SpeakerTalk Forum Index SpeakerTalk
This forum has been set up to facilitate discussion of 1970s KEF speakers and drive units. The owner of the Forum has no connection with KEF Audio.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

105/3's refurbished by me and now up and running
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    SpeakerTalk Forum Index -> KEF speakers
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: 105/3's refurbished by me and now up and running Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm new to KEF and took the plunge 3 weeks ago with a set of 105/3's in need of a little tlc.

Tonight, I fired them up on the MF amps and spun a few discs but only one lp :- Dark Side of The Moon

I've had some pretty decent floorstanders since 1996 and these have been progressively upgraded to the point where the only original part is the cabinet (and the name badge on the front grill). So, I'm used to a fast, open sound with lots of tuneful bass

Of the 105's ?

"Crikey"

I'm now going to get some kip... All those late nights In the garage wielding soldering iron, meter, cables, foam and glue has left its mark !

I will post a more thorough report as I spend more time with them.

Cheers

Steve
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Some refined analysis of the 105/3's Reply with quote

Ive had about 10hrs of listening with my new (old) 105's and thought to put on record some initial impressions

Compared to prior speakers (substantially modified Mission 765 floorstanders) they are marginally more efficient.

They are more dynamic in all areas. Treble is less acidic and midrange less strident (my old speakers had alu cones with phase plugs). Imaging is another order... Depth, width and space around notes is on another level.

The bass is fast but lean (not as boomy ?) however, the missions reached a lot lower and Im a little surprised given the technology of the bass system on the KEF's.

They look nicer and somehow, despite that imposing front panel, blend in better. Having completely refoamed the units, it's possible that the LF extension will improve as the surrounds "wear in" (comments welcome !) but what bass is there, is tuneful. I'm tempted to wire in my
AV sub for the lowest registers but prefer to wait a while.

Having said all that, some of my records sound very full and others empty thus proving that these speakers are not adding too much in the way of artificial noise

The cabinets are incredibly vibration free and this seems to help the lower midrange clarity.

I'm running them on 400w (4 ohm) monoblock amps with 35+amps on hand steady state, so power is not a worry. I've yet to allow them to clear their throats so wonder if they get better with power.

In summary:

Yes, an upgrade over the missions in all areas except one... Bass extension and power. If I could just find a way to squeeze another 10hz extension, I know I'd be sorted.

Any ideas... Hints... Top tips or workarounds would be most welcome !

Thanks for reading
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
speakerguru
VIP Contributor 750+


Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 959
Location: Green Hut, Tovil

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 105|3 response can be extended by using a KUBE200.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I'm aware of that but prefer not to have yet more electronics in the chain if at all possible. If I were bi-amped and I could insert the Kube in series with the bass unit only, I might consider.

Perhaps room positioning might help support the LF output... Perhaps the sound will "loosen" with time... Perhaps I'll get used to it... Perhaps I'll experiment with the speakers some more!

How many kubes will I need ?

Thks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
proffski
Über Contributor 1000+


Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1297
Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the KEF 105/3s were one of a handful of loudspeakers I have heard in my life which made me shut up and instead just listen!

It did take a Krell KSA100 or Amcron DC300 in order to achieve this though! Literaly breathtaking and then some!
_________________
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.
-Winston Churchill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one proffski ! I agree, it's all so easy to get "gear fever" that we lose sight of the aim: to enjoy music !

They are good.. Very good (massive sound scale) but Im just curious to see how I might coax a little more bass from them !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
proffski
Über Contributor 1000+


Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1297
Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I had mine as (caretaker) I soon learnt that they had plenty of well controlled bass. Whast did it was the Krell...
It does not add up entirely, but what they love is bags and bags of power and amps in reserve.
Even with my cruddy wooden suspended floor they were never wanting as were the 104aBs unless they could feel a concrete floor beneath.

Even the model below was not entirely lacking in bass.
_________________
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.
-Winston Churchill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
zaktech
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Leeds, West Yorks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

proffski wrote:
When I had mine as (caretaker) I soon learnt that they had plenty of well controlled bass. Whast did it was the Krell...
It does not add up entirely, but what they love is bags and bags of power and amps in reserve.
Even with my cruddy wooden suspended floor they were never wanting as were the 104aBs unless they could feel a concrete floor beneath.

Even the model below was not entirely lacking in bass.


I've just purchased a used Krell 400xi which is rated 400WPC@4ohms whilst my 105/3s are rated for 50 to 300watts. What are the risks here and what should I be careful not to do? My 105s are mint and I wouldn't want to risk any damage to them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Risks ? Well to calm your fears, I also have 400wpc mono bloc amps (musical fidelity and more like 500 as it goes) and up to now the only risk I can report is that you might force your wife to move house, deafen your pets, strip paint from the doors or lose blood from your ears

These speakers go very loud, very fast and as a matter of interest, I have a report of these from the era where they were tested on an amp with several kw and the amp started to clip before the speaker gave up. I think the tester reported sound up to 122db !

Your Krells will make them smile !

And you as well I hope. Let us know how you get on ?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zaktech
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Leeds, West Yorks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. Can't wait Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What have you been driving them with up to now and how do they sound ? I've only owned mine for a couple of months ( I did a full foam replace, Rewire, crossover mod, etc) and love 'em.

