you should tell us!! have fun!
A dealer DM’ed me about 2 weeks ago and told me that the KEF Reference line and the Blades are getting the META treatment and an announcement is imminent. The Ref line goes up by $1000 and I believe the speaker stands for the Reference 1 decrease by $1000.
The Blades are my favorite of ALL speakers, and I have heard a lot of top end speakers.
I should add that another KEF dealer told me that he had not heard anything about the META announcement.
Well, I worked for Magnolia a short bit and got to hear the Blade 2s, but unfortunately they were hooked up to McIntosh electronics, which, to me, is like throwing a wet blanket over the speakers so I don’t think I heard them at their best. That said, I did get to hear the original Blades at a show hooked up to I think Coda electronics and they sounded really good. But, and this is only based on my tastes and opinion, I’d take the Joseph Audio Pearls or Vandy Quatros any day over Blades. Just my $0.02 FWIW.
Last year the LS50's were upgraded with a new driver tech called META. This tech was going to be moved UP the lineup to the Reference and Blades. The only question is when this will happen since KEF announced they plan to upgrade.
One thing about the Blades is that the soundstage they put out seems to be very large and precise.
That is total bullcrap. I’ve listened to B&Ws and Joseph Audio speakers in the same system, and the B&Ws sound broken next to the JAs. It’s not even close. My guess is B&W don’t know how to design a crossover, but that’s just my guess cause the rest of their parts are great. Once you hear JA speakers you’d NEVER buy B&W. Just my personal experience.
soix... let me guess you like JA speakers? good for you. the OP asked about kef blade 2 as a replacement to his B&W's. It's no secret b&w tweaks their speakers to sound brighter/more exciting than brands that try for flat in room response.
Your reply might matter if he was asking about a couple speakers he didn't know about, but this gent owns the 802's and you've gotten up on your high horse and started slamming them. nice.
The meta is channeled disc to control rear projected high frequencies. The blade achieves its goals, imo, of a flat frequency response and KEF’s unique version of point source. Besides that and their cool design, I do not think they are remarkable in any other way. Unfortunately have only heard them with Parasound.
I have heard the sopras many times and personally can’t stand them. They are dwarfed by the Utopia line, but that is just my opinion.
I wonder how the Meta tech on the Blade 2 affect front wall placement. Can the speaker be placed closer to the front wall?
Good question. I hope to hear more about the new designs soon. I was wondering why it seem to be taking so long. It sounds like it was more complicated than just putting in the meta disc behind the tweeter.
I have the KEF Reference 5s--very happy with them. But since I'm always interested in the latest and greatest, I would love to know how the Meta 5s compare to the regular 5s. Probably much too early for any dealers to have them but if anyone does have a chance to hear the meta 5s (or even the meta 3s) I would be very interested in your thoughts.
If you are looking for slightly sweet amps for the Blades then take a look at this one.
I will use the KRELL 175XD, the CODA #16 (plan to upgrade from the #8), or the Benchmark AHB2 monos when I get one of the new KEF Metas (hopefully Blade 2). Sonically I think the Luxman m900u and the KRELL are very similar.
The CODA is not as sweet.
Kef announced the meta treatment for the blades thursday. A $3k price hike came with it. I got warning about the coming event and actually could have sold my blades before the announcement, but I enjoy these so much I can't see upgrading them just for the sake of it. maybe the meta's are better, maybe just different, idk
I do know my listening room sounds great and I don't want to mess with it.
Just wanted to chime in on the pending release of the Blade/Blade 2 Meta editions. I visited my local Kef dealer today looking to audition some speakers in the $5k-$10k range (they carry full lines of Klipsch, Whaferdale and Elac as well). Interestingly enough, they had a pair of current, brand new Blade 2’s sitting out with a “special” price of $15k…$10k off retail list! I inquired about them and they were definitely new, complete, un-registered units that were replacing floor samples that someone had bought. The price reduction was due to the Blade Meta’s imminent release. The salesman I was with said Kef was authorizing deep discounts to the Blades and Reference series as they were getting the Meta treatment for 2022.
