KEF Reference 201/2 -- Still Recommended?

To Doug Schneider,

I found a brand new pair of KEF Reference 201/2 speakers in black-piano finish for $2200/pair. I know the Reference 1s have replaced these speakers, but these speakers were originally $6000, minimum $5000/pair. In your expert opinion, would you recommend them? My budget doesn’t allow me to pay $7999/pair for the Reference 1s and still afford the proper receiver/amp to power my system.

Thank you,
Robert S.
United States

I definitely do recommend the 201/2! I absolutely loved the pair that I reviewed. For $2200, it sounds like a steal. However, I am glad you’re thinking about an amp. I do want to point out that the 201/2 isn’t very sensitive and it presents a bit of a difficult load for some amps. As a result, forget about a tube amp and go straight for a fairly high-powered solid-state design (at least 100Wpc into 8 ohms) that’s stable into lower impedances (to about 2 ohms). Luckily, the low price for these speakers seems to allow you some flexibility when it comes to choosing an amp, so use the extra money to shop wisely. . . . Doug Schneider