For Sale *SOLD* KEF Reference Series THX TDM23F, TDM23C, TDM34DS Dipole Surround Speakers + Original KEF Stands 5.0 System RARE

fallinlight

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SOLD FOR SALE: KEF Reference Series THX TDM23F, TDM23C, TDM34DS Dipole Surround Speakers + Original KEF Stands RARE

Price: £650 £600 £550 SOLD

£550 for the entire system, or I would prefer to sell the system as is but am happy to split as follows:

TDM23F pair - £250
TDM23C - £200
TDM34DS pair - £250

For sale is my beloved and highly revered, rarely seen KEF Reference Series THX TDM system. Amazing speakers that I recently ended up choosing over even my great XTZ M6 for cinema duties. These are amongst the best speakers I have had in my home cinema.

I had intended to keep these, even if just for Museum pieces - I think these are some of the most beautiful looking speakers I've ever seen and owned, especially with their socks on and when on their original stands - or for backup, or if I simply fancied a change from my XTZ system. But I have just upgraded my M6 to the M8 and I sadly can't afford to keep the KEFs. Even then, I still prefer aspects of the TDMs over the M8 and the TDMs work better closer to my side walls, too.


Some Key notes about performance and credibility:

THX used the TDM34DS as their reference at the THX ranch. I would have loved to have kept the TDM34DS, too, because I still prefer them in some instances to my XTZ M6 as surrounds. The sound field produced in some instances is incredible: for example, the opening Universal Logo for Jurassic Park, the sounds of insects fills my room in a way nothing before has done. Or, the Gallimimus stampede scene, the sound of the dinosaurs stampeding is incredibly full sounding due to the diffuse dispersion of the sound. Or, the more diffuse sound overall offering a wider and more often time, less distracting soundstage overall than my M6.

The TDM23F/ TDM23C and TDM34DS have a lovely slim profile, but still have a good size cabinet which I found helps to produce a larger scale sound, more so than my M6. The warmth and fullness from these speakers will be missed, something that you will often read that ex-owners of these miss compared to newer or current speakers - they still sound fuller in many ways than my M8. There are still owners of the TDM23F/ TDM system on AVF.

The centre TDM23C speaker is amongst the best centres I have ever owned, it sounds more effortless and especially so with dialogue, with a warmer and fuller sound, than that of even my XTZ M8. You will often read - and on here - mentions of how people think that this is the best centre speaker KEF ever made, even compared to later models like the R200C, or the best centre they ever owned. I will miss this centre speaker very, very much.

You can read my write up for this system here,

Part 1: Kef Reference owners

Part 2: Kef Reference owners

Important Notes:

- All cloth socks and TDM34DS wall mounting rails are off/ dethatched at the moment . These are all included.

- 2 x original screws that fasten the TDM23F to the KEF stands are missing. Shorter ones are included, though I don't think these will screw in. I never used any of the screws, as the speakers are perfectly stable without them.

Condition Notes:

- All speakers are, as far as I can tell, in fully working condition. They are in superb, clean (I wiped each one down carefully after removing all of the sock cloths) cosmetic condition given their age, with what I would describe as minor and expected wear and tear given their 26 year age. The KEF stands are in as equally impressive condition given their age. The speakers slot perfectly into the stands - this was one of the pleasures I had in doing.

- One rubber cap which hold the sock cloths on to each speaker is missing, it flew out somewhere in my room when I was taking the socks off, and I haven't spotted it. If I do, I will of course include it in the package.

- Each speaker has black gloss stopped wooden plates that stick with Velcro to either end of each speaker cabinet. They cover up the binding posts/ ends and keep the socks tucked firmly in when they are on. 2 x of these plates are missing from each TDM23F, which is common. You won't need them if you are using the original stands. I however eventually opted to use the TDM23F on my Atacama stands and chose to use the top plates from each speaker for the bottom, so that they fit my stand safely.

- Please note the following damages. They do not effect the sound or function of the speakers to my ears and in-depth time time spent using and listening to them:
  • 1 x TDM23F tweeter is sunken, but sounds fine and fully working to my ears. This may be able to be reshaped/ sucked back out.
  • 1 x TDM34DS woofer dust cap was completely loose upon removing its sock cloth, so I temporarily stuck it down using black electrical tape. It looks great and you can barely tell it has been re-stuck, even close up. The correct glue will make this repair light work.
  • 1 x binding post screw cap is missing. I simply bent the speaker wire down over the bottom of the post and it was perfectly secure.
  • As is common with many speakers, some of the red and black buttons for the binding posts are missing.
  • The terminal plate for the TDM23C has 2 x small cracks/ loose pieces to to opposite corners. This does not effect the stability or fit of the plate and cannot be seen from a distance.
  • TD23C has a small bit of the veneer peeled off from the bottom left corner.
No packaging.

Collection from SW11, please.

