Restoring KEF 105.1 Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by rx7rotary, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hi everyone,

    a few of you know that I am a bit of a Kef fanatic. I have finally acquired the long waited KEF 105.1 mark one.

    I have got them in a really terrible state, but my restore project finally begins.

    When I got them I got them with no wheels, and no crossovers, so not much I could do to hear them. Had all drivers tested and finally something was good.

    One of the ak subscribers named SaSi, offered his kind help in order to help me restore these beauties, and sourced the full crossovers for me. Thanks Kindly SaSi!!!

    The veneer on the bass units is gone, and now fully strupped, there is rott to the bottom of the cabinets that I will need to fix, or rebuild the cabinet, but planning to try and fix.

    So far thats all, here are some pics:

    20120205_210445 (Medium).jpg

    20120305_180745 (Medium).jpg

    20120305_180751 (Medium).jpg

    20120311_170651 (Medium).jpg

    20120311_170801 (Medium).jpg
     
  2. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Update #1: Heads are gone for full resand, fill chips, and respray to a jet black matt. color.

    One of the t52s is playing up.
     
  3. CarnahanBB

    CarnahanBB Super Member

    Messages:
    1,988
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Best of luck! I wish I had the skill and patience to complete a restore like the endeavor you have just begun! Those are some excellent speakers (if they are anything like the Kef 104.2s I heard) and deserve the attention. If those speakers could talk I sure would be curious how they ended up in such a sorry state.
     
  4. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks mate,

    trust me if I have the skill you have it too.

    Anyway they were found rotting away in a Chinese karaoke restaurant / bar, with half bits and pieces missing etc etc...

    a real shame...!!
     
  5. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,767
    Location:
    Central CA
    Fun project! I'd be inclined to try to build new bass boxes, but either way, best of luck and keep us updated!
     
  6. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey Zonker, yes, something I am still considering...
     
  7. Pete B

    Pete B AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I always liked the 105s, but only heard them a few times.

    Quite the project you have there, you'd be surprised what glue and clamps will do if the MDF is not too far gone. There is peel and stick veneer that I hear works quite well.

    Good that the drivers are working.
     
  8. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yes it is a rather bit project , especially next to my IMF project I have had for a while.

    Slowly ticking along.

    Sorry, what is a peel and stick veneer, sounds great? Any links?
    Yes my brother in law suggested what you said about glue and clamps... this is the first thing I will try, if no go, it will be a complete box rebuild.

    Really cant wait to see how will the heads come out after respray...

    Mark
     
  9. JimPA

    JimPA Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    2,964
    Location:
    Grover's Corner PA.
    It's good to recycle drivers that are well built like the old Kef. I kind of did the same thing with another companies drivers.

    My wife says we have enough speakers.
    I don't want to build an addittion to my house.

    I would be curious to see what the magnet structure looks like on the bass drivers.
     
  10. Pete B

    Pete B AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,246
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I'm sure you'll be able to at least seal them up with glue so that you can at least listen to them first.
    Many Veneer supply houses have peel and stick, see PSA backed here:
    http://www.joewoodworker.com/veneering/backed-veneer.htm

    I did notice those IMFs in that picture, certainly another one of my favorites!
    Still remember the first time I heard them.
     
  11. dc270

    dc270 Now Off The Reservation..... Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,504
    Location:
    North Texas
    One of my favorite KEF's ever! I wish you good luck getting them restored. I recently took some Concerto drivers and re-purposed them into a tri amp set of speakers- turned out very nice- might be something to consider as these KEF drivers are very robust and superb sounding.
    DC
     
  12. nclh77

    nclh77 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Nice work on a great speaker. I've heard others who have refinished the 105's comment on the large bass box being unbraced and under damped for its size. I'll be curious to see what you think. Any thoughts on solidifying the bass box?
     
  13. alandro

    alandro Alandro

    Messages:
    226
    Good luck with this project. Years ago I had a pair of the initial version 105's for about 2 years. Bought them used. They were fabulous, no doubt. We have a little place though and they didn't really fit. No matter where I tried to place them, they were too close to something, so I went back to monitors. But if you've got the room, they're great.
     
  14. Kahoona

    Kahoona Super Member

    Messages:
    2,968
    Location:
    Big Pine Key, Conch Republic
    Hi
    Nice score. When they are finished you will have something to be proud of. Take a lot of pictures during the process.
    You can fix that box without too much trouble. You are going to be veneering it but you would be doing that to the rebuilt box anyway. The corners are not spread apart so it could be much worse.

    I'd suggest taking the bottom out and then measuring the bottom in the other one and cutting a marine plywood replacement for this one. Dry the box out in an air conditioned place.Then get some boards that you can use between the clamps and the bad wood and cut them to the size you need. Keep the old bottom in for now. Get Minwax wood hardener (not the cheaper water based stuff or glue) and brush on as much as it will soak up. Put masking tape on your wood pieces to prevent sticking and clamp all four sides using just enough pressure to maintain the right dimensions. Wait 0vernight and take the clamps off. It is now stabilized on the outside. Remove the old bottom piece carefully as you can. Cut it up in place if need be. Now soak the rest of the cabinet on wood harder. At this point it is stabilized. Get a 2 part wood filler and trowel it on to fill the worse gaps. Then rough sand or plane and do it again. It helps to make a sanding block from a 2'4 that will use the entire length of the sheet. It gets a flatter surface. Put in corner braces on the inside with 1x1 if you need them. Fit the new bottom piece. You can now veneer or paint as if it was new.
    I have done this and it works.
     
  15. hibuckhobby

    hibuckhobby Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    568
    Location:
    Maple Grove, Minnesota
    I recently got a pair of 105.2's in great shape and rebuilt crossovers.
    Great soundstage and imaging.
    Hibuck...
     
  16. SaSi

    SaSi Seriously Illogical Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,028
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Best of luck. Those bass cabinets look so badly abused. I've seen a pair of R107.2 that the bass cabinets were actually missing their ... bottoms. They were stored in a basement that was regularly flooded.

    What's with the T52? Is it shorted/open?
     
  17. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Sasi,

    I have opened the t52, and it looks like the wire that goes to connection to VC is slightly dodgy under the black plastic cover, I will attempt to fix otherwise I have found another t52 around that I know works, just must make sure it is exactly the same.

    As I said about bass cabinets, they have been sitting in a Chinese Karaoke bar that has been flooded and then they got the abusal by a number of people I think. This is a good enough reason for my wish to restore them. :)

    m
     
  18. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks Kahoona,

    Exactly what I thought of doing, but you have also clarified that my idea was correct, I am glad as I will be starting the glueing process this weekned.

    I will keep you posted with some photos!!
     
  19. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Guys, the glue did the trick as far as hardening the edges that were rotting away, it has become hard as a rock after 3-4 hours of applying glue. Now I will cut the base for the bottom.

    Some pics:
    mail.google.com.jpg

    mail.google.com1.jpg
     
  20. rx7rotary

    rx7rotary Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    the morning after

    Cabinets are rock solid. Cutting the bottom base tonight , and looking for ways to setup some extra bracing inside, any ideas on that would be welcome ???

    Mark
     

Share This Page