KEF RDM-2 Floorstanding Speakers

RDM-2

2 way bookshelf 6.5 woofer, 1in tweeter

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
Bari Setiadi   AudioPhile [May 03, 2016]

I have been used this speakers for so long time and already put a standard for my ear. For me this speaker is extraordinary as regular person hearing this speaker won't understand the real gems hidden.

The more you listen then you will find out the true meaning of sound quality. And it will easily make you fell in love with the sound.

I changed the amplifier for this speaker for many times but never change the speaker itself.

Right now I run them with Yamaha A-S801 with a HiRes Audio source, then it create another story of digital audio, the one that you can not achieve with regular analog amplifier.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Arjan_S   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 24, 2012]

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!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
espn   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2004]
Strength:

Silky and noble sound, airy, transparent, deep and wide soundstage. Agile and punchy bass, no hint of boom. Artistic cosmetics and solid build quality.

Weakness:

None! I really can't think of, it meets all my standards.

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.

Similar Products Used: KEF Cresta 10, Monitor Audio Silver 2, JM Lab 806s
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
NUTNICK   AudioPhile [Jul 29, 2003]
Strength:

CLERA MID-RANGE WITH GREAT IMAGING, DEATIL, AND DEFINITION

Weakness:

NEED'S SUB FOR LOW-END EXTENSION

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! STEVE

Similar Products Used: ENERGY VERITAS V2.0, PARADIGM MINI MONITORS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Deniz Salman   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 01, 1999]
Strength:

superb imaging, extremely sweet and detailed midrange and treble, speed is good and far beyond acceptable, no ear fatigue ever, stylish looks!!

Weakness:

1. lack of deep bass (though still warm sounding, if it is a weakness for a bookshelf speaker
2. Positioning is a bit tricky..

For build quality:
1. Poor workmanship and quality control, therefore reduced chance of success

Believe it or not this my 3rd pair of rdm2s!!, which reminds me the turkish proverb that can be translated as "Where the fox will finally end up is the furrier's shop"-i've ended up at Kef's shop for the 3rd time despite the unpleasant past experience with KEF speakers!!!. Having spent more than 1.5 years with these speakers i think it's time for a more mature and highly objective review..

When you read about the monitor and reference series at kef's website that they use a very clever technology (coincident drivers) which simulates a point source plus 0.5db reference matching which together convince you that these should sound extraordinarily better than conventional speakers but this is not always the real case and it takes more to realize it...

A careful examination reveals that these speakers do not receive the workmanship that these speakers deserve--appreciably good engineering and high quality materials wasted by poor workmanship (please read my review of Kef Reference One if you want some examples of it).. about 6 months ago, in a usual curious experiment with my recent(2nd) pair of RDM2s i've noticed that one of the tweeters sounded slightly leaner and rolled off and thought something elsewhere in my system could be the cause and further experiment revealed that the tweeter itself was the cause..I've obtained a pair of replacement tweeters from Kef's representative of turkey but these did not the same either. (I've tried them on the same amp channel and crossover with the same track repeating and the result was always the same). I'VE E-MAILED THE CASE TO KEF'S CUSTOMER SUPPORT WITH READ RECEIPTS THREE TIMES(i've requested to purchase a matched pair of tweeters directly form them by any method of payment they accepted).THEY HAVE READ THE MESSAGE THE THREE TIMES AND DID NOT EVEN BOTHER REPLYING!!
Two weeks ago i've complained about the case to NEFAN(turkish representative) and their courteous manager borrowed me their demo pair for a trial at home and there was the huge difference..Now i believe i get the claimed kef sound though it cost me a bit!!

A look at serial numbers reveals that the new ones i get are actually older(1500 something)than my recent ones(3800 something, which in my opinion indicates a degradation of quality. In further examination i've discovered that my new pair was manufactured in 1996 from the calibration and inspection labels on the bass drivers which were totally missing from my recent(actually younger)pair..

I still insist that kef's gone cheap but sound quality is worth if you dare dealing with all the trouble. Do not ever buy these unless conditionally and inspect them very carefully...

Design and engineering deserves 5 stars, the company deserves only 1..

Similar Products Used: Kef Q65, Kef Reference One
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert Martin   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 06, 2000]
Strength:

Overall beautiful sound, good soundstage, clarity and appearance

Weakness:

no low bass but that's what subs are for

These speakers are beautiful and look impressive with the right stands. Their sound envelops you and you hear things from what seems to be the precise point it is occurring--especially apparent in movies. I have used them as my main fronts for over two years but am buying a pair of ribbons (Newform Research) for the front. I am looking forward to their sound as a pair of knockout speakers for the rear. With Dolby Digital, etc. this is now very important. I have listened to many, many bookshelf speakers of supposed high performance and, to my ears, none compare to the KEF smoothness and clarity.

Similar Products Used: Q30, C100, NHT
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Ahn   Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 2000]

Haven't found a dealer to audition these yet, but just to comment on aesthetics... someone mentioned the CDM SE as being "a cut above", I beg to differ. The CDM 1SE with its sharply angled corners does NOT convey to me build quality. Now if you're talking about the Nautilus 805s, THAT'S a sexy speaker OOZING with quality. However, for the price, I haven't seen anything that looks better. (The Tannoy Revolution series, possibly, but also too square looking; also, no one carries them, so I can't tell you first-hand.)

-D

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris Johnson   Audiophile [May 24, 2000]

Originally bought Q15's Because the uni-Q Made sense to me.
Then I decided to buy myself a cost no object set of monitors, listened to Arial, Thiel PCS, and others what I discovered is that after you get used to PRECISE time
arrival you cannot go back. Trust me I have many years
experience in the recording industry on both sides of the board. These speakers are the holy grail of the industry
the ones other makers wish did'nt exist.
KEF has the patent the just need to market it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Erik Ciel   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 12, 2001]
Strength:

Too many...

Weakness:

None as far as concerned.

I have been auditioned more than 50 bookshelf speakers so far and this one is the one of top 5 best I regard. And finally, I bought this one due to the price & value comparing with Nautilus or 1.3 SE whose price is far beyond this.
I listen all kinds of music except Rap & country.
This one digest everything with unbelievable flexibility from Bach's air, Piazzolla, Miles, Holiday, metheny, blackbox, zeppelin, metallica, to underworld. When I listened to the 1958 recording of Autumn leaves by Miles and the recent vocal, Ave Maria by Sumi Jo , I realized there was tears on my eyes...
I am not gonna imply about the details of sonic side cause it was already mentioned by reviewers below. They are correct.

What I can say is that this was the first time hearing the sound far outside of speakers... which you can't imagine through this small thing. airy.... so airy....

Please be prepared to be spoiled... like I have been.

Happy listening

Similar Products Used: B&W,Dynaudio,spendor,JBL,infinity,Paradigm,Vienna,AE,Dali,....
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jacky Liu   Audiophile [Dec 10, 2001]
Strength:

extremely smooth midrange, natural and consonant sound, wide 3D stage, refined and abundant details, highly musical taste ...... and very very stunning looking!

Weakness:

no low bass, a little muddy when play symphony climax

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.




Similar Products Used: Warefedle Diamond7.2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 18  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com