20220517_141942 CROPPED.jpg

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KEF Museum history and specifications, which includes links to the the brochure and speaker manuals at the bottom of the page:


KEF Reference Series Home Theatre Brochure:


WANTED: XTZ S5​

Hello @Neojaga, I saw that you might be selling a pair of S5 in a couple of weeks. I'm interested, please. Kind thanks
 
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grims dale

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Sad to see your parting with such fantastic speakers I also have a full set apart from the original sub as I sold it as my little bk sub outperformed it whole ever buys them is in for a treat for what you can buy a set of these for. is just really unbelievable considering the LCR's we're £400 each and the surrounds £800 a pair and you don't even need a power amplifier they might be 4
om's but my marantz sr6012 receiver drivers theme perfectly and they go loud with no distortion anyway have a free bump on me
 

fallinlight

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Sad to see your parting with such fantastic speakers I also have a full set apart from the original sub as I sold it as my little bk sub outperformed it whole ever buys them is in for a treat for what you can buy a set of these for. is just really unbelievable considering the LCR's we're £400 each and the surrounds £800 a pair and you don't even need a power amplifier they might be 4
om's but my marantz sr6012 receiver drivers theme perfectly and they go loud with no distortion anyway have a free bump on me

Thanks, dale! I agree with you 100%. Good points about the value and how easy these are to drive, which I didn't mention in my OP :thumbsup:

I'm glad you're still enjoying yours. As I stated in my OP, I would have kept these if I could afford to, and that says a lot given their cheap cost for what you get and the fact that I've never felt compelled to keep an entire spare system before.

Best regards,

fallinlight
 

fallinlight

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fallinlight

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Burtyyy

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Still rocking the THX TDM series myself, in a 7.2 configuration with BK Monolith Plus subwoofer and an additional pair of the 23F's acting as rears.

Paired with some strong amplification, I don't think there's a better deal to be had in home cinema audio than a set of these, truly high-end sound. Mine were driven in 5.1 config' for a couple of years driven by a powerhouse Pioneer LX-87 AVR at a claimed 220W per channel in to 4ohms and was very satisfied. I eventually bought another set of the LCR channels and added a Rotel THX 5 channel power amp from the same era, rated 200w at 4ohms, and to my surprise I found a marked improvement and refinement to the sound field. There's something I can't quite put my finger on with the sound of this set that I just haven't found elsewhere in several other [more modern] set ups. It may be the large cabinet design but I couldn't say for certain. I will say, in my experience, they shine at higher outputs, but can be a little flat if listening at lower levels.

Out of curiosity @fallinlight , what amplification did you try with your set? I enjoyed your reviews, thanks for sharing. JP is one of my favourite demo discs...the soundtrack is wonderful on the TDM's.

Good luck with the sale, just wanted to chime in and gush about this excellent set of speakers that are really deserving of the Kef Reference title, even some 25 years on. Never had the urge to "upgrade" them, personally.
 

fallinlight

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Good afternoon @Burtyyy,

Thanks for your message and it's nice to hear from a fellow TDM system owner. Nice going pairing some 23F as your rears, I've always placed as much importance to my surrounds, too.

I agree with you, I haven't experienced as good a deal as the TDMs before, yet alone as a speaker system in general, cost withstanding; I'm not sure if everyone understands the calibre of speaker I've recently owned, such as the JBL SAMs, which many regard as the pinnacle of home cinema speakers. For me and my room, the TDMs aren't as good, but they're 'up there', and as I said, I preferred them over my great XTZ M6 for cinema duties.

Your mention of your very apt amplification for your TDMs reminds me that I probably haven't/ did not drive them to their full potential with my Yamaha A3070, though it is still a very capable amp for my needs/ listening levels - I don't push past -25 dB master volume for some older films, you see. But I would imagine some more amplification for my 7.2 system(s) would likely still benefit me.

There's something I can't quite put my finger on with the sound of this set that I just haven't found elsewhere in several other [more modern] set ups.

This. What you said there is exactly how I feel, even right now as I break-in my new M8 LCR, I find myself missing the warmth, body and certain sound of the TDMs, especially the centre speaker for films. It can't match the M8s detail, transparency and general reproduction or fidelity of pure sound, but yet still, there is that special magic something that we both - and other owners - often speak about, and speak about missing (ex-owners) from the TDMs. Pondering this more, I feel it is the warmth and some sort of 'aged' nature/ characteristic of the sound, vintage perhaps, like a well-lived guitar (wood matures and improves the tone of guitars as they age), that the TDMs possess and exhibit which grants them this very special sound that we love. But as you suggest, it could be their cabinet size, well, I agree and think that their verticality still gives off a larger sound in many instances than my M8, for example, I noticed that with Radiohead's Reckoner instantly. I haven't experienced them sounding flat/ too flat at lower volumes, but what I was impressed by is how clear and effortless they still sound at lower volumes. It would also be everything inherent about them in their component design and structure, too that influence this and their sound. The Racetrack drivers for one, are unique and coupled with the MTM design, I find it works wonders, especially the centre speaker... wow! I have fond memories already, and I've only owned them for a few weeks.

