KEF 104.2 Restoration, trials, tribulations and success! Pics included!

Hey all!

I gent in Manhattan was recommended to me to restore his KEFs. He's the original owner, and a sound engineer to boot!
He disassembled them prior to delivering them to my house. At first he was considering shipping them to me, and I told him that's a total waste of money, and it's cheaper to rent a car for the day. Anyway, be borrowed a car and dropped them off a couple weeks ago.

The woofer center doughnut dust caps were rotted, and he told me the tweeters were distorted. So I ordered the dust caps, Ferrofluid and the owner ordered the cap kit from Falcon in the UK for the crossovers.

So starting on the center doughnuts it ended up the two bottom woofers had distortion. I'm guessing one, debris and crumbs fell into the VCs from the disintegrating dust caps, and they were also over driven. I tried to reshape the formers with shims, and using alcohol, and compressed air to help clean the VCs as well. No success, shit! Finding a pair of these in the wild will be very difficult. Well, two days later, a pair showed up on fleabay. I contacted the KEF owner to alert him to the issue, and he said proceed. I contacted the ebay seller to confirm they had no VC rub, he said they had just been tested before removal, were good, so I grabbed them.

Onto the tweeters. There's several very good videos on Youtube showing the process of replacing the Ferrofluid, which I followed. Well, the original Ferrofluid was like thick tar, and acted like glue keeping the former in the gap, causing it to separate from the dome! Also the Ferrofluid had baked onto the former. Clearly what was causing the highend distortion the owner was hearing. So again I contacted the owner, and suggested we order the Morels (MDT-29-4, 4ohm) that have been highly regarded as perfect replacements. Some thought they are better than the original tweeters. So I ordered the new tweeters, and now back in business.

The two woofers arrived, and I finished replacing the dustcaps. The Morels arrived, and some minor mods are required to fit them as they are a little deeper than the originals. There's a sliding piece of wood with a blind nut that the screw screws into to anchor the tweeter. The blind nut needs to be countersunk in the wood block so it can slide over the tweeter and tighten the screw down to hold the tweeter in place. Pretty odd way to mount a tweeter.

The crossovers have 16 caps. It took me 3 hours to do both. Falcon sent one wrong cap, and sent me the correct value replacements.
Once the crossovers were done, they just needed to be reassembled for test listening. All went well, they sound great! Put all the foam and stuffing back in place and they are done.

The cabs are black, and had lots of small chips. Being black, I cleaned them up with black markers blending it in with my finger.

One of the odd things in the design is the top woofer facing upward into the cavity, instead of facing down towards the bottom woofer and port. Seems like the top woofer isn't adding much.

Anyway, here's pics.

Cheers, Glenn
Bottom looking up.jpgIMG_2574.jpgIMG_2575.jpgIMG_2582.jpgIMG_2583.jpgIMG_2592.jpgIMG_2619.jpgIMG_2620.jpgIMG_2623.jpgIMG_2624.jpgIMG_2625.jpgIMG_2626.jpgIMG_2659.jpgIMG_2662.jpgIMG_2663.jpgIMG_2681.jpgIMG_2684.jpgIMG_2685.jpgIMG_2687.jpgIMG_2688.jpgIMG_2689.jpgIMG_2690.jpgIMG_2691.jpgIMG_2693.jpgIMG_2694.jpgIMG_2695.jpgIMG_2696.jpgIMG_2697.jpgIMG_2698.jpgIMG_2699.jpgIMG_2701.jpgIMG_2702.jpgIMG_2703.jpgInterior looking down-Crossover screw mounts.jpgRe-capped Crossovers.jpgTop looking down.jpgVC wires stapled to spider.jpg
 
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S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Fine work bud. I really need to link up with you to begin work on those AR classics for my Boy!
 
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Hey all!

I gent in Manhattan was recommended to me to restore his KEFs. He's the original owner, and a sound engineer to boot!
He disassembled them prior to delivering them to my house. At first he was considering shipping them to me, and I told him that's a total waste of money, and it's cheaper to rent a car for the day. Anyway, be borrowed a car and dropped them off a couple weeks ago.

The woofer center doughnut dust caps were rotted, and he told me the tweeters were distorted. So I ordered the dust caps, Ferrofluid and the owner ordered the cap kit from Falcon in the UK for the crossovers.

So starting on the center doughnuts it ended up the two bottom woofers had distortion. I'm guessing one, debris and crumbs fell into the VCs from the disintegrating dust caps, and they were also over driven. I tried to reshape the formers with shims, and using alcohol, and compressed air to help clean the VCs as well. No success, shit! Finding a pair of these in the wild will be very difficult. Well, two days later, a pair showed up on fleabay. I contacted the KEF owner to alert him to the issue, and he said proceed. I contacted the ebay seller to confirm they had no VC rub, he said they had just been tested before removal, were good, so I grabbed them.

