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kpaterno's picture
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Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?
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Hi all,

a couple of months ago, I was convinced to buy the ls50's with a decent amp like the roksan kandy (after 4 long listening sessions in which they really pleased me). However, I didn't have the money at that time, so I had to wait a little, and in that period up until now, I kept reading on forums such as this, and this made me doubt again... Especially the adm9rs; these seem to get good comments everywhere and are a lot cheaper than my original speaker-amp pair (especially when you calculate in the fact that I would have to buy a good dac at a later stage with the ls50's). However, I didn't get the chance to audition these yet, as It would mean a 6 hour drive (single way), and I don't have this time (yet).

So, here's my question:  how would you compare the sound of the ls50 on a kandy k2 (or similar) and a decent dac with that of the adm9rs? In terms of clarity, precision and resolution, soundstage, listening fun and anything else you like to share. Will I just as much enjoy the avi's as the kef's? Or do the Kef's ultimately take the upperhand? I wonder...

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!

k

 

 

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

There's only one way to know for sure, which is for you, however that is not a realistic option for you, unless you had a trial on loan.

If you went on reviews, customer and critic/journalistic, they would probably lead you to the ADMs.

If you went on value for money, again, then ADMs

The ADMs will also be clearer and louder.

There might be some subjective reasons to go for the LS50s, but none that I'd care to bother with.

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

Whereabouts are you?

 

you could go onto the AVI Forum. There may be an owner local to you that will demo. 

 

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

Thanks for the replies.

I'm from Belgium. Although I'm not a big fan of going to someone's home, I'll check the possibility.

Any more experiences? Someone who has heard both systems?

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

I doubt very much that anyone has heard both options, so no one is really in any position to make any comments - what you do read will be conjecture. 

The LS50's have many strong points, as will the ADM9's no doubt. But they'll be different. I can only tell you about the strengths of the LS50's.

Their UniQ design will make them just as easy to listen to up close as further away - a two-way non coincident design reproduces the two section of the frequency range from two different points (centre of the HF, and centre of the LF), whereas the LS50's, the whole frequency range comes from a single point. This reduces many issues that conventional speakers produce (regardless of whether they're active or passive). It also improves imaging, as does the shape of the front baffle, which plays no part in what you hear, unlike speakers that use a flat front baffle. Port noise can be an issue, and if the LS50's produced any (which they don't), it is on the back, so it won't be heard. The back is usually the best place as mid frequencies can sometimes escape through it. The heavily damped cabinet plays little or no part in the end result as well, thanks to an unusually thick (two layer) front panel and very heavy damping at key points. The sound from these is far more vivid than most passive loudspeakers, and sound more like headphones with their ability to start/stop and produce minute, subtle detail. With all their strong points, they're able to bring a fresh insight to your music (and film) collection.

You could consider the Pioneer A50 (£1300 for both), which drives them every bit as well as the Roksan does, or even the A70 (£1500 for both), which includes a 32/192 capable Sabre DAC with a coaxial and a asynchronous Type B USB input - should be good enough seeing as many will have you believe that there's little difference between DACs...

I'm sitting listening to mine now, and they're producing an effortless sound that is totally free of the cabinets - it's three dimensional, smooth, but not lacking in detail in any way. 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

My advice: never, never, never buy unheard.

The adm9s are the most analitical speakers I ever heard. Probably very different to the kef- roksan setup...although I haven't heard them but have owned kef speakers for quite a while.

The adms in previous incarnation I did hear. My impression was that they are very revealing and have a very clear midrange. Also imaging is very, very good indeed. IME the tweeter can be overbearing, while the bass is IMO just not there. YMMV but definately audition first.

B&O beolab 9, playmaker, Samsung d6500, Panasonic 210 blu-ray

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

I have owned the ADM9RS alongside a Naim system with Harbeth P3esr. 

Initially I was impressed by the ADMs, and this initial second system nearly became my first system. However, over time, the ADMs just sounded tonally incorrect. Instruments sounded artificial, treble sounded coarse and bass wasn't extended or warm. They sounded good for dance music through, and playing podcasts etc. They have good separation and imaging, but I found they lacked a certain airiness and sparkle. Micro detail just wasn't there. 

I sold them on.

An average system of a similar price will struggle to beat the ADMs, but I have heard very good things about the KEFs from a wide range of sources, so definitely worth an audition. 

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

kpaterno wrote:

Thanks for the replies.

I'm from Belgium. Although I'm not a big fan of going to someone's home, I'll check the possibility.

Any more experiences? Someone who has heard both systems?

 

I am from Belgium too and i own the LS50. Wink

Naim UnitiLite - Chord Carnival Silverscreen - PMC Twenty.21

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

audiokid wrote:

I have owned the ADM9RS alongside a Naim system with Harbeth P3esr. 

Initially I was impressed by the ADMs, and this initial second system nearly became my first system. However, over time, the ADMs just sounded tonally incorrect. Instruments sounded artificial, treble sounded coarse and bass wasn't extended or warm. They sounded good for dance music through, and playing podcasts etc. They have good separation and imaging, but I found they lacked a certain airiness and sparkle. Micro detail just wasn't there. 

I sold them on.

An average system of a similar price will struggle to beat the ADMs, but I have heard very good things about the KEFs from a wide range of sources, so definitely worth an audition. 

 

Wow, not heard anyone mutter less than stellar things about the RS version of the ADM, the bass was meant to have been improved in the latest version too thanks to a new driver.   I've seen a few comments over the years about the more "lean" nature of the earlier models, so this is the first for the Red Spots.  Interesting (albeit I imagine just down to a different taste in how different people like to hear their sounds).

