May 21, 2009 - Concept or Reality?
by Jeff Fritz
At High End 2009, KEF introduced something new to an audio
show, at least as far as Im aware of: a concept product that, according to KEF, will
never be for sale. The Concept Blade loudspeaker was playing music, wonderfully I
might add, and showgoers were obviously enthusiastic about its performance. Despite
sounding so good and looking like a finished product, the Blade will never be seen in
KEF's Concept Blade display
Will this type of display generate customers? Well, the
concept vehicle has been a mainstay of the auto show for many years. All the big auto
manufacturers produce outrageous design experiments to showcase their engineers' talents.
The goal of a concept product is to show what the company is capable of if turned loose in
terms of styling and creative license. The Concept Blade, according to KEF, will
contribute to the company's available loudspeaker lines -- its technology will trickle
down to the real-world products.
And lest you think I am mistaken and that the Concept Blade
will appear at some outrageous price a year or two from now, I asked the company a second
time just to be clear: "If there is real demand, will this speaker be brought to
market?" "No!" was the quick answer. Might that change? Of course, anything
For now, the Concept Blade is a showpiece only, one
Ill remember for a long time. I have a feeling it could challenge the state of the
art in loudspeaker design. Its a shame well never really know.