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Hello to All fellow KEF Enthusiasts
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O'Shag
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 69
Location: City of The Angels

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject: Hello to All fellow KEF Enthusiasts Reply with quote

Thanks to Terry Allan for helping me become a registered member.

I have owned several KEF models over the years. I own the R107s, R104/2s, R103.2s, this in addition to Mission's 767 flagship and Monitor Audio Gold Reference 60s, and Polk RT5000p (RT3000p, CS1000p, FX/1000). I own the KEF Reference 109 - aka the Maidstone, which in addition to the TAD Model-1 (created by Andrew Jones), is my favourite speaker.
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vistisen
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Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi O''blocked word' and welcome to the club, This is not a forum where you cannot find the time to read all the new posts Laughing But people have helped me a lot. I dying to hear how do the Maidstones compare to the Ref 107's, Which I own and love (even thought I am in the middle of a frustrating probelm with mine , see some of the other threads)? I can not imagine ever wanting to change my 107's , But the specification for the Maidstones does look rather nice.
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O'Shag
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: I love the 107s too Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome Vistisen.

My 107s are serial number is 002383, and are pretty much in immaculate condition. I have the matching KUBE, which as you probably know, is essential for these speakers to work properly as they are configured. The one quality where I find the 107 most compelling is in its ability to convey the 'organic-ness' (I know, its a goofy description Rolling Eyes) or essence of instruments more effectively than many speakers I've heard, including my Monitor Audio Gold Reference 60s (they are overacheivers too). The sound is complete and 'right' in terms of harmonics/tone/timbre. Dynamics are also very good. I find the 107s to do extremely well for Jazz, ethnic/folk and Classical. The are marvelous as a home theatre speaker also, sounding much bigger and more present than many run-of-the-mill fare.

The only area I find the 107s to lack somewhat is... lets just say they are not the last word in transparency. I'm judging from the sound of my own 107 speakers by the way. Is this a question of aging components such as capacitors? Is it inherent in the Conjugate Load Matching Network? Does the Kube, in some way, effect absolute transparency? I don't know the answers, but I'd like to examine these issues with others here. The fact is, the 107s are very compelling in several respects and are wonderful speakers when operating correctly.

The Maidstone I own is Serial Number 73A. These speakers above all others were my holy grail for several years. I looked for them for years, but then my hopes wained and I stopped looking. I just figured that a few were made for the show circuit, and that they didn't exist as a consumer product. Then, of all things, I found them quite by accident in the most unlikely of circumstances.

I'm currently running the Maidstone bi-amped, but plan to give tri-amping a whirl. I'd also like to experiment with an outboard electronic crossover, as the Maidstone does accomodate crossover by-pass for each driver.

Can you explain how you have your 107s set up, and also some of the challenges you alluded to Vistisen?
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speakerguru
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Joined: 18 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm..... Mixed memories. The 109 was the last KEF speaker I worked on. It used to take two of us to lift the 15" unit into the box!
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vistisen
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Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 57
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi O''blocked word'

Rather than repeat everything, here is a link to the thread that I have running about my 107's http://www.hifiloudspeakers.info/speakertalk/viewtopic.php?t=740&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Suffice to say they have wonderful deep bass but are more than 8 db down at 160 Hz!

I am wondering how much money to throw at them. I just love the sound they make, and if I could get the bass sorted out I seriously suspect that they are the last pair of speakers I'll ever buy Laughing

As regards their tranparency. I have been tempted to try an alternative approach:
DEQX ( http://www.deqx.com ) is a company that I have heard quite a bit about. They have a product that could mean I have to buy another amp, but then I could tri-amp my 107's without any crossovers! All the reviews that I have read seem to say the same, that the speakers "transparency" is massively improved, and it would solve my frequency response problems as well. (her is a review http://www.audiophilia.com/hardware/ma16.htm ) If I lived in the UK I could rent a DEQX for £80 to try it out. But I live in Denmark, and here I can't do that, which is probably just as well as if I like the result it would cost me £2000.
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proffski
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
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Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speakerguru wrote:
Hmm..... Mixed memories. The 109 was the last KEF speaker I worked on. It used to take two of us to lift the 15" unit into the box!


