Posted on Fri, 04 Aug, 2017
Posted by Bob


The Remarkable KEF Blade loudspeakers build on 50 years of KEF know-how to produce a loudspeaker of exceptionally modern design and performance.

KEF – one of the true legends of Hi-Fi; synonymous with designing and producing some of the world’s greatest loudspeakers. KEF Blade is the product of fusing KEF’s five decades of loudspeaker prowess with cutting edge design and a ‘no compromise’ attitude.

Let’s explore what makes these visually and acoustically arresting speakers so special….

 

Kef Blade Promo

 

A cutting edge concept

In 2009, KEF revealed their ‘Concept Blade’ project at the Munich High-End Show; with the  KEF Blade, KEF’s engineers were given free reign to create the best speaker they could, with no design or cost restrictions.

Fusing a remarkably modern aesthetic with the very finest design elements, KEF Blade looked and sounded like no other loudspeaker. So favourable was the initial reaction that KEF then dedicated a further two years refining the concept into a flagship, audiophile loudspeaker.

The result is a loudspeaker which claims to be the world’s first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker, giving the impression that the sound appears to emanate from a single, coherent source.

KEF Blade – Technology and Design

KEF’s desire to produce a Single Apparent Source loudspeaker relies on a number of key loudspeaker technologies and design principles; chief of which being the design and integration of the loudspeaker drivers with their enclosure.

KEF’s famous Uni-Q HF/MF array forms the core of the KEF Blade and is essentially the same driver used in KEF’s acclaimed LS50 loudspeaker. As we’ve become accustomed to, the integration of a high-performance HF unit with the MF unit produces a loudspeaker driver of remarkable transparency and phase coherence.

One of the key design features of the KEF Blade is the way in which KEF have integrated the Uni-Q driver with an array of bass drivers. Four sophisticated bass drivers are configured so that when combined with the Uni-Q driver their acoustic centre occupies exactly the same point in space.

KEF Blade Single Apparent Source

 

Housing these high-performance drivers is the Kef Blade enclosure (to call it a cabinet seems somewhat too olde worlde for such a futuristic design), which mounts the twinned pairs of bass drivers in discrete chambers which are separated by an internal partition.

KEF state that the reasoning behind this is: “[to increase] the frequency of any internal standing waves to way beyond the crossover point… [reducing] the need for damping material“.

Additionally, KEF mounts the Low-frequency drivers rigidly in a back to back configuration; this assists in cancelling out unwanted kinetic energy, and in turn eliminates unwanted cabinet resonances.

KEF have gone to great lengths in minimising cabinet colouration, which contributes towards the KEF Blade & Blade Two’s natural-sounding performance.

 

KEF Blade Cabinet Construction

 

 

Those remarkable enclosures are offered in a range of beautiful standard finishes, including the eye catching Foundry Editions. ‘Given Time’ say KEF, they can create custom order KEF Blade loudspeakers in any finish the customer desires; as demonstrated at our event with Lamborghini Birmingham, where matching KEF Blade speakers were displayed alongside a Lamborgini Huracan.

 

Kef Blade Huracan

 

KEF Blade 2 – More compact but just as remarkable

If there could be a flaw levelled against the KEF Blade, it could be that at 1.6m tall, they require a room erring on the side of substantial. Recognising this, KEF introduced a more compact partner for the KEF Blade, the KEF Blade 2.

All the key design features of the Blade remain as before, but with 6.5″ bass drivers replacing the 9″ drivers of the Blade. This has the resulting ‘knock on effect’ of reducing the enclosure dimensions to a more manageable 1.4m in height. Better yet, the specifications are very similar to that of the ‘full-size’ blade, offering high sensitivity (90db+) and remarkable bandwidth.