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Active Kef LS50

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Some may argue that it's not a good idea to build a DAC inside a speaker because of vibrations.. :eek:[/QUOTe]

It seems more and more active speakers are going that route. I prefer active speakers with no dac. You can keep a good speaker for years but dacs get outdated more quickly.

Putting a DAC internal to the speakers allows for DSP for crossover as well as allowing room and speaker correction to improve performance further.


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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Putting a DAC internal to the speakers allows for DSP for crossover as well as allowing room and speaker correction to improve performance further.

 

Yup , a Dac is a MUST here. Dac rate of improvement is falling precipitously anyway, compared to even 3 years ago.

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Connectivity covers all the bases. I know it's heresy on this forum but a pair of these with a $349 Sonos Connect digitally lashed on and you've got a fuss free FANTASIC system for $2500. Or hookup a mini PC and run Spotify, Roon, Tidal into it for even better sound.

Wow, I want a pair!

 

IMG_0054.JPG


David

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Might shake up the high end active market for sure. I mean Dynaudio is selling an active Focus speaker (below Contour and Confidence lines) as as the xD 200 for $5500 for an active speaker, and they basically charge double the price for the active version of the Excite line (Xeo).

 

So Kef charging only $600 more for the active LS50s means either it's not as high end of an active solution as Dynaudio's or they are giving a hell of a bang for the buck.

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Might shake up the high end active market for sure. I mean Dynaudio is selling an active Focus speaker (below Contour and Confidence lines) as as the xD 200 for $5500 for an active speaker, and they basically charge double the price for the active version of the Excite line (Xeo).

 

So Kef charging only $600 more for the active LS50s means either it's not as high end of an active solution as Dynaudio's or they are giving a hell of a bang for the buck.

Definitely. The xeo and focus xD are I credible but yes they're expensive. The active, but unfortunately not wireless kefs will be very interesting

 

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MAIN - Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply,   Sonore microRendu + Uptone LPS-1,  
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THE REST - Halcro MC50,    Marantz PM-15S1,   Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2,     Denon AVR-4520,     Cambridge 752BD (Oppomod PSU),     Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod),     Cyenne Audio CY-3100,   Audioquest DragonFly v1.2,     Epos Epic 5,    Aaron ATS-5,    Aaron CC-250,    Bose 251,    Bose Soundlink Mini    M&K VF-80

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I've heard them. I am very impressed with them - they have no major sonic flaws. They are clean, dynamic, and image really well. Unfortunately, here in Australia they are very poor value. The RRP here is AUD$3799 (USD$2829). That is really steep considering the US RRP is USD$2199. If you are in the USA, grab them. If you are in Australia, forget it. They deserve to have their market tank because of their predatory Australian pricing.

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Active LS50's are limited to 192/24. emailed KEF last month and got following response to my question which may be useful to others on CA as well:

 

"The LS50 Wireless will be using PCM and will not support DSD files. You will still be able to use an existing DAC capable of converting DSD files and then running that into the analog input on the LS50 Wireless."

 

Plan to use a DAP as source with Active LS50's as my home system. For mobile music, DAP with quality IEM fit my needs. Today's NYT article about personal audio: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/10/fashion/headphones-luxury-fashion-statement-new-york.html

Downsizing has a few pluses. No more rack of components comprising expense of half my annual salary + bye bye footprint and storage box space those components occupied + fewer expensive toys for thief to steal.

 

Edited by Bryan

“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon

 

Chief Strategist for President Trump and attendee on United States National Security Council.

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The RRP here is AUD$3799 (USD$2829). That is really steep considering the US RRP is USD$2199. If you are in the USA, grab them. If you are in Australia, forget it. They deserve to have their market tank because of their predatory Australian pricing.

 

 

Yep the good Ol Australia tax.

 

Hits us on many things. The brits get the same treatment on most things that come out of the USA or electronics out of Asia and that are then on the US market......lower price for the US market and the rest of the world get gouged. I think i remember the UK price being 2200 GBP and the speakers are made in the UK (well probably not - probably in made in a sweatshop in China somewhere - more accurately..the speakers are DESIGNED in the UK)

 

Nothing to stop you buying in the US and importing though ? I suppose with the weight and bulk of the speakers the shipping would be brutal then there are clearing charges and GST. Probably not a whole lot different to the sell price.

 

What i have found time and again, it's the AUS agent/s of many items that get imported who are behind this practice.

Edited by Big_Ben
Grammar

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Downsizing has a few pluses. No more rack of components comprising expense of half my annual salary + bye bye footprint and storage box space those components occupied + fewer expensive toys for thief to steal.

