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Thread: KEF 107- an upgrade still worthy of attention in 2018?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 76
    I'm Rohan.

    Default KEF 107- an upgrade still worthy of attention in 2018?

    How to expain myself here...hmm.

    The first proper pair of good quality speakers that I bought were KEF 105s more than 2 years ago.

    I've heard a lot of speakers since then, mostly older, but also including more modern wide range ribbons, and the very rare Podium 1 quasi-NXT panels.

    These modern efforts have given things like more microscopic detail, speed (particularly the lightning-fast and at times awe-inspiring Podiums) and perhaps ultimately greater resolution.

    Last night I had friends over who, though not audiophiles, have an appreciation for different speaker choices and music reproduction. The old KEFs were remarked upon by my mate as a personal favourite and so to please her, I wheeled them out of the corner of the room where they have been for the last few months and fired them up. And, even from cold....music poured forth. To my surprise, these old warhorses showed that when it comes to playing music, they still have it in spades. There is just something ultimately satisfying about how they reproduce music, as if they may not be at the cutting edge in any one area, but deliver a hell of a satisfying musical experience. Scale, imaging, tone portrayal- it's all there. And they are so bloody versatile with the steerable/tiltable heads and rollers.

    I know people talk about the huge midrange colouration from the Bextrene drivers, but it sounds like music to me. Which is all that matters.

    I had thought in all honesty that I was "done" with older speakers, but last night's experience has really made me reconsider. I've still got them on this morning, playing a modern recording and the love is still definitely there. I'm still feeling surprised.

    I sometimes get the impression that KEF stuff isn't very "trendy" in hifi circles, you can still get a pair of 105s for 3/4/500 quid which I feel is excellent value, cheap in fact.

    So at last after that 105 musing, the actual topic star, the KEF 107.

    I've always wondered about a pair of 107s. Same steerable head design, a truly full-range presentation, no more Bextrene, am I going to get something similar but just a bit more of everything I like already? Also, they seem like an easier amp load than the 105 with the conjugate load matching and higher sensitivity. On the downside I have read that the T33 tweeter isn't exactly the star it should be....and the whole Kube thing bothers me a little. Can't that be reproduced/replaced with clever use of parametric eq these days from plug-ins or other software?

    I have to admit I am a total sucker for the visual design of the "Dalek" KEFs, that admittedly is a factor.

    Any thoughts on this? Especially if anyone out there had owned or heard both.

    Or am I just being dumb and need to get into the modern world? 😂Are there modern offerings that sit in this sonic ballpark that others think I would enjoy? Please don't mention Harbeth- I'm sure they are wonderful but I couldn't live with those looks, not for the cost anyway!

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2014

    Location: Huntingdonshire

    Posts: 1,413
    I'm Andrew.


    Both gorgeous speakers and I think you undervalue the 105.
    I have recently been lamenting the fact that so many seem to be bypassing the second hand market and buying new. Especially if budget is less than a monkey. There are some absolute steals to be had.
    I can't comment on the SQ of either 105 or 107 but given the price of the latter I'd stick with the former unless that 6.5k is readily available.

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 76
    I'm Rohan.


    By 6.5k I take it you mean those Raymond Cooke signature models (read as normal ones with an anniversary plinth) that have been on Ebay for millennia and will never sell! Were they representative of price I would agree, but you can pick up a pair of 107 for more like 750 to 1k normally.

    I value the 105s greatly, its the rest of the world that doesn't! 😀

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2014

    Location: Huntingdonshire

    Posts: 1,413
    I'm Andrew.


    My mistake and in that case I would take the plunge. If you don't like them you can shift them on and you've still got the 105 option.
    The rest of the world and it's opinions are to be taken with a liberal pinch of salt. After all your ears are your ears. Folk say my speakers have some "well known" issue with their tweeters but I've not noticed anything untoward.
    What you've got there is a well made pair of speakers from an era when manufacturers went the extra mile.
    Keep and enjoy them for years to come.
    Last edited by agk; 11-01-2018 at 14:51. Reason: Auto correct.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 76
    I'm Rohan.


    No-one have any experience of these? I left this quite a while before bumping it....

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

    Posts: 1,700
    I'm Adrian.


    I had the 107 reference - and have regretted selling them ever since. Not the most transparent - but a joy to listen. No other comes close in the bass, true. 18hz. Ditch the cube.
    Technics SP10 mk2
    Jan Allaerts MC 1 Boron mk1 cart
    Miyajima Shilabe cart
    Hashimoto HM-X SUT
    Siggwan (gimballed not unipivot) Cocobola 12"
    Aurorasound Vida LCR Phonostage
    The Truth linestage
    Dave Slagle Autoformer Volume Controller
    Cary 805c SET amps
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    Cardas Golden Presence interconnects

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jun 2010

    Location: Liverpool

    Posts: 783
    I'm Geoff.


    Vintage Kef reference speakers are superb and crazily good value in the used market.
    Main system: Sony TTS8000; SME IV; Audio Technica Art1; The Lentek integrated amplifier; SBT; Technics sh-x1000 DAC; Yamaha NS1000M.
    System 2 - SBT; Kinshaw Perception DAC; Denon PMA850 integrated; Kef Reference 103.
    System 3 - Taken over by my son! Chromecast; Beresford Caiman II; Klark Teknik Jade 1 active studio monitors.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jun 2008

    Posts: 6


    Hahaha... omg... OF COURSE you should go with 107s... not to say 105.2 are bad in any respect (haven't heard them but see a lot paired with $$$McIntoshs where I live)...
    Suffice to say I Have a pair and the guy who I bought them from wouldn't pair with them until he found something better...Tannoy Kensington Sig. And his music server alone costs 10k, not to mention rest of the stuff...So you can see where I'm going with this...
    T33 being the said weak spot of 107s he did the unimaginable upgrade but justified and brave in every regard...swapped them for.custom RAAL ribbon which is like 5x better and removes what is known as limitations of this speaker in regards to how much detail can it render...now it's limitless... a cap upgrade from mundorf to Jupiter in my dac was crazy and well heard. Note that I already met maximum criteria to suit this speaker in terms of resolution so with ordinary 107s this wouldn't be heard as much.
    My system
    AYA dac tda1541 with proper tube out
    Mark Levinson 27.5
    Preamps vary

    So my conclusion is go with them, there is something in those KEFs that appeal to non audiophile public ...which is opinion I value the most as they hear emotion and don't concentrate on stupidities like we do lol.
    Mine are recapped with solens and rewired with kimber...KUBE is not used as suggested by previous owner due to veiling upper frequencies...So they are heritage for next generation.
    Behold the Borg !Kef 2.jpg

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by STIFA; 08-04-2018 at 03:17.

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 76
    I'm Rohan.


    This was ages ago, and i neglected to reply.

    The consensus always seems to be "don't touch these old speakers in any way, because if you do, you'll ruin them!"

    Yet, every time people mention their modified versions, they seem extremely happy.
    And as with your example, it's the higher frequencies that benefit most from modern replacement.

    A 107 with a Raal ribbon sounds amazing in theory. If only I could hear it.

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