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Replace KEF LS50's with floor standing...


dmormerod
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I'm thinking of swapping out my KEF LS50's for a pair of floor standing speakers. My initial thoughts are around the Monitor Audio Silver 8's, Tannoy XT6F or XT8F. My room is only 13x14 so I'm not sure if the XT8F's in particular will be too big!

 

Anyone have any experience of either? Both the MA's & the Tannoy's get great reviews in Stereophile & AbsoluteSound. I'm looking to set some demo's up but any additional feedback is welcome. I realize speakers can be system dependent and I'll be driving these with an AudioAlchemy DDP-1, DPA-1 combo.

 

TIA

[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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I'm thinking of swapping out my KEF LS50's for a pair of floor standing speakers. My initial thoughts are around the Monitor Audio Silver 8's, Tannoy XT6F or XT8F. My room is only 13x14 so I'm not sure if the XT8F's in particular will be too big!

 

Anyone have any experience of either? Both the MA's & the Tannoy's get great reviews in Stereophile & AbsoluteSound. I'm looking to set some demo's up but any additional feedback is welcome. I realize speakers can be system dependent and I'll be driving these with an AudioAlchemy DDP-1, DPA-1 combo.

 

TIA

 

 

Have you considered KEF's Reference series?

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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What are your complaints regarding the LS50's performance?

 

Or are you looking for a similar sound?

 

I find the MA sound overly bright and forward...

Don't know about the Tannoys, have only listened to a couple of models of the Prestige range.

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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nvm

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
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I had the MA-8's myself and thought they were great speakers. But of all the speakers I had in this price range, the Vandersteen Model 1's were the best. They'll be fine in your 13x14 room, and they're very easy to drive. They also have contour controls that allow for more placement options.

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What are your complaints regarding the LS50's performance?

 

Or are you looking for a similar sound?

 

I find the MA sound overly bright and forward...

Don't know about the Tannoys, have only listened to a couple of models of the Prestige range.

 

R

 

It's hard to explain but I just find them lacking and not just in bass. On acoustic music they are amazing but anything with a bit of complexity or rock they start to struggle.

 

 

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[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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I had the MA-8's myself and thought they were great speakers. But of all the speakers I had in this price range, the Vandersteen Model 1's were the best. They'll be fine in your 13x14 room, and they're very easy to drive. They also have contour controls that allow for more placement options.

 

I'll check them out, thanks

 

 

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[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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I upgraded to GoldenEar Triton Ones from KEF LS50's. Love my Tritons but the LS50's were really fun as my mains. The LS50's are now part of my desktop setup. Glorious midrange which for me and my music (big on vocals) makes it so fun to listen to.

 

Keep them for a secondary setup! You'll regret parting ways with them later lol. Unless of course you want to be much smarter than me and use them to fund the upgrade.

 

Having said all that, the R500's would be a good step up but do audition with your amp if you can.

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It's hard to explain but I just find them lacking and not just in bass. On acoustic music they are amazing but anything with a bit of complexity or rock they start to struggle.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

I wouldn't assume that the speakers are to blame. They could be, but the problem may lie elsewhere. All this gear looks fairly new. Have you given all the components enough time to break in? Also, unless the manual says otherwise, leave the electronics on all the time. One test you can do is to get your hands on a cd or dvd player that has a digital out, and plug it into DDP1 directly so it can be used as a transport. Then play some CD's and see if the problem still exists.

 

I'm not a big fan of KEF, but I've owned a couple pairs myself, and heard them in other systems many times. I know exactly what you are talking about when you say the system falls apart with complex music. Its just that KEF isn't known for that problem.

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It's hard to explain but I just find them lacking and not just in bass. On acoustic music they are amazing but anything with a bit of complexity or rock they start to struggle.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

I have great respect for what the LS50's are capable of, and have not noticed the specific limitations you have pointed out. I agree with 17629v2. I think something else in your system is may be the real issue? These speakers need, and deserve high quality associated components across the board.

