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bunno77

Active Kef LS50

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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?

 

 

You remarked earlier "Devices like this Tablet used as source to these speakers change the game."

 

And I replied "In the wider market, using bluetooth to communicate from a tablet or smartphone to powered speakers is more attractive than a wired connection." That wider market outside the audiophile ghetto drives the development of tablets, smartphones and headphones. Speakers that accept audio via bluetooth are appearing on the market in numbers now.

 

If you are listening at a desk and the speakers are a couple of feet away, having a tablet wired to them might be OK. If you are 8-10 feet away, it is very convenient to have the tablet or phone at your listening position rather than next to the speakers.

 

Convenience matters to most people. The fact that plain blue-tooth and even Apt-x are lower quality than a wireless connection or WiFi is of lesser importance to most people. By the way, WiFi is lossless. It transmits the same digital audio bits as a wired connection would.

 

-- my comments in bold type

 

"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."

 

I think that you need to go a bit slower and learn more before you take a plunge. Storing digital audio on a tablet and outputting it directly to a powered speaker might be the best approach for you or it might not. Your posts suggest that you don't know enough to make the right choice now.

 

If you already have some computer gear such as a laptop, a WiFi router or a NAS (file server), the right solution might use some or all of the gear that you have.

 

"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. "

 

Ask a question on one of the many android oriented forums and websites. Just keep in mind that 24/192 audio output on a USB connector isn't very relevant to most people there.

 

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

 

You are misunderstanding what you read. Once audio has been converted to analog by a DAC chip, the sample rate and bit depth don't matter to the LS-50 analog inputs.

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24/192 is sometimes just upsampled from lower spec'd music

 

2nd, it is not clear that listeners can hear an improvement of 24/192 over redbook - to test you'd first have to find identical recordings that differ ONLY in bit rate and depth

 

for me, the thing to do is to search out the best masterings of music that I know I already like (which I already have on redbook CD)...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Your posts suggest that you don't know enough to make the right choice now.

Correct.

 

I dont know anywhere near enough about computer audio. Its confusing and a fast moving target. Unless you have many many spare hours to read forum after forum its not an easy thing to come up to speed on.

 

But what i do know is playback from a computer in one of its myriad of forms is convenient.

 

Active speakers are what i want - they suit my situation in so many ways that i wont go into. They just fit. Perfectly.

 

Now which ones?

 

devialet phantom? Or Kef X300WA ? Was all set to go with the KEF's because i think the Devialet are too much speaker for me right now. Done stacks of reading on them. Seem to be too many issues with them right now.

 

Now come the LS 50 Actives. The choice is easy for me.

 

Now how to feed them. As i said i want minimalist. I dont want endless audio toys to fiddle with. A tablet seems ideal to start off with. The Tablet i linked too seems ideal given its high res output. But i dont know how to configure the chain from Tablet to Speaker to achieve that high res *IF* it even makes sense to worry about it.

 

And that is what has driven my comments.

 

SO i would love to know how to get 24/192 from that tablet to those speakers. I am set on these speakers. The whole concept works for me. I am sure it works for many others as well. I am not interested in separates, and the latest DAC and amp etc etc. All in one box is just perfect and to come from a high end manufacturer is perfect. Just add tablet and go. I think that's a great place to start.

 

Answer in bold was only intended to make my replies to you easier to see by standing out a little. Answering inline keeps it all in context. No offense intended.

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Big Ben, I believe it is possible to send 24/192 via Bluetooth from your tablet. I can not confirm it because I have not tried it. However, I think that doing this would be a massive pain because of battery issues with the tablet and so on.

 

If it were me, I would prefer the security of a wired connection. You could consider something like a Cambridge Audio CXN streamer. Connect that to your LS50's via the network connection and use your tablet to control the CXN via its dedicated app.

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Big Ben, nothing that I said suggested that you should not consider powered speakers. I haven't had passive (unpowered) speakers in my house for many years. I use a smartphone to control music playback in my main system. However, I store the music files on a file server and send them to the player device via m home LAN.

 

There are lots of alternatives for powered speakers. Lots of pro-audio monitors and an increasing number of active speakers from high end audio companies.

 

Similarly there are lots of ways to feed powered speakers. A dedicated portable player might be simpler and might deliver better audio. The FiiO X3 player is an example.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00VR5JHVK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3PTVJUSNQQ2Q2&coliid=IOTH8P11ELUE&psc=1

 

Before you start making choices on gear and spending money, you should think about some practical stuff like

 

- How big i the room where I'll put the speakers?

- How loud do I want to play music?

- where is my music now?

- How would I get it onto the new system?

- Do I have any 24/192 hi-res music now?

- Cam I find 24/192 versions of the music that interests me?

- How much music do I have now? How much will I have in a few years? (# albums, # Gigabytes)

- How will I acquire hi-res music?

- How will I get it the music that I acquire into my new system?

