robbie010

Impressions of KEF LS50?

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Super Wammer
14 hours ago, Mutzgoatz said:

Is the voicing of the Wireless version the same as the LS50? I always found the latter a bit tipped up in the upper mids, with a slightly glassy sheen throughout the mids and treble. Not course at all, but definitely bright with a slight exaggeration in the presence region. 

I didn't find that with the old R series, nor with the new R series, although the latter are more forward and pristine sounding than the old, which could be perceived as brightness, but I find them neutral and very detailed/revealing. 

The LS50 does seem to divide listeners more than most. I like the Kef sound on the whole, tried to love the LS50, but just couldn't get on with it's presentation, even on the end of laid back amps. Shows you can admire what a speaker does but not necessarily enjoy it. 

I've got a pair of LS50 Wireless and they sound pretty neutral to me. But I think they are sensitive to the acoustics of the room they're in - maybe because they have a wide even dispersion and accurate phase response. That could explain why some people hear brightness and others don't. With the passives, they could be affected by the amplifier too as I think they are pretty demanding and that could also perhaps explain the brightness you found.

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One difference is that the wireless model has settings for placement that changes the bass output. Whilst I assume not directly altering the midrange, changes in the overall tonal balance may change how this is perceived.

(I've heard and like the actives but haven't heard passive LS50s.)

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Super Wammer
1 minute ago, MartinC said:

One difference is that the wireless model has settings for placement that changes the bass output. Whilst I assume not directly altering the midrange, changes in the overall tonal balance may change how this is perceived.

(I've heard and like the actives but haven't heard passive LS50s.)

I don't use that setting as my pair are in a large room. I use mine with a pair of R400b subs with the default sub crossover setting which starts rolling off at 95 Hz for the LS50 and the subs come in fully at 80 Hz, and that really releases the dynamics in the LS50s although I don't think the actual tonal balance in the mid range or treble changes. That setup does sound like a big speaker system in terms of scale, dynamics and bass punch, and I would be really interested in comparing it with a big KEF passive speaker based system like the R series.

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1 minute ago, rdale said:

I don't use that setting as my pair are in a large room. I use mine with a pair of R400b subs with the default sub crossover setting which starts rolling off at 95 Hz for the LS50 and the subs come in fully at 80 Hz, and that really releases the dynamics in the LS50s although I don't think the actual tonal balance in the mid range or treble changes. That setup does sound like a big speaker system in terms of scale, dynamics and bass punch, and I would be really interested in comparing it with a big KEF passive speaker based system like the R series.

By changes in the overall tonal balance I was referring to boosting the low end relative to the mids, which can change how the overall sound is perceived. In the same way that adding a sub can actually.

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Auditioned the LS50 a few times. Was never impressed by the sound. The high are not all that smooth. Mids slightly weak but bass is nice for its size. The speaker is very slightly coarse. Please don’t flame me 🙈

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9 minutes ago, tIANcI said:

Auditioned the LS50 a few times. Was never impressed by the sound. The high are not all that smooth. Mids slightly weak but bass is nice for its size. The speaker is very slightly coarse. Please don’t flame me 🙈

You should never be flamed for describing what you hear.

IME. What you hear from LS50s, is generally a reflection of how they are set up, the room they are in and the system that they are attached to.

I am somebody who cannot entertain the sort of sound you describe - hence my like of Class A Amps and Harbeth Speakers.

I had them in a large room, on filled Stands, with room to breathe - and on the end of Linn DS/Arcam Class G....and they had a smooth treble, a mid range that was clean, accurate, but not analytical....and a bass that was larger than you'd expect for their size. I found them musically engaging.

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I once heard the LS50 before buying the ATC SCM11s. Unfortunately, the audition room for the KEFs was very poor (a Superfi store if I remember rightly) and the ATCs were from another shop that was much better acoustically. I would still like to hear them at home, however.

