Question Anyone here heard the Kef Reference 1?

SallyB

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
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I will of course be auditioning these in due course, but wondered if anyone had direct experience of these or might suggest alternatives in a small 4m x 4m room with a Hegel 190 amp (subject to possible later upgrade). Kefs look a little too large but understand they have port bung arrangement that enable them to go closer to the wall and that they can sound good at lower volumes. Am in UK.

First proper post so really grateful for any replies at all!😀 Thanks
 
I will of course be auditioning these in due course, but wondered if anyone had direct experience of these or might suggest alternatives in a small 4m x 4m room with a Hegel 190 amp (subject to possible later upgrade). Kefs look a little too large but understand they have port bung arrangement that enable them to go closer to the wall and that they can sound good at lower volumes. Am in UK.

First proper post so really grateful for any replies at all!😀 Thanks
Welcome to the forum.
Cannot say I have heard them but if I were you I would purchase something where you don't have to use port bungs as they tend to rob a lot of the speakers performance, no point in paying good money for that.
 
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michael hoy

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Oct 6, 2008
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I have used them with a Arcam A49 after having the LS50's.
Vocals are clear and instruments really stand out with a very good bass line for their size.
I would however recommend giving them space to breath so not sure how they would sound close to a back wall.
Absolutely great speakers. I did not keep them for long due to a change in circumstances but would recommend them in the right room.
 

SallyB

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
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Many thanks so far. Ports and breathing space well noted. I also have half an eye on future living spaces where I may be able to give speakers better room to breath. I also avoid using the port bungs on my current LS50s, although interestingly the Reference 1s have 2 such ports as a means to vary the bass response and positioning. Very open to other suggestions though. Kind regards and thanks.
 
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Many thanks so far. Ports and breathing space well noted. I also have half an eye on future living spaces where I may be able to give speakers better room to breath. I also avoid using the port bungs on my current LS50s, although interestingly the Reference 1s have 2 such ports as a means to vary the bass response and positioning. Very open to other suggestions though. Kind regards and thanks.
Don't let us put you off, go listen to as many speakers, within your budget, as you can and hopefully do so at home. It's the only way as we don't have your ears
 

nopiano

Well-known member
I heard a pair at a Show around the time they were launched. The amplifier was a Hegel, by coincidence, but it was long enough ago that it wouldn’t have been a 190. I remember the Ref 1s sounding HUGE, like a floorstander. Unless the room was very unusual, then I’d anticipate the Ref 1s needing plenty of space. And maybe a bigger Hegel like the H390, although I don’t think they’re especially hard to drive. Just doing the best by very revealing speakers.
The snag for me is, despite their elegance, for less cash than the speakers and amp you could get active ATCs, the SCM40A, which for my money would be an easy preference. And being sealed, rather than ported, they tolerate being closer to the front wall than many.
 
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SallyB

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
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Many thanks for your replies. It is perhaps not surprising to see Kefs with Hegel amps as I had heard that they were frequently being paired together at shows.

So, taking into account all your kind comments, I spoke to my nice dealer today and I have the option to home test the Kefs, some ATCs and a Kerr Acoustics (no nothing about these), with the option also available for them to get in a pair of Harbeths for demo.

The Kefs are ex demo and have been told that a deal can be done, but keeping a very open mind!😀

Very many thanks again to you all.
 
Many thanks for your replies. It is perhaps not surprising to see Kefs with Hegel amps as I had heard that they were frequently being paired together at shows.

So, taking into account all your kind comments, I spoke to my nice dealer today and I have the option to home test the Kefs, some ATCs and a Kerr Acoustics (no nothing about these), with the option also available for them to get in a pair of Harbeths for demo.

The Kefs are ex demo and have been told that a deal can be done, but keeping a very open mind!😀

Very many thanks again to you all.
Enjoy auditioning, a very nice assortment of speakers there.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Many thanks for your replies. It is perhaps not surprising to see Kefs with Hegel amps as I had heard that they were frequently being paired together at shows.

So, taking into account all your kind comments, I spoke to my nice dealer today and I have the option to home test the Kefs, some ATCs and a Kerr Acoustics (no nothing about these), with the option also available for them to get in a pair of Harbeths for demo.

The Kefs are ex demo and have been told that a deal can be done, but keeping a very open mind!😀

Very many thanks again to you all.
Enjoy the journey. Think this could be one heck of a sonic junket.

Don't forget to tell us your findings
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
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Many thanks for your replies. It is perhaps not surprising to see Kefs with Hegel amps as I had heard that they were frequently being paired together at shows.

So, taking into account all your kind comments, I spoke to my nice dealer today and I have the option to home test the Kefs, some ATCs and a Kerr Acoustics (no nothing about these), with the option also available for them to get in a pair of Harbeths for demo.

The Kefs are ex demo and have been told that a deal can be done, but keeping a very open mind!😀

Very many thanks again to you all.
I will give a thumbs up for ATC speakers, I only have a small room and my ATC 7’s combine well with my Hegel 95. Good luck and great that you have the chance for a home demo, best way IMHO.
 
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SallyB

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
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Will do, but will take a while to unravel them to make a decision and to get final board approval!!😂😂. I’m sure though that the Hegel will be in one piece at the end of it!😀
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Will do, but will take a while to unravel them to make a decision and to get final board approval!!😂😂. I’m sure though that the Hegel will be in one piece at the end of it!😀
The Hegel might be in one piece, how about you? ;)
When demoing so many different speakers in a short space of time, sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees.
(And breathe) :)
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Will do, but will take a while to unravel them to make a decision and to get final board approval!!😂😂. I’m sure though that the Hegel will be in one piece at the end of it!😀
Please let us know how you get on. It’s very interesting for others to read personal write-ups, and having tried to articulate my choices to others I find useful in understanding my own preferences.

Beware that some of us here are good at spending the money of others! ;)
 

SallyB

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
20
9
25
The Hegel might be in one piece, how about you? ;)
When demoing so many different speakers in a short space of time, sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees.
(And breathe) :)
Quite true, I may ultimately find myself shortening the list slightly. I personally don’t find the process of auditioning easy or especially enjoyable, but it’s a nice problem to have and perhaps how people go about auditions is an interesting one for another thread! 😀

Thanks again
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Quite true, I may ultimately find myself shortening the list slightly. I personally don’t find the process of auditioning easy or especially enjoyable, but it’s a nice problem to have and perhaps how people go about auditions is an interesting one for another thread! 😀

Thanks again
Haha... the amount of foot-sore miles I've covered, lugging bits of hi-fi from the car-park to the dealers demo room is immeasurable. In a odd way, I find the chase of finding the right component worryingly pleasing.

I suppose what I'm saying is don't buy the first speaker you hear. You probably know that anyway. There's so many great speakers available, all offering something slightly different. It's easy to jump at the first brand you hear because it makes you want to dance around the room. Then you have to think 'can I live with that presentation over months/years?' Some brands have what I call "instant impact", great to have on short listening sessions but can be fatiguing over longer sessions.

Good luck
 

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