New KEF Reference 5 speakers

After many months of auditioning speakers (and probably testing the patience of several salesmen) I finally decided to get the KEF Reference 5s.  I just loved the wide sound stage and almost holographic imaging, among other things.  They were delivered in February and I’ve spent many hours listening.  At first I was disappointed.  They just didn’t produce the same imaging at my house with my equipment as in the store.  Also, they sounded bright and harsh with violins and high end music.  The dealer came to my house along with the regional sales rep from KEF to provide advice.  They urged me to allow more break in time (at that point they had been played about 100 hours). After many more hours, I am becoming more acquainted with them.  They are still improving with time.  Them break in period seems to be very lon. They’ve played several hundred hours and are still improving. They are extremely source sensitive—meaning that a poorly engineered record or CD will sound terrible and a well recorded one can be great.  I suppose this is a good thing with the KEFS-that they reveal flaws so well says something about their accuracy. Unfortunately there seem to be more bad recordings than good ones so I’m finding many of my CDs and records very difficult to listen to.  I am still experimenting with speaker placement, learning which recordings are really good and which aren’t and other tweaks.  Not totally convinced it’s love but we are at least in like and the relationship is moving in a positive direction. I’ve delayed posting anything until now because I didn’t want to share any premature conclusions.  
yyzsantabarbara1,285 posts02-12-2020 8:10pm" Anybody else wondering if KEF is going to release a newer version of the REFERENCE line or even the Blades. The REFERENCE line currently has a huge sale going on. I spoke with a dealer a few days ago about the Blade and my jaw dropped when I heard the quote for a new Blade2. I won't repeat the number here but me thinks the are clearing out the old stock for some new top end line at KEF."

santab: I've been anticipating/thinking  the same thing. The current Ref's are 6-years old now ! And not a single change (other than recent new color/finish).

New/upgraded (REF/Blase) models must surely be nearing.


Paradigm Persona are incredible speakers...Only heard KEF Reference at shows, never impressed.

Persona 5f and 9h I know very well and compared against very serious competition, and I can say with confidence that Persona speakers are among the best in their price range. 
@allhifi There are 5 Blades on sales today on A'gon, 4 of them by dealers. Dealers hardly ever sell Blades on A'gon in the past. It was mostly consumers. My money is on an new upgraded version of the Blades in the pipeline.

Thanks for staying with this thread. I just acquired a pair of KEF Ref 5.  I set them up where I had the r500, and they didn't impress me. I read everything I could find on Audiogon (and appreciated your persistence)- once I cleared out ALL FURNITURE from the room- then set up the system , and placed the speakers correctly in the room- they came alive! They need a lot of space! I will need to get rid of some furniture. I am using the PARASOUND HALO (original) integrated (and using the Parasound DAC) . Although I don't have to raise the volume past the 9 O'Clock position to get really good holographic and open sound with strong bass- I feel I am not getting as much as I could from these speakers at lower volumes. I also like classical, and violins seem a bit edgy with the Parasound. Now I am going down the rabbit hole of thinking about a different amp/pre-amp.

In the old days I had the KEF Ref 105/2 with PS Audio pre amp and Adcom GFA 555- I loved that sound. Trying to get there again with the reference 5's. Either my memory remembers them better than they were- or I still have room for improvement with the Parasound... I would love to hear from any KEF REF 5, 3 or blade owners on amp matching. My brother swears by Van Alstine (Tube pre-amp, SS Amp). Anyone tried that with KEF reference ?
Doryb-glad your Ref5s improved when you moved furniture. It’s not clear whether you got the speakers new or used. If they’re new, they will need lots of time to reach maximum performance level (as you can tell from my prior posts) so stick with it.  They’re also very sensitive to placement as you’ve learned so don’t be reluctant to experiment.  You might even consult hiring someone with expertise in speaker placement, although this can be expensive.  As for electronics, I was using an Audio Research power amp and preamp.  I replaced the power amp with a Krell, mainly because I got tired of dealing with tubes. The Krell amp/Audio Research preamp sound great (although I am considering a new preamp as the Audio Research is 25 years old). The more I listen to the Ref 5s, the more impressed I am an happier that I patiently waited them out. Hope you have the same experience!