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.
Originally Posted by dbphd
If that's so, which I don't doubt, how seamless is the sound with the 4C between the Blade 2s?