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Does anyone have experience with the Kef LS50? - Page 5

post #61 of 146

I purchased some LS50s at Christmas along with a Cyrus Streamline 2 Network Player for use as a second system for bedroom or office and was blown away by them from the start.  I benched them against PMC Twenty 21's which are quite a jump in price.  The PMCs had better separation which was to be expected with improvements in both drivers and crossover but they also sounded too clinical for my liking.  I could have walked away with either but the LS50s won on their musicality and timing, they also produce a fair bit of bass for bookshelf speakers. I listen to a broad range of music from classical to electronica, film scores and rock & pop and this system extracts subtle details in my FLAC files that I didn't realise were there on the original CD.  If you are familiar with KEF's UniQ driver technology, they are quite an improvement over previous generations as I have some 12 year old KEF Reference speakers to compare to, the LS50s detail and separation is vastly improved over these huge floorstanders, though the later still wins on the scale of its soundstage . Given the amount of praise they have received from the Hi-Fi press you could probably just buy them without auditioning, and are superior to all the other speakers you have shortlisted as I also considered them at the time, they also partner very well with my Cyrus network player.

post #62 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

Right now... the sound I'm getting from this set up is "stupendous!"  Don't think it can get any / much better - certainly not for less than 10X the price!
 
Using the Sony  XA5400ES SACD/CDP (the best there is), into the Anti-Mode 2.0 as a pre and DSP to eliminate the "room boom," into a tube buffer, into the Class D Audio amp into the LS50's and R400b produces real "you are there" sound.  Incredible detail, resolution, tone, tenure, texture, stage, image, bass, mids and treble... etc., etc...  
 
An XLR interconnect seems to add detail, air and soundstage.
 
Hard to believe... really... 
 
Like Grado PS1000's driven by the Bryston BHP-1... but... with a lifelike soundstage.

 

And... even better... if you want an absolutely huge, life-like soundstage, with excellent resolution and precise imaging (a wall of sound) - even outside the focal seating position - just set them up on stands about 4' from the walls, about 12'+ apart, toed in a bit (maybe 15+ degrees), and aimed up a bit (rake position of about 10+ degrees)!  You'll think the musicians are in the room with you - very much like Maggies, or other high-end floor-standing, dipole or open baffle speakers.  

 

These are not "bookshelf" or "desktop" speakers (I repeat... not bookshelf or desktop speakers) in any respect - they are room filling monitors, which don't come into their own sound, until they're out in the middle of the room, where their dipole design can fully bloom!


Edited by Gradofan2 - 4/3/13 at 12:38pm
post #63 of 146

It's nice to see them getting so much praise. I'm pretty much set on 5 of these and a BK sub for my 5.1 set up - movies, TV, games, and obviously music performance BDs/DVDs, I guess some 2 channel stuff too... my wallet is not pleased!

post #64 of 146
post #65 of 146

Going to audition these tomorrow.  Considering pairing them with the Parasound Halo A23.  I'm interested to see if they're twice as good as my current setup, a pair of Dynaudio BM5A MKIIs.

 

Bill

post #66 of 146

I purchased the LS50's back in October of last year after I heard them at RMAF. This was the room I was in:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/kefls50.jpg

 

I was blown away on how good they sounded. I was going crazy as we sold our house shortly after and the box was unopened until the first week of March last month.

I've paired them up with the following:
 

Audiolab 8200AP Pre Amp

Audiolab M-DAC

Yamaha CD-S1000 SACD Player

JoLida JD1501P Tube Power Amplifier

Jolida JD9 Tube Phono Stage

Pioneer N-50 Network Player

Clearaudio Concept Turntable

 

I've never enjoyed music like this before. I also have a REL T2 Sub still in the box but don't feel it is needed with this setup plus I live in an loft complex and don't want to fill the neighbors with sound.

 

I agree 100% with what Gradofan2 has to say in regards to "...an absolutely huge, life-like soundstage, with excellent resolution and precise imaging".

 

Here is my current setup: http://instagram.com/p/XJMAqKvXrD/

post #67 of 146

See next reviw...edited...


