You feel it pretty fast. Initially, it´s somewhat undefined, what makes the Blade Two speaker experience, something special. In the beginning, it could be the design that seduces one first before losing the jaw and sitting like another idiot with an open mouth and just listening.
After a while, you’re hooked. you can’t get enough and rip CD after CD out of the rack to hear everything again and feel it’s like a new experience.
Classical speakers like Quad ESL-57, Rogers LS3 / 5A, and Klipschorn have very different features, but they’ve all given many listeners the feeling of listening to something very special. They have some qualities that make them outstanding, and the fact that they are still popular is a testimony of the classic status they have.
The same can definitely be said about KEF Blade Two.
The speaker’s design looks like nothing else – apart from the first edition of Blade, of course. Blade Two is smaller and easier to place, but no less potent. They have KEF’s unique (sic) Uni-Q coaxial unit located in the middle of the narrow front and four 16.5 cm base units – two on each side – mounted to generate extreme and much bass energy. And that can be felt right away.
The design comes from the original Concept Blade speaker from 2009. Blade Two is an updated, smaller and cheaper version. It is easier to place because it is lower and not quite so deep, but the principles are the same.
The four base units are mounted back to back to level out low-frequency resonances that can spread in the cabinet and color the sound. A useful effect of the backrest to backrest is better control over bass dynamics and improved precision at low frequencies.
The speaker units have aluminum membranes and are divided into separate bass reflex chambers. You can also see that there are a lot of damping materials inside. If standing waves occur inside, it goes over the bass unit’s crossover frequency – 320 Hz – thus eliminating the need for much attenuation, which could otherwise have relied on the transient response in the bass.
The small Uni-Q coaxial device is mounted on a curved front and has the tweeter in the center and in alignment – horizontally and vertically – a perfect point-shaped coaxial spread of 2400 Hz frequencies. In practice, it is an exceptionally successful construction. The four base units are mounted so that the acoustic center between the pairs is located in the center of the horizontal axis of the Uni Q device.
The cable terminals are impeccably simple in use: For those who want to run with a dual set of cables – bi-amps – with an amplifier with the upper and one to the lower frequency range, KEF has mounted switches that redundant the horrible metal rails that others use.
The speakers are threaded with the included spikes, and at the feet have a spirit leveler built-in. They can be placed on the floor without, but the bass is tightened and becomes more rhythmically accurate with the spikes on.
The narrow front and the uniform spread of the Uni-Q coaxial unit make the speakers not angled inward. At least not much. It is more important to provide spacing to the side walls. A meter may be enough and the back wall is a good starting point. Even though they will play on a 60 watt Hegel amplifier, it’s first with Audio Research, Gryphon, McIntosh and the like, that really hurts the field.
The sound of Blade Two
The slim speakers turn up with a huge stereo perspective and a depth that’s rare even for high-end speakers. At the same time, they are so deep in the bass – with control and dynamic contrast – it feels like the kidneys will loosen from the body when playing high. It is difficult to hear any distortion at high volume. The sound is silky and crystal clear with a vocal presentation that an electrostatic speaker can hardly do better.
There is so much pure energy in the dynamics of the speakers that you want to play higher than you might need. Or maybe it’s just because you’re hooked. It’s easy to already imagine that the Blade Two speakers will become the future classics and experiencing them is almost mindblowing, which is why the price tag may surprise most people. Also why I`m happy to have a rich gadget freak as a friend, so this review saw the light of day. Visit the product on Amazon here and you´ll see for yourself.