KEF 104.2 Floorstanding Speakers

104.2

User Reviews (73)

Showing 1-10 of 73  
Kevin   AudioPhile [Aug 16, 2015]

Just the most amazig, accurate, window to music you will EVER hear. I bought a pair that were beat up,non matching serial numbers. inner rings shot, and never upgraded. They were phenomenal. Then, as luck would have it (live in a heavily populated area) I found a pair in flawless rosewood, with upgraded tweeters, inner rings replaced, Recapped, resealed, baskets dampened, ect., ect. Yes he was an audiophile like me (us:) and had done the work himself. He had a death in the family, like me, and got them for $500. It was the bargain of a lifetime. I've heard everything imaginable. I have visited the Martin Logan factory. Same with Legacy audio (Lawrence, KS & Springfield, IL respectively). The bottom line is NO speaker I've ever heard gets everthing right like these. Honestly it's not close. It is an audio classic gem. One of the best EVER made. If you find a pair, even in bad shape, give a listen. You will be swept away. Btw I will die with mine-never to be sold or replaced.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Claus Nymark   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 02, 2013]

I have owned a pair of KEF 103.2 Reference for many years, and have always loved the sound of them - the smooth tweeter and the relatively deeb bass in such size speakers. Now I have bought a pair of KEF 104.2 Reference and exchanged the tweeters with modern textile dome tweeters with comparable specs, but with a sound more like the speaker, when they were new and the tweeter oil new. They sound fantastic. Enough bass to make the stomach feel it and now with modern soft tweeters. Total price in Denmark: 300€ (400 $US) and three hours work.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Arjan_S   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 2012]

I have never owned the Kef 104/2 speakers, but they were the first real hifi speakers I listened to, think it was in late 1987. I was 18 years old and of course unable to buy them, but the hifi dealer saw I was very much into listening at these great speakers just for once, let's say to make me warm for the real thing. He said: come back the next time and bring your favorite music and I will have some coffee for you ready. I brought my first bought CD with me: Famous blue raincoat from Jennifer Warnes. I never forget that experience. Wow, that voice of Jennifer was stunning. The hairs on my body raised from exaltation. The music was the center of attention, not the speakers. At that time I didn't have the know how and listening experience that I have now, but the fact that the speakers didn't draw all the attention to themselves is actually one of the best compliments of the speaker.

That afternoon at the hifi dealer always stayed with me, and from that time I was sold to Kef.

I did a lot of vacation jobs to be able to buy my first speakers: The Kef C95. After that the Kef 101/2, followed by the Kef RDM2 and finally the Kef 103/4. Just recently also the Kef model 101 from 1978, by the way a jewel of a speaker.

So despite the fact that I have never owned the speakers, they were the ones that have paved the way of my love for music and hifi.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Carlo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 28, 2012]

I have a T33 tweeter spare ... for KEF 104/2 .
I bought 2 VIFAs... and i put them...

So i have a tweeter

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
nedic   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 16, 2010]

WHERE TO BUY REPLACEMENT TWEETERS?
I am the satisfied owner of KEF 104.2 loudspeakers. They are speakers one listens to and which are neutral in contrast to other types of speakers.
However, I am experiencing problems with a tweeter. I read a review regarding replacement tweeters at //www.frequency.dk. but could not find this address. Could anyone help me with the exact address and name of the firm which sells replacement tweeters?
Thank you in advance and I wish you many years of pleasurable listening!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
excalibur   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 02, 2010]

I have a special relation to my KEF 104/2. I owned them in the early 90'ties, but sold them after a few years. And I have regretted that ever since. So When my wife told me to get rid of my lovely ONKEN/FOKAL (Kitconstruction from the Danish Hi-Fi magazine Hi-Fi & Elektronik - they did not provide enough WAF for my wife! ), I jumped at a pre-owned pair of 104/2 as these speakers have been my best experience with loudspeakers ever. As a side bonus my wife likes that they seem to have a small footprint due to their narrow front.

My Gear
----------
I am driving my KEF 104/2 with a Yamaha hometheatre receiver (5x70w), Sub: some older active Sony sub. The Sony sub is not stellar, but it delivers. And my source is Sat TV or my Logitech Squeezebox with optical output for stereo. This is quite a convincing package.

