KEF 105.3 Floorstanding Speakers

105.3

Reference Speaker

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
Tommaso Rossi   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 29, 2017]

Ho questi diffusori da 15 anni. Non voglio scrivere questa recensione per sostenere che siano i migliori diffusori al mondo. Come per tutte le cose, il gusto personale è determinante, ma da musicista e conoscendo le kef 105/3 molto bene posso sostenere che a parte la qualità altissima del diffusore, queste bestie sono un concentrato di tecnologia che mira ad una riproduzione incredibilmente lineare e dinamica. Non scendono molto in rapporto alle dimensioni, ma la qualità del basso in termini di controllo, timbrica, dinamica e tenuta in potenza è impressionante. Questo geniale progetto, riproduce in modo spietato il messaggio musicale, ma non in termini di precisione, ma piuttosto in termini di linearità, pulizia e dinamica. L'immagine, grazie alla tecnica dell'uniq e della configurazione d'Appolito, è semplicemente enorme. Se viene ben pilotata, con suoni orchestrali non ha molti rivali. Purtroppo è molto esigente con l'amplificatore, nel senso che può suonare anche con ampli mediocri, ma date le sue eccezionali potenzialità, con ampli di primo livello, può risultare stupefacente. Voglio permettermi di dire che questo diffusore, non ha un suono caldo, non è freddo, non addolcisce, soprattutto a causa della sua spietata linearità attorno alle medio-alte frequenze, circa 2500-3000 hz, dove l'orecchio umano è particolarmente sensibile; di conseguenza molti appassionati potrebbero percepirla come affaticante, addirittura inscatolata, ma queste definizioni molto probabilmente sono dovute probabilmente al fatto che la maggior parte dei diffusori in commercio anche di altissimo livello, tendono più o meno ad attenuare le frequenze medio-alte, dando una sensazione di maggior dolcezza e mancanza di fatica di ascolto. Tuttavia se a 3 o 4 metri si ascolta un violino, un sax o una orchestra sinfonica suonare forte, il suono non è mica tanto dolce, anzi.... ecco la kef 105/3 tende a riprodurre questo realismo, tra l'altro, con una pulizia nei particolari delle frequenze medie, come attrito degli archetti su violini, violoncelli o contrabbassi, che lascia di stucco, dando un corpo sonoro alle incisioni di musica classica davvero realistica. Per riassumere, questi diffusori, direi che non sono stati fatti per accattivare l'orecchio con una dolcezza o mancanza di fatica d'ascolto superiore alla realtà, ma sono state concepite per produrre un suono quanto più realistico nel contesto di un diffusore ad altissime prestazioni. Davvero un diffusore dal suono Hi Fi nel senso più originale del termine.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DAVE   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 12, 2016]

Previous speakers include Mordaunt Short SIgnifers Jamo 707 but the Kef 105/3 leave them in the dust.I drive the Kef 105/3 with a modified Perreaux 250p up graded by perreaux to the 300p power supply,Itwill go to 600watt into 4 ohm rms I have a Dennon DAP-2500 PREAMP LINN LP 12 AND SONY- SCD-XB940,I have had the bass driver surrounds replaced at axent audio in New Zealand one of the most amazing audio shops on the planet these guys do great repairs and are enthusiastic about everything they do.I listen to a large range of music from easy listening to rock and they perform.We live in the country and when cranked up my wife hears over the road on our other blocks.They are so clear with no distortion but are best with a big power amp.I also have some KEF Reference one,s at the rear of the lounge driven by a linx 250watt rms power amp and although they to are good they are not upto the 105/3 for presence

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Krabby Patty   AudioPhile [Aug 24, 2013]

Replaced the voice coils on all four woofers and the foam surrounds last year. Had the cross overs checked and they had no problems. I have the Kube 200 but don't use it.

These KEF 105/3 Reference speakers still sound great when driven with sufficient power. Amazing sound for a speaker purchased new in 1991 for US $2800. Sold this pair of KEF 105/3 to a close friend for US $900 when I bought KEF 205/2 earlier this year for US $5500.

