Official Kef LS50 owners thread

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by canuckaudiog, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. bleu

    bleu New Member

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    22
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    @canuckaudiog look forward to hearing how it works out for you. Good luck!
     
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  2. neevo

    neevo Super Member

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    1,213
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I have the SONOS on Tuner and Phono Preamp on Aux. Use the preamp section of the amp (KA-8100) and then put the miniDSP inbeteeen the preamp and main amp jumpers.

    Only the LS50’s are run off the amp using two of the DSP outputs (high passed at 42Hz; I’m amazed at how low the LS50’s go and like the low end from them, just didn’t want cone flapping off the TT) and the subs are run off the other 2 DSP outputs and I use the low pass filters on the subs (they just sound better with the filter on the subs vs using the crossover in the DSP).

    PEQ works extremely well but you need to put a bit of time into the setup. 9 point array worked much better than a single measurement (or even 6 point array) to measure each driver and build an EQ for each. The EQ is not as extreme but the results are smoother and more refined.

    Found the most important step is tuning by ear which is very easy with the plugin as you can tweak on the fly. Tweaking gain for each speaker and time alignment too (that was the very first thing I did).

    It sounds significantly better than it did before.
     
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  3. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    I'm really digging it so far. It solves all my problems and even adds features I didn't know I wanted. One example - a slider volume control for the LS50s. Oh that is nice to have.

    But overall, it does exactly what I'm looking for. Right now I am using it with stored music, which is around 60 albums so not much, but enough to see what Roon is capable of. I can already tell I'm going to have a hard time letting it go when the trial is up.

    Basically, I was able to take my computer out of my room (which lowered the ambient noise in the room), take out the monitor (making it perfectly dark in the room now, and also removing a reflection point between the speakers), and control everything from my phone. With the computer running in the living room, all I have to do is walk into the room, open the app and turn on the LS50s and I can get jamming right away.

    In short, it's what I have been looking for. Having no components in the room and using my phone to remotely control my music library is the experience I've wanted for years. Not only does it sound better but the minimalist look is very refreshing. I don't like clutter and this is perfect. Best of all, the DSP works perfectly and I was able to load my custom parametric EQ without any problems. I'm looking forward to tinkering with the other settings to see if I can get even better sound.

    So, I think I'll likely be going for it once the trial is over. I still need to see what a streaming service is like through Roon, but if I'm doing this I'm switching from Apple Music to Tidal so I can find out then.

    Its amazing what you can do with a stereo system these days!
     
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  4. bleu

    bleu New Member

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    22
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I could have written this myself. We're both fans of simplicity, small footprint, and high performance. I don't think you can do much better in achieving those aims right now than LS50W+Roon. :)
     
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  5. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    That sounds like a smart way to tackle it.

    Right on - I'm glad to hear it all worked out for you. I know when I discovered how to properly equalize a system and the benefits it can bring, there was no turning back. It sounds like you're in the same boat and you're going about it the right way. Using a 9 point array, even - nicely done.

    For me, thankfully Roon has a built-in parametric EQ. I was considering going the miniDSP and Spotify Connect route, because that to me seemed like the best way, but software is my preference. It means giving up Apple Music but thankfully the money I would have spent on both of those pieces I can put towards Roon instead and get all the functionality (and more) that I need. Isn't it amazing what kind of technology is available at such a low cost? Running multiple subwoofers and EQing them costs pennies on the dollar compared to the sound quality improvement you receive. You could spend thousands upgrading your amplifiers or DACs but nothing will improve your system, dollar for dollar, like a proper EQ will. Sound quality is significantly impacted by acoustics, which is a scientific problem. Fight science with science, not a bunch more money. :)
     
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  6. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    You hit the nail on the head - 'simplicity, small footprint, and high performance'. Yep, exactly. What amazes me is how this package does not compromise anywhere. Normally to achieve this you have to sacrifice somewhere, but the LS50W + Roon manages to exceed in every area. It's as though someone consulted us without knowing it and said, "Were you to choose your ultimate system, what features might it have?". Certainly there are some small things I'd like (for example, the auto-wake up from the app so I do not have to power the speakers on with the remote), but compared to what we're getting they are small, small potatoes. I could care less. The way it is right now is ridiculously good.
     
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  7. bleu

    bleu New Member

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    Location:
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    Fully agree! It would also be nice to be able to skip with the LS50W remote OR perhaps if Roon could get basic transport functions on an iOS lock screen, that would be even better. But those tiny, tiny things.

    At some point I might get a mini PC or used Mac Mini to host Roon core and library so I have an 'always ready' system. Though I'm not sure it's even worth the couple hundred that would cost to save me the couple minutes it takes to boot up my iMac when I get home.
     
