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The Quest for The KEF… Reference 107!

Discussion in 'British Audio' started by SimplySound, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Raynald

    Raynald Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,139
    Location:
    Montreal
    I am at the same point as you, I have plenty of great gear that more than does justice to the music. Time to trim the stuff that is not hooked up and needed.

    If you do get around to an upgrade, there is a big difference between the electret and true electrostatics. The former give you the Stax sonic signature, the latter should run with your Quads depending on the model.
     

     

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  2. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    Thanks, I figured that would be the case, with the true electrostatics being much better. The "electret" models I still feel are "good for the money" but no, they do not keep up with the Quads! Definitely on my "list" to try the true Stax electrostatics.
     
  3. SimplySound

    SimplySound Kent Engineering & Fondry

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    LOL... oh aren't you and I in the same boat!!! :rflmao::thumbsup:
     
  4. steve59

    steve59 Active Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    chicagoabouts
    Anybody interested in the speakers in my avatar? R107/2 rosewood with kube, maybe all 8 flr spikes maybe not. they're listed on audio mart. tks
     
  5. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    I don't think this is allowed...but I couldn't find them listed either. PM me with asking price. Are they restored or "original?"
     
  6. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    Last Friday added Townshend Maximum super tweeters to my 107's. They operate from 12k - 90 khz, greatly extending the 107's, which go to 20 khz. The results are...not what I expected...but I'm not sure what to think yet. Had a few hours' listening. I hooked them up and set the level to 3 then 4. Didn't hear any change (there are levels "off" through "max" with 5 steps in between). I then turned them off...didn't notice any obvious difference either. Don't think I was listening for the right thing though. I was expecting lots of extra treble energy, similar to some Apogee ribbons I used to own. These don't do that. There is a little extra metallic shimmer to cymbals, for sure...just a little. The difference I THINK I am hearing is the whole speaker just has a little more realism, more PRAT...just a nice ease to it...it was already a speaker with a commanding "ease" to the sound if that makes sense. Like it COULD kick your ass but it's just going to be confident in the fact that it can if it wants to, lol...but it's just going to cruise along and do what it's supposed to do, knowing it can do whatever is called upon of it (yes I'm weirdly personifying the speakers). But these supertweeters seem to add just a little more of that ease to the sound and also a little more realism to it all.

    I wasn't sure they were doing ANYTHING at all. I can't hear them. But then I turned the right one off and left the left one on...felt a pull to the left...the left definitely sounded different. Then did the same to the right...I didn't hear it the other way at first, but I don't think my hearing is all there on the right ear. Tried it again and this time felt the "pull" to the right. So they are doing "something." I turn them off and still think the speakers sound good...but just not QUITE as good...maybe 5-10% less good, if that.

    I tried changing phase on the supertweeters and also moving them forward or backward, couldn't perceive any change.

    Definitely more trial and error and critical listening needed. So far I THINK they are keepers but not 100% sure yet. They ARE quite expensive. I have a 14 day trial but not sure I'll be able to decide in that time so likely will just keep them and eventually sell them if I'm not convinced. Like any component - amp, preamp, cartridge, cables - the changes can be subtler than we expect and we may not definitively hear them at all until our ears adjust. This is also in that camp where the effect doesn't kick you in the chest, which I guess at this level is a good thing...we're not trying to alter or color the sound, just let it through.

    Below is the review that led me to purchase them (from a review on Analogue Seduction). I was in the same boat as James, 107's restored, enjoying them, but thought I'd try for more. I will say, the speakers are sounding very good, probably better than ever, SOMEHOW!

