Here's a video I posted of the pair I owned. This is how good they can sound.
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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.
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".........
IMO that is only half the problem, can explain the speakers soud bright but not the lacking of bass, the amp is old, yes, but has 80wpc RMS, still not capable of driving the KEFs to loud controled sound but still can do the job...
Are they on stands?
What the cables like?
are they with bananas plugs?
are the speakers run in yet?
all this factors together can contribute to a poor sound.
And yes a new amp will help a lot!
I think this is just a case that highlights the difference between what an audiophile thinks is good sound (neutrality, accuracy, clarity, realism) and what the general public thinks is good sound (lots of boom and tizz). When a non hifi nut asks to hear my system I always take a minute first to correct what are the typical misconceptions. No I don't have 12 speakers surrounding me. No I don't consider vibrating the entire house with massively distorted bass a great achievement, no loudness is not the sole measure of a great hifi. The fact the OPs friends prefer a cheap car stereo to the LS50s is a perfect example. The car stereo IS better by their yard stick. Bass is thumpier, goes louder.
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
Seems to me you get used to a different sound your previous speakers/ system produced.. same happend to me when I switched to 'hi-fi' world and bought some components without audition.. now I know - system matching/ personal preferences/ room acoustics are paramount..
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Very nicely put Jax, a huge problem that is made far, far worse by the current assertion, told to almost everyone who makes an enquiry, that if it 'sounds right, it is right right'.
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.
All of that is right, and spot on!
I have a 42 sqm living room, a 50wpc Brio R driving a pair of Dynaudios X12 and the system produce lot of bass, a matter of fact i had to replace the speakers to attenuate the bass, some times I get up the sofa to check if the sub is off.
All reasonable points, but they pale into insignificance beside the real problem, which is that the OP has no experience, doesn't know what he is doing and has neither listened nor taken good advice before parting with his money.
We see this all the time on this forum.
i assume you me "reposition" and not "replace"???
And I'm not surprised. Dynaudios have very pronounced bass for their size. But unlike most mass market speakers they somehow produce this bass in a very clean accurate way.
And this brings up a good point. No doubt there are speakers the OP would be happier with. Monitor Audio RX2s or Dyn X16s. Those would both probably be better received. No doubt a better amp would help as well.
FWIW. I think the reasons have been well covered above - ie. if the LS50s are correctly set up, are on decent (heavy) stands, are connected with well made copper cables (eg. Linn K20), have a decent source and suitable amp, and are in a non reflective room that isn't far too big......they will sound great, provided you are not expecting seismic bass.
IME. A bad sound is, more often than not, down to poor system matching and/or poor set up.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
[/quote]Yes on Atacama Nexus 6i stands, full of sand in front tube.Cables are middle of the road apparently - not the best, not the worst.No banana plugs - just wired in directly.Not sure how long it takes to run them in. I've only had them about a month and they were a returned item so not sure how long they were used by previous owner, if it all. Considering buying a new amp - been watching a Naim Nait 5i on ebay but dont want to spend another chunk of money if it may not resolve.
I am a bit of a Kef freak. I own a pair of Kef Concertos from the 70s, 3 pairs of Q300 bookshelves and a pair of r500 floorstanders.I've owned the Q900 floorstanders too but sold them a while back. I also used to own the Ref 104ab.
Whilst I really wanted to love the LS50s, I actually can agree with the 'sitting there with blank faces' comment. Something about the sound of the LS50s just doesn't do it for me, at all. It's like it's missing something. It's especially apparent if you want to hear huge orchestral textures or mid to lower strings and lower brass
I borrowed a pair of these off a mate of mine because I was considering them for my bedroom but in the end I didn't purchase them as they seemed to have 'no love' in the sound. I actually much prefer the sound of the cheaper Q300s and can reccomend these wholheartedly as an alternative. I use these in a 5.1 configuration with 1 acting as a center channel.
Anyway just my opinion and I know there are die hard LS50 fans everywhere but the speakers also show up in the 2nd hand market very often,
Will be interested to hear how you go!
Have you considered visiting a decent dealer and getting some help?
It strikes me that you are just buying by name, (wretched pun), what reason do you have to think that a Nait will solve your issues?
Lots of unfair remarks being made here, maybe i havent made myself clear. My friends Q1's sound better than my LS50's in terms of bass but they still have the clarity and thats what im after. No doubt people will now say that i should sell the LS50's and get some Q1's . I want my £800 speakers to sound the best they can be and clearly they can sound better than Q1's so why dont they?? I didnt mention before but the reason i started looking into hifi was after hearing a friends Klipsch RF-5's. They sounded brilliant and exactly what i was after but sadly i couldnt find any. I heard they were put into reproduction again for a short while but now discontinued again.
Had tried doing some online research on what amps would make good pairing with the LS50's. The Nait was one of the ones recommended, on this forum i believe.
When you say you have "played around with the settings", which ones have you played with? Are the speakers set to large? Any EQ (manual on the 3090) being used? Is the bass output set to speaker, sub, or both?
While the LS50 won't dig as deep as larger bookshelf or floorstanders (it's only a 5.25" bass/midrange driver, part of which is a HF unit), their tonal balance certainly doesn't lack bass. The old Q1's will sound quite lean compared to the LS50's, so something somewhere is wrong. Whether this is a speaker problem or a set up issue, more investigation is needed.
The older DSPA1000 had a tendancy to become a little bright at the top end when pushed, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to think this could be an issue with the 3090 as well. I can't say for certain, but from memory I found the 3090 a little warmer and smoother, so maybe it is a case of the amplifier overstepping its comfort zone at higher volumes?
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
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