Print Page | Close Window

Anyone running KEF speakers??

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: And the rest
Forum Name: Transducers, Speakers, Mics...
Forum Description: Interested in bi-amping, tri-amping, crossovers, speaker design, miking techniques, EQ - the list goes on
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4570
Printed Date: 17 Nov 2019 at 9:13pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Anyone running KEF speakers??
Posted By: Old skool
Subject: Anyone running KEF speakers??
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2018 at 5:51pm
As I carry on the HiFi upgrading I'm finding myself wondering if my speakers are the weak link now..?

I have a few systems (like any other HiFi junky).  The one in question, which I have never been happy with TBH, consists of Inspire DC Carbon LP12 & 
Rev M powered by an Arcam AVR850 run in a Bi-Amped configuration (I'm running 5.1. this thing can do 7.2 so has amps to spare for 2 channel listening).
Current speakers are Monitor Audio Silver RS floor standers.
Cables are Chord Chorus RCA & QED Silver Bi-Wire.

I don't use the REL 12" sub for 2 channel music & I want more slam/bass.

Always liked the cut of KEF's jib, at the higher end at least.  Maybe L*nn speakers too?  They will be second hand, I don't have new PMC type cash.

Any recommendations folks?



Replies:
Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2018 at 5:54pm
I have a pair of Q100's as the front speakers for home cinema and gave them an extended audition as my stereo left and right speakers powered by the excellent Proprius amps. They were second hand and the smallest cabs in the range that year so some bass compromises but the coincident drivers do work well. KEF have produced more advanced and larger UniQ speakers since then including the LS50's. I would certainly suggest a demo to see if you like the sound.




-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Old skool
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2018 at 6:25pm
1 vote for KEF then


Posted By: Dave Friday
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2018 at 8:11pm
K E F 105.4 in the " music room" had them for over 38 years!!



-------------
lp12,oc9mk3,ca610p,krimson40watt pa,kef105.4


Posted By: Old skool
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2018 at 10:45pm
must be a big old room. 

Thinking more the model 3s maybe 


Posted By: peterb
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2018 at 10:37am
Not sure if mine qualify, they are DIY 103.2s (Kit designation CS3s) made from a Wilmslow kit bought when their shop was actually in Wilmslow, in 1983! I chose them as they were the largest I thought my wife would find acceptable but still big enough to produce a really good sound. They were sold as bookshelf speakers and about 22 litres and a little larger than LS3/5s (Kit designation CS1), however I use them floor mounted. I really wanted speakers with 3 drivers but those choices were just too large for the space we had then. 
Bottom line is that they have matured into superb elements of my HiFi. They have outlived three power amp upgrades and seem to have sonically just got better and better, I think there is definite maturing process for speakers even though the 'timber' used is man made MDF. 
I am not very good at comparative sound tests, unless it is instant switch, I just know if I hear something wrong, it jars. Over the years what has jarred has always been down to a source or one of the electronic elements, never the speakers.
I have not listened to KEF's more recent models but I do trust their designs.
So from my limited experience, I guess that is one vote from me.


-------------
Peter
---------------------------------------
Dual 505-1, Cyrus CD T, DIY 80W MosFet amp and PreAmp, 2xKEF 103.2


Posted By: oldagetraveller
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2018 at 11:04am
My very first ever "proper" speakers were KEF Celeste 4s, way back in the early 1980's. Excellent for the price at the time and U.K. made.
I do have a pair of KEF LS50 (Chinese madeThumbs Down) stand mounters which are very good - look nice along with performing well!
Not a patch on my superb old Proac SC1s though.Thumbs Up
Make up your short list, then go and listen.


-------------
Peter

P T- LPT/RB300/G1042, Pink Triangle Tarantella/Nima/Ortofon 2M Black, SL1210II, Naim CD5, NAC112, NAP150, Flatcap2, Proac SC1, GS SoloUL,GS Accession , Senn HD250 & HD540.


Posted By: Old skool
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2018 at 11:25am
Trouble is, all the speakers I’m interested in are old! 
Can’t go to a dealer to audition a selection of 90s KEF, L*nn & Spendors 😕


-------------
Is the pursuit High Fidelity a sign of mental illness??
I think so....


