Written on: 07/02/2013 by Daniel.Eastburn (11 reviews written)
I just got these last week, once out of the box they are quite large for bookshelf's weighing in at around 5kg, and the look of them is a little strange; at first they look like single driver designs, but a closer look reveals a tweeter positioned where a dust cap usually lies. The idea behind this is so that the sound is more pure, so that drivers are together as one instead of at different locations.
Its a two way bass reflex design, with a 6.5" polypropylene woofer and smallish 19mm soft domed tweeter. The box measures 312 x 207 x 276mm (H x W x D), and has magnetic shielding for use next to a monitor. The rest of the specs can be found at KEF's web site. They look very attractive, with their real wood vinyl rapping, and black front baffle. They're good for most amps at 6 ohms and can take 100 watts.
I hooked them up to my Marantz PM4000 amp, giving them 30 watts each channel. The sound is very good at first, but sound better after about 20 hours running in time. Bass weight is quite good for their 6.5 in woofer, and front port, reaching a respectable 47Hz. The tweeter, sound quite impressive too, even with the low power of my Marantz the sound filled my room size of 4 x 8m. I actually bought and extra pair of speaker cable to make use of the bi-wriable option with the KEF's. And to my surprise they opened up, the sound became full of atmosphere, even my heavy rock music started sounding like I was at a concert, move onto some mild pop and they delivery pretty good rhythm and speed. Using my PlayStation 2 as a CD player, the bass started becoming part of the music, rather tan separate, but it started getting muddy, and sloppy, not bad to the point of disappointment though. Drum beats and snare attacks started appearing in the music unlike before they were distant and muddied over by my previous Wharfedale £100 speakers.
After the running in time, they do open up, but the treble begins to start sounding bright and ear painful, not much but it does effect music at high frequencies, somewhere in the 10KHz sector. Feed them some bi-wiring cable and they open up, place them on some solid stands and they deliver details never heard before. Bring them from the rear wall and the bass becomes less ploddy. If you experience a lack of bass, try placing them nearer a wall, as it increases bass, but too close and they could boom a lot.
Feed them some classical and they handle the string and brass well, and clearly, and still they can handle dense rock mixes, bringing out each instrument with ease. Stereo separation is very good, toe them in for better imaging though.
Certainly worth a listen, I recommend a listen with your equipment, most Hi Fi store have a demo room, just bring along your kit and test these out with them. The sound is quite excellent, but some may want more low end tightness, while the high end can be a little uneasy. Still very accomplished and built speakers.
OR TRY THESE
If your after better, the only alternatives would be Mission M73 speaker coming in at £200 or $280, plus these offer better bass being a floorstander design. Another good choice would be Tangent Acoustic Monitor Eleven, you'd have a hard time finding them on Epinions butput the names in a search engine and they're bound to turn up. But if your after a bargain, but still hooked on KEF, try the KEF Cresta 2 at £150 or $210.