Incredible performance even for 3 times the price .. Phenomenal value!!!!
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
I worked my way through undergraduate school in Electrical Engineering at an audio salon in New York and while there had the opportunity to puchase a pair of these incredible speakers at half price through the dealer promotional program.
I paired my 104/2's with a Threshold Stasis amplifier, a Conrad Johnson pre-amp and a Kinergetics Audio disk player, the soundstage was simply magnificent. I could play the 1812 Overture Telarc recording at very high volumes with astounding clarity and without any booming/bottoming out of the bass drivers. The 1812 Overture is the real acid test for accuracy in low end frequency reproduction in my humble opinion.
I have heard the Theil speakers, the B&W 801's, the Magnepan's, Martin Logans and all the rest and nothing competes with a set of 104/2s when it comes to soundstage, imaging and spacial reproduction. There is a reason the President & Founder of KEF Raymond Cooke selected the 104/2 to be part of the Raymond Cooke Series, they simply outperform all the rest even today.
I whole heartedly agree with the review at EnjoyTheMusic.com which has the 104/2 as the winner of their Decade Award for Loudspeakers in their 2005 ratings (nearly 10 years after the speakers were introduced there was still little that competed with them at 3 times their price).
The reviewer writes:
Back in the 1980's KEF was a wonderfully British company making their own drivers with a top-notch team. While their top range model was the 107 that produced deeper bass (down to 20Hz), after careful auditioning the 104/2 was the obvious winner. KEF's 104 model saw various versions and the 104/2 was the final result of the product's evolution. This relatively high sensitivity loudspeaker, at 92dB/W/m at 4 ohms, produced frequencies from 55Hz to 20kHz (+-2dB) with five drivers. The tweeter is KEF's T33 25mm (1") silk dome with slight horn loading. It was flanked above and below by the B110 100mm (5") doped Bextrene midrange cone in a D'Appolito technique. Bass was produced by a pair of coupled cavity B200 200mm (8") paper cone drivers with their center magnets connected by a metal pole.
The midrange/tweeter/tweeter panel (weighting about 25 lbs) is completely removable from the woofer cabinet (at nearly 45 lbs) and both loudspeaker cabinets are very rigid. Each midrange is enclosed in its own sealed section to reduce any interaction while the tweeter is press fit to the cabinet via a rear screw. The internal woofers' output exits via a flanged port the same size as the midrange units. And thus the brilliance! The tricks up the 104/2; proverbial sleeve is that the sound wave of the midrange and the bass drivers is the same size, plus add in the point source-like output from the midrange/tweeter/midrange D'Appolito configuration. On the rear of the cabinet is a pair of binding posts for the upper frequencies and another pair for the woofers so you could bi-wire/bi-amplify.
As for sound, the highs are smooth and midrange is very well presented. Bass down to about 50Hz is excellent and tuneful. Do not use the KEF Kube, an external box said to enhance bass down to lower frequencies, as this clouds the sound. If you need lots of bass below 50Hz get a separate subwoofer. The soundscape thrown by my pair of 104/2 is remarkable! When present, not only is the sound totally enveloping, but you get height information too.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.