KEF Reference 205 Floorstanding Speakers

Reference 205

Both long-throw 200mm (8”) bass drivers operate in parallel at low frequencies where throw is critical, but the lower unit is rolled off early to allow the top LF driver to dominate at the crossover to the lower midrange unit for the smoothest possible integration.

User Reviews (1)

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Fernando Pinto   AudioPhile [May 15, 2008]
Strength:

-Tonal balance spot on
-Reference coherence and sounstage from coaxial midrange /tweeter
-Transparency and clarity, wonderfull mids and highs
-Large sweet spot
-Easy to position and live with
-Undistorted, even bass, with adjustment facilities
-Quallity build and looks

Weakness:

-Bass coul be deeper and more impactfull considering size and reference status
-Ever so slight box coloration/midrange shoutiness at very high levels ( this is really being very picky)
-Although forgiving, really deserve top-notch elecronics
-Not the best speakers for hard charging bass propelled rock/electronic

Hello,
I bought these ones from another enthusiast moving in to planar territory.
Let me say right away that as far as box loudspeakers are concerned these are as detailed and transparent as it gets; if you want the very last bit of transparency techonology can offer and something better`overall, then you need to get a quad 2905, that´s how good they are.
These are not a nitpicking speaker: as soon as you play them with the right amp and source wich can be a whole lot provided they are very good, you stop asking if this is the best imaging or most dynamic or more neutral than X, Y or Z. They just sound right; and you just enjoy the music these accurate, live, engaging speakers make.
I use them now with my Musical Fidelity Kw 250S wired with biwire nordost red dawn speaker cable, and its a very simple and wonderfull sounding combination: a sort of racey but also lush sound,full of detail and ambience, and never boring.Tried them also with my Levinson 29,and its just as good even better in some respects.
If I must say something less enthusiastic about them, they could be just a bit more dynamic and pacey in the bass and a a little more extended down there. You do get usefulll deep bass, and its well defined and natural sounding, but for a speaker of this size it could be more impactfull and subterranean( my former proAc were better here). Also, if you make them play really loud, the midrange gets a smidgen shouty, probably some horn effect of the tweeter/cone interaction.
Otherwise, distortion free bass with plenty of body and gravitas, smooth, fulll expressive midrange equaly favouring men and women, and an etched and airy treble with no agression wrapped in a wonderfuly natural and beliveable 3D sounstage with a large sweetspot and no difficulty in positioning, plus agility and dynamics, are what you get.
So all in all, if you can´t afford the price and don´t have the place to make great planar, boxless speakers sound like they can sound when everything around them is fine, and are stuck with conventional speakers like I am, these are a definite `must`. Any better than this, I need not new ancillary, but a new house to put them on.
Get an used pair, they are really worth it. For the kind of prices they get asked (from as little as 3000 for a 8000 euros new pair) they are 5 stars!!

Similar Products Used: ProAc studio 140
Martin Logan Aeon i
Sonus Faber Grand Piano Domus
Dynaudio C2 ( studio monitors,not their actual home speakers)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sbul2020   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 27, 2008]
Strength:

Very detailed and clear- engaging, not dull and lifeless. Great midrange with the right amp. Beautiful cabinets. Great value on the used market.

Weakness:

Can be harsh and annoying with some recordings if mated to the wrong amp. Not the deepest bass around.

KEF Reference 205 in cherry, made in England. Simply a gorgeous speaker, they're like fine furniture compared to a lot of the BOX variety. Two 8" bass drivers, a 6 1/2" Uni-Q mid w/ 1" tweeter in center and a 3/4" supertweeter. Can be tri-wired/amped. I really like the sound of these, but it's a work in progress to love them. They are very detailed and revealing- which I like- and when paired with the right amp they can sound amazing. Get them on the wrong amp and watch out! I tried them with a Denon 4806 receiver, a McIntosh MC7106 multi-channel amp (no auto-transformers) and a Parasound amp. Not that any of these sounded really bad, but certain recordings seemed harsh and hard to handle. I then mated them to a McIntosh MC352 w/autoformers and that made a significant improvement. The highs, while still present and detailed, are not as abusive. As I said, I like forward sounding speakers. If you don't, these probably aren't for you. I listened to B&W 800 series, Paradigm Reference (series 3 and 4) and some Focal Electra speakers- all were too laid back and un-involving to me.
Bass is lacking in the lowest registers- plan on using a sub if you want to round out the bottom end.
I am overall pleased with the price to performance ratio of these speakers- I think with a little bit of patience and work these will be probably as good as I'll ever need.

Customer Service

No idea

Similar Products Used: B&W 804, 803, 802, Paradigm Reference 100 v3 & 4 and Signatures, some florrstanding Focal Electras. Also Paradigm 100 v2- which I still have and LOVE (another great value on the used market)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
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