Replacement of tweeters
------------------------------
I bought mine with one tweeter blown, but was able to replace the tweeters with a better than original tweeter from www.frequency.dk. They where easy to replace. Just unscrew the tweeter/mid cabinet from the main cabinet. Be carefull it is very heavy. And then when you unplug the wires, take note of which wires go to the bottom mid and which to the upper mid. Do not switch the wires as your speakers imaging will suffer.

Sound quality
----------------
I am very satisfied with the result. And the audio experience is now as good as I recall from the 90'ies.

They are phenomenal with dynamic music due to the 2 8" woofers in coupled-cavity inside the cabinet that actually eliminates resonanse inside the cabinet (much like a boxer-motor). Try to listen to Queen: Dangerous (enogh for me) from the album Innuendo, or Van Halen; 1984, To Hot for Teacher, to appreciate the dynamics of these gems. My favorite type of music is Pink Floyd and listening to Final Cut, Get Your Filthy hands of of My Desert is fantastic.

In short I would describe them as fabulous. They are tight as a drum-skin and faster than a speeding bullet. this makes them perfect for all types of music.

Listening to acoustic music like jazz or classic really makes the musicality of these babies evident. They are so melodic. They are very pleasant and the sound is more to the soft pleasing nature than the overly critic sound I have heard from early monitors. You will not tire from listening to these speakers at high volume.

Imaging is fantastic - just like I regall. Actually it is so exquisite that I have now removed my center-speaker to make my KEF 104/2 (side front speakers) make the voices in my Home Theatre setup. I am easily convinced that the imaging without the centerspeaker is much more precise than with the Jamo center. I now can close my eyes and place the voices in the pictue of movies... I never was able to do that with the Jamo Centerspeaker... That is fantastic.

If you have ever been disappointed with other KEF loudspeakers dont discard the KEF 104/2 just yet. I once tried to listen to the KEF 107. They were good in normal volume, but when I raised the volume to high, the sound-image cramped down and became boxy. It was awful and I was very disappointed with them. So I didn't buy them. These are much larger than the KEF 104/2, but evidently not stiffened enough in the cabinet. The 104/2 are built like a tank or a submarine. They are narrow and adequately dampened for efficient own-frequency removal. Hence the cabinets do not 'sing' when you raise the volume.

I payed 308 US$ for mine and with the tweeter upgrade for 115 US$ They have been a fantastic bargain. If you plan on buying some, make sure the perimeter of the woofers inside the cabinet are of rubber and that it has no flaws. The centerpiece will have tears in most speakers but this is of no audible consequence as it is only aestethically.

Find a good price for them - and you will have a winner. I have no plans for retiring mine for the next decades...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
couldbee   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 2009]

What a gem!!! I have had an endless list of speakers route through my house over the years and I know that my search is finally finished! These babies just do nothing but make pure sweet music! It does everything right! There is nothing to analyze, critic or try to compare to. These are MY definitive answer to my on going "audio carrot".
I just brought these home from the pawn shop for $130 including tax! The grills are snagged and it could use some touch up on the speakers but when you listen to them everything else pales into insignificance! Anyone reading these reviews please allow me to tell you if opportunity arrives and you have access to these puppies, jump on it! Your whole system will come to life!
I am using an
Adcom 555MKII
Meridian 508.24(another keeper)
Holfi Pre 8
MIT spkr cables
MIT interconnect

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dave92029   Casual Listener [Nov 15, 2009]

My KEF reference 104/2 are serial numbers 3463 A//B. Don't know how long I have had these, a long time! I'm using a Yamaha 5250 HTR to drive my 104's. I plugged my Apple iPod Touch into the Yamaha and turned up the volume...Wow these speakers are still awesome. As I recall they were expensive when I originally bought them, but considering how long they have provided listening pleasure the price was very reasonable.

I haven't used the KEF's for many years. Jack "The Cat" has gotten used to sitting on top of the "B" speaker. The Cat is very confused, and a bit upset with all the noise coming from one of his favorite perches, but the noise is such beautiful music!. LOL

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Clay Craig   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 08, 2009]

I bought my 104/2s back in the 80s, at a time when my retailer would credit full retail when swapping in speakers toward any speaker upgrade. So, every year, for a coupla hundred bucks I'd upgrade! But, after a few years, when it came time to swap in the KEF 104/2s ... Well, I just couldn't do it. Over the years since, I have auditioned a lot of different gear, but never found another set which sounds nearly so 'effortless.'

