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KEF Reference 4C Review (Center Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 1.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 73 22.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 243 74.3%

  • Total voters
    327

respice finem

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Makes me want to see what the Reference 1's, 3's, and 5's are capable of.

Don't think anyone mentioned how visually stunning it is.

Understand they also wall mount the Reference Series. Quite a look

ci5160-header.jpg
Certainly looks impressive, but the longer I look at the room situation (which is clearly for ad purposes), it would be a waste of good speakers to place them in such a "dry aquarium" ;) I know similar situations from some (terrible IMHO) designer houses of glass and concrete, where even a normal conversation can give you a migraine...
 

Vict0r

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KEF so nice
but KEF big price.
Now Victor sad
because wallet is dead.
 

voodooless

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because wallet is dead.
Yeah, they generally are.. Otherwise, they would run away, we can't have that :facepalm:;) Dead wallets are the best :)

Anyway, overall nice showing from KEF. It is quite pricey though. Also, one would expect lower distortion from those 4 6,5" woofers at 96 dB.
 

sarumbear

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Hi, I'm the donor of this particular speaker, thanks to @amirm for doing all the heavy lifting, figuratively and literally. :) Regarding the speaker's cost, it's the same price for the Reference 4c trio as it would be for a Revel PerformaBe F328Be and C426Be trio, and significantly less if you can take advantage of the promotional deal KEF USA has had going on for a couple of months now. Not even going to pretend it's an inexpensive acquisition even at that level, but if you have the means, they're still out there as of this writing.
I assume you are using them as LCR, but what subwoofer you are using?

PS. I just ordered three to use as wall-mounted LCR to replace my horn JBLs.
 
Last edited:

sarumbear

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sarumbear

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I am using it as a center channel.
Blade 2s are used as L and R channels.
Do you have a subwoofer or are you feeding the LFE to the blades via bass-management?
 

tifune

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For fan of timing analysis, here are the rest of the measurements of that type:

I always interpret this as "I don't think these are very useful, but I know some of you lovely and beautiful people enjoy them."

Would that be roughly accurate? I like them because they're so easy to digest, but IIRC a few excellent speakers have a few resonances here and there. Is that why they're seemingly frowned upon, they tend to create something (ugly graphs) out of nothing (inaudible issues)?
 

MediumRare

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Yeah, if you have an acoustically transparent projector screen this is the center channel turned up vertically. Maybe even three of them across the front. Alas that is a $22.5 k problem.
If you have a transparent screen, then no need for this format, right? You can choose any three vertically oriented speakers you like. And save roughly $19k
 

Lsc

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A comparison to the Revel Voice2 (center for the Salon2 series) would be interesting given they are each the top model of 2 well-respected brands (Revel v KEF) yet have very different (& unique) designs.

I'm particularly interested because I have Salon2s as my L/R and a Voice2 as a center. The Salon2s are great. In sharp contrast, I've always been underwhelmed with the Voice2. I'm about to replace the processor (integra 80.2 w/ audyssey xt32 original) w/ an onkyo tx-rz50 (using its pre outs - uses Dirac) so this will test my current working theory (that audyssey xt32 BBC dip is causing it - cant turn that dip off w 80.2 version of audyssey; honestly don't know if this theory makes sense but it's the only thing I've come up with to explain my underwhelmed response since it's generally considered a great center speaker. My only other theory is my speaker is defective somewhere. I have a umik but never got around to running rew to see if there is an obvious abnormailty).

The Voice2 has not been tested here. Does anyone have a link to Klippel results by someone else (maybe even Revel)? In any event, it'd be an interesting review by Amir, particularly now that this center speaker has been tested.
Interesting observation as I just got a voice2 for my salons. I was using the C208 that I got when I originally bought my F208.

Maybe I’m in the honeymoon phase but I think this voice2 is outstanding. Yes it’s not as good as the salons since it’s the studio in a compact sealed house enclosure but for movies, it’s really good.

Of course since it’s not a full range speaker, it needs to be crossed over at 60Hz and depending on the placement, you have to adjust the settings on the back accordingly.

Also it’s very interesting the design choices. Revel talks about reducing standing waves with curved enclosures but KEF’s center can’t be any more boxy.
 

F1308

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Thank you...

While not ruler flan....while not ruler flat ?

English as a foreign language, but I did catch that one, Amir !!!!
 

sarumbear

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7 of these and a good sub and we have nice HT speaker setup for ab. $55.000.
You only need 3 of those as LCR are the only speakers that needs to be full range.
 

sarumbear

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Thank you...

While not ruler flan....while not ruler flat ?

English as a foreign language, but I did catch that one, Amir !!!!
You won a trophy! Not that it was a language issue, it was a typo.
 

DHT 845

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You only need 3 of those as LCR are the only speakers that needs to be full range.
In my todays HT setup I use 7 identical speakers (that reach 45Hz) and 2 active subs :)
 

JD_Spoon

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I assume you are using them as LCR, but what subwoofer you are using?

PS. I just ordered three to use as wall-mounted LCR to replace my horn JBLs.
I am using a pair of JL Audio fathom f113v2 subs with them. The pairing with them has been, frankly, delightful in 2-channel listening, and I fully expect the center to make the HT experience absolute dynamite once it's back in with its brethren. This is how things are now, although the second Fathom is out of frame, the L/R speakers are still in the bottom packing material until my stands get here, and you can feel free to point and laugh at my prior GoldenEar soundbar looking out of place covering the center channel duty in the interim. Also, most all of the electronics over on the right are getting swapped out as part of this project.
Transitional Speaker Setup.jpg
 

Billy Budapest

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Hi, I'm the donor of this particular speaker, thanks to @amirm for doing all the heavy lifting, figuratively and literally. :) Regarding the speaker's cost, it's the same price for the Reference 4c trio as it would be for a Revel PerformaBe F328Be and C426Be trio, and significantly less if you can take advantage of the promotional deal KEF USA has had going on for a couple of months now. Not even going to pretend it's an inexpensive acquisition even at that level, but if you have the means, they're still out there as of this writing.
Considering there is a blemish in the finish, the speaker should have been sold as B-stock and you should accordingly receive a discount. I would report this to KEF and/or the dealer.
 

Spkrdctr

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Glad to read your wife is now healthy enough to be able to run again, Amir!
Yes, I'm glad she is healed up and can carry your 100 pound center channel around for you. She sure is handy when it comes to heavy speakers. Although to be honest, you could offer to help her instead of "supervising" her moving heavy stuff around. But, I see you have found the joy of having a good woman! :)
 
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