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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:17 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
I've auditioned the kef LS50 couple times now and I'll have to agree most folks have this expectation of a full "sound" from a stand mount.

In my bedroom I'll have to say I've tested my Kef R300 and it provides this lush laid back warm/darker sound. Now that I've put alot of hours on them now the veil still exists with overly smooth high's (seems common with the R700 and R900 I've auditioned) but the speakers have certainly opened up and the veil is lifting with hours. The thing is the R300 provides the satisfaction of full depth of the jazz/vocal genre I typically listen too. I can use my R100 (quite similar to the ls50 IMO ) and after playing the R300 in the same environment/bedroom I feel I need to supplement the R100 with a musical sub. I tried to sell my R300 (4 weeks old at the time) but thankfully no one bought them :) They've really opened up and the R300 is my non critical chillout speakers for background music and Home theater.

I have never brought Ls50's to my home but when I run my R100's with my 2 channel rig (testing purposes) I thought they sound very good. I recall when I listened to the LS50's I truly though ..."hmmm they sound literally like the R100". I recently sold my Totem forest but they were by far more engaging by a large margin. My point is the Totem forest do not require a stand but literally has the same footprint as a stand mount like my R300 and R100 (or ls50). The floor stander would benefit from a musical sub but as far as satisfaction is concerned I would easily live without a sub. As far as the R100 or if I owned an LS50 I would be left unsatisfied. If I add a super tweeter to my R300 I would truthfully be extremely happy with that speaker for more critical listening.

The UniQ drivers all seem to have a well controlled non shrilling tweeter.

3 way book shelves are not that common these days. I just felt the 3 way stand mount like the R300 fills the room with bass adding more meat to the music.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:11 pm 
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1 - they were well received by the market, and offer decent value for the $ so they sold a bunch.
2 - their target market includes a % of inveterate gear swappers that NEED to try something else, so a portion of those units sold appear here where other (more $ constrained or patient) gear swappers will try them on.

I expect to see a healthy supply of them around for at least 2 more years.

I may fall victim to #2 above myself in time!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Because it is not just a nice small speaker but a super mini. That means a very high quality and revealing monitor restricted only by the lack of deep bass. I am a super mini user and have owned a number of different ones over the years. But swapping from any other sized speaker, the super mini will sound lean, bass light and maybe even bright.

I prefer my minis in a large room not a small one. In a small one, they don't sound right at low volumes unlike a larger stand mount or small footprint floor stander. Minis also need an amp on the warm side of neutral. I use Naim, Rega, Arcam and NAD. Anything overly clean or revealing might not be ideal. And use decent cable with factory terminations. I always find that the discontinuity from less than perfect terminations are clearly audible. This does not mean expensive cables, just those that are well made.

Long break-in could be a another factor. My brand new Harbeths took a couple of months (200 hours plus) to break in. Before that, they sounded uneven, constricted and needed more volume from my amplifier. The KEF has much higher tech components than my old fashion Harbeths so my guess is they need even longer break in.

But once you live with a really great super mini, you are less patient with bigger speakers that don't deliver music.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:28 am 
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1) People have higher (and possibly unrealistic) expectations of them given their hype in the audio press. - I reviewed them and bought them as well.

2) They sell a bucket of them so you will see more of them on the second hand market. If speaker maker A sells 5000 of a model and you see 50 on the used market it may seem like a lot compared to speaker maker B where you only see 10 on the used market - but if speaker maker B only sold 100 of their model then this can lead to skewed representation.

3) This is a difficult loudspeaker to drive - it is low sensitivity, difficult impedance load and requires amplifiers to have impressive power supplies. The price of the speakers are fairly low which means a lot of audiophiles or newbies may be sticking the speakers onto grossly wimpy receivers or entry level integrated amplifiers that simply can't power them properly. Low Sensitivity isn't exactly great for the out of the box experience. In general - I much prefer HE speakers and certain panels and certain OB. You can get the KEF to sound quite excellent but IMO and IME it requires a lot of work and a front end that I am betting most people don't have and won't spend the money on.

4) They don't follow instructions and put them in a room that is far too big for the design - this is a near-field speaker that must be used in a SMALL room. A bedroom sized small room or smallish apartment living room - not a living room in a 3000 square foot house.

5) The Speaker's bass for a standmount is actually really good and will easily hit 45hz if you keep the size of room small, near-field and your amp has a power supply.

6) The KEF uses a metal tweeter and if this speaker is underpowered (or perhaps you use vinyl as your main source) the KEF possesses that metallic sound - I find it much better in the KEF than most but it IS there and some will, over time, be put off by it.

I reviewed the KEF and compared it to LS-3/5a and another pair of speakers designed by Andy Whittle of Rogers LS-3/5a fame. http://dagogo.com/kef-ls-50-bookshelf-speaker-review

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:41 am 
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Location: montreal, QC, CA
because they sold a lot of them and people realize eventually that they want bass.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:28 am 
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Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
murphythecat wrote:
because they sold a lot of them and people realize eventually that they want bass.


Bass is subjective. I found they do bass just fine,...

