pre
Nordost Red Dawn Pre to Amps
Nordost Red Dawn Bi-Wired Speaker cables
Analysis Plus Oval 9 Power Cords

My current issue with the above setup is that the Kef 205/2 produces very little bass comparing to my smaller system (in the same room with the same speakers positioning , etc) which consists of Dynaudio Focus 140 bookshelf, Cambridge Audio 740c and Meixing integrated tube amp (75w/ channel)! Due to the lack of bass, my main system seems to be brighter. I’ve tried to play the Kef on my smaller setup but the amp seems not to be to drive them.

Has anyone experience with the Kef205/2 or similar setup?
Can you please let me know how to improve the bass response?
I’ve tried with cables e.g. Chord Anthem, Cardas Golden Cross with mix result and ended with Nordost due to their high resolution. I do believe make differences but not substantially

Thanking you in advance for your advices
You should be getting plenty of bass;not being there the only thing I could recommend is moving the speakers around to see if that helps. The best position for one set is not always best for another; I would try them at the position recommended by the method on the Cardas site or some alternative method to see what difference it made.
Just a guess,but From what I can see the Nordost cables could certainly be thinning out your sound..Great cables but the ( Red Dawn ) Nordost can be brutal if not used in the right application...I would suggest finding a Virtual Dynamics " Nite " interconnect to throw in the mix..This will give you much more Full Bodied sound ( and great bass ) and should help considerably..I would try only 1 pair of interconnect cable and add more if needed..
Thew other option is to lose the Kefs and go to a warmer speaker......Good Luck
Hi, you have a nice system! Are the KEF's brand new? If so, they may need some breakin time in addition to different placement/cabling...
This might be too simple, but check to see if one of the speakers is wired out of phase (easy to do, especially as you're biwiring the KEFs).
You need to better match your amp to your speakers and play with speaker placement in your room. I think that a different amp or amps & moving the speaker arround should help the bass problem. Ie move the speakers further from the wall and listen and closer to the back wall and listen for improved bass response. Also play with distance between the left and right speakers. You can gain alot with speaker placement. I have freind who had a pair of MC 501s on B&W 802Ds and the bass was not right. It was not deep it was completely lacking with no snap. The placement in my friends system helped the bass response along with the midrange, highs and imaging but the bass was still a bit challenged until he sold off the MC 501s and got a set of Classe CAM 350 mono blocks. Those MC501s can have good bass but they are ver speaker dependent. Find out what amp or amps were used to developement the KEF 205/2 and that is the amp you should audition.
Several years ago I visited a friend and noticed that his new ML hybrid did not have the bass I expected them to have. He later found out that they had been wired out of phase at the factory by mistake. There are many test records that have in and out of phase material to check this, also good for test tones to see what the bass response is at various frequencies.
Thank You all for your responses
I don't think i have polarities issue as the speakers do produce bass but very little for the speakers size!
I'm thinking going down the path of lossing the Kef or having them mod. Do you have any comment in modding speakers?

I know this is very simple, but DID YOU CALL KEF??? THAT's the place to start. They will know their speakers better than anyone else.

Your biggest problem might be your cabling - Nordost has never been known for strong bass. Adding VD cables is also a very good suggestion, before you even CONSIDER modifying those speakers.

The 501's should drive the KEF's fine - they are much more efficient than the B&W's referred to by an above poster. It could also be your room at fault, but in your case I'd say there's an even better chance your bass choke-point is the cabling.

You can demo some different cabling from The Cable Company and they can give you some suggestions as to what might work better for your application. They are good to work with and usually very helpful. That way you can try different cables without paying much out-of-pocket and your "rental money" counts towards whatever you purchase.

Good luck - this sounds very fixable.
Do check phase if you can and haven't already, its a very easy error to make and the symptomns are as you describe. Did so myself a couple of weeks back when moving some kit. I switched back on and it all sounded pretty good but where was the bass? Sure enough I'd wired up incorrectly at the amp.
Thank you all!
Do you mean phase is the + and - polarities?
I've checked the speaker wiring + and -
I've connected them to the correct polarities
However, i can't see connection inside the speakers
I'm so close to loosing the Kef now! I know i can add a sub but don't prefer as i've done that and there is no way it can blend in like how the woofer drivers blend in with the mid and high drivers

Don't get me wrong in saying no bass! There is bass but very little comparing to the Dyn Focus 140 bookshelf!
Bass is present with bass instrument but bass almosts non exist with string instruments

I purchase the Kef as demo. They're about 2 years old
I can't necessarily agree with Thesoundhouse claiming your 501's are speaker dependent. I have a pair and have owned Thiel 3.6 and Eggleston Andra II's and the bass has been plentiful and balanced. I have heard them in Brick and Mortar salons with other speakers also. Be careful and check that out yourself.

