Audioville and KEF

The speaker of choice in the Audioville room was the brand new KEF Blade ($30,000/pair): a consumer-friendly version of something that started life as a KEF concept speaker. (In particular, in order to reduce costs, the latter's carbon-fiber enclosure has been replaced with one made of a composite resin.) Mid frequencies and treble are handled by the metal-diaphragm KEF UNI-Q array, while low frequencies are given over to two pairs of side-mounted 9" drivers, working in tandem so that bass energy is neither wasted nor allowed to travel through the enclosure structure to modulate the higher frequencies.

The display pair hadn't been run-in by the time I heard them; nevertheless, while listening to an electric blues number in C, I smiled with pure physical delight when the KEF-Chord combination—the two English companies are located just minutes away from each other—reproduced the lowest F of which a four-string bass is capable (ie, just over 40Hz). Heavenly.