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KEF Blade 2 Meta review by Erin's Audio Corner

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Ron Texas

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But you are allowed to do this and call a simple and genuine question that appears completely unconfrontational as confrontational? Maybe time for some introspection before any more irony is lost on you
You are attempting to create a pile on. It's time for you to try some introspection.
 

Keith_W

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You are serious ? Wouldn't it be more judicious to find a second-hand pair to limit the damage?

I am serious. I will chat to the dealer about selling me a speaker without a warranty, if I have to modify it myself. Or get KEF to deliver a speaker to me with my proposed modifications. It will need a protective high pass capacitor connected to the tweeter.
 

Ron Texas

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I am serious. I will chat to the dealer about selling me a speaker without a warranty, if I have to modify it myself. Or get KEF to deliver a speaker to me with my proposed modifications. It will need a protective high pass capacitor connected to the tweeter.
It's your money, but the old saying "don't fix it if it isn't broken" comes to mind.
 

djb

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I heard these a couple months ago when amp shopping for my new Linton's. I wish I hadn't. The enveloping sound in that room was unreal. They look like something off the set of a Star Trek episode. Only good thing about the visit was my wife realized my hifi purchases are 'reasonable'. Lol
 

cavedriver

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I believe that active speakers are the future, coupled with ever more powerful DSP and with the amps closely matched to the specific drivers you get compelling packages. Active should be the way to go...
Similarly to the way Tesla's self-driving AI has been trained to recognize and adjust to a wide variety of road conditions, I could easily foresee an audio system based on a receiver/speaker system that uses mics in all the speakers to measure the in-room response and automatically adjust the system "on the fly" rather than us using REW or whatever to tune the room each time we set it up. Hmm, another product idea, gotta stop doing this :)
 

Blockader

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Similarly to the way Tesla's self-driving AI has been trained to recognize and adjust to a wide variety of road conditions, I could easily foresee an audio system based on a receiver/speaker system that uses mics in all the speakers to measure the in-room response and automatically adjust the system "on the fly" rather than us using REW or whatever to tune the room each time we set it up. Hmm, another product idea, gotta stop doing this :)
That's how W371 works. It sets its crossover frequency based on the in-room measurements taken with GLM. It doesn't have a fixed XO point. I guess the order of the filter is also determined by the in room response.
 

cavedriver

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You are serious ? Wouldn't it be more judicious to find a second-hand pair to limit the damage?
I will add that finding second hand copies of recently built high end speakers can be difficult. If they only sell 10 to 100 pairs a year then the incidence of used copies coming up on the market might only be 1 pair every 6 months or less, and so you would need to have a broad and thorough automated search set up to make sure you see them. I continuously check several markets for vintage Snells and many slip past me just because there are so many different markets. Heck one guy just found a pair of working Snell A/II's or III's in a dumpster, I was so jealous.
 

cavedriver

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That's how W371 works. It sets its crossover frequency based on the in-room measurements taken with GLM. It doesn't have a fixed XO point. I guess the order of the filter is also determined by the in room response.
But does it use a separate microphone? How much set up is involved? I was assuming it required a session with one of their reps to get everything set up since it is a piece of professional studio equipment. I'm thinking for the home market given how cheap microphones are (ex- Dayton iMM6 at $20 for a finished commercial product).
 

Blockader

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But does it use a separate microphone? How much set up is involved? I was assuming it required a session with one of their reps to get everything set up since it is a piece of professional studio equipment. I'm thinking for the home market given how cheap microphones are (ex- Dayton iMM6 at $20 for a finished commercial product).
It has its own microphone, yes. The microphone should be placed where the users listening position is, that's all. It takes 15-20 seconds for measurements to finish. The microphone and GLM system comes free with W371.
 

MayaTlab

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Similarly to the way Tesla's self-driving AI has been trained to recognize and adjust to a wide variety of road conditions, I could easily foresee an audio system based on a receiver/speaker system that uses mics in all the speakers to measure the in-room response and automatically adjust the system "on the fly" rather than us using REW or whatever to tune the room each time we set it up. Hmm, another product idea, gotta stop doing this :)

In a certain way you've just described what - to a limited extent, but probably more so than what some people on ASR realise - Apple is already doing with the HomePod :D.
 

FrantzM

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Similarly to the way Tesla's self-driving AI has been trained to recognize and adjust to a wide variety of road conditions, I could easily foresee an audio system based on a receiver/speaker system that uses mics in all the speakers to measure the in-room response and automatically adjust the system "on the fly" rather than us using REW or whatever to tune the room each time we set it up. Hmm, another product idea, gotta stop doing this :)
It has its own microphone, yes. The microphone should be placed where the users listening position is, that's all. It takes 15-20 seconds for measurements to finish. The microphone and GLM system comes free with W371.
In a certain way you've just described what - to a limited extent, but probably more so than what some people on ASR realise - Apple is already doing with the HomePod :D.

It is already, possible to remove the heavy lifting from the audio system itself and relegate it to data centers in the cloud .. from there, all kind of powerful room and system correction. optimizations. To me that should be the direction of real High End Audio. Not looking at passé, thoroughly surpassed technologies such as Vinyl, Tubes, R2R, passive crossover...

OK! We were discussing the Kef Blade 2 Meta...

Back on topics. :mad:

Peace.
 

napilopez

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Let's remember again as I noted and he acknowledges in the video that these speakers have narrow dispersion. And that he has consistently said he likes wide dispersion. How did he turn on a dime and decide otherwise in this case?
Without getting into the rest, this particular claim is a bit much. He didn't turn on a dime; he reiterates in this very video that he prefers wide directivity.

