KEF Concept Blade Loudspeakers
All prices in euros (€) unless otherwise noted.
At time of report, 1 € is approximately 1.37 US dollars.

Auto shows around the globe are popular partly due to the concept cars that are built to showcase the design talents and technological innovations that a company possesses. High End 2009 had its own concept product, but this time it was a new loudspeaker from Britain's KEF. The Concept Blade won’t be for sale ever, but its many claimed technical advances will find their way into KEF’s commercially available loudspeakers.

Among the technical highlights is the newest-generation Uni-Q midrange/tweeter assembly. The midrange cone is a liquid-crystal polymer that is claimed to be almost perfectly pistonic.

The bass drivers, four 10" woofers per speaker, use a "flat woven carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer mounted in-line with the cabinet walls." The photo above shows a cutaway of one cone. The company told us that the flat radiating surface closely matches the acoustical output of the Uni-Q driver.

The Concept Blade’s external crossover is beautifully built into an enclosure that you can peer into and appreciate. The crossover design brief was to keep the number of passive components low in order to "ensure extremely low delay in the crossover group delay."

How do you reconcile the Concept Blade with the company’s Muon loudspeaker? First, the Muon is a commercially available product. Many of its technical advancements can be found in current KEF loudspeakers. The Muon was also designed as an art piece -- the aesthetic design was a critical aspect of its development and marketing. The Concept Blade, however, is a showcase of advanced KEF technologies that will be used in future products.