So You Want Some Awesome Old Speakers? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-21-2008, 08:22 PM
OK. So your looking for a pair of speakers that are in a price range you can afford - lets say $1,500 or so. You figure that a new pair at that price will sound good, but there may be a better speaker system you can buy if its second hand.

How about a speaker that still beats the pants of many of today's speakers under 10k, for around $1,500?? 'Are you kidding me' you may ask. No, I'm not.

This speaker is built by one of the best speaker manufacturers in the history of audio. It was kinda legendary in its time. It was designed and built with great attention to detail from the late 80's thru to the early 90s. It is one of the most beautiful speakers to look at; at once imposing, yet understated. It blends well and compliments any home environment. A high WAF then, which is a good thing.

It tells the truth and sees much deeper than many speaker systems - yes even the newest ones. You'll hear inner detail that escapes many speakers. It is a 'full-scale' speaker, meaning it presents music in full-scale. It does not miniturize as many do. It is much better at imaging than many speakers. It produces a soundscape of excellent width and depth, and full-bodied images. These speakers are capable of the elusive disappearing act.

There's truth, and then there's beauty, and rarely the twain shall meet. Many speaker systems are transparent and revealing - absolute truth tellers, like tattle tales. But many of these are awful to listen too for any lenght of time. They can become harsh and sound clinical with most material that is less than perfectly recorded.

Then there's beauty, where everything sounds like treacle, at the expense of accuracy.
yes, these speakers can sound nice, but usually theres quite a bit missing.

This speaker is rare in that it can do both. It will always be honest, but most of the time will not sound overly harsh or agressive. Its midrange is simply superb. Its the type of speaker that keeps drawing you to listen. Bass performance is also superb, exhibiting excellent control, detail, timber, speed, and weight.

If you try these as the front channel of your home theatre setup, unless your using high-end speakers already, you will want to replace the current fronts, as these produce an enormous full-bodied goes-on-forever sound when performing such duty.

They will work with modest amps, but love power. If you want to hear them come alive, you'll want to coax them with a 300+ watt amp. If you really want to hear them sing, try an amp capable of 1000watts. They love Class D. They are transparent in that they will perform better with good cables, preamp, amp, and source.

Be warned though. You must look for a well-looked after example. You are advised to buy locally so that you can check them out for yourself. It is also advisable to check that the woofer surrounds are in good order.

The KEF Reference 107 - a legend, and still one of the best speakers out there especially at the price they can be had for. One more thing. The 107 uses a bass equalizer called the KUBE. Forget using them without it. They will not sound right at all. When buying, make sure it is the matching kube for the speakers - this is important.

audio amateur
04-23-2008, 02:23 AM
Nice review mate:) enjoy

04-23-2008, 12:05 PM
Cheers mate!

Heres a picture of mine - Still beautiful looking by todays standards.

04-23-2008, 12:08 PM
An old picture with the KEFs at front. Taken late evening so had to use a flash. The lamps on either side of the center cabinet were used in the movie Hollywood Homocide. The round chairs in the corner (you can see a bit of the left one) belonged to Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo). Hidden under the center cabinet are Audio Research Classic 120s, that drive the Reference 107s.

04-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Just for interest, also an older picture but with the system evolving. The KEFs are still the main speakers at this point, but also use the Mission 767s

04-23-2008, 12:12 PM
Picture of the HF/MF Unit, which is surprisingly heavy.

04-23-2008, 12:15 PM
Another - Simple, Imposing, Understated, Real Brazilain Rosewood - with sound quality and quantity that kicks serious arse.

04-23-2008, 06:50 PM
these are a nice set of speakers how much do they weigh they look heavy. i bet they sound better than they look.

04-23-2008, 07:18 PM
Hi B'76,

They weigh almost 110lbs each side fully assembled, which is not overly heavy for their size (the KEF Maidstone weighs 247lbs each). They are pretty big though compared to the average. They're just about 13" wide and 46" tall. As good as they look, they sound fantastic. One of the best speakers I've heard for Jazz, Classical, or ensemble music with un-amplified instruments. This is because they sound very organic and tonally right. They really rock when called for though. Van Halen sounds awesome on these speakers.

