I bought these speakers within the first year after they came out, as a replacement for the Kef reference 101/2 ( I started my hifi love with the Kef C95 and after that the Kef 101/2). At that time I left my ex-employer and with the money that came free at the time I wanted to buy something good that would stay with me for years to come. Well, the RDM2's really have fullfilled this in every way. I still have them and really don't want to part with them. It is a speaker that even today, after more than 15 years, still surprises me everyday with its natural and unfatiguing sound.
It is a speaker that is able to project the sound away from itself in a way that gives an enormeous spatious yet fullbodied sound. It's one of the most balanced speakers from the bottom end to the highest end that I have ever heard.
I have heard hundreds of speakers during the 1980s and 1990s, and have listened to lots of KEF speakers, so I know how speakers can sound. The RDMs are a revelation because after a tough working day I feel blessed with them. The quality of the highs is remarkable, there is no harsh character whatsoever, and the middle is just astonishing. The middle doesn't come up to the front but is exactly in line with the rest of the spectrum, on the condition that the recording is ok. So the music won't be thrown in your face, but nicely in front of the speakers. The lows give enough weight to give the music its natural character and it goes surprisingly deep, especially with the right stands. These stands do make a difference; I had really good massive Target stands (the HJ (for Hernia Job according to Latham importer)), but some year ago I could buy some Partington Heavie stands for some very nice price. I thought I had enough hifi knowledge during my experimenting in the 80s and 90s but I was surprised by the improvement in sound with these stands.
I had only one negative thing about the RDM2, the fact that it had a very slight nasal sound rarely with some voice recordings that were recorded close to the mike, but after changing the stands with the Partingtons this nasal sound was disappeared. So all these years the massive Target stands proved to be the guilty one, not the speakers. I always use bluetack underneath the speakers (I have experienced with all kinds of connections such as the Isocoins very long ago, but the bluetack always seemed the best because they create a solid connection with the stand in a way that it becomes one with the stand and thus causing only the drivers to move and not the speakerbox itself), but apparently that still caused some vibrations between the speaker and the stand that influenced certain frequencies.
With the Partington stands the already great low frequencies were even better. It seems like it goes even deeper. Putting organ music on the Kefs is amazing. What a mature sound from such a small speaker and going sooooo deep!
I listen to these speakers with a quad 405 and quad 34 and I have always loved the marriage between Quad amplifiers and Kef speakers.
I also have the Kef Cresta (1968 with their first B110 woofer and T27 tweeter combi, before Rogers introduced their LS 3/5a), the Kef reference model 101 (1978) and the Kef reference 103/4 (1993). And a B&W matrix 1 (1987). So from every decennium a classic.
Is one speaker better than the other? No, they are all marvels of beauty. I would say that in speakerland between the late sixties and late nineties, not that much has changed sonically, when I judge these speakers. Well maybe that the older speakers have a more distinguished character and are more intimate. I don't know.
What I read in the brochure of the RDM series is that this series is a heritage to the BBC LS 3/5a speaker development.
Just recently Kef has introduced the LS50 as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. They are again referring to their classics, the K1, the BBC LS 3/5a and of course their own fabricate the KEF model 101 and their anniversary KEF LS 3/5a. Wouldn't it be nice to have an audition of this brand new LS50, next to the Kef Cresta,Kef model 101 and Kef RDM2? All are in a way related to the BBC LS 3/5a project of Raymond Cooke.
Well, to be honest, I couldn't imagine that I could enjoy the music more than with these splendid speakers I already have. Technology and R&D have developed greatly in the last 10 years (computers have had the leading role in this and even better speaker materials have been developed), so I will believe instantly that the LS50 is a better speaker, I a way that you will hear more or easier of what is recorded on the CD. But does that make the listening experience better, does it make you more intimate with the music?
I don't know. If I have to live with only one pair of these speakers, I will be happy with each pair.
All I know is that all these great KEF speakers are easily capable of involving you within the music, even up to this day, after more than 40 years. This is the best compliment I can give to KEF. Congratulations and happy 50th anniversary, KEF!
I feel obliged to write a report for this outstanding speaker. Snapped from the 2nd market at a very attractive price, I was stunned by its performance just after 1 week.
The seller told me that he didn't use it for 3 months before selling it to me, the RDM2 initially sounded a bit strained and thin especially in mid-range which compelled me to think of changing the interconnect to complement this baby.
1 week passed, listening to the same songs heard before, it becomes totally different, no hint of neither strain or thinness in mid-range, instead silky mid-range and very engaging music was stalled.
