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Visiting KAD Audio

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Visiting KAD Audio

We published the review of the KAD K7 speakers in March 2022. This speaker is further developed to an Evo model and the K5 has been added to the range. Time for an update.

We visit Ernest Kaempfer’s production facility and showroom in Apeldoorn. KAD Audio produces active systems that work with WiSa. WiSa is a standard to stream sound wirelessly from a WiSa compatible amplifier to WiSa compatible speakers. The speakers are powered through a power cable, the only wire needed.

The KAD K7 impressed in the livestream with its almost tangible reproduction of voices. Singer Marnie Baum was moved when she heard her own recording back with such accuracy. During the review period, that impression was confirmed, the realism in the K7’s reproduction of voices is accurate, taking the experience of music to the next level.

The KAD K7 Evo

The KAD K7 Evo is the further development of this model. We listen to streaming, CD and vinyl sources connected to a Primare PRE35. We can listen to Joe Jackson’s ‘Body and Soul‘ on all three sources and compare.

The differences between the sources remain clearly audible and the qualities of a good turntable remain intact in what you hear. The character of the sources is not obscured by WiSa and the digital active speakers. The only ‘drawback’ is that the choice in WiSa compatible preamplifiers is very limited. To give more freedom of choice, an XLR connection is added to the K7 Evo.

A feature of the K7 is the d’Apollito arrangement and the dipole deflection of the bass through the rear speakers. This minimises the influence of the room in which the speakers are playing. The review of the K7 has all the details.

Like the K7, the K7 Evo has a grand and detailed soundstage. The Evo model features a different waveguide, the cabling in the speakers has been changed and the speaker unit for bass reproduction is new. It provides even more speed and further reduces the impact of the environment. You really are enclosed in a bubble of music.

The KAD K5

New is the K5. This is an active two-way system placed on a stand. The K5 is a more common setup of speakers and does not have the setup that radiates the bass sound in a dipole like the K7. The K5 has a built-in subwoofer that serves the frequency range below 80Hz and integrates seamlessly with the other speakers. The impact of the room on the bass sound is more like to what you are used to.

Listening to the K5, it is clearly related to the K7 in sound. The speed is there, the distinctive emphasis on the midrange without being over-emphasised. It gives voices and wind instruments a natural timbre and airiness.

The main difference between the K7 and the K5 is the soundstage. Imagine a concert by an orchestra or a jazz ensemble in a good-sounding hall. With the K7, you are close to the stage. Every detail, every breath, everything can be followed with ease. You can almost feel the artists’ sweat. With the K5, you find yourself positioned in the middle of the hall. You have more overview, in exchange for less detail. You also hear more of the ambiance of the venue itself.

The K5 is a nice complement to the K7, it gives choice in how you want to experience the music. Both play at a high level. Both benefit from all the advantages of an active system with digital processing in the speaker: a precisely delineated and very stable soundstage, tuning to the room on installation and consistent playback.

Finally, we listen to Chopin’s Nocturnes, played by Arthur Rubinstein. A recording from 1965. Rubinstein was 79 when he made this recording. It is palpable how Rubinstein maintains a perfect balance between melancholy and lightness in the first nocturne, and all that remains in this listening moment is the music. It leaves us silent in awe. The K5 demonstrates what it was made for – to convey the music as purely as possible with as little colouration as possible from the speaker and the amplification behind it.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for a thorough and informative review Martijn. The sound of the K7 EVO is ear-opening and a bit mind-blowing to me. I have never heard any recorded music as beautiful. You didn’t record and save the K5 tracks by any chance? And, obviously the 7s are transparent, but would you also call them straight up neutral?
    Cheers