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High End 2014: KEF and its Blades

DSC00819-2 By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis KEF silently launched the Blade TWO during Munich 2014. Silently because the beautiful blue Blades were on static display next to the even more exotic Muon. Inside KEF’s booth one and a half a Blade TWO was sitting next to an entire (older) Blade. Meaning a Blade was cut in half so that visitors could admire what went inside, the double crossovers, bass ports, cabinet bracings and acoustic foams. The TWO just like the older Blade, a three-way bass-reflex design with a front firing Uni-Q driver and four 6.5” low frequency units, in force-canceling configuration, instead of the four 9” drivers found in the bigger model. Sound-wise KEF decided to focus on the Reference 5, which is composed of the same driver units on a much more conventional cabinet. Sensitivity (90dB) and power handling (50-400 Watts) are identical for the Ref. 5 and the Blade TWO.

The show set up included electronics by Arcam FMJ series: D33 DAC, BDP300 player, AV950 acting as pre and monos. A well-matched system with interesting sound for the money, though maybe played a bit louder than what could handle in order to fill up a pretty big room. Pity we did not have the chance to listen to the more exotic Blades.

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About Panagiotis Karavitis (180 Articles)

Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile
Publisher @ Audiohub.gr

2 Comments on High End 2014: KEF and its Blades

  1. Wow, KEF has the line up. Circa 2011 I drove from N. Utah to Denver to see Sting, probably the best live show I’ve ever seen. While there, I heard The Blade at Denver’s dealer, and it sounded magnificent. I generally place “modern” cosmetic design like KEF low on my desire list, but somehow KEF attracts more than most such designs. I wonder why Blade II was not playing music? Possibly final production spec not quite final?

    • Panagiotis Karavitis // May 19, 2014 at 1:20 PM //

      Well James, after listening to the same specs Reference 5 i think that the reason was the room. As it was pretty vast, the Blade TWO would not have performed as expected and that would have been very “embarrassing” for KEF. I trust that both these speakers will perform very well in a more suitable (=normal) room.

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