The KEF BLADE Floorstanding Speaker is the top model in the range with four 225mm/9in. bass drivers and a Uni-Q MF/HF array in a 1590mm/62.5in. high cabinet. BLADE is the world’s first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker and the production version of the cost no object Concept Blade project KEF revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009.
KEF BLADE FLOORSTANDING SPEAKER FEATURES
- The BLADE’s singular HF/MF Uni-Q driver array works in tandem with its four side-mounted bass driver, effectively creating a single, flawlessly coherent unit.
- To avoid bass frequency dissipation, the LF drivers are mounted back-to-back. This configuration cancels out any unwanted frequencies or coloration, and partly accounts for the BLADE’s engagingly musical performance.
- Two pairs of the finest audiophile quality WBT connectors allow for bi-wiring, or bi-amping, so you can properly harness every single detail of the music you’re listening to.
- The simple low order crossovers employ the best components available, carefully selected by their engineers so that every part of the signal path is fine-tuned for maximum clarity.
- All crossover components are individually wired by hand, rather than mounted on a conventional printed circuit board. This optimizes both reliability and sound quality by assuring the cleanest possible signal transmission.
KEF BLADE FLOORSTANDING SPEAKER SPECIFICATIONS
- Design: Three-way bass reflex, single apparent source driver configuration
- Dimensions: 1590 x 363 x 540 mm (with plinth H x W x D)
- Weight: 57.2 kg
- Drive Units:
Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP hybrid cone
HF: 25mm (1in.) Al dome
LF: 4 x 225mm (9in.) with force cancelling
- Frequency Range: 28Hz – 45kHz (-6dB) free field
20Hz (-6dB) typical in room bass response
- Frequency Response: 40Hz – 35kHz ±3dB (-6dB at 28Hz)
- Crossover Frequencies: 350Hz, 2.3kHz
- Amplifier Requirements: 50 – 400 W
- Sensitivity: 91dB (2.83V/1m)
- Harmonic Distortion:
2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
- Impedance: 4 Ohms (min.3.2 Ohms)
- Maximum Output: 117dB (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise)
KEF BLADE FLOORSTANDING SPEAKER
The KEF BLADE is a state-of-the-art floorstanding speaker whose sleek and curvaceous cabinets are individually handmade in the UK for each and every customer.
The BLADE features KEF‘s bespoke Uni Q Driver Array, which combines the high and mid-range frequency drivers into one, and four 9” low frequency drivers, two on each side. By mounting the bass drivers back-to-back, and combined with the speaker’s acoustically inert cabinet, the BLADE’s elegant performance is like standing mere feet from your favorite artist performing right in front of you.
AN IMMACULATE SOUNDSTAGE
The KEF BLADE uses its patented Uni-Q Driver array and four 9 inch force-cancelling bass drivers mounted equidistant from its loudspeaker. This allows the entirety of the BLADE to project a three-dimensional soundstage that’s not only believable, but breathtaking.
Simply put, you’ll feel as if there’s a live performance happening in your listening room. The sound doesn’t seem to be emanating from the BLADE but from a remarkably wide soundstage.
Designing an acoustically efficient enclosure for a sizable speaker without looking bulky was no easy task. Their KEF engineers initially worked with Eric Chan of the New York-based ECCO Design to design a cabinet that was as functional as it is artistically gorgeous, and even drew inspiration from Brancusi’s seminal Modernist masterpiece ‘Bird in Space’.
The resulting, form was dictated mainly by acoustic considerations, with sleek aesthetics planned around what would sound best. The gentle radius of the front face presents sound with no discontinuity, and the cabinets are constructed from a glass-reinforced composite that lend themselves to forming curves that eliminate any internal standing waves.
Despite its immense low-end power, the KEF BLADE is designed to project all its low frequencies without distorting the sound. Thanks to having its low frequency drivers mounted close together, the disruptive kinetic forces involved in producing such deep bass are effectively cancelled out. This configuration produces a natural-sounding and engaging performance.
SINGLE APPARENT SOURCE SOUND
Like listening to one voice rather than many, sound from a single source is inherently clearer. Not only are the acoustic centers of the high-frequency and mid-frequency drivers in the BLADE Uni-Q array one in the same, but its four low-frequency drivers are mounted equidistant from it so their acoustic centers occupy exactly the same point in space.
CRYSTAL-CLEAR BASS RESPONSE
The BLADE’s twin pairs of bass drivers are mounted in discrete chambers, separated by an internal partition. By increasing the frequency of any possible internal standing waves generated by the speakers to way beyond the crossover point, they reduced the need for damping material, which can otherwise impair bass quality. The result is a detailed bass response that comes across as clear as daylight.
Two pairs of the finest audiophile-quality connectors allow bi-wiring/bi-amping to optimize the retrieval of low-level detail in the music. On top of that, their low order crossovers specified for the BLADE employ the best components available and are carefully selected by a rigorous auditioning process so that every part of the signal path is fine-tuned for maximum clarity. Not to mention the BLADE is completely hand-wired to optimize reliability and clean, clear sound quality.