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KEF Chorale.

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KEF Chorale.

Postby Hugues TR4 » 21 Jun 2017 17:29

Hi All,

A friend of mine gave me an old pair of KEF "Chorale" speakers.
Heard that KEF has got a pretty good reputation as a vintage European speaker manufacturer.
They are in pretty bad shape so my question is: are they worth putting them back in order and would they sound better than my current Marantz HD400 I bought for 10€ and repaired?
One of the woofers looks good but doesn't work at all. Could that be repaired without replacing the complete driver itself?
The cross over circuit looks OK, but still has its old "Elcap" capacitors.
Thanks in advance for giving me a first indication, so I can make up my mind about either repairing them or throwing them away.

cheers,

Hugh.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby cafe_liegeois » 21 Jun 2017 21:58

I still have a pair stacked away in the basement in case my main speakers should ever fail. They're quite decent speakers. The T27 tweeter is the same as in the famous Rogers LS3/5a compact speakers and the B200 mid/woofer isn't to be sneezed at either.

So, yes, I'd bring them back to working order. If they should turn out to be beyond repair you could at least put the working speaker chassis on ebay. There'll always someone happy to use them for restoring his own Chorales.

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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby Pikey » 21 Jun 2017 22:40

There's a website here thats got a lot of info about old KEF models ...

http://www.hifiloudspeakers.info/index.html

Good luck!
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby Hugues TR4 » 22 Jun 2017 08:35

Thanks a bunch Pikey!
This site looks very interesting and promising indeed!
Will contact these people as soon as possible.
@ Ralph: Thanks also for your input.
All this is gonna help me getting more info and knowledge about KEF systems.
Cheers,

Hugh.
Dual 1019/Shure M97xE/Jico SAS stylus + 1219/Shure V15 III + 1225
Thorens TD 146 & TD 166/Ortofon OMB5 and OM40 carts
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby hauntedpenguin » 14 Sep 2017 13:12

The only thing I would add is that throwing money at an old speaker will get it working but it is still an old speaker. Drive unit technology has moved on massively from the 70' & 80's as has cabinet design. Nowadays computer technology has revolutionized speaker driver design. Modern materials are lighter, move faster, and their movement behaviour can be seen in 3D on a computer screen.
A modern budget design from say B&W, KEF will noticably outperform an old Chorale.... I know, I used to sell them!
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby cafe_liegeois » 14 Sep 2017 14:34

There are people who like this vintage sound.

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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby Hugues TR4 » 14 Sep 2017 15:37

@ hauntedpenguin: Thanks a lot for your input.
I can only agree to your point of view, but my whole combo is dating back from the 70ies and early eighties, and I quite like this sound. On top of being more affordable, it's also got the advantage of permitting DIY repairs or improvements, impossible on the all-printed circuit modern electronic stuff.
In the meantime, after an unsuccessful attempt to repair the drivers (the second one was also half-shot), I finally found a pair on e-bay, sold in Belgium, not too far from my place, for 35€ for the pair.
@ Ralph: yes indeed and many thanks again!
Tested them on my current Marantz SR430 and they outperform the more modern Marantz HD400 by far! Warmer sound, better bass and very good channel separation.
Just another step towards something more serious (but much more expensive) like B&W or Tannoy...Maybe one day, although I just read that after 50, you cannot hear sounds over 16.000 Hz.
Thanks again to both of you anyway,
Cheers,

Hugh.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby whitenoise » 14 Sep 2017 17:02

hauntedpenguin wrote:The only thing I would add is that throwing money at an old speaker will get it working but it is still an old speaker. Drive unit technology has moved on massively from the 70' & 80's as has cabinet design. Nowadays computer technology has revolutionized speaker driver design. Modern materials are lighter, move faster, and their movement behaviour can be seen in 3D on a computer screen.
A modern budget design from say B&W, KEF will noticably outperform an old Chorale.... I know, I used to sell them!



Which way around was your "used to sell them" ?...

It's a brave statement either way, for every point you make different interpretations for why that is so can be given, not simply that because of the points given it must therefore conclude that they are better....no 3d image can show the results of the myriad conditions in which the speakers will be used. As for lighter materials this could be said to be for many reasons, lighter materials are generally cheaper because they are easier and more cost effective to transport and so it follows that far more can be transported at a time + natural resources where available are replaced with modern day substitutes, I'm not saying that all the reasons are purely to cut overheads and increase shareholders dividends but to say that everything is used purely to achieve better loudspeakers is, in my view far too simple to be the truth.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby hauntedpenguin » 15 Sep 2017 09:35

whitenoise wrote:
hauntedpenguin wrote:The only thing I would add is that throwing money at an old speaker will get it working but it is still an old speaker. Drive unit technology has moved on massively from the 70' & 80's as has cabinet design. Nowadays computer technology has revolutionized speaker driver design. Modern materials are lighter, move faster, and their movement behaviour can be seen in 3D on a computer screen.
A modern budget design from say B&W, KEF will noticably outperform an old Chorale.... I know, I used to sell them!



Which way around was your "used to sell them" ?...

It's a brave statement either way, for every point you make different interpretations for why that is so can be given, not simply that because of the points given it must therefore conclude that they are better....no 3d image can show the results of the myriad conditions in which the speakers will be used. As for lighter materials this could be said to be for many reasons, lighter materials are generally cheaper because they are easier and more cost effective to transport and so it follows that far more can be transported at a time + natural resources where available are replaced with modern day substitutes, I'm not saying that all the reasons are purely to cut overheads and increase shareholders dividends but to say that everything is used purely to achieve better loudspeakers is, in my view far too simple to be the truth.


