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Old 20th February 2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Collado Villalba (Madrid)
Default KEF 105.1 restored and upgraded

Hi guys


I've just finished the restoration and upgrading of my lovely 105's. I've done many improvements in xovers, cabinets and aesthetics with success.

The crossovers are new, with solen caps 2% suplied by falconacoustics (they calculated for me the ESR), Mundorf M resist resistors from Hificollective, Supra binding posts and van del hul Royal Jade and Magnum hybrid wires.

The bass cabinet have been reinforced with the same internal volume and new front pannel for the bass driver.

The sound now is far better than ever.

Last edited by Audiobiker; 22nd February 2013 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Atach photos
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Old 20th February 2013, 07:11 PM   #2
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Location: Collado Villalba (Madrid)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiobiker View Post
Hi guys


I've just finished the restoration and upgrading of my lovely 105's. I've done many improvements in xovers, cabinets and aesthetics with success.

The crossovers are new, with solen caps 2% suplied by falconacoustics (they calculated for me the ESR), Mundorf M resist resistors from Hificollective, Supra binding posts and van del hul Royal Jade and Magnum hybrid wires.

The bass cabinet have been reinforced with the same internal volume and new front pannel for the bass driver.

The sound now is far better than ever.
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Old 21st February 2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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Could you post some more pictures of their exteriors? I love these speakers!

Browsing the Kef site, they have the original brochure online - they certainly knew how to do a good brochure in those days.

http://www.kef.com/uploads/files/en/...odel_105_r.pdf

The trapezoidal angular design, the half cloth half wood-veneer exterior, the no-compromises size (castors!), the separate boxes concealed behind the grille, they're fantastic.

Being of a certain age, large 70s speakers like these have a peculiar effect on me: I positively lust after them. For me they represent something of a peak in civilization. My new DIY speakers bear a strong resemblance to them, but not nearly as good looking.

Tell us more about how they sound!
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Old 22nd February 2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Collado Villalba (Madrid)
Hi CopperTop


Now my speakers are not the ones you described above. Go to Home> Member Galleries and search: Audiobiker and you'll see.

They had some problems in comparison with modern speakers.

The xovers failed with it's aged electrolitics caps, that makes the sound less clear and with a bit of hursh in high frecuencies. The Solen caps 2% solved the problem.
The wires and binding post were not very good.
The bass cabinet made some coloration with it's removable and thin front pannel. It have been improved with a new fixed and thicker one, and some reinforcements.
The heads had some cracks due to the age.

I thought that these speakers were marketed a bit unfinished in aesthetics and sound, and had an enormous potential.

My goal was to improve all of that without losing the KEF 105 essence.

Now the bass is clearer and with a lot of detail. The mids and highs are more detailed too and smooth. Now are really lovely, far better than ever.

I've tested them in direct comparison with KEF 207/2 and they were the logical loosers, but they were very good contenders with all the improvements. The 207's are only a bit better, with a bit more of detail, air, bass, definition and sensitivity.

The 105's need very big power to control them. LUXMAN L11 (2 x 100 watt ) didn't do that very well. Primare A 32 (2 x 250 watt ) did it very good, but McIntosh MC 402 sound wonderful.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Collado Villalba (Madrid)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
Could you post some more pictures of their exteriors? I love these speakers!

Browsing the Kef site, they have the original brochure online - they certainly knew how to do a good brochure in those days.

http://www.kef.com/uploads/files/en/...odel_105_r.pdf

The trapezoidal angular design, the half cloth half wood-veneer exterior, the no-compromises size (castors!), the separate boxes concealed behind the grille, they're fantastic.

Being of a certain age, large 70s speakers like these have a peculiar effect on me: I positively lust after them. For me they represent something of a peak in civilization. My new DIY speakers bear a strong resemblance to them, but not nearly as good looking.

Tell us more about how they sound!
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Old 22nd February 2013, 01:26 PM   #6
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One photo...

I don't know how to atach more
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Old 22nd February 2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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My system .....
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Last edited by Audiobiker; 22nd February 2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Atach photo
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Old 23rd February 2013, 02:28 AM   #8
WPM is offline WPM  United States
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Audiobiker,

Your KEF's look absolutely fantastic! What a beautiful job. I am just finishing up a restoration to my 105.1's and hope (fingers crossed) to have them completed this weekend.

The heads on yours look awesome (as do the entire speaker). Did you use automotive paint on them? It must be at least 10 coats thick. Very cool and very retro.

I'll post a few pics of mine when they're done. Cheers!

William
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Old 23rd February 2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Collado Villalba (Madrid)
Hello William

Thank you for liking my speakers. It was a very hard work to do that. I've painted them with automotive paint, with only few coats. The color is Volkswagen's Golf GTI Carbon steel grey LA9W. It is a beautiful color.

Try to change the caps to PP's like Solen's ( as I did ), Mundorf.... The improvement in sound is night and day comparison. And the wires too. After a lot of investigation I found falconacoustics and asked Jerry (sales@falconacoustics.co.uk). He will help you.

Good luck

Marcos
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Old 23rd February 2013, 12:25 PM   #10
WPM is offline WPM  United States
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Hi Marcos,

Thanks for the information on the paint. Here is a pic of one of my heads. I went with the Falcon Acoustics Alcap electrolytics and basically did a one for one swap with each of the original Elcap caps. I would have loved to go with something more exotic but didn't want to take a chance. Maybe at a later time.

Copper Top: Show us some pics of your DIY speakers; we'd love to see them...

William


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