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KEF Spins Thin Series, Updates Q Series

9/23/2010 09:00:00 AM Eastern
ATLANTA — KEF’s thinnest-ever speakers with a depth of only 1.38 inches will join the company’s eighth-generation of Q series in-room speakers at the CEDIA Expo.

Both series incorporate technology developed from the company’s Concept Blade floorstanding speaker, whose entire frequency range is said to radiate from one point in space to produce “an astonishingly convincing sound field,” the company has said.

The thin T-series speakers, said to offer “serious audiophile quality” despite being among the world’s thinnest speakers, consist of a small two-way satellite at $499/pair, a large two-way satellite at $699/pair, the matching centerchannel versions of both satellites at $249 and $349 each, and a powered sub, which won’t be sold separately. The subwoofer will be sold as part of three 5.1-channel systems that use the T-series speakers at suggested retails of $1,499, $1,799 and $1,999. The series ships Sept. 25.

The Q series of nine speakers shipped Sept. 15 with LR, center-channel and dipole surround models priced from $399 to $799 each. A powered sub is $649.

The T series features a new ultra-low profile bass/midrange driver and a new large, fully vented tweeter. To reduce depth, the woofer uses a flat-but-rigid diaphragm, and its suspension and magnet system moves to the side of the voice coil. The design yields the performance of a conventional 2.95-inch-deep 4-inch cone driver in a 1.06-inch-deep driver, the company contended. The new 1-inch tweeter, developed from Concept Blade development, is vented to deliver clearer midrange.

“Unlike any other flat-panel speaker on the market, the T series — with a low driver-build height equal to most ultrathin flat-panel TVs — strikes the perfect balance of form and function to complement any surrounding décor and audio demand,” said KEF America president Alec Chanin.

The T-series models include the $499/pair small T101 satellite and matching $249-each T101c center channel. They feature 1-inch vented tweeter and 4-inch flatdiaphragm woofer in a closed-box chassis featuring permanent grille and aluminum side trim. The larger T-series satellite, the $699/pair T301, delivers higher output via a 1-inch vented tweeter and two 4-inch woofers. The centerchannel version is the $349-each T301c. The T-2 subwoofer also features a slim profile for placement next to a wall. It has a 10-inch driver and closed-box design.

In the new Q series, KEF offers three 2.5-way floorstanding speakers, two two-way bookshelf speakers, two threeway center channels, a two-way dipole surround and a powered sub. The speakers use a Uni-Q coincident-driver design derived from the Concept Blade speaker, adopting a larger 1-inch vented metal-dome tweeter mounted in the acoustic center of a new metal-cone low/mid-frequency driver. The Q speakers are available in black oak, English cherry and European walnut.

The three floorstanding speakers are priced at a suggested $799, $699 and $499 each. The top model, the Q900, features Uni-Q driver array with 1-inch tweeter and 8–inch low/mid-frequency driver, a separate 8-inch lowfrequency driver and two 8-inch ABRs.

The $699-each Q700 features 6.5-inch UniQ array, a 6.5-inch low-frequency driver and two 6.5-inch ABRs. And the Q500 has a 6.5-inch UniQ array, 5.25-inch lowfrequency driver and two 5.25-inch ABRs.

The two bookshelf speakers are priced at $499/pair and $599/pair. The three-way center channels, each with an ABR, are priced at $399 and $599 each. The $699/pair Q800ds two-way dipole speaker features two 5.25-inch UniQ driver arrays. And the $649-each Q400b powered sub features 10-inch long-throw woofer in a closed box with 200-watt Class-D amplifier.
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