 

JC

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It's hard to explain but I just find them lacking and not just in bass. On acoustic music they are amazing but anything with a bit of complexity or rock they start to struggle.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Small 2-way bookshelf speakers speakers struggle with complex music and are dynamically challenged.

But you'll have to drive them adequately to really know if they're struggling.

 

Moving to a 3-way Kef floorstander will help you out on this and possibly retain the tonal balance if this is what you are looking for.

Make sure the amplifier is suitable for the load.

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Likely above your target budget ... but I'd check out the PMC Twenty23 (or the newer but more expensive Twenty5.23) for a compact floor standing speaker.

 

Has brilliant bass and happy close to rear wall.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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You can add a subwoofer and alleviate the LS50's of much of the load by crossing over at 100 hz or even better at 120 hz. Then they don't fall apart upon complex music. They also are rather inefficient speakers and can benefit from a heftier amp than you might think. I doubt the DPA-1 is sufficient to get their best. A friend had these. A big dreadnought amp made for a nice benefit. They actually didn't fall apart with complexity at that point. Still not enough bass to satisfy. Later paired with a good sub it was even better. Perhaps with a sub the DPA-1 will be sufficient.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I have great respect for what the LS50's are capable of, and have not noticed the specific limitations you have pointed out. I agree with 17629v2. I think something else in your system is may be the real issue? These speakers need, and deserve high quality associated components across the board.

 

JC

Agree, try a different (class A) power amp before you ditch the LS50's.

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Agree, try a different (class A) power amp before you ditch the LS50's.

 

Thanks for all the replies. Just to add some background, I've had the LS50's pretty much since they came out as a Limited Edition, so they are well broken in :) Prior to the AudioAlchemy gear I was using a Rega Brio-r but given the efficiency, or lack of, with the LS50's the Rega struggled to get the most of out them.

 

Yes, the AudioAlchemy gear is relatively new but it has a good few hundred hours on it now. I may try swapping the speaker cable before ditching the LS50's. Currently I'm just using Mogami 3103, so I might try some Morrow SP5 or Kimber 8TC.

[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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It's hard to explain but I just find them lacking and not just in bass. On acoustic music they are amazing but anything with a bit of complexity or rock they start to struggle.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

Rock music is where the Kef ls50's do not shine imo unless the song has lots of separated instruments .

You are right . They are awesome for jazz , acoustic , quiet rock . Raucous rock not so much .

 

I have found an amp where the Kef ls50's shine with most music -Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II .

 

I went through several amps that didn't cut it with the KEF's . They are very finicky when it comes to the right amplifier .

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Here's a list of ampliers I found didn't bring out the best in the Kef Ls50's (all integrated)

1) Creek A50- thin sound , not enough juice

 

2) Nad d3020- not enough juice

3) Peachtree 125 - too much hiss( I hear they have improved on this - pretty good sound overall

4) Primaluna Prolougue Premium - excellent mids, lacked low and high end .

 

Rogue Cronus Magnum II destroyed all of these amps with the Kef ls50's by a lot .

Runner up : Nuprime ida-8 . Excellent sound , natural . Almost not enough juice but it gets there .

 

I have two pair of Kef -ls50's so I know how demanding they are with partnering equipment .

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As ESLdude intimated, if you can run the LS50 high pass above 100 hz, they'll be liberated from large excursion demands. Similar approaches have good results have been documented with MMG planars.

 

It's a challenge for a small driver to manage so much.

 

If you like the tonal balance of these, may I suggest you consider a competent sub with the DSPeaker bass management offerings?

 

I tried one on a whim and the results are positive.

 

There's a lot to love about the LS50 approach that may not be easily found, elsewhere.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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Thanks for all the replies. Just to add some background, I've had the LS50's pretty much since they came out as a Limited Edition, so they are well broken in :) Prior to the AudioAlchemy gear I was using a Rega Brio-r but given the efficiency, or lack odedf, with the LS50's the Rega struggled to get the most of out them.

