Wokeye

Kef R500 Replacement Driver Colour Issue?

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Posted (edited)

One of the bass drivers has a fault on my white Kef R500 speakers.  I bought these used, and was concerned when the issue occurred, that most of the drivers that I have seen on these speakers on google images are nearly black.  Mine are beige.  I sent an email to Kef UK and raised my concerns.  They stated that the drivers on these speakers are all black and UV could of caused the drivers to fade.  I've never come across this in my life on a speaker.    I guess I'm either going to have to live with the fault, replace all 4 drivers (which isn't cost effective as they are about £125 each), or use the ugly grills.  Just wondered about other owners experiences..

Pretty disappointing if they are telling the truth and this has actually happened.  I've had several sets of Kef speakers, This will be the last.  

file-1.jpeg

Edited by Wokeye

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

It seems extraordinary that a black driver could fade so much.  But, curiosity piqued, I googled the images. 

Somebody else seems to have had the same problem...https://images.app.goo.gl/mNvwwaLtGL3h3yJY8

Or is that a trick of the light?  Perhaps your local KEF dealer assist with this, as they may have seen it?

Edited by Nopiano
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Don’t know if this is a good solution. I never found white speakers attractive until recently. There is a pair of white linn ninkas with a center trikan on eBay Germany for €1000 but since I was watching it I got a message saying that seller would accept offers at 650.

Maybe a good time to switch them
Over.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

I have a feeling that this is maybe a common issue as it was the what the representative suggested in an email, as though it's acceptable.  I would assume that it has came up before and is possibly an issue that they are well aware of, as I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had to replace a driver on such a popular speaker.   Considering that these speakers aren't really ancient it's a really poor product.  I've had various speakers for 30 years and never ever encountered something like this.  I can't think of any product I have, maybe an old red car fading before they started using clearcoats.  Obviously these drivers are coated with a really poor product.

I honestly thought that they were two different versions of this speaker as the difference in driver colour is so extreme.  I guess I'll have to buy another driver and leave it on the window sill for a few years, compare it every six months to see if the colour has faded to the desired tone, it's the way that Kef UK are describing it anyway, no other choice really.

Time to change brands.  I'll have to sort this somehow though, I am not the type of person whom would sell speakers with an issue.

Considering Kef UK are not really helpful at all, is there anyway a speaker driver can be repaired at all?  This driver is fine most of the time, but with certain music with pretty heavy bass this driver makes a kind of clacking noise, it's the only way I can describe it.  When the driver is gently pushed in, it has a noise like paper moving, or being lightly crumpled.  The other drivers do not do this.  I'm guessing it's had it, just clutching at straws really.  

Edited by Wokeye

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Super Wammer

I’m surprised at a general level because KEF make much of their engineering prowess.  However, I’ve read about the various colour coatings they offer, but can’t remember if it is anodised or what exactly.  It’s obviously for appearance sake, not the sound.  The replacement R range has different colours to complement the various wood and other cabinet finishes. 

The fault you’re describing sounds like good old fashioned overheated voice coil, where it becomes slightly out of shape or some adhesive oozes out, which catches slightly.  Elsewhere I’ve seen a suggestion that you move the cone gently in and out to scrape any protruding bits away, but of course you may make it worse.  Have you discovered how the units are fastened? Are there conventional screws behind those metal rings, or are they secured from inside?

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Posted (edited)

If you bought them used, and beige, how do you know they havent been replaced at some point in their life with alternatives, maybe aftermarket?

Maybe take out the driver and see what the part number on the back says.

Black would not normally fade to brown on a normal colour spectrum and definitely not in the uniformity both of those have, on both sides? Not a chance. So this is definitely interesting and worth further investigation.

The new R5 has a walnut/beige driver option which is what they actually look like, but they have only been out for a year or so, so can't imagine it has those fitted.

Edited by The Chronicals
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Posted (edited)

The units are really easy to remove.  You just gently prise out the plastic trim ring, then it is held in with several phillips screws.  It is a genuine Kef driver, I would never have contacted them without knowing the part number.  They are really easy to remove, thanks for the info on the voice coil, I may have a try.  I've usually had drivers that aren't coated, I never gave it a thought.  I won't be buying anything from Kef again though, they weren't cheap and should be better.

