Kef Blade or Kef Blade Two for bigger room


Hello all, I am thinking of changing my old bw 800 matrix speakers for the Kef Blade or Blade two.

My living room is 4.8m by 9.3m, with partially sloped high ceeling, and also in the middle going over into my open kitchen adding another 2.5m by 6m... 
Logically I would go for the biggest Blade to get the most and deepest bass response, as most speakers I have tried are too bass shy in my room, except for the big bw800 matrixes, which I set up in middle of the room, and sofa against wall to get bass...
Amplification are Rowland model 9T, so they should get the job done with both speakers.

However I heard from a dealer that the Blade two are better, more coherent sounding, even for bigger rooms; he claimed the big Blade sounds less coherent, with bass floating in the air somewhere and a bit disconnected from the rest...
In my personal experience I heard a Blade two driven by Electrocompaniet Nemos on a music show, im a large rectangular room, and they were brilliant, also in bass.
  i heard the big Blades at a dealer with my model 9t s and they were great as well, but strangely bass shy... room was large enough, but had sloped ceelings to the sides, and the speakers stood on small transporting rollers, so 10 cm higher then normal... Is it possible bass is better from the small blades after all??
Advice would be greatly appreciated! Maybe anyone heard them side by side in same room and with same amps?

blueskywalker
Blueskywalker,

There is no difference in the sound quality or coherence between the Blade 2 and the Blade, they are exactly the same loudspeakers with the exception of larger bass drivers in the Blade in larger cabinet.

The one thing you found out is the Blades are room dependent, we have the Blades in a 26 foot long by 20 foot wide room with 10 foot ceilings and the bass out of the Blades is excellent but not room shaking our main listening room is open to two other rooms so we are pressurizing around 1,000 sq feet.

We has the same pair of Blades in the 2012 New York Audio Show in the Waldorf Astoria in a similar sized room and the bass was just spectacular and the room felt completely energized, this room was completely sealed. 

Also any high performance loudspeaker should never be on a transporting roller as the speakers will be moving which can definatly affect bass response in a negative way.

The 9t should sound excellent with the Blades they do like a wamer amplifier.

We should the Blades with all Chord Reference electronics and the sound of this $150k system was one of the best at the 2012 New York Audio show we felt the $107k YG Sonjas were not better on Solution gear and that system was $400k plus.

The moral of the story is the Kef Blades offer remarkable performance for the money, when feed with good gear and setup carefully their performance envelope is very very high.

You should use Isoacoustics footers instead of the stock spikes for a very nice improvement.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Kef Blade dealers
The only differences are the side-firing woofers, so maybe the crossover isn’t optional due to them being larger.  
 
The Blade and Blade 2 have the same bass response for +/-3dB, 40Hz, but the Blade states 28Hz at -6dB and the Blade 2 states 34Hz at -6dB.
  
Which ever you get, make sure to get room treatment, especially along the side walls, as the speakers have a huge nulls around 50°-70° and large peaks around 80°+, this is due to the side firing woofers.  
 
I would check out the Vivid Audio Oval B1 Decade. It also has the opposing bass woofers to cancel cabinet vibrations, is spec’d at 38Hz +/-2dB and 34Hz at -6dB. Also, since the woofers are firing front and back, it doesn’t have the peaks/nulls like the Blade and Blade 2 have. But then you would want some acoustic panels/bass traps/diffusers along the front wall.
I'd consider getting the Blade 2s since they're virtually identical from the lower bass on up, and with the $7000 saved I'd get two good subs and some form of sub integration system (i.e. DSpeaker, etc.). You'll get better and deeper, true full-range bass that should integrate with your room much better than fussing with how to place your two main speakers to integrate with your room. My guess is you'd be amazed at the improvements two good subs can make in so many ways, even with speakers as good as the Blades. And I agree, they're awesome speakers. I'd also consider some room treatments (at least a few bass traps) if you're not already using them, as properly integrated they can be transformative and likely resolve many of your bass issues while making speaker placement even easier. FWIW, and best of luck in whatever you decide.
Never heard the Blades but did hear the Blade Two's.  If I could afford them and had a larger room, I would buy them in a heartbeat.
Thx, for your replies guys! I heard both blades in closed rooms much wider then mine...
As stated my L shaped room is only 4.8 meters wide, would this pose a problem? I would like to put them in same position as my current speakers:
 My bw 800 matrix are placed at 50cm from side walls, in the long part of the L, at about 5 m from me, with 4m of room behind them, and a sloped ceiling there till 5m high. The side of the room they are firing at has normal height 2.8m ceiling with wooden beams, I sit at the short part of the L, against the wall, with 3 m opening to kitchen to my left.
  I suppose possible problems of reflection will be identical with both speakers, but the bigger blade will pressurize my room better? Audiotroy, is there any difference on vocals, instrumental timbre like piano between both blades? I noticed the woofers in the big blade sit a bit higher and cross over at 350Hz, while the blade two crosses over at 320Hz to smaller woofers... one review mentioned a bit over ripeness on male vocals like leonard cohen for exemple with the blade 2?
The bigger Blades do sound bigger and pressurize the room better, the specs on Kef's website are very conservative. 

