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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

Pipila wrote:
@ David, I heard them in a Hi-Fi shop, but in a quite large (poorly designd for audio listening) room.  Both speakers were connected to Cambridge Audio 651A amp, and Cambridge audio Cd player (cannot remember the exact model, but it was sme price level as the amp).  I just switched the A/B source during listening the songs form Q700 to LS50 - so the comparison was fairly direct. I took a chance to listen to KEFs because its quite complicated in my region to listen to speakers,  and listened even to Q300, but these did not impressed me at all (especially with direct comparison to Q700). I still believe that it was not the problem of amplifier, or CD player, but the problem of the listening room and slight noice from street, but my first impression of Q300 was ("hell, my 10 years old Philips micro system for 200€ sound better with the same CD!"). So I was offered to replace Q300 for LS50 and compare these to Q700. LS50 was a significant improvement over Q300 form me, but stil the sound in that particular room did not let me immerse into the music as expected, it was not so detailed, deep, real... even though I believe these speakers can play musc this way (hopefully?).  Q700 sounded more adult, more sure, but as stated in post below a bit "too forward" and Im a bit affraid how such floorstanders would sound in my living room (5x4m - speakers need to be placed at the longer wall in almost corners).  Im a bit affraid that Q700 are too much for such room (Im not sure with their bass), and perhaps LS50 too little (?)  I definitelly cannot listen LS50 from ideal 2m distance, it will be at least 3m having speakers 4-4.5m from each other....  whats your opinion?

Ideally, the two speakers and you should forum an equilateral triangle (ie, not be further apart than you are from them). If any speaker can pull off being further apart, it will be the KEFs due to their excellent imaging, but overall, I wouldn't recommend it.

The Q Series doesn't have the refinement or the build quality of the LS50's, so they will suffer in comparison. Higher frequencies won't be as smooth, and in comparison might be a little 'edgy'. Bass won't be as tight and controlled, and as a result, may sound warmer and fuller to most people. Midrange won't be as open and detailed either. In isolation though, the Q300 and Q700 are the star pupils of the range for me, followed by the Q900. I find the Q100 and Q500 a little bass light/thin, but they're ideal for those with small rooms who want to use them closer to walls. For me, the LS50 is a sub £1k taster for what the Reference range sounds like. 

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the CA amp, so I can't say whether it is up to the job of getting the best from the LS50's or not. The Q Series is a nice easy load, so I would assume it can cope with the Q700's just fine, but the LS50 is a little more demanding of the accompanying amplifier, and will reward you with a mediocre sound if it isn't, even if you will be able to hear some of the natural differences between the speakers.

It is a shame that you feel the room is limiting your research. Yes, a room can 'favour' some speakers over others, whether that be floorstanders over standmounts, large speakers over small, etc etc and vice versa. Do they have another room you can try them in? Or even if they can shift the system through 90 degrees and fire the system across the room rather than down it, just to see if this helps. The dealer's demo room should allow you to compare speakers in the same environment, but obviously, your room could be quite different for many reasons, whichever speaker you feel sounds better in the dealer's room, see if you can take them home to try out in yours. If you can then hear the differences you room makes to the sound you heard in the dealer's room, you should be able to make a rough guess of how the other speaker will sound, and whether it might be more or less suitable.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

@ Coventry Dave (AKA Frank) Smile .

 

Given you stock a huge range of speakers and other components, are there any amps you would avoid if someone demanded the LS50s?

 

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

Pipila wrote:

Q700 sounded more adult, more sure, but as stated in post below a bit "too forward" and Im a bit affraid how such floorstanders would sound in my living room (5x4m - speakers need to be placed at the longer wall in almost corners).  Im a bit affraid that Q700 are too much for such room (Im not sure with their bass), and perhaps LS50 too little (?)  I definitelly cannot listen LS50 from ideal 2m distance, it will be at least 3m having speakers 4-4.5m from each other....  whats your opinion?

 

Your speaker placement does not look good, best to have them about 2-3 m apart and you 3m away, otherwise you will get holes in the music etc. Corners also are best avoided esp. with floorstanders, too much/boomy bass. In your room I would go for the LS50s but it it not possible to place then 2m apart? 

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

plastic penguin wrote:
@ Coventry Dave (AKA Frank) Smile .

 Given you stock a huge range of speakers and other components, are there any amps you would avoid if someone demanded the LS50s?

Of those that are capable of driving them properly, I've not really found any that sound particularly bad with them - although they do reveal more of the characteristics of the electronics you're listening to than some speakers. I know someone mentioned elsewhere that with the Roksan they felt the system didn't sound good at all, but if I recall correctly, we don't really have many details to establish whether it was a set up or placement issue.

The minimum amplifier I'd personally recommend would be something like the Pioneer A50 (usually around £400) and the Rotel models (starting at £349). Not only do these amplifiers drive them well, but I also find that both of these manufacturer's amps tonally suit the LS50's. The nature of the LS50's is very clean, clear, precise, smooth, transparent and quite 'vivid'. Some amplifiers change this, and for me, it defeats what they're all about. Obviously this is a preference, but I find smoother, warmer amplifiers don't work for me - the Brio-R and NAD are two examples.

