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KEF Reference 201/2 vs KEF R 900

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WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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yes.. without stands.. They are in Walnut color (not sure gloss or walnut). They are from some one in UK itself! They are about an year old with all the papers and all.. Very nice seller!
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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WishTree said:
yes.. without stands.. They are in Walnut color (not sure gloss or walnut). They are from some one in UK itself! They are about an year old with all the papers and all.. Very nice seller!
Little things to check for:

- There should be a care pack, which in my case was a very nice wooden box, that looked like it might contain dueling pistols. This should contain things like a cleaning cloth, spirit level and anything else that you need to set up the speakers.

- I believe there should be a rubber mat, for placing speakers on their side for near field listening.

- There should be 2 links per speaker for single wiring (better replaced with the decent cable that you'll end up with)

- 3 brass caps per speaker for EQ adjustment

- Product build certificate/frequency response chart for your speakers

Nick or David should be able to confirm.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
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18,595
CnoEvil said:
WishTree said:
yes.. without stands.. They are in Walnut color (not sure gloss or walnut). They are from some one in UK itself! They are about an year old with all the papers and all.. Very nice seller!
Little things to check for:

- There should be a care pack, which in my case was a very nice wooden box, that looked like it might contain dueling pistols. This should contain things like a cleaning cloth, spirit level and anything else that you need to set up the speakers.

- I believe there should be a rubber mat, for placing speakers on their side for near field listening.

- There should be 2 links per speaker for single wiring (better replaced with the decent cable that you'll end up with)

- 3 brass caps per speaker for EQ adjustment

- Product build certificate/frequency response chart for your speakers

Nick or David should be able to confirm.
Thanks Cno..

The seller has told that it is with all accesories and almost like brand new. I did not really go over with him about the things that should be there though he mentioned about the 5 year warranty card hand book and pair rubber mats and the speakers themselves in double boxes.

They are already in transit so once I receive them then I can check up against the list that is mentioned by you. I am guessing all will be in place :pray:
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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WishTree said:
Thanks Cno..

The seller has told that it is with all accesories and almost like brand new. I did not really go over with him about the things that should be there though he mentioned about the 5 year warranty card hand book and pair rubber mats and the speakers themselves in double boxes.

They are already in transit so once I receive them then I can check up against the list that is mentioned by you. I am guessing all will be in place :pray:
All of these things aren't necessarily essential, but they point to a careful owner, and if they don't work out (which they will!), make them easier to sell on.

I'm now probably as impatient as you, to see how they work out!
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
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18,595
CnoEvil said:
All of these things aren't necessarily essential, but they point to a careful owner, and if they don't work out (which they will!), make them easier to sell on.

I'm now probably as impatient as you, to see how they work out!
:grin:

I am glad you are with me on this! You are right about the resale, if needed but honestly I do not have much other options which can tick so many boxes like the KEF so and all the vital signs show that they will work out :)

I find it to be still unbelievable that I never considered them in the first place even when I was only into standmounts till an year back or recently when I get to know that I would be relocating.. They seem to be brilliant for tighter spaces and having so much tech going in them which apparently tranlated into sonic abilities..

Waiting for the weekend to pass by quickly ;)
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
You don't get the wooden accessory box with the 201/2's, but you do get the bits and bobs that Cno has mentioned :)
A half-@rsed job then.....bummer! ;)
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
107
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
You don't get the wooden accessory box with the 201/2's, but you do get the bits and bobs that Cno has mentioned :)
Thanks David. Otherwise I would be torn not to find one when the shipment arrives.

it almost feels like the 201/2 is a step child in the reference family ;) Just kidding!
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
107
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CnoEvil said:
A half-@rsed job then.....bummer! ;)
I was sure there is a catch.. now I know what it is.. Many few years back, I was not allowed to join the fictional non functional local apple group because I had only Apple TV (which apparently does not buy the entry!) 201/2 feels like not a real reference series but to let people like me imagine that we made to the reference series.. ;)

Grrrrr... |( ;)
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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WishTree said:
CnoEvil said:
A half-@rsed job then.....bummer! ;)
I was sure there is a catch.. now I know what it is.. Many few years back, I was not allowed to join the fictional non functional local apple group because I had only Apple TV (which apparently does not buy the entry!) 201/2 feels like not a real reference series but to let people like me imagine that we made to the reference series.. ;)

Grrrrr... |( ;)
Don't worry, I'll still speak to you (but only on special occasions!).

I think the real reason is that the floorstanders come with different types of feet, and these are also stored in the box along with a spanner to fit them. It does make us feel superior though (like the Star Bellied Sneetches - If you know who they are!!)
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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WishTree said:
Thanks David. Otherwise I would be torn not to find one when the shipment arrives.

it almost feels like the 201/2 is a step child in the reference family ;) Just kidding!
They may be the babies of the range, but as I say, I prefer them to the 203/2's :)
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
They may be the babies of the range, but as I say, I prefer them to the 203/2's :)
David, can you flesh out this comment a little.