Good advice above though, spend time with speaker placement, wall reinforcement, and finding bass nodes.
I owned the Focus 140 a while back, and it has a slightly "punchy" elevated upper bass that makes it sound like it goes deeper than it does. Assuming that your KEFs are placed well, you might be hearing bass from them that's actually deeper but more linear--and it might sound leaner than the 140s for that fact. Also, why not try swapping the + and - on one woofer just to see if the bass gets better or worse. That would answer the question about the internal wiring being off.
All I can say is Dynaudio is the king of bass. Kef makes awesome speakers, no doubt about it, but when it comes to bass, there is no substitute for Dyns. If you like bass then you should consider swapping the Kefs for some Dyn C2s or C4s. They will deliver.
hmm, 205/2's got prettty good low bass that integrate well with rest of the freq. I almost got 205/2 before settling with 207/2. I would suggest some cabling tweak. Nordost cables you are using won't help you with the bass problem. In that price range, I recommend JPS superconductor or audioquest line. they match well with KEFs. Make sure you have speaker freq. plugs on the back setup properly. (highs flat and lows flat as well).. The dyns are probably giving you more bass, not in the lowest bass, but in upper bass region and they are harder to control so the bass may be loose as well which will make you think they got more bass. believe me, 205/2 will definitely give you more tight, clean bass down low with the system you have. Enjoy playing around and don't give up on them yet.
One more thing, you definitely need to change the quattro Fill going from your CD to Pre. you have an interconnect that is going exactly the opposite way from where you want to go and CD to Pre is where the most signifcant change in sound will be made through cable two cents..
Thank you all
I'll give it a go through upgrading cables. I have in mind the following
Acoustic Zen double barrels speaker cables
Acoustic Zen silver Ref ICs
Purist Elementra
Maybe Transparent

Anyone experience owith Grovers cables?
Pkoh70, with all plugs remove. Will it also reduce bass response? I tried with high freq plugs removed but ended up with replug due to loosing resolution!
What cables are you using on 207/2?
I had a similar beef with my 800d's powered by a Mc 500, which is 2 channel by 500 watts. All seemed well except the bass seemed lean. I was using monster biwire with monster balanced ics from my original system of the 90's. I always felt cables are important but as more of a tweak opposed to spending mucho denaro. I went ahead and tried some audioquest with the solid core copper. The Aq's vs.stranded monster were much better, there was the bass, and everything else you should hear. My gut tells me your nordost cables (which are great cables) are wrong for your application.
Hi Primare, if you remove all plugs, you loose bass. You need to keep both plugs in place with the middle one out. If you plug the middle as well, then you get additional hi freq boost.

For my 207/2, I use Stereovox LSP 600c
I never used them but Nordosts have a reputation for being fast and transparent but on the lean side, so cabling may be a good place to look for improvement.

If someone had told me this 2 months ago (before I exprienced it myself), I would thought this was a completely insane claim, but swapping out your cables for Transparent Audio reference will do as much for bass response as adding a subwoofer. At least it did in my system.

The question is what level cable to get - the current model references are prohibitively expensive, so you can either get old model reference or newer model of lower caliber. There has been some discussion about these on the forum which you may look into. I personally opted for buying old reference cable (i.e. over 10 year with so called XL technology). I paid between 650 and 1100 per pair for three pairs (2x balanced IC, 1x 10ft speaker cable). This was $15,000 worth of cabling 10 years ago. I could not be happier with the results.

The biggest improvement came from the DAC to Preamp IC. I suggest you shop around for a good deal on one, give one a try and see if you are getting the results you are looking for. If you don't, resell (loose may be a hundered bucks), if you do (like I did), get two more. Good luck.
I've recently had 2 dedicated circuits installed as the last cheaper option before swapping out cables!
Wow! I'm shock, the low and real extended bass are there now.
I re-did A/B test with the Dynaudio Focus 140. The Kefs are better this time, the bass is real extend and deep.
I couldn't believe how 2 dedicated circuits have made such a big difference!
However, I now wonder what more can do to take my system further:-).
I'm very tempting to replace:
1. The Bi-Wired Red Dawn SC's with the latest Grover Bi-Wired SC's
2. The Red Dawn IC's with Quattro Fil to make all IC's to be Quattro Fil
3. PS Audio PPP for CD, Pre with Shunyata Hydra 6 to make all conditioners to be Shunyata. May also swap power cords to Shunyata Python for amps, cd and 20amp Anaconda for pre. IMHO, Shunyata is better than PS Audio in conditioners and cables

Oh dear... the cost will be high. This is a very expensive hobby! But again...

Have you done direct A/B comparison between PS audio power products and Shuyata? I have no experience with the latter, but to me PS audio are the only power products that did anything for me (I had Furman Reference and Stealth conditioners, and a bunch of different cables before).

So if your are planning on throwing some (more) money at power, I personally would much rather get the new PS Audio P5 which is supposedly a step up from the PPP. In fact this is precisely what I am planning to do.

