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post #31 of 219 Old 02-28-2018, 07:59 AM
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Having owned KEF Ref 104/2’s many moons ago, I still find myself missing them (currently on a Dunlavy set up right now).

I do like reading on comparisons between KEF and other speaks. I agree with Anygreg’s “veiled” comment with B&W; the 801’s Iistened to back then were almost too neutral in the room. I liked the fact they “disappeared”, but it seemed far too laid back to engage me in the music.

Any comparisons between Dynaudio? Curious!
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post #32 of 219 Old 02-28-2018, 09:05 AM
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Kef Reference 1 unboxed and operating. Not too loud yet but sound is amazing. Planning on getting the Rotel power amp 1590 (2x350WPC) or comparable...need to research this further. Ordering Clear day Double Shotgun bi-wired cables when owner heals and returns to work. Will compare against AQ Rocket 88s. Also, replacing the 9 year old BDO with a Salamander, Chicago seems nice.
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Sony XBR-65A1E OLED | Pioneer Kuro Elite 141FD 60" | Rotel RAP-1580 AVR | Kef Reference 1 | OPPO UDP-205 | B&W CM5 | Apple 4K TV | Sonus One | Peachtree Nova Amp | Pro-Ject Turntable | Xbox One X (soon) | Panamax MB1500 | APC H15 Power Conditioning | AudioQuest Coffee & Vodka (in-wall) | Control4 EA 1 & SR-260-I | Amazon Echo | Sanus BLF228-B1 Wall Mount
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post #33 of 219 Old 02-28-2018, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post
Not too many owners from what I've seen in the KEF thread.

For amps, I've had great success with Simaudio. I am a huge Sim fan and when I read comments like bright, harsh etc I just have to chuckle a bit. They are so from that.

I have KEF REF 1 and REF 4C center. I'm power all three with their own mono amp. Simaudio Neo 400M. 400W @8ohm 650W @4ohm .

These speakers really demand high current amps. They suck up juice like a sponge and while you may get sound with a low power amp and you might even enjoy it I don't think you'll know what your missing until you experiment on your own.

That why I am not sure if these speakers are for everyone (what speaker is?) but I see some ask if an AVR will drive these speakers and I wonder what advice dealers are providing.

Rick
My KEF Reference 107/2s seem to thrive on the high-current delivery of Parasound JC-1 monoblocks. I use a third JC-1 to drive a Reference 204/2C that blends seamlessly with the 107/2s. When I downsize, I plan to look at the newer Reference 1s and Blade 2s.

db
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post #34 of 219 Old 03-02-2018, 08:34 PM
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Really nice pictures guys. Thanks for sharing.

Are you guys mostly HT or are you using some stereo pieces up front?

I’m using Arcam AV860 prepro for HT but around XMAS I inserted a NAD Masters M50.2 streamer/server and NAD Masters M12 digital stereo preamp in front of the Arcam.

It’s been pretty dang nice but I think I’m still a die hard Simaudio fan. The NAD with touch power on/off gets on my nerves. Not sure why they stick with it. I place my finger lightly or heavy on the touch power button and it’s a bear to fire up. I finally added a trigger to my Oppo player and fire it up with my Harmony remote. Firing up the Oppo fires up the NAD Master units. I don’t need to use the touch sensors. NAD is really good stuff but seems there is always some minor headache with them.

The NADs sound wise have matted quite well. The M50.2 has been a great piece booting out an Apple Mac mini. Done with that path.

Simaudio mono amps with KEF Reference for front three has been the bees knees. They have some new gear coming in regards to server and preamp I believe. Exciting. MQA certified stuff.

But nice to talk about hits and misses with Reference fellas. Thanks for the pictures posted. Keep it coming.

Rick
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post #35 of 219 Old 03-02-2018, 08:54 PM
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In with an update to my Reference 5 system now running Electrocompaniet Nemo mono blocks. Nice to see other Reference owners here sharing experiences. Agree that high current amps open up these speakers and let them shine.
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post #36 of 219 Old 03-02-2018, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theothergreg View Post
In with an update to my Reference 5 system now running Electrocompaniet Nemo mono blocks. Nice to see other Reference owners here sharing experiences. Agree that high current amps open up these speakers and let them shine.
WOW now that is frigging awesome. Reel to Reel even. You still use it?

