KEF Brings Concept Speaker To Market

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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, KEF explained.

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 composite.

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


at $198,000/pair.

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.


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