Well (very limited) first impressions of the Kef LS50's:
They are very impressive speakers. They are very detailed, especially in the treble (compared to the spendors) but they aren't bright, or at least haven't come accross bright so far. They produce an incredible amount (and quality) of bass for such small speakers. I know they are ported, unlike my old spendors, but I can't quite get over the fact that they use the same size woofer, in a similar size cabinet, and yet the bass response is so dramatically different. I think the quality is on a par tho (and the bass quality is one of the things I love about the spendors, even if they arent over generous in quantity!).
I am very pleased to hear that the way they reproduce piano reminds me of a demo I had with the kef reference 205/2 years ago, and very few speakers have subsequently matched up.
I think one of the reasons the spendor sa1's are such an easy speaker to listen to long term is becaus so much of the focus is on the midrange, where they excell. I guess I will need to listen a bit longer before I can tell whether all of this extra treble detail/emphasis and bass depth and power with the Kef's affects the long term listening appeal. I have a feeling that the answer is going to be no tho, because the midrange on these LS59's so far seems pretty special, and everything on first listen seems so well balanced.
Further report to come once I have listened to a wider selection of music at different volumes
Bedroom: Sonos ZP90, Cyrus DAC XP+, Cyrus X Power, KEF LS50's
Living Room: Linn Majik DS, Marantz UD7006, Arcam AV9/P7, PMC FB1i fronts, TB2i centre, DB1i rears
Another happy punter then
Its not just the speakers for me, as the whole system is brand new and I've no previous system to compare it too. So in all honesty I can't say if its the whole lot or the speakers alone that are doing the magic for me.
One thing I am noticing is that some recordings are amazing with notes flying all over the room, and others are so flat and really disapointing. My reading on here leads me to believe that poor recordings are being shown up by the unforgiving speakers ? I did read on here someone saying that Avril Lavegne's first album was really well recorded and my eldest daughter has it from when she was young. terrible album imo but I gave it a spin and wow, unbelievable. Listened to the whole thing with amazement. But U2's Unforgetable Fire album was a major disapointment.
So like yourself I'm looking forward to experimenting with diferent music.
I would expect them to get better and better as they loosen up over the next week or so.........glad you liked them out of the box (sometimes the twisted tag team gets it right).
Keep us informed of progress.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Wanted to add a note to this thread that I switched out my Salk Songtowers for the LS50's about a week ago and haven't regretted the decision--even during the break in period. The sound is amazing and I too am stunned with the amount of bass. I was worried about equipment to pair with them, but I noticed that KEF (at least in some of the US shows) is using Parasound, so that helped ease my mind. The only thing I'm noticing is the significant difference between good and bad recordings. The Salks were very forgiving and enjoyable, but the LS50's have something special!
AV: Yamaha RX-2700, KEF iQ9/iQ6 Center, Squeezebox Duet, Emotiva XDA-1 digital pre, LG 55/5700, Panasonic BDT-210, Apple TV
Music room: Macbook Pro Retina, Synology 213j, Squeezebox Touch, Oppo DV-981, Emotiva XDA-1, Apple TV, NAD D3020, KEF LS50, Spotify+Qobuz
These really are lovely speakers. They have a very clever way of showing you all this fine detail, and textural variations in sounds you thought you knew in songs you have been listening to for ages, but the focus still manages to stay on the music and not the details themselves.
I am still having to adjust to the sound, as it is a big contrast to the old spendors, but I'm not regretting the change. Even my other half has decided he prefers them, primarily due to the fact that we now have meaty bass. Simple things!
I'm experiencing the exact opposite of what I expected from them
I'm finding my compilation CD's are sounding way better and much clearer than a single artists album. Now Thats What I Call Music and my 80's and 90's comps are superb. Much detail, flying notes and instruments spreading from speaker to speaker but The Bee Gees greatest hits was a jumble of noise masking the detail and an after hiss to Mr Gibbs voice on New York Mining Disaster that left me a tad dissapointed. I wondered if this was down the Gibbs high pitched voices but Jagger didn't fair any better on The Stones Forty Licks.
Unbelievably Ronan Keating on a compilation sounds devine !! As does Taylor Swift on her Red album and One Direction on theirs, so there seems to be no conformity here
Would most agree its down to recording ? I'm struggling to believe Cowells production to be better than The Stones :eek
IMO.The LS50s are reference quality monitors that manage to steer clear of being clinical; and what you are hearing is a mixture of the recording and the up-stream system.
I just played U2's Unforgetable Fire and it does sound pretty bad to me, As for Stones I think generally they are OK, 40 Licks is such a wide variety of recordings but the ones I tried sounded fine, Brown Sugar is distorted at begining, is on every version I heard. Give the system a few weeks to bed in, some recordings will sound different.
Just played Paint it Black and Sympathy on my system and they sound awesome.
Check you have got the speakers in phase.
Remind us BigH
What is your current system? have you finally settled on your current Amp and Speakers.
The Mad One
Roksan Caspian M2 Amp -JBL Studio 530 speakers - Marantz CD5004 CD Player - Audiolab M-Dac - Spotify Premium - Pro-Ject Debut S/E3 Turntable.
in phase ?
In the absence of BigH - Check that the Red (+ve) / White (-ve) on the Amp are connected to the same colour on the speaker terminals. If one of the speakers is wired the other way round, the speaker cones are working in opposide directions to each other, which cancels out a lot of the Bass.
Thanks Cno, I've got to get used to the jargon !
Yes all are in the matching colours. I'm not unduly worried by what I'm persieving as inconsistances. BigH's post put my mind at rest re unforgettable fire and Brown suger as I found them bad also. I've got Alanis Morrisette playing now and she sounds superb, and she's a naturaly sssssy singer anyway.
My set up will probably take a while to bed in as most people add componets individually to a well used system. All my components are brand spankers so I've got CDP, DAC, Amp, speakers, stands, connects and speaker cables all trying to get used to each other.
Yes check the phase, it has been known for speakers to be wired incorrectly. One test for phase is to play a mono track, Paint it Black is a good choice, does it sound right. Even hifi demos have had the speakers out of phase.
Most recording should sound better on your new system, yes there some recordings that will not sound good as a better system will be more revealing. Give it a bit your ears will take a while to adjust to the new sound and you will listen more to the music than the hifi, your speakers may improve after playing for a while. You may need to tweek the speaker positioning, distance form walls, toe-in etc.
yes been experimenting and will do some more tonight, bungs, toe in etc. quite enjoying it. Mrs Tech thinks i'm crackers, after all its only a stereo !!!
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