Have you looked at Unison research amplification yet? My dealer stocked both roksan and Unison, and pointed me to the entry level Unison Unico for the LS50's despite being able to earn bigger commission for the Roksan. He said that the LS50 benefit hugely from Class A amplification and Unison provided enough wattage in Class A to make them sing.
I eventually went for the ayre which cost a fair bit more; but just remembered our discussion on the topic.
Well well, joined the KEF LS50 club this weekend! What turned out to be just curiosity ended up in a discussion whether to buy just one or two stereo pairs!
They are replacing B&W CM9 floorstander and CM1 bookshelf speakers in my home theatre setup which have been orphaned and looking for new homes. Have to say the KEF LS50 is a remarkable little speaker. I was initially planning on running them just off my AVR, but I'm a bit surprised by their inefficiency. So far they sound great with the Myryad MXA power amplifier.
The one pair of LS50s were a demo so they already had a bit of play time on them and they are sounding pretty consistent. The 2nd pair is brand new and I noticed that they need a bit of burn in.
In my haste to get home I forgot to buy proper stands for them. As all the Hi-Fi shops were closed yesterday I got a little bit creative (or cheap...). Bought these two cement pillars, which happened to be the ideal height, for $10 each at a 2nd hand shop and 3 cans of spray paint. They are rather heavy so it seems to work pretty well, though its not particularly easy on the eye.
Yes, its a home theater based system, but the Yamaha AVR works nicely as a preamp and processor. I'm using a Velodyne SPL-1200 Ultra subwoofer and it integrates very nicely with the LS50s though I think they could with an even faster sub. I think in the US its called the Optimum 12.
I've since sold the B&W CMC2 centre and ordered a KEF R200c centre. Frankly the LS50s work very well without a centre speaker due to its excellent imaging and sound staging, you'd never even know the centre speaker is missing.
First, you need choose speaker, every speaker has own sound signature. Go to Hi-Fi store bring your favorit CD , try some speakers and choose which one do you like within your budget.
Second, find amplifier that can drive the choosed speaker singing good. Your ears and walet is your "sound measurement" tool...
Next step is cabling: Inteconnect and speaker cable. .. etc.
I will skip KEF, and go to Spendor/Harberth product (used) ...the sound more relax and musical.If you need more dynamic with tight bass go to Focal JMLabs.
It is my subjective opinion base on "trial and trial" experience..
I was hoping to check out the Focal speakers, but they weren't available for demo anywhere locally. It's one of the reasons I picked the LS50s as they weren't colouring the sound like most Hi-Fi speakers tend to do. If you need a bit of warmth consider going with a warmer sounding upstream equipment (like a valve/SS hybrid). I always thought my Hiifman HE-500 headphones sounded way better than my B&W CM9 speakers (which were slow and laidback sounding), but now with the LS50s I feel they've surpassed my headphone setup again. I've actually neglected my headphone hobby a bit after getting these. The Harbeths and Spendor speakers should have the speed and detail retrieval to keep up with the LS50s, but here they cost at least twice as much as the LS50s.
Noted, lot of people happy with KEF LS50..no doubt it is good product. Smart design by put twetter in the centre of 5.25 inc driver.
Harbeth and Spendor is old fashion design base on BBC LS3/5A speaker, sound wonderfull, warm, laid back good for jazz, classic....don't expect speed and punch on these speakers.
Last year, I listened Focal 807W (special edition of V version), I though this speaker is solution for someone want wonderfull sound and punch.
I have been under powering my LS50 for a while till I decided to try them with my Quad 909 , 140 watt per channel amp with my peak volcano as a pre amp and wow the difference is from here to the moon.
I was using a low wattage integrated tube amp I think 15 watts per channel and they sounded beautiful but lacked dynamics, punch and a little detail.
I have the whole quad system driving my old spendor sp1 which are just Jewels. I am planning on returning my quad amp to my main system and getting either an emotiva , a parasound or maybe another quad if I find a good deal.
I plan to keep this speakers forever , they r just amazing!