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bought KEF Calindas - opinions?
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: bought KEF Calindas - opinions? Reply with quote

hi all,

my friend's been on me for years to try a pair (marantzguy on this forum). i came across some nice teak ones at a fair price. he swears by them with his marantz 8b and conrad johnson pv4 preamp. i paid $225US delivered to my door. i know no great deal, but in the grand scheme of things, not that bad either.

i figured, what the hay? i'll be running them with a pair of McIntosh MC60s and a conrad johnson pv1, modded to pv2a specs, theta DSPro GEN III DAC and theta data II transport, technics SL-1700MK2 turntable with shure V15 III cartridge.

i come largely from really vintage speakers such as bozaks 302A urbans. since i've been having a bear of a time repairing my janszen Z-600s, i decided to give the kefs a try.

anybody have any experience with these speakers?

they have a passive B139 coffin sub instead of an active one. can i swap an active B139 with an inductor to roll it off? or waste of time?

how do these speakers compare soundwise to others of the same vintage. the 104ab and the cantata. i know the bass won't compare to the cantata , but what about everything else? how does the T27 compare to the T52 tweeter?

thanks,
Robby
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
they have a passive B139 coffin sub instead of an active one. can i swap an active B139 with an inductor to roll it off? or waste of time?


No. Yes.

Quote:
how do these speakers compare soundwise to others of the same vintage. the 104ab


It's the IMP (computerised) version, so it's the optimal varient.

Quote:
and the cantata. i know the bass won't compare to the cantata , but what about everything else?


Nothing really compares to the Cantata out of the KEF box based herd and you have to look to transmission lines to squeeze any extra out of the B139B, B110A/B, T27/33/52 line-up or go for radical designs like the 105 series.

Regarding the Calinda, you'll lack a bit of bass and the upper midrange may be a little too polite.
The T27 like late Corellis and Ref 104aB's have a Butterworth filter so it's "spitty" nature is tamed.
I don't compare the T52 to other KEF speakers, think of it as close to the big 1.25" Audax dome used in Celef PE1's and Proac 3's, it's fine most of the time but very occasionally it could do with a helper like the Motorola 1036A or Coles 4001G.
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you very much!

so, the calinda is basically a optimized version of the 104ab via computer aided design?

i'm very excited. i do have a B&W ASW500 powered subwoofer (used it with my old apogee centaur minor ribbon speakers). perhaps a good match for the calinda? we shall see.

thanks,
Robby
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those that are interested (or not), the chronology of the speakers can be simplified to.

Ref 103. Ref 104.

Cantata, Calinda, Corelli, Ref 103, Ref 104.

Cantata, Calinda, later Corelli, Ref 104aB, Ref 105.

Now the original Corelli used a tapped inductor for the treble section like the Spendor BC1.

The later Corelli had an aB section like the Ref 104aB, the Calinda always had an aB section.

Now, Mission is often cited as having developed the idea of the bass unit above the treble, to improve the stereo image "sweet spot", not true, the Calinda was already available.

How can the Ref 104aB be a "more advanced" loudspeaker when the crossover was retro fitted to existing drive units, in the original cabinet with the original "go faster" presence control?
Although if the marketing term refers just to the fuse, I'll agree Shocked .
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proffski
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although an owner of 104aBs for a while I always secretly somehow preferred the Calindas for the bass.
Guess it might have been the subconscious persuading me that the money spent on the 104s was worthwhile.
Do not get me wrong, in the right room they sounded magnificent, but not with my wooden floor!
Yet TLs loaded into the space a lot, lot better!

My biggest regret is missing an almost mint pair of Cantatas going for a mere £100!
That folks is another tale for later…
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

got the calindas!

very acceptable condition, considering their age.

all drivers work well with no rubbing.

as far as sound, i find them to be a bit of a mixed bag. the imaging and soundstage are awesome. and got much better when i spread them a part a bit and gave them a touch of toe-in (my listening space is about 3.5 feet back from the speakers).

the T27 tweeters are a little gnarly sounding for my tastes, definitely some listening fatigue - although not unbearable. the mid bass is rather confined and boxy. so, i don't get that "warm bloom" that i come to expect as a vintage audiophile. my other speakers are janszen Z-600 electrostatic hybrids and bozak 302A urbans from the mid 1960's.

they have large cabinets and 10" and 12" woofers repsectively. i have not had the janszens running properly as of yet (weak step up transformer in one speaker - but lots of potential) and the bozaks have very limited HF response from the stock tweeters (about a 12k roll off), BUT the sound out of both of these speakers is never confined to the boxes, the music is HUGE.

the calindas "break out of the box" with regards to the mids and HF response, but the mid bass and the bass is definitely confined to the enclosures themselves. they do not engross you (does this make sense?)

the calindas are on the floor with the stock feet. perhaps raising them would help? also, i had a pair of acoustic research AR3 in my system a few days earlier, so my McIntosh MC60 tube amps were still on the 4 ohm tap. i will switch to the 8 ohm tonight and take another listen.

