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Amazing after all these years

 
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HightechRedneck
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Mississippi, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Amazing after all these years Reply with quote

I and a friend have both acquired a pair of KEF 101s and continue to be amazed at how they outperform contemporary speakers we have (JMLab 826 / Acoustic Zen Adagio). We are both using bandpass subwoofers to achieve greater LF extension. The bandpass design, when done right, does not contaminate the midrange of the satellite speakers. (but I digress) The KEF seem to be more musically satisfying by a wide margin and reveals more in terms of instrument timbre.

What puzzles us is how this fits into the reality of the whole Hi-Fi world. Contemporary speakers have all the benefit of new materials, manufacturing techniques and computer analysis, yet along comes this 30 year old speaker design that kicks them out the door. It makes us think that HiFi is mostly about marketing and selling something new, when very little has changed in terms of the technology and the physics to reproduce recorded music. There is nothing new under the sun, so to speak. It makes us also wonder what is really better out there.

We have not had the opportunity to hear any other classic speakers by KEF nor any of KEF's contemporary designs. I would enjoy reading opinions concerning how the 101's compare to other model KEF speakers of that era. Just some idea of how they stack up against each other. Is there such a thing as the most desirable classic speaker design from KEF? What is the least desirable, problematic, or musically marginal etc? Also, what if anything is a real step forward in current designs. Have real improvements been made or or has it all been marketing that has improved?

BTW, my friend has sold his AZ Adagio speakers. I am about to do likewise to the JMLab.

Charles Campbell
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Richie
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Joined: 06 Nov 2010
Posts: 108
Location: Northamptonshire

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just made a similar discovery myself while putting together a 'classic' hi fi system for my log cabin I bought some kef 104's for 20, I was so impressed I went out and bought some Kef 104ab's for 50 in great condition, they now reside in the house as my main speakers sounding heaps better than my modern Monitor Audio's....... amazing.
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HightechRedneck
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Mississippi, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I've found most interesting is how system changes upstream are more apparent with the much older KEF speakers as opposed to newer things.

I did perform a comparison with the Harbeth P3 from a local dealer. I felt these speakers would make for a better comparison to contemporary speakers. I felt the Harbeth is a little more etched sounding but there is a more neutral character overall in the KEF, with perhaps a bit more warmth. I think I could live with the KEF more easily. The Harbeth came across analytical or almost clinical sounding.
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