Posted By: Bencat
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2019 at 1:08pm
I have a pair of KEF 103 Reference units from around 1973 - 76 . I bought them after hearing a pair in a friends house and loved what they did. Used them as passive unit for many years after I upgraded the crossover with modern high quality capcitors and new in specification resistors (left all the indictors as they were) . This improved the bass and the intergration of the units no end chances were the original CR was way out of spec . As these are sealed baffle units I used them hard against a wall which has good domestic acceptance value and gives the bass an extra kick .

Around ten months ago I decided to immerse myself in a project and decided to make the KEF 103 units active . Refinished the cabinets , removed the passive cross over s and stored them away in case i wanted to ever put them back . Added a Mini DSP DDRC24 to cover the digital crossover , DAC and room DSP function (using DIRAC Live) and paired them up with two Fidele audio improved Quad 405 power amplifiers . The change and quality of these speakers now is breath taking they go lower they image better they sound intergrated and they really boogie when you ask them to . Active speakers seem to have a very fast sound , by which I mean notes start and stop very quickly there does no seem to be any overhang which gives music a precision and detail that once you have heard it is very additive .


Posted By: peterb
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2019 at 3:22pm
Pleased to read someone else has good experience with Kef 103s.
Andrew I would be interested to know about the upgraded crossovers you built. 
Did you just duplicate the values?
Can you recall what make the caps were, below is the original circuit diagram from my kit.



-------------
Peter
---------------------------------------
Dual 505-1, Cyrus CD T, DIY 80W MosFet amp and PreAmp, 2xKEF 103.2


Posted By: Old skool
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 8:36am
I think the DIRAC active room correction software has a lot to do with it. 

My Arcam uses it too. When you turn it off it sounds a bit rough!


-------------
Is the pursuit High Fidelity a sign of mental illness??
I think so....


Posted By: Bencat
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 9:15am
peterb sorry I do not know how to add attachments to this forum so apologies . I used the circuit diagram I was kindly sent by the KEF technical team and made sure all of the capacitor and resistor specifications were as close to the original as possible . I was able to buy a second pair of crossovers so I was able to remove the originals and store them then work on the second pair and upgrade them using film caps etc but not touching any of the inductors.

I can honestly say that when I turned on the speakers after they were first completed I was less than happy . They worked but the sound was tight and congested in the bass and was not really intergrating with the treble they seemed to be playing as two seperate units. I was about to remove the new CR's put the old one back in and start again but then I remembered when I had the Mains Capacitors replaced on my Krell KSA50 and on getting it home and turning it on being horrified at the poor sound it was producing advice then was to leave the unit running with music at low volume for a few hours which I did and was then greated with the old Krell sound I was used to .

So as the KEF's are not as dangerous (or costly ) to leave on as the Krell I put Radio Paradise in Flac quality on and let them play all night . Result next morning was that not only were the KEF 103's back and singing but they were now much improved smoother , more detailed and stronger bass with much improved imaging . As I use then hard against a wall imaging is the thing that suffers most so improvement is in this area is a nice bonus. Now what is I think impossible to say is was the improvement me just bringing the cr back to the original specification which is a good thing or did the "better" components I used make a difference . My personal view is a mixture of both and frankly I was not that bothered I just loved the sound and the KEF's became my main Music room system until I decided to make them active. 


-------------
Andrew
Raspbery Pi/Justboom Digi - MiniDSP DDRC 24 - Krell KSA50 - Quad ESL57


Posted By: Bencat
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 9:27am
@Old Skool I know what you mean . Originally I used a MiniDSP HD 24 and then generated filters with REW software and they worked and at the time I thought they worked well . However there always seemed to be scope for improving the filter and never ending tweaking.

I then bought the firmware upgrade to DIRAC Live and things were very different . The process is very structured and easy to follow in a step by step way . The only area I would advise any user to take extra care with is the Nine microphone poistions you use for the measurements. Try and get the first listening position as precise as you can and mark it . Then measure the other positions as carefully as you can .

