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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Kef Blade
Kef Blade
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Old 17th February 2012, 08:20 PM   #1
Sjef is offline Sjef  Netherlands
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Not really DIY but today I was at a demo of the new Kef Blade "50th aniversary" loudspeakers.
Boy what a bad loudspeakers these are. They sound like plastic, are very resonating in the lower mids. Bad definition in the low end. Mids and highs very polite plastic hifi sound. Shut in sound. In others words quite the opposite of what I'm used to at home. Oh man never been so happy to here my own DIY system again. Listening to them from outside the room was plain terrible. In fact that was what drew my attention in the first place. When I went over to see where this terrible sound came from they invited me in at the demo

Just googled the Kef's and found out they are asking 30.000 dollars for these. I guessed they would sell for 5000 dollars or so and even then they really needed some rewrk specially on the housing and the woofers. I allready read some forums where people try to copy some of the design without hearing it, please keep up your own ideas and design. The 'professionals' don,t do it any better in this case. I was pretty shocked to be honoust. (And very happy that I have followed my own ears and ideas in loudspeaker design)
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Old 17th February 2012, 11:12 PM   #2
AllenB is online now AllenB  Australia
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Where in the spectrum do you think this is happening? If possible would you attribute it to the coax drivers, the baffle, or do you think this is just cabinet resonances?

These look to me like an inside-out synergy horn. I just can't yet get my head around them working that way all the way down in a domestic environment.
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Old 17th February 2012, 11:17 PM   #3
s7horton is offline s7horton  United States
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I heard them and thought they sounded quite good. The cost includes R&D, marketing, packaging, etc. something DIY never pays for. Some cool cabinet material. Building my own speakers I would never buy them, but I could see how non speaker building audiophiles could be attracted.
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Old 18th February 2012, 12:17 AM   #4
sq225917 is offline sq225917  United Kingdom
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I've heard them twice now at a large show and a dealer demo and both times they sounded excellent, well balanced, even handed, with good timbre and dynamics. I thought the mids integrated well with the treble and the soundstage was wide and deep with very precise stereo.

Perhaps they were just set up badly for your demo.
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Old 18th February 2012, 12:24 AM   #5
Inductor is offline Inductor  Portugal
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£3k for special finishes, like the "Snow White" for the first UK owner.
The KEF Blade Thread | AVForums.com - UK Online - Page 7
Never give a hand to marketers, they want it all. What a piece of SSCCHHTT. Do they have metal cones (woofers)... or some kind of plastic composite? 4 ĠHms is for a car speaker. You have to found an Amp. I would go with B&W or Focals. I bet my "Sputnik's" Elipson Planet L, 90 dB/coaxial 2-way speakers beats them (without sub).
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Last edited by Inductor; 18th February 2012 at 12:51 AM. Reason: The Insanity of Marketing Disguised as Science in Loudspeakers
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Old 18th February 2012, 11:49 PM   #6
Sjef is offline Sjef  Netherlands
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@ Allen B

It was most of all in the lower mids of the spectrum, internal cabinet resonances. What striked me most where two things. This low. lower mid problem and the pretty bad power response. They have 5 years off R&D in them, come on. Al what they have been doing is optimizing on-axis responce and stick to optimizing a couple of principles and forget about the rest it seems (a very common problem with loudspeaker designers, staring blind at a very few points, in this case the point source) Did not expect this for a 50th aniversy of a well respected loudspeaker company. Did not expect that most people consider this to be "high end" either. If this is High End then I do not like High End, I like something that sounds like a real band playing not a hologram of it.
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Old 19th February 2012, 12:29 AM   #7
RockLeeEV is offline RockLeeEV  Canada
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Originally Posted by Sjef View Post
This low. lower mid problem and the pretty bad power response.
That sounds nothing like a KEF speaker. Their Reference 207/2s are the definition of great box design and excellent power response.

I haven't heard these KEF Blades but your observations don't really seem to jive with what KEF does.

I wonder if they were hooked up to some amp or whack recording.

Last edited by RockLeeEV; 19th February 2012 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 19th February 2012, 12:36 AM   #8
limono is offline limono  United States
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I bet it was a badly set up demo but , yeah this is High-end and thats how it sounds . Manufacturers have to produce what MP3 market demands to stay alive. It's not their fault most peoples are deaf morons manipulated by corrupted media. DIY scene follows closely trying to immitate those pitful achievments and cheers itself up how much they can save by cloning this crap. KEF is an old, respected company and while I'm not a fan they know how to make a neutral speaker without any resonating cabinet problem. It supposed to be their flagship so I'ts hard to believe.
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Old 19th February 2012, 01:26 AM   #9
AllenB is online now AllenB  Australia
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It does sound like it could have been a room issue. Have KEF released any room placement suggestions for this design?
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Old 19th February 2012, 01:28 AM   #10
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockLeeEV View Post
That sounds nothing like a KEF speaker. Their Reference 207/2s are the definition of great box design and excellent power response.

I haven't heard these KEF Blades but your observations don't really seem to jive with what KEF does.

I wonder if they were hooked up to some amp or whack recording.
Yep I would have to agree, one of the best speakers I've heard is the ref 104/2, but then I haven't heard that many:-)
I read an article from the old head of R&D and he said that Kef is about engineering principles, its primarily done by measurement and specs based on science. The other end of the spectrum is tuned by ear, ie this sounds nice to me.
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Last edited by Luke; 19th February 2012 at 01:31 AM.
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