KEF. A short tale of value, service, customer satisfaction


Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1308
Registered: Dec-03
Let me pass on a recent experience that has reinforced my own long-term preference for KEF. The following is edited out of a various posts on the thread DVD-Audio & SACD > Plunging into Multi-channel

The speakers in question are KEF Coda II, a budget model, a two-driver, sealed-box, large "Bookshelf" design. Information from KEF website: Coda II

April 29

I already have quite a lot of speakers, but my pushing the limits with HT and trying to get an old amp up and running have caused a couple of systems failures. I am currently investigating repair/replacement of a 1982 KEF tweeter. Local distributor says "too old" (the speaker, that is...) but I am tenacious and hate planned obsolescence.

May 01

The KEF distributor who suggested repair of the SP3004 tweeter stopped replying to my e-mails when I described the problem. If you look at it, a complete replacement coil should not cost more than about $15 equivalent, if mass produced, even today, I should think. There is about as much technology in there as in a door-bell. A pretty well-made door-bell, admittedly. And there is nothing wrong with the magnet, of course (made in France btw).

May 10

I have blown a tweeter in a 1982 KEF Coda II. At the weekend, clutching at the final straw, I filled in the on-line query form on the KEF website, not hoping for too much. First thing Monday morning (edited):-

Dear Mr A____

Yes we can supply a replacement assembly for this tweeter. The part No. is 990030A and the cost will be £12.13 each. The cost of sending to ______ will be £13.95. This shipping cost will cover up to 0.5 kgs, so if you wanted more than 1 the shipping cost remains the same

_____ ____
Service Department Manager
KEF AUDIO (UK) Limited / Celestion Consumer Division

Yes, I've ordered a pair. They will be matched. I'll keep the old one just case. I think that's a good company to deal with. I have always like the sound of KEF speakers, and the build quality, too.

June 05

After sending KEF an order and cheque for a matched pair of tweeter coil assemblies for my 1982 Coda 2 loudspeakers (see May 10), and hearing nothing from them, I phoned up on June 02. No record. "Sorry, we've searched all our records; nothing from you". Lost post to and from where I live is frequent. I believe them.

me: "It happens I am visiting London tomorrow and the day after - could you possibly accept payment by card now, and perhaps have the coils shipped to the following address to arrive not later that 10 a.m. Friday 04 June? I am willing to pay for courier delivery."

KEF rep: "Certainly, Sir. We are sorry your order seems to have been lost somewhere, but I can be certain it was not by us. Nevertheless we will now ship them to you tomorrow, for overnight delivery, without charge".

9 a.m. 04 June FedEx delivery to where is was staying, from KEF in Maidstone. Bring them home in my cabin baggage late Friday night. No security issue at London Heathrow, rather to my surprise (they must have looked suspicious in the X-ray, surely).

Installed by me, this morning. Took ten minutes.

Perfect sound, as good as new. Awesome speakers; always were.

Total cost: £24.26 for two tweeter coil assemblies. No charge for delivery.

Beat that for service!

Final note, June 06

They sound really great. I've listened to some music and a test disc. I find both my wife and I hear to about 14 kHz; teenage children to about 16-17 kHz. The speakers clearly perform to original specification - good strong tone at 65 Hz, even something audible at 32 Hz.

The total cost to me was about equal to what I thought was a humorous exaggeration on May 01, not much more than $15 per speaker.

Anyone thinking of new speakers as a long-term investment, please consider this story.

Silver Member
Username: Robertinchico

Post Number: 121
Registered: Apr-04
That was a nice KEF tale.
I recall when I was a student I had some AR-18's. A popular little bookshelf during Acoustic Research' prime. I had it attached to an original Technics CD player that sounded like a payphone (it was harsh and steely) my Pioneer receiver (with power output gages!) and my SANYO cassette deck. One day while moving the speaker (Like a Fool) I had a screwdriver in my hand. Clumsily, I POKED a hole right in the tweeter. There was no way to replace the driver and so the speakers were virtually ruined due to a minor accident.

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1315
Registered: Dec-03

I once blew the tweeters on the same speakers by connecting a tape recorder on "monitor" and "input" then pressing "record". They let out a high pitched tone, then fell silent, with burned-out coils. I felt very foolish. On that occasion, I got a service centre to replace them, but the labour cost were absurd, and I did not want to go that route again, this time. Now I have learned for myself what the service centre did, I feel quite cheated: it really does only take 10 minutes to unscrew the drivers and replace the coils. I would expect the AR speakers to be just as easy to repair. It is common sense. If you have a blown tweeter, you lose nothing by taking it apart to have a look at how it is constructed: you can't break it even more. Electromagnetic speaker drivers are fairly simple and robust things: all the art of the maker is in the interaction of the drivers with each other, the cabinet, and in the crossover unit: you do not change any of that by replacing one of the components.
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