I would always recommend the outer foam bung to be used as well, unless they're quite a way from the wall behind them.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:
@ Coventry Dave (AKA Frank) Smile .

 Given you stock a huge range of speakers and other components, are there any amps you would avoid if someone demanded the LS50s?

Of those that are capable of driving them properly, I've not really found any that sound particularly bad with them - although they do reveal more of the characteristics of the electronics you're listening to than some speakers. I know someone mentioned elsewhere that with the Roksan they felt the system didn't sound good at all, but if I recall correctly, we don't really have many details to establish whether it was a set up or placement issue.

The minimum amplifier I'd personally recommend would be something like the Pioneer A50 (usually around £400) and the Rotel models (starting at £349). Not only do these amplifiers drive them well, but I also find that both of these manufacturer's amps tonally suit the LS50's. The nature of the LS50's is very clean, clear, precise, smooth, transparent and quite 'vivid'. Some amplifiers change this, and for me, it defeats what they're all about. Obviously this is a preference, but I find smoother, warmer amplifiers don't work for me - the Brio-R and NAD are two examples.

I would always recommend the outer foam bung to be used as well, unless they're quite a way from the wall behind them.

 

Don't you find using the bungs that it removes some of the clarity as well as bass?

I did find the LS50s quite warm sounding so I can see that warm amps may not work unless you like that sort of thing. I only heard them with the Audiolab 8200 and MF M3i amps.

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

BigH wrote:
Don't you find using the bungs that it removes some of the clarity as well as bass?

I did find the LS50s quite warm sounding so I can see that warm amps may not work unless you like that sort of thing. I only heard them with the Audiolab 8200 and MF M3i amps.

I did find them a little warm for my own taste in my own room (quite close to the rear wall), so I used the outer bung. I wasn't aware of any loss of clarity - if anything, the image they produced was more accurate and vivid because of the removal of that warmth. Yes, a little loss of bass,  I didn't get on with using the full bung, but I find that across the board with any speaker anyway.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:
@ Coventry Dave (AKA Frank) Smile .

 Given you stock a huge range of speakers and other components, are there any amps you would avoid if someone demanded the LS50s?

Of those that are capable of driving them properly, I've not really found any that sound particularly bad with them - although they do reveal more of the characteristics of the electronics you're listening to than some speakers. I know someone mentioned elsewhere that with the Roksan they felt the system didn't sound good at all, but if I recall correctly, we don't really have many details to establish whether it was a set up or placement issue.

The minimum amplifier I'd personally recommend would be something like the Pioneer A50 (usually around £400) and the Rotel models (starting at £349). Not only do these amplifiers drive them well, but I also find that both of these manufacturer's amps tonally suit the LS50's. The nature of the LS50's is very clean, clear, precise, smooth, transparent and quite 'vivid'. Some amplifiers change this, and for me, it defeats what they're all about. Obviously this is a preference, but I find smoother, warmer amplifiers don't work for me - the Brio-R and NAD are two examples.

Alright Dave...

Have you ever tried the LS50s with a Sonos Connect:AMP? I don't think it'd have the welly to drive them properly or loudly enough (I've got one with some 88dB/w/m Roths hanging of it and that doesn't go loud enough for me), would you agree with that?

It's not for me, I'm asking for a friend...

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

@ David ,  thank you a lot, this is opinion I was looking for - person with real experiences with KEFs and honest opinion. 

Unfortunatelly I cannot place the speakers closer to each other (if they are supposed to be on stands), I could do so only if I created some solution to mount them on wall (or some mini shelf on wall where I could lay the speakers).

So in general you recommend in my situation more the LS50, than Q700?  If LS50 really have better capability maintain hgh quality sound even in not ideal placement than Q700, I probably try it (at least borrow for a few days). Tto be honest I love the design of LS50, they would definitely shine in room! Lot of people (I suppose more experienced that me) are amazed with them, so I trully believe the could sound nicely in standard living room. I plan to fee the amp (whatever it will be) with CA Magic Stream 6, hope it will not deteriorate the sound quality of the speakers.

Can you please recommend some apropriate amp for LS50 (even better if some of easily available brands also in continental Europe)? I have an opportunity to borrow NAD 365bee, but have no idea how good it is with KEF.

Yes, you're right about the room, and the shop is fortunately working on it, but I dont want to wait for this reconstruction - Im choosing speakers quite a long time and start to be tired of it:)

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

Unfortunatelly not, the whole wall is covered by low living room furniture. I could place them 3m, maybe eve 2m apart, but only if I placed them directly on the furniture - the stands just do not have enogh room to be closer.  Is placing then on furniture a big problem?

Thank for note about the boomby bass of floorstanders in corners, I'll keep this in mind.  However I have some 40cm free space in each corner, so they do not have to be in the very corners.

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

The_Lhc wrote:
Alright Dave...

Have you ever tried the LS50s with a Sonos Connect:AMP? I don't think it'd have the welly to drive them properly or loudly enough (I've got one with some 88dB/w/m Roths hanging of it and that doesn't go loud enough for me), would you agree with that?