The big Blades having higher woofers give you less floor bounce which may be the reason they sound less over ripe.

The Blades are really special especially if you drive them correctly. What is the rest of your gear and what part of the world are you in?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Hello Audiotroy, rest of my system consists of Halcro DM10 preamp, and T+A MP3000 HV cdplayer, audioquest wild wood speaker cable.

With this system my BW800 matrixes sound more detailed and effortless louder then before, but much less warm as well (mcintosh mc1000s before with audio research ref40 pre or mcintosh c2300 pre).  

I live in Belgium.

Apart from the cdplayer I heard the blade one with these exact Halcro dm10 and Rowland Model 9t at a dealer, where they sounded good apart from not much low bass... which is the reason I got doubting, since the blade 2s with full electrocompaniet system did produce good bass on the same song but other location; as said big blades in room with sloped side walls and on rollers, blade 2s in huge hotel conference room at high end show and demoed by Kef leading man.
I forgot to ask, which one is best suited for low level listening?
@blueskywalker

Simce that is based on frequency response and dynamics, they will be practically identical in terms of how good they are at low levels.

My suggestion to demo the Vivid B1 Decade is still in effect. Besides also measureing well, it reviews well too, the SoundStage reviewer stating it’s one of the best he’s ever heard.
mzkmxcv you can't compare the Vivid B1 with a set of Blades, we had the B1 and they were very good they didn't compare to the Blades which just sound bigger with much more deep bass and are much more effortless.

The B1 decade is good for people looking for extreme resolution and don't have giant rooms, we were looking at  the Giya 1 or 2 but felt that were too similar to the Blades at twice the price, the speakers are acutally very similar. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Kef Blade dealers
Audiotroy, Kef Blades and Vivid Giya indeed both use the side woofer vibration cancelling arangement. Hower the coaxial midrange tweeter horn loaded in the blade vs the multiple domes in the vivid giyas are very different. Also in crossover topology I think the blades use lower order crossovers then the vivids, which would make for less fase shift to compensate in the blades...
I like the giya 1 and 2, but I was never moved the same way the blades emotionally swept me... and the vivids cost more indeed. 

Thank you for your suggestion mzkmxcv, but the vivid b1 would be lacking in bass for my room.

Audiotroy what do you think in terms of system matching of my set with the blades?
Do you think both blade models sound good on low level listening? I do love a speaker that puts out good bass at low volume levels.

Very few current speakers do that, they all want to win the megawatt race, but forget about low level late night listening, like many of us do, or even normal listening levels. The old matrixes are brilliant at filling a room at low levels as well, I ditched the newer BW 800N just for that reason, no bass at low levels...
" I like the giya 1 and 2, but I was never moved the same way the blades emotionally swept me." Your statement is proof that we all hear things differently. I've listened to KEF Blades and Vivid Giya 1s and to my ears that Vivid's are on a totally different level. They should be due to the cost difference. 
Have to agree with @ricred1  the Blades never wowed me but OMG the Vivid Giya 1 or 2's made me sit up and listen. 
Hey we all listen for different things and hear differently. Granted it's sometimes what we want to hear.

There is a pair of near mint blades for sale here on A'gon today.  
To be fair, I did not get to play my own music on the big giyas... so that could put them at a disadvantage to reach me emotionally... Price difference is there though... the smaller and less pricey giyas simply put the soundstage too low for me...
I also have heard the Blade with Hegel gear and then 10 minutes later the Vivid Giya G1 Spirit with Luxman $65K amps. I preferred the Blades. Different strokes. Both rooms were nicely sized.
Hegel with Blade was probably Blade 2...
To get back on topic...🙂 This post wasn’t really Kef Blade vs Vivid Giya but Kef Blade one vs two...😎 Anyone else had a chance to compare both? Thx
The OP has an interesting dilemma.  KEF Blades powered by a rack of Macintosh gear absolutely blew me away at an audio show I attended a few years ago, easily among the very best sound I heard at the show at any price.  If not thunderous bass, it was at least very visceral.  I was awe-struck by the sound of them, really.  If I had the real estate for a pair, I would have them in a heart beat.  
Whitestix, the big blades or the two? 😎
Kef Blade given your room size, room opening, and acknowledged previous bass performance shortcomings (assuming optimal placement flexibility). They also represent better value, IF you are going used.

