Kef LS50 competitors that fit on a desk

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by uncola, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. murphythecat

    murphythecat Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    59
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    28
    pretty much this. I have measured my room and found the best position for the ls50 4 feet away from the back wall. I have a very smooth response at the listening position.
    overall, tonally, they are brighter then Id like right now. no matter the amp I use: class d, tube, class a. I dont find they are hard to drive but then again, I rarely go past 80 db.

    ive decided I will give them a chance, but so far, I find they lack soul. I hear the emotion of the music, but do not actually feel it. it sounds a bit synthetic. they have good punch and good extension for their size but almost feel like transient wise, they dont ''pop'' and lack grunt in the midrange. its all too clean. everything sounds polished and embelished and 2 dimensional and dull. im very confused right now and not sure I understand the hype at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    anetode likes this.

  2. anetode

    anetode Friend

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    281
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    How did I get here
    Home Page:
    I wasn't a huge fan of them when used as bedroom speakers because of the harsh upper mids. The LS50s really are monitors at heart, only they're closer to the Yamaha NS-10s than the LS3/5a.

    As far as relaxed listening goes, my favorites have been the tried and true dome to ~7" woofer combos with a lowish crossover. Maybe that's because they're the most common speaker type and have thus benefited from decades of refinement (though mainly in transducers). A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to @JoelT's Khairos build, which was another Bagby with SB Satori drivers. They were very smooth and as close to soulful as I can recognize.

    For critical listening, to be honest, I've yet to find a bookshelf which is able to scale fully with a recording's dynamics and ambiance while retaining a focused image. There was this bizarre European active concentric horn + diffuser cube speaker in the ~5k euro range that, at least on paper, looked to have the goods. I'll have to hunt down what it was called. Anyway, I'm kind of hoping to find out in the near future if JBL's 708i might also fit the bill.
     
    sphinxvc likes this.
  3. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Waiting 4 redemption

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    90
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Aachen
    I'd be interested to see @Dr. Higgs impressions on the X14A, I've been using a pair of Dynaudio X12s with a Marantz PM5004 fed from my GO2A and it sounds really really good. I'd liken the X12 to an HD600 in terms of the overall frequency response, but without a mid hump. I moved from a pair of Mordaunt Short MS902s to these and while its really not even fair bringing up the MS902 but since I had them side by side when I upgraded, I can say that the X12 felt like a veil was removed coming from the MS902, with a ton of clarity and detail added. The highs are an absolute treat, because they're full present but not shrill or fatiguing. The bass is clean and tight but it does roll off a little early, and its the only complaint I could have.

    The staging is very impressive as well, I have the speakers angled up a bit because the tweeters are a tad below ear level. I usually just listen to music on them but I watched a movie this weekend and it just blew me away how it handled the explosions and similar sequences - I forgot I was watching a movie at home for a long while!
    A friend of mine watched the latest episode of The Grand Tour with me and was so impressed by what he heard, he immediately started looking for a pair to buy himself (and he's not a person who buys expensive audio gear). He wasnt even in the "sweet spot" (in quotes because I find that its quite wide) and said he couldnt tell that the sound was coming from two speakers.

    This being said, I do need to unlock their full potential by treating my room better but considering theyre this enjoyable so far, I'd definitely say they're a great option.

    Edit: To clarify, the bass is good for the size of the speaker but if you want it to extend low below 50-60Hz you probably need a subwoofer. Basically, I think I could say that if youre a HD600 fan you'd be fine, but if youre an HD650 fan, you'd want a tad more bass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    Dr. Higgs likes this.
  4. trung225

    trung225 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Likes Received:
    90
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Does anyone have experience with some older ATC active speakers like ATC SCM10-2 active? I saw a used pair today, and considering to purchase. But they are an older model, which was released from 1995, so I am still skeptical about how they compare with the newer counterparts. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT: Sonarworks

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    424
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Home Page:
    Older ATC's have bad rep about being bright. Since then they've swapped tweeters at least once.
     
    trung225 and Psalmanazar like this.
  6. murphythecat

    murphythecat Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    59
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    28
    the jbl 708i is certanly very good. you can see a comparison between the 708i and amphion and many other at gearslutz. I have read that at harman, they have the 708i setup and LSR6332 and that when compared in blind test, they are very similar but the 6332 have better bass.

    bagby is a good designer, that said, the Continuum is not in the Harbeth or ATC league imo. not sure that the khairos is necessary better the the continuum from what I read.

    imo, no bookshelf will be able to scale well without a subwoofer. at low to medium level, with a subwoofer, it gets close but still big woofers are irreplacable for scale.
     
