KEF Reference 207/2 Stereo Speakers Page 3

Reviewers spill a lot of ink describing the sound of a particular speaker. The ideal speaker has no sound of its own at all. It's transparent and neither adds nor subtracts from the music. It removes itself from the equation. The highest compliment you can pay to a loudspeaker is to say that you can't hear it. That was largely the case with the 207/2s. Throughout my audition, I found myself listening to music, not speakers.

Movie Performance Even without a center or surrounds, an awesome 2.0 setup like this can still provide excellent accompaniment to images. The Philip Glass score sounded superb on the DVD of The Illusionist. The quiet violin parts can seem distant on some other speakers, while the forceful violin parts can sound harsh. But all was well; there's something magical about natural-sounding strings, and these speakers positively sparkled with it. Similarly, the score to the Ray Charles biopic Ray was top-drawer. Piano and vocals were simply pristine.

Turning to action fare, I checked out Superman Returns, wondering how the subsonic fest in the Space Shuttle scene would sound without a dedicated subwoofer. Answer: very good. As I suspected they might, the 207/2's dual woofers driven by a large power amp can at least equal the output and sound quality of many small subs; they handled the rocket-engine blasts, explosions, ambient rumble, and other assorted long wavelengths with aplomb. The rock-solid cabinets were free of resonances, the ports were free of chuffing (except when driven to the very loudest levels), and the lower octave was powerful enough to rattle the bric-a-brac.

Of course, if you were lucky enough to own a pair of 207/2s, you'd still want to add KEF's Reference center-channel speaker and surrounds to complement movie playback. KEF has just begun shipping a matching subwoofer as well, but I don't know that I'd need to bother with the bottom half-octave it might deliver beyond the towers' four 10-inch woofers. Trust me: They move plenty of air, provided you have the upstream amp to drive them.

Bottom Line "I am not worthy, I am not worthy." That's what I thought when I first started listening to these speakers. But not surprisingly, I quickly grew accustomed to their luxurious sound, and I soon realized I could get very used to this level of fidelity. Clearly, at $20,000 a pair, I expect speakers to sound good. Fortunately, these KEF's did not disappoint in any way. Their level of transparency was simply marvelous. If your ears are sufficiently sophisticated, you'll be amazed to hear what other speakers have been concealing in your disc collection all these years. What more can I say? With the 207/2, KEF has earned its place as the Rolls-Royce of speaker builders.

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