One consideration you haven't shared is whether this is purely a solo decision or your wife and/or partner will be involved? Might be important enough to supercede a purely performance based choice.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out. All the best.
I don't know the going prices for these speakers, but I will say again that there is right now a pair of near mind blades that they are asking 15,999 which apparently has a list of 30,000.  I have seen this dealers webpage and they seem ok.
Thx Jetter, but I am not in US, so importing them would cost me a fortune...
david_ten, I live alone 😎, my current speakers are bigger then the Blades 🤪
I emailed Doug Schneider who did this review of the Blade 2 and asked him which was better the Blade or Blade 2. He said he thought the Blade 2 was better even in a bigger room.

https://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/960-kef-blade-two-loudspeakers

AudioTroy, says that both are the same but the Blade 1 plays better in a bigger space. I personally would go with AudioTroy's feedback based on the fact that he has more time with the Blades.

BTW - I believe it was the Blade 1 I heard with the Hegel H30 mono block and the Hegel H360 integrated. I heard the Blade 1 with Chord mono blocks and it was also great. 

Interesting even experts seem to have different opinions...
Johan Coorg from Kef itself said in his home he preferred the Two, the big Blade overloaded his room he said, needing room treatment, the Two just fit right in...
No specs on his room however...
Get the Blade 2s and two REL S/5 SHOs.  
I have Blade 2s in a room 3.7 meters wide by 8.2 meters long with a 3 meter ceiling which opens at the front to an entry foyer 3 meters wide by 4.3 meters long and 8 meters tall. An open doorway near the back of the room opens into a large kitchen and dining area, and several hallways open into the foyer. So it is a large volume.

I haven’t found the Blade 2s to lack the ability to pressurize the listening area but I have the advantage of a pair of SVS SB16 Ultra subwoofers reinforcing the lowest bass from 35 hz down. However, even without the subwoofers, the Blade 2s are capable of deep strong bass for all but the most subsonic EDM or pipe organ music.

I’ve used a Pass X250.8 stereo amp, a pair of Pass X260.8 mono amps, and now a D’Agostino Momentum S250 stereo amp to drive them, and they will play much louder than any reasonable person would ever subject themselves to for very long.

The only thing that concerns me about your proposed positioning is the proximity of the side wall which you have said will be 50 cm from the speaker. If that is absolutely necessary, then I strongly suggest using some room treatment at the first reflection points. The more room you can give the Blades to breathe to the sides the better, and they will throw a very wide, deep and tall soundstage with very precise imaging.

I can’t speak to how well the Blades would do in my space vs the Blade 2s. I was advised by several folks including the dealer who do have experience with both the Blades and Blade 2s that the 2s would work better in all but the largest spaces and to date I have not been disappointed with the Blade 2 performance.

The only tweak I’m using with my Blade 2s has been replacing the furnished spikes with Stillpoints Ultra SS.

Hope this helps.

Steve Z
 Thx for the detailed info Steve Z! Only thing you did not mention is where you positioned the Blade Two. Do you position them in the width of 3.70 m, firing down the lenght of the room (as I would prefer) or the other way round? 
How much space so you have them from the side and rear walls?
thx
i just found a Dutch review saying the same as Audiotroy, both Blades sound alike but the bigger sounds bigger, giving off more energy... which one is best depends on the room you use it in...

How much distance is recommended from the side and rear walls, I looked up their user manual, but text and picture on that seem to imply different things...

With my room being 4.8 by 9.3m would it be advised to completely change my setup for them and have them against the long wall, firing down the short end? This would be strange for me, as I like to sit like 4.5 to 5 m away from the speakers... With the depth of my sofa and the depth of the speakers, plus some rear distance from the wall that would be impossible... 
Hi blueskywalker,
You're very welcome. In my basically L-shaped space I have the Blade 2s firing down the length of the room. It isn't ideal, because that results in the right speaker being 1 meter from the side wall but the left speaker sees open space into the foyer, to the outside of the speaker. In my situation, locating the speakers along the long wall would be a non-starter with my spouse, and I perfectly agree with her -- it would end up being an awkward traffic pattern through the room as well as resulting with me having my head very close to the wall behind me if I had the Blades firing across the short dimension of the room.

