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Demo review - KEF R100's, LS50's and Rega RS3's - Rega Brio R / Apollo R combo

Went and demo'd the above combos this morning

 

CD's used were:

 

Watchmen soundtrack

Fischerpooner - #1

MJ Cole - Back to Mine

Sting - All this time

Late Night Tales - At The Movies

 

First up the LS50's. Initial impressions were that they look gorgeous; the rose gold Uni-Q driver is very pretty and as an overall speaker it's smooth & rounded.

Sound was superb initially but then as we got through a few tracks it became clear that they were a little bright with some vocals and that the bass wasnt that deep nor punchy

 

KEF R100's up next; again very nice speaker to look at. Obviously not as rounded/smooth as the LS50's but very tidy with the Uni-Q driver

Sound was brilliant; detailed like the LS50's but the top end wasnt as bright and their bass depth/punch and tautness astounded me. Deep, well timed and punchy from such a small speaker!

 

Rega RS3's; again a good speaker. I realise that they're floorstanders but I don't like the Rega RS1's (sound too boxy IMO) and the RS3's fit an important requirement; small!

Sound was very good indeed but slipped into brightness at times and theyir bass was very good indeed but didnt come across as taut or as well timed as the R100's

 

Overall conclusion. The Brio R is a stunning little amp and sounded very good indeed with all 3 speakers

 

The R100's are amazing and I know the LS50's already have a massive following but for me; they just werent as good today as the R100's on the overall soundstage and ease of listening

 

One more demo to go (Dynaudio Xeo 3's) and then I'll make my decision from there as to what combo I go for to replace my EPOZ's Smile

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RE: Demo review

The Brio-R is a good little amp, but it isn't up to the job of getting the best from the LS50's - I found the whole affair a little too soft and lacking for my liking - that's based on knowing what the speaker is capable of. The LS50's bass certainly doesn't lack punch - only depth. As for brightness, they'll show a recording up for what it is.

Maybe trying another amp or two would've been worthwhile, as the amplifier/speaker pairing is the most important one in any system.

Smile

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

Anonymous
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RE: Demo review

Understand where you're comiong from but I'm limited for space when it comes to the amp so it has to be either trhe Brio R or Cyrus amps etc...

 

Already discounted HEED and dont want to pay the Leema Elements price

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RE: Demo review

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

As for brightness, they'll show a recording up for what it is.

Could not agree more.

They also show how good the partnering equipment is. Far more than the R100. According to me the R series plays good with most (even mediocre) partnering equipment. The LS50 can play incredible if partnering equipment is also very good and play mediocre or even bad with mediocre equipment. Or "they'll show the partnering equipment up for what they are". Wink

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RE: Demo review

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

The LS50's bass certainly doesn't lack punch - only depth.

Indeed. The LS50 are IMO one of the best compact speakers i heard with respect to bass punch.

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RE: Demo review

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

As for brightness, they'll show a recording up for what it is.

 

But surely the OP was saying they were bright in comparison to the R100s. 

 

Given that the OP is sensitive to brightness and a lack of tautness in the bass, I would also recommend a listen to ATC SCM11s (or even 19s if budget allows). (Apparently they sound like the R series with half a bung in, but without the need for d*cking about with a bung...)

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RE: Demo review

BenLaw wrote:
But surely the OP was saying they were bright in comparison to the R100s. 

I'm not going to start any arguments, but the OP didn't say they were bright in comparison to the R100's - in fact he said the R100's aren't as smooth as the LS50's.

 

Quote:
(Apparently they sound like the R series with half a bung in, but without the need for d*cking about with a bung...)

I'm not sure if that's your own personal view, but it's certainly not mine. Even with "half a bung in", there are many aspects of the  R100's that just dont match up to the LS50's.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

Anonymous
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RE: Demo review continued

Thanks for the input fellas

 

In both cases youre all wrong but that may be down to the way I've described the speakers.

 

In the 1st part of the sentence I'm talking about them physically (shape, feel, design etc...) NOT their sound. In the 2nd part of the sentence is where I'm discussing their soundstage etc...

 

The LS50's sounded fantastic but to me they had a bit too much top end and it came across fatiguing which is what I DIDNT get from the R100's and RS3's. However the RS3's lacked even further and maybe it's just the way they sounded at that time but for me personally, the R100's were the better speakers overall

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RE: Demo review

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

BenLaw wrote:
But surely the OP was saying they were bright in comparison to the R100s. 

I'm not going to start any arguments, but the OP didn't say they were bright in comparison to the R100's - in fact he said the R100's aren't as smooth as the LS50's.

 

Quote:
(Apparently they sound like the R series with half a bung in, but without the need for d*cking about with a bung...)

I'm not sure if that's your own personal view, but it's certainly not mine. Even with "half a bung in", there are many aspects of the  R100's that just dont match up to the LS50's.

 

You probably ought to read people's posts better rather than just blindly plugging LS50s. The OP said in relation to the R100s that they were 'detailed like the LS50's but the top end wasnt as bright'. So he DID say they were bright in comparison, as he has just confirmed. 

 

As for the second response, I'm staggered that you couldn't see I was referring to the ATCs rather than the LS50s. And so we're clear, it's you who's made the comparison in relation to bungs. 

 

Anyway, apologies to the OP for the distraction but I do think from your tastes a listen to ATC would be a good idea. You may not like them as much, but better to listen to more speakers rather than fewer in making your decision, I would say. 

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RE: Demo review

BenLaw wrote:
You probably ought to read people's posts better rather than just blindly plugging LS50s. The OP said in relation to the R100s that they were 'detailed like the LS50's but the top end wasnt as bright'. So he DID say they were bright in comparison, as he has just confirmed.

I'll give you that - been busy, so probably skimming.

The SCM's sound a bit like the R Series when they're fully bunged though. And less of the assumptions about "blindly plugging".

 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Demo review

So you'd agree that given the OP's tastes it would be sensible to have a listen to the ATCs?

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RE: Demo review

If he listened to the R100's with the full bungs in, then yes, they'll be worth him trying.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Demo review

That's really the only circumstance? If you had a customer who liked the R100s and had said what the OP has you wouldn't tell them they could demo ATCs, they have some similar qualities, some people like them more, while others don't? I think you're doing your customers a disservice. 

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RE: Demo review

Anyone popping in here for a demo can hear whatever speakers they like, even if I don't feel the combination works that well. They've booked the room, it's their choice.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

Anonymous
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RE: Demo review

Unfortunately there is no one near me that deals with the ATC speakers so they're off the radar

 

 

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Heard the two the other day

Heard the two the other day for a friend. Yup, the R100 was my pick.

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