I kind of agree with you Tacty. I am wanting to challenge the assumptions that a) LS50's must sound good to everyone, and b) the OP must have something wrong with his set-up if he does not like them. Many like them. I don't. Perhaps the OP just doesn't like them.
This is of course a fair comment. All I'm trying to do, is question whether they have been given a reasonable chance to show what they can do.
It's a bit like buying a highly tuned sports car purely based on rave reviews, filling it with low octane petrol and only using it for the 2 mile round trip (on cobbled streets) to the shops. It won't be long before the car will be found totally unsuitable for this purpose.......on the other hand, feed it premium fuel, take it to a race track, and you will get a very different experience.
I don't recommend the LS50s because they have good reviews, but because I've spent many hours listening to them on a variety of amps (but always with a quality source).....and I've compared them to much more expensive ones in order to give a point of reference. I think the mistake people make, is that they think of the LS50s as a fairly budget speaker, rather than a reference mini monitor.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Of course, like all speakers, personal preference cannot be ignored, but this doesn't mean a speaker "isn't anything special". I usually find that people who play down a particular speaker's capabilities or strengths don't really understand the technology behind them, or haven't done any research into why they do what they do.
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
It sounds like expectations were higher than the results that the speakers actually offer. It's also easy to get caught up with the verbose praise lavished on products in 5-star reviews. Those reviews can almost come across as sales pitches at times and very convincing as a result.
I'm in no way experienced in this game, but I also had the LS50's for a few days and hated them. For their size, bass was decent I thought, but not exactly agile or detailed. They were also very detailed. But I found them pretty poor elsewhere - the forward upper mid/lower treble was fatiguing/bright and the overall tonal balance was quite 'metallic' and soulless. There is something to be said perhaps for speakers sounding like they look. i.e. metal drivers, metal tweeters = metallic sound. To me, they are a clinical step too far from the R series, but that is just my opinion. Lots of others prefer the more refined, but unforgiving and forward LS50.
Arcam A19 - Kef R100's - Marantz NA7004
I am very anti a bright clinical sound, which is why I like Valves, own a Class A amp and recommend brands like Pathos, Sugden, Electrocompaniet, Luxman and Icon Audio. On the speaker end, it's brands like SF, Harbeth and Spendor that get my vote.
Almost any speaker can be made sound rough given the right circumstances, including the LS50s. If it always sounded like that, I'd be giving it a very wide birth, given the way I like music presented.
If I'm coming across as a bit fanatical, it is certainly not my main intention, I'm just trying to make the point that it's easy to get a very wrong impression, from a cursory listen, due to the amount of variables at play.
So it can’t be that it’s a poorly designed cash cow, the fault anyways lies with the newb. Come on!
If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed.
Can't you just send them back? Even if you buy stuff over the internet, distance-selling regulations give you a cooling-off period. It's the law. I think plain and simple you don't like them. It doesn't matter what anyone else says.
I'm also cringing at suggestions you try changing the mains cables to your amp etc. Come on guys this is a newby who fundamentally doesn't like the sound of his speakers and is looking for proper advice. Don't feed him ridiculous voodoo nonsense. It doesn't help him when he's already struggling to sort good advice from bull----. Even if you're a believer then you've still got to admit it won't make the night and day differences he's looking for.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 > HRT II+ DAC • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • MS 10i speakers [on loan]
Also cluttering-up the place: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
I understand very well the point David is trying to make, but personally I find every brand makes claims about the brilliance of their innovative thinking, design and engineering, that it's hard to tell what is (or is not) going to make a real positive difference. So when push comes to shove, I ignore everything until I make my own assessment.
And that’s why chemical chance gave not just one but two ears, to make up for only having one brain.
Don't worry about what some of these guys say. Like they have never made a mistake! First thing to do is find the best person you know or your friends know to have a fiddle with your system. It could just be one hidden setting. I doubt it's this but if u r using an av amp, what is your bass crossover point? Can you still return the kefs? If so I would do so and start again! If not I would take the kefs anywhere that has them in their demo room and check them against each other. The dealer shouldn't mind as if there is nothing wrong with them you are probably going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new amp. The new roksan k2 bt looks right up your street and has built in Bluetooth. And can be used to power the fronts in an av system too. If it performs better than the original k2 which it should, and is more powerful and with Bluetooth you should be happy. Worst case scenario- a grand on room conditioning and an amp is going to solve the problem.
Have you heard them? Have you heard them in an appropriate system?
Before moving to the speakers I have now, I was using five of them in a 5.1 set up - if they didn't perform with music or movies, and were, in your words, badly designed, they'd never got as far as being in my system. If I hadn't had the chance to move to my current speakers, I'd still be using them now, and it would have taken a pretty special speaker to have removed them from my system.
As for the fault 'lying with the newb', that's your words not mine. I'm certainly not blaming anything on the OP - I'm trying to help him.
Specs are one thing, listening to them quite another. As I said before, they won't reach as deep as larger speakers, but their overall balance is not bass light. The drivers and the cabinet don't help to exaggerate bass in the way that most speakers do. If anyone wants proof that these speakers aren't 'bass light', just try No Doubt's Hella Good. With this track, anyone listening blind would probably think they're listening to floorstanders.
Which makes the OPs experience with them all the more puzzling.
It makes me cringe too.
So it wasn't to be able to detect sound within space then? We have two ears for the same reason we have two eyes - depth perception and placement. With only one, direction and distance is tricky. Having two brains wouldn't really make up for having one ear.
Impossible with these speaker !
I bought LS50 last month and i have never heard a speakers like that !!! I love them and i use them every day !
You must check :
- quality of your cables 2.5mn minimum
- be careful with the distance with the wall. See the notice, you must respect a distance of 50 cm between speaker and wall.
- i advise to use your amplifier with direct source butom switched on.
The minimum distance is 20 cm.
- if the distance is inferior too 50cm use rubber plugs provided with speakers (two types of plugs accordance with distance.
- it's also important to use a good standspeaker very heavy, for these high-range speakers i advise a very heavy stands, personnelly i choice Soundstyle brand model Z1
NB : i'm not agree with the choice of What Hifi of Norstone Stylum 1 with these speaker. These stands are so light and the solution of one column is not adapted the heavy speaker like LS50. With Z1 use 4 pieces of bluetac (Patafix in french) on each corners. I see that in excellente shop in Blackpool (thanks to Audio T).
With these stands you can increase weight to incorporate sand or special lead for hifi into feet if you want improve stability.
If my advise don't work it's perhaps a production problems (call Kef company they are wonderful !) or test with another amplifier.
Excuse me for my english, i hope that i help you.
Best regards. Dom.
I forget a last advice :
- it's essential to use good iron spike (don't use your speakers without spikes) it's very important for the LS50 because the quality of bass is very very high (the better that i have never heard !!!). very loud, very clear, incredible effect.
I hope have help somebody. See you later.
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