Always interested to hear from other owners.

FYI the previous owner was clever and upgraded the tweeter and uni-q to latest spec (they have now run out of both) and that midrange imaging is simply epic.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zaktech
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Leeds, West Yorks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've probably owned mine for even less time than you. Like you I did a full refoam (doughnuts and surrounds). It's all original so I have not tampered with them. It's been repaired and being used less than a month, actually I've come back to HiFi less than two months now and that's after 15 years. I started mostly with what I know, Linn LK280 (80wpc) and B&W DM605S2 active bass speakers. I found the audiolab CDq to offer great value as a CDP, DAC and Pre but have since bought a Krell 400xi integrated and a Pure Sound 8000a valve CDP. I've also acquired a low cost LK1 pre (which was made to pair with the 280) to allow me to do some comparisons. As can be seen I have just about two of everything that allows me to compare different components including cables and interconnects. I used a friends Cambridge Audio a500 65wpc int amp to drive the KEF and found that just about any amp can drive them. With the LK280 I find the bass is more taught and gets deeper. The lower amplification seems to make 'lighter' bass is the best way I can describe it. Not sure what a hybrid or valve amp will sound like on these. I prefer the valve CDP with the KEFs because I find it takes some of the edge off the highs and gives a slightly fuller bass on them, but no difference in bass on the BW active bass. The BWs I will leave with any old Jap integrated for the TV. A friend likes the Audiolab & LK280 with his mission 704a active bass speakers, so that goes this weekend.

I'm interested to know about the mods you have done especially details around the mid/tweeter you mention the previous owner did.

The cabling seemed adequate to me considering it all went back to two slim pieces of copper from the lugs to the voice coil on each driver, but I'm not keen on spending hundreds on cables/interconnects anyway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zaktech
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Leeds, West Yorks, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've probably owned mine for even less time than you. Like you I did a full refoam (doughnuts and surrounds). It's all original so I have not tampered with them. It's been repaired and being used less than a month, actually I've come back to HiFi less than two months now and that's after 15 years. I started mostly with what I know, Linn LK280 (80wpc) and B&W DM605S2 active bass speakers. I found the audiolab CDq to offer great value as a CDP, DAC and Pre but have since bought a Krell 400xi integrated and a Pure Sound 8000a valve CDP. I've also acquired a low cost LK1 pre (which was made to pair with the 280) to allow me to do some comparisons. As can be seen I have just about two of everything that allows me to compare different components including cables and interconnects. I used a friends Cambridge Audio a500 65wpc int amp to drive the KEF and found that just about any amp can drive them. With the LK280 I find the bass is more taught and gets deeper. The lower amplification seems to make 'lighter' bass is the best way I can describe it. Not sure what a hybrid or valve amp will sound like on these. I prefer the valve CDP with the KEFs because I find it takes some of the edge off the highs and gives a slightly fuller bass on them, but no difference in bass on the BW active bass. The BWs I will leave with any old Jap integrated for the TV. A friend likes the Audiolab & LK280 with his mission 704a active bass speakers, so that goes this weekend.

I'm interested to know about the mods you have done especially details around the mid/tweeter you mention the previous owner did.

The cabling seemed adequate to me considering it all went back to two slim pieces of copper from the lugs to the voice coil on each driver, but I'm not keen on spending hundreds on cables/interconnects anyway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
clubsport911
Senior Contributor 100+


Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top information and welcome back to hifi ! Like you, I think there is a lot of pseudo science around cables etc and of course with the KEFs conjugation on the crossovers, it is supposed to reduce thr sensitivity to speaker cables. However as I was doing open heart surgery on them, I noticed that all the push on connectors were poor fitting so binned them from the every back of the terminals, all throughout the crossover and up to the units.

I also had an intermittent connection to the 3 spkrs at the front (another owene made a right old mess of the wiring) so decided to completely rewire without connectors, using silver solder.

Is it better ? Who knows but the cable is never going to be the weakest link !

Regarding the Uni-Q I cannot recall the model no I have but if you search this forum for a user called deckerd u will see he is looking out for some. The original tweeter is SP1240 but the upgraded replacement is 1353 (both now out of stock forever).

Recognise the 1353 with its gold rim to the tweeter. If your tweeters need replacing now, you would need to get 1413's - they are aluminium in ace of fabric dome, have a more extended response, but (according to Kef) are not as sweet as the 1353's.

FYI, I will be selling some 1353's very soon - mint



Cheers

Steve


Last edited by clubsport911 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
proffski
Über Contributor 1000+


Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1297
Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have come across dodgy spade connectors in KEF loudspeakers before, but not the 105/3s.
As long as the amplifier does not clip (KRELL Clip?!!!) or you do something daft your loudspeakers are safe.

As I have said before, I could modulate the air in my lungs with the KRELL KSA100 and the 105/3s with no damage except possibly to my ears.
Must admit that I never allowed MP3 on my system or highly compressed contemporary pop... and neither do I now out of principle.
_________________
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.
-Winston Churchill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    SpeakerTalk Forum Index -> KEF speakers All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group