I have owned KEF speakers ever since the 104ab in the late 1970's. KEF Reference speakers always suit my needs and expectations.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Chang Shim   AudioPhile [Jun 06, 2013]

After long and painful process of searching the right set of speakers, Kef 105/3 was my final destination. Different people have different preferences, but Kef 105/3 is the answer for those who are willing to listen to music, rather than the sound.

I don't think, dynamic, speed, openness is the word to describe these masterpiece, so if these are the things you are looking for, please look elsewhere.

Also, as other reviews have recommended, this 93db speaker is my no means an easy piece to drive its full potential. Don't be fulled by its spec and the used price. They deserve much more than what is normally expected.

I run them with famous Mark Levinson 23.5 and 26s combination. Mark Levinson ML2 was the reference amp they used to design 105/3 at the first place, so there is little issue with the matching.

For those who are using the 105/3 I recommend Mark Levinson Amps from the similar time period, like ML 2X series(20.6, 23, 23.5, 27, 29 etc), and you will experience true sound of the Kef 105/3 which people often describe as "deep and strong espresso"

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
listentomusicnotequipment   AudioPhile [Mar 24, 2012]

Price Paid: €800.00 from Ebay

Summary: As an owner of the C95 (also from Kef) , it was a question of time to upgrade to the 105/3.
On ebay i found one of the last versions (bi wiring terminals), unfortunately i had to replace all woofer foams
(the only material weakness of these speakers).
right now i´m driving them with a Quad66 pre-amp and 4x Quad306 power amps (revision/conversion made by dada electronics). Coming to the important part : These speakers are simply allrounders on a high end level.
It doesn´t matter with which music you are feeding them , the sound is always extraordinary, when the recording has been done well.
I had also the Kef Kube 200 , which expand the bass level to 20hz -6db , but with the
Kef Kube there is a lack of resolution and also the sound is becoming slower .
There might be speakers which sounds with Jazz or Rock etc better , but none of them pleases you with such
a soundstage as the Kef do. The Soundstage is never bloated to achieve some effects or point out some
special frequencies. I do know a lot of people who are listening to music which there equipment is reproducing
very nice. Suddenly they listen to jazz music only with trumpets , because only there they getting what they are expecting from there system .
These will never happen with your Kefs, because of their neutrality they do sound with any kind of music and
they don't force you to change your musical preference.
Spend more than a fortune and you will get an improvement ..........of course .

Strength:
totally tonality, vocals specially women sounds unbelievable, Bass reproduction is so accurate that you wonder yourself of the variety. Never loosing the overview , no lack of sound levels . they are very sensitive

Weakness:
Eventhough they are rated with 93db , these speakers do need real solid power amps .
Not built anymore !


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mr Magnum   AudioPhile [Dec 16, 2003]
Strength:

Transparence, wholeness of the sound, state of the art technology (UniQ, coupled-cavity...), build quality, a true Reference speaker that will tell what is bad and where.

Weakness:

A big heavy bulky speaker, not that good looking grilles, nothing on the sound department !

I have just purchased the speakers (105/3 Reference, rosewood finish) 2 weeks ago. Real steal on Ebay at 620€. Went to England (I live in France) to pick them up and took the Eurostar back. Fun trip that was with over 80kg (180 pds) of speakers to carry around... Anyhow made it home safe and sound, not a scratch on the delicate rosewood. The Kube 200 was with them but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe with home cinema to boost the bass ? My system is made of the following : Micromega Tempo P amp, Micromega AVP as a preamp and DAC, Audioquest Emerald Superliszt interconnects, MIT Terminator 2 speaker cables, Pioneer DV737 as a CD drive for now (plan on upgrading to a Teac VRDS T1 drive and a Wadia DAC I have my eyes on). My prior speakers were still Kef, but vintage ones : Calinda's. T27 and SP1153 and passive bass radiator. Great warm speakers but out of date. They're in my office now. The 105/3 has the most amazing sound. Fast, precise, detailed, holographic image to the point where I have had to check that the center speaker was not on. Right now my source is the weak point in my system, but it already delivers the most incredible sound. Actually I don't where to start to describe how neutral the speakers are. They litterally vanish behind the music, it that transparent. I went today to my music store to listen to a pair of Martin Logan Quest. Great stuff. But the Kef are just better. The bass is fast, clean, incredibly articulated. The midrange is heavenly, a forever Kef characteristic. The highs are just the way you want them : accurate, never harsh or acid. They blend incredibly well thanks to the 2nd gen UniQ. Right now my listening room is too small for those big guys, but we are moving next year to a much bigger place where they'll be able to breathe real good. They are sensitive to room placement, and things have greatly improved since I moved them further from the back wall. The bass also greatly improved since I removed the rubber feet and used the spikes instead. The great thing with these speakers is that any small change in your system will be immediatly heard. I am planning on toying around with cables to see how they react since my friend at the music store lets me borrow cables. The finish is somptuous, the rosewwod veener is wonderful, totally WAF compliant. They are bi-amp and I'm planning on trying that next week. All in all a wonderful speaker, that will kick some serious butt even today by its total neutrality, fantastic build, sonic integrity. If you can get your hands on a pair just go for it, you'll never regret it.

