MEET YOUR MAKER
KEF speakers turn up in all sorts of places, from recording
studios to high-end home cinema systems, but what makes them so special, and
where do they come from?
Weird name, German maybe?
Actually they hail from Ecclestone Road, Maidstone, in Kent
So what’s a KEF?
It stands for Kent Engineering & Foundry, the name of
the former occupants of a Nissen Hut, on the banks of the Medway River, where
electrical engineer Raymond Cooke set up his loudspeaker factory, in 1961.
What was the first product?
The K1 speaker, using revolutionary materials like
polystyrene and Mylar; remember this was the early 1960s. Then came the famous
Celeste bookshelf speaker, it was an instant hit.
Off to a good start then?
A succession of top sellers followed, including the Concord,
Concerto, Cresta and the Chorale in 1969. The first of two Queens Awards for
Export came Kef’s way in 1970.
KEF pioneered computer design in the early 1970s, the first
of the Reference Series models appeared in 1973. The innovative three-storey Model 105 was launched in 1977 and the US
market opened up in 1985. In 1988 the revolutionary Uni-Q, single point source
speakers made their first appearance.
KEF was acquired by new owners in 1992; new models and
accolades flowed thick and fast. Sadly Raymond Cooke died in 1996 but his
spirit of innovation continues with new Q Series and Monitor Series speaker,