Needless to say, even though the Blade 2’s were $5k above my speaker budget, the opportunity to purchase a modern, reference-level speaker complete with full 5 year warranty for $10k off was too good…and rare knowing there isn’t a lot of current Blade stock…to pass up. After an hour of listening, I bought them.
I, too, had never auditioned the Blades before. But, after listening to them (the shop had them hooked up to Parasound JC monoblocks & preamp) streaming some of my Tidal favorites thru a BlueSound Node (I stream Tidal on a BlueSound Vault), I was gobsmacked. I’m replacing vintage Thiel 3.5’s with their dedicated Electronic Bass Module. And while I’ve always really liked the way my system sounds (all Audio Research front-end with D240 MKII s/s monoblock amps, tubed LS7 line-stage and PH3 phono pre-amp), I just felt that the Thiels were too unforgiving of material that wasn’t recorded perfectly…they also tended to get really bright on songs that had a lot going on up high. IOW, I wanted a speaker that was as resolving and detailed as the Thiels, but more…way more…musical. More fun to listen to.
The Blade 2’s impressed me with a couple of things. First, they were incredibly musical; the cohesiveness of their sound was so complete, so whole. Nothing seemed out of place or “wrong”…the music was presented perfectly.
Second, for being the smaller Blade, this thing went deep! The bass was full, tight and correct…not exaggerated nor muddy. Along with that bass was a sense of drive that added to the fun of listening…this is a speaker that can boogie.
Finally, that Single-Point source thing the Blades have going on is the real deal. The soundstage is exceedingly large, multi-layered and precise. Tracks that I know very well that feature distinct separation in their performance (“L.A. Woman”, “Band on the Run”, “Money”) simply blew me away with how precise the recording came across. And even with all this precision and detail, the Blades never lost any musicality, never crossed over into the “analytical” realm of things.
I was listening critically, trying to find a way not to love what I was hearing, to not have to admit to myself that this speaker was not only worth it at $15k, but every bit at $25k. But, I couldn’t. For what I’m looking for and for what I listen to, the Blade 2’s checked every single box.
Sorry for the long post, but maybe some of this helps the original poster.
‘Happy listening, everyone!
Thanks…can’t wait for them to be delivered tomorrow! Once they’re set-up, they will be driven by:
- (2) Audio Research D240 MKII s/s amps running in bridged-mode; good for 480 watts per channel
- Audio Research LS7 tube line-stage
- Audio Research PH3 tube phono pre-amp
- Ortofon Century Turntable w/Concorde Century cartridge
- BlueSound Vault ripper and streamer
Nice setup. Have you tried your amps in stereo mode with each amp driving a speaker instead of mono?
I just rearranged my gear to see if I can get a Blade 2 into my space in the Livingroom. It seems I can. Now need to decide on which one, Blade2 or Blade2 META?
CODA #8 amp (#16 in the future) | Benchmark LA4 preamp | Benchmark DAC3B (maybe Mustec 005 DAC)
My friend had Kef Blade 2s and now is using brand new built Apogee Duetta speakers....that were built by someone in England.....they were about $15K delivered. There is only a few parts from an original pair in the build....new ribbons, new frame and new custom xover. I built my friend a new xover for his speaker.....you can see the pics on my site.....I will have updated pics showing all the latest mods soon. This Apogee speaker completely destroys the Kef Blade 2. I heard the Kefs in his room and I heard the Apogees there when I installed the new xovers.....Now, with the latest xover mods he says it is way better. You need some serious power to run the Apogees......even his 400 watts into 4 ohms amp is not enough......so he is considering getting the Parasound JC-1+ amps that can, for sure, drive his speakers to rock levels. I am sure the new Blade 2 meta will be an improvement......but they will never do what these planars do. I have never heard a better system than his. He now has updated the xover, did some serious grounding thangs and now added the new Eco-Flow inverter to power everything. I am going to drive to his house soon to hear this......goosebumps awaiting. This Ecoflow inverter can do 3500 watts and sounds way better than his Goal Zero inverter........You will he hearing things about this inverter system soon.....going to change how you all listen.....completely off the grid.....way better sound.
