BLADE, the world’s first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker, is the production version of the famous Concept Blade project KEF revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009.
BLADE is an attitude. It’s about exploring the art of the possible, without preconceptions. Pushing boundaries.
So we gave our most talented engineers carte blanche to create the best speaker they can, with no design or cost restrictions. After years of research and testing, what they came up with looked and sounded like no other speaker: Concept BLADE. Its startling acoustic precision was so acclaimed when it first broke cover that we spent two more years refining the concept to produce an edition that serious audiophiles could own and enjoy.
The result was so well received – and scooped so many prestigious awards to prove it – that we decided to take things even further and expand the BLADE range.
BLADE & BLADE TWO
With all of BLADE’s acoustic prowess and iconic design on a slightly smaller scale, BLADE TWO is easier to position where space is at a premium, and where BLADE’s extreme bass extension would be superfluous. BLADE TWO, same DNA. Same striking aesthetic. Same advanced driver technology and unique single apparent source configuration. And above all, the same lush, phenomenally realistic sound.
BLADE and BLADE TWO share a new architecture that achieves the ideal point source, with the four sophisticated bass drivers (225mm/9-in. for BLADE, 165mm/6.5-in. for BLADE TWO) configured so that their combined acoustic centre occupies exactly the same point in space as that of the Uni-Q HF/MF array so the sound appears to emanate from a single, flawlessly coherent source.
Sculptural and acoustically inert, the slender parabolic enclosures are engineered never to interfere with the purity of the output. Inside, you find ingenious new venting, bracing and wave management technologies. Every component operates so comfortably within its performance envelope that you experience noticeably more precise imaging than is possible with conventional speakers.
Just as KEF’s philosophy has always been to innovate in pursuit of the most accurate and realistic sound, BLADE speakers are about perfecting a groundbreaking concept to delight people who really love music. Whatever your taste, BLADE and BLADE TWO are what all great design aspires to: being the best they can possibly be.
Kent Engineering and Foundry Editions
Asserting the sophistication of the technology they contain, the stunning BLADE & BLADE TWO cabinets are available in a palette of seductive finishes: Piano Black, Snow White, Warm Metallic Grey, Light Metallic Silver, Racing Red, along with two specially commissioned ‘Kent Engineering and Foundry’ finishes, which celebrate KEF’s unrivalled heritage of continuous innovation for over 50 years.
Frosted Blue, hinting at the blue of the original KEF logo, and Frosted Copper Black – the Kent Engineering and Foundry editions combine the latest BLADE technology with an aesthetic that subtly evokes this rich pedigree.
Given time, we’ll also match any colour you want. Like everything else about BLADE and BLADE TWO, it’s about getting every last detail absolutely right.
|DESIGN||Three-way bass reflex, single apparent source driver configuration|
|DRIVE UNITS||Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP hybrid cone
HF: 25mm (1in.) Al dome
LF: 4 x 225mm (9in.) with force cancelling
|FREQUENCY RANGE||28Hz – 45kHz (-6dB) free field
20Hz (-6dB) typical in room bass response
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||40Hz – 35kHz ±3dB (-6dB at 28Hz)|
|CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES||350Hz, 2.3kHz|
|MAXIMUM OUTPUT||117dB (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise)|
|AMPLIFIER REQUIREMENTS||50 – 400 W|
|HARMONIC DISTORTION||2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
|IMPEDANCE||4 Ohms (min.3.2 Ohms)|
|DIMENSIONS||1590 x 363 x 540 mm / 62.5 x 14.3 x 21.2 in. (with plinth H x W x D)|
|WEIGHT||57.2 kg (126 lbs)|
|REMARKS||* KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE.|
SINGLE APPARENT SOURCE
Like listening to one voice rather than many, sound from a single source is inherently clearer. Not only are the acoustic centres of the HF and MF drivers in the Blade & Blade Two Uni-Q array coincident, but the four LF drivers, (225mm/9-in. for Blade, or 165mm/6.5-in. for Blade Two) are mounted symmetrically equidistant from it so that their acoustic centres occupy exactly the same point in space.
This single apparent source configuration is what makes the Blade & Blade Two so gratifyingly coherent across the frequency range, with noticeably more precise imaging than is possible from any conventional speaker.
What you hear sounds as if it’s being performed live right in front of you.
DESIGN AND DESIGNER
The challenge was to design an acoustically efficient enclosure for a sizeable speaker whose driver configuration demanded large capacity at the upper portion, without looking at all bulky.
Initially, our team worked alongside Eric Chan of New York-based ECCO Design to create a distinctive visual identity for a speaker of such towering performance capabilities. As functional as they are beautiful, the resulting cabinets are like works of art in their own right – indeed, their form was inspired by Brancusi’s seminal Modernist masterpiece ‘Bird in Space’. Tapering gracefully from top to bottom and from front to rear, the slim proportions made possible by the orientation of the bass drivers give the Blade & Blade Two a sculptural presence in their own right, with a single continuous keyline describing a taut, seamless curve along the back edge and over the top.