Only the finest dealers are approved to offer this product. Your purchasing experience should be worthy of a loudspeaker such as this, and should come with matching levels of service and support. Therefore upon inquiry or purchase of KEF Blade through KEF Direct, a KEF concierge will contact you to facilitate product shipment and delivery via a KEF Blade Authorized Dealer local to you. KEF Blade is the production version of the famous Concept Blade project KEF revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009. Refined using ingenious new materials to replicate the shattering performance of the original, KEF Blade is a unique synthesis of cutting edge audio technology and groundbreaking design.
Priced as MATCHED PAIRS.
Encouraged by all the reviews, and to mark KEF's 50th anniversary, the design team was given the go-ahead to develop this stunning concept for production, and two more years were spent painstakingly refining the concept to produce an edition that serious audiophiles could actually own. We devised ingenious applications of different new materials to replicate the shattering performance of the original, using innovative technologies to deliver the acoustic capabilities required of such a super-premium product.
We perfected a method of manufacturing the complex parabolic enclosures. The drivers gained sophisticated enhancements to recapture the magic of listening to the one-off prototype. What was previously thought impossible was set to become a reality. The result is KEF Blade - a unique synthesis of cutting edge audio technology and groundbreaking design. While the technologies involved are very advanced, the original focus on simplicity remains every single component operates so comfortably within its performance envelope that they work together as a single, flawlessly coherent unit - in effect, a giant full range Uni-Q driver array. Its a spectacularly lush, warm and expansive sound. Effortlessly accurate and as natural, intricate and emotionally authentic as a live performance.
If you're passionate about music, we think you'll agree that the years of development that made the concept a reality were very well spent indeed.
Single Apparent Source
Like listening to one voice rather than many, sound from a single source is inherently clearer. Not only are the acoustic centers of the HF and MF drivers in the Blade & Blade Two Uni-Q array coincident, but the four LF drivers, (9in. for Blade, or 6.5in. for Blade Two) are mounted symmetrically equidistant from it so that their acoustic centers occupy exactly the same point in space.
To avoid dissipating the energy of such potent bass drivers in exciting the cabinet (and thereby generating resonance, especially at high volume), the large kinetic forces involved are cancelled out by mounting the LF drivers rigidly together, back-to-back. By minimizing cabinet coloration, this highly effective configuration partly accounts for the Blade & Blade Two’s natural-sounding and engagingly musical performance.
Discrete Bass Chambers
The twinned pairs of bass drivers are mounted in discrete chambers separated by an internal partition. By increasing the frequency of any internal standing waves to way beyond the crossover point, this reduces the need for damping material (which can otherwise impair bass quality). Nothing has been overlooked in the quest for the ultimate clarity, right across the frequency range.
Terminals & Terminal Links
Two pairs of the finest audiophile quality WBT connectors allow bi-wiring or bi-amping to optimize the retrieval of low level detail in the music.
Low Order Crossovers
The simple low order crossovers specified for both Blade & Blade Two employ the best components available, carefully selected by a rigorous auditioning process so that every part of the signal path is fine-tuned for maximum clarity.
The patented screw-in linking plugs are to full audiophile specification (as well as simplifying set-up by eliminating fiddly wiring links). All the crossover components are individually wired by hand rather than mounted on a conventional printed circuit board. As well as being more environment-friendly, this optimizes both reliability and sound quality by assuring the cleanest possible signal transmission.
• Click here to learn more about the KEF Blade at KEF.com
A top candidate for the best loudspeaker ever madeUltimate loudspeakers are like supercars. Surrounded by hype, often times with massively inflated price tags, and a cult-like but always small following, given their punitive prices. In the rarefied air of candidates for best loudspeaker – and there are no doubt dozens of those, including some rather exotic off-brands where their principal basis for a claim to greatness is a mid five-figure to mid six-figure price tag, the KEF Blades are a veritable bargain at $32k.
Ever since I was a kid I've loved music, and since my late teen years, have craved loudspeakers that may at least make some legitimate claim towards being the best available transducer. And make no mistake about it, it's the signal chain transducers that make the biggest contribution the sound quality, including of course the quality of the microphones used by the studio, and the skill of the sound technicians in setting them up – a key variable over which even the most obsessive audiophile has no control. It's been long appreciated that phono cartridges and loudspeakers – as signal transducers changing a signal from electrical to acoustic/physical or from physical to electrical – make the most significant contribution to your sound system and the perceived qualities of its acoustics. In my teens I lusted after the Walsh A – a unique speaker that required 250W to play at a reasonable level and 260W to blow its voice coil. Fast forward to 50 years later and now semi-retired, I decided that after the briefest of auditions, the KEF Blades were on my bucket list, while the Ferrari, and a number of other pieces of wishful thinking were simply not happening.