 

You hit the nail on the head ! No more rack of components. No more Hi-Fi "Tax".

 

The really really big one for me is less for thieves to steal or more accurately less for me to secure and bolt down. Where i am i have a HUGE problem with theft. So Actives speakers like this are ideal. Plus as you say, all we need is a DAP as source and its a done deal.

 

I was looking at this ASUS tablet...would this work as a source?

 

https://www.asus.com/Tablets/ASUS-ZenPad-3S-10-Z500M/

 

" with DTS HD Premium Sound and support for 24-bit, 192kHz audio via compatible devices"

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I've heard them. I am very impressed with them - they have no major sonic flaws. They are clean, dynamic, and image really well. Unfortunately, here in Australia they are very poor value. The RRP here is AUD$3799 (USD$2829). That is really steep considering the US RRP is USD$2199. If you are in the USA, grab them. If you are in Australia, forget it. They deserve to have their market tank because of their predatory Australian pricing.

 

The AU price can shave a little here and there, the margin is maintained by the dealer of course. If you import them directly from the USA as a one off, the price is close to RRP in AU.

 

USD2199 @ 0.74 = AUD2972

GST = AUD297

Freight = AUD350

Customs Fees = AUD220

 

Total AUD3839. The prices would come down considerably is consolidated into a container with nothing but Active LS50 :)

 

Any discounts received in the US online the better. Oh, no 230-120V transformer required.


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UK pricing is £1999 or £1666 net of 20% VAT. Good ol' Brexit !!

 

At that pricing i will buy in the UK. I am in Africa, so i have to import no matter what i do. Rather get them out of UK if possible.

 

Now when can we get hold of them?

 

Does that tablet i linked to a few posts up make any sense as a source? Its USB-C so a USB - C to USB -A cable and the tablet should output 24/192 to the USB input of the speakers.

 

A tablet as source makes a lot of sense in this scenario - no DAC in the Tablet is used as the file is passed digitally via USB to the speakers and its high rez 24/192 capable being passed. Can now get 256GB Micro SD cards to go in the tablet, so plenty of room for music files. Not sure, dont know enough about all this yet. Still learning. What i do know is i want active speakers driven by a PC or tablet or similar.

 

 

Edit.....

 

More research lead to this about the tablet.....

 

" It supports 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and DTS audio with support for 24-bit/192 kHz audio output through the headset jack."

Does this ruin the idea then? The headset jack is 3.5mm. Is there a 3.5mm jack to the type of aux input cables that are found on the LS50's?

Edited by Big_Ben

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More research lead to this about the tablet.....

 

" It supports 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and DTS audio with support for 24-bit/192 kHz audio output through the headset jack."

Does this ruin the idea then? The headset jack is 3.5mm. Is there a 3.5mm jack to the type of aux input cables that are found on the LS50's?

3.5mm to RCA adapters are cheap and available.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Cable-iXCC-Shielded-Gold-Plated-Stereo/dp/B019D048XC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1481520242&sr=8-3&keywords=3.5mm+to+rca

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Yep found the cables for this - AudioQuest look good.

 

However does this not mess up the plan? The Tablet supports 24/192 out of its 3.5mm jack. The LS 50 support 24/192 on INPUT to its USB IN.

 

Seems there is a mismatch here.

 

Is there such a thing as 3.5mm to USB ? If there is, would that solve this puzzle?

 

Little information out there on the 24/192 capabilities of this tablet so far as its new on the market. So i dont know how to find out if it supports 24/192 out of its USB - C port.

 

I know this is off topic but it relates to how these speakers will be used. Devices like this Tablet used as source to these speakers change the game.

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Yep found the cables for this - AudioQuest look good.

 

However does this not mess up the plan? The Tablet supports 24/192 out of its 3.5mm jack. The LS 50 support 24/192 on INPUT to its USB IN.

 

Seems there is a mismatch here.

 

Is there such a thing as 3.5mm to USB ? If there is, would that solve this puzzle?

 

Little information out there on the 24/192 capabilities of this tablet so far as its new on the market. So i dont know how to find out if it supports 24/192 out of its USB - C port.

 

I know this is off topic but it relates to how these speakers will be used. Devices like this Tablet used as source to these speakers change the game.

 

Sorry, I thought that you were talking about using the analog output from the tablet to connerct to the analog input of the speakers. analog to USB makes no sense to me.