Can I trade my NADs for something? But stay away from my amps.

Really awesome. More questions coming.

Rick
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post #37 of 219 Old 03-02-2018, 10:14 PM
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WOW now that is frigging awesome. Reel to Reel even. You still use it?

Can I trade my NADs for something? But stay away from my amps.

Really awesome. More questions coming.

Rick
Thanks! Yes, I do use the reel-to-reel occasionally. I have a lot of the tapes my grandfather recorded off a local classical and opera FM station back in the 70s. He was the one who got me into this crazy hobby, so I play them when I feel nostalgic.

Not sure I would trade anything for your NADs, but your amps are safe for now since I only have two speakers in this system and the Nemos are absolute monsters. Fire away with any questions!
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post #38 of 219 Old 03-03-2018, 03:20 AM
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Question about speaker cables? What are you using? I'm happy so far with the AQ Rocket 88 biwired but am open to great alternatives. I mentioned earlier, trying to order Clear Day Double Shotguns for $450, made in USA by a craftsmen but he's recovering from back surgery and it may be a few months before I can order.

Sony XBR-65A1E OLED | Pioneer Kuro Elite 141FD 60" | Rotel RAP-1580 AVR | Kef Reference 1 | OPPO UDP-205 | B&W CM5 | Apple 4K TV | Sonus One | Peachtree Nova Amp | Pro-Ject Turntable | Xbox One X (soon) | Panamax MB1500 | APC H15 Power Conditioning | AudioQuest Coffee & Vodka (in-wall) | Control4 EA 1 & SR-260-I | Amazon Echo | Sanus BLF228-B1 Wall Mount
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post #39 of 219 Old 03-03-2018, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fritzjurg View Post
Question about speaker cables? What are you using? I'm happy so far with the AQ Rocket 88 biwired but am open to great alternatives. I mentioned earlier, trying to order Clear Day Double Shotguns for $450, made in USA by a craftsmen but he's recovering from back surgery and it may be a few months before I can order.
You'll probably get a different response from every person regarding speaker cables and ICs. In the past, I used Straight Wire Crescendo 3. They are an excellent cable, but very thick and stiff, so hard to place how I wanted. Recently switched to Synergistic Research and really like the sound I get from them.

The Clear Day Shotguns have a strong following, so I can't imagine that you'd be unhappy with them. Signal, Cullen, Blue Jeans and Kimber also make highly regarded cables in the same price range.

What do you feel is missing from your AQs? If you can try a few different cables (if you have a good relationship with your dealer, you can usually get some demo cables to try), you can get an idea on what you like and dislike.
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post #40 of 219 Old 03-03-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzjurg View Post
Question about speaker cables? What are you using? I'm happy so far with the AQ Rocket 88 biwired but am open to great alternatives. I mentioned earlier, trying to order Clear Day Double Shotguns for $450, made in USA by a craftsmen but he's recovering from back surgery and it may be a few months before I can order.
I'm using audio quest type 4, it seems a lot better then the monster cable speaker wire I was using before.
I'm happy with the audio quest. It is solid, not stranded.
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post #41 of 219 Old 03-03-2018, 12:02 PM
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The Clear Day Shotguns have a strong following, so I can't imagine that you'd be unhappy with them.
I'm a follower. I bi-wire them from Parasound JC 1 monoblocks to KEF Reference 107/2s and 204/2C, and I single wire from an Ayre VX-5 Twenty stereo amp to KEF LS50s. I think the sound is superb. He is a nice guy to deal with. Highly recommended.

