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KEF engineers do not believe in compromise. The svelte styling of R5 contains the same Uni-Q as its bigger brothers, with a 125mm (5in.) midrange driver and 25mm (1 in.) aluminium dome tweeter producing incredible levels of detail. The slightly smaller 130mm (5.25 in) bass drivers still produce exceptionally clean bass, whilst being easily placed in a smaller room, or as surround speakers as part of an ultimate home theatre system.
Developed by KEF in 1988, the Uni-Q driver array acts as a single point source, providing pristine sound across a wider area. The R Series benefits from a new incarnation of this driver array, with advantages over its predecessors that include a new midrange motor system that drastically reduces distortion.
Air moving across the minute gaps between Uni-Q’s separate elements creates tiny resonances, but KEF engineers have reduced the impact of these necessary gaps by opening a cavity behind the drivers and adding resonance-absorbing damping material for more precise, purer treble.
Derived from the Reference Series, the Shadow Flare reduces harmful cabinet diffraction and allows the Uni-Q to work at its highest level.
More than just a trim ring, Shadow flare is a precision-designed surface that extends the waveguide effect of Uni-Q. The tweeter no longer has line of sight of the cabinet edges, creating a ‘shadow region’ at the points where the potential for diffraction is highest, minimising the acoustic impact to negligible levels.
The result is improved clarity, particularly when it comes to the subtle nuances of plucked strings and percussive sounds.
The R Series’ dedicated low-frequency drivers have a two-part structure, where a shallow concave aluminium skin sits atop a paper cone. This adds stiffness, while the cone’s unique geometry reduces resonances and delivers the pistonic movement that makes these drivers time so well.
The new drivers also have a completely redesigned magnet system that creates a more even magnetic field, and a design of spider that reduces harmonic distortion for a cleaner, more precise sound.
KEF engineers computer-modeled the ideal crossover networks before exhaustively auditioning every high grade component, individually and together, to select those with the lowest distortion and the smoothest response. Perfectionism takes time, but the difference is plain to hear. Nothing is overlooked - Reference crossovers are even mounted on separate boards and decoupled from the cabinet walls to minimize vibration and crosstalk.