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Sunday, May 25, 2014

KEF Unveils Revamped Reference and Blade High-End Speaker Lines

The curvy Blade Two loudspeaker has KEF's Uni-Q driver array and Tangerine waveguide.

This week is the Munich High End Show, which means that we'll see a few drool-worthy audio releases that we won't be able to actually reach out and touch (or hear) -- at least not yet. The first pair comes from KEF, who just announced an update for two of its popular speaker lines.

The first is the Blade Two, a new loudspeaker that's slightly smaller than its predecessor. However, it still promises to pack the same wallop. It does that via KEF's Uni-Q ‘point source' driver array. What's so unique about Uni-Q? It has a 25mm vented aluminum dome tweeter right in the acoustic center of a 125mm midrange driver. That setup boasts a high- and mid-range response that can flood the listening space with natural sound.

Other features include four 6.5-inch bass drivers and a curvy high-density polyurethane enclosure that's sturdy enough to ensure that the sound is coming from the drivers, not the cabinet.

The Reference is a nice little package, with the latest version of KEF's Uni-Q driver, as well as 6.5-inch bass drivers and a 1000-watt subwoofer. Current Reference designs include a three-way bookshelf speaker, two formidable three-way floorstanders, a three-way timbre-matched center channel, and the aforementioned twin-driver subwoofer.

"The Reference and Blade Two are both logical extensions of classic KEF lines," says Johan Coorg, KEF's global brand ambassador. "They're enhanced by new technologies and advanced materials that didn't exist previously, massively extending performance to fully realize the potential of contemporary music and movie formats. We want every note, every voice, every sound rendered exactly how it was intended to be heard."

The Reference will start shipping this month, with black, rosewood and walnut finish options. The "Kent Engineering and Foundry Edition" finishes include Blue Ice White and Copper Black Aluminum. The Reference 1 bookshelf speaker is priced at $7500 per pair. Also selling in pairs, the Reference 3 floorstanding speaker has an MSRP of $13,000, while the Reference 5 floorstander is $18,000. The last in the lineup is the Reference Centre center-channel speaker and the Reference Subwoofer. Those will be sold individually for $7500 and $5500, respectively.

Sometime this August, KEF will also make the Blade Two available. The standard finishes include black, white, red, grey and silver, while the "Kent Engineering and Foundry Editions" will include Frosted Blue and Frosted Copper Black. The company has priced each model at $24,000 per pair.

 The Reference has KEF's latest Uni-Q "point source" driver array and new port technology.

View the original article here

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