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KEF LS50 disappointment :(

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MarkJones83's picture
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Hi all,I'm new to the forum (and to hifi) and wondered if someone can help me out....I recently took a chance and bought a set of KEF LS50's on a friends recommendation and after reading rave reviews (inc What Hifi)Having wired them up to my amp (Yamaha DSP A3090) and played around with the settings, words cannot express my disappointment :(Everyone who listens to them sits there with confused faces and remarks that while the clarity excellent, they lack 'something'.For me the bass, although there to some extent, sounds clinical and doesnt engage or excite me - everyone who hears them just sighs and says they expected better. A friend told me yesterday he gets more bass in his ford fiesta.Theres no shortage of power and they go loud, but as you turn them up are so bright that they hurt the ears.I bought these speakers as a returned item and im wondering if there may be something wrong with them. Some people have suggested it could be my amp, others have said its because the woofers are at the back?A friend has some KEF Q1's and his speakers sound WAY better than mine. Dynamic punchy bass and crystal clear sound. He's using a vintage stereo amp which i think is a pioneer. His woofers are at the front.We're both playing music through spotify at the moment and im using my apple tv which is connected to the amp by optical cable. I know the quality will be impaired by that to some extent but the friend with the Q1's does a similar thing and his sound is crushingly better than mine :(If anyone has any ideas please let me know,Mark Jones

alchemist 1's picture
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MarkJones83 wrote: Hi all,I'm

MarkJones83 wrote:

Hi all,I'm new to the forum (and to hifi) and wondered if someone can help me out....I recently took a chance and bought a set of KEF LS50's on a friends recommendation and after reading rave reviews (inc What Hifi)Having wired them up to my amp (Yamaha DSP A3090) and played around with the settings, words cannot express my disappointment :(Everyone who listens to them sits there with confused faces and remarks that while the clarity excellent, they lack 'something'.For me the bass, although there to some extent, sounds clinical and doesnt engage or excite me - everyone who hears them just sighs and says they expected better. A friend told me yesterday he gets more bass in his ford fiesta.Theres no shortage of power and they go loud, but as you turn them up are so bright that they hurt the ears.I bought these speakers as a returned item and im wondering if there may be something wrong with them. Some people have suggested it could be my amp, others have said its because the woofers are at the back?A friend has some KEF Q1's and his speakers sound WAY better than mine. Dynamic punchy bass and crystal clear sound. He's using a vintage stereo amp which i think is a pioneer. His woofers are at the front.We're both playing music through spotify at the moment and im using my apple tv which is connected to the amp by optical cable. I know the quality will be impaired by that to some extent but the friend with the Q1's does a similar thing and his sound is crushingly better than mine :(If anyone has any ideas please let me know,Mark Jones

Have you checked your speaker cables are connected correctly ?

npoguy's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

IMHO, something is wrong with the speakers or your setup.  I own them paired with Parasound and absolutely love the sound. Certainly, the bass isn't what you would get with towers, but I've been very pleased. In fact, I sold a set of Salk Songtowers (extremely well regarded in the States)for the LS50's and haven't had a moment of regret.  I would try a few things including room placement (give them plenty of room away from the wall) and the rear bungs before giving up. 

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Music room: Macbook Pro Retina, Synology 213j, Squeezebox Touch, Oppo DV-981, Emotiva XDA-1, Apple TV, NAD D3020, KEF LS50, Spotify Premium+Qobuz

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The amp might be an issue,

Are they backed against a wall? Placement could be an issue.

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BigH's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

What do you mean by "the woofers are at the back"?

davedotco's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

It is just possible that the speakers are faulty, not likely but possible. Generally if there is a problem it is pretty obvious and different speaker to speaker. if they both sound the same (try switching then) and there is nothing obvious wrong then they are probably fine.

Reading between the lines I think we simply have a system that has been poorly selected both in terms of system matching and the OP's actual needs, happens all the time.

The OP is badly in need of help from a compedent dealer

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We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

MarkJones83's picture
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Had a couple of friends who

Had a couple of friends who are into hifi go over the wiring and setup for me, all seems to be as it should be.

