Floor-standing Speakers

KEF Reference 205/2 Floor-standing Speakers


Along with the handsome manual included was a frequency response chart (on beautiful parchment paper) specific for this pair cordially signed by the builder, Dan Fowler.

As far as I know, the Reference Series is the only product KEF still fabricates in England, as everything else is farmed out to the far-east for production. As good as the quality of the Q-Series, this is another league all together.

Near the end of my review, I asked KEF's Reference Business Unit Manager Richard Colburn to simply give me his feelings about the 205/2's:

"The 205s are special to me because they embody all of he hallmarks of classic KEF products (think Reference 104ab, 105, 107 and the 104/2). These products were known for their supreme musicality as well as fine detail. With this new Reference series, we have resurrected this philosophy and updated it. The 205 gets all of the detail right (by right, I mean it knows what to do with that detail which is to present it in a musically accurate manner). A lot of speakers spotlight certain aspects of the music, and the listener tends to focus on that and will either like it or not. The 205 walks that thin line between detail and musicality extremely well. I also like how musical texture comes through on the 205. Fine details emerge as part of a very pleasing picture. Finally, I love how muscular the 205s sound for their fairly modest footprint. You get some of the grandeur of the 207 without floor space being compromised."

The Design

The KEF Reference Model 205/2 is a three-way bass reflex, stands almost 44" high and weighs 73 pounds. KEF reports that the frequency response expected from the 205/2 is from 45 Hz to 60 kHz, and the crossover is set at 400 Hz and 2.3 kHz. Also, rated at 8 ohms with a 90 dB sensitivity rating, the 205/2 handles up to 300 watts from your amplifier.

The obvious distinction between the 207/2 and the 205/2 is the additional driver and the distinct separate tweeter enclosure mounted on top. Of course the 207/2 weighs almost twice as much and stands five inches taller.

The shape of the speaker can't be ignored, as no sharp corners exist, but has gentle curves sweeping from front to rear with even the front edges radiuses about an inch.

Fabric grilles for each speaker are separated for the Uni-Q array and the pair of woofer drivers. Which means you can keep the grille on or off for each type of driver. The manual surprisingly recommends removing the grilles for "serious listening".

Spinning (not literally) the cabinet around, you'll discover several features. Uni-Balance is a technology that allows alteration to bass output depending on the placement in the room. The "LF" adjustment is a cap that's either left in or removed. Leaving it in is best if the speakers are free of the side and rear walls. Removing it will drop the bass output by -2.0 dB between 50 and 150 Hz.

High frequency adjustments use 2 caps and with four positions possible adjusting tweeter output above 2kHz by as much as +75dB or drop as much as -1.5dB.

At the bottom rear you'll also find gold-plated binding posts for tri-wiring or tri-amping. Sent along are sturdy jumper cables with a banana plug on one end and spade on the other. Use the cables if you decide to run a single pair of speaker wires to the 205/2 and let the internal crossovers handle the delivery to each driver.