The following was excerpted from KEF, Fifty Years Of Innovation In Sound published in celebration of KEF’s 50th Anniversary in 2011.
KEF’s position as one of the respected brands in the audio industry is, to a large part, due to the drivers that it produced in the 1960s and 1970s. They were always regarded as amongst the best on the market, they used the latest materials, and they were manufactured in a controlled way to be consistent and reliable.
KEF drive units were utilized not only in the famous KEF systems of the time, but also in those made by a plethora of other manufacturers from around the world. Among the prestigious brands who used KEF drivers, in addition to every LS3/5A licensee, were Linn, IMF, Wilson Audio, ESS, Sonus Faber, Tangent, JR, Meridian, Proac, Mordaunt-Short, Monitor Audio, Ferrograph, Dalesford, Radford, Heathkit, and many, many others.
Malcolm Jones who worked at KEF on some of our earliest products including the K1 in the 1960s (leaving in 1974) recalls that KEF founder Raymond Cooke reconciled the wisdom of making money from selling the drive units for systems that KEF would have to compete with in the shops: “KEF’s name was well known from the point of trying to get something that was technically as good as we could get and was consistent. [Getting} another manufacturer to use the [drive] unit only, in fact, enhanced the name. Because if you find out that so-and-so was using KEF units, then ‘they must be good.’”
Our dedication to technical innovation and manufacturing consistency and quality is still at the heart of everything we do today.