 

The ASUS tablet's 3.5mm output is analog. (Audio on the 3.5mm connector has already gone through the tablet's DAC.) An analog to USB convertor would involve a Analog to digital step and an extra D to A step. Plus some USB host hardware.

 

The "1 × Micro USB Type-C (USB2.0/power delivery)" connector on the tablet might provide a digital audio output. However, you'll want to be sure that the tablet can function as a USB host.

 

In the wider market, using bluetooth to communicate from a tablet or smartphone to powered speakers is more attractive than a wired connection.

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At that pricing i will buy in the UK. I am in Africa, so i have to import no matter what i do. Rather get them out of UK if possible.

 

Now when can we get hold of them?

 

Does that tablet i linked to a few posts up make any sense as a source? Its USB-C so a USB - C to USB -A cable and the tablet should output 24/192 to the USB input of the speakers.

 

A tablet as source makes a lot of sense in this scenario - no DAC in the Tablet is used as the file is passed digitally via USB to the speakers and its high rez 24/192 capable being passed. Can now get 256GB Micro SD cards to go in the tablet, so plenty of room for music files. Not sure, dont know enough about all this yet. Still learning. What i do know is i want active speakers driven by a PC or tablet or similar.

 

 

Edit.....

 

More research lead to this about the tablet.....

 

" It supports 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and DTS audio with support for 24-bit/192 kHz audio output through the headset jack."

Does this ruin the idea then? The headset jack is 3.5mm. Is there a 3.5mm jack to the type of aux input cables that are found on the LS50's?

 

Ben get either of these Windows tablets that have FULL sized USB ports and cost way less. Universal charger, so you only need plug adapter and you can connect to speakers via Bluetooth. I use the 8" one with a DeepBlue speaker! The advantage of the 2nd full size USB port is that you charge the device with the Micro USB and output digitally via the full sized port and you can use JRiver/Roon/HQ Player/Bughead Emperor or whatever Windows based playback software you like!

 

https://www.amazon.com/WinBook-Tablet-Windows-full-size-Display/dp/B00S5STXLQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1481537496&sr=8-3&keywords=winbook free upgrade to Win10

 

and even cheaper and already Win10 and bigger screen (confirmed in comments that it has full size USB port)

https://www.amazon.com/WinBook-1280x800-Display-Storage-Windows/dp/B01LGYAIWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481537496&sr=8-1&keywords=winbook

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Sorry, I thought that you were talking about using the analog output from the tablet to connerct to the analog input of the speakers. analog to USB makes no sense to me.

 

Yes i was talking about exactly that - a 3.5mm jack connection - from tablet to the analog IN of the speakers. The tablet is said to output up to 24/192 in that config.

 

 

BUT..... the speakers only do 24/192 to its USB "IN"......so i presume the analog "IN" can only hit a lower resolution.

So unless one finds a tablet that does 24/192 "OUT" of its USB port then we wont ever hear 24/192 from the speakers until a source that outputs 24/192 from its USB, is connected to the speakers USB - right?

 

 

The ASUS tablet's 3.5mm output is analog. (Audio on the 3.5mm connector has already gone through the tablet's DAC.)

 

Right i understand that part - that the output is analog - but didnt realise that because the output is analog that its already gone through the DAC on the tablet. I suppose that makes sense if you think about it - otherwise how would headphones without a DAC onboard hear anything coming out of that 3.5mm connection unless it had already gone from digital to analog.

An analog to USB convertor would involve a Analog to digital step and an extra D to A step. Plus some USB host hardware.

 

Yep makes sense.

The "1 × Micro USB Type-C (USB2.0/power delivery)" connector on the tablet might provide a digital audio output. However, you'll want to be sure that the tablet can function as a USB host.

 

 

Yes if the USB - C outputs a digital output - its just not listed as such and i cant find any info on it.

 

If the USB - C would output 24/192, problem solved and this whole setup fits the bill nicely.....at least for me.

 

So minimalist. A small'ish computer (tablet) with its own inbuilt screen playing back from 300GB of storage onboard. Job done, kick back and forget about the tech and enjoy the music.

 

In the wider market, using bluetooth to communicate from a tablet or smartphone to powered speakers is more attractive than a wired connection.

 

But Bluetooth is lower quality - right? even Apt-X.Will I be able to hear the difference ?? No idea.

Will Wi-fi sound better then BT Apt-X ?

Any reviews out there yet of actual setup and running LS-50 Wireless?

I see on Amazon they now list availability of Jan 15th 2017. Is this delay industry wide or just Amazon stocks?