Edited by bobbybrugall - 5/7/13 at 7:43pm
post #68 of 146

I just bought these based on the stereophile review, sight and sound unseen. Was looking for a more neutral sounding monitor for my home office, not a big room. 10'X15', very bright room acoustically speaking. Had a pair of Focal Electra 907 Be's, 25th anniversary edition in the room before, with a sunfire 1000W 8" sub. I had been seduced by the near ribbon like sound of the focal beryllium tweeter, as I was used to my Newform Ribbon sound and wanted similar level of speed in the HF, but in a much smaller and a much better WAF, given it's on the main floor. Was quite happy with them, beautiful imaging, transparency, a great speaker....but after a fews years my ears hurt...close proximity listening in a bright room, with an unrelenting speaker was just too much. I have started listenin gto more vinyl, and on poorer recordings they were unbearable. Probably accurate but music I liked I could not listen to (e.g. Leon Russell, Dave Mason, Stephen Stills late 60's early 70's era stuff I found at a local used record shop recently).

 

So I listened to a few alternatives, dynaudio focus, psb synchrony2, pmc 21 (? maybe model number is wrong, but small monitor). All were quite good, but significantly more expensive than the KEF and none really blew me away...so I thought what the heck at $1,500 and given the glowing reviews, how could I go wrong with the KEF. Worst comes to worse they could make good bedroom speakers.

 

First off, when they were delivered and picked them up from the courier room, I was surprised at the weight for such a small package. Hmmm...can't be a bad sign. Got them home and unboxed them. Beautiful high gloss finish, very advanced looking drivers, look fit the offce room perfectly. Knocking on the cabinet with your knuckles produces the deadest, most solid clunk I have ever experienced with a speaker, These are solid cabinets, just as solid as the Focals which were about 2X the price.

 

First couple of CD's I played (Wilco, Los Lobos, Neil Young etc) showed the promise of what they could become, but were not quite there. Sounded a bit compressed, harsh (but less so than the Focals), but good extension for such a small speaker (if a little loose in the bottom end). Mid range- vocals, piano, gave me a hint of what they could do though. Midrange had great detail while still smooth, sibilance was not nearly as pronounced as my Focals, or any of the other speakers I had auditioned.

 

So I played them 7/24 for a couple of days, facing each other to cancel the bass an not dirve everyone in the house crazy. Sat down for a detailed listening session again and...WOW. Midrange got even better. Detail improved significantly, as good or better than the FOCALs, but without the hardness. After fiddling wiht the subwoofer settings and not finding something that really worked, I turned it off and listened again. The extension out of that little mid/bass is astounding, with phenomenal definition. I moved the subwoofer (along with the Focals) into another room where I listen less frequently/critically. If you have a huge room or listen to a lot of organ music maybe you need a sub, but otherwise, forget about it. Led Zeppelin even sounded full and you feel the real power of Bonham, better than the focal/sunfire combo before. And cranking them to very high levels is no problem at all.

 

Just now I skipped through a bunch of songs off my music server - AC/DC, (the bells at the beginning of Hells Bells sound like they are in your room), Beck (Sea Change), Calexico (horns sounded amazingly detailed without hurting the ears), Cowboy Junkies, Mile Davis, Dire Straits, Jeff Beck's Guitar shop, Joe Jackson Body and Soul, Laurie Anderson/Peter Gabriel, Zeppelin, Los Lobos (Kiko and hte Lavender Moon sounds particularly incredible), Nick Drake, P.J Harvey, Radiohead (There There was the best I've every heard it by a mile, great definiton), Soul Coughing, The Verve, Tori Amos etc., etc. Everything you throw at them sounds fabulous, natural, full and non fatiguing. Only slightly negative thing I would say is the imaging wasn't quite as broad and pinpoint as my Focals. But who knows, maybe that will continue to improve as I've only had them for a week. 

 

Was a tiny bit apprehensive at buying online even after the reviews, but not an ounce of regret. Way better than I imagined. 

 

All in all, an unbelieveable value.


Edited by bobbybrugall - 5/7/13 at 7:42pm
post #69 of 146
My experience (I picked up a pair) has been different in some ways. Coming from the active Dynaudios the KEFs seemed bright and harsh right out of the box. Not sure if it's a tipped up treble or simply a more accurate one combined with the difference in bass extension that the Dyns were capable of. Bad copies of vinyl were hard to listen to with all of the ticks and pops and overly compressed recordings sounded terrible where they were at least listenable through the Dyns.

After a few weeks with them now I'm loving everything they do well. The midrange is the best I've ever heard and soundstage and imaging are great for a speaker this size. Good recordings shine, begging to be played at reference levels. Poor recordings can't hide and I find myself reducing the volume when they come on (another reason I need that new DAC2 HGC - the remote!)