  7. anetode

    anetode Friend

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    281
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    How did I get here
    Home Page:
    The sound of bookshelf woofers' choking isn't a pleasant one, a subwoofer really is essential.
     
  8. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT: Sonarworks

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    424
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Home Page:
    The main problem with LS50 is lack of woofer area. You can't really think of a 6" coax having a 6" driver, because you're losing middle of the cone to the tweeter. Hence in reality it's more of a 4" moving area wise. Which sort of makes the low end extension more impressive, but explains many of the impressions.

    For most small bookshelves sub integration can be problematic, because most start rolling off a bit below 80-100Hz or in general aren't comfortable playing lower than that. For thwack you need first and foremost high SPL capability around 80-200Hz and that's usually a major weak spot for sub+sat setups. What's needed is a true 50Hz capable speaker to mate with a sub for that last octave rumble. 90% of the time it means having a 3-way + sub setup.
     
  9. murphythecat

    murphythecat Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    59
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    28
    90% of the time it means having a 3-way + sub setup.
    that brings a whole other set of compromise and problems.

    I agree that its very hard to compare a true fullrange with big woofers speakers with a toy like 5 inch 2-way, but I personally find that what they loose in impact, they make up for other things. 6.5 inch 2-way isnt really much better and even 8 inch 2 ways wont ''twack'' compared to 12 inch woofers. and when you get to a 10 or 12 inch, you again enter a world of compromise in the design. ect
    no free lunch really

    about the LS50, my problem with it so far is not in the bass at all
     
  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    So clearly, what we need is to start selling a "mid subwoofer" to go along with subwoofers. I'm sure there's a market for it o_O
     
  11. Serious

    Serious Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    538
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Home of the Face Tweeter
    What we need is speakers to stop trying to reproduce bass with drivers less than 15" size. Maybe make that 12".
    #MakeWoofersGreatAgain
     
  12. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,244
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    Always a trade off between placement convenience in a room with limited options, and driver size. Every product has it's place.
     
    jayeshrc and Dr. Higgs like this.
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I just realized what I suggested is essentially what Bose calls their "bass modules"...
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  14. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Waiting 4 redemption

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    90
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Aachen
  15. murphythecat

    murphythecat Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    59
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    28
    a joke.
    the LS50 5 inch woofers already has 10% THD distortion at 100hz at 90 db. You then ask the 5 inch woofer to extend to 20hz!
    at 90db with the SAM, id love to see the distortion figures...

    this can easily break your ls50 drivers and any serious company wouldnt offer such risk. great amps im sure, but this SAM for ls50 is just ill advised.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
    take likes this.
  16. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Waiting 4 redemption

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    90
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Aachen
    well, its also reddit so i'm not sure how much i'd believe it. But if its true, youre right its not going to be pretty with those distortion figures!
     
  17. mrflibble

    mrflibble Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    32
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Perot likes this.
  18. djsunzi

    djsunzi Rando

    Joined:
    Sunday
    Likes Received:
    2
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Singapore
    GENELEC 8030 BPM will make you smile :)
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  19. Grahad

    Grahad Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2016
    Likes Received:
    134
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    SGP
  20. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    345
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I hope so. Mine are sitting in customs right now, with some more bits and pieces still in transit, so it will likely be a week or two before I'll have everything set up. I don't have LS50s to compare against, but at least I'll be able to provide impressions of the 8030B + 7050B Sub combo soon.
     
    dark_energy likes this.

Share This Page