Thanks for the post! Its nice to hear from happy audio enthusiasts who have completed their audio nirvana quest. Enjoy the music!
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I think the KEF reference it is not just another speaker line. It is an acomplishment in engineering and design as well. They sound so natural that after a while it is addictive.
I know friends with the Kef blades that had owned much more expensive speakers before. They just got in love with KEF sound signature like the live performance and out of the way.
Good luck and follow your ears always.
The Hegel H30 is a really great amp and most people who have the Ref 1 seem to like to drive them with higher watt amps like that.
I first drove my Ref 5s with a Levinson 23.5 and they sounded awesome with lots of tight bass. I'm now using an MC275 with equally excellent results but with an even smoother upper mid presentation.
The KEF Refererence line can be run with high watt SS or even lower watt tubes, but they just always present the music in a very natural, organic way.
mountainsong, how do you find they compare to Focal's Utopia speakers (assuming you've heard that particular line)? I'm considering a pair of used Micro Utopia Be, and later the Diablo Utopias. Actually, I'm a bit concerned that the Focals and Totem's new Element Fire speakers could lack some of the musicality that the more 'classic' Totems seem to offer (tonal shadings, whathaveyou). I've wondered if the Reference 1s could potentially also be a bit dry or analytical. Having said that, above all else, I prefer a rather neutral, transparent presentation, and don't want an overly coloured sound either.
I like the idea of being able to push the Reference 1s to a louder level than where my Totems can go. Hopefully my V-1xe would be up to the task.