Let's just face it; perhaps we will never know unless those "sellers" chime in.

Oh, I forgot - that would mean they might have to say they don't like them, or they have some wierd voodoo mojo!

I have heard them countless times at Locke Street Audio, David has them always running in the background with a Lux L-505u. They sound very nice there - go listen, determine for yourself.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:39 am 
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The amount of bass that satisfies you is certainly subjective. And some of us have to satisfy the neighbours as well.

The amount of objective bass you can get out of any speaker depends on how it is set up in the room, and how the resonant modes of the room are managed. For example, I was very surprised at how much additional bass I could hear after I did something to trap the stuff.

JGP wrote:
Bass is subjective.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:44 am 
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So many for sale where? Looking at the classified here there were 3 pairs on offer the last 2 months plus some Wanted ads - so it almost balances out.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:58 am 
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Toby wrote:
For example, I was very surprised at how much additional bass I could hear after I did something to trap the stuff.


Seems counter-intuitive, but it's true. Maybe when we start to realize that musical reproduction in the home is one big paradox, only then will we be able to get closer to our goal. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:09 am 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
Richard Austen wrote:
3) This is a difficult loudspeaker to drive - it is low sensitivity, difficult impedance load and requires amplifiers to have impressive power supplies. The price of the speakers are fairly low which means a lot of audiophiles or newbies may be sticking the speakers onto grossly wimpy receivers or entry level integrated amplifiers that simply can't power them properly. Low Sensitivity isn't exactly great for the out of the box experience. In general - I much prefer HE speakers and certain panels and certain OB. You can get the KEF to sound quite excellent but IMO and IME it requires a lot of work and a front end that I am betting most people don't have and won't spend the money on.

This one message I have been trying to get across to some audiophiles. It's not the watts. It's the muscle in the power supply. These speakers are designed for a small room. I've used other small in my very small space (10x11) with great result. Drag those same speakers into a bigger room and it just won't work.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:37 am 
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Location: montreal, QC, CA
JGP wrote:
murphythecat wrote:
because they sold a lot of them and people realize eventually that they want bass.


Bass is subjective. I found they do bass just fine,...

Let's just face it; perhaps we will never know unless those "sellers" chime in.

Oh, I forgot - that would mean they might have to say they don't like them, or they have some wierd voodoo mojo!

I have heard them countless times at Locke Street Audio, David has them always running in the background with a Lux L-505u. They sound very nice there - go listen, determine for yourself.
Ive listened to the kef's, they seriously have poor low bass imo. its not only not punchy, but sounds congested and chuffed. I liked the mid high, but the bass performance of kef ls50 is definitely the problem imo


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Location: Windsor, ON, CA
I cannot count how many times a new small box has come on the market to be wowed at and demo'd in every store to mimic the youtube videos. They sound awesome "for a small box" and people buy them chasing the dream. Of course, at home, in a living room listening to music they cannot possible outperform a nice full floorstander. Its impossible due to simple physics. They still will sound "awesome for their size". In a bedroom or small home studio I can imagine them being great as near field.

There is only only "smallish" speaker that has every blown my mind. Dynaudio C1. Even then the reason I (regretfully) sold was the lack of low end. All else was perfect and to be honest selling was a mistake. Of course they are also far more money that the LS50.

Remember 5 years ago how many Focal 906 were for sale? Same hype, same scenario. Great book shelf but certainly not the first choice for someone with a nice sized room looking for full range sound.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Location: Repentigny, QC, CA
...but amazingly, even now the selling price is high for this small speaker.
People risk little in testing them out.
'Best' price I've seen was 870$, normally it's way higher [more or less the original shop price]


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Because they sold a lot of them. If there are a lot in peoples rooms then there'll be a lot on canuckaudiomart.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Location: Abbotsford, BC, CA
AudioDuck wrote:
I cannot count how many times a new small box has come on the market to be wowed at and demo'd in every store to mimic the youtube videos. They sound awesome "for a small box" and people buy them chasing the dream. Of course, at home, in a living room listening to music they cannot possible outperform a nice full floorstander. Its impossible due to simple physics. They still will sound "awesome for their size". In a bedroom or small home studio I can imagine them being great as near field.

There is only only "smallish" speaker that has every blown my mind. Dynaudio C1. Even then the reason I (regretfully) sold was the lack of low end. All else was perfect and to be honest selling was a mistake. Of course they are also far more money that the LS50.

Remember 5 years ago how many Focal 906 were for sale? Same hype, same scenario. Great book shelf but certainly not the first choice for someone with a nice sized room looking for full range sound.


Any fad eventually ends I guess. I noticed this 2 or 3 weeks ago, something like 6 pairs of the LS50 for sale. In this internet age, people take advice from complete strangers and plunk down their money to only realize down the road that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has moved!

The LS50 is inefficient at 85 db. Has a low max power rating, only 100 watts. Bass frequency response: 79 Hz (-3 db). Pretty oddball styling, either you like it or you hate it. All this for $1500? Any number of Tannoy bookshelf speakers are better.

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