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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Location: North York, ON, CA
Hi Everyone

First time poster, long time lurker :)

With my wedding date fast approaching I will be moving out of my parent’s place and into my own home. Over the years I have accumulated a nice little HT system (RTI 10 fronts, Rti4s as front wides and rears) but will be leaving this behind for my brothers and acquiring new equipment for myself. I don’t anticipate moving into a large space so I am looking to start off with a 2.0 or 2.1 system which I will expand to 5.1/7.1 in the future. Primary use will be split approx. 70/30 between HT and music.

I have been relatively happy with the Polks but find them too bright/harsh for music. This time around I’ve decided to go the route of KEFs and have narrowed my options down to the following:

• KEF Q900s approx. $800
• KEF LS50 – Currently on sale for $1000 a pair
• KEF Q100s – Can be acquired for around $300

I‘ve read that the LS50’s are very power hungry and will likely require a solid amp to get the best out of them. Because the system will also be used for HT I would prefer to power the speakers with a HT receiver. I know most would advise a separate 2 channel system but in all honesty, I would like to avoid this costly endeavor lol. I could however get a HT receiver with pre-outs and use a dedicated AMP to power the LS50s if I do decide to go down that route. I am leaning towards the LS50s as I’ve read a lot of good things about them and many consider them finisher speaks (Yes, that’s a “It’s always sunny” reference for any fans out here :lol: )

As for the Q100/Q900 I’ve read that many prefer the 100s to the 900s for music but I assume the 900s will shine during HT use. Anyone have feedback about the 900s in a 2-channel setup? However $800 for the pair of 900s is a great price and hard to pass up.
If any of you have experience with the speakers above or advice in general I’d love to hear form you. The LS50s are only on sale until tomorrow so I would need to make a decision on them asap.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:34 am
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Location: Ardrosssan, AB, CA
I would go for the LS50.

The Q series is good but the LS50 are a definite step above.

You didn't list the HT receiver you are planning on using but if it is a reasonably decent one, I think it would still work fine with the LS50.

As for power hungry, that is true, but believe it or not, I had decent results driving the LS50 with a 6.5W/channel Class A tube amp. A number of friends heard this setup and were amazed at the sound.

The sale price on the LS50 is fantastic. Act fast.

My 2 cents anyhow.....


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

I don't want to rain on your parade, and despite demarara's endorsement above, be aware .... the KEF LS50 is a very demanding speaker. I owned a pair for a while and many CAM forum members have pairs of them or else have lived with them. Although they are not terribly expensive they need very expensive amplification. Quality is paramount in the amp and a home theatre receiver is not going to cut it. Because the 5.1 format requires multiple amps within a HT receiver, quality is usually sacrificed to price. If your plan is to upgrade to a 5.1 system with multiple speakers, the LS 50 is likely not the ticket.

The KEF Q100 offers a lot and is more forgiving of amplification. Owners love them. I suggest you also check out very carefully the newer Wharfedale Diamond 225. They are the best Diamonds ever and are also quite forgiving and could become the main pair in a 2.0/2.1 system and then the main pair in a 5.1 system with the smaller new diamonds (210) as the auxilliaries. They are also all available in a cool white modern finish.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I agree with David. I run LS50s with a 2 channel NAD amp with some Nordost and Kimber wiring to get the most our of these speakers. I would go with the cheaper (and more forgiving) KEF speakers for HT applications. Wharfedales are a a good choice too - I think they are amazing for the money.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
If I were you I would seriously look into the KEF ls50 - the active versions. Incredible. Small footprint. I would bet you'd keep them for years to come. For someone with a clean palette and starting afresh... they would certainly be one of my top choices with their built in DAC, multiple connection options, and wonderful sound etc. Good luck and have fun.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
You may want to consider the KEF Q300 - which can be had for 500$ CAD direct from KEF ( https://www.kefstore.ca/specials/specia ... -pair.html ).

I own the Q300's and it is very good value (family room). I also own the LS50 (man cave).

The LS50's is superior but it is unforgiving. Good power, good cables, GOOD source material = a great stereo experience.

The Q300 is a great all rounder (and quite forgiving) - TV sounds good, music sounds good, and DVDs sound good (especially so if you add a small sub).