Placement is an issue for me because the room is relatively small, so yes they are backed into corners.

The manual says to put bungs in the back (guessing these ports arent called 'woofers' then lol but when i put the bungs in, the bass lack gets even worse.

I've taken a picture of the room layout but cant see a way of attaching it on here - how would i do that?

Mark

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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

You need to host the picture on somewhere like flickr or photobucket then use the forum to link to it.

 

Your experience would tend to add weight to comments in the WHF review:

 

http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-ls50

MakkaPakka's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

You need to host the picture on somewhere like flickr or photobucket then use the forum to link to it.

 

Your experience would tend to add weight to comments in the WHF review:

 

http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-ls50

matt49's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

BigH wrote:

What do you mean by "the woofers are at the back"?

What he means is that they're rear-ported.

Evidently these speakers are capable of sounding great, so something's wrong, as others have suggested, whether the speaker placement or the system synergy or the connection to the amp or some combination of the above.

To the OP: could you take the speakers round to your friends house and try them in his system? Or borrow a different amp from a local dealer?

BigH's picture
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RE: Had a couple of friends who

MarkJones83 wrote:
The manual says to put bungs in the back (guessing these ports arent called 'woofers' then lol but when i put the bungs in, the bass lack gets even worse. I've taken a picture of the room layout but cant see a way of attaching it on here - how would i do that? Mark

 

The woofer is the driver for the low to mid frequencies as opposed to  the tweeter which is the high. You are referring to ports. Bass is pretty average for that size of speaker/driver, don't bung up the ports and move a foot or so away from walls. What sort of room furnishing do you have, carpets, bare laminate floor? Curtains and soft sofas? It could be your amp. I don't know that one.

MarkJones83's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

matt49 wrote:

BigH wrote:

What do you mean by "the woofers are at the back"?

To the OP: could you take the speakers round to your friends house and try them in his system? Or borrow a different amp from a local dealer?

Thats a good idea, will ask him if we can give that a try.Would a local dealer lend an amp??

matt49's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

MarkJones83 wrote:

Would a local dealer lend an amp??

The bigger chains (Richers, Superfi) don't lend kit out. Independent dealers generally do. No harm in getting on the phone and asking. If you tell the forum where you are, people might suggest good dealers in your area.

MarkJones83's picture
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RE: Had a couple of friends who

BigH wrote:

What sort of room furnishing do you have, carpets, bare laminate floor? Curtains and soft sofas? It could be your amp. I don't know that one.

Its a bedroom. Floor is laminate and at the moment there are no curtains.We tried them out at a friends house in his small room though (he has carpets, curtains and a newish Yamaha amp) - same problem.Bass and sound doesnt fill the room.A friend yesterday said its like the bass doesnt move the air around it.To test we played a rousing orchestral sound track of his choice and turned it up loud (Halo original sound track - truth and reconciliation) It was wonderfully clear but the bass doesnt didnt stir or move the emotions. We just sat there with blank faces.

Hi-FiOutlaw's picture
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RE: KEF LS50 disappointment :(

What cables do you have? 

Are they vintage as well? Those thin wires black and grey...?

davedotco's picture
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RE: Had a couple of friends who

MarkJones83 wrote:

BigH wrote:

What sort of room furnishing do you have, carpets, bare laminate floor? Curtains and soft sofas? It could be your amp. I don't know that one.

Its a bedroom. Floor is laminate and at the moment there are no curtains.We tried them out at a friends house in his small room though (he has carpets, curtains and a newish Yamaha amp) - same problem.Bass and sound doesnt fill the room.A friend yesterday said its like the bass doesnt move the air around it.To test we played a rousing orchestral sound track of his choice and turned it up loud (Halo original sound track - truth and reconciliation) It was wonderfully clear but the bass doesnt didnt stir or move the emotions. We just sat there with blank faces.

Everything that the OP says makes the issue more and more clear, hard reflective surfaces, no curtains, mediocre amplifier and a fondness for a bit of bass pretty much explains everything. 

In the words of a very fine scottish band, "rip it up and start again"......... rockin out

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne