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KEF Reference 1 META Bookshelf Speaker Review by Erin's Audio Corner

jhaider

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Yes - the difference in frequency response between R3 and R1 Meta might be entirely dependent on different crossover designs . Ím sceptical to the suggestion that there are 2-3 different uni-Q drivers out there , that looks the same.

Don’t be. For one thing, R-series has a giant mud magnet that is almost the diameter of the baffle cutout, and Reference has a neo magnet that shadows the cone much less.
 

Mnyb

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Maybe the cone and dome are stamped in the same machine , but the motor systems and suspensions seem different, between the them
 

Beave

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From the front, the Ref cones have about double the number of "ribs" compared to the R cones.

From the back, as jhaider wrote, the magnets are completely different.
 

KMO

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Reposting this from an older thread - and the info is now a bit outdated, because they have just unified the Blade and Reference Uni-Qs.

There's a presentation here in which you can see the whole of the LS50 (original), R series (2012), Reference and Blade drivers at 4:30.

Jack Oclee-Brown says there:

If you take a look at the R Series, the Reference and the Blade Uni-Qs, if you look at them from the front they have the same cone size, and that's intentional because we've optimised the size of that cone to work with the tweeter to give the best possible directivity match. But it means from the outside of the product you can't really see the differences in the design. It's only when you look at the back and you look at the motor system that you see now what makes a Blade driver better. So with the R series we have a relatively simple ferrite magnet system, but then stepping up to the Reference we use a neodymium, more powerful, low distortion motor. And then on to Blade we have again a more powerful neodymium magnet but this time with a much bigger 3-inch voice coil.

The white papers for all the ranges show more detail of construction differences.
 

Tangband

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Don’t be. For one thing, R-series has a giant mud magnet that is almost the diameter of the baffle cutout, and Reference has a neo magnet that shadows the cone much less.
Ok, I stand corrected.:). They are different and the TS are also slightly different ( I looked at erinˋs page )
 

bigjacko

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Just didn't know if I was missing some spec. How does that translate from the midrange driver to the recess around it? Trying to understand if the surround edge or the recess denotes the diameter?
Sorry my English is not that good, don't really understand your question. The recess is part of the waveguide, it forces the wave to only go in that direction, until the frequency is low enough and the waveguide ends.
 

RustyGates

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And if you already have a small fortune invested in high end electronics, do you want to displace it just to go active. These look really good, and I'm sure they will give the D&D's, Kii3's, Genelec's, and Neuman's a run for their money. For me, already owning an Octo 8, and a Purifi Eval 1, and a couple of SVS Subs, these would be a once in a lifetime, endgame purchase, and would allow me to have a 7.1 all Kef, computer based home theater.

Lets say you have nothing - For the price of a D&D 8c, in the AU market at least, you can buy a Ref 1 META + Benchmark AHB2 and still have $200 AUD to buy some low impedance speaker cables. Must get a DAC though and stands are not factored in here for either of course, these are optional anyway.

The Ref 1 Meta however measures better overall, especially the distortion figures, and AHB2 will do way better than any of those integrated Class D amps. Subjectively, its probably the king of the castle.

As for the Kii3 - you can buy a Reference 3 Meta for that price, and with certain colours, a Reference 5!
 

VintageFlanker

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For the price of a D&D 8c, in the AU market at least, you can buy a Ref 1 META + Benchmark AHB2 and still have $200 AUD to buy some low impedance speaker cables.
The Ref 1 Meta however measures better overall, especially the distortion figures, and AHB2 will do way better than any of those integrated Class D amps. Subjectively, its probably the king of the castle.
Is the Reference 1 a full range speaker? I don't think so.;)

There is quite a lot of chance that many would subjectively prefer the 8C over the R1 without sub because of this, mine included. Also, a DSP has far more influence on perceived SQ that any top-SINAD ranking amp.:cool:
 

Tangband

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Is the Reference 1 a full range speaker? I don't think so.;)

There is quite a lot of chance that many would subjectively prefer the 8C over the R1 without sub because of this, mine included. Also, a DSP has far more influence on perceived SQ that any top-SINAD ranking amp.:cool:
Agree.:)

The 8C is an active dsp model, doing the crossover digitaly for bass and midrange is technical a much better way to do it than using a passive crossover. This is more important than amplifiers with high SINAD. My five cents : people thus gonna prefer 8C because of a clearer sound in the midrange and a more fullrange sound with much deeper and tighter bass.
 

jonfitch

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Got the Reference 1 Meta, it sounds quite a bit brighter than the older Reference 1.

gsxQlv8.jpg


Did a quick measure with Dirac Live. Seems like the 200-1K range is a lot flatter, which gives it a bit less "meaty" sound, it sounds a lot leaner as a result. My sense is also the dispersion seems a tad wider as well.
 
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bo_knows

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Got the Reference 1 Meta, it sounds quite a bit brighter than the older Reference 1.

gsxQlv8.jpg


Did a quick measure with Dirac Live. Seems like the 200-1K range is a lot flatter, which gives it a bit less "meaty" sound, it sounds a lot leaner as a result. My sense is also the dispersion seems a tad wider as well.
Thanks, appreciate your feedback. These apparent changes would not work for me. My original KEF ref 3 is already as bight as I can handle it. My room dimensions are creating deep suck outs in the upper bass and midrange, which results in the leaner midrange. As far as wider dispersion, I don't know how would this come to play in my highly acoustically treated HT room (due to the lack of width of my room, side reflections are absorbed).
 
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tifune

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One of the most 3-D soundstages I have heard to date (only beat thus far by a set of $13k monitors using a concentric driver)

Just curious, which monitors are being referenced here?
 

Vacceo

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So he found a sadness in Aretha Franklin he didn´t listend before. Guttemberg overdid the Hippie Ages so much, that its effects lasts till today.

Sorry, I don´t belive in gods, so this is even less plausible.
 
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RustyGates

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So he found a sadness in Aretha Franklin he didn´t listend before. Guttemberg overdid the Hippie Ages so much, that its effects lasts till today.

Sorry, I don´t belive in gods, so this is even less plausible.

Maybe his attempts to subjectively describe what he's hearing are well over the top sometimes, but it is always interesting to hear what someone who has spent a lifetime reviewing all sorts of speakers has to say about it. 14:25 onwards is enough to sum it up without the overhype.
 

Vacceo

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Maybe his attempts to subjectively describe what he's hearing are well over the top sometimes, but it is always interesting to hear what someone who has spent a lifetime reviewing all sorts of speakers has to say about it. 14:25 onwards is enough to sum it up without the overhype.
It is actually meaningless beyond the delight of listening to someone whith good language skills. Gutemberg feels like an honest, decent and very kind human being. The value of what he says in terms of information is none.
 

bo_knows

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I should start by saying that I enjoyed Steve's review but a few things got me questioning some of his recommendations.

1) Speakers to be positioned with no toe-in meaning firing straight ahead.

Why? How did he get to this conclusion? Did this recommendation come from KEF?

2) Speakers need to be placed in the large room and recommend smaller Ref 1 for small to medium-size rooms.
Again why?

No scientific proof was provided, only his long-time audiophile experience.

I will need a better explanation before I take his recommendations as gospel.

Needless to say, I disagree with both of those...
 
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cavedriver

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I should start by saying that I enjoyed Steve's review but a few things got me questioning some of his recommendations.

1) Speakers to be positioned with no toe-in meaning firing straight ahead.

Why?
Given the wide dispersion on these I don't see why this observation should come as a surprise to you or be that unlikely. I'm demoing the LS50 meta's right now and they also are fairly happy pointed parallel to each other, just as my Snell's are. My understanding is that there is both an imaging advantage for some speakers and a simple "usefulness" advantage. The latter is easy to appreciate - wider sweet spot, more happy listeners. The former I'm not so sure about. Some speakers really only image well when pointed almost or directly at the listener. Just experienced this with a pair of Fyne 502SP's, where the imaging just completely collapsed at anything wider than more or less straight at me. Actually my chief concern for them atm because I'm not sure how narrow the sweet spot will be when listening to these in other rooms. The LS50's are tentatively imaging fairly well set up parallel but more testing is warranted and I'm not final on that and I'm feeling like my favorite thing about the LS50's will be their dynamicism and crystal-clear highs rather than their imaging. From years of experience I can say that my Snell E/III's (with their wide box shape and effectively flat baffle design) are at their best parallel to each other and image fairly well for such a non-ideal shape. I haven't watched the video and have no idea how competent this reviewer is but I would hope they reached their recommendation by playing with different amounts of toe-in and found this to be best, which is not a hard thing to do. If you don't trust them that's totally reasonable- what more do we have to go on than the sum of their reviews...

Not really sure about that second suggestion. Speakers with really wide dispersion patterns seem to make for challenges in narrow rooms so maybe this guy is observing wall reflections and not correctly identifying why they are experiencing them. I'm testing the LS50's in a great room for this because the speakers are on the long wall of a room that's 17x24 and they are quite happy in that space.
 
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