Naim + KEF =?

Agreed, nothing is for certain. But it is interesting to hear what the gen pop’s perseption is.

I was very tempted to try the PMC 25.21 in my recent demos to get new speakers. But alas the price was so much more not even including stands that I declined. One day perhaps.

I had Rega Elicit with KEF R300 I though it sounded great.

I am currently driving my 'ol Kef R107s with an NDS/SN2 combo, and they sound very good. The 107s have been fully refoamed, recapped, and re-ferrofluided (that’s a word now).
I’m just having the Kef Kube room equalizer that comes with them, rebuilt, so I’m sure they’ll sound even better.
Amazing Mids, very accurate and full Bass, and very nice HFs. I know that tweeter design has come a long way in the last 30 years, but the HFs are good enough that I’m very content.

The Naim gear makes them sound better than any other amplification I’ve had.

Dave

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Not overly familiar with the current range of KEFs but a Olive series Naim/KEF monkfish was always a delight. 92/90 driving entry level KEF floorstanders was just brilliant.

Whether KEF are your cup of tea or not is another matter, but in terms of compatibility they’ve traditionally been a good match.

I had KEF 107s driven with no problems by an early 250 and later a pair of 135s.

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I did have a very early CB 250 as an add-on to my Superuniti. It sounded great, but it would shut down when I pushed the volume. It just really needed a rebuild, but I moved it on and got the SN2 which seems to drive the 107s nicely.
I’m sure a 250DR would match great with them, but I’m one of those guys that likes to keep the box count down, so I’ll just add a HiCapDR at some point.

I do really like the 107s, in fact I’m having the Kube rebuilt now, and that will help the sound as well.
But, real 107 enthusiasts think they’re the best speaker ever … and they’re just not. They are very good, especially for their age, but manufacturing methods, materials, and design innovations have changed immensely over the last 30 years, so you can get a pretty good speaker for less than reference prices these days.
I don’t think I’ll ever part with them though.

Hi, @Thomas7string.

Generalizations may be of little use across so many years and so many products and niches, but my 1995 KEF Q-50s have never been much to look at, and were indeed aimed at the 5.1 trade. That said, I like the way they sound better in most rooms than my Naim Allaes; and they seem only to be “equalled“ by my B&W Nautilus 805s.

Pitted against my old beloved JBL Athena 99s, and some fun AR and Infinity speakers, the KEFs still stand in my 500 system, FWIW.

Nick

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Hi david1111. I think the 107s were great in their day. I bought the Mk1s as soon as they came out from Studio 99 in Swiss Cottage. A shop now long gone. They were a KEF, Linn, Naim dealer and I can remember one of the light fittings in the ceiling vibrating with the level of bass they could pump out! There was a conversion to Mk1.5 with new tweeters (maybe mid range as well) and a better built KUBE. This perked them up no end.
I lived with them for quite a while until a week before one Christmas one of the 135s stopped working. This was a major hassle so I sent back both 135s to Salisbury for a refurb. This did’nt fix things as one of the crossovers housed in the back of the pod had gone open circuit blowing one tweeter. KEF no longer could supply replacement tweeters so I found a specialist in the Midlands who could fit alternative replacements. Still not fixed so off to Maidstone for two new crossovers which were still available. They are quite a big bit of kit in the flesh.
So at last, and we are now into early February, all was OK but on switch on I was not really that happy. Things got a bit better but I could see the love for them was on the wain. Swiss Cottage had ceased trading and as I live in SW London it made sense to hang up my hat with them. But I then heard B & W 802s in an earlier form and that was for me. but the dealer was not into KEF and would’nt do a P/X. Politics does play a part in hi-fi.
However, a friend was having a hi-fi room built at the bottom of his garden, lucky man, and I did a deal with him so I could buy the B & Ws.
I am now on my 3rd pair of 802s, the current model, and yes they do get better. One of the main things with all things audio is resonance and if that’s controlled it makes for a better product.
The thing we do for the enjoyment of music!

Hi Douglas,
I know of two or three other Kef owners who have gone through the same type of thing with their 107s as you have. It may have been just a matter of how that pair of tweeters or crossovers were assembled, or the suppliers parts that were used that day.