BTW, you can order the speakers without xover from the guy in England (might have to wait months and months) and I can build you the xover...since it is all figured out. If you are in Northern CA we can arrange a listening session at his house in Marin.......it will blow your mind.
FWIW, my Kef dealer was sharing his thoughts on the Blade Metas. He thinks that on the Blade, the improvement will be very slight, due to the Blade’s already having incredible frequency response, especially in its bass region. He said on a smaller speaker like the LS50, the Meta addition made a big difference because it noticeably added to that speaker’s ability to play lower and with more overall authority. He added that the increased price of the Meta version of the Blade would be a tough sell when the current Blades are going for $10k off retail.
I couldn’t pass up this deal…
BTW, my Blade Two’s were delivered today…unpacking and set-up took about 90 mins. Been listening non-stop. They are INCREDIBLE!
Good Luck and Happy Listening!
@arvincastro Thanks for the additional info. After reading about the changes to the Blade I am led to believe that the Blade had the most work done with regards to the upgrades. The crossover, the new uni-q driver, and the META.
The Blade v1 you have is a no brainer to get. If I were to buy today, I may also go that route. Lucky for me ,the IRS and CA Franchise Tax Board have my Blade 1 payment on it's way to them this week. Which means the Blade 2 v2 is in my sights near the end of 2022.
For the sake of the sale the salesman would say what he did. He is right though. The blade1 and 2 mid have a 3" voice coil and a uniquely vented magnet for the backwave of the mid and tweeter that made the blade speakers different from the reference uni-q. Now the ref and blade meta's share the same uni-q driver. meta is a different way to deal with the backwave and the guys on the science forum have some measurements that show some differences, when I asked if any of the measurements could be translated into differences we could hear nobody there said yes or no. Imo you made a smart buy and I bought my blades last summer fairly confident a meta was in the pipeline.
I just thought of something cool. Kef has three levels of execution. If you look at the xover parts, wiring and jacks from the Kef LS50, the Kef Reference and the Blade series you will see three different levels of execution. This is why a stock reference will never sound as good as the blade.....and the LS50 cannot sound as good as the reference......but they all use the same or similar Meta driver. However, even the Blade series does not use as good of wire, xover parts and jacks as can be used......and they wire the coax driver using push on connectors.
So, what if you removed the entire xover from an LS50 Meta....and ran great wires directly out the back that are wired directly to the voice coil wires (never been done before, that I know of).....then you add a Ground Enhnacer right on the negative voice coil wire and you put a Bybee Quantum Clarifier (iQSEII) directly on the back of the meta material on the driver....OMG........then you have a hardwired external xover using parts way better than what Kef uses in the blades. You could have WBT binding posts on the xover or use my plastic clamping method that sounds even better (same as a hard solder) The wires from the speaker to xover could be clamped the same way.....so you can detach them whenever you like.
Such a speaker would be way more transparent than the Blade Meta from 450hz on up. If you added some serious subs.....WOW......however, there is more. If you rolled off the lows to the woofs (like in the blade and Reference) with a cap or a cap and coil....say at 200hz......then you could bring your subs up to that level (need 2 subs for best integration). This way you can play the speakers at seriously loud levels and with the mid driver relieved of some of its load....would be cleaner still.
The speakers cost $1600....stands $500.....Bybee Clarifiers..$200.....Ground Enhancers....$50......custom xovers mounted on super damped board....maybe $1700?.......so that is less than $4K......ad subs of your choice....Kef’s best small ones are $2K each (2 9 inch opposing woofs)......now you are at $8K......for a speaker that is better than a Blade ($28,000) in most ways....won’t look as cool......just sayin......many ways up the mountain of great sound.
You could also build your own woofs (2 10s?) in a box and use it as a stand underneath and use one of those active xover amps..($400) to power the woofs and equalize them.....way cheaper than buying expensive subs....of course, you would have to make them. If you have forward firing woofs then you could xover the main speaker even higher (Kef cosses the mids to woofs at 450hz) and achieve even more dynamic range.