    Towhshend Maximum Super Tweeters
    Wednesday, 6 April 2016 | James
    Well... I purchased these more to satisfy my curiosity after reading about how they could take a good system and add more clarity and coherence across the entire frequency spectrum. I have had them in my system for three days now and by golly, they really do work. As stated elsewhere, if you isolate them you can just barely hear something going on but it is hardly high in output or very recognizable as musical at least that I can detect anyway. However, add them back to your full-range speakers and it is a whole different story. I recently rebuilt my aging KEF R107 speakers that had ceased working due to completely disintegrated surrounds on all four woofers and tweeters with their voice coils stuck in 30 year old, dried up Ferro Fluid. With rebuild woofers and having disassembled, cleaned and recharged the tweeters, they were sounding very fine indeed so there was no compelling reason to fuss with them by adding super tweeters but boy, am I glad I did! These are still one of the best sounding speakers I have ever heard but with the super tweeter added in, they are elevated to something truly special. The claims others have made are all accurate. The clarity, space and ease across the entire spectrum is not subtle. My wife who knows nothing about any of this when asked to take a listed after I had installed them commented that the system sounded better than ever and proceeded to pretty much describe the improvements in similar terms. Keep in mind she had no idea the tweeters had been added and so was in no way biased. That is a pretty strong commendation in my book. Anyway, these things are really something special and you don't need to have perfect hearing to appreciate the improvements. I am testament to that because my hearing is hardly in pristine shape after all the years of playing in a rock band on the side off an on for the last 45 years. Highly recommended!
     
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  7. SimplySound

    SimplySound Kent Engineering & Fondry

    Messages:
    2,495
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    I run a pair of Vifa Dual Ring Radiator Super Tweeters off of the Dunlavy Center Channel speaker. It gives a bit more realism to voices when you can hear the spit exit the mouth of actors in the movies! :naughty:

    Seriously, it is a very suptle thing Hawkeye, I get it! :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
    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
     
  8. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    Dude, I was just coming here to post that yeah, I'm hearing it now...BOY am I hearing it! Realistic vocals is definitely what I'm hearing. I've never heard the 107's sound so good. It now almost sounds to me like it's kicked the entire speaker up a notch...gave them that little extra bit of magic that the Quads had that I felt the KEF's might be lacking. Well, they ain't lacking it now!
     
  9. .nilo.

    .nilo. Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    is this true? has anyone listen to a pair without the KUBE? i have a chance on purchasing a pair without the kube .....
     
  10. electra100

    electra100 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Location:
    Ontario
    I listened to mine without a Kube until I had a power supply built. The 107 does have a drastic change without the Kube, but I still enjoyed listening to them without it. Hopefully the price for the pair you are looking at has a discount. Good luck!
     
  11. .nilo.

    .nilo. Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    is your KUBE the one that came original with the speakers or was it from a different pair?

    I noticed you are using a ST-70 tube amp , is it enough power to run the 107s?
     

     

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  12. electra100

    electra100 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Location:
    Ontario
    The kube was original, but the power supply was lost.

    The ST70 has no trouble powering the 107's at all, I can't even approach 50% volume without getting to ear bleeding and house shaking levels. I plan on trying my Luxman R-117 on them soon to try some high powered solid state.
     
  13. .nilo.

    .nilo. Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    so is it true that the KUBE is matched to each inividual pair of speakers? I ask becasue I could eventually buy a KUBE on ebay but ofcourse it wouldn´t be the original
     
  14. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    East-Central Iowa
    Yes and no...

    Practically, I don't think it matters, as long as you get a "107" KUBE (from ANY pair of 107's).

    KEF did a "driver matching" thing and also I think tested the speakers with THEIR individual KUBE...but I don't think any KUBE was "tailored" to any particular set of speakers, if that makes sense. All 107 KUBE's were made the same, just "tested" and therefore "matched" with the speakers they were made with/for. If you did have the matching one, it might increase the value of the speakers a bit, but probably not a whole lot. The 107's hold their value reasonably well anyway (yet short of speakers like JBL L300's and Altec 19's, for some reason...haven't figured that one out yet, I thought those three speakers were all basically in the same league).

    This is what I've heard, anyway. I'm definitely not the expert here, just a 107 enthusiast/owner.

    Since you were talking amps above, I'd love to try 107's with a tube amp, but for me, solid state is more practical, and so far I've preferred Class A solid state. The McCormack amps are an excellent match, I can attest to that. I'm sure I'd enjoy other Class A amps as well, like Pass Labs, Monarchy, etc.
     

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