KEF is a British loudspeaker manufacturer with international distribution. It was founded in Maidstone, Kent in 1961 by electrical engineer Raymond Cooke, with a view to create innovative loudspeakers using the latest in materials technology. Ever since, models like the 104A/B and 105 achieved worldwide acclaim, and KEF’s premium Reference Series has been synonymous with acoustic excellence. The company is now owned by GP Acoustics, which is itself a member of the Hong Kong-based Gold Peak Group. Innovation is what sets KEF apart. It's why it was founded, and why it has attracted some of the world's most gifted acoustic engineers.
The first loudspeaker manufactured was the K1 Slimline for which the drive units used diaphragms made of polystyrene and melinex. Soon after, in 1962, came the famous B139 racetrack shaped woofer which allowed the design of the Celeste–one of the first truly high performance bookshelf loudspeakers. In the mid-1960s, KEF introduced the bextrene-coned B110 bass-midrange unit and the melinex-domed T27 tweeter which were later used in the diminutive BBC-designed LS3/5A broadcast monitor. In the early 1970s, KEF was the first company to adopt computers for the testing and design of loudspeakers leading to the 'Total System Design' methodology and more sophisticated production techniques such as driver pair matching. The radical Model 105 system, released in 1977, embodied this new philosophy and was one of the most highly regarded loudspeakers of its time. Later, The New York Times recognised KEF as: "The leading audio company in Europe", also a "Well known to American High-End audiophiles”.
Some other important technologies developed and brought to the market by KEF include: driver decoupling (Model 105.2, 1979), coupled-cavity bass loading (Model 104/2, 1984), conjugate load matching (Model 104/2, 1984), the "KEF Universal Bass Equaliser" (Model 107, 1986) and the Uni-Q (C-Series, 1988).
The founders of KEF believed that innovation is a continuous process, and not a destination. Well, we must say, KEF still leads the way!
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