- Written by Piero Gabucci
- Published on 03 April 2008
I've been to many audio shows and as you move from room to room, you tend to look around to gauge the others sitting around you to get a sense of whether they hear what you hear, good or bad. Generally, if it's not very good, most do not stay seated very long, or do not ask many questions as they politely exit. But if it's good, a nod of the head, a toe-tap, or a broad smile, and nobody wants to give up the sweet spot.
The last KEF audition was the latter listening to their Reference series, and if you ask around as we all do during a show which room impressed you, very often you'd hear the KEF room.
I've been a KEF fan for years, so I'll get that out of the way up front. Frankly, their speakers have always been good to my ears. Models have come and gone, yet for some reason they have repeatedly maintained a level of quality and sound that has always appealed to me.
Shortly after reviewing the KEF Q-Series complete home theater package (of which I purchased the review units), I was anxious to move onto review a pair for my two-channel system. KEF had just released the media information on the new Reference line and I wanted in.
Their latest release in the Reference line smartly includes not only full floor-standing models but a monitor, two each center channels, surrounds, and subwoofers.
The prize in my mind however are the floorstanding units beginning with the flagship Model 207/2, and while I asked to review the 205/2 units, there is yet one below, the 203/2. The "2" represents a revision to previous versions.
- Design: Three-Way; Ported
- Drivers: One 1" Dome Tweeter, One 6.5" Midrange, Two 8" Woofers
- MFR: 45 Hz - 60 kHz
- Sensitivity: 90 dB
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Crossover Frequencies: 400 Hz, 2.3 kHz
- Dimensions: 43.5" H x 11.2" W x 17" D
- Weight: 73 Pounds/Each
- MSRP: $12,000/Pair USA; Finished in Cherry, Walnut, Sycamore, Piano Black
So a pair of Reference Model 205/2 arrived on my doorstep. Unpacking the units, I was struck by two things in particular. KEF sends along an incredible wood case containing some beautifully machined accessories. Included are optional carpet spikes or flat bottom pedestals, which I chose specifically to be able to move them around and position them with ease. Also sent along are tools including a wrench to tighten the feet and sturdy jumper cables. There are extra caps for the LF and HF adjustments which I'll talk about later, and finally a very nice level, which I've used setting up a turntable too!
Secondly, the high-gloss cherry wood finish immediately blew me away. That fine traditional British craftsmanship and design are evident in every aspect of the Reference, from the conservative yet elegant shape to fit and finish. The veneer appears seamless and is carefully hand-crafted in a mirror finish.