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

I listened to the red spots recently. I was a major sceptic but my friend was interested so I thought I would go along to his demo. Bass is not non existent but I have floorstanders and there is not enough for me. However, I was stunned! When the sub was added, the bass sounded great and I was wowed! If I was starting again, I would at least demo other actives and would certainly be very happy with the 9RS with sub. For the money, I've not heard a traditional set up sound better.

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Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

Gerrardasnails wrote:
I listened to the red spots recently. I was a major sceptic but my friend was interested so I thought I would go along to his demo. Bass is not non existent but I have floorstanders and there is not enough for me. However, I was stunned! When the sub was added, the bass sounded great and I was wowed! If I was starting again, I would at least demo other actives and would certainly be very happy with the 9RS with sub. For the money, I've not heard a traditional set up sound better.

Hi Gerrard.

If these ADMs are so good, and you could save a shed-load of money, surely it's a no-brainer; as most of your films and music are of digital format, it should be ideal for the AVIs.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

I still love my system though! Oh, and I've refloored my lounge and hallway and moved all my equipment to another room. All the cables are under the floor and actives would require a whole new set up. And my VA speakers look beautiful and the actives do lack good looks! Matching centre speaker doesn't exist to my knowledge. As I said, if I was starting again from scratch, maybe.... Smile

plastic penguin wrote:

Gerrardasnails wrote:
I listened to the red spots recently. I was a major sceptic but my friend was interested so I thought I would go along to his demo. Bass is not non existent but I have floorstanders and there is not enough for me. However, I was stunned! When the sub was added, the bass sounded great and I was wowed! If I was starting again, I would at least demo other actives and would certainly be very happy with the 9RS with sub. For the money, I've not heard a traditional set up sound better.

Hi Gerrard.

If these ADMs are so good, and you could save a shed-load of money, surely it's a no-brainer; as most of your films and music are of digital format, it should be ideal for the AVIs.

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

kpaterno wrote:

Hi all,

a couple of months ago, I was convinced to buy the ls50's with a decent amp like the roksan kandy (after 4 long listening sessions in which they really pleased me). However, I didn't have the money at that time, so I had to wait a little, and in that period up until now, I kept reading on forums such as this, and this made me doubt again... Especially the adm9rs; these seem to get good comments everywhere and are a lot cheaper than my original speaker-amp pair (especially when you calculate in the fact that I would have to buy a good dac at a later stage with the ls50's). However, I didn't get the chance to audition these yet, as It would mean a 6 hour drive (single way), and I don't have this time (yet).

So, here's my question:  how would you compare the sound of the ls50 on a kandy k2 (or similar) and a decent dac with that of the adm9rs? In terms of clarity, precision and resolution, soundstage, listening fun and anything else you like to share. Will I just as much enjoy the avi's as the kef's? Or do the Kef's ultimately take the upperhand? I wonder...

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!

k

 

Try  HERE for a deal on some ADMs, this chap might be near you.

He is an AVI dealer in the Netherlands and supplies Belgium.

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

Thanks all for the input.

David, if you don't mind me asking, what amplifier are your ls50's connected to? And do you feel the need for using a subwoofer with them? And lastly, why do you suppose nobody would have heard both systems? Is it because they are differently positioned in the market (price, concept, ...) and thus attract other types of buyers, or just because they're both quite new?

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Listening to With Teeth 5.1, by Nine Inch Nails

I currently use a 5.1 setup with five of them, and they're currently driven by a Rotel RMB1575. Since I replaced my dedicated AV speakers about 2 years ago, I've never felt the need to use a sub for music. The LS50's have sufficient bass extension for general full range music listening. Try No Doubt's Hella Good on them, and they sound like a much bigger speaker, and it doesn't sound like they lack any extension at all. This track shows that they're not bass shy, and that what they do have is well balanced, punchy, and forceful when it needs to be. 

I recently tried them with my sub, just as an experiment (bear in mind I now use a different sub to what I did last time I experimented). I was quite surprised. Tonally, they now sound like the Blades! Obviously it still sounds different due to how the Blades have been designed Because my current sub is so good for music, the combination works extremely well, so much so that I've been trying out various DVD-A and SACD discs. I'm currently listening to the 5.1 mix of Nine Inch Nails' With Teeth (after sitting through it in stereo) and the difference is pretty amazing - there's stuff going on I never even heard in the stereo mix! Trent Reznor really knows how to utilise multi-channel effectively.

Other than the fact that both models are relatively new, I doubt anyone has heard both as the KEF's are available from conventional retailers whereas the 9's are only through an extremely limited number of retailers (who may not do KEF), or from the factory. 9 owners tend not to listen to passive speakers (I've even seen people promoting ADM's that haven't even heard them!). So unless someone who has owned LS50's has changed to 9's, or if a 9 owner has taken the LS50's and an amplifier home to compare, I doubt you'll find anyone to give you a meaningful comparison. The best anyone can do is give you an impression of what they think the differences might be based on their respective technologies and design features.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

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

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RE: Kef ls50 or avi adm9rs or other?

kpaterno wrote:

Thanks all for the input.

David, if you don't mind me asking, what amplifier are your ls50's connected to? And do you feel the need for using a subwoofer with them? And lastly, why do you suppose nobody would have heard both systems? Is it because they are differently positioned in the market (price, concept, ...) and thus attract other types of buyers, or just because they're both quite new?

Is very happy owner here

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