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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 1.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 73 22.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 240 74.1%

  • Total voters
    324

voodooless

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It's not much, but at 400-500Hz there definitely is. I wonder if that gap, even though it's still great for a center, would be filled when not dealing with multiple woofers.
Ah, I thought you meant force cancellation like in the blades. There definitely is cancellation due to the far away woofer pair.
 

Blumlein 88

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Why would that be a better idea than using much cheaper excellent speakers, upright, behind an AT screen?
Often you need a speaker a bit taller than average floorstanders. Now maybe I spoke too soon, but looking at it, the appearance was you could place it more in the center of a slightly elevated screen. Also, I think it might equal some mighty good speakers using the vertical spin-o-rama.

But you certainly have a few worthy choices if you had an acousticly transparent screen, and the same or similar amount of money to spend.
 

nerdoldnerdith

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Lots of 'certainly's posted... so I'll add some more: certainly looks the business, and based on testing: sounds the business; but also costs and takes up space the business. Anyone know how these compare to Revel C208? (I have its lil' brother: C205, and its cousin: RC263)
Here is the C208 review:


The KEF is a better center channel in every way. Only the Revel C426Be can go up against it.
 

Jukebox

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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
Maybe we can see more of the new Reference line measurements once they start rolling out
 

beagleman

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Damn those are some impressive measurements. Probably the lowest distortion I've seen from a speaker not using huge pro-audio drivers. I hope we get to see the Reference 5 measured at some point. The spinorama for the Reference 5 supplied by KEF is as close to perfect as I've seen.
I agree, it measures great.

But I have to wonder, (being a DIY type of person) what drivers could be had for far less money, and for most intents imitate that performance.

$7,500 give you literally a THOUSAND dollars per driver, and $2,500 for crossover and box.....hmmmmmm....
 

nerdoldnerdith

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I agree, it measures great.

But I have to wonder, (being a DIY type of person) what drivers could be had for far less money, and for most intents imitate that performance.

$7,500 give you literally a THOUSAND dollars per driver, and $2,500 for crossover and box.....hmmmmmm....
There are no off-the-shelf coaxial drivers that can compete with the drivers KEF and Genelec use. The closest thing I can think of is the SEAS C18EN002/A.

Plus, KEF engineered its reference line using a Klippel to produce speakers with a level of performance that would be difficult to match with DIY. These designs have been thoroughly refined to be as good as they could make them with the best engineers and equipment. The price is high, but that is the price you pay for state-of-the-art performance from a company like KEF. If you want something close for less money, check out their R line of speakers.
 

pseudoid

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Thank you for the test. Now I know how the "other" side listens to music. I am envious (and poor)!
Is the center driver (coaxial?) similar to the KEF LS50 driver?
 

Sancus

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The very reasonable, if imperfect, cancellation on this speaker made me wonder if you modeled and designed it correctly, whether you could make the directivity close to perfect and just use the woofer cancellation to control directivity to a lower frequency than would otherwise be possible given the size of the drivers and baffle.

Then I remembered, duh, that's exactly how the woofers in Genelec Ones work and what they are designed to do.
 

A.West

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I wonder how a Sennheiser Ambeo compares. Amir likes powered speakers with DSP after all. Spatial cues are highly room dependent though. Very high WAF.
 

mj30250

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Those are some impressive numbers. Now I'm really curious to see how the C426Be would fair under the same testing.

Amir can test mine but I have some requirements:

Costs covered to have someone...

drag this thing upstairs from basement, pack it up, ship it out.

Reverse steps on the way back.

Pain and suffering compensation (may be substantial) owing to stresses created by temporary lack of center speaker as well as angry wife yelling at me (latter is likely to continue even after return of said center speaker).
 

RichB

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Those are some impressive numbers. Now I'm really curious to see how the C426Be would fair under the same testing.

Amir can test mine but I have some requirements:

Costs covered to have someone...

drag this thing upstairs from basement, pack it up, ship it out.

Reverse steps on the way back.

Pain and suffering compensation (may be substantial) owing to stresses created by temporary lack of center speaker as well as angry wife yelling at me (latter is likely to continue even after return of said center speaker).

Translation: Amir cannot have mine to test :p

- Rich
 

RichB

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Coaxials are really the future of home audio. Too bad that it will take decades before other companies catch up. This is the 11th generation after all.

I have concerns that mid-range movement modulates the tweeter.
Sweeps will not measure this. Perhaps, combines sweep of mid-range with constant high frequency could be used to test for this.

- Rich
 

pseudoid

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That Uni-Q driver is an impressive feat of design/construction.
1642541960800.png

There is also a supporting 29page white-paper pdf from KEF R&D, which fully details the 'Reference' line.
I don't know how close @amirm test results are in reference to the pdf data provided.
@JD_Spoon: May I ask if you also have the complimentary R5 floor standing version of this KEF center?
The 4C test results are simply the best that I have seen amongst all centers reviewed here at ASR (I think).

 

Lsc

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Here is the C208 review:


The KEF is a better center channel in every way. Only the Revel C426Be can go up against it.
I certainly hope so. Still the C208 is a very good center channel
I agree, it measures great.

But I have to wonder, (being a DIY type of person) what drivers could be had for far less money, and for most intents imitate that performance.

$7,500 give you literally a THOUSAND dollars per driver, and $2,500 for crossover and box.....hmmmmmm....
There is significant markup in high end speakers. When you sit back and look at speakers, especially the high end, it’s pretty interesting. For example my Salon2 retails for $22k a pair (when I bought it). Compare that to a Honda Accord LX. Cabinet, 6 drivers and crossover(s) etc. vs all those parts that make up a car.
To say high end audio is overpriced is an understatement. :)
 

pseudoid

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To say high end audio is overpriced is an understatement.
I dunno @Lsc; There is a lot of brain trust and novel engineering here at work.
You cannot commoditize such a speaker, as if it was (the literal) low-hanging fruit on some speaker tree.
 
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