KEF 105.2 Floorstanding Speakers

KEF 105.2 Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

3 way Loadspeaker with 12 inch Bass driver

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 12  
[Apr 09, 2016]
Critical Listener
AudioPhile

The KEF 105 reference series was highly-acclaimed in their day, and for good reason.
I've wanted a set of these since first listening to them back in 1980. At almost $3K, they were a bit out of my price range back then. Well, I recently found a pair locally for 1/10th what they sold for new. There was an issue with one woofer, which I've since resolved. After applying a little polish to the finish, they look beautiful as well.

Sonically, they project a wide and deep sound stage with excellent imaging. These speakers sound superb with the best recordings, while still being kind to lesser-quality source material.

The bass is clean and tight, with plenty of punch. I use them in conjunction with a pair of Fried Super Monitor subs (12", 1/4 wavelength folded TL), crossed over at 40Hz. which takes the bottom end down well below 20Hz and gives me some added dynamic range. These don't require any kind of subwoofer though, as they hold there own quite well.

The midrange is honest and clear, not quite as honest as my Quad ESL63 but still quite pleasing, and capable of far greater dynamic range.

The top end is articulate and extended, with no hint of harshness. I find I am listening to these more than any other speakers (I have quite a few). and I never seem to tire of them.

These speakers need power. They sound best with 150-200 watts of quality amplification.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 02, 2012]
carl hebb
Audio Enthusiast

I bought the kef105/II,s four years ago,the first thing I heard was the massive soundstage and range,down to the lovely lows, achieved without a transmission line,I have several good speakers including quad63,s and mission770 "s"version I probably use the kefs most I paid £500 from an old gentleman they are still in beautiful condition and were made / stamped1980 inside the bass chamber
/

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 06, 2009]
selwyn.d
Audio Enthusiast

paid £350 for these speakers in good condition about 3 years ago. they sounded ok. i listen to music at fairly low volumes, by design this means that the woofer is probably not even working. anyway i set about doing some major mods, i reasoned that i will be the last owner and they were quite cheap for me to buy. firstly i completely stripped them. i plastered and put broken tiles inside the bass enclosure. refitted the bass unit-not forgetting to turn it 120 degrees a job that should be done annually. then i hard wired it using dnm cable through one high quality inductor to the amp. i also lined the enclosure with some lambswool loft insulation. i also fitted some new castors, the new ones are larger and have rubber tyres which help isolate the speaker. i then moved onto the upper enclosure, this i completely stripped. i also lined it with lambswool, i refitted the mid range unit, this was also hard wired with dnm cable and a small high quality inductor and cap fitted. the midrange drive units fitted are lets say quite forward, so i had to attenuate them about 5db. i got rid of the tweeters- they are nasty harsh things. i purchased a pair of huge ribbon tweeters. these are held onto the front of the enclosures using several elastic bands and the enclosure is sealed with a large piece of polystyrene which also acts to isolate the tweeters. the tweeter neede just 1 cap in line , then it was hardwired again using dnm cable to the mid range speaker. so the speakers are bi-wired. the top enclosure then sits on a sheet of sorbothane. the result is great, detail never before heard, and a soundstage and tight deep bass to die for, this is no doubt helped cos i drive them with an old krell ksa50.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jan 13, 2008]
p denham
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

they just play the music, whatever it is. tom jones, napalm death, bill dixon, they do it all without fuss. they look quite unique as well.

Weakness:

very heavy.

as standard these speakers are quite dull, veiled. i have done a lot of tweaking and now i'm more than happy with their sound. the bass cabinets have been concrete and tile lined, the x-overs are enclosed in copper and fitted externally. all of the other circuitry has to be removed. all wiring is then hard wired from the x-overs to the three drive units. i use dnm cable, its cheap and better than virtually any other cable. the cable from the amp is doubled and hard wired to the x-over. swapping the castors for spike i imagine would bring some sonic benefits but the issue of moving them would manifest itself. they weigh 80lbs without the addition of concrete. i will experiment by removing the 4-120ohm caps as suggested by one of the reviewers. i stand them on concrete paving slabs which then are on a slab of polystyrene. this is cos we have a wooden floor, this wouldn't be necessary with a solid floor. they have been polished and the grille cloth replaced and now look pretty good.

Similar Products Used:

jm labs, toooo bright, that titanium tweeter is awful.
quad els 63. to fussy, not dynamics enough for all types of music, very specialised.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 30, 2006]
laurent Lafran
AudioPhile

Hello,
i just bought a pair of these great Kef 105-2.
How do you remove the OTT protection ?
Unsoldering the wires linked to the board is enough ?
Would a Quad 606 amplifier be a good choice ?
Thanks,
Laurent.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 28, 2002]
Nathan Wheelhouse
AudioPhile

Strength:

Massive soundstage, impact, bass. Nice vocals. Sounds like a nightclub in your front room (if you have nice neighbours!). Very easy to modify. Very nice to look at. Hold their value very well.

Weakness:

Laid back. Need sympathetic electronics -preferably with great bass control and a forward character.

