The 40s or your ears
Are they that bad? Right now they are very bright, mid-range kinda hollow. I use them to watch movies or play back ground music sitting away from them. Sound stage are good though. Human voices from KEF LS50 are still better.
Idk, RobS has em.
I had them for over a year. They will break in, but should only take 50-100 hours max, and most should happen before that. But I’m surprised you’re calling them bright, what are you coming from? And how do you have them setup?
I think @pedalhead has them too. He mentioned some brightness as well which he got around with less toe-in iirc. He hasn’t been around for a while though, hope he’s ok.
I had B&W N805 then Nautilus 803 for a while. Once I got the KEF LS50s, I understand what people say about the B&W's kavlar mig-range. Pleasant appealing but unnatual tonality. I am not bothered by the hint of "metallic" sound of the LS50.
Recently moved to a living room a lot larger 20 x 15 x 8.5'. No bass from LS50 thus looked for bigger bookshelves. Chose S40 over C1 as people says that the S40s are easier on amps. I know some of the "brightness" is my new room, because the LS50 become "lean" in the new place too, but still more "balanced" than S40s.
Honestly in a room that size i’d look at floorstanders or add a sub(or two). You can also try shoving them closer to the wall to boost the bass a little.
Also discussing this in the proper thread is better form. https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/the-two-channel-advice-thread.3191/
@Riotvan totally agree. S40 are a lot more finicky about placement than the LS50. Briefly moved them back, the beautiful sound stage and pin-point positioning were gone - still learning. I may move again in a year or two. Thus chose bookshelves.
Agree with @Riotvan, if you want some more advice, throw it in that thread, and provide more details about your overall room setup. I will say that I don’t really think the S40s go much deeper than the LS50s, but perhaps a bit more midbass. Likely a step up to the Contour 20s would bring you more bass depth and weight, but of course more $$$.
Anyway I'd suggest two rules of thumb: (1) we all need time for brainwashing (2) wary of 100+ burnin hours talks (3-4 days would be long enough to decide whether to return/resell or not unless rigs have cricial problems)
Only other thing I will point out is that LS50 design for the coaxial tweeter mean they have some level of a waveguide to narrow the directivity and reduce sidewall and floor/ceiling reflections. The S40 would almost definitely be a wider dispersion, so depending on how you set them up and how far away you are, you’re likely getting more reflections from the frequencies covered by tweeter on the S40.
I had a brand new pair at home demo just a couple days ago. Got pretty mixed feelings about them - silky/delicate sounding treble, but midrange is just off somehow. Bass was excellent - taut and snappy. (Amp: AVM C9)
Thank you all. just posted some details here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/the-two-channel-advice-thread.3191/page-38#post-310428
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