As always - these are my opinions which may or may not reflect the opinions of the rest of the community.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
my suggestion would be to start with a good pre/processor and a capable 2 ch. amplifier to feed the LS50's. Then as you expand into the HT, you can add a multi channel amplifier, sub and speakers for HT. This allows you to keep a 2 channel or 2.1 if you wish and only engage the multi channel feed when you want the HT.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:40 pm 
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Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
raelbot wrote:
You may want to consider the KEF Q300 - which can be had for 500$ CAD direct from KEF ( https://www.kefstore.ca/specials/specia ... -pair.html ).

I own the Q300's and it is very good value (family room). I also own the LS50 (man cave).

The LS50's is superior but it is unforgiving. Good power, good cables, GOOD source material = a great stereo experience.

The Q300 is a great all rounder (and quite forgiving) - TV sounds good, music sounds good, and DVDs sound good (especially so if you add a small sub).

As always - these are my opinions which may or may not reflect the opinions of the rest of the community.


+1


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Location: AB, CA
That's a tough one. I just bought a pair of LS50s at the Boxing Day sale price of $998. I've got about 25 hours on them now and am absolutely thrilled. Fantastic speakers, fantastic value, and probably the last speakers I will ever need to buy (at least as long as I'm in my current 10'x10' listening room :( )

I'm not driving them with anything crazy, just an old Musical Fidelity integrated. Combination sounds great, and the 85W (170W into 4 ohms) seems like plenty of jam. Can't say how happy you'll be in an HT setting with an HT receiver, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:31 am 
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Location: North York, ON, CA
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! A truly helpful community we have here.

Anyways I went a head and put a small refundable deposit on the LS50s to secure them at their sale price. I have 10 days to decide if I want them or not. I was however disappointed that I did not get to audition them properly. There was plenty of background ambient noise from all the other speakers and the LS50's were hooked up to a 60 watt Onkyo stereo with what I think was 18 or 20 gauge wire. Also if I'm not mistaken I believe one of the wires was actually two shorter wires twisted together at one of ends to make a longer run.

At the moment I plan to audition to Q900s and see how they hold up, but from what I've read I'm pretty confident they will be a step up from the rti10s musically.

As for the electronics, I will have a budget of $1000 (ideally $700). I may however have a good lead on a Denon AVR-X4400H. Do you guys think this will be enough to power the LS50s or q900s? Alternatively I can try to source a cheap 4k receiver (considering a used or demo unit) with pre-outs alongside a separate amp to power the speakers. What do you guys think? The reason I'm set on a HT receiver is because I will have htpc hooked up to the receiver.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Location: Ardrosssan, AB, CA
Good work to buy time on the decision.

On paper, the Denon AVR-X4400H is a very nice HT receiver, though I have not heard one.

I think it could work to power the LS50s adequately. The plan you mentioned earlier to go with a separate amp for 2 channel is likely going to work out best (the Denon has pre-outs).

Despite contrary viewpoints offered up-thread, I still think the LS50 is a good choice!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Location: North GTA, ON, CA
For sound quality, Denon would not be my choice. CAMers tend to recommend Anthem, NAD or Marantz for AVRs. Usually good deals on used ones.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 9:25 pm
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Location: North York, ON, CA
Hello,

I am fairly experienced here as I went through a similar path in my recent audio gear.

I first had the Polk rtiA9, which were powered by my trusty carver amp outputting 250 rms. They were too bright for me.

On my uncle's recommendation, i upgraded to the q900. I tested them at Visions against the lower Q models, and there was no comparison. And comparing to my polks - wow, what a difference. When powered properly, they sound amazing (i play music only). They sound full and dynamic, with great imaging. I must reiterate, when powered properly.

Sometime a year ago, I also bought a pair of LS50's to compare against the q900, to see what all the hype was about. Same amp being used here. I put the ls50 on top of the q900 and A/B tested them. Although the ls50 sounded a bit cleaner, they were completely beaten on the low end. And they should be, given the difference in cabinet sizes. Soon after i resold the LS50's. I think there's a reason they get sold so often here on CAM. q900 is a much more rare find.

If you have the space for them, and have/can afford a proper amp, i would highly recommend the q900. I didn't check to see what sort of amp you have, but I believe a dedicated power amp outputting a minimum of 200 RMS is needed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Your post confused the bejibbers outa me.

Reason for point source?
Reason for the broad selection?
The 100s better the 900s for music?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:55 pm 
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@Binky

Which post? :shock:

I’m confused too...


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