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KEF Blade

Only the finest dealers are approved to offer this product. Your purchasing experience should be worthy of a loudspeaker such as this, and should come with matching levels of service and support. Therefore upon inquiry or purchase of KEF Blade through KEF Direct, a KEF concierge will contact you to facilitate product shipment and delivery via a KEF Blade Authorized Dealer local to you.

KEF Blade is the production version of the famous Concept Blade project KEF revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009. Refined using ingenious new materials to replicate the shattering performance of the original, KEF Blade is a unique synthesis of cutting edge audio technology and groundbreaking design.



Priced as MATCHED PAIRS.


 

Availability: In stock

$31,999.99

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The inspiration was simple: to give some of the world's most talented audio engineers complete freedom to create a speaker to showcase KEF's technology leadership and powers of innovation. No preconceptions. No need to use existing components. And no design or cost restrictions whatsoever. After three years of original research and exhaustive testing, what our team came up with looked and sounded like no other speaker: Concept Blade, whose startling acoustic precision was so enthusiastically acclaimed when it was first revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009.

But unlike glamorously radical concept cars that never see production, we decided it was simply too good not to take a step further. Encouraged by all the reviews, and to mark KEF's 50th anniversary, the design team was given the go-ahead to develop this stunning concept for production, and two more years were spent painstakingly refining the concept to produce an edition that serious audiophiles could actually own.

We devised ingenious applications of different new materials to replicate the shattering performance of the original, using innovative technologies to deliver the acoustic capabilities required of such a super-premium product. We perfected a method of manufacturing the complex parabolic enclosures. The drivers gained sophisticated enhancements to recapture the magic of listening to the one-off prototype. What was previously thought impossible was set to become a reality. The result is KEF Blade - a unique synthesis of cutting edge audio technology and groundbreaking design. While the technologies involved are very advanced, the original focus on simplicity remains every single component operates so comfortably within its performance envelope that they work together as a single, flawlessly coherent unit - in effect, a giant full range Uni-Q driver array.

Its a spectacularly lush, warm and expansive sound. Effortlessly accurate and as natural, intricate and emotionally authentic as a live performance. If you're passionate about music, we think you'll agree that the years of development that made the concept a reality were very well spent indeed.

Single Apparent Source
Like listening to one voice rather than many, sound from a single source is inherently clearer. Not only are the acoustic centers of the HF and MF drivers in the Blade & Blade Two Uni-Q array coincident, but the four LF drivers, (9in. for Blade, or 6.5in. for Blade Two) are mounted symmetrically equidistant from it so that their acoustic centers occupy exactly the same point in space.

Force Cancelling
To avoid dissipating the energy of such potent bass drivers in exciting the cabinet (and thereby generating resonance, especially at high volume), the large kinetic forces involved are cancelled out by mounting the LF drivers rigidly together, back-to-back. By minimizing cabinet coloration, this highly effective configuration partly accounts for the Blade & Blade Two’s natural-sounding and engagingly musical performance.

Discrete Bass Chambers
The twinned pairs of bass drivers are mounted in discrete chambers separated by an internal partition. By increasing the frequency of any internal standing waves to way beyond the crossover point, this reduces the need for damping material (which can otherwise impair bass quality). Nothing has been overlooked in the quest for the ultimate clarity, right across the frequency range.

Terminals & Terminal Links
Two pairs of the finest audiophile quality WBT connectors allow bi-wiring or bi-amping to optimize the retrieval of low level detail in the music.

Low Order Crossovers
The simple low order crossovers specified for both Blade & Blade Two employ the best components available, carefully selected by a rigorous auditioning process so that every part of the signal path is fine-tuned for maximum clarity.

Hard Wiring
The patented screw-in linking plugs are to full audiophile specification (as well as simplifying set-up by eliminating fiddly wiring links). All the crossover components are individually wired by hand rather than mounted on a conventional printed circuit board. As well as being more environment-friendly, this optimizes both reliability and sound quality by assuring the cleanest possible signal transmission.

