Stereo & Video Magazine

KEF Reference 3 Floorstanding Speaker Test


LIVING ATHMOS Reference line balanced interconnect cables were used to connect pre-amplifier and power amplifier. LIVING ATHMOS reference line RCA cable was used to connect CD player to pre-amplifier. LIVING ATHMOS Ultimate line acoustic cables were used for speaker connections. LIVING ATHMOS Standard Line power cable was used to power CD Player and regular power cables were used to power pre-amplifier and power amplifier.

I was offered to listen to a set of speakers that were not burnt in, straight from the packing boxes. My first impression is exceptional neutrality and linear sound reproduction with unprecedented high fidelity that gave an effect of special clarity and airiness of the sound reproduction. This effect is mainly pronounced in higher frequencies, and as a result it feels excessive.

I also thought that if KEF company lines “computation hydrodynamic” concept that much, it might as well switch from acoustics to boats and submarine production. But in the process of my sound testing I was offered to alter the test parameters. We swapped regular s cables from pre-amplifier and power amplifier for better quality cables made by LIVING ATHMOS. Surprisingly, the sound has changed significantly: sharpness disappeared and middle range got warmer undertones and even hint of emotions, although basses became less articulated. The speakers started to sound beautifully, that further proves the point that these speakers are highly sensitive to the quality of connecting cables.