This speakers has numerous plus points but needs careful partnering and plenty of TLC to bring it up to speed. First of all: 1) replace the crossovers - preferably with all new polyprops and inductors, hardwired onto a new board 2) replace all internal wiring with some decent silver coated OFC 3) remove the OTT protection circuitry from the head unit This renovations bring massive improvements in high frequency detail, reductions in colouration, bass control, vocal presence etc. etc. But...there are still caveats to this speaker: It is still very much 'laid back'. aka the soundstage is not pushed forward vocally as is often the case in loudspeakers - if this the sound you're after (i know the feeling!) i would suggest some very opposite electronics - mainly Naim! - to compliment it. The second problem is the huge 12" bass driver! It takes a some controlling - not that you couldn't run it off 30 watt Arcam integrated, but god, can you tell the difference in power and control when you change to a decent pre power! The Kef 105.2 is probably technically very 'correct', but it's neutrality means than it needs proper partnering and I would suggest it may lead to you changing your amps and cd player.

Similar Products Used:

There are no similar electronics - these speakers are unique. If you want Cerwin Vegas with hifi characteristics these are the ones! But they're not perfect (what is!). But...they are the nearest i've

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 12, 2002]
leojar
AudioPhile

Strength:

Mid and tweet

Weakness:

need space!

My 105 is a new old stock from UK. and I bought it as new. This is one of the best in the price range even though it is the 80s speaker. I am using 300B single end amplifer(8W) to push these speakers. 3D sound and nature tone of this british speakers are great!

Similar Products Used:

KEFs

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 07, 1999]
Ken
an Audio Enthusiast

I purchased my KEF 105.4 speakers in Arizona in 1982 adn I still love them.They are powered by a pair of McIntosh 240's and a McIntosh C22 preamp. The
sound is very warm and natural. A superb combination of components.

Before purchasing them, I also listened to the 105.2 model but I thought the bass sounded too imposing and not as natural as the 105.4 model. But then,
this is all personal taste isn't it?

When comparing these KEFs to speakers costing as much or more and especially
the electrostatic or ribbon speakers, the value is hard to beat.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Dec 04, 2001]
Karlo Davila
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

trancient and dynamic response, transparent highs and mids, deep crawling bass!!!

Weakness:

none...

This is a review not for the 105/2 but for the legendary kef 105. These speakers are great. Details are amazingly accurate and the trancient and the dynamic response will blow you away! Another thing I love about these speakers is the bass. There is nothing like it. Deep, precise and profound bass! These speakers can go down to 20hz easily with even having to install a Kube EQ!

The only problem iswhen your listening to a speaker that can go down that low and that clean, you have to place it and listen to it in a large room or you,ll feel a bit drowzy and wanting to puke.

Placed in alrge room, sounds awesome!!! When listening to symphonies its like having the entire orchestra playing in front of you.

Similar Products Used:

Kefs...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 30, 1998]
BENJIE BENITO
an Audio Enthusiast

OVERVIEW
The KEF 105/2 loadspeaker was desinged in 1979, the first 105 speaker was (in my opinion) the first loadspeaker to have a separate enclosure for its mid and high drivers. The mid & hi frequency drivers are mounted on a separate enclosure which can be aimed at the listener without moving the larger bass enclosure. A LED is attached to each mid & hi enclosure to help the listener aim the drivers. The smaller enclosure contains a STOP protection circuit to prevent the drivers from being overloaded from too much power, it also contains a volume like knob at the back panel with levels of 50,60... up to 200 watts, these can be set to the same power rating as your amplifier. Once the knob is set to say 50 (watts) and the amplfifier is delivering 50 watts to the loadspeaker the LED will start to blink, these will indicate that you are overdriving yout amplifier.

SPECIFICATION

Bass Driver 12 inch woofer
Midrange Driver Between 5-6 inches
Hi-Frequency Driver Between 1.5 to 2 inches

MID & Hi frequency drivers sizes has to be estimated since, it is covered with a metal screen which is difficult to remove.

Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: Not indicated on manual, "Guestimate" would be between 82 to 85 Db
Power handling: 200 watts
Frequency Response: 35 - 20,00 HZ

SOUND

I have been listening to these loadspeakers for over a year now and cannot seem to find any kind of music that it cannot play nicely. These loadspeakers will play the heaviest rock music as well as the most delicate classical music. Sound is a little bit forward, That explains why it also sound good on blockbuster movies. Bass is very tight and very well extended. These loadspeakers will require a monster of an amp to be driven correctly, it devours power like a black whole, Bass is boomy when sited close to wall, I would recommend at least two (2) feet away from any room bounderies in order to have better imaging.

For sound quality I would give it a **** (four stars)
For Sensitivity I would give it a * (one star, maybe none at all)

Conclusion

If you can still find these speakers today I would recommend that you listen these speakers and compare it with other brands, The KEF will compare favorably with others new models today. When I was in the market I shortlisted B&W DM604,
Accoustic Research HO312,Infinity SMM155, Kappa 6.X, JBL HP520 & HP850 and the KEF 105/2. The KEF was the oldest in the group and I guess you know which speaker I brought home.

I salute KEF for having a design thats stands the test of time,almost 20 years.
Although I am not able to have a head to head comparison with the latest models from the KEF stables. I hope some magazines try a head to head comparison of the best equipments that came out in the 70's,80's and the 90's and it would be interesting to find out the result.



OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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