db
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post #42 of 219 Old 03-04-2018, 06:49 PM
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Hi:
I am using the Reference C4 center and Reference 1 as surrounds. My L/R's are Blade Two's.
The Blade Two's and Reference 4C are powered by Ayre MX-R Twenty's. The Reference 1 surrounds are powered by an Ayre VX-5 stereo amp. 4 CI200RR's powered by a Class D ATI amp provide Atmos capability. Subs are a pair of JL f212's.
The Reference speakers are so capable its shocking. They seem able to handle the most delicate of musical passages and can play to ear splitting volumes and remain clean as can be. When the music or movie throws complex passages at the speakers they just keep expanding so that the detail as recorded by the engineer can be heard. No mashing of sound; all the various elements are there to be heard clearly.
Processor is a Theta Casablanca IVa, their latest upgrade that includes Atmos. The room has full acoustic treatments by Artnovion and all walls are double sheetrocked. The ceiling has been "soundproofed".
The results are simply astounding. The reactions I get from friends hearing the system have been astounding. A Frank Sinatra fan actually had tears in his eyes, saying he has never heard Frank sound like what he heard on my system. Others had to get up and dance. All felt the performers were "in the room."
Imaging and soundstage are impressively wide, deep and high. The detail, extension and clarity are excellent.
The Reference 4C is so clear, clean and capable. On surround music the surround Reference 1's have a chance to impress too. What a speaker! It's performance belies it's size. My soon has a 2 channel system driven with a McIntosh amp and they satisfy his critical ear which is a tough accomplishment. While my listening space was being built I used the Reference 1's in place of LS50's and the difference was easy to hear. More of everything I wanted to hear. I will be replacing the LS50's with the Reference 1's in that system.
I have read those who are wondering about the Reference line vs the B&W's. That is a matter of personal taste. I find the B&W's that I have demoed extensively to not be the sound I prefer. The entire Reference line is impressive. The question about the R vs Reference was answered accurately earlier in this thread. No comparison. Even though the drivers look similar they are actually quite different in their ultimate performance with the Reference far and away outperforming the R's. BTW, the Blade Two's are clearly a step above the Reference but they cost significantly more.
KEF is an engineering based manufacturer. Nothing is done by chance. Its all a result of fact based research, not something done by many other boutique companies.
If you want to know about how the Reference speakers sound I suggest finding a demo site to test them. Only your ears can make the decision as to whether they are the speakers for you. If you can work out a in-home test drive I doubt they will be returned.
I hope all you Reference owners continue to enjoy these wonderful speakers.
Thanks for starting this thread.
bp

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post #43 of 219 Old 03-04-2018, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BP View Post
Hi:
I am using the Reference C4 center and Reference 1 as surrounds. My L/R's are Blade Two's.
The Blade Two's and Reference 4C are powered by Ayre MX-R Twenty's. The Reference 1 surrounds are powered by an Ayre VX-5 stereo amp. 4 CI200RR's powered by a Class D ATI amp provide Atmos capability. Subs are a pair of JL f212's.
The Reference speakers are so capable its shocking. They seem able to handle the most delicate of musical passages and can play to ear splitting volumes and remain clean as can be. When the music or movie throws complex passages at the speakers they just keep expanding so that the detail as recorded by the engineer can be heard. No mashing of sound; all the various elements are there to be heard clearly.
Processor is a Theta Casablanca IVa, their latest upgrade that includes Atmos. The room has full acoustic treatments by Artnovion and all walls are double sheetrocked. The ceiling has been "soundproofed".
The results are simply astounding. The reactions I get from friends hearing the system have been astounding. A Frank Sinatra fan actually had tears in his eyes, saying he has never heard Frank sound like what he heard on my system. Others had to get up and dance. All felt the performers were "in the room."
Imaging and soundstage are impressively wide, deep and high. The detail, extension and clarity are excellent.
The Reference 4C is so clear, clean and capable. On surround music the surround Reference 1's have a chance to impress too. What a speaker! It's performance belies it's size. My soon has a 2 channel system driven with a McIntosh amp and they satisfy his critical ear which is a tough accomplishment. While my listening space was being built I used the Reference 1's in place of LS50's and the difference was easy to hear. More of everything I wanted to hear. I will be replacing the LS50's with the Reference 1's in that system.
I have read those who are wondering about the Reference line vs the B&W's. That is a matter of personal taste. I find the B&W's that I have demoed extensively to not be the sound I prefer. The entire Reference line is impressive. The question about the R vs Reference was answered accurately earlier in this thread. No comparison. Even though the drivers look similar they are actually quite different in their ultimate performance with the Reference far and away outperforming the R's. BTW, the Blade Two's are clearly a step above the Reference but they cost significantly more.
KEF is an engineering based manufacturer. Nothing is done by chance. Its all a result of fact based research, not something done by many other boutique companies.
If you want to know about how the Reference speakers sound I suggest finding a demo site to test them. Only your ears can make the decision as to whether they are the speakers for you. If you can work out a in-home test drive I doubt they will be returned.
I hope all you Reference owners continue to enjoy these wonderful speakers.
Thanks for starting this thread.
bp
Do you have a picture of that room??? Must be AMAZING!!
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post #44 of 219 Old 03-05-2018, 01:58 AM
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BTW, the Blade Two's are clearly a step above the Reference.
If that's so, which I don't doubt, how seamless is the sound with the 4C between the Blade 2s?