I’ve been very lucky regarding that. But also, I only bought mine about five years back, from a guy that had been dead for 7 years. (Come to think of it, he didn’t talk much during the deal).
He played classical only, and not at all loud, so they had been kind of babied. The surrounds we’re still intact, but they blew out as soon as I used them.

But I am also fortunate to have a local speaker shop where the guy is very good at what he does, and is amazingly knowledgeable about all speakers. So I’ve had them in to him three or four times, and he’s done a great job of getting them back to their former glory. And like I say he’s rebuilding the cube now with Burr-Brown and other high end parts.

I’ll have to try to have a listen to some B&W 802s. If you like them that much they must be pretty good.
The 805s seem to get the most press, and people seem to either love them or hate them. Apparently they’re very accurate, and are used in a lot of sound studios.

So other than just being old, I haven’t had any real problems with mine. And they do seem to reproduce all the frequencies very well, and the mids and highs are very pleasant. I’m looking forward to getting the cube back, because the bass sucks without it. Mine are also the MK1s, with just the one pair of speaker cable terminals.
And yes, funny ol’ hobby, eh?
Cheers.

Dave

Thanks, Nick

I will try to audition a few before I decide on anything.

-T

The earlier series of B & W 802s coupled with a pre 500 rebuild to DR spec could drive the room sometimes. The room interface can be the hardest bit to get right. I like bass but as soon at it starts to boom that’s it for me.
The 500DR, more grip, and the current 802D3 can sometimes be a bit bass light. Are we never satisfied? I have stopped listening for what goes wrong and just enjoy the music, so it must be right for me.
Enjoy.

I can’t stand booming bass either. That’s one of the best things about the R107 SQ. With the Kube connected, the Bass is solid and tight, but very controlled. Right now while the Kube is in the shop, I can’t even listen to PFs The Wall. It just booms and Hums in so many places.

That’s also one of the reasons that I don’t start looking for replacements. I’m concerned that the bass won’t be right. Like you said, too much or too little.

At least with the 107s I can dial the bass back to suit the room, and then use a sub for tailoring the bass to the music that’s playing. I despise having to go over to the Sub and adjust it, because it always sounds so different back where I’m sitting.

So, I bought two Velodyne SMS-1’s, which is a full LF room correction unit. It maps out the room properly for LF, and provides a remote with sound level control and 6 preset levels which adjusts the frequency level at the same time. So, a single button push to go from Classical to Rock to Jazz.

I actually have two of them, but I don’t know if I need the second one yet. Each unit will control 3 Subs.
So anyway, that’s the simplest method I’ve been able to find to control the bass in a room. And I agree with you completely, I want to set it up and just listen, knowing it’s as good as it can be in my situation, and only ever adjusting volume and Sub preset to go with the current music playing.
I don’t enjoy fiddling with things, which is why I currently don’t have a vinyl setup. I may in the future though.
Cheers.

Dave

Yes, the 107s without the KUBE are a different animal. Its an essential part of the L/S system.

I have a sn3 and A Cambridge Audio CXN v2 (bought for my A&R Cambridge A60) and KEF R11’s.

I auditioned various speakers in this price bracket but settled on the R11’s. The speakers are nice and neutral and I can listen to them at a good volume for hours. I like the richness of sound, but I don’t like anything too bright so B&W’s, although exciting didn’t make it to the finish line as my ears started to hurt!

I know it’s not relevant but they look amazing!

I used a pair of KEF Q35.2’s for many years with my Naim Nait 3 and thought they sounded great. When one of them packed up I (of course) used it as an excuse to upgrade, but probably wouldn’t have changed them otherwise.

Just a money saving tip…its valid in the UK, dont know about Norway.

I have a pair of Kef Refernce 5, b grade…the reason its grade b is purely cosmetic…mine is in the stands, one of the levelling bubbles doesnt work so its back to spirit levels…
Anyway retail here they are £16k…I got mine for £8…the reference 1 is a similar bargain…

My system for the ref5 has a uniticore in it so it naim sort of…just reinvested in a ndx2, xps dr and a nap250dr with my townshend allegri plus for my cycle trainer loft…small pair of pmcs…

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