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Old 21st January 2008, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default Kef 103 or Kef 104?

Hi all. Very new to this forum. Have been an on and off audiophile for about 33 years. Still love all the old gear. I'm looking for a pair of used speakers. Found a pair of Kef 104/2's. They sound wonderful! Seller is asking a high price. Also found Kef 103/4's at a fantastic price. But have not listened to that pair. Any old Kef owners out there? Are the 103/4 a good sonic pick? The price difference is $600.00. And I'll have to drive about 2 hours round trip. The 104/2's are about 10 minutes away. Thank's. John Wilson.
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Old 21st January 2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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I've been delighted with my 104.2's for 20 years. I have no plans to replace them anytime soon. They appear for sale on sites such as audiogon.com fairly often, priced between $500-800 per pair depending on condition. Because of their weight, shipping can be expensive if the seller is not nearby.

I have not listened to the 103.4, but I notice that a pair is currently for sale on audiogon for about the same price as the 104.2's.

If you like the sound of the 104.2's for sale near your location, then buy them, but not for more than $800 at the very most. Be sure to audition them carefully and inspect the cabinet, grills, and drivers. The dustcaps of the woofers inside the cabinet are probably crumbling or deteriorated. Mine have been like that for many years, with no apparent effect on sound quality.

Happy listening.
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Old 21st January 2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks Java. John Wilson.
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Old 27th January 2008, 12:11 AM   #4
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The 104/2 is a different animal to the 103.4.
The former was developed for high sensitivity, with a fully conjugated but 4 ohm input impedance. As such, the low end response is not particularly extended. It had twin 8" bass drivers in a coupled cavity configuration, twin 5" mid drivers and 1" soft dome tweeter.
The 103.4 was a much later development, and is a smaller speaker with twin 6.5" drivers, again in coupled cavity, but with a UNI-Q mid/tweeter arrangement. It does not have quite the sensitivity or output capability, but does have very good imaging by virtue of the UNI-Q.
Always with these systems you will need to check the condition of the woofer surrounds and rolling dustcap seal. Shine a flashlight into the front vent and take a look for signs of foam rot.

Andrew
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Old 27th January 2008, 01:21 AM   #5
mlloyd1 is offline mlloyd1  United States
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i echo java's opinions. i've had mine for 20 years plus.
i still like them, too.

mlloyd1

Quote:
Originally posted by Javachip
I've been delighted with my 104.2's for 20 years. I have no plans to replace them anytime soon...
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Old 27th January 2008, 02:35 AM   #6
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I have some 104.2's and think they're a fine speaker for what they are. Bit limited in LF as was noted but about the only design I've heard in a while that I can bear to listen too. They're not really HE (by my standards) or horns but they'll more than do 'till I get something I like more. I've been using them for nearly 3 years and procrastinate on building something else.
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Old 27th January 2008, 08:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mlloyd1
i echo java's opinions. i've had mine for 20 years plus.
i still like them, too.

mlloyd1

Here they are at the shop. Let me say the 104's have a stunning depth and wonderful stage. I'll look more closely inside of the port. John Wilson. Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 1st February 2008, 06:26 AM   #8
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Wow. The pair of 104.2 in the pic is in really good condition. I got a pair of the same color from ebay about a year ago for 300US. With shipping and Canadian custom, totaled 500 canadian. I drove 30 mins to cross the border to pick them up from shipping address. They are heavy because of the sturdy enclosures. Nowadays speakers seldom use such good wood for enclosures. All drivers in good condition but the cabinet and grilles not quite. Sanded them down, filled some dents and cracks with wood filler, finally re-varnished with mahogany. They look a lot better, though not professionally done. I've even re-clothed the grilles. The 104.2 sounds really good - good sound stage, good image, details not lacking, reasonable tight bass. They out-performs my previous pair of B&W Concept 90 - that sleek tower speaker with CM1 on top and CM2 for the bass. By the way, I've removed the rubber feet and place each of them on a piece of MDF with blue-tac to keep them together. I've also fixed to each corner on the base of the MDF a dowel screw (that screws on both ends) to act as spikes. With these little diys, I feel that the bass tightness has been improved. Also recently got the Kube 104.2 which is meant to extend the LF of 104.2 but hasn't yet got time to put it to test.
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Old 1st February 2008, 06:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Kef 103 or Kef 104?

I'm with Brett on these... not my cup of tea.

My buddy has KEF 104.2s probably in as good a condition as the ones pictured.. I can't get very excited about them -- they seem to suck the life out of the music -- i suspect a large part of that is the mediocre parts quality in the XOs and too much aggressition on getting the measured frequency response flat at the expense of any other design metrics. I know that given what the design goals were they do a good job, so if you like that kind of thing...

If they sell for that much i should talk him into selling them.

dave
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