db
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post #45 of 219 Old 03-05-2018, 08:13 PM
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Hi db:
While the sound of the 2 lines share many similar characteristics I find the Blades up the ante in several audible ways; It is even more open, detailed, natural sounding and expansive. No doubt the point source design of the cabinet (location of the drivers) and engineering of the slightly different Uni-Q driver contribute to this.
Yet, when playing multi channel music and movies, the similarities outweigh the differences. I played with the Reference 4C rear dials to bring the sound of the center as close to the Blades as possible. The result is really quite good. This took me a while to accomplish.
Yes, I would prefer to have 5 Blades but thats not a practical solution for me. I guess my dream would be for KEF to produce a "Mini Blade" that would retain the Uni Q characteristics of the Blade and forgo some of the low end. I would use this "Mini Blade" as a center and surround. But since this is not a real world market choice I am very satisfied with the blending of the current Reference 4C and Reference 1 surrounds with the Blades.
This is in no way a criticism of the Reference. It is an outstanding choice for the dollar. We all understand how audio manufacturers market their products and make our decisions on relative value of what we purchase. Since system funding is rarely unlimited we all make compromises somewhere. Thats relative since calling a speaker with the qualities of the Reference series a "compromise" is one I would happily accept any day of the week!
Truth be told I spent almost 18 months on my speaker search demoing more fine speakers than I can recall. Once again, at their price point, I find the Reference line to stand proud against their competitors, pleasing me more than various other significantly more expensive options.
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If that's so, which I don't doubt, how seamless is the sound with the 4C between the Blade 2s?

db
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post #46 of 219 Old 03-05-2018, 08:24 PM
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Hi magicvinny:
When I return to the system later this week I will post pictures of the space. I assumed the roles of GC and PM. It was a great education.
The majority of the project took about 5 months to complete. Getting a few customized acoustic treatments done as originally ordered was frustrating as they extended final completion to 8 months.
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Do you have a picture of that room??? Must be AMAZING!!

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post #47 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 12:28 AM
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Hi magicvinny:
When I return to the system later this week I will post pictures of the space. I assumed the roles of GC and PM. It was a great education.
The majority of the project took about 5 months to complete. Getting a few customized acoustic treatments done as originally ordered was frustrating as they extended final completion to 8 months.
bp
That would be great!
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post #48 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 12:30 AM
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Hi db:

I played with the Reference 4C rear dials to bring the sound of the center as close to the Blades as possible. The result is really quite good. This took me a while to accomplish.

bp


Rear dials? Lost me there buddy. As far as I can see they just have speaker binding posts and the bi wire Link plugs? (Which you should remove if bi wire/amping. These are not adjustable, either bi wire/amp or not?