I'm actually planning on wiring them back up again, perhaps just the centre speaker for now, due to my ill-health, just to get a taste again of how they sound in comparison to my M8 again. And I'm quite aware that these don't seem to sell easily, which is a shame. I reckon many folks probably think of them as old and vintage and therefore won't sound as good as current speakers, yet to me, they sound better than most of today's speakers, at least most of my previous modern and more expensive systems, including KEF R500 and R200C, MA Silver 200 and XTZ M6 (cinema and for some music - it was a 50/ 50 for music for me with the M6). There is something truly special about the way in which LCR and the system as a whole comes together seamlessly whist sounding so effortless, effortless being another word that you will read owners using to describe them.

Out of curiosity @fallinlight , what amplification did you try with your set? I enjoyed your reviews, thanks for sharing. JP is one of my favourite demo discs...the soundtrack is wonderful on the TDM's.

I used my Yamaha A3070 with my TDMs, Burtyyy (that's a lot of ys). The best AVR I've had in my system was the Arcam AVR30, but I've chosen to fall back on the great and trusty A3070 about 5 times now for various reasons. I did try a good Arcam Class G PA with my AVR30 but I couldn't hear any improvement. Probably in part due to my then JBL 3677 fronts, which carry a very high sensitivity of 99 dB. Yes, I agree, Jurassic Park is blissful from the TDMs indeed :) .

Good luck with the sale, just wanted to chime in and gush about this excellent set of speakers that are really deserving of the Kef Reference title, even some 25 years on. Never had the urge to "upgrade" them, personally.

I really appreciate you and your message, Burtyyy, kind thanks. I am still tempted to keep them. I will see how things go with the sale and how I feel about them.

Enjoy your ongoing love affair with your KEF TDMs! :thumbsup:

Kind wishes,

fallinlight
 

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Reduced to £600.
 

The Eggman72

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You thinking on splitting could be interested in the rears :) ...
 

fallinlight

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You thinking on splitting could be interested in the rears :) ...

Good evening Eggman72,

I wasn't thinking on splitting the system, sorry, no. But I have noted your interest.

Kind regards,

fallinlight
 

The Eggman72

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Not a problem sir thank you 🙂
 

fallinlight

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Not a problem sir thank you 🙂

Good afternoon Eggman72,

If I get a buyer that wants to purchase the LCR, then you are welcome to purchase the surrounds. But you would need to collect or arrange a suitable carrier for them because I don't have any suitable packaging for them.

Best regards,

fallinlight


New photos taken and uploaded.
 

fallinlight

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fallinlight

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Apsilon

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Just a quick one; if you are open to selling individually, can you price each item.

Ta
 

fallinlight

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Just a quick one; if you are open to selling individually, can you price each item.

Ta

Good afternoon Aps,

Ah yes, OK, I will add individual prices now, buddy.

Kind regards,

fallinlight
 

fallinlight

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Hi,

Very interested … I would like to offer £520 collected payment via PPG or BT

Away for a little while but happy to leave a deposit and pay the balance upon collection if that works for you ?
 

fallinlight

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Hi,

Very interested … I would like to offer £520 collected payment via PPG or BT

Away for a little while but happy to leave a deposit and pay the balance upon collection if that works for you ?

Good evening ruru,

Thank you for the offer, however, I'd prefer to hold out for my asking price of £550, which is already cheap. The speaker pairs and centre alone tend to go for as much as £250. And I forgot to price/ count the value of the KEF stands, which retailed for a fair bit on release.

When would you be collecting the speakers, please?

Kind regards,

fallinlight
 
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You are quite right … sorry old habits ;-)

£550 it is :D

PM ?
 

fallinlight

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You are quite right … sorry old habits ;-)

£550 it is :D

PM ?

Hi ruru,

As above, I need to know when you would be collecting, please, before I agree to a sale. And also, how much of a deposit would you be happy to pay?

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
 
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We are away until the 2nd week of June … so

But quite happy to pay the full amount to prove intent to complete :D
 

fallinlight

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We are away until the 2nd week of June … so

But quite happy to pay the full amount to prove intent to complete :D

OK, ruru, thank you for letting me know. I'm happy with both of those terms. Let's take it to PM.

Kind thanks
 

fallinlight

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Good morning @ruru,

I PM'd you last night but I haven't had a reply. I will need payment/ a reply today please, as I still have the speakers listed on various other marketplaces.

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
 

fallinlight

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Dear moderator/ admin,

Can you please advise as to the what I should or am entitled to do regarding the above? As I haven't heard back from @ruru. I was hoping for the deal to be closed in good time, at least by this early pm, and as I have the items listed on various other marketplaces with interest. So, this is inconvenient. I always de-list the items advertised elsewhere as soon as payment is made. I am anxious, especially if the items sell elsewhere in the meanwhile.

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
 

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