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KEF Ref 105.4 power cords?

 
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martlet
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:40 pm    Post subject: KEF Ref 105.4 power cords? Reply with quote

Long time member here catching up on posts. I have both 104.2 and 105.4 ref speakers in great condition. The 104.2's are connected to 200w mono block amps which each have a dedicated romax lines to fuse box (20amp). Speaker wires have been upgraded to high end (AQ) but power cords are stock. The sound is very good. BTW - the dedicated power lines greatly improved the sound stage.

The 105.4's have been a challenge. I use a Parasound A21 and high end speaker wire (AQ) and this greatly improved the sound quality and the image. Still, the bass when compared to the 104.2 was not clear. This surprised me. The pre-amp is exactly the same unit between both systems.

What to do? The answer presented itself when I was able to purchase high end power cords (AQ) - at a used price. The result was that the bass immediately cleared up.

Wondering why the 105.4's were different - does cabinet design alone explain this?

-Thanks Scott
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Kef Ref Ownership: 101.1 (sold), 103.2, 104.2, 105.4
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martlet
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A followup to my post on power cords. First, to say that I am a KEF fan is an understatement. KEF speakers speak to my musical heart like no others. If I had the money I'd be tempted by a pair of Harbeths but that is the only speaker that's tempted me.

Regarding the power cables, after many more hours of listening I have to admit that I find the 105.4 something of a trade-off in design. I love its big sound stage which is almost guaranteed due to the swiveling head on top of the cabinet. Moving these tops makes so much sense.

The trade-off for that big sound and great positioning is that the speaker itself is on the slow side. In the used market I do believe they represent a great value. Full size sound at an affordable "vintage" price which is much less than any new speaker would cost.

I just completed a seven hour drive to FL where I picked up my second pair of 104.2's. Sometime I'd like to hear the 107 or the 105.3. For now - these speakers are just my cup of "audio tea". Now with two sets of 104.2, I'll really have to face up to servicing the fluid in the still sounding great tweeters.

If anyone is near Atlanta and wants a very reasonably priced set of 105.4 just pm me. I did love them but I am just stuck on the 104.2.
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Kef Ref Ownership: 101.1 (sold), 103.2, 104.2, 105.4
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martlet
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing the comments I offered on Power Cables, I've just reached another milestone of quality with my 104.2 (well one set anyway). I've just upgraded all of my cables - power and speaker. I used AudioQuest products but I believe my observations will hold true for any similar brand. I am probably three products down from TOTL - which is still very expensive for me. I should emphasize every cord has been upgraded - Oppo CD player to power conditioner - everything.

The result is my speakers (Bi-Wire Rosewood) probably near the end of the product life cycle in 1996 now have a sound that challenges what I hear in local stores with modern day equipment. You may ask - well what are you doing for amplification - and the answer is fairly new equipment - Parasound A21 with matching preamp. SO - the setup isn't totally vintage.

What I gained by the cable upgrade is speed in highs and lows. The difference is substantial. Now when listening to Mr Horowitz's piano recordings the piano's sound is more crisp and with a master traveling as rapid as this guy does - the sound is far more exciting to listen to.

Of course with Burmister equipment (which sadly will never be in my price range) the sound would be even better. For me, this is the best sound I have ever heard in my house. I am astounded that the 104.2's are now at this level.

A few comments about the bass - it's very strong and clear. I have an extensive library of piano recordings and have never heard the bottom register sound so well. Of the highs? Well one aspect I don't hear at all is the overly accurate fatiguing quality found in so many of the speakers made today. The 104/2 provides a sound I can listen to for countless hours if not more.

I'm guessing that for some KEF owners - these observations are late in coming. There may be many combinations of equipment which can make these wonderful speakers sing. For me, I've never heard the 104.2's at this level and it leaves me in complete wonder of the people who designed and built the speakers. Highest marks indeed!
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Kef Ref Ownership: 101.1 (sold), 103.2, 104.2, 105.4


Last edited by martlet on Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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speakerguru
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Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 1022
Location: Green Hut, Tovil

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: KEF Ref 105.4 power cords? Reply with quote

martlet wrote:
... when I was able to purchase high end power cords (AQ) - at a used price. The result was that the bass immediately cleared up....


Trying to summon up my wildest imagination, I still cannot conceive of any reason why a mains cable could influence the sonic properties of a particular band of audio frequencies.

Did you change the speaker positions in the room when you changed the cables?
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martlet
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Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Power cables and speaker cables - yes - this has been a lesson for me and has taken the best part of two years.

Together with a friend running another brand of speakers - I slowly and as methodically as possible purchased and sold nearly all of the levels of the AudioQuest product line (and a few others). Additionally- he convinced a local dealer to do similar upgrades for the in-store equipment which was already running AQ cables - just not the most recent.

I must admit to being skeptical. Still, at every step the sound got better - at least with the 104/2. As I explained earlier, the 105/4 model had bass which did not improve beyond a certain point.

This investment was not small - when I total the cost of the cables it is greater than the cost of the components. For myself it came down to the fact that I would rather spend money this way than $20k on a new set of Harbeths.

The improvement in sound quality was considerable for the other people. The speakers in every brand worked at a faster speed. Bass was more crisp as were the mids and highs.

To answer your question about speaker placement - well they are still in the same place they were before these changes. The glorious sound of the speakers is basically the same - it is just improved.

I hope this has been an informed post for a forum which I have greatly valued over the years.
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Kef Ref Ownership: 101.1 (sold), 103.2, 104.2, 105.4
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