Marlboro, N.J. – A concept speaker unveiled by
KEF in 2009 as a technology statement is no longer just a concept.
The company plans July or August shipments of the $29,999/pair KEF Blade, which uses a variety of technologies and design
elements – collectively called Single Apparent Source technology – to ensure
that the entire audible frequency range radiates from a single point, the
company said. The result is a soundfield that is “virtually indistinguishable
from a live performance,” the company contends.
KEF Blade, which incorporates many
of the core aspects of the Concept Blade technology statement, is the first
product that KEF has unveiled to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
The elements of Single Apparent
Source technology include a front-firing coincident-driver array that places a
dome tweeter concentrically within the midrange so they both have the same
acoustic center, thus reducing distortion and widening the soundfield. In
addition, two side-firing woofers on each side of the cabinet are arranged so
their combined acoustic center coincides with the acoustic center of the
front-firing tweeter/midrange array.
On top of that, the woofers on one
side are mounted back-to-back with companion woofers on the other side in a
force-canceling configuration to extend bass response and reduce distortion,
even at high volumes, the company said. The configuration lets the forces of
each cone cancel each other out, preventing the cabinet from vibrating and
muddying the bass despite the cones’ long excursion and high power handling,
The cabinet itself was designed not
to interfere with the drivers’ output, the company continued. The curved
cabinet uses a polished glass-reinforced composite cabinet that delivers
lightness and rigidity. The cabinet’s parabolic curvature also increases
cabinet strength so that sound is generated only from the movement of the
drivers and not from the vibration of the cabinet, KEF said.
In one change from the concept
speakers, KEF switched from a cabinet made of a carbon-fiber/balsa-wood
The KEF Blade is “the perfect
representation of 50 years of engineering excellence and innovation,” said KEF
America president Alec Chanin.
Despite its price tag, the KEF Blade
is not the company’s highest priced speaker. That’s the KEF
KEF Blade is available in Gloss
White and Gloss Black but will also be available in such custom colors as
Garnet, Sapphire, Grigio, Racing Red, Racing Blue, Pale Gold, Orange Sorbet,
Graphite, Stardust, Lemon Sorbet, Lime Sorbet and Snow White.