The bass I'm still trying to get my head around. On most recordings it's well sorted to about the middle of the second octave, giving you a hint of what lies beneath, but as they approach 40Hz the levels seem to be lacking in heft. I've experimented with placement, moving them so that the rear of the cabinet was only 24" from the wall, and while there seemed to be more bass, it wasn't very well defined and the soundstage collapsed to 2D. Back out into the room they went and I grabbed an 8" sub to try to blend. I'm limited to a 3' x 3' area in the two front corners so I tried the one furthest from the turntable. My hope was that I'd blend them so that the aural hint the KEFs were giving me below 80Hz handed off to the visceral weight of the sub, giving me nice extension into the mid 30s. I couldn't accomplish that, it was a muddy mess.

So I broke out the Rives Test CD2 and the RS meter it's calibrated for. With an 80dB reference at 1kHz I'm hitting a -3dB level at 200Hz that dips to -17dB at 80Hz but goes back to -5dB before disappearing below 40Hz. This must be what I'm hearing so I'm not sure where to go from here. The speakers and chair are positioned according to the rule of thirds and I have SuperChunks installed in the front two corners and soffit traps around the entire wall/ceiling junction. Maybe I need to experiment more with a sub and potentially add a second or tweak it with EQ.

I'm going to swap the Dyns back in today to do some listening and measuring before deciding which to keep. Currently I'm leaning towards the KEFs because I think I can get the low end sorted but we'll see after listening to the Dyns again for a few days.

Bill
Edited by wgb113 - 5/11/13 at 5:20am
post #70 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgb113 View Post

So I broke out the Rives Test CD2 and the RS meter it's calibrated for. With an 80dB reference at 1kHz I'm hitting a -3dB level at 200Hz that dips to -17dB at 80Hz but goes back to -5dB before disappearing below 40Hz. This must be what I'm hearing so I'm not sure where to go from here. The speakers and chair are positioned according to the rule of thirds and I have SuperChunks installed in the front two corners and soffit traps around the entire wall/ceiling junction. Maybe I need to experiment more with a sub and potentially add a second or tweak it with EQ.

 

Can you easily take out the traps? I would start with a clean slate first to plot in-room frequency response. I've got the Rives CD and the RS SPL meter as well, but I've found that the reflections (or perhaps, my ear/brain) actually tend to fill in the 'missing' frequencies that the meter measures.

 

Have you tried moving the KEF's closer to the rear wall to reinforce the bass? From Stereophile's frequency response graphs, the -6 dB point is about 40 Hz, so I wouldn't expect any usable output in the lower octaves past that.

 

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-ls50-anniversary-model-loudspeaker-measurements


Edited by yage - 5/11/13 at 7:01am
post #71 of 146
Thread Starter 
OP here. Sorry to bump an older thread but I finally graduated from university and now have my first full time job. In a couple of paychecks I will be pulling the trigger on the LS50's.

However, I do not have my amp since my father purchased it from me to use at the cabin. I've been looking into the emotive mini-x as a basic amp to power the ls50's. The specs seem to fit perfectly but is spending $250 on an amp for $1500 speakers a disservice? I'm not trying to spend buttloads on an amp but I don't want to go cheap as well.

Would anyone recommend a decent amp to make these babies sing? Used or new is fine by me.
post #72 of 146
Not sure it's going to be powerful enough to make the LS50s sing. They spend a lot of time down in the 4-6 ohm range and are on the low end of efficiency.

I'd maybe look for an NAD C270 or similar that's used but in nice shape.

Bill
post #73 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiml3ss View Post

I've been looking into the emotive mini-x as a basic amp to power the ls50's. The specs seem to fit perfectly but is spending $250 on an amp for $1500 speakers a disservice? I'm not trying to spend buttloads on an amp but I don't want to go cheap as well.

Emotiva seems to be well regarded, though I haven't heard any of their gear, personally. If you can stand the possible fan noise (since it seems they can't rely on passive cooling in this particular amp), then it's probably a good choice - just listen at sane volumes. However, I would definitely save up for better electronics to match up with the LS50s.
post #74 of 146

Yes, it is a disservice biggrin.gif
 

post #75 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazer78 View Post

Yes, it is a disservice biggrin.gif

 

I'm starting to get that feeling redface.gif

I loved my NAD amp and it seemed to pair really well with my Onix ref 1's. I could go down that route again...

Peachtree Audio is intriguing but I doubt I could get a used one under a grand.

Too many choices out there! rolleyes.gif
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