Similar Products Used: Kef Calinda
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Holst   AudioPhile [Dec 12, 2002]

See my brief review under Definitive Technology BP 1X Speakers. Price paid was in pounds sterling.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kevin simone   AudioPhile [Sep 23, 2002]
Strength:

Imaging... Bass Extension(with Kube 200)... Neutrality.

Weakness:

Looks-one of the ugliest with the grills on. Performance-NONE.

I've had these speakers over 2 years now, and because I've moved into a smaller house, I need to get rid of them(sigh). They were used primarily in a home theatre setting and they responded very well, so well in that I didn't need a sub. I did have them running through a Kube 200-something I recommend to anyone who can find one. The bass extension can be floor shaking, if called upon. However, it can reveal very subtle low frequencies too. This is a test of a great speaker-to not only knock you over with powerful peaks on demand, but to hear that rolling thunder or cello note that hangs forever, is something to behold. That's why you buy speakers like these. Imaging, neutrality, power, effiency and on and on. I compared these to the Linn 5140 and found that the Kef's imaged better and gave a significantly lower extension. Don't get me wrong, the Linn's were awesome, but the Kef's were awesome,awesome. Like everyone else has written, the better the gear, the better the performance. This is true will all ultra hi-end stuff. It's not a deterent. I switched to XLO cables and it was like adding a new component. They tend to do well with mid-hi fi gear. I had a B&K pre/power combo. Although, the British made electronics do bring out the best-I just can't afford any. If you want to do better, be ready to spend more than $10,000 to justify a worthy improvement. Sadly, I know that I'll never own a better pair for the rest of my life, unless I find a great paying job. I remember reading a review in Audio magazine(way back when these were released) where the editor (Julian Hirsh)raved about these. He also said that he chose to own a pair of these speakers over any other. So I figured, if they're good enough for him, they're good enough for me.

Similar Products Used: lINN 5140(floorstanders) Kef 103/4
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
les   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 27, 2002]
Strength:

Good build quality. I have the ones that are brazilian rosewood custom ordered and the wife of course forgets how big they are because of the look.

Weakness:

They show every little weakness in hardware and software.Bought all yammamura cables power,speaker,interconnect just to please them.They were harder on me than my wife.

The Kef 105.3 speakers are wonderful for a non-electrostatic style speaker. They do sound beautiful with a large power amp. With a lot of solid state equipt. these can sound downright anorexic. They really need to be controlled by power to get the best sound. They really like tube preamps and tube dac combinations. p/s these speakers really show you what you don''t have for a system. They do send you on an audioquest.

Similar Products Used: apogee homebuilt concrete/vifa/focal speakers martin logan
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank op den Brouw   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 16, 2000]
Strength:

as close as you can get to neutral

Weakness:

you'll notice how bad a lot of your cd's have been recorded!

I've bought mine as a ex- demo set 4 years ago. I auditioned a lot of reference speakers before I made up my mind.I'm absolutely sure that these babies are the best!If you don't like the sound of them, look at your amplifier,look at your cd-player,but don't look at the KEF 105/3 's.With these speakers you can focus on the other parts of in your system.You, ll never get tired of listening to them.Superb!

Similar Products Used: AR3a
JM Lab onyx
Quad ESL 63
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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