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But Bluetooth is lower quality - right? even Apt-X.Will I be able to hear the difference ?? No idea.

Will Wi-fi sound better then BT Apt-X ?

Any reviews out there yet of actual setup and running LS-50 Wireless?

I see on Amazon they now list availability of Jan 15th 2017. Is this delay industry wide or just Amazon stocks?

Being network connected either WiFi or ethernet hard wired you will be much better off using these options. They will offer convenience and better sound quality.

 

If they use an app similar to the X 300a you can use the app to select music from your device you may already have like a phone or PC or a nas with your music.

 

If it is dlna compliant you will be able to use dlna apps like bubbleupnp or linn kazoo to integrate streaming services in addition to nas/local storage.

 

Bluetooth is good for family/friends for ease of use.

 

 

 

 

-Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply, Uptone LPS-1, Sonore Microrendu, Geek Pulse S Infinity, McIntosh MA2275, Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, SVS SB13 Ultra

-Cambridge 752BD Oppomod PSU, Halcro MC50, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod), Cyenne Audio CY-3100 DAC , Denon AVR4520, Aaron ATS-5, Aaron CC-250, Epos Epic 5, Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2


MAIN - Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply,   Sonore microRendu + Uptone LPS-1,  
 LH Labs Geek Pulse S Infinity + LPS1,     McIntosh MA2275,  
Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes,    SVS SB13-Ultra,    Van Den Hul + Isotek DIY cables,    Nordost Sort Kone AC
 
THE REST - Halcro MC50,    Marantz PM-15S1,   Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2,     Denon AVR-4520,     Cambridge 752BD (Oppomod PSU),     Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod),     Cyenne Audio CY-3100,   Audioquest DragonFly v1.2,     Epos Epic 5,    Aaron ATS-5,    Aaron CC-250,    Bose 251,    Bose Soundlink Mini    M&K VF-80

PREVIOUSLY OWNED - Definitive Technology BP7006,     Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC USB

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Having a look at those tablets.

 

OK so is it really just a waste of time to be trying to get 24/192 working? Perhaps its not really worth the hassle at this time? I mean, how much music is out there for this anyway? Maybe within a year or two devices will catch up and this will be much easier to achieve ?

 

Until then, a more basic tablet like the links point too? I just dont want to be continually looking for the next greatest. I would like to install it and forget all about what plugs into what. At least for another 5 years. By then who knows what will be the latest buzz of new tech out there

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Having a look at those tablets.

 

OK so is it really just a waste of time to be trying to get 24/192 working? Perhaps its not really worth the hassle at this time? I mean, how much music is out there for this anyway? Maybe within a year or two devices will catch up and this will be much easier to achieve ?

 

Until then, a more basic tablet like the links point too? I just dont want to be continually looking for the next greatest. I would like to install it and forget all about what plugs into what. At least for another 5 years. By then who knows what will be the latest buzz of new tech out there

Please see my above post


MAIN - Peach Audio Balanced Isolation Power Supply,   Sonore microRendu + Uptone LPS-1,  
 LH Labs Geek Pulse S Infinity + LPS1,     McIntosh MA2275,  
Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes,    SVS SB13-Ultra,    Van Den Hul + Isotek DIY cables,    Nordost Sort Kone AC
 
THE REST - Halcro MC50,    Marantz PM-15S1,   Cambridge Audio Azur 551R V2,     Denon AVR-4520,     Cambridge 752BD (Oppomod PSU),     Sonos ZP90 (Cullen Mod),     Cyenne Audio CY-3100,   Audioquest DragonFly v1.2,     Epos Epic 5,    Aaron ATS-5,    Aaron CC-250,    Bose 251,    Bose Soundlink Mini    M&K VF-80

PREVIOUSLY OWNED - Definitive Technology BP7006,     Pro-Ject Debut Carbon DC USB

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Having a look at those tablets.

 

OK so is it really just a waste of time to be trying to get 24/192 working? Perhaps its not really worth the hassle at this time? I mean, how much music is out there for this anyway? Maybe within a year or two devices will catch up and this will be much easier to achieve ?

 

Until then, a more basic tablet like the links point too? I just dont want to be continually looking for the next greatest. I would like to install it and forget all about what plugs into what. At least for another 5 years. By then who knows what will be the latest buzz of new tech out there

Huh?

 

I get all rates working on mine, even high rate DSD. Its WINDOWS, so you have kernel streaming and Asio options. You can direct connect a 2m USB cable (audiophile grade) or wifi connect as Bunno77 said.

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