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Kef 105 (105.1)
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Richie
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Joined: 06 Nov 2010
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Location: Northamptonshire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Kef 105 (105.1) Reply with quote

I'v just become the owner of a pair of original Kef 105's. I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed with them, they are in very good condition all round as far as I can see.

I'v never listened to 105's before so I cant compare, but I can say this in comparison with my 104ab's, the bass on the 105's is a little bit tighter and little bit deeper but perhaps not as much as I expected, the highs are clearer and more detailed so thats good, but the midrange does not sound right, its hard to explain but they sound "boxed in" or "boxy" ..... maybe there is something wrong, maybe its just my ears or maybe this is just how they are.......any idea's guys ?
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Innercity126
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Location: Sea World, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Re: Kef 105 (105.1) Reply with quote

Richie wrote:
I'v just become the owner of a pair of original Kef 105's. I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed with them, they are in very good condition all round as far as I can see.

I'v never listened to 105's before so I cant compare, but I can say this in comparison with my 104ab's, the bass on the 105's is a little bit tighter and little bit deeper but perhaps not as much as I expected, the highs are clearer and more detailed so thats good, but the midrange does not sound right, its hard to explain but they sound "boxed in" or "boxy" ..... maybe there is something wrong, maybe its just my ears or maybe this is just how they are.......any idea's guys ?


Hi Richie,

I own a pair of 105.1's and I can, unequivocally, say that boxy is not an adjective I would attribute to these speakers.

The 105's should be open and transparent, with music emanating from the head without reference to its origin. If you are not getting this then I would, indeed, suspect that something is amiss.

There could be any number of issues causing the boxy sound you are experiencing; however, assuming that this condition is relative to both loudspeakers has me wondering if the previous owner(s) had simply modded the crossovers in some way. Youíll have to remove the back covers on the heads to check, but If any of the capacitor values have been changed or, indeed, the type of capacitors themselves have been changed, i.e., from electrolytic to film, poly, or polypropylene, etc., this could all have a dramatic effect on the sound. The capacitors in my 105ís are the black Elcap type, so have a look at yours and let us know what you find.

Also, if someone had removed the foam damping that fills the inside of the midrange driver cavity, this could have an effect on the sound, as well. Youíll have to remove one of the midrange drivers and have a look inside. Again, let us know what you find and we can go from there.

William
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Richie
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



It appears they are the original Elcaps, note C9, C11, C13 and R3 are missing (unpopulated) which according to another thread suggests these are early 105's......
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 on the open sound of properly functioning 105s. I'd be inclined to desolder and lift one leg of all the capacitors and then measure them all with a capacitance or LCR meter.
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edd9000
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Compared to my 103.2s the 105s are a cleaner sounding speaker.

With less cabinet resonance in the mids, and the narrower listening window with the heads pointed at you reducing room interaction, you can get a sort of hollow, closed in sound that doesn't seem as full. This isn't a bad thing.

I have to admit when I set mine up for the first time in a long while I had to put my ear up to the mids to make sure they were working, its a different sound to my other speakers.
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Innercity126
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Joined: 25 Oct 2011
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Location: Sea World, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richie wrote:


It appears they are the original Elcaps, note C9, C11, C13 and R3 are missing (unpopulated) which according to another thread suggests these are early 105's......


Hmm, I have the same X-Over configuration; however, mine have had all the caps replaced with new Alcap types. I only replaced them as the speakers themselves have undergone a complete rebuild. So, while they were dismantled it seemed only logical to give the crossovers the once over, too. Still, even before the crossovers were rebuilt the sound was open, natural, and transparent. That did not alter with the upgrade. Also, in keeping with the original specs, none of the cap values were changed.

Speakerguru is right, even though the caps do not appear to have been tampered with, there still could be one or two that have wandered a bit or you could have a cold solder joint or two. From here things can get a bit sketchy, as there really isnít too much left that can be causing the problem you are experiencing. Short of the drivers themselves being out of spec, or perhaps the missing foam, though that seems unlikely as the crossover boards appear to be untouched, I am at a loss to explain what the problem can be.

Have you tried rotating through each setting on the peak level indicator? Perhaps there is a mismatch between your amp and the settings on the dial, or the circuit itself may be at fault. Just thinking out loud.




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Richie
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I have checked and there is foam on the inside of the mid box, no lose wadding though.

I note edd9000's are a close serial number to mine so they must be from the same time, innercity's and edd's are identical apart from one has new caps, so why have I got 2 multi colour different shapes ones seen at the bottom of my pic towards the right, next to a fixing post ? one has a blue top the other is red and they are soldered together.
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Last edited by Richie on Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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edd9000
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe those are higher quality film capacitors. I have seen other 105 crossovers with them in place.

Perhaps KEF thought this was a critical position and used better caps.
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edd9000 wrote:
Perhaps KEF thought this was a critical position and used better caps.

No, they are the low value ones used in the bridge part of the acoustic Butterworth tweeter section; bought in at +/-20% and then measured, sorted and combined in-house to give the required +/-1% value.
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edd9000
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In mine it was just a 3.3uf elcap.

Here is a chart to decode the values http://i337.photobucket.com/albums/n370/jusepics/Tropical_Fish_Color_Chart.png
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Richie
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why the 2 different types.....in Falcon Acoustics replacement kit it say all alcaps and a polyester type ....

http://www.falconacoustics.co.uk/replacement-capacitor-sets/replacement-capacitor-kit-kef/kef-1051-replacement-capacitor-set.html
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edd9000
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is your speaker required a non standard value. By combining 2 smaller caps it creates the value required.

Perhaps the film caps were used due to the space constraints of using 2 capacitors, or perhaps they were available in the 2 values needed.

I'm assuming this positions is the polyester film capacitor falcon refer to.
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Innercity126
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richie wrote:
So why the 2 different types.....in Falcon Acoustics replacement kit it say all alcaps and a polyester type ....

http://www.falconacoustics.co.uk/replacement-capacitor-sets/replacement-capacitor-kit-kef/kef-1051-replacement-capacitor-set.html


For what it's worth, my 105's are dated Aug 1978. Depending on the date of your's may be the difference between the two different crossover configurations.

Having said that, your crossovers appear to be more in line with the Falcon Acoustic 105 crossover kit. Perhaps, and this is only a light suggestion, you may want to recap yours in the way that Edd9000 and mine are?
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Richie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.... Yes I will re cap, I'm not sure whether to get the Alcap kit or something better, the Solens i put in my 104ab's are great though took a while to burn in but i think they are physically to big in the space on the 105's, the clarity caps look interesting though.....
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rx7rotary
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just about to recap my 105.1 with clarity cap ESA caps.
the 100mfd is as big as a coke can Smile)))
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