KEF Products | Technology | History

The All-New R Series: Addressing A Tiny Gap In the Pursuit Of Musical Perfection

KEF has been researching and perfecting its Uni-Q technology since 1988. Already considered the premiere point-source mid-range / tweeter array available, improvements to the Uni-Q in the newly released R Series have pushed the state of the art even further. With the 12th generation Uni-Q, highs are clearer and more natural and when acting in concert with the other R Series improvements, the soundstage is more life-like and three-dimensional than was ever before available in its class.

The Uni-Q is basically two different drivers – doing two different jobs – working together as one single apparent driver. It’s the physical alignment of the two drivers that makes the Uni-Q capable of producing such a spectacular listening experience, but the best part about constantly moving our technology forward is our ability to take something that is already performing at an incredibly high level – the Uni-Q – and designing tweaks that result in really exciting improvements.

Since the tweeter and the mid-range driver are two separate devices, there is a necessary gap between each. Some of the musical energy – now in the form of air pressure – created by a speaker driver tends to want to cling to the surface nearest it, so some high-frequency energy is bound to slip down inside this gap. Once this energy moves into the gap it tends to reflect back toward the front of the driver. This reflected energy is now delayed and not in synch or phase with the energy currently being produced by the driver. That slight delay causes time-smearing and an overall muddling of the output of the driver. Standing waves inside the gap can also develop causing artificial bumps in energy or a loss of energy at particular frequencies.

We’ve solved this problem by creating a channel between the tweeter and mid-range magnets, and then adding damping material to that gap. This works to reduce to the point of elimination this unwanted energy and the resonances it causes.

The result? Highs that are as natural sounding as the real thing, mids- that are not interfered with by reflected high-frequency energy and a soundstage that is stunning in its realism.

A tiny gap between a tweeter and a mid-range might seem like an inconsequential thing to other speakers in its class, but to us, anything that gets in the way of the music is a big deal.

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