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post #49 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 05:31 AM
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In with an update to my Reference 5 system now running Electrocompaniet Nemo mono blocks. Nice to see other Reference owners here sharing experiences. Agree that high current amps open up these speakers and let them shine.
I'll admit I had to google it - but man, what a beast of an amp!
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post #50 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 11:29 AM
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When I contemplate replacing my beloved Reference 107/2s I vacillate between Blade 2s and Reference 1s supplemented by a pair of subs. I haven't heard either. Been listening a lot to the 107/2s and LS50s, with music provided by Roon through Ayre DACs (DX-5 DSD - Bryston SP3 - Parasound JC 1; QX-5 Twenty - KX-5cTwenty -VX-5 Twenty). Both setups sound superb, but different.

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post #51 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 06:42 PM
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It's different on the 4C and 2C

Hi Anygreg:
You are correct about the rear panel on most of the Reference series. But its different on the 4C and 2C. They use a jumper between the woofer and tweeter terminals so both sets of terminals are always used.
On the 4C and 2C those same dials are trim knobs allowing +/- 3db on both the woofers and tweeter. Thats what I adjusted.
In addition you can play around with stuffing the port.
I did obtain a signifiant change by replacing an Ayre VX-5 Twenty stereo amp which I was using to bi-amp the 4C to the same amp used on my L/R speakers, the Ayre MX-R Twenty mono block.
Hope that explains it.
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Rear dials? Lost me there buddy. As far as I can see they just have speaker binding posts and the bi wire Link plugs? (Which you should remove if bi wire/amping. These are not adjustable, either bi wire/amp or not?

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post #52 of 219 Old 03-06-2018, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
When I contemplate replacing my beloved Reference 107/2s I vacillate between Blade 2s and Reference 1s supplemented by a pair of subs. I haven't heard either. Been listening a lot to the 107/2s and LS50s, with music provided by Roon through Ayre DACs (DX-5 DSD - Bryston SP3 - Parasound JC 1; QX-5 Twenty - KX-5cTwenty -VX-5 Twenty). Both setups sound superb, but different.

db
Hi db:
I recognize you from the Ayre discussion on another forum. I've read many of your posts so I know you have a keen ear for good sound. I strongly suggest you demo the Blade Two. The Reference 1 is what I will be replacing a pair of LS50's with in my 2 channel system powered by a Devialet. In my primary system I listen to the Blade Two's in 2 channel most of the time.
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post #53 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 02:09 AM
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Hi Anygreg:
You are correct about the rear panel on most of the Reference series. But its different on the 4C and 2C. They use a jumper between the woofer and tweeter terminals so both sets of terminals are always used.
On the 4C and 2C those same dials are trim knobs allowing +/- 3db on both the woofers and tweeter. Thats what I adjusted.
In addition you can play around with stuffing the port.
I did obtain a signifiant change by replacing an Ayre VX-5 Twenty stereo amp which I was using to bi-amp the 4C to the same amp used on my L/R speakers, the Ayre MX-R Twenty mono block.
Hope that explains it.
bp
Ah ok that makes sense, presume you use a link wire if you were to run single posts. From the images they look identical to other ref kit. Pretty good feature. Good old Kef hey. Awesome stuff, thanks for the info.
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post #54 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 06:41 AM
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well, I found out the volume level 86 is the limit on the Rotel RAP 1580 & the Kef Reference 1 speakers in a 2 channel set-up. Listening to Pandora through the Apple 4KTV app, it was pretty loud, sounded crystal clear & amazing, and I would have likely put on ear protection fairly soon. The Rotel shut down, I guess to protect itself. I had planned on adding dedicated power to home entertainment system but might do it sooner than planned. I'm researching options, but I figure I'd ask here for others who may have great recommendations for power amps. Or should I just add the Rotel RB1590 2x350?