I heard the 109s at the Bristol Hi-Fi show at well less than ideal conditions.

Also nearly cried when I found out the price, it was love at first hearing. GLORIOUS!!!
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject: Welcome Reply with quote

vistisen wrote:
.......This is not a forum where you cannot find the time to read all the new posts Laughing .........


Yes it can be slow sometimes. A new member often brings some new discussion topic and the long serving members come out of the woodwork for a while. It just shows that lots of people keep an eye on the Forum although there is not a great deal of activity.

The Forum does, however, have a good archive of discussions and these discussions are not found elsewhere on the web.

Welcome O''blocked word'!
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Parts
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006
Posts: 174
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello O''blocked word' and welcome to the forum.

I was wondering what ancillaries you used with your Kef R107? And with the R109?

What sort of service history have your Kef R107 had?

I have some magazine reviews somewhere of the R109, it didn't seem to fare too well when first released if I remember correct? And benefitted greatly with Bi or Tri amping.

Any pictures of your set up?

Steve
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O'Shag
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 69
Location: City of The Angels

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Vistisen, SpeakerGuru, Proffski, Terry and Parts. Must apologise for not responding sooner. Have been on vacation for the past two weeks without access to email.

Thank you for the warm welcome. I will endeavour to post pictures of my system in the next few days.

Vistisen I must review the post url re: your 107 also, then respond on that, as I am interested in learning more of your experience with the 107.

Speakerguru, I know what you mean - the 109s are heavy beasts indeed. I'm not sure if I gave the correct serial number - they are 73A and 73B. Do you know how many were built? I'd certainly like to get some more info on this. The bass module is exceedingly heavy and beautifully built. Did you work with Dr. Andrew Watson on this project? I talked several weeks ago to Andrew Jones who had left KEF before the Maidstone project had fully commenced. He now heads up TAD, and designed the excellent Model 1 and Reference 1, both world class monitors.

Terry, I can see your point, although I would expect a lot more activity given the number of folks that love KEF speakers out there.

Proffski, the R109s are glorious indeed. They are among a very short list of the best speakers I have heard. I hope speakerguru, that you will not take offense to this, but I believe they are clearly superior to the 207s (I owned a pair of 207s three years ago). As for the Muons I cannot say as I've not heard them yet.

Hello Parts - amplification is MFA MC Reference preamp (awesome prototype), and one pair Audio Research Classic 150 monoblocs / one pair Classic 120 monoblocs. I also have a pair of Mark Levinson No 27s, and am eager to give active tri-amping a go. Do any of you have such experience? In my estimation, the R109s sound marvellous driven by one pair of monoblocs, athough there is a greater sense of ease and control when bi-amping; the approach that KEF suggest as ideal. I have a pair of Transparent MusicWave Ultra speaker cables for deep bass, and then use QED Genesis Silver Spiral Bi-wire for the uppre frequencies (excellent wire for the money). I also have a Spectron Model 10 preamplifier and 1KW amp (switching class D). These are John Ulrich's personally built prototypes; serial numbers 1 and 2 respectively. Digital front end is Musical Fidelity Trivista DAC 21 modified by Chris Johnson (sonic frontiers) to Level 2 specification. The transport is a Denon 3910. Also have a California Audio Labs Tempest II tube analogue CD player. Vinyl is played on a Musical Fidelity M1 w/ SME M2 tonearm (also have Alphason HR100MCS tonearm) and Dynavector Karat 17D2 cartridge. I generally like the Transparent Cable sound so have got MusicLink Ultra interconnects throughout. I'll explain more about my setup when I post photographs, as it is a little on the the complex side.

The R107s are currently performing duty as the rear of the multi-channel topology I have configured. For my needs - and given current space confinements - I find that combining the two-channel and multi-channel functions is convenient, although with a 70" TV in the middle, it probably sacrifices ultimate performance in terms of two-channel imaging.
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proffski
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
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Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Than you for a fascinating insight into your incredible Hi-Fi collection, some classic collectable stuff there indeed!

I promise I'll not hold any grudges against you owning a pair of Maidsones... Wink

Long and happy listening!!!