Customer Reviews

A top candidate for the best loudspeaker ever made Review by DFWATT
Build Quality
Sound Quality
Would you recommend?
Ultimate loudspeakers are like supercars. Surrounded by hype, often times with massively inflated price tags, and a cult-like but always small following, given their punitive prices. In the rarefied air of candidates for best loudspeaker – and there are no doubt dozens of those, including some rather exotic off-brands where their principal basis for a claim to greatness is a mid five-figure to mid six-figure price tag, the KEF Blades are a veritable bargain at $32k.

Ever since I was a kid I've loved music, and since my late teen years, have craved loudspeakers that may at least make some legitimate claim towards being the best available transducer. And make no mistake about it, it's the signal chain transducers that make the biggest contribution the sound quality, including of course the quality of the microphones used by the studio, and the skill of the sound technicians in setting them up – a key variable over which even the most obsessive audiophile has no control. It's been long appreciated that phono cartridges and loudspeakers – as signal transducers changing a signal from electrical to acoustic/physical or from physical to electrical – make the most significant contribution to your sound system and the perceived qualities of its acoustics. In my teens I lusted after the Walsh A – a unique speaker that required 250W to play at a reasonable level and 260W to blow its voice coil. Fast forward to 50 years later and now semi-retired, I decided that after the briefest of auditions, the KEF Blades were on my bucket list, while the Ferrari, and a number of other pieces of wishful thinking were simply not happening.

A pair of these became available on Audiogon for a very reasonable money from a very responsible seller. They were local pickup only, and in some God-given bit of good luck, the seller was within an hour. They were not an easy speaker to move, as the boxes are almost 6 feet tall, and weigh about 150 pounds each loaded. But with my wife's considerable help I was able to move these massive columns into the house and set them up without a scratch . . . Except to the wood floors. Oh well.

They are simply the best speaker I've ever heard – creating a seamless and broad sound field, smoothly integrated, and with no emphasis to any part of the spectral balance or recorded acoustic. Highs are extended but not hyped, lows are all there, but again not any version of boomy, not hyped or exaggerated and the mid range is also spot on. You will invariably notice new musical nuances in your favorite musical conpositions that you've never heard before. The Blades are simply clean and neutral in a way you have to hear to appreciate, with superb transient response. Take a close look at the Stereophile review of their little brother, the Blade IIs – and JA’s measurements section (the best technical reviewer in the industry) shows about as flat a frequency response curve as you’ll find anywhere. Coming from a set of Reference 107s, the bass may not hit you in the face (or abdomen!) as much, but it extends just as deeply, down to 20-25 Hz without any trouble. And because of placement of the force-canceling pairs of 9 inch woofers well off the floor, there is not as much boundary reinforcement as many large speakers, although of course in anything except an absolutely huge listening hall, you're going to get some of that. The bass is just . . . well for lack of a better term . . . fully believable, authentic, and such that listening to other large speakers that you once thought had great bass leaves you subtlety dissatisfied once you’ve experienced the Blades.

If you can afford them, they are easily finalists for the best loudspeaker ever made, with KEF engineering frankly being more advanced than just about anyone’s, and resulting in a single apparent point source for sound, centered on the integrated tweeter-midrange driver. And if something costing this much can be considered a great value, they are shockingly less than some other ‘ultimate louspeakers’ while putting most of them to shame. Compared to the well reviewed other elite speakers over five figures, such as the big B&W 802s, the Revel Salon IIs, the Magico S5, the Vandersteen Model Seven Mk.II, or any of the Wilson Audio speakers, a few of these are less than the Blades, but many are more, and none have quite the seamless quality of the Blades. Audition one with some of your favorite material, but be prepared to be dissatisfied with what you are listening to currently.
(Posted on 12/7/2017)

