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KEF Reference Series experiences

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Drone Cone, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Drone Cone

    Drone Cone
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    I'm looking at buying a pair of KEF Reference Series loudspeakers.
    Not sure which ones to go for just yet as I need to sort out my finances 1st.
    Prob 203's or 205's based on spec and the short demo's I have had over the last year or so.

    So whats the general opinion on these speakers?

    Any users care to offer comments or advice?
     
  2. Steve N

    Steve N
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    I am using last generation Kef Ref.
    I would strongly recommend a home trial.
    The Kefs can "boom" . The larger ones need plenty of room to breathe.
    I love mine and have a fairly large room but still found the 2.2s better than the 3.2s in my set up
     
  3. giantteabag

    giantteabag
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    I agree.
    I have 3.2's & they needed the boundary compensation device activated to stop boom (this would'nt happen if I could've pulled them well into the room but the wife had something to say about that!).
    Once positioned correctly (took me 4 months) the Reference series is fantastic. The sound is uncoloured & honest to the point of showing up lesser components & media mixes. They are addictive..I can't go a day without playing a CD..they're that good. :)
     
  4. Jules

    Jules
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    I had a pair of Reference speakers but sold them.
    They have a tendancy to sound 'chesty' in the upper bass.

    The treble and driver integration, plus the beautiful build are very attractive,
    but the chesty-ness got on my nerves after a while!

    For the last 4 years (and still) I've been blown by KEF's own (but now discontinued) TDM THX speakers combined with an SVS subwoofer.
    Although many would argue that these are primarily cinema speakers, I felt they sounded bigger, far more rounded and musical when compared to the Reference speakers.

    Personally, I think the KEF Reference range is over-rated and overpriced.
    Oh, and they need a very powerful amplifier to control them properly as their impedance is very low.
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Two points.

    Boom is ALL down to placement and this is applicable to any speaker. And yes these speakers are difficult to drive well. People often stop at the high sensitivity and think they are easy to drive. This is WRONG.

    The big selling point is they have a very even and consistent performance across the band (flat as well). Imaging and room interactions are better than many as well. I have always enjoyed their considerable strengths.
     
  6. giosblue

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    My only experience is with Kef reference ones and twos.
    I chose the ones becuase of my room size 18ftx12.
    the twos where just too much.

    Iv'e had mine for about six years and was thinking of replacing them.

    But when I play some well recorded music I think they sound fine. In fact exceptional on occasions.

    I do sometimes wonder if I'm missing out though. I just don't get the time to do the rounds and listen. Be interesting to hear from someone who as changed from Kefs Reference to something else though.

    I read a comment on the Naim forum from somebody who tried the Ones for about 6weeks. And said they where CRAP!.
    Anybody else of the same opinion?
     
  7. ian-500

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    Hi Drone Cone.

    Sorry for posting sooooo late but I've only just read this thread.

    As with most people in this thread, I've only had experience with the previous Kef Reference range. Over the years I've been to alot of hi-fi shows, and I came across Kef demoing this Reference range at the Bristol show, in 2000 I think. I promised myself that I'd buy a pair 1 day.
    I had the 4.2's for about 18 months, then down sized to the 1.2's purely because I needed some cash.
    I have to say that the 4.2's, even in my 16ft x 14ft room at the time were just awesome. Midrange was amazing and the bass was nice and tight and went fairly low.
    The 1.2's have the same tweeter but I've got less of everything else! If I can afford them in the future, then I'll hunt down another pair of 4.2's. I had the premium Albina Burr finish and it looked fantastic.
    My advice is that if you want to save money, then go for the 4.2 or the slightly smaller 3.2. You won't be dissappointed.

    Hope this helps mate.

    Ian.
     
  8. banman

    banman
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    Hi All,

    Interesting. I've just put a pair of 3's in my front room which is also 18'x12' they sound great. Bass heavy at the moment there are 4 8" woofers in a bass reflex cabinet I've reminded myself. I do want to tone down the bass; it is a bit strong, but only if its on the CD. Music which is not bass heavy is excellent top to bottom. The rnb & hip hop CDs are very bass heavy - prob to compensate for most speaker systems?

    But boomy the bass is not.

    I've read about ppl talking about needing a powerful amp to control bass. Is this my prob? I@m driving these (not bi-wired or bi-amped) of a 100wpc Rotel 985 mk2. I can by amp off this amp. How does the additional power help control the bass? Is it supplying additional current as required that helps?

    Many thanks,
    B.
     
  9. martimu

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    You are going have to have a further listen or get a home dem.

    The latest Reference series is a total different beast than the old range. The voicing is completely different and they operate at a much higher price point.

    They are very good IMO but would be useful to know what you are partnering with and room sizes etc

    Martin
     
  10. matblack

    matblack
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    Loving my new 103/4s :D

    Given 'em a good space to the rear and they sound great, howver I am not an audiophile like a lot of you guys :)

    MB
     
  11. RussKent

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    Drone,

    I run a set of 203's and wouldn't change them for anything. Dont forget you need lots of current to drive these beasts !!

    I had both the 205 and 203 in home demo , 203's won hands down
     
  12. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Rus,
    out of interest,what do you partner your 203`s with?

    Dan :)
     
  13. RussKent

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    Dan,

    My DSP is a Pioneer VSA-AX10Ai-s, then i have the 203's bi amped with one NADC372 amp per speaker, the DSP just runs the centre, subs and 7.1.

    Russ
     
  14. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Not tempted by the 202c then Russ? ;)
     
  15. Ettepet

    Ettepet
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    Nice setup Russ,

    I own the older Pioneer flagship, and for the last two years I had my eyes on the 203's. Great to see someone with a Pioneer who actually bought them, and included some extra gear to make them shine. :)

    ps: Last month I ultimately bought 4x Onix Rocket 850's + their RSC 200 center (link), also wonderful speakers which are much easier to drive. Still curious how they'd compare though.
     
  16. RussKent

    RussKent
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    Danny,

    I have the 202 c :thumbsup:
     
  17. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Silly me! :rolleyes:
     

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