KEF's Reference

KEF would begin their multi-room demo with their small, but surprisingly room-filling, KHT home theater range and work their way up from there. The stunning KEF Muons would be the great and final attraction of the KEF event, and they were all I was looking forward to, really. However, the highlight of the show turned out to be the brilliant sound of the Reference 201/2 stand-mounted speakers ($6000/pair). I was instantly reminded of the remarkable performance of the much larger Reference 207/2s, which I recently experienced in JA's listening room and which are now gracing our February cover. The music brought forth was captivating, seductive, gorgeous.

"Just so you know," said KEF's VP of Marketing, Paul Egan, "we have no subwoofer attached to this system right now. I want you to keep that in mind while you listen." He began the demo with an instrumental jazz piece featuring a delicious bass solo and followed it up with a female vocal track, also showcasing excellent bass work. I was enchanted.

"Okay," said Egan, "I lied—we actually have four subwoofers hiding behind the screen," he joked.

I wouldn't have been surprised.

In line with the announcement that KEF is now the American distributor of Musical Fidelity products, all electronics in the room, including several powerful Supercharger monoblocks and new A1008 top-loading CD player, carried the Musical Fidelity badge.

"We're really happy about this," said Egan. "We like the synergy between our brands—we share similar backgrounds, a long history of great products, and we're excited about what Musical Fidelity will be doing in the future, too. Especially that CD player. I think it's the best player I've ever heard."

I smiled.

"I'm serious," he said.

I believed him.