28 square feet? Like in 4 feet by 7 feet??? Or are you talking about 28 foot wall dimensions?
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The Blade is a tall and imposing structure that resembles sculpture. It has a small footprint but nonetheless looks big. The sound wasn't all that great, I am sorry to say, as a friend of mine is a dealer. but he says they are selling. The Wilson product will look smaller but actually have a larger footprint -I think- not exactly sure. I happen to like the Wilson sound and wouldn't hesitate buying Wilson's newer speakers except that I don't have the money. Wilson does something very right engineering his products. Kef OTOH does nothing wrong just not a thrill likre Wilson. Theres my 2 cents maybe 3!
So, you're considering a sound system for your bathroom? Did you mean to write 280 sq. ft. (28x10)??
The KEFs I have heard are among the best imaging speakers. The placement and location of instuments and voices within the soundfield is extraordinary. Plus, the sound is "smooth" and non-fatiguiing. All of the Wilsons I have heard have a hot top-end...
As a displaying Blade dealer and someone with 25 years of experience and I was also one of the top Wilson salespersons in the country I think I am uber qualified to discuss both companies products.
The Blade is a totally polarizing speaker from a company that is emerging out of its long slumber. Kef's current product line is competitive with any of the best high end brands, their earlier products were good but too flawed.
In terms of design, technology and research and development KEF can outspend Wilson, Magico, YG acoustics and ten other speaker companies combined. The Blade program was over 1 million dollars spent in R&D over five years, out of the Blade program came exciting technological advances in cabinet and driver construction.
We had the Blades setup in the poorly covered NY Audio Show, where reviewers did not bring their own music, nor did they spend any private time in the rooms like they do when they are at CES.
I walked the show and listened to both the big YG and the MBL's and the sound we were getting out of the Blades was as good as the big YG which were $120,000 speakers being driven by $160,000.00 worth of electronics!
In my shop I don't get the extremely deep bass we got in
the Waldorf, which demonstrates that the Blades are more room dependent than most other speakers, and this should be self evident when you have side firing woofers.
What the Blades did do in this setup was a gigantic soundstage, thrilling dynamics, extremely deep bass, with a fully coherent sound. To my ears and experience they sounded very much like a pair of $70k Wilson Maxx with greater coherence and a more relaxed top end.
I have never heard a $30k speaker sound like a $70k speaker until the Blade came along.
Now part of the reason with this other dealer may be his room or partnering gear, people who heard the Blades at shows have either been impressed or not. We sell Parasound gear which is excellent for the price but pales in comparison to the sound we get from the Blades when driven by Chord electronics, so as I said you have a magnificent but very tricky speaker with the Blades, at many shows Kef showed with the good Parasound gear but not with the more exotic and expensive electronics, sources and cabling which most people would pair with them, at a recent show with Mac gear the reviewer was very impressed.
The Wilson Alexia is basically a Watt Puppy with a more flexible way of increasing the speakers coherence than the WP's alignment.
Now the Wilson sound has always been dramatic and very vivid. The overall presentation of the Alexia will not be as big as the Blade so it will come down to personal taste and what you value, both speaker image very well and are very dynamic.
I would listen to both and then make up my mind, I would advise you that if you can set up the Blades well you can not find a better speaker for that amount of money, the Blades are a steal for what they do.
I have heard the Blades twice, and both times I was very underwhelmed. If someone gave me $30K to spend on KEF speakers, I'd buy the top KEF Reference model, and pocket the difference. OTOH, I've heard various Wilson Audio speakers in the past, and generally liked what I heard. Just my $0.02. You should audition any gear you are considering prior to purchase, especially a five-figure purchase!
I've heard the Blade at a few shows with top gear and they never impressed me, I have owned several Kef systems and the Blade always sounded just flat and boring to me.
I owned Wilson Sasha W/P's and they are very impressive, sold due to moving out of the country but would have kept them otherwise, my vote is for the Wilson's.
Heard both and RMAF. I found the blade unobjectionable (perhaps not the right aspiration for a 30k speaker), and the Akexia's to be "Wilson-y" (just the thing, for some people).
Lots of choices, at your price point (or any price point!): at this year's RMAF, commercial products with comparably fancy builds from Venture, Vivid, and Sony were competitive with those you mention (to name only a few).
As I said in my previous post the Blade is a chameleon of a speaker, and it depends where and what you heard it on.
Some of the dealers do not have them setup correctly or do not have the right sized rooms to make them sing, my pair sounds amazing, except that I do not get the extreme deep bass that I have heard come out of them in a different room.
What is interesting in Sound Stage's article titled the speakers I would buy for $100k he listed both the Blades and the more expensive Vivids.
In the review on the Blades from I think Hifi news or hifi plus came away with the same conclusions I have which is if you set them up right, they sound like a $70k speaker.
I also have the 207.2 and the Blades are vastly superior to the 207.2. I have heard the Sasha, and the Blades are again a vastly superior speaker, same with the Blades vs the Magico products in the same range.
You owe it to yourself to hear them well setup, they are amazing.
The Absolute Sound review of the KEF Blade was unequivocally favorable. So much so that I was also thinking of getting a pair of Q900s as an affordable consolation prize, or maybe since I have a matched pair of compact subs, the R-300 or 50th Anniversary stand-mounts.
Also, here's a Stereophile evaluation that acknowledges that demos at previous shows were not good, but that this demo was done under much better circumstances and would be on the reviewer's short list.
@Rpeluso, I now have kef speakers (203/2 and LS50). I am thinking of upgrading my speakers, top on the list is kef blade or WA alexia. I have auditioned the blade but not yet the other one. I purchased some components of my audio system based on what people say, especially in this forum. I look at the technical specs, then try to find negative comments based on someone's actual experience. The review in the audio magazines are sometimes bias.Comments here are straight and forward, but of course it's up to you to consider which one is applicable to your system.
That's a pretty small room I would think if its sealed and that size you might have major issues with big speakers and trying to control the bass. I had all kinds of issues in a room 19x15 with big speakers. Unless you've already had speakers that put out serious bass in there you might end up bummed to spend that kind of dough and have boomy bass.
In terms of design, technology and research and development KEF can outspend Wilson, Magico, YG acoustics and ten other speaker companies combined. The Blade program was over 1 million dollars spent in R&D over five years
so as I said you have a magnificent but very tricky speaker with the Blades
How much to get a 30k speaker that's *not* very tricky? ;)