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KEF Blade 2 Meta review by Erin's Audio Corner

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amirm

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How in the hell did a set of measurements and opinions on what is clearly one of the better speakers on the market, turn into an argument about the guy that made the measurements?
It was partially ruined by so much subjective talk and that this is the greatest speaker he has heard. These are things we don't normally tolerate here,. If he had just shown the measurements and nothing else, all would be peaceful here, sans people saying speaker too expensive, who can afford it, etc.
Instead we get a bitch-fest about personalities that might as well be a discussion of characters on the Real Housewives of Orange County.
The pain runs deep here. Don't underestimate how much damage was done when he was a posting member here.
 

amper42

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Seeking an end all audio system usually leads to another audio system being hailed as even better shortly after the purchase. At some point, you realize music can be enjoyed on lots of audio systems without stretching one's budget to uncomfortable levels.

However, the number of Americans who can afford to spend on extravagant purchases is quickly rising. Today, 55,000,000 millionaires reside in the United States. Since the end of 2021 the number of USA millionaires has grown by 244%. The S&P 500 has risen by over 20% in the last 12 months. With that rising tide the number of affluent households is growing. At the same time, certificates of deposit are paying 5% which we haven't seen for several years. It's not unusual for retirees who contributed to 401K's and IRAs on a regular basis to reach millionaire status with a home paid in full. Over 2% of the US population have $1 million in liquid assets and that percentage is growing. 37% of the worlds millionaires live in the USA. With this being the case, many older Americans have more disposable income than ever before.
 

Ron Texas

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You'd have to really be rolling in cash to justify $30,000 speakers that still need amps. That said, at least you seem to (mostly) get what you pay for, they are demonstrably excellent speakers in basically every respect worth mentioning. Exceptional axial performance and directivity, mountains of headroom, decent sensitivity, extremely low IMD, and excellent dynamic handling.
Amps don't cost a lot these days. Let's not go off into the active/passive debate. That one's been beaten to death already.
 

amirm

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Ruin? Tolerate? What?!
This is what started it:
It's just typical YouTube hype, from a YouTube guy.

It'll all be forgotten when the next best thing comes along. Desperately trying to get a free (or heavily subsidised) pair of KEF Blade2 metas. Yawn.
Folks want a very clear and "bright line" between objectivism/measurements and other things. Blur the line and you will get complaints. Defend the conduct and you get me in there too. Suggest you move on.
 

Sancus

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Not sure it is irrelevant. The limitations of a narrower directivity (smaller apparent soundstage) are minimized when used in a MCH system but the advantages (reduced room interaction) remain. Speculation, of course, but consistent with my perceptions.
Ah what I meant to say is that there's little advantage to wider directivity in mch, not that directivity is irrelevant either way. I agree with you, I think there may be some advantage to narrower directivity for that reason.
 

prestigetone

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Really trying to understand what’s acceptable and what’s not. Doing a quick search and lots of members of the forum say that about many speakers. I don’t see those viewpoints pressed like this

The latest post on the last page of the 120ii thread says the speakers don’t match the measurements and sound “boring”. Unless everyone knows something about Erin being a kef marketing channel I’m scratching my head. At least Erin has numbers. Many members here dont post their in room responses along with impressions

To add is there something in these measurements of these KEF that don’t support them being some of the best measuring?
 
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Mnyb

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I’m wondering about the apparent single source thing ? Does it work as described by KEF or could you just stick the bass drivers anywhere ?
 

CleanSound

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You'd have to really be rolling in cash to justify $30,000 speakers that still need amps. That said, at least you seem to (mostly) get what you pay for, they are demonstrably excellent speakers in basically every respect worth mentioning. Exceptional axial performance and directivity, mountains of headroom, decent sensitivity, extremely low IMD, and excellent dynamic handling.
How is that different from some guys spending $80k on a car?
 

amirm

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The latest post on the last page of the 120ii thread says the speakers don’t match the measurements and sound “boring”.
Members are free to say whatever they want about any product. We have specific rules for anyone posting their own commercial content: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-reviewer-with-commercial-endorsement.18155/

"Please have a signature identifying the name of your business. You can have a single link to your business but that is it. This link must not lead directly to any form of Advertising or Commercial Sponsorship related links. Same applies to any posts in the forum."

Members can post links to such content but if it appears to be a regular thing, then we may take action. ASR is not to be used as a promotional tool for commercial content.
At least Erin has numbers. Many members here dont post their in room responses along with impressions
Nor does Erin.

To add is there something in these measurements of these KEF that don’t support them being some of the best measuring?
Best in what context? Neumann KH120 II has this response:

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This is flatter than KEF. Genelec 8361A also has superb PIR:

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I can't compare distortion measurements between mine and Erin's because he doesn't show percentages. His directivity plots have too low of a resolution to compare to mine as well. Nor does he show beam width. Here is the 8361A on that:

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The 8361a costs $5000 each or $10K for a pair. And that includes amplification, software for EQ, built-in DSP, management software, etc.

To be sure, Blade 2 has turned in good measurements but we have had some really superb speakers tested here.
 

CleanSound

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This seems like an overly harsh and perhaps inaccurate depiction

I can’t really remember him complaining much about the cost of the NFS. To me he seems fully insightful to the fact the relatively small amount YT pays him is probably never going to provide ROI. My impression is also that he has a decent job, especially if he can afford the Klippel in the first place. When he does mention asking for donations it’s for buying products to test, e.g. when he bought the LS60 wireless and saying how he could only afford to do this once or twice a year

The way you describe him being pathetic and juvenile for asking viewers to donate seems to be on the basis that the NFS has put him into financial hardship but this, admittedly without much knowledge into his financials, doesn’t appear to be the case
Let me double down. The way how he went about doing the math and detailing how long it takes him to pay back the NFS for his GoFundMe was pathetic and juvenile. If it will take you that long, then don't buy it. If it was an investment for a part time career, make sure you have a plan to recover the cost, and if there is no plan or a bad plan, then don't buy it. Don't go around asking for donations for a bad decision you made as a grown man.

And if you know it's a bad decision, but you brought it anyway for a passion project, it's a decision you made as a grown man, don't start a GoFundMe to cover the cost. Especially, he already has a Patreon, if you want to increase the Patreon cost, sure, let the free market do it's thing.
 
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Axo1989

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Very interesting loudspeaker to measure, listen to and discuss, of course. And naturally we have many perspectives on how to conduct, manage and sustain reviews. Otoh this thread is making the vinyl renaissance chatter look almost level-headed, I'm feeling better already. :D
 

MattHooper

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It was partially ruined by so much subjective talk and that this is the greatest speaker he has heard.

^^^ This part is the overboard take on the review that many here are talking about.

Erin tried to describe the sonic characteristics, while presenting state-of-the-art measurements, and also spoke about the correlation between his impressions and the measurements. And he dared to opine the speaker left him more impressed than any other speaker he's personally tried.

The idea that this in some way "ruined" his review is, I'm sorry, just plain silly. It just comes off as looking for some way to put his review in a negative light. And it's that attitude that many on the thread have pushed back against.
 
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CleanSound

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^^^ This part is the overboard take on the review that many here are talking about.

Erin tried to describe the sonic characteristics, while presenting state-of-the-art measurements, and also spoke about the correlation between his impressions and the measurements. And he dared to opine the speaker left him more impressed than any other speaker he's personally tried.

The idea that this in some way "ruined" his review is, I'm sorry, just plain silly. It just comes off as looking for some way to put his review in a negative light. And it's that attitude that many on the thread have pushed back against.

Perhaps, it's the subjectivism, the hyperbole, the click baiting, the every opportunity I can find to monetize, I will and a public video of bad mouthing Amir that opens the wound of this:

The pain runs deep here. Don't underestimate how much damage was done when he was a posting member here.

Let it go @MattHooper. I'm a fanboy of Erin's work, but I can also understand why he is controversial and certainly not a fan of everything he does.
 

MacClintock

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A $28,000 pair of speakers that barely go down to 30 Hz are far from "the best" . If this is his opinion I'll stick with ASR's objectivity.
Rarly any single speaker does, nor many much more expensive still. Just add two subs for $1-2k eqch and you are fine, placement options will improve the sound even more. What is the problem?
 

amirm

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Rarly any single speaker does, nor many much more expensive still.
What? There are speakers with complete active towers for bass. They will weigh hundreds of pounds each. We are not remotely playing in that field.
 

Axo1989

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But what I personally find objectionable is when he started a goFundMe to cover the cost of his NFS, I thought that was very distasteful and the epitome of the entitled and handout mentally of this new generation. If you, as a grown man, made the decision to spend $100k on a toy that you think would be an investment, then you need to have a plan to earn the return on investment; not go around asking people to help you pay for it. Absolutely pathetic and juvenile.

Do you react to that as "objectionable" "pathetic and juvenile" but not object to ASR asking for a donation (at the end of speaker reviews, for example)? I don't see either method of soliciting funds as especially problematic.
 

MacClintock

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What? There are speakers with complete active towers for bass. They will weigh hundreds of pounds each. We are not remotely playing in that field.
That is basically what I meant.
 

jhaider

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The 8361a costs $5000 each or $10K for a pair. And that includes amplification, software for EQ, built-in DSP, management software, etc.

To be sure, Blade 2 has turned in good measurements but we have had some really superb speakers tested here.

Had Erin heard that speaker (I don't know but it's not one of his published reviews - recall again that his claim is not "best" but "best he's heard") that would be a very good rejoinder, The big Genelec is effectively the same kind of "single apparent source" as Blade. Also it is less flawed in industrial design than the KEF - the woofers are effectively protected by the waveguide, and even though the coax has a naked midrange cone the tweeter has a full grille and the mid is made from more dent-resistant materials than KEF's. I assume with factory custom paint for speaker and stand 8361 would still be significantly less expensive. Personally in the blind I'd expect the Genelec to perform better, with GLM being the decisive factor.

However, the main thing your comment makes me think is, now I hope someone sends Erin an 8361 while he still has the KEF Blade* that would be an interesting comparison to run on using his newest toy, an ABX comparator. :)

*There's been a lot of ill-informed jawing about Erin gushing with the motive of getting KEF to give them to him for free or at a reduced price. Let's be real here, there's no pay-for-play. Free is highly unlikely. However, he has enough of a track record and contacts list that most audio companies probably would sell him a given product on the most permissive industry accomodation terms they offer for that product, whether it's dealer pricing or whatever. Those types of discounts generally aren't held as close to the vest as people who have never published a review may imagine.
 
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