Onto the tweeters. There's several very good videos on Youtube showing the process of replacing the Ferrofluid, which I followed. Well, the original Ferrofluid was like thick tar, and acted like glue keeping the former in the gap, causing it to separate from the dome! Also the Ferrofluid had baked onto the former. Clearly what was causing the highend distortion the owner was hearing. So again I contacted the owner, and suggested we order the Morels (MDT-29-4, 4ohm) that have been highly regarded as perfect replacements. Some thought they are better than the original tweeters. So I ordered the new tweeters, and now back in business.

The two woofers arrived, and I finished replacing the dustcaps. The Morels arrived, and some minor mods are required to fit them as they are a little deeper than the originals. There's a smiting piece of wood with a blind nut that the screw screws into to anchor the tweeter. The blind nut needs to be countersunk in the wood block so it can slide over the tweeter and tighten the screw down to hold the tweeter in place. Pretty odd way to mount a tweeter.

The crossovers have 16 caps. It took me 3 hours to do both. Falcon sent one wrong cap, and sent me the correct value replacements.
Once the crossovers were done, they just needed to be reassembled for test listening. All went well, they sound great! Put all the foam and stuffing back in place and they are done.

The cabs are black, and had lots of small chips. Being black, I cleaned them up with black markers blending it in with my finger.

One of the odd things in the design is the top woofer facing upward into the cavity, instead of facing down towards the bottom woofer and port. Seems like the top woofer isn't adding much.

Anyway, here's pics.

Cheers, Glenn
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It looks like we have been speaker busy lately. Nice job here, they are definitely odd speakers. Great spending though.
You also have some double and triple images here, it appears that the uploader produced multiples of the same thing.
 
It looks like we have been speaker busy lately. Nice job here, they are definitely odd speakers. Great spending though.
You also have some double and triple images here, it appears that the uploader produced multiples of the same thing.
Hey Tim!
Yeah, I’m trying to figure out why or how this happened. I need to edit, delete and reload the images, unless there’s another way. Not quite like AK, which is easy to delete duplicated images.

Anyway, interesting speakers, though an odd design. I like their sound a lot, though they wouldn’t dethrone any of my current herd. Fun project though. The owner is abroad, so I may have them for another week or so, and get to know them better, experiment with different amps.

EDIT: Fixed duped images.

Glenn
 
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Nice work buddy!
With the little fixes done to the black black ash finish, what would you think about spraying some fresh lacquer on those cabinets?
 
Nice work buddy!
With the little fixes done to the black black ash finish, what would you think about spraying some fresh lacquer on those cabinets?
Hi David!

Thanks! I'm not going down that rabbit hole! Also, way too cold to spray Lacquer which I have to do in the garage. These are done. The agreed fees were for sonic restoration, no cab work. I've touched them up, and they present far better than when dropped off.
Thanks again for recommending me for this project.

Cheers, Glenn
 
One of the odd things in the design is the top woofer facing upward into the cavity, instead of facing down towards the bottom woofer and port. Seems like the top woofer isn't adding much.
It's a coupled cavity design creating a 4th order band pass to give more SPL at higher more utilised bass frequencies at the expense of LF extension. You also get cancellation of resonances which wouldn't work if you mounted the other way round.
 
Nice work, Glenn! I enjoyed the time I spent with my old 104.2's. Definitely not an easy speaker to recap/restore, but worth the effort in my opinion if you're handy. I'm sure the owner will be pleased with your work and the much improved SQ!
 
Nice work, Glenn! I enjoyed the time I spent with my old 104.2's. Definitely not an easy speaker to recap/restore, but worth the effort in my opinion if you're handy. I'm sure the owner will be pleased with your work and the much improved SQ!
Thanks Matt! I just heard from the owner, and he will be abroad dealing with his mothers estate affairs to the end of the month. I feel bad for him, but I'll have them until at least the first week of May to enjoy. These are the first KEFs I've had extended listening sessions with. Really excellent speakers. Not as forward as my ADSs though.
 
So these are still with me. The owner and his wife are in Israel, and currently stuck there with the current violence.
Ive been in contact with them, and they are ok, and don’t know when they will be able to fly home. Scary shit to be in the middle of. So for now, I’m listening to them a fair amount and they are really smooth, east coast, British sound for sure. After listening to them for a while, and then switching to my ADS 910s, they almost sound too forward!
 
Weird eh? Hope they find their way back soon. But n the meantime, those are some nice speakers to put some time in with for sure.
 
Weird eh? Hope they find their way back soon. But n the meantime, those are some nice speakers to put some time in with for sure.
Scary as hell! The owner said they had to hide under cement stair cases and in basements. I can’t imagine.
 
The owner and his friend came to pickup the KEFs yesterday. He was extremely happy, which made me very happy.
We hung out for about two hours listening the KEFs, and most of my speakers. Both gents are in the sound production business. They were amazed at how different each set of speakers sounded, and loved the ADS 910s, AR-LST2s, but their biggest surprise was the AR3s. They were beyond impressed by them, their overall balance, dimensionality, but the bass, blew them away. We had a great afternoon. It was so nice to actually hangout with people in a “normal” manner! We all wore our masks, but felt totally comfortable. Thanks David for sending this project my way. A great experience all around!
 
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