Sony XBR-65A1E OLED | Pioneer Kuro Elite 141FD 60" | Rotel RAP-1580 AVR | Kef Reference 1 | OPPO UDP-205 | B&W CM5 | Apple 4K TV | Sonus One | Peachtree Nova Amp | Pro-Ject Turntable | Xbox One X (soon) | Panamax MB1500 | APC H15 Power Conditioning | AudioQuest Coffee & Vodka (in-wall) | Control4 EA 1 & SR-260-I | Amazon Echo | Sanus BLF228-B1 Wall Mount
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post #55 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by BP View Post
I strongly suggest you demo the Blade Two.
Montecito is a small town adjacent to Santa Barbara CA, so I wouldn't expect to find a dealer who could demo Blade 2s, but even in LA it's not obvious where I can find one. There may well be Blade 2s in our little town -- it's popular with members of the entertainment community, but I don't know of them. Nevertheless if I replace the 107/2s it's most likely to be with Blade 2s.

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post #56 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
Montecito is a small town adjacent to Santa Barbara CA, so I wouldn't expect to find a dealer who could demo Blade 2s, but even in LA it's not obvious where I can find one. There may well be Blade 2s in our little town -- it's popular with members of the entertainment community, but I don't know of them. Nevertheless if I replace the 107/2s it's most likely to be with Blade 2s.

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Hi db:
I am familiar with Montecito having visited it a number of years ago. i also know somebody who lives there. What a slice of heaven! You are lucky to live there!
I will contact a KEF rep I know and ask about a demo spot for the Blade Two's. If I come up with one I will send you a PM.
Otherwise, based on your response it seems you are headed in a great direction.
Continued best of luck with your system.
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post #57 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 07:44 PM
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I'll admit I had to google it - but man, what a beast of an amp!
That is understandable since they are not well known in North America. They have a nice following in Europe and Asia and KEF even uses them in their factory museum for demos:
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post #58 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 07:52 PM
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I will contact a KEF rep I know and ask about a demo spot for the Blade Two's.
bp
The reason I want to find a floor demo is that I'm most likely to buy used, so I'd feel guilty if a dealer did anything special for me. Most of the shops in Santa Barbara are aimed at custom installations and don't have showrooms. The one that does has a pair of Wilson speakers in their demo room that are about the same price range as the Blade 2s. I have yet to listen to those speakers, but I'd feel no sense of obligation if I asked them to play tracks from a couple of my discs. I may end up just buying on the basis of reputation and a particularly good price. I bought the 107/2s unheard after reading rave reviews by John Atkinson and Tom Norton, and I've read rave reviews about the Blade 2s -- they couldn't be that much worse than LS50s supplemented by a pair of Velodyne HGS 10s with SMS-1 acoustic room correction!

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post #59 of 219 Old 03-07-2018, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
The reason I want to find a floor demo is that I'm most likely to buy used, so I'd feel guilty if a dealer did anything special for me. Most of the shops in Santa Barbara are aimed at custom installations and don't have showrooms. The one that does has a pair of Wilson speakers in their demo room that are about the same price range as the Blade 2s. I have yet to listen to those speakers, but I'd feel no sense of obligation if I asked them to play tracks from a couple of my discs. I may end up just buying on the basis of reputation and a particularly good price. I bought the 107/2s unheard after reading rave reviews by John Atkinson and Tom Norton, and I've read rave reviews about the Blade 2s -- they couldn't be that much worse than LS50s supplemented by a pair of Velodyne HGS 10s with SMS-1 acoustic room correction!

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There was only one place in Northern California that I found that had the Blades to demo on their floor. Have not seen Blade 2s at all but will let you know if I stumble upon a pair up here.
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post #60 of 219 Old 03-09-2018, 04:09 PM
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Blade Two Demo in LA Soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
Montecito is a small town adjacent to Santa Barbara CA, so I wouldn't expect to find a dealer who could demo Blade 2s, but even in LA it's not obvious where I can find one. There may well be Blade 2s in our little town -- it's popular with members of the entertainment community, but I don't know of them. Nevertheless if I replace the 107/2s it's most likely to be with Blade 2s.

db
Hi db:
Ever hear of MIR Audio Video in LA on Westwood? They will be getting a pair of Blade Two's they plan to use for demo late next week.
Funny that they are a possible demo site. Even though I'm an easterner I know them. Ask for Roy!
Check your PM.
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