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Thread: Putting KEF Reference 103.2 back into service - any restoration needed?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

    Default Putting KEF Reference 103.2 back into service - any restoration needed?

    For my daughter's upcoming move to her first proper apartment, her Grampa is giving her his old KEF Reference Series 103.2 stand-mount speakers. These were bought in the mid-80's, but haven't been used in about 20 years. So we're pulling them out of storage and putting them to good use again.

    Question: is there anything I should be looking at to be upgraded or restored? Any cross-over caps that will need replacing? Anything else that could otherwise be tweaked or modded on these?

    FYI, I'll be setting these up to be driven with a Sony ES series integrated amp, about 100 wpc, which I'm hoping will be a good match. If anyone cares to comment on this, and maybe recommend a better amp, I'd be open to hearing it. As far as I know, the speakers are not ported so probably not terribly efficient, so I'm guessing they'll need a bit of horsepower to drive them. He used a small Quad pre-/power amp combo with these, and I recall the sound being a bit, er, un-engaging, to put it politely.

    Looking forward to some feedback.

    Thanks,
    Svend

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Birmingham, U.K

    Posts: 351
    I'm Taz.

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    As with most Kef speakers from this era I would replace the woofer surrounds if need doing (some were rubber and should be ok) and the doughnuts (which would have perished), then get the X over looked at as it will need recapping. Any advice you need on the parts needed or matching I would contact Wilmslow audio.

    Do you have the Kef kube X over with your 103/2s?

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

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    Hi Taz,

    Thanks for the advice. I will take a close look at the drivers and see what condition they're in, and then take it to a tech to have the crossovers looked at. As for the KEF Kube, I'm not sure what that is(?). The speakers are still at Grampa's house, but they'll be visiting soon and I will get him to bring them along...I will know more shortly.

    Regards,
    Svend

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 1,784
    I'm Lawrence.

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    These don't need a kube, or have the doughnuts, that's the 103.3 and .4

    Sent from my BLN-L21 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

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    Good one -- thanks Lawrence. Appreciate the insight on this.

    Best,
    Svend

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,250
    I'm Paul.

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    I often clean and rejuvenate rubber parts, like speaker surrounds, by periodically cleaning them with a small amount of oil. Machine is usually good but regular cooking oil can also be used.
    ~Paul~

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,262
    I'm Geoff.

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    Maybe not a great idea. Oil can degrade rubber. That's why rubber car engine mounts fall apart when the engine is leaky. Silicone oil is possibly a safer bet, but even that may be iffy.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,250
    I'm Paul.

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    As rubber components age they become brittle due to drying out. You can often recover them by using oil. When I first got my Garrard 401 the idler wheel was cracked and brittle around the edges. I cleaned it up with some methylated spirit and left it in a bag of 3 in 1 on top of the hot water cylinder for a week. After a quick clean it looked pretty good and I am still using the same idler wheel several years later. Every year I clean and oil the 401 and give the idler wheel a light rub with cooking oil. its been fine.

    I do the same with my rubber platter mat and I've had that the same amount of time as the 401 too.

    Used engine oil is not particularly nice stuff and when combined with heat will tend to ruin most rubbers.
    ~Paul~

  9. #9
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Birmingham, U.K

    Posts: 351
    I'm Taz.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    These don't need a kube, or have the doughnuts, that's the 103.3 and .4

    Sent from my BLN-L21 using Tapatalk
    Hi Lawrence,

    Yes you're correct that these don't have the kube, I was been watching some 103/3s recently and mistook these as the same model.

    Lovely speakers by the way Svend and good luck with them.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

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    Thanks Taz - I'm looking forward to hearing them again. They've not been in service for about 20 years and I honestly can't recall much about their sound, other than they weren't a particularly good match for the little Quad amp they were paired with, at least in the large room they were used in. The amp my daughter will use is a 100W Sony ES integrated, which should have a fair bit more oomph to drive them. Just for kicks, I will hook them up to my Belles in my main system and see what they can do.

    As for rejuvenating the rubber surrounds, I think I have some glycerin goo that I bought from a pharmacy years ago, and used for an old vintage sports car to preserve the door seals. Would that be the right thing to use?

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