Since you prefer the 205s, logically one would think that the 203s would be an intermediary step towards this......unless of course the 201s have extra strengths (like imaging/control etc), and don't lose out too much in terms of bass (compared to the 203s), that make up for this.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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CnoEvil said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
They may be the babies of the range, but as I say, I prefer them to the 203/2's :)
David, can you flesh out this comment a little.

Since you prefer the 205s, logically one would think that the 203s would be an intermediary step towards this......unless of course the 201s have extra strengths (like imaging/control etc), and don't lose out too much in terms of bass (compared to the 203s), that make up for this.
It is an odd one.

I just prefer the balance of the 201's over the 203's. I like my snare drums with a bit of snap, and not diminished by extra bass/mid content (or indeed, detail in general), and the 201's really do it for me. I think the additional bass of the 203's just spoil that for me. Even though the 205's are quite a step up regarding bass authority and depth, I find snares on those fine.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with 203's, just that my preference favours the 201 and 205. Others may think differently, but I can't recall anyone auditioning 203's and 205's ever having bought 203's.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
It is an odd one.

I just prefer the balance of the 201's over the 203's. I like my snare drums with a bit of snap, and not diminished by extra bass/mid content (or indeed, detail in general), and the 201's really do it for me. I think the additional bass of the 203's just spoil that for me. Even though the 205's are quite a step up regarding bass authority and depth, I find snares on those fine.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with 203's, just that my preference favours the 201 and 205. Others may think differently, but I can't recall anyone auditioning 203's and 205's ever having bought 203's.
It's nothing that a little therapy won't sort out! ;)
 

Chewy

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Feb 10, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
I certainly don't mind, and please remember this is personal preference:

I have heard the Utopia Diablo, Scala and Maestro....with a variety of amplification. The more expensive they get, the better they get; and the best I heard the the Diablo/Maestro sound, was on the end of the MF AMS 35i (and DCS Debussy Dac/Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP CDP).

Having demoed them, I was glad to get back to my References, which aren't as "in yer face".....but I would describe them as "forward", rather than bright. Of the three I speakers I listed, I would much rather have the Focal....but at that kind of money, it is essential to make as few compromises as possible, with regard to one's subjective preference.
Hi CnoEvil,

I am interested in the Focal Diablo's and the KEF 201's amongst other speakers, so it's good to find you have heard both.

How would you describe the sound of the Diablo's, in terms of detail, soundstage and dynamics versus the KEF's or other speakers you have heard?

If you have heard them, how do the Diablos compare to larger stand mounts such as PMC IB2i's or ATC SCM-100's?

Really interested on your opinion on them?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Chewy said:
Hi CnoEvil,

I am interested in the Focal Diablo's and the KEF 201's amongst other speakers, so it's good to find you have heard both.

How would you describe the sound of the Diablo's, in terms of detail, soundstage and dynamics versus the KEF's or other speakers you have heard?

If you have heard them, how do the Diablos compare to larger stand mounts such as PMC IB2i's or ATC SCM-100's?

Really interested on your opinion on them?
I haven't directly compared the Diablos with the PMC and ATC, but I'll try to describe the differences with the 201s.

The Diablos are the most robust sounding standmounts I've heard. They are incredibly dynamic with a bass that is one of the fastest and tightest that I've heard. They are very neutral and detailed with remarkable imaging, but imo have a forward "grab your attention" sound, which I personally find tiring after a while.

They are very revealing, so need exceedingly good amplification with plenty of power/current....but I have found them much too forward and tiring with any of the non Class A SS amps that I've heard them with. They are my least favorite of the Utopia range.

The 201s are imo more musical, as they let the music flow, rather than smacking you across the face with it. Just like the Diablos, these also need very good amplification to get their juices flowing. They have great bass for their size, and superior imaging, but don't punish bad recordings to quite the same degree, so are a little more forgiving....but they are still a Reference speaker, which looks deep into the recording.

I would describe them as being a touch on the warmer side of neutral.....or "forgiving neutral" as opposed to "ruthlessly neutral". They sound good in a good system, but great in a great system, and like a chamelion, take on the character of the components before them. I have found them particularly sensitive to cable changes.

Hope that helps a little.

Cno
 

Chewy

New member
Feb 10, 2010
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Thanks Cno, that's great.

I am considering them for the front LCR speakers in my HC (perhaps two combined with a Viva centre), so the qualities you describe might just make them perfect for movie soundtrack reproduction. I plan to audition of course, but it's always good to speak to someone who has actually heard them.

Have you heard to ATC 100's or PMC IB2i's at any point? I'd be interested on your thoughts on those if you have?