  8. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Time for an updated photo. This is what it looks like now. So clean and clutter free. Best of all is the sound, of course!

    I still need to get the wires a bit tidier, but overall I'm very happy.

    IMG_20180302_163757.jpg
     
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  9. bleu

    bleu New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Looks amazing! Nice work. Do you have panels at the first reflection points on the side walls?
     
  10. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

    Messages:
    24,038
    Location:
    Corvallis, Or
    Awful lot of wires for wireless...lol!

    Looks great! Beautiful speakers.
     
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  11. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Yes I do. I also have a diffusion panel on the rear wall, and bass traps in the rear corners.

    Thanks Art! Yeah no kidding about the wires hey. They really should just be called the active LS50.
     
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  12. Dougsat

    Dougsat New Member

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    I just purchased a demo pair of Kef LS50s in Frosted black with blue drivers.
    This is my second go round with the LS50s for a few reason they didn't tick all the boxes for me.
    This time around my amp is a bit more powerful (Peachtree 150 vs a Yamaha AS500).
    I am changing from Dynaudio Emit M20s (although I'm not sure if I am going to keep the Dynaudios or let them go).
    Things sound really good this time around. Powerful but not overwhelming. Incredible focus and dynamic range from soft passages to louder sections without changing the volume. Toe tapping and longer listening sessions are all a good indication of moving in the right direction. Not to mention the look and build quality of the Kefs provides a certain pride of ownership. Oh yeah Demoed the Dynaudio Special 40s before pulling the trigger on the LS50s.
    So I am still a bit surprised I chose the Kefs in the end without too much deliberation.
     
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  13. Dougsat

    Dougsat New Member

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    6
    image.jpeg
     
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  14. Dougsat

    Dougsat New Member

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    6
  15. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber


    I would be interested in your thoughts about why you prefer the Kefs over the Dynaudio Special 40s.

    Thanks!
     
  16. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    devils playground, NV

    long time ago, I know but.

    This is correct. At least to my ears it is. I hear nothing metallic or offensive from that amazing tangerine waveguide tweeter.
    Currently the LS-50's are set up in my main listening room, and I usually use them to make vocals clearer, (two channel system, especially when playing multi-channel films) or simultaniously playing music while I watch something.
    They aren't my magnpan 2.5R, but they are tonally similar, and a whole hell of a lot smaller.

    [​IMG]
    They were where the Infinity Qe are currently, set on my subs near the walls is only temporary.
     

     

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  17. Dougsat

    Dougsat New Member

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    (Long post)

    Well as I mentioned the original intent was to audition and then logically buy the Dynaudio Special 40s.
    I have always liked Dynaudio so this path seemed to make sense.
    Plus after reading all the positive reviews on the S40s I thought it was time to take things up a notch.
    Beautiful speakers (the demo pair was in the red birch).
    Compared to the Emits - Lots more bass - larger soundstage - more refined sound overall.
    Some of the others caveats became apparent for me regarding the S40s -

    - Not sure these were fully broken in? - they had 20 hours or so on them plus I put lot more hours on them
    - I think they overwhelmed my room a bit, is too much sound a thing?
    - maybe my Peachtree 150 is not quite the amp these speakers really need deserve to sound their best.

    The Emits M20s I decided were fine for me in my room and system.

    Then I thought I would give the LS50s another try and everything clicked. The Peachtree 150 worked well with the Kefs.
    The sound (well not perhaps quite a big sounding as the S40s) was more focused, more dynamic, nice enough soundstage and just sounded right in my room. The clarity of the Kefs to me is the best I have ever heard in my man cave. Plus the stereo image seems to be more concise while still having some sounds emanating from the center.

    So now is the Kef LS50s a better speaker than the Dynaudio S40s? It all depends on your situation. For me the Kefs worked out better. So now I get to keep (or maybe sell) the Emits M20s and have the Kefs for 1/2 price of what I would have paid for the Special 40s. So it was a win / win for me, and I am loving my new Kef LS 50s.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  18. canuckaudiog

    canuckaudiog On a quest for high fidelity

    Messages:
    7,798
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    After my second go through of the LS50s I agree about the metallic quality (still). There was a tinge of it in the beginning but it has totally disappeared. The only thing I hear now is the stunning clarity.
     
  19. hifix

    hifix Active Member

    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Groovy Tunes HQ
    I'm not an owner.. but i decided to go hear what the LS50 is all about.
    Very nice. If i was forking out for a pair, i'd get em in a different colour.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. matteos

    matteos Stereotype Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,648
    Those black edition look nice!
     

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