To address the asymmetry I use GIK Acoustics bass traps and a hinged free-standing trap to the outside of each speaker -- the right side to take care of the wall being close, the left speaker to be symmetrical with the right, though of course the left side bass trap and freestanding trap do not have a wall directly behind them. The left side free-standing trap visually serves as a nice room divider between living room and foyer.
In practice this seems to work well, since I do not have any "pulling" of the center image to one side or the other.
My Blade 2s are slightly more than 2.2 meters tweeter to tweeter and I listen at about 2.7 meters ear-to-tweeter.  However, because of the Blades' wide dispersion and effectively point-source radiation pattern, they are not fussy about distance along the center axis. I have the speakers facing directly ahead and not toed in at all. Also, listening from other positions left or right of center is still very enjoyable when I give up the listening chair to guests. Though not the same imaging and soundstage, the wide sweet spot has a very even tonality even quite a bit off-center.

From the back of the Blades to the wall behind is approximately 1.4 meters, however a bay window area extends the wall back farther between the two speakers and I have my equipment rack in the recessed area to avoid having the rack directly between the speakers.
If you can afford it, do give the Blade 2s the best amplification you can and they will not be the limiting factor. I think highly of Pass Labs (and I still do) but the D'Agostino Momentum amplifier is the real deal and I was astonished how much better the soundstage and imaging and how seamlessly life-like the Blades sounded.

Good luck!
Steve Z
Just remeasured my room, 4.65 m to be exact... leaving 65 for the width of the speakers I could put them 2 m apart and leave 1m each side... But still room treatment then would be needed seems...
No idea if the big blade would be at disavantage because of the limited width more then the Blade two?
 Fred,  can you buy an american made speaker .   Made a wise choice with the Amp then went down hill fast 
Blueskywalker,

I have Blade 2s in my apartment living room which is 4.66m x 4.35m and opens on one of the 4.35m ends into a dining area which is 5.63m x 3.81m.  Ceiling height is a uniform 2.6m.  Dining area also opens into a kitchen area a long corridor.  

I have the Blade 2s on the long wall (4.66m) of the living room with the left speaker positioned 2.35m from the left side wall and the right speaker at the end of the long wall where it opens into the dining area giving 3.8m distance to right side wall from speaker.  Not sure if all those numbers add up exactly but gives a rough guide.  Back of speakers are however only 70cm from wall. Speakers tweeters/ Uni-Qs are 2.62m apart.  Listening position is 3.2m from each tweeter / Uni-Q which puts me closer than I would like to the wall behind me.    

I am driving the Blade 2s with just an Ayre AX-5 twenty (250w per channel 4ohm) at present with Cardas Clear speaker cables / interconnects.  Blade 2s have Isoacoustics Gaia 1 footers and Cardas Clear jumpers.   Ayre AX-5 twenty runs on 240V / 50hz as I live in Australia.

So, even driving the Blade 2s with an amp capable of only 250w per channel I can easily produce thunderous bass at just mid level volume (26 out of 46 on amp volume scale) that pressurizes the room.  I picked the Blade 2s over the 1s to better match my room dimensions / amp power and I am really happy with the results so far. With a more powerful amp driving the Blade 2s I could undoubtedly achieve more bass but friends have commented that bass levels on some tracks already sound like we are in a nightclub.  I have a HSU VTF15H in my HT system which makes the couch shake (on just 20% power) - so I like heavy bass when appropriate.  

Interestingly I found that adding both the Gaia1 footers and Nordost BC sort kones to my system added bass depth as well as better defining it within the soundstage on certain tracks.  I recently posted on another thread that powering my Ayre amp and DAC with a Goal Zero Yeti 1400 lithium battery also significantly improved overall SQ, soundstage and bass characteristics.  I have found that the Ayre AX-5 Twenty provides excellent SQ driving the Blade 2s at low volumes too. I have no room treatments at present which will be my next system upgrade.  However clarity is still striking which I put down to the Blade 2s working well in smaller listening spaces.

I heard some Blade 1s at a dealership driven by a Naim Statement amp can that put out 1.45kW into 4ohm and reckon my little Ayre amp driving Blade 2s had the Blade 1 / Naim combo beaten for clarity and accuracy of vocals and instruments within the soundstage.  Bass of course was a lot more powerful with the Naim amp in the driving seat.  How much of the difference in clarity / soundstage accuracy however was due to the Blade 1s vs 2s is difficult to say without a direct comparison using the same amp.  

I heard some Vivid B1s at the Melbourne HiFi show. Excellent clarity/ staging but I found them too bass shy for my taste.  Not sure what amp was driving them. 

When funds become available I would love to try driving the Blade 2s with an Ayre KX-R / VX-R combo or an integrated amp from T+A or Dan D’Agostino.




Thank you Ayrefan for the long and detailed info!
Seems there are a lot of happy Blade 2 campers out there 😎
I am wondering if any Blade one owners want to chip in and tell us their experiences?