IMG-3249.JPG

Edited by Wokeye

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55 minutes ago, Wokeye said:

The units are really easy to remove.  You just gently prise out the plastic trim ring, then it is held in with several phillips screws.  It is a genuine Kef driver, I would never have contacted them without knowing the part number.  They are really easy to remove, thanks for the info on the voice coil, I may have a try.  I've usually had drivers that aren't coated, I never gave it a thought.  I won't be buying anything from Kef again though, they weren't cheap and should be better.

IMG-3249.JPG

I think you're missing out, the Kef R range is one of the best speaker on the market.

So you bought these used, with the faded drivers - and now you're upset that the product you bought has used as developed a fault and you've found out it was faulty at the time you bought it? 

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I may be bias here as a KEF speaker owner. You bought your speakers used or s/h without history or clue from the previous owner if they have been overdriven or misused then blamed KEF?

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To be fair, I don't think the OP is blaming KEF for the fault, but rather for the fact that the units seem prone to colour fading.

I have to agree that if they are supposed to be black, that's one hell of a change.

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Posted (edited)

I bought them off somebody that I used to work with, they were not faulty when I bought them.  The room he kept in was actually pretty dark.  The fault developed in my ownership, I've had them for quite a while.  They have always been this colour, ever since I bought them.  I might get in contact with him see what colour they were when he bought them new. So no, I haven't bought something that was faulty.. I was just seeking other peoples opinions whom owned these speakers to be honest.  

Everybody to their own, I've had 4 sets of Kef speakers.  I just don't expect a coating to fade with UV light to this extent from black.  It was the first thing that was mentioned in a reply from KEF (UV light) , I'm just assuming that they know its an issue, just as some people seem to be assuming that I bought some abused speakers.

  Not on a speaker that is about 5 years old.  If that's what other Kef owners deem as acceptable that's fine.  Components fail, and I've bought parts off Kef before and they have been spot-on.  There's lots of other decent speakers around.  I personally won't be buying Kef again.  It's not like these drivers are unevenly coloured like you'd expect with UV light, it's all uniform on all four. 

Edited by Wokeye

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10 minutes ago, rabski said:

To be fair, I don't think the OP is blaming KEF for the fault, but rather for the fact that the units seem prone to colour fading.

I have to agree that if they are supposed to be black, that's one hell of a change.

Thanks you've hit the nail on the head.  

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13 minutes ago, Wokeye said:

I bought them off somebody that I used to work with, they were not faulty when I bought them.  The room he kept in was actually pretty dark.  The fault developed in my ownership, I've had them for quite a while.  They have always been this colour, ever since I bought them. 

I don't get it?

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, The Chronicals said:

I don't get it?

The OP bought the speakers used and working properly.

A fault developed. The OP is not blaming KEF or the previous seller for this.

The OP noticed that in other pictures of the speakers on the Internet, the drivers seem to be black, not the beige/grey colour of his ones.

The OP contacted KEF and was told replacement drivers are available, but they are black, and always have been.

The OP is concerned that the amount of colour fading seems unusual for units that do not seem to have had extensive exposure to high UV levels and are only a few years old.

If the OP replaces the faulty driver, he will have speakers with three grey/beige drivers, and one black one.

Unless I'm missing something, it seems quite clear to me.

Edited by rabski

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1 hour ago, The Chronicals said:

I don't get it?

I was just stating that his living room only had one small window and didn't appear to have lots of sunlight entering it, for what KEF claim could cause such a huge colour change, UV light.  For that to even be mentioned I've a feeling that this has been raised before (I'm just guessing though) As I stated the speakers were immaculate and no faults whatsoever.  It's in my ownership that the driver is failing.  I guess this could happen to anybody if they had a speaker that a child stuck something in the driver for example and it needed to be replaced.  I'm sure if that happened to yourself and you found that the driver was a totally different colour to your other 3 you'd be pretty annoyed, whether you think that KEF speakers are something special or not? And you were told it's UV related.  Maybe you wouldn't I don't know.  But I personally won't be buying anymore.  As I said previously, and I'm sure that many will agree, there are plenty of other quality speakers around.

On another forum it was suggested to clean them with acetone lightly to remove any deposits.  I'm not so sure about this as they are certainly clean.  But it's worth a try if the driver cannot be repaired.  If I was talking about a cheap pair of speakers it wouldn't be an issue.  

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