04-24-2008, 12:25 AM
An old picture with the KEFs at front. Taken late evening so had to use a flash. The lamps on either side of the center cabinet were used in the movie Hollywood Homocide. The round chairs in the corner (you can see a bit of the left one) belonged to Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo). Hidden under the center cabinet are Audio Research Classic 120s, that drive the Reference 107s.

now how are the woofers on these situated. are they rear firing or bottom firing.

04-24-2008, 02:03 AM
Nice room!!!

Its the type of room I hope to have when I am done paying for my kids college and a spare room open up in the house.......only 8 more years.....

audio amateur
04-24-2008, 08:48 AM
Not sure I get it. You've got 2 or 3 different pairs of speakers pictured?

sgt bass08
04-24-2008, 09:36 AM
Not sure I get it. You've got 2 or 3 different pairs of speakers pictured?

audio amateur what do you mean the kef speakers must have covers on them that hide the tweeter and midrange i think .btw
Nice speakers oshag ive never seen a pair of kef speakers like that in the uk were they speacial made in the states ?? .ive always liked the KEF reference 105.2 model wich as the same style as yours with the boxed tweeter and midrange .but the 105.2 as a forward firing woofer in the cabinets.

04-24-2008, 10:10 AM
O'Shag - Excellent choices of speakers.....

04-24-2008, 10:40 AM
Not sure I get it. You've got 2 or 3 different pairs of speakers pictured?

Sorry mate, I don't quite understand your question, and didn't mean to confuse. But just to elaborate on what I said originally, I put a picture of the Missions in this post too as I thought some members may be interested to see them. They happen to be very rare, and excellent speakers btw.

04-24-2008, 10:47 AM

I know what you mean about kids. I started very young (had my first at 17 so they are all grown now. My son is studying medicine at UCLA, and I know its bloody expensive. Took me a long time and a lot of 'blood sweat and tears' so to speak to build the system to where it is now. Some people will go out and blow $1000 on clothes - I'll use that same money for a new component. Thats why I have holes in my Jeans! :cryin: :D

04-24-2008, 11:04 AM
Sargeant Bassman, hope all is well in Blighty mate and thanks for your comments. Your right that there is a similarity between the 105 and the 107 - in looks. The 107, while looking similar, does have a more advanced head unit, with better drivers and crossover network. Also. there are two woofers in the bass unit. The design is unique. The 107 uses an external bass alignment equalizer called the KUBE (as does the Mission 767). This adjusts Q factor, Extension, and Contour. The 107 with its two bass units per side and the kube, is capable of extension down to a true 15hz! When the volume is turned up - and the 107 is capable sustaining db levels up to 115db - I've had the room shaking with thunderous bass. The bass is not the vague rumbling Q factor of plus 4 db that you find in many run-of-the-mill subs. It is very defined and organic at the same time as powerful. These are becoming increasingly hard to find - especially in good nick. If you look to buy, make sure you check them very carefully first as the woofer surrounds may need replacing after many years in a damper climate.

04-24-2008, 11:15 AM
Ajani - as I've said before you and I have very similar tastes in speakers. You definitely know your stuff :thumbsup: . I just hope you get your GS60s soon mate. You will be able to then build a superb system around a lasting foundation - the way I see it, even if it takes 5 years, the building, research and planning is great fun. Even though you have your heart set on the excellent GS60, if you do run across a pair of the Reference 107 in great shape, have a listen.

BA'76, in answer to your question, the low frequency system in the Reference 107 is one of KEF's unique innovations where they use coupled-cavity bass loading. Tight control is maintained in the region around 90hz where music power is concentrated. Essentially the arrangement of the two 10" woofers (per side) allows the main distortion components generated in each woofer to cancel each other out. The result is apparently lower levels of non-linear distortion. The bass, strangely enough, radiates vertically through a port in the top face well clear of the floor and immediately adjacent to the midrage driver unit for optimal integration. Sounds strange but works exceedingly well. The bass driver axes are vertically oriented with each unit working from its own sealed enclosure towards the central cavity. I've opened mine up several times to familiarize myself with their construction and unusual operating principals.