It's not for me, I'm asking for a friend...

It's actually David - partly because I prefer that anyway, but also because we have a real bona fide "Dave" working here now (although he works for the website, I work in the store), so although I was David before, I am now David for recognition purposes Smile

I've had the older Sonos ZP120 running the old XQ10's before which worked fine for an average sized room, and they were 86dB sensitivity. The LS50's are 85dB, so slightly more demanding, and I could understand that in a larger room, and for those who like higher volumes, it might struggle. Average volumes should be ok though.

Having said that, I wouldn't always trust sensitivity figures - it's a case of trying it, it's the only way to be certain. 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:
Alright Dave...

Have you ever tried the LS50s with a Sonos Connect:AMP? I don't think it'd have the welly to drive them properly or loudly enough (I've got one with some 88dB/w/m Roths hanging of it and that doesn't go loud enough for me), would you agree with that?

It's not for me, I'm asking for a friend...

It's actually David - partly because I prefer that anyway, but also because we have a real bona fide "Dave" working here now (although he works for the website, I work in the store), so although I was David before, I am now David for recognition purposes :)

Yeah I know, I was channelling Trigger for comedic purposes, sorry!

Quote:
I've had the older Sonos ZP120 running the old XQ10's before which worked fine for an average sized room, and they were 86dB sensitivity. The LS50's are 85dB, so slightly more demanding, and I could understand that in a larger room, and for those who like higher volumes, it might struggle. Average volumes should be ok though.

Having said that, I wouldn't always trust sensitivity figures - it's a case of trying it, it's the only way to be certain.

Ok, cool, presumably, given what you've said about lower power amps with the LS50s in the past the ZP120 (it's the same on the inside and easier to type...) probably wouldn't get the best out of the speakers though?

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

Pipila wrote:
Unfortunatelly I cannot place the speakers closer to each other (if they are supposed to be on stands), I could do so only if I created some solution to mount them on wall (or some mini shelf on wall where I could lay the speakers).
It isn't ideal, but you may get away with it due to their excellent imaging. I do know of other people who have placed KEF speakers further apart than is ideal, and they've been more than happy.

Quote:
So in general you recommend in my situation more the LS50, than Q700?  If LS50 really have better capability maintain hgh quality sound even in not ideal placement than Q700, I probably try it (at least borrow for a few days). Tto be honest I love the design of LS50, they would definitely shine in room! Lot of people (I suppose more experienced that me) are amazed with them, so I trully believe the could sound nicely in standard living room. I plan to fee the amp (whatever it will be) with CA Magic Stream 6, hope it will not deteriorate the sound quality of the speakers.
Personally, I would take the LS50's for treble and midrange performance over any of the Q range, and I would have to say, over the R series as well. The Q700's are a much easier load though, and will suit a less capable amplifier.

Quote:
Can you please recommend some apropriate amp for LS50 (even better if some of easily available brands also in continental Europe)? I have an opportunity to borrow NAD 365bee, but have no idea how good it is with KEF.
NAD would be a little soft with the LS50's for my liking, but give it a go as it may be exactly what you're after. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Rotel amplifiers are a good starting point (RA10/RA11/RA12), but the Pioneer A50 and A70 amps work well, as do Naim's Nait amplifiers, Arcam's new A19 works well too as does the rest of the range, Primare's UFPD amps like the I22 and I32, and the higher powered Onkyo amps like the A9070. I have to admit to not having tried the Musical Fidelity models with them yet (even though we have M1, M3 and M6 models here).

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

The_Lhc wrote:
Ok, cool, presumably, given what you've said about lower power amps with the LS50s in the past the ZP120 (it's the same on the inside and easier to type...) probably wouldn't get the best out of the speakers though?

I find Class D/digital/high efficiency amps tend to sound tighter and be a little more stable with demanding speakers than most Class A/B amps, so I wouldn't rule out lower powered amplification like these. At the end of the day, if the amplification is of sufficient quality and the resulting sound is loud enough in a given room for the individual, it's all good.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:
@ Coventry Dave (AKA Frank) Smile .

 Given you stock a huge range of speakers and other components, are there any amps you would avoid if someone demanded the LS50s?

Of those that are capable of driving them properly, I've not really found any that sound particularly bad with them - although they do reveal more of the characteristics of the electronics you're listening to than some speakers. I know someone mentioned elsewhere that with the Roksan they felt the system didn't sound good at all, but if I recall correctly, we don't really have many details to establish whether it was a set up or placement issue.

The minimum amplifier I'd personally recommend would be something like the Pioneer A50 (usually around £400) and the Rotel models (starting at £349). Not only do these amplifiers drive them well, but I also find that both of these manufacturer's amps tonally suit the LS50's. The nature of the LS50's is very clean, clear, precise, smooth, transparent and quite 'vivid'. Some amplifiers change this, and for me, it defeats what they're all about. Obviously this is a preference, but I find smoother, warmer amplifiers don't work for me - the Brio-R and NAD are two examples.

I would always recommend the outer foam bung to be used as well, unless they're quite a way from the wall behind them.

Thank you, CD.  Smile

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RE: KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

CD?

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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