A pair of these became available on Audiogon for a very reasonable money from a very responsible seller. They were local pickup only, and in some God-given bit of good luck, the seller was within an hour. They were not an easy speaker to move, as the boxes are almost 6 feet tall, and weigh about 150 pounds each loaded. But with my wife's considerable help I was able to move these massive columns into the house and set them up without a scratch . . . Except to the wood floors. Oh well.
They are simply the best speaker I've ever heard – creating a seamless and broad sound field, smoothly integrated, and with no emphasis to any part of the spectral balance or recorded acoustic. Highs are extended but not hyped, lows are all there, but again not any version of boomy, not hyped or exaggerated and the mid range is also spot on. You will invariably notice new musical nuances in your favorite musical conpositions that you've never heard before. The Blades are simply clean and neutral in a way you have to hear to appreciate, with superb transient response. Take a close look at the Stereophile review of their little brother, the Blade IIs – and JA’s measurements section (the best technical reviewer in the industry) shows about as flat a frequency response curve as you’ll find anywhere. Coming from a set of Reference 107s, the bass may not hit you in the face (or abdomen!) as much, but it extends just as deeply, down to 20-25 Hz without any trouble. And because of placement of the force-canceling pairs of 9 inch woofers well off the floor, there is not as much boundary reinforcement as many large speakers, although of course in anything except an absolutely huge listening hall, you're going to get some of that. The bass is just . . . well for lack of a better term . . . fully believable, authentic, and such that listening to other large speakers that you once thought had great bass leaves you subtlety dissatisfied once you’ve experienced the Blades.
If you can afford them, they are easily finalists for the best loudspeaker ever made, with KEF engineering frankly being more advanced than just about anyone’s, and resulting in a single apparent point source for sound, centered on the integrated tweeter-midrange driver. And if something costing this much can be considered a great value, they are shockingly less than some other ‘ultimate louspeakers’ while putting most of them to shame. Compared to the well reviewed other elite speakers over five figures, such as the big B&W 802s, the Revel Salon IIs, the Magico S5, the Vandersteen Model Seven Mk.II, or any of the Wilson Audio speakers, a few of these are less than the Blades, but many are more, and none have quite the seamless quality of the Blades. Audition one with some of your favorite material, but be prepared to be dissatisfied with what you are listening to currently.
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|Design||Three-way bass reflex,
Single apparent source driver configuration
|Drive Units||Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP hybrid cone
HF: 25mm (1in.) Al dome
LF: 4 x 225mm (9in.) with force cancelling
|Frequency range free field (-6dB)||28Hz - 45kHz|
|Frequency range typical in room bass response (-6dB)||20Hz|
|Frequency Response (±3dB)||40Hz - 35kHz ±3dB
(-6dB at 28Hz)
|Crossover frequency||350Hz, 2.3kHz|
|Amplifier requirements||50 - 400W|
|Harmonic distortion 2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)||<0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
|Maximum output (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise)||117dB|
|Impedance||4Ω (min. 3.2Ω)|
|Weight||57.2 kg (126 lbs)|
|Dimensions - with plinth (H x W x D)||1590 x 363 x 540 mm
62.5 x 14.3 x 21.2 in.
** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **
KEF Blade Introduction:
KEF Blade Bass Driver:
KEF Blade Uni-Q Driver:
KEF Blade Single apparent Source:
KEF Blade Design & Designers:
|KEF Blade Review
|Hi-Fi News & Record Review ‘Outstanding Product’ Accolade
|Cutting-Edge Speaker Design: Blade Two
|Best Money-No-Object Speakers
|"Goldenes Ohr 2012" 2. "Best floor standing Loudspeakers over 10.000 Euro"
|Best of the Best 2012: Audio
|Stereo Sound Grand Prix Award 2011
|Products of the Year 2011
|Innovative Operating Practices Award
|Winner of Winners Award
|Products of the Year 2012 (Loudspeakers and Subwoofers)
|Grand Prix and Silver Award among all categories
|1st Place - Over 2.5 Million Yen/PR
|Best of the High End Award
|Resi Awards: Floorstanding Speaker
|5 Star Editor's Choice Award
|Référence Haute Fidélité