 

Yes, the AudioAlchemy gear is relatively new but it has a good few hundred hours on it now. I may try swapping the speaker cable before ditching the LS50's. Currently I'm just using Mogami 3103, so I might try some Morrow SP5 or Kimber 8TC.

 

If you're going to try cables, use The Cable Company because they probably won't fix the problem. And I would avoid stranded copper like the Kimber. It would probably be a step in the wrong direction. If anything, try a high quality solid core copper like AQ. Also, another poster said they had success with Rogue and NuForce. Cable Company sells those brands as well, so they should be able to send you a couple of amps to try along with the cables. They also sold AA before they went out the first time. If they picked the line back up, they'll know if anyone else is having the same problem you are having.

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If you're going to try cables, use The Cable Company because they probably won't fix the problem. And I would avoid stranded copper like the Kimber. It would probably be a step in the wrong direction. If anything, try a high quality solid core copper like AQ. Also, another poster said they had success with Rogue and NuForce. Cable Company sells those brands as well, so they should be able to send you a couple of amps to try along with the cables. They also sold AA before they went out the first time. If they picked the line back up, they'll know if anyone else is having the same problem you are having.

 

Morrow are solid core copper and they offer a 60 day return which is what made me think of them.

[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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Here's a list of ampliers I found didn't bring out the best in the Kef Ls50's (all integrated)

1) Creek A50- thin sound , not enough juice

 

2) Nad d3020- not enough juice

3) Peachtree 125 - too much hiss( I hear they have improved on this - pretty good sound overall

4) Primaluna Prolougue Premium - excellent mids, lacked low and high end .

 

Rogue Cronus Magnum II destroyed all of these amps with the Kef ls50's by a lot .

Runner up : Nuprime ida-8 . Excellent sound , natural . Almost not enough juice but it gets there .

 

I have two pair of Kef -ls50's so I know how demanding they are with partnering equipment .

 

According to the measurements, the LS50s do give a bit of a sweat to the partnering amplifier in the upper bass and the bright balance makes it difficult to partner (if you wish to tone down the upper midrange and treble).

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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Morrow are solid core copper and they offer a 60 day return which is what made me think of them.

 

Actually, its silver plated copper, and you may be better off with regular copper. Either way, I haven't heard them, so I'm not able to comment on how they sound.

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Actually, its silver plated copper, and you may be better off with regular copper. Either way, I haven't heard them, so I'm not able to comment on how they sound.

 

Me neither...lol

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

[br]QNAP+ -> Allo DigiOne Signature -> RequisiteAudio D3rs ->  McIntosh C52 -> McIntosh MC-275 MK VI -> Harbeth 30.1's via Roon

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Thanks for all the replies. Just to add some background, I've had the LS50's pretty much since they came out as a Limited Edition, so they are well broken in :) Prior to the AudioAlchemy gear I was using a Rega Brio-r but given the efficiency, or lack of, with the LS50's the Rega struggled to get the most of out them.

 

Yes, the AudioAlchemy gear is relatively new but it has a good few hundred hours on it now. I may try swapping the speaker cable before ditching the LS50's. Currently I'm just using Mogami 3103, so I might try some Morrow SP5 or Kimber 8TC.

 

I don't think anyone is saying the Audio Alchemy amp is not a good amp. It just isn't enough amp. Or at least for some reason not a good match to the LS50.

 

I have heard two amps sound quite good on the LS50s. One is an older Conrad-Johnson solid state amp. It is a large 250 wpc amp. It has a warm and weighty signature which matches the LS50 well. You could find one of those second hand for not a ton of money.

 

The other amp that worked well was Bel Canto Ref. 600 mono amps. It has a slightly warm and soft edged signature. Its okay if you just want something different than the LS50s of course, but with a good matching amp they are quite good over the range they cover well.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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