Soundstage is as exceptional & transparent as what KEF's renowned for.
Bass is clean, though not massive but punchy with agility. Build and finish is unexpected for what the price tag suggests. It looks so elegant as a fine art and I can proudly place it in my home.
For the first time, I feel I won't be changing my speaker in lengthy time. 5 stars, no reservation.
OUTSTANDING MINI MONITOR, WHY BUY CRAP LIKE BOSE. LOOKED AT ENERGY, PARADIGM, AND DEF TECH.,ALL 'PRETTY GOOD' NOT VERY GOOD- FOUND A CLOSE-OUT AT "DR_AUDIO@MSN.COM" TURNS OUT THEY ARE A SMALL CUSTOM JOINT THAT CAME INTO A BUNCH OF THESE AT WHAT APPEARS TO BE NEAR WHOLESALE COST. THE ONLY THING THAT I DIDNT CARE FOR BUT AM LIVING WITH IS THEY HAVE ONLY THE 'GREY' FINISH--BIG DEAL!
IF YOU WANT A TRUELY MUSICAL SOUND IN AN INCREDIBLY SMALL PACKAGE -GO HEAR THESE BETTER YET CALL THESE GUYS AT 1-800-889-5845 THEY HAD ONLY A SMALL QUANITY MID-JULY............GOOD LUCK!
Building a new 18x20' family/theatre room with built-in cabinetry required that I replace a pair of floorstanding KEF Calinda's that I enjoyed for 25 years. I always liked the very natural sound of KEF's so I ordered a pair of the KEF RDM2's. True to this manufacturer's history, these speakers offer a beautiful and true sounding midrange that brings vocals into the room, and in spite of their small size they also have decent upper bass down to about 80hz that provides warmth to the sound, altho not a lot of punch. The soundstage is well spread and open, with vocalists front and center. On some CD's the high end can sound constrained and harsh, but I suspect it's more due to the recording's quality rather than the speaker because this "fault" stands out only on some recordings. I've added a KEF model 100 center, Klipsch RSW12 sub, and KEF Q85s surrounds, powered by an Outlaw 1050 a/v receiver, and the overall sound is GREAT. (The Klipsch is an excellent sounding sub, BTW, but there's not a topic to discuss it in these forums!).
In the 70's when I originally bought KEF they seemed to have a more significant presence in quality hi-fi stores than they do now, and it's a shame because their sound is so natural and beautiful, without coloration or distortion of the music intended to be heard by the performer. I can only imagine what their floorstanding reference series must sound like!!! In any case, if you're in the market for a very high quality bookshelf size speaker, find these.
I spent over 1 year for searching a speaker, which can really bring me into music palace. And after I listened almost all kinds of speakers ( B&W, Dynaudio, ProAc, JM lab, Sonus FaberSpendor, Mission, Harbeth, AE, JBL, Infinity ......), I finally choose the KEF RDM2 as my final choice both for its excellent sound quality and its rational price.
Before I bought this speaker, I used Warefedale Diamond7.2 for almost 4 years. That is absoulte not a good choice for a music lover. With also cheap equipment, an cheap AV amplifier and CD player, the final sound is tight, harsh and dry, especially people vocal, even worse than my aiwa stereo system speaker. And my ear is very easy to be fatigued with it. So, when I graduated from university, my first idea is to change this system.
Since last year, almost every weekend I spent my time in the hi-fi shop, listen to many, many speakers I mentioned above, but only the KEF give me the most impressive memory. Maybe due to my special loving for vocal, both pop and opera, I still remember last year when I first listen to the KEF RDM2, I was fasinated by it at all from the first second it sang. What a beatiful sound, extreme smooth without any harsh, full of strength and passion, making me heart flying with the song. The sound is natural without any tight, let you listen for very long time but do not feel bored and tired. That is my first impress of RDM2, then after that time, I listen it at serveral different place with different equipments, every time it bring me a good enjoyment. I begin to consider buy it. But as the KEF's dealers are all not very good, the price is somewhat too high,about $900 - $ 1100, I hasitate. However, the beatiful sound always surround my ear forcing me to the shop time to time. At last, I make my big decision to get it back home if I can get a good price. After I fought with dealer wittily, I finaly got $730 for a new pair, that is really really a good value for money.
Now I have owned RDM2 for two days, every day I enjoy it for over four hours. What else in the world has the magic strengh to fasinate one man? Maybe KEF RDM2 is just the one.