Also, before spending obscene amounts on Shunyata power cables you owe it to yourself to audition the (slightly less obscenely priced) PS audio AC-12's. They are phenomenal cables.
I run Hydra 2 for my mono blocks and I feel Shunyata doesn't limit the flow of music, etc. I'll look into PS Power Cords for the ARC Ref 3 and Primare CD31 as they are connecting to the PS Audio PPP.
I think the same brand conditioner and cables may work better

Has anyone listen to Grover cables? Grover allows in home trial so i've given a go and placed the order for a 6 ft pair bi-wired SC's. According to Grover, the high and mid cables will have a mix of silver, copper and titan wires. The low section will have copper wires
Hi Primare,
If you have your bass problem solved, groovy! If not, try the following.

Unplug one Kef205. Put your system in mono. Play test tracks from a test CD or test source (I use mac the scope/signal generator). Take a db meter and note the out put of the speaker at 100hz, 80hz, 63, 50, 40, 31.5, and 20. Make notes of the db readings. Now with out touching your volume control or settings, shut your amp off (Even though it is a MC501 a good idea), put your other speaker in the exact same position as the first speaker. Now run the exact same test and see if the speakers are matched or different. They may not be perfectly matched but they should be pretty close. You will be able to see if there is a speaker problem this way.

If your speakers are matched and playing low bass notes properly you can eliminate the speaker and move on to other issues such as positioning and placement. I have put a variety of speakers in the spot where my Merlins work best and the results were wildly different. In fact a very expensive set of Avalons sounded awful, yet positioned differently were amazing.

Hi Primare and other KEf reference users, I just want to chime in here even though the post is old so I can share some of my experiences in cabling my KEF 207.2. here are the gears I use.

Pre-amp: Belles 28A
Amp: Belles 350a V2 in Mono config.
Cables: Speakers-Audioquest Redwood in Biwire with PSS jumpers, CD to Pre-Audoquest Wild Blue Yonder, Pre to amp- Siltech 770i, Power cables-mix of PS Audio AC5s (amps), and Oyade GPX (CD & Pre)
Power conditioner: RGPC 1280CE with JPS Labs AC Plus cord

I have tried many cabling options throughout the past year, and this is the final setup I settled with and by far, I think is the best setup I have established taking most out of the KEF reference 207.2s. I think the current setup sounds better than any dealer setups I have auditioned in my region. The KEF 207.2 when taken good care, can really produce jaw dropping sound but to get there, needs a look of tweaking.

First, you definitely need to biwire or tri-wire the reference line. When you do, forget about mixing different brands. Use one brand and if you bi-wire, get the jumpers from the same manufacturer as well and ditch the jumpers that come with the speakers. they are horrible. As shown in the manual, make sure to connect base section and high end section when bi-wiring, connecting jumpers from bass to mid. This approach produce much clearer wider soundstage compared to other connection options. I recommend against single wiring these speakers as you are not going to get the full benefits.

Second, I recommend you use the power conditioner but I recommend against the setup tha Primare origional posted. You need the CD and preamp going into the Hydra and amps going into the PPP if you are going to use this setup or you loose the top and bottom extension, at least in my case. However, I ditched this setup and finally got the RGPC 1280CE to condition all of my units. everything going through the RGPC. Some says it will kill the dynamics, make highs grainy, make bass too heavy etc. etc. and but that is just bunch of BS without having tried the setup truthfully. I found this setup to produce most pitch black background with tight bass without loosing the tonal balance, shrinking the depth or width or the inner details. If you are using the mono amps especially, I recommend RGPC setup. However, the RGPC nees to a good power cable as well. I use the JPS line.

I won't go into other cabling details since they are system dependent and we all have different individual setup at our home.

The biggest difference I saw in cabling is 1.Speaker cables (going from single to biwire-tri with good jumpers, when connecting bi-wire, connect to bass and high with jumpers going from bass to mid), 2.Power cables (use good decent power cables on your units including power conditioners) 3. Interconnects (makes least difference but if you have choice, use better interconnects from CD to pre-amp vs. pre-amp to amp)

KEF reference line possesses fine mix of American and british sound. They are transparent, hyper-extended with all the details you can ask for, throws a big soundstage, but also has that wonderful musicality making everything sound natural and real. They will allow you to listen to all types of music and make you feel that you are actually there at the front of stage.

Do give some time and sweat and you will be rewarded and will never want to throw them out into used market. The current reference lines are at the top of their game especially given the price points they are at.
Hi, I feel your pain. I bought a pair of 105/3's after hearing them at a dealer. best bass i ever heard, best everything, til i got them home. kef's r "user friendly", can be placed near boundries , I bought a db meter & stereophile test cd, & measured nearly flat all the way thru the freq range. hm. every other speaker brand out there boosts bass around 100 hz to get some deep bass.KEF dont. buy Stanley Jordan "flight of the cosmic hippo". compare your speakers, Bought mine in "90" they were a pain to get right but worth it.
Hi I know this is an old thread.

But I apreciate a lot the discusssions and i m a kef ref fan.

What the end of history, primare?