KEF R11 Loudspeaker Review

July 25, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Change to a big orchestral work, such as Bernstein conducting the overture from his opera ‘Candide’ [Bernstein Conducts Bernstein; Sony Classical SS 89043, DSD64], and the R11s show all their abilities in one 4m 16s track. The opening is explosive and hard-charging, with a great impression of ordered chaos in both the writing and the sound. These speakers swiftly relax into the fluid, romantic middle section, then gather up the power for the closing, charging to the finish with especially notable punch in the percussion. It’s a compact, total thrill-ride – on some speakers it can sound rather thin and brash, but via the R11s, with their solid low-end power, it just sounds big and exciting.

That’s also true in the way the R11s handle piano which, with its combination of potential delicacy in the right hand and room-shaking ability in the left, is always a stern test of any speaker. Play Stephen Hough’s recording of Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton [Hyperion SACDA67501/2] and the power of the musical forces, and drama they generate, grabs you in an instant. Yet it’s just as easy to appreciate the balance and definition, and the superb soundstage image the speakers are casting, with the piano full-bodied before the orchestra.”


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