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 wont be for sale ever,
but its many claimed technical advances will find their way into KEFs commercially
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 Blades 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
companys 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.