P.S. Salivating for the pictures...
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man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
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O'Shag
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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Location: City of The Angels

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Proffski - thanks much indeed for your kind words. I'll post some details and pictures hopefully within a few days.

What are you currently using in your system Proffski? Do you listen to two-channel exclusively or do you also listen to multi-channel?
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proffski
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went over to the "Dark Side" many years ago.
Having owned amplifiers made by Naim, Phase Linear, Amcroc, Audiolab, and many, many other I went over to Home Cinema and am currently using a large Sony AV amplifier.

Speakers were many as well, several KEFs including 104Ab, LS35a, Tannoy Arden, IMF,home made huge TLs, etc. etc.

Atthe moment the front and rear are rather splendid four unit models made by "Richter Audio Research" or RAT for short.
These use 2 Audax bass / mid drivers, Wharfedale tweeters and KEF EHF units. The rear are similar but the bass / mid are Wharfedale Kevlar drivers.
Somewhat overdamped reflex, standing about 1115mm high and 310mm deep.

I intend to change the amplifier which will give better 2 channel reproduction in the near future as it struggles to be Hi-Fi in this mode.
Ok for movies though...
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man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
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O'Shag
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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Location: City of The Angels

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard some of the large Sony AV processor amps before, including the previous flagship 9000ES, which if I'm not mistaken is class D digital powered. Although sounding slightly dry, the sound was excellent, in fact one of the best AV processors I heard. It was a real toss-up for me between the Yamaha RX-Z9 and Sony flagship. These two I preferred over the others (except the Parasound Halo C1/Halo MC amp combo. I settled on the Yamaha RX-Z9, although the Sony would have served just as well.

I've not heard of Richter Audio Research, but I assume that they are more prevelent in England and Europe. I emmigrated from Britain to the US many years ago, so am not as familiar with some of the speciality manufacturers in Europe. I find that home cinema or surround sound in general to be a demanding proposition in and of itself. Getting the speakers seamlessly integrated is the tough part. I am guessing, but it seems likely that you have tested the waters with hi-rez multi-channel SACD or DVD-A.

By the way Proffski, I'm listening to some Afghan music at the moment, and before that was listening to Paul Oakenfold on Sirius Satellite radio. Its hard to describe the sense of realism and scale the Maidstone brings to the music. I am still in awe of their sound. My son has the digital camera and will be coming over this Tuesday or Wednesday to take pictures of the system and help me post them.

Its about 10:30pm on Saturday evening here in Los Angeles and I am now going to make a nice pot of tea/chai, put my feet up and watch the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hope you are having a good weekend.
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proffski
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Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Malasyian Grand Prix was on too early here for my ageing frame, I have recorded it.

The RAT label is indeed rare, as I have only built less than a dozen various models for friends and family. I was content with just "Richter" but I gather that years a go a Hi-Fi firm already had registered the name.
I played around with various Acronyms and Richter Acoustic Research was too close to the similar named American firm. Crying or Very sad
Any ideas from members would be most welcome! Wink

I cannot afford the top end Sony nor any others, I have repaired the protection circuitry on the present device too often and now one channel has a 'fix' where I have bypassed one of the relays... (naughty) but easier than scrabling around the rats nest of wires and boards.

I'll settle for something mid priced from either Sony or Onkyo or maybe Pioneer. For various reasons I do not like Yamaha AV amps.
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I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a
man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
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O'Shag
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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Location: City of The Angels

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vistisen,

I did read through the post re your R107, where you described a lack in LMF. I assume you are using the KUBE. I know from my own experience that the R107 will sound plain wrong without the KUBE in circuit. The KUBE does detract a little from the transparency of the signal, but only in a minor way. It still would be interesting to tackle a tube mod, such as brian has done (see his thread).

I have noticed with my R107s that they enjoy power. I find a particularly good synergy with my ARC Classic 120 or 150 Monoblocks, and these amps are full-bodied, the net result being that any lean-ness in the mid bass is ameliorated. Another very worth while option to improving overall performance IMO would be to utilize a good supertweeter such as the Murata ES103B, thus providing a tad more leading edge definition on HF transients.
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