Which way round? I was a HiFi Dealer and enthusiast involved with KEF from the mid 70's to 2012 so I do know my subject. I respect the OP likes that sound, but it is outdated. It is incorrect to think that computers have no place in speaker development any more than they play a great part in any development of technology.
KEF have replaced their 'old school' engineers left over from the days of Raymond Cook their founder and now have a team of acoustic engineers most whom are in their twenties(obviously computer savvy), turning out some amazing quality speakers.(A young girl developed their 'Blade' technology) (My own are KEF LS50)
Do you seriously think that they developed them without 3D technology? watching the behaviour of drive cones and cabinet vibrations?
Modern materials like carbon silicate (Used by Dynaudio), Kevlar (B&W),super light Manesium alloys, etc have much improved drive cones over the old heavy plastic/bextrene ones from way back.
Lighter materials can move quicker with musical transients so there has to be better sound and much improved phase response especially with large bass drivers.(Peter Walker of Quad would have died to get his hands on Mylar when he was developing his electrostatic speakers but it wasn't around in those days)
I used to have a pair of KEF Ref.104AB's, in their day a highly respected speaker, but listening to them now they are awful compared to a new equivelent.
I was the first dealer in the UK to help Eclipse TD speakers get off the ground after they asked me to give opinions on them both at my dealership and Abbey Road Studios, (John Williams, and a host of other famous musicians, including the Royal Acadamy of Music use them) I've advised John Williams on his own studio set up, Steve Hackett(Ex Genesis) (KEF), Fish (Marillion).
I still have the original Rogers LS/35A BBC speakers which are now boxed up as I use the LS50's (a direct development from them) exclusively as the originals are not anywhere near as good.
As regards to your statement regarding shareholders etc, these companies like KEF, B&W would have gone long ago without computer aided development!
Anyway respect to the original poster I hope he gets them up and running.

Interesting reading.......
https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/ ... ceId=21855
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby cafe_liegeois » 15 Sep 2017 09:54

hauntedpenguin wrote:KEF have replaced their 'old school' engineers left over from the days of Raymond Cook their founder and now have a team of acoustic engineers most whom are in their twenties(obviously computer savvy), turning out some amazing quality speakers.(A young girl developed their 'Blade' technology) (My own are KEF LS50)


Reminds me of the days when they did the same at the P.A. business unit of a Dutch electronics giant, some 20 years ago. Sacked all the old engineers - far too expensive with 5 weeks of paid leave per year - and brought in a bunch of new ones, all fresh from university.

Those kids developed a whole new range of P.A. amplifiers purely by simulation on their computers. I already had the manuals on my desk for translation when the whole project was cancelled after the first samples turned out to be humming and oscillating to an extent that required them to restart from scratch. Mains transformers in the wrong places, hair-raising grounding schemes, you name it...

My trust in young engineers doing computer simulations hasn't recovered yet.

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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby hauntedpenguin » 15 Sep 2017 10:48

Oh dear! Fortunately KEF have a great talented team and have gone from strength to strength. All the speakers they have now are excellent especially their new active LS50.
The problem generally with older engineers (and they were groundbreaking in their era) is they are slow to adopt to newer technology and 'thinking' ouside the box (excuse the pun) Marketing a quality speaker needs fresh thinking to keep ahead of the opposition, and it has to be good!
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby whitenoise » 15 Sep 2017 16:47

I never said 3d computer imaging isn't used, I said that no 3d imaging can emulate the vast differences in the environments in which the speakers may or may not end up in.
And I shall stick to my claim that use of different materials cannot be simply because of improvements, there are far more reasons why a company will or may have to change materials, sound improvements etc may well be one of the reasons but it cannot be the only reason, again your reasoning is too simple to be true.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby hauntedpenguin » 16 Sep 2017 17:18

whitenoise wrote:I never said 3d computer imaging isn't used, I said that no 3d imaging can emulate the vast differences in the environments in which the speakers may or may not end up in.
And I shall stick to my claim that use of different materials cannot be simply because of improvements, there are far more reasons why a company will or may have to change materials, sound improvements etc may well be one of the reasons but it cannot be the only reason, again your reasoning is too simple to be true.


3D speaker research isn't based on 'what environments' they will be used in. It is based on how a drive unit moves under musical frequencies,(it must move in a completely uniform manner) and how a cabinet influences the sound... not how a speaker works/sounds in a room (that is another science) Most speakers are developed in anechoic chambers.
You seem to imply that cone material research is not just for sound improvement but that it may save money and cheaper to transport??? That is just stupid if you believe that.
Ring KEF, B&W, Dynaudio's speaker research labs and ask them how many thousands, or even millions of pounds they invest to make their speakers better... you may be surprised.
Here Dynaudio speak about their research..
https://www.dynaudio.com/dynaudio/technology
Cheers, I don't have to explain myself any more to you or perhaps I've wasted the last 40 years in audio.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby whitenoise » 16 Sep 2017 20:04

I feel your missing my point entirely, I have twice stated that modern day materials are used in the pursuit of a "better" sound, I have never aimed to deny that whatsoever ....but I have stated that the pursuit of a better sounding speaker cannot be the only reason for using type "A" or "B" material within the speaker design and production.

I totally agree that it would be a delusion if one thought that cost was the only factor involved in new materials being tried and tested in respect of speaker design ...but you must see that stating that its only because of the pursuit of improvement that materials etc are chosen is equally as delusional.

Your 3d statements completely explain my point far better than my two attempts evidently did. Thank you.
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Re: KEF Chorale.

Postby whitenoise » 16 Sep 2017 20:15

...i do own a pair of b&w CM1 S2's, fantastic speakers. I need not ring anyone regarding how they sound, the development or any production issues they may or may not have encountered regarding them.

I would suggest that the only time wasted was the time you spent responding to the initial thread.
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