Hi David (Frank
What are you powering your KEF ls50's (2 channel stereo)?
I was thinking of going down the Audio lab stereo power amp route with my MDAC as the pre-amp? Or is it worth going down the (x2) audiolab mono power amp route .... or even a naim power amp - will that work with the MDAC or Naim XS.
I know I need to audition but what do you think (other too)?
Synology DS 212j
They're running from Rotel RMB1575 at the moment which is being fed by an Audiolab 8200AP. I have my Sonos ZP90 plugged digitally into the AP, so all my testing at the moment is via Napster (128kbps). My NAS drive is at work, but I might bring it home next week so I can try them out with better quality music. I have just picked up a Yamaha MXD1 digital power amp to try the front pair with, so this may tempt me to go 7.1. As the Yamaha was a £3k power amp back in its day, I'm hoping it'll do a better job than the Rotel, so the LS50's will sound better and I can turn the 1575 off when I'm not using it. I've compared it briefly against a £5k power amp at work and it seemed to hold its own....
Naim and Audiolab both work very well with the KEF's, so it is worth auditioning both to see which you prefer, but I would generally stick to same manufacturer components where Naim is concerned. And the better the power you can give them, the better the end result will be. This may not be a particularly expensive speaker, but its a high quality one, and it will respond well to quality amplification.
As I'm on the thread - I had a listen to them today in the demo room driven by a Leema Elememts amplifier and CD - extremely impressive with the Foo's latest album and Nirvana's Nevermind. It didn't matter how busy the music got, it was all there. I won't go on, because I've already said it all earlier in the thread...
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
Vinyl now available in store!
Are KEF producing a matching stand for the LS50's
How did you get on Jacko?
I don't think that'll happen. For a speaker manufacturer to produce a stand dedicated for a specific speaker (and bear in mind metalwork like this is usually outsourced) it usually means the cost will be quite high - you're probably looking at £200-400 per pair, so who's going to spend that for an £800 pair of speakers? I'll hopefully be boring some FS103's or FS104's to try them out on, as I'm quite interested in trying this 'open top' design. It'll be interesting to compare it to my Atacama HMS2's.
I feel a review coming on............
Yes how did you get on? Hope it went as well as my demo.
I meant "buying", not "boring"
As I've now been quoted, I can't change it
The 104'S look rather cool.
Soundstyle's XS122 speaker stands are also worth bearing in mind. Although discontinued, however i feel XS122's are still the finest speakers stands i've used irrespective of price :) Anyway, worth seeking out.
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
Awaiting e-mail for next delivery.
Hopefully this weekend.
Hi alchemist 1
Thanks for the update
Should be very interesting..................
Well, this goes out to all those who think that store demo rooms sound way better than their own homes. Obviously, this may be the case sometimes, but in this case, yet again, a product stuns me with just how good it is. They've only had about an hour playing time, and its late-ish, so I've not been driving them very loud, just trying a couple of soft bits and bobs out - I can't wait to get these cranked up a bit and shifting some air. For the record (and for those who followed the convo over on the other channel, I've set them up using just the outer bungs (as I did with my old R300's).
The ability of the HF unit to be delicate is pretty amazing. There's the smallest details going on, so delicate that you wouldn't think that the diaphragm could move enough to produce it. Very smooth with it too, no harshness, and no hint of veiling. And these are yet to run in.
Bass is a little harder to comment on as I've not been able to turn them up much, but Portishead's Dummy was surprising. With this type of music there's so much texture in the samples that many speakers tend to smother it. I've heard distortion on Roads that I don't think I've heard before - either that or it brings so much more detail to the fore. Basslines are extremely easy to follow, and once again, string detail stands out on some tracks that you never knew existed.
With Angus & Julia Stone's album Down The Way, the LS50's have the ability to hang their voices right in front of you in a way that defies their price point - I thought the R300's were good at it, but the LS50's do it in a more open way, which makes it all the more convincing.
I'm now listening to Track & Field's album In Search Of, and like Portishead's Dummy, they are surprising me with their layers of instruments and samples, and all the while the speakers aren't attracting any attention to themselves whatsoever. Their ability to throw the sound free of the cabinet and send it towards you is nothing short of stunning. The R300's could do this, but again, because the cabinet of the LS50 isn't adding anything, they're essentially invisible.
You'd expect an album like Ocean Colour Scene's Moseley Shoals to make the speaker draw more attention to itself as it isn't clean electronica, but no, business as usual. Bass guitar can be followed throughout a whole track as it is never obscured, and drum skins are more apparent than usual too. One thing I have found that high quality speakers do way better than others is to reproduce electric guitar distortion more accurately. That might sound stupid, but I find it is one tell tale sign of a loudspeaker if it just sounds like a distorted mess with electric guitars. That makes no sense, but I know what I mean! Maybe those that play guitar will know what I mean.
I'm really looking forward to these settling down and trying some real demanding music on them and seeing how they perform in a real world situation (i.e. not a store). Even out of the box these sound pretty damn good, and the scary thing is, most of the above comparisons have been against the R300's - themselves one of the best sub £1,000 speakers! I'm dying to try a few movies out on them too...
Since the R series emerged, we've felt that they've been KEF's finest range of loudspeakers since the introduction of the current Series 2 Reference range. They could even be described as a gamechanger - not only for KEF, but also for the speaker industry too.
This really is Reference performance at a budget price.
WHF's ''5 stars''. Underpins your mini review.
And so it should! I think sometimes, you find that no review can fly in the face of fact. These are just amazing little speakers. I haven't had a chance to read their review yet, but I think I have it in an email - I'll read it later and see what they say
I was watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy last night, and the music sounded pretty amazing - I think most people would be well chuffed if their hi-Fi system sounded like that. Violins were soaring well into the room, and piano notes were solid, and were also well clear of the speakers - KEF really have done an amazing job on these cabinets.
Vocal quality was equally impressive, as though they were in the room. At one point, a phone call during the film placed a voice about 1 foot forward of the right hand rear speaker - it was so precise in placement. A scene set inside a car in Silent House was also massively impressive in its vocal solidity and openness.
I'll emphasise again that the treble and midrange of these speakers really comes across as Reference quality.
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