I tried both the Kube 100 and 200 with these, but found that a well-integrated sub (Velodyne for me) offered a better solution than either Kube, without the loss of imaging - I listen to a little of everything (except opera), and with an adequate sub, these KEFs will rock steady (You haven't heard "Stop Making Sense" or "Mass Romantic" until you've heard them on a pair of 104/2s!) Plus, I found that these were not nearly so 'touchy' about placement as most speakers - They are happy anywhere within a few feet of the back wall, and give an exceptionally wide horizontal sweet spot (although vertically, they drop off fast off-axis - I saw that someone here had put a 104/2 on its side as a center speaker, but it sure sems to me that would offer an awfully narrow horizontal dispersion).

Serial # on one of mine is 012239A, which (if they number in chrono order) looks to be one of the earlier sets posted here - I can't easily get behind the other one to check it, but they are the older model with the wooden grill frames. Incidentally, my foam surrounds are still in good shape after about 25 years' steady usage. I always kept the grills on, and they never had sunlight on their faces. No other maintenance except vacuuming out the bass cavity every few years, but I've heard there is some goop which will preserve rubber from deterioration (like 303 Aerospace does for vinyl - That stuff is a miracle) - If anyone knows of such, drop me a note?

I always knew that I adored these speakers, and my guests ALWAYS comment on them, but I never knew until now that they were 'legendary'! I recently picked up a KHT 9000 and stand to use as a center channel, and will post comments on that combo once I get it set up.

CC

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Presidio2001   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 31, 2009]

My KEF collection composes of two pairs of 104/2 (serial number 002896A/B and 027630A/B) and a 200C for center channel. The sound quality of my two pairs are excellent and very consistent, one pair was built around 1986, one was built around 1993. In case, one pair goes off, I will still have another pair to use. For now, the two pairs works as my stereo speakers A+B and Surround sound's fronts and surrounds. 104/2 is best for classical music more on the granduer side such as Beethoven's 9th Symphony or Bitzt's Carmen and L'Arlesienne. It is also great for opera. I do not demand each speaker to perform exellently cross the full audio spectrum from 20 to 25K Hz. For surround's base, I compliment my them with Velodyne F-1200-B. For classical music, 104/2 is perfect in every way and every frequency range. I usually turn off my subwoofer. Simply let my pairs of 104/2 to perform out their best. For New Age, Jazz and Blue lovers, 104/2 is also great for your need and can live up to your expection and picky ears. Sorry, I don't play Rock and don't know how they perform to Rocks and their long term usage effect.

Many 104/2 have been used or set aside for years since they were introduced in the mid-80's and stopped 15 years ago. They are heavy and not suitable to be moved around. Many 104/2 out there may not be in ship shape. If someone has bad experience with 104/2, especially for those who bought it used, poor comment IS ad hoc and highly personally biased. For there are a wide fan base for 104/2, the demand is high. As result, they are made-shift and mis-matched pairs out there. I have seen a pair with wrong serial number and totally different wiring location. After years of good loving and caring, mine are still in excellent condition. I figure I can get extract another 20 years out of them or may be even longer!

I need to add the size of my room and the sound barrier arrangement to my equation of 104/2 performance. I have high ceiling and large room, ceiling to floor curtains. Spikes to my 104/2. All those contribute to the quality of sound. I haven't mention the size of my wires and receiver models. When reading audioreviews, one has to be careful to map out the whole story and fill in the missing pieces.

KEF 104/2 is indeed legendary has its own place in history. No matter what, beauty will age. Good TLC can slow that process. If you are reading my review before plannig to buy one, please make sure serial number matches with the same number followed by A and B for they were factory paired by KEF technician. The wire connecor is located 12" from the bottom. Exam the exterior carefully. Ask the seller to remove both unit's grill and visually check out tweeters. Never buy without listening to its sound. Bring with your own CD. If you don't know what CD to bring, try to take Karajan Berliner Philharmoniker's Bizet Carmen -Suite No. 1. The very first beat will tell you the quality of the speakers. The sound has to be clear, crispy and decisive!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 73  

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