In particular, I would like to compare the wireless version with my AE1 actives. Has anyone had this pleasure? Also, the new Elac Navis ARB51 looks impressive. A comparison of the KEFs, AE1a and Elac would be very interesting!

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15 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

You should never be flamed for describing what you hear.

IME. What you hear from LS50s, is generally a reflection of how they are set up, the room they are in and the system that they are attached to.

I am somebody who cannot entertain the sort of sound you describe - hence my like of Class A Amps and Harbeth Speakers.

I had them in a large room, on filled Stands, with room to breathe - and on the end of Linn DS/Arcam Class G....and they had a smooth treble, a mid range that was clean, accurate, but not analytical....and a bass that was larger than you'd expect for their size. I found them musically engaging.

Thanks 😬 I listened to them on the CA 851a, did not ask for The Edge, maybe I should have. A few forumers did mention the LS50 sounds very good with high end amps.

Room is always a major variable when we go for demo. I had a listen to even PrimaLuna amps, sounded like a slightly tubey SS to me. Was not impressed at all. I suspect it’s the room.

I been looking for a small bookshelf for the bedroom and the LS50 was a good choice. Want it to replace my ProAc Response D2 as its a little large.”

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I wish I'd given the LS50 Wireless an audition now, as I've been so impressed with the LSX in a bedroom setup. They suffer none of the faults (to my ears) of the passive LS50s, in the setup I demoed them in many years ago, or the R3s I demoed with various amps more recently. If the LS50W are a more dynamic, bigger sounding LSX then they should be amazing.

But whether the LS50W is voiced like the LSX, I'm not sure. From what I've read, the LS50W are more airy, bright and less warm/smooth. 

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14 minutes ago, tIANcI said:

Thanks 😬 I listened to them on the CA 851a, did not ask for The Edge, maybe I should have. A few forumers did mention the LS50 sounds very good with high end amps.

Room is always a major variable when we go for demo. I had a listen to even PrimaLuna amps, sounded like a slightly tubey SS to me. Was not impressed at all. I suspect it’s the room.

I been looking for a small bookshelf for the bedroom and the LS50 was a good choice. Want it to replace my ProAc Response D2 as its a little large.”

For my taste - I wouldn't pair LS50s with CA.....It would all be a bit too analytical.

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It’s no mystery (see my Wigwam Info) to find out which ones I chose ...

https://www.dagogo.com/kef-ls-50-bookshelf-speaker-review/2/

... I had only ever heard my speakers and the LS50s in different establishments and with different systems (Naim and Audio-Note). Broadly speaking though, I agree with the linked review, and also my speakers perform really well in corners and against the wall making them much less intrusive. The LS50s were ‘impressive’ but I feared they’d be wearisome after a while. My AX-2s OTOH just snuck into my life and my living-room without fanfare and are still lovely! (Bloody heavy stands though.)

Edited by chebby

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3 hours ago, tIANcI said:

Auditioned the LS50 a few times. Was never impressed by the sound. The high are not all that smooth. Mids slightly weak but bass is nice for its size. The speaker is very slightly coarse. Please don’t flame me 🙈

I used to own a pair for a couple of yrs. I found them smooth and not coarse at all with Arcam A29 and MF AMS35i. So it could be the amp and source you’re using. And the room of course.

Edited by Iceman 16

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I once demo'd the LS50's and found them ok for what they are. Smooth and communicated mid-range. Just did not do it for me with highly dynamic stuff. The LS50s really need a careful setup and will reveal anything bad in the system, including what you place them on. The low sensitivity doesn't help either. You need powerful amplification. Kind of its own enemy really.;)

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Okay ... I pulled the trigger on the LS50. It’s gonna arrive later today. Since I was never happy with the demo that I had at the dealer’s shop let’s see how it will perform.

Just wanna ask if it really needs breaking in. I mean really. If it does, how long did most of its owners experience for the break in period? Thanks!

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Get the smoothest, highest quality kit with them...they will sound superb!:geek:

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