lastly, associated components, besides the macs are a precision fidelity C4 dual cascode tube preamp, theta DSPro GEN III DAC, theta data II transport, adcom ACE-515 line condtioner, B&W ASW-500 powered sub, cardas golden cros and quadralink interconnects (borrowed) and old 12 guage monster cable with banana plugs on the ends of them.

thanks,
Robby
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, i stand corrected. once i switched to the 8 ohm tap, the calindas totally blew my mind!

i've heard before that the 4 ohm tap sounds better. you get half the output but the fidelity is much better beacuse you are using half the windings in the output transformers.

maybe there's some merit to this, but i think it has more to do with matching the nominal speaker impedance more than anything. such as, my supposedly 8 ohm apogee centaur minors sound FAR BETTER on the 4 ohm tap. most likely because despite being rated at 8 ohms, they regularly hovered around 3 ohms. the calindas are probably more of a nominal 8 ohm load. so, they sound much better on the 8 ohm tap.

bottom line, NICE SPEAKERS!

Robby
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Gary
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you like 'em! I have a pair myself.

$225.00 USD is a good price as the last pair I saw around here was $400.00 CDN.
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinR wrote:
For those that are interested (or not), the chronology of the speakers can be simplified to.

Ref 103. Ref 104.

Cantata, Calinda, Corelli, Ref 103, Ref 104.

Cantata, Calinda, later Corelli, Ref 104aB, Ref 105.

Now the original Corelli used a tapped inductor for the treble section like the Spendor BC1.

The later Corelli had an aB section like the Ref 104aB, the Calinda always had an aB section.

How can the Ref 104aB be a "more advanced" loudspeaker when the crossover was retro fitted to existing drive units, in the original cabinet with the original "go faster" presence control?
Although if the marketing term refers just to the fuse, I'll agree Shocked .


I must introduce some doubt to the above statements.

1. The Model 104 came out around 2 years before the 103. The 103 was the first speaker with an Acoustic Butterwoth (aB) tweeter filter although it was only marketed as a "feature" on the later still Model 104aB.

2. The only speakers to use a tapped inductor were the Model 104 and 104aB. It was switched via the front panel control to achieve a flat or dipped midrange of around +/- 1dB. +1dB was in fact flat on axis. The Cantata used resistors to vary the mid and tweeter levels. The Corelli had no controls and no tapped inductor.
(anorak note: the 105.4 used a tapped inductor as an autotransformer for the mid section but only for the first 100-200 pieces)
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Model 104 came out around 2 years before the 103


Guilty as charged Very Happy .

Quote:
The only speakers to use a tapped inductor were the Model 104 and 104aB


No, early Corelli's use a 0.3mH/0.3mH centre tapped inductor as shown in Steve Bell's schematic.

http://www.hifiloudspeakers.info/Anatomy/Crossovers/DN17SP1052Corelli/Gallery/pages/corelli.htm

I can dig out a picture SNo ~3000 or send you the component from SNo 1845 if you so wish.


Last edited by ColinR on Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be amazed if that circuit is correct. Someone has traced it out wrong. It doesn't make any sense and it's not any aB circuit topology that I ever saw or heard discussed at KEF.

Most aB circuits used a star or delta configuration of three capacitors - whichever gave the smallest values or smallest component sensitivity or both.

In this example, the smallest cap (3.3uF) would normally be at the input side the 5uF would go to the tweeter and the 7uF would bridge from the amp input to the non tweeter side of the series Zobel 2.2uF/5R. i.e. the 3.3,5,and 7 uF would be in delta formation.
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have an email with a 69k .jpg attached, more to follow if required Smile .
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Parts
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speakerguru wrote:

(anorak note: the 105.4 used a tapped inductor as an autotransformer for the mid section but only for the first 100-200 pieces)



Does this explain the rumour I heard ? with regard to the 105.4 adjusting the mid treble output at high volume with more mid going to the lower drivers ?

What performance differences occured with the autotransformer versus the later 105.4 model ? and what serial number did this end with ?

What do you think of removing the protection networks from the 105.4 ?

Steve
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinR wrote:
You have an email with a 69k .jpg attached, more to follow if required Smile .


OK, I've got it now. The tapped inductor is an autotransformer in the middle of the delta of capacitors. This raises the voltage/impedance level so that a smaller value output capacitor could be used.

In the woofer section, the parallel impedance compensation of the cabinet resonance C2+L2 is also unusual for this a period. I didn't think this technique was used in producition before Model 104|2. Aaah, how the nmemory goes.....................
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
whatever sg said


What intrigues me is how such an “off the wall” circuit got into production, at a time when KEF were famed/criticised by the Hi-fi Comics for their “safe” designs and comprehensive statistical process control.

The other question is the usual one, I wonder how many more pairs were produced with this configuration and are there any other advanced designs in other low serial numbered products?

To "non-techies" there is a difference soundwise using a piece performed by Jane Monheit. The lower serial numbered Corellis sound much more lifelike than the aB tweeter endowed SNo ~17000 pair Cool .
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