There is a review by someone who had the Blade 2 and the Reference 5? He said the integration between the woofs and the mids was better on the reference...(more than likely due to the fact that you have side firing woofs on the Blade crossing over at 450hz). Personally, I would never want a speaker with side firing woofs.....it just cannot be time aligned properly.
It is a great joy to have an imagination. To dream....to know that we are never done...there is always more......but somethings, are more for less.
May you be filled with joy and love.....forever.
Vivid and Yamaha also have backwave cancellation. Now KEF also has it with the META. I do not think KEF had it in the past, prior to the Meta, with Blades or any other models. With the Vivid speakers, this backwave cancellation allowed them to be placed close to the front wall. Vivid told me that. Other speakers may also have something similar, but I am not aware of them.
There are differences between the drivers used in the Blade, Reference, and LS50. There are some dealer posts on A'gon that get into those details.
You can mount a tweeter in the air and open its back......many people do this and also do this with compression drivers. Nothing new. I have been doing this to a Vifa tweeter for 22 years. The backwave cancellation/absorption on the Kef is for the tweeter....it has nothing to do with putting the speaker near a wall or not. There are lots of ways to terminate/absorb the rear of a driver. Open baffle gives you a oomplete boxless sound....and no back wave from the driver going back into it. Of course, with open baffle you need the speaker out from the back wall and maybe some treatment on the back wall.
From the above post from Alvincastro.....it is clear that listening to what a dealer has to say about the Kef speakers is not wise. All the meta drivers are 12th generation (stated by Kef) and I bet the ones in the Blade and Reference are identical and the LS50 just has a different surround and spider, etc. to allow it to handle frequencies down to 60 hz.......but other than that...I bet it is the same.
If you have any real info directly from Kef that says otherwise....please share it with us. Again, what dealers say....is not worthy of repeating. Go directly to the source.....not to someone who wants to upsell you something or sell you something they have in stock. As I stated, the Reference uses better wire, xover parts and jacks.....and of course, has a more solid cabinet than the LS50.......the Blade has even better wire....hard wired xover, better parts again and better jacks again.......and opposing woofs. These are the differences. The differences in the parts, wiring and jacks is shown in pictures on the web. This is truth. I might not be right about the drivers......but I doubt it. This is why you can take an LS50 meta and mod the sheet out of it (including Bybee Quantum Clarifiers and Ground Enhancer and wiring directly to the voice coil wires.....and using an incredible outboard xover)....and get much better sound from 450 hz on up than a stock Blade speaker.
Please read the review of the Bybee thangs....imagine one of them mounted right on the meta material.....OMG!
A lot of what you just posted contradicts posts by a well-known KEF dealer who posts here. Unfortunately, the A'gon thought police tend to delete those threads and I am not interested in searching.
The drivers in the pre-Meta LS50, Blade, and REF were posted as not being the same. The differences were also mentioned. SEARCH to find that info or contact KEF who should be willing to give that info.
Actually, feel the opposite when I compare most uninformed posts on here and what I pick up from dealers and vendors. I stop and read the posts by the dealers.
What do you mean by a lot of what I say? The parts differences are clearly seen in pictures on the web. It is all hearsay unless Kef themselves says it. Dealers get stuff wrong lots of times as did the KEF dealer that Alvincastro posted. Never trust one source.....unless it is the actual manufacturer. Second hand news is not reliable.....even from dealers.
Even if the drivers were slightly different.....what I described would still be true. The difference that all the tweaks would make would completely swamp any minor differences in the drivers. I just sent an email to Kef UK asking them about the drivers.....will post what they say.
First review I've seen on the new Reference Meta series, this one on the Ref 5. It's from Lyud & Bild and you'll need to translate it to English. "TEST: KEF Reference 5 Meta - Shocking sound experience - I could hardly believe my ears. These speakers are sensationally good... Reference class from A to Z. Infinitely transparent sound image with massive dynamics, enormously potent bass and extreme resolution." Only a small section of the review introduction is available on the L&B site as a preview without a paid subscription, but I found the full review available here at least at the time of this posting: https://www.ljudochbild.se/test/hogtalare/kef-reference-5-meta/