Reviews

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You're reviewing: KEF Blade

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Model BLADE
Design Three-way bass reflex,
Single apparent source driver configuration
Drive Units Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP hybrid cone
HF: 25mm (1in.) Al dome
Bass units:
LF: 4 x 225mm (9in.) with force cancelling
Frequency range free field (-6dB) 28Hz - 45kHz
Frequency range typical in room bass response (-6dB) 20Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB) 40Hz - 35kHz ±3dB
(-6dB at 28Hz)
Crossover frequency 350Hz, 2.3kHz
Amplifier requirements 50 - 400W
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 91dB
Harmonic distortion 2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m) <0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
Maximum output (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise) 117dB
Impedance 4Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
Weight 57.2 kg (126 lbs)
Dimensions - with plinth (H x W x D) 1590 x 363 x 540 mm
62.5 x 14.3 x 21.2 in.
** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **

KEF Blade Introduction:


KEF Blade Bass Driver:


KEF Blade Uni-Q Driver:


KEF Blade Single apparent Source:


KEF Blade Design & Designers:

KEF Blade Review
 "Although not inexpensive, the price of a pair of KEF Blades just doesn’t seem that extravagant in the current high-end market. What you get for your money is without doubt one of the most beautiful loudspeakers available. But make no mistake. Looks aside, the Blades are all about engineering. Beware of being beguiled by their good looks lest you forget that what you are getting for all that cash: the most advanced state-of-the-art engineering you will find in a modern loudspeaker."
Year: 2017
Magazine / Issuing Body: Dagogo.com
Country: United States
Product: Blade
Visit Dagogo for the full review.
 
Hi-Fi News & Record Review ‘Outstanding Product’ Accolade
 “The huge soundstage populated by multiple guitars was as impressive as I’ve ever heard it."
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi News & Record Review
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade Two
 
Cutting-Edge Speaker Design: Blade Two
 "KEF’s Blade Two offers superb measured performance that is close to the state of the art"
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereophile Magazine
Country: United States
Product: Blade
Best Money-No-Object Speakers
 
Year: 2013
Magazine / Issuing Body: BT.com
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade Two
 • Visit the BT.com site for full review
"Goldenes Ohr 2012" 2. "Best floor standing Loudspeakers over 10.000 Euro"
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Audio
Country: Germany
Product: Blade
 
Best of the Best 2012: Audio
 "A triumph of form and function, the KEF Blade is a standout loudspeaker in its price class for its superb coherence and ability to reproduce complex audio at all frequency levels without distortion."
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Robb Report
Country: United States
Product: Blade
 • Download full review
Stereo Sound Grand Prix Award 2011
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereo Sound
Country: Japan
Product: Blade
 
Products of the Year 2011
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: HiFi Review
Country: Hong Kong
Product: Blade
 
Innovative Operating Practices Award
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: EEF Future Manufacturing Awards
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade
 
Winner of Winners Award
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: EEF Future Manufacturing Awards
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade
 
Products of the Year 2012 (Loudspeakers and Subwoofers)
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Electronic House
Country: United States
Product: Blade
 
Grand Prix
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereo Sound Magazine Winter 2011
Country: Japan
Product: Blade
 
 
Grand Prix and Silver Award among all categories
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Audio Accessory Winter 2011
Country: Japan
Product: Blade
 
 
AV Review
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Special Planning Award
Country: Japan
Product: Blade
 
 
1st Place - Over 2.5 Million Yen/PR
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereo
Country: Japan
Product: Blade
 
 
Best of the High End Award
 A great high-end product should combine breath-taking performance with technical innovation and ground breaking design. Out of all the loudspeakers we have tested over the last year, the KEF Blade best embodies these attributes.
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi Choice Awards 2011
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade
 
Resi Awards: Floorstanding Speaker
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Residential Systems
Country: United States
Product: Blade
 
5 Star Editor's Choice Award
 '…the bottom line is that this loudspeaker is a truly impressive technological achievement, stuffed with clever ideas that come together to deliver exceptional performance throughout the whole audio band.'
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi Choice
Country: United Kingdom
Product: Blade
 
 
EXC!TE Award
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Custom Retailer
Country: United States
Product: Blade
 
Référence Haute Fidélité
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: HAUTE FIDELITE
Country: France
Product: Blade
 
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