If you do this then the software in DIRAC has the very best chance to get a real idea of the room and your listening position and then produces the best filter it can . The programme produces a target curve and for amny they just load this which will be fine and sound very good. A little extra time and study to look at the response graphs produced to amke sure that you are only reducing peaks and not trying to fill in lows will pay real sound benefits as it will not stress your amplifier and speakers in to areas they do not want to go .

My Passive KEF's with new crossovers was an excellent speaker as an active speaker it is just so much better the excellent drivers are allowed to give there very best and the sound is detailed and alive and just makes you want to play just one more track before you turn it off which turns in to ten or twenty more . This is one of my criteria for judging the quality of any system do I want to listen to more all the time , if I do then that is a good system if not then the obvious conclusion .


-------------
Andrew
Raspbery Pi/Justboom Digi - MiniDSP DDRC 24 - Krell KSA50 - Quad ESL57


Posted By: Bencat
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 9:31am
Peter my abject apologies I have done the stupid man read thing . My KEF 103 are the original version which were Mid seventies as per the below link . These are very different from the KEF 103.2 you are using and none of what I did would apply sorry for being so dense .

http://uk.kef.com/explore-kef/kef-museum/1970s/reference-series-model-103-1976-77

Originally posted by peterb peterb wrote:

Pleased to read someone else has good experience with Kef 103s.
Andrew I would be interested to know about the upgraded crossovers you built. 
Did you just duplicate the values?
Can you recall what make the caps were, below is the original circuit diagram from my kit.



-------------
Andrew
Raspbery Pi/Justboom Digi - MiniDSP DDRC 24 - Krell KSA50 - Quad ESL57


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 6:47pm
you may wish to try jerry at falcon acoustics sure they do kits for caps of most or all of kef range and well priced and as original as practical. 

Yes they do take time to burn in and as I changed my interns wiring and bindings posts at ten same time cannot comment on which compieentwas responsible for what but did improve sound quite a lot though cannot readily swap back again 

From memory sound was cleaned up tighter, better soundstage and speakers became more invisible. Dynamics improved and general colouration reduced 

Worthwhile in my experience and suspect the cables did contribute significantly 


-------------
The Source turntable, Audiomods V micrometer, Dynavector XX2-2, Leema Antila 2Seco CD player, TDL studio 1.


Posted By: peterb
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 7:41pm
No problem Andrew, I might contact Kef and see what they can tell me.
Good idea Richard, Falcon are pretty helpful as well, I will drop them an email.
Finally I will also contact Wilmslow Audio who sold me the original kits.

Don't know what I will do if I get three completely different answers!






-------------
Peter
---------------------------------------
Dual 505-1, Cyrus CD T, DIY 80W MosFet amp and PreAmp, 2xKEF 103.2


Posted By: Richardl60
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2019 at 9:39pm
probably see what their responses are you will see the Falcoln connection with KEF even they now produce new OE drivers B110,B139 so have a leaning towards FA but should be 3 reliable sources-hopefully will all give you the same response!

-------------
The Source turntable, Audiomods V micrometer, Dynavector XX2-2, Leema Antila 2Seco CD player, TDL studio 1.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2019 at 8:55am
Testing and CAD simulation have moved on enormously so a modern crossover for the old drivers (assuming they are 100%) could be different to the 1970's crossover.

Bencat's active digital approach sounds straightforward when done carefully as he describes. Otherwise it is reasonably straight forward to design and build a passive crossover if you have the skills and tools. I'm an amateur not a professional speaker designer so I measure each driver's frequency response and impedance curves in the speaker enclosure and go from there.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: peterb
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2019 at 10:21am
Unfortunately Jon I don't have all the measurement equipment although I would be fascinated to attempt it! Presumably measurements would have to be made in a acoustically neutral room?
I think a simulated approach, using datasheet info might be the best I could achieve. 


-------------
Peter
---------------------------------------
Dual 505-1, Cyrus CD T, DIY 80W MosFet amp and PreAmp, 2xKEF 103.2



Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd. - https://www.webwiz.net