Looking forward to your impressions. I’ve got the Focal 1008be2, an after hearing the KEF LS50W I’m looking to hear the R3 and the Ref1.
18 responses Add your response
B&W are usually too bright unless you are getting on in years, so it’s not the choice for me (<25). Plus, their dips around the crossover are a no-go for me as well (there is no backing for the “BBC dip”, the LS3/5a has huge off-axis energy, it had nothing to do with flat-ish not being ideal).
You can’t go wrong between that Focal and that KEF model. If you won’t have a sub, I would just go with the one with deeper bass.
I have only heard the 805D3. I thought it sounded ok but no way would I buy it for the asking price. It was meh for me and sounded like a small speaker that was trying to sound bigger than it was... if that makes sense.
The bass drew attention to itself with a noticeable bump in the bass but lacked any real depth. I swear I could here port noise too. The highs were good quality but pretty tipped up in B&W fashion.
What's your room size, near field listening, associated electronics, and type of music?
I have the KEF Reference 1's in my office. They sit on either end of an 8' long by 42" deep desk and are driven by a Hegel H590. Incredible combination. I'm very satisfied.
I haven't heard the 805 or sopra's.... Owned the Focal 1007 Be bookshelf driven by a mcintosh integrated about a decade ago..... Enjoyable setup but current combo kills it. Good luck!
Thanks everyone for your advice and experience.
I reached out to KEF who gave me a local contact to demo the Ref 1.
Turns out the local contact is a custom installer only and does not have a showroom facility to demo.
When I reached back out to KEF to update them and ask for another contact they simply said the one given to me is the best they have.
Wow! How has KEF fallen!
KEFs return policy is really not attractive.
If you return any product for any reason other than shipping damage or defective YOU have to pay for return shipping and YOU have to pay a 15% restocking fee.
Again, I'm very surprised at how poor a company like KEF goes to market. I live in Denver, CO and no one has KEF Reference Series to demo. Recently I checked with Best Buy's Magnolia division as they carry a lot of high end brands (MacIntosh, B&*W, etc) and they stated that KEF is dropping the ball! They can't even get the Reference Series in their stores.
Thanks - I appreciate your help. That was nice of you to search.
I did the same and found out the dealers listed are outdated. KEF help-desk only confirmed one.
What's sad is I remember KEF from years ago when they had a strong presence locally.
It just doesn't make sense especially when you seek B&W and even Focal with strong dealer networks.
I think all 3 are fantastic. You might want to add Paradigm Persona B’s into ghe mix as well. Soundshop in Colorado Springs can Demo them / help you with those. The Music Room in Broomfield has a pair of Kefs for sale that they might help you with a listen (I’d suggest taking them some lunch or at least, not mentioning my name,lol). The B&W’s you should be able to hear at Magnolia or Listen Up, either in Denver or the Springs.
I had the Ref 3’s for about 8 mths and the Ref 1’s from a friend for two weeks and while did many things well, just didnt do it for me. In that price range you really need to check out the Legacy Calibre an outstanding stand mount that blew me away. Also I listened to the Aerial Acoustics 5t which is another terrific sounding speaker. Both at a great price point and IMO better that the 3 you listed