Mondie

FS: KEF Reference Model Three floorstanding speakers - mint & boxed.

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I bought these classic 90’s Kef’s last April to keep me sane through lockdown. I always wanted to try a pair of Uni-Q equipped Kefs and I liked these so much that within weeks, I was on the hunt for a pair of Reference 4’s which I was lucky to find through the Wam. So the 3’s have been parked up for most of their time in my ownership and its now time to find them a new home. They are in the most expensive Rosewood veneer finish and feature Kefs boundary compensation device, dating them to the 1997-99 period.

The speakers are near immaculate and come with their original boxes, spikes and paperwork making them ideal for someone who wants a nice set to keep for the long term. Because I have the boxes I am happy to ship anywhere within the UK. Shipping is cheap, I bought them from the SE and had them shipped to me in North Wales for £25. They perform flawlessly and sound great, all drivers are mint and working as they should. I think they are a classically sized floorstander for an average living room and with the twin 8” cavity loaded bass, you have excellent performance for a compact speaker. This is Kefs description of the Model Three:

Reference Series Model Three (1994-99)

Model Three was a four-way floor standing system with a twin coupled cavity bass section using 8 inch (200mm) bass drivers and was the successor to the highly regarded Model 105/3. It was ideally suited to use as a main speaker in medium to large sized rooms in a stereo or multi-channel system. It was updated in 1997 to include a boundary compensation device – switch-able attenuation of the bass output for use in small rooms or for positioning close to the room boundaries.

https://us.kef.com/explore-kef/kef-museum/1990s/reference-series-models-one-two-three-four

I closely looked over both speakers looking for imperfections and being critical, this is what I found. None of these marks are anything to be concerned about and are invisible unless you go looking closely, rest assured these are as near to mint as you will find for speakers of their age.

Speaker 1 – feint ring to veneer on top, probably could be matched in with some furniture polish but not really noticeable. There is a small white mark to the side of the baffle edge but other than that, the veneer is perfect with no dents or scratches.

Speaker 2 – 1inch mark to baffle near corner, no scratches or dents to the veneer other than a feint 6inch scratch on the rear of the speaker and a small blemish to the rear corner.

The grills are nearly mint with just a couple of minor marks and small tear to the edge of one that can be seen in the photo below.

The grim weather combined with a messy room made it hard to get good photos so if you need more or have any questions please PM me. I am asking for £950.

Cheers,

Simon

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I have a feeling these were mine. Stunning speakers and amazing VFM at second hand prices. I imagine these would be north of 10k these days with the build and technology employed, especially if they were still made in the UK.

I think they are majorly undervalued in the S/H market probably as most people who try them look at the sensitivity spec and assume an average power amp can drive them well. They need high current and headroom to really come to life.  Otherwise they sound boring and laid back. A few reviews say this and I'm sure they either didn't amp them well, or like nasty bright speakers xD

I think most people who have realised this have kept them long term and only upgraded eventually to a bigger model.  They are usually disappointed if they upgrade to the later range and try to buy their old speakers back. (I have been told this first hand on more than one occasion.)

If I didn't have my Amphions I'd buy them back in a heartbeat.  GLWS.

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Yeah glwts, nice speakers, I had the exact same ones too followed by the 4-2s in the rosetta burr finish which I think was the premium one. 

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1 hour ago, Lawrence001 said:

I have a feeling these were mine. Stunning speakers and amazing VFM at second hand prices. I imagine these would be north of 10k these days with the build and technology employed, especially if they were still made in the UK.

I think these were yours Lawrence and yes, if these were new I doubt there would be much change from 10k. You just need to look at the current offerings from Kef for confirmation, and these lack the cavity bass too.

Cheers

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That finish is amazing. I have the 3.2s in Rosetta Burr but that looks incredible.

Not sure what the differences are between the 3 and the 3.2s but this seems like a veritable bargain for the sound you get!

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The .2 had a modification for better bass, also are more suitable for smaller (than US) UK living rooms.

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The .2 has a modification for leaner/more neutral bass, some may prefer the warmer sound of these. It also has the BCD option for near-wall placement, but that was actually introduced late in the ".1" model, of which this pair is an example.

I'm kind of selling these back to myself aren't I...

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

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Super Wammer

do these have the 2 bass drives coupled together , are the suspension foams in good order , ?

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2 hours ago, gwernaffield said:

do these have the 2 bass drives coupled together , are the suspension foams in good order , ?

Yes thats correct. I haven't disassembled them to check but have looked through the ports and everything looks in good order and they sound it too. The internal drivers have rubber surrounds so these don't suffer from foam rot which is an issue in the previous generation Reference range.

The bass design is the same as this image of the Reference 4.

10233-KEF_Reference_Model_Four_sectional

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I've read in the past that the Model 1 and 2 have foam surrounds while the 3 and 4 have rubber surrounds. I've not been able to verify this officially, but my attempts to look inside the various models I've owned seem to indicate it might be true. I've no idea why this was the case though.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

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2 minutes ago, Lawrence001 said:

I've read in the past that the Model 1 and 2 have foam surrounds while the 3 and 4 have rubber surrounds. I've not been able to verify this officially, but my attempts to look inside the various models I've owned seem to indicate it might be true. I've no idea why this was the case though.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk
 

How very odd, perhaps they wanted the larger models to last longer. Replacements from the factory would have been confusing tho

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6 hours ago, Lawrence001 said:

I've read in the past that the Model 1 and 2 have foam surrounds while the 3 and 4 have rubber surrounds. I've not been able to verify this officially, but my attempts to look inside the various models I've owned seem to indicate it might be true. I've no idea why this was the case though.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk
 

I had the reference 1 years ago. They were rubber surround. 

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I had the reference 1 years ago. They were rubber surround. 
You mean the internal bass units, did you manage to take them out? I think I shone a torch in or had a gentle feel and thought they were foam but wasn't sure.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

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How very odd, perhaps they wanted the larger models to last longer. Replacements from the factory would have been confusing tho

Not necessarily I think the model 1 and 2 had the same drivers (6", but may have been different SP numbers due to different fittings) while the 3 and 4 had 8" and 10" bass units respectively.

There may have been technical reasons (eg sensitivity/T-S parameters) why the smaller units in smaller cavities may work better with foam surrounds but that's well beyond my ken.

The original 104/2s had rubber surrounds in the internal drivers while the later ones ("upgrades") used foam. Again I've no idea why this was.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

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