"I like having that really wide sound from a speaker, horizontally speaking. With the Blade 2's, it is more narrow, it's noticeably more narrow. But it's not so much a detriment that I wouldn't consider buying them"

But preferring wide directivity doesn't mean you can't seriously enjoy a speaker with narrower directivity. Many of the best speaker's I've heard have been narrower directivity, even though I also prefer wider directivity.

As I'm sure you've noticed, it's pretty uncommon to find a speaker that is both very wide directivity and has super smooth dispersion. Revel is one of the very few companies that does both pretty well. Ascend Acoustics and Philharmonic do it too, with slightly less smooth directivity and at the cost of narrow vertical directivity on their widest speakers. But none of these are quite as "perfectly" smooth as say, a Genelec, Neumann or KEF.

Besides, it's not like the Blade 2's are acoustic laser pointers. Their cumulative sidewall reflections are actually about 1-2dB louder than the KEF R3 Metas from 3kHz to 8kHz.

Blade 2(Blue) vs R3 meta (Red). Listening Window(Top) vs Sidewall Reflections (Bottom)

1711909728558.png
 

holdingpants01

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it could be that people think they usually prefer wider directivity speakers because they mask other shortcomings, but when they encounter narrower directivity speaker with more or less perfect response, no resonances, about full range (like high end studio monitors, D&D 8C) etc. then they appreciate them as well. Kind of opposite of the recent PS Audio review where the response wasn't that flat, but the very wide dispersion still made them sound subjectively good and impressive
 
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CleanSound

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The larger problem is lack of comparison to other speakers. Research says you need to compare minimum of 4 speakers and more would be better. Only then you can find out unique issues with a speakers as others do not suffer the same problem. Listening to one speaker and opining is just talking without much value over any other subjectivist reviewer.

I remember before ASR, before Spinaroma.org and yes before Erin, I only had Soundstage for speaker data and their data is not all that comprehensive and they were low resolution - I had to squint my eyes to make head from tales with Soundstage data!

And before Soundstage, the audiophile community, myself included, had to rely on our ears as there weren't any hobbyists doing even quasi anechoic measurements to share.

if I am honest with you, I had no idea which speakers were actually neutral, because It is not possible to determine that without a frame of reference, at least not for me.

When I finally moved to neutral speakers, and confirmed with REW measurements and then EQ adjustments to compensate for room acoustics, it took some time to fix all the years of damage from listening to ****** sound (most of which are elevated in HF aka showroom sound). I realized wow, I can listen for a very long time and it's still smooth and pleasant.

Anyway, that is just a very long story for me to say, I finally learned to compare speakers with a reference of neutral sound and that started with the Revel F226Be.
 

napilopez

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it could be that people think they usually prefer wider directivity speakers because they mask other shortcomings, but when they encounter narrower directivity speaker with more or less perfect response, no resonances, about full range (like high end studio monitors, D&D 8C) etc. then they appreciate them as well. So maybe it's like with mono and stereo listening, and wider dispersion just takes over focus from tonality

I don't know if it's quite like that. Evidence leads me to believe to directivity width (and overall behavior) is pretty subjective and content-dependent as long as it's "good".

Moreover, I want to point out that it's narrower directivity speakers that tend to mask issues. Toole's book suggests wider directivity (more specifically louder reflections in room) actually seems to make resonances more noticeable, as they increase "repetitions" of the offending resonances, not the other way around. So it's the narrower directivity speakers that are arguably doing the masking.
 

Sokel

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I am serious. I will chat to the dealer about selling me a speaker without a warranty, if I have to modify it myself. Or get KEF to deliver a speaker to me with my proposed modifications. It will need a protective high pass capacitor connected to the tweeter.
Your huge problem will remain though: you will not have reliable anechoic data to work with as the ones published include the filter network.
Without them only guesswork can be done.

That's why we need Amir,Erin,whoever provides us with such.
 

BDWoody

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Anyway, that is just a very long story for me to say, I finally learned to compare speakers with a reference of neutral sound and that started with the Revel F226Be.

That's a nice place to start.
 

NTK

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Your huge problem will remain though: you will not have reliable anechoic data to work with as the ones published include the filter network.
Without them only guesswork can be done.

That's why we need Amir,Erin,whoever provides us with such.
@Keith_W will have to measure the electrical signals at the cross-over outputs (with all drivers connected and the speaker fully and properly assembled), so that he can at least replicate the cross-over filters and EQ parameters with his DSP. That would be his starting point for further tweaking (such as phase corrections, etc.).
 

holdingpants01

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I don't know if it's quite like that. Evidence leads me to believe to directivity width (and overall behavior) is pretty subjective and content-dependent as long as it's "good".

Moreover, I want to point out that it's narrower directivity speakers that tend to mask issues. Toole's book suggests wider directivity (more specifically louder reflections in room) actually seems to make resonances more noticeable, as they increase "repetitions" of the offending resonances, not the other way around. So it's the narrower directivity speakers that are arguably doing the masking.
I was saying about masking issues just like stereo listening is masking issues instead of single speaker, and surround setups even more than stereo with blurring the differences between tonality of such setups with increase in number of speakers and sources. Also it doesn't seem right to me anyway, that would mean headphones are masking issues in the recordings the most, they work more like idealised laser beam no reflection from the room speakers, but opposite is more true. But if he was talking about the room issues then sure.
 
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