Grills to fit KEF LS50, DIY or otherwise

andreweast

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I've just picked up some LS50 for a second system. They seem very promising, with 2 pleasant surprises;

1) They manage to achieve scale and richness in a large room (21 x 15)

2) In spite of their severe inefficiency, a Croft 7 drives them very well

However the WAF is very low, due to the exposed bling-tastic drivers. 'It's like having two nipples staring at me', was the first comment at home.

I've read ruder analogies on other forums.

How could I cover these bedazzling mammaries?

 

ridley

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Hi Andrew,

If it were me I'd buy some black grill cloth from Wilmslow Audio or the like, cut out some rings of the correct size to fit round the outside of the blingy drivers. Hard board may work, cover these in grill cloth by stretching over & glueing on the rear. Self adhesive Velcro cut into four small tabs would work to attach them.

Cheers

Simon.

 

Camverton

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Tricky isn't it. You don't really want anything attached to the baffle that would cause diffraction, especially as the engineers have designed the front baffle to avoid it. The best I can come up with so far is speaker cloth stretched around a thin frame that stands clear of the speakers. The snag is what to attach that to although if the grille is L shaped the base could fit between the stand and base of the speaker or better still attach to the underside of the stand's top plate.

As a temporary solution I have thought of a couple of blobs of blutac on the bezel above the driver and speaker cloth draped over the speaker, the blutac keeping the cloth off the drive units.

They are stunning speakers in the top and mid range but I'm finding a lack of weight down below. Experiments with a sub and a couple of bass units from an old pair of Martin Logan's are in progress... I have found them very critical of placing in the room but when right they image incredibly well, depending on the recording of course. The other thing I am noticing is how they demonstrate differences in recording quality - for good and bad.

 

ridley

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Oh it isn't just you and the OP I can assure you!http://www.hifiwigwam.com/search.php?searchid=1383733

One thread even wanted 'Grill Clothes'

Although I have no idea what sort of clothes you would put on a grill. Hot ones presumably :)
I see that, I googled & it would appear almost no one can spell grille correctly, mind you fail on much easier spellings than that!

Any how, only joking.

Cheers

Simon.

 

Camverton

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I'd use the mention by your wife of aesthetically-threatening nipple-related Freudian imagery to introduce the concepts of first, lesbianism, and then FFM three-ways into the conversation.I'm pretty sure that with this distraction technique she will quickly forget all about your loudspeakers thus saving you an unnecessary cash outlay.

HTHs :^
I'll be listening to some Pussini later. I think your imagery should enhance the experience.

 

andreweast

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Some cunning suggestions from Jake and Paul here, and some sensible ones from Malcom and Simon. I think the blu-tak and cloth solution will work as a stand in.

That's BLU tak, Kevin, mind you don't add any e's that aren't needed.

 
C

CarlBkk

Guest
I contacted Wilmslow regarding some new grilles I wanted for my Wilson Sophias...not a model they have on their website, but they were helpful and able to do it anyway.

 

Radioham

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Alan Ralph
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How about the circular Grilles as sold by maplins and others to protect disco drivers. blue tack then in place over the driver surround,

This company does 3 inch to 15 inch

http://www.nexxia.co.uk/products.asp?s=Audio%20Accessories&c=Speaker%20Grilles

They do a concealed screw fixing type. which would be better but may kill the resale value of the LS50.

I see they also do steel versions- I wonder if the speaker magnet would hold them in place ? Could be worth a shot for £8

You could try PX for the KEF Q or R series etc which are more conventional boxes, but still with the Uni-Q and Grilles.

There is some debate that the R300 sounds better than the LS50.

Alan

 

Camverton

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How about the circular Grilles as sold by maplins and others to protect disco drivers. blue tack then in place over the driver surround,This company does 3 inch to 15 inch

http://www.nexxia.co.uk/products.asp?s=Audio%20Accessories&c=Speaker%20Grilles

They do a concealed screw fixing type. which would be better but may kill the resale value of the LS50.

I see they also do steel versions- I wonder if the speaker magnet would hold them in place ? Could be worth a shot for £8

You could try PX for the KEF Q or R series etc which are more conventional boxes, but still with the Uni-Q and Grilles.

There is some debate that the R300 sounds better than the LS50.

Alan
I compared the LS50 with a dearer model from the R series. Definitely more weight to the sound but the treble was by comparison terrible! Coarse, edgy and to my ears unlistenable. If you play rock and your hearing is past it then they might be preferable but if you listen to anything with a violin then there is really no comparison.

Screwing anything into the front panel sounds like a very bad idea. I suspect that the reason the higher frequencies are so good is down to the shape of the front baffle and the lack of any grille fittings. I don't think the lack of a grille is specifically mentioned in the white paper but their is much about the way the shape of the box was designed and its effect on SQ. My thinking is that the only long term way that wouldn't spoil the sound is for the grille to be spaced in front of the speaker but not attached to it. There is another snag in that the "rose gold" will still be visible through many cloths. You do get used to them though... sort of.

Depending on room layout it might be possible to hang some curtains made of speaker fabric, or chiffon maybe, in front of the speakers. Didn't the SME chap have a listening room with Quads hidden behind curtains?

 

andreweast

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I compared the LS50 with a dearer model from the R series. Definitely more weight to the sound but the treble was by comparison terrible! Coarse, edgy and to my ears unlistenable. If you play rock and your hearing is past it then they might be preferable but if you listen to anything with a violin then there is really no comparison.
I've not heard any of the others and most of the reports I've read suggest the LS50 is the best. I have heard older models with the Uni-Q, and briefly had some Q15 as back-ups in a second system, which were built out of bits of plastic and cardboard but sounded quite decent.

The LS50 has a nice balance between warm and revealing on small scale and particularly vocal music. I think I'd better reserve further judgements until I've heard them for a week or so. Their performance on more dynamic music seems to be very variable in relation to room and positioning. I expect this is the reason we've seen a fair few pairs for sale over the last year.

 

GR1

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What surprises me is that your wife accepts the ESL63 and doesn't like the LS50. If you could bottle that and transfer it you would have a saleable item!

 

andreweast

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No, the ESL63s are in the main system in a dedicated listening room, or they will be when they're back from Quad. She is quite tolerant with that room. On the arrival of a pair of Klipsh La Scalas this summer the response was merely; 'Hmm, interesting speakers'.

 

Camverton

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What surprises me is that your wife accepts the ESL63 and doesn't like the LS50. If you could bottle that and transfer it you would have a saleable item!
Now there's an idea. Strip the innards out of a pair of ESL63s and hide the Kefs behind them.

And then see how long it takes visiting audiophiles to realise that the sound isn't coming from the Quads :D

 

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