Kef reference 3


Any thoughts? Thinking of moving up from Vivid Oval 1.5. Like their sound but want a little bigger sound. The new Vivid speakers are too rich for me, and I can get a good buy on the reference 3. Soundstage did think they were close to the Vivid B1 Decade which is $28,000.
crwindy
If you want more bass get yourself a subwoofer and stop complaining.
I would wait for the Ref 3 with the META stuff on the drivers. 
That would put them out of my price range. I am looking at demos of the current speakers. 
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In that case I think your choice of the KEF is great. It sounds similar to the Vivids to me. I have heard both a lot. 

I was looking at USAuidomart yesterday for some KEF's because of some anxiety I had with my 'new' speakers (resolved today). There were a lot of KEF Blades going for $12K,which is still a lot more than a demo Ref 3. However, the Blade is a big jump from the Ref 3.
However, the Blade is a big jump from the Ref 3.
In price yes. In any other way no.
I have the Ref 1, which have taken the place of my Harbeth Super HL5 Plus in my main system.  They sound pretty big on their own.  I have 4 subs in my system and one day turned them off and forgot to turn them back on.  I noticed something was different in my system, but it took me a bit to put my finger on it, they do that well on their own.  I haven't heard the Ref 3 but would expect them to play even bigger.
@kenjit  Of course man, I was only trying to get the person to spend more. You really do not need to say the obvious.
I auditioned tons of speakers in the price range and finally bought the Ref 3s.  Took a long time for them to break in and, for a while, I thought I made a mistake.  Once broken in, they opened up and now I love them.  Speaker placement is really important.  I finally hired an expert to do that and it took several hours. I don’t know wha Meta on the drivers means but my speakers are two years old and sounding great.  
ref3s were awesome when I heard them.


Took a long time for them to break in and, for a while, I thought I made a mistake.  
what did they sound like before they did break in?
@brownsfan The META I refer to is the new tech that KEF has developed and putting into the KEF LS50 META first. It will trickle up to the other lines.
Before they broke in, the Ref speakers sounded closed in, lacking dynamics, without the soundstage and imaging that impressed me in the store.  It took a few months before they sounded good. 
OP: KEF has the Ref 3 in rosewood on sale for $9999 and the Ref 5 for 14,000.  Don’t know what price range you’re looking at but the Ref 5 is similar to the 3 with two more woofers and more bass. Rosewood looks beautiful.  
That is what I am seeing as well, and I am looking at a demo for somewhat less. Room is not big enough for the reference 5.
Thanks for the heads up. 
I have the Ref 3s and so am obviously biased.  I think they’re exceptional and spent more than a year considering others at or around their price. I’d buy them again in a heartbeat over all the others auditioned.  Indeed, they’re the only component I have the I would say I’ve fully reached my destination.

If you’re buying demos, perhaps you won’t have to worry about break in as other have noted - it takes a while.  

I don’t find them to be finicky about placement as they’re fairly adjustable with the port inserts that come with them.  

I will also say they are very rewarding when you improve things upstream.  

Best,  
I should add the following to my earlier posting.  I was at a store listening to  multiple speakers and trying to figure out which I liked best.  The salesman commented that he was watching my facial expressions and body language while listening .  While  auditioning the KEFs, he said I was smiling and looked relaxed, which wasn’t happening with any of the other speakers.  I thought about this, listened some more, and decided he was right.  Ymmv.  
I have had the Reference 3s for about a month. Currently using a Primaluna Dialogue HP with KT150 tubes and a Cambridge streamer. Thinking about a one box solution. Any thoughts about the NAD M33, Naim Unity Nova or the Krell 300i? Will the Naim have enough power? Medium sized room, 14x18 feet. 
The M33 is the best of the three of those IMO.  Issue at the moment is it is slow getting them due to COVID.  The others will be available much more quickly. 
The Naim should sound great but is lower powered than the NAD I think.  
I would not pair Krell with Kef.  
You could also look at McIntosh.  They have all-in-one.  I have no idea how stable the software is.  

How can a company that designed the Blade come up with anything as lame as the current Reference line? I always appreciated kef's fearlessness in letting their experiments move them forward. $13k for 2x6.5 aluminum woofers in a box? that latest uniq must really be something special.