Kef Reference 5 – The Reference Flagship
KEF Reference: a line of speakers which have become synonymous in Hi-Fi and Audiophile circles with superb engineering, build standards and an exceptional quality of audio presentation. For over 45 years, KEF Reference has always stood for loudspeakers which offer something very special indeed.
KEF’s Reference 5 represent the flagship of the KEF loudspeaker range, and the culmination of almost half a century of refinements and evolutions within the prestigious KEF Reference range of loudspeakers.
A striking, modernist monolith, the KEF Reference 5 combines both design elegance in its aesthetics, with engineering excellence in its technical construction. Picking up a string of ‘5 star’ and ‘outstanding’ reviews from magazines such as Hi-Fi News and Hi-FI World, you’re assured of truly world-class performance.
These advancements result in a loudspeaker with outstanding technical specifications: uniformly flat (+ or – 3db) from 40Hz to 35kHz with a 90db sensitivity figure, these are speakers which are unlikely to disappoint with any program material.
The KEF Reference 5 is fundamentally a 3-way, bass reflex enclosure; the implementation of which, however, is a long way from a conventional triple driver layout. Four 6.5″ low-frequency drivers are employed along with KEF’s signature ‘Uni-Q’ driver.
The latest version of the Reference Uni-Q driver utilises a state-of-the-art 1″ vented aluminium dome tweeter placed at the centre of a 5″ midrange driver creating a single point source unit. This ensures outstanding phase coherence and time alignment in the critical mid and high-frequency bands.
The clean, transparent Uni-Q driver is complimented by the alloy cone, low-frequency drivers which have been designed to provide “Clean, rich and articulate bass”. The KEF Reference 5 LF drivers use a massive vented magnet assembly with large aluminium wire voice coil; those fond of powerful, dynamic bass, will not be disappointed!
Every high-grade component in the KEF Reference 5 crossover was extensively auditioned, individually and together, to select those with the lowest distortion and the smoothest response. As with all models in the Reference Series, the crossovers are mounted separately and decoupled from the cabinet walls to minimise vibration and crosstalk.
More than Just Boxes – Exceptional Cabinet Design
The KEF Reference 5 cabinets, utilise a number of design principles and engineering solutions, to deliver an enclosure which is both perfectly tuned and free from resonances and unwanted mechanical artefacts.
The loudspeakers are mounted to a stylish, yet functional front baffle assembly; its design is as much function as form, however. The front of the aluminium/composite baffle is designed to eliminate refraction whilst the rigid mounting of the composite baffle with high-loss pads and high-tensile bolts adds rigidity and damps unwanted resonances.
Reference 5 cabinets are hand finished in a range of beautifully matched veneers; computer-optimised cabinet design and internal bracing, minimise standing wave distortion.
Exceptionally Beautiful Cabinetry and Design
As is befitting of a flagship product, the cabinetry and design of the KEF Reference 5 are truly world-class. Three standard finishes are offered on the KEF Reference 5: high gloss piano black, satin American walnut veneer, and warm and beautiful luxury gloss rosewood.
The cabinets themselves sit on a remarkable plinth and spike set, with a spirit level built into the plinth; the spikes themselves, easily adjusted by neatly concealed screws. The bespoke stands have a discreet cable management channel to keep the cabling neatly out of sight.
For those looking for a finish altogether more eye-catching and unique, KEF offers the Foundry Edition. Named in honour of KEF’s origins (Kent Engineering & Foundry), the KEF Reference 5 Foundry Edition, offers two special edition finishes of the KEF Reference 5.
Striking, Blue & Ice White (the blue in reference to KEF’s original logo) or Copper and Black aluminium finishes are both attention grabbing and unique.