I don't mean to crash your thread WishTree, I am equally interested to hear your comments on your new 201's when you have them up and running.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Chewy said:
Thanks Cno, that's great.

I am considering them for the front LCR speakers in my HC (perhaps two combined with a Viva centre), so the qualities you describe might just make them perfect for movie soundtrack reproduction. I plan to audition of course, but it's always good to speak to someone who has actually heard them.

Have you heard to ATC 100's or PMC IB2i's at any point? I'd be interested on your thoughts on those if you have?

I don't mean to crash your thread WishTree, I am equally interested to hear your comments on your new 201's when you have them up and running.
Sorry, I haven't heard them.

My local dealer really rates the Focals, as do most of the reviews I've read.....but you would be wise to demo the ATCs, PMCs and Refs as well. I think Focal is a bit of a marmite brand, as they pretty much split opinion. Try to demo them at home for a few days, to make sure that they don't become fatiguing over a longer period.

Good luck with your choice, and let us know what you decide.

Cno
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
I received the speakers today. They are up and running. Producing very beautiful sound.

However I am not satisfied with the deal. There is a nick on the front of one of the speakers (in between the grill hole and the woofer). This does not affect the sound but aesthetically, it is there.

Also the seller did not attach the proof of purchase (I just spoke to him on the phone and it seems they were bought by his insurance company for him and he will not be able to share the proof of purchase but is only willing to mention to me that he sold the item to me)

In addition the KEF certificate says that the speakers are cherry finish where as they walnut in reality (Though the serial numbers match)

We agreed that I ship him back the speakers tomorrow and he will refund my money once he receives them. I used Paypal to buy (not eBay but direct Paypal) and I hope I have some security.

Very disappointed with the transaction that I have no energy left to right the beautiful sound the speakers made :(
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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WishTree said:
I received the speakers today. They are up and running. Producing very beautiful sound.

However I am not satisfied with the deal. There is a nick on the front of one of the speakers (in between the grill hole and the woofer). This does not affect the sound but aesthetically, it is there.

Also the seller did not attach the proof of purchase (I just spoke to him on the phone and it seems they were bought by his insurance company for him and he will not be able to share the proof of purchase but is only willing to mention to me that he sold the item to me)

In addition the KEF certificate says that the speakers are cherry finish where as they walnut in reality (Though the serial numbers match)

We agreed that I ship him back the speakers tomorrow and he will refund my money once he receives them. I used Paypal to buy (not eBay but direct Paypal) and I hope I have some security.

Very disappointed with the transaction that I have no energy left to right the beautiful sound the speakers made :(
That is a great shame my friend, but you are right to walk away if the deal doesn't feel right and the goods aren't as described.

All you can do is to take the good out of it, and spend as much time assessing them as possible....maybe even taking notes for future reference.

You may now have your new benchmark (I look forward to your full review when you're up to it).

Cno
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
I am a bit settled and thought through the deal more clearly.

1. I am very happy with the sound so that is the best thing. I will write more below

2. The seller they are brand new but there is a nick on the veneer on the front. The item was on eBay too and the pictures seems to be a bit cleverly done (I might be wrong) to hide the nick. The eBay item number is 110910486018 and the nick that I have is as below



3. The seller mentioned that he has all documents when I asked him for Original Proof of Purchase but now he says that his insurance has bought them for him and so he cannot pass on the original documents to me. I am not too sure how this works but if some one tries to check on me right now, there is no way that I can prove that they are purchased through authorized channel which is my main concern for the whole deal.

Any ways, I have decided not to ship them back based on a phone conversation and took it up with Paypal as the payment is made through Paypal. I will also raise a flag to my credit card company just to be sure. The process might take longer but I felt it is the right way to handle this. I have given him options about how we can still make the deal (By providing the Original Proof of Purchase as well as compensating for the nick in the veneer which was not disclosed to me)

Now coming back to the sound..

They are one of the best speakers I heard. I still need to check / play with positioning but as it is they sound brilliant. All the caps (for tuning) are in place. So nothing is altered from the original intended sound.

It is really clean.. and AIRY.. I have never understood the meaning of airy before but it feels everything is just spacious and gently touched but never too pushed hard.. this became more apparent at normal listening levels and slighly higher..

There are some songs which I could not finish listening due to the harshness in treble and they are presented with no harshness.. It is just smooth. Very Smooth!

They really pair up very well with Classe.. There is great synergy!

And the speakers look really beautiful !!

Cons ? very few.. They are very deep with respect to physical size.. though I knew it but in reality they are little overwhelming at the first sight.. Soundiwse, it is truly revealing and not too forgiving (or may be I have never heard the completely unforgiving speakers ever) but that is such a minor thing compared the beautiful seperation and presentation. Last point, the packing is really strange. They fit in the cartons pretty well but it needs a while to figure out.
 

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