- How will I browse my collection and select what I want to play?

(using folder and file names or using tags such as genre, artist and album.)

- Will I want to subscribe to a streaming service like Tidal in the future?

 

Once you understand what you need and how some alternatives will meet those needs, then you are ready to make gear choices.

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Correct.

 

I dont know anywhere near enough about computer audio. Its confusing and a fast moving target. Unless you have many many spare hours to read forum after forum its not an easy thing to come up to speed on.

 

But what i do know is playback from a computer in one of its myriad of forms is convenient.

 

Active speakers are what i want - they suit my situation in so many ways that i wont go into. They just fit. Perfectly.

 

Now which ones?

 

devialet phantom? Or Kef X300WA ? Was all set to go with the KEF's because i think the Devialet are too much speaker for me right now. Done stacks of reading on them. Seem to be too many issues with them right now.

 

Now come the LS 50 Actives. The choice is easy for me.

 

Now how to feed them. As i said i want minimalist. I dont want endless audio toys to fiddle with. A tablet seems ideal to start off with. The Tablet i linked too seems ideal given its high res output. But i dont know how to configure the chain from Tablet to Speaker to achieve that high res *IF* it even makes sense to worry about it.

 

And that is what has driven my comments.

 

SO i would love to know how to get 24/192 from that tablet to those speakers. I am set on these speakers. The whole concept works for me. I am sure it works for many others as well. I am not interested in separates, and the latest DAC and amp etc etc. All in one box is just perfect and to come from a high end manufacturer is perfect. Just add tablet and go. I think that's a great place to start.

 

Answer in bold was only intended to make my replies to you easier to see by standing out a little. Answering inline keeps it all in context. No offense intended.

Please see my above posts


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A very interesting conversation. Thank you for that gents.

 

I have a very unique situation. I bet none of you have my situation. Never say never, but.......

 

I live in the Rift Valley of Africa. I am setting up a permanent camp that will be my home for the next 10-15 years. My home will be a series of tents. So very hard to secure anything other then security guards to stop theft. The less boxes i have to worry about the better. Then there is the dust problem we have here. You wouldnt believe the dust build up. But then anyone who has lived in the tropics knows about dust. Heat. WOW...the heat. Power is from batteries that have to get charged somehow. But all electronics fed via inverter so at least thats under control.

 

So small, light all in one box is perfect. I am considering building a small bunker out of concrete and steel and i may be able to house a server in there. If i go that way then yes other options open up for a source of the music. But untill then feeding off a tablet seems so ideal to me. So easy to unplug it and take it with me when i go to the big smoke for supplies, so easy to unplug it and lock it away when i am out in the bush doing things.

 

I have no 24/192 music at all. It just seems to be a good standard to aim for so that i am ready for the next 10 years.

 

Today i have nothing Hi-fi at all, starting from scratch. I have a JBL soundbar that is surprisingly good.

 

I have CD's. I have music downloaded from the Internet and i use Spotify sometimes, currently trialling Soundcloud. I think that's where the music is coming from for me as i go forwards. Online.

 

This whole HI-Fi thing has been turned on its head as far as i can see. Online music streaming, DAC's, Active speakers, server backends for local libraries. In another life, many years ago i had a Tube Amp, a cassette deck, a CD player, a surround sound receiver, an equalizer. It was a whole rack of components. How things have changed.

 

@bunno77. Am reading your posts.

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Are you conducting research in the Rift Valley?

 

If so, what are you using for computers to process your data?

 

If you are limited to tablets, you can just put part of your music collection on each one, or load something then delete/replace with something else. I'm assuming you have a lot of CDs. Whatever you do, I'd get those CDs ripped and stored in a safe place, and not try to use a player in a dusty env. with fluctuating voltages.

 

I'd be leery of using headphones away from camp as you could turn into a prey item.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Anyways,.... got cunning. I downloaded the user manual of the ASUS tablet.

 

There is precious little mention of its sound abilities other then this.....

 

 

 

DTS and High Res cap.JPG

 

 

See the part about " Supports 192Khz / 24 Bit Digital USB audio output.

 

I take this as meaning, yes it does support 192/24 from its USB - C port. So in theory what i want to do is possible. I am a little skeptical though as there is so little mention of the tablets 192/24 ability.

 

But if the above statement from the manual is indeed as it is - 192/24 out the USB port then that would be the way to go when the time comes to use 192/24 - right? I have raised this several times now but no one biting...the speakers themselves only do 192/24 when fed by its USB port - i have i got that right?

 

Its the 13th today.... where are the LS50's ?

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I'd be leery of using headphones away from camp as you could turn into a prey item.

 

Hahahaha.. yeah for thieves !

 

Not out here for research. Its a long story not suitable for this forum. I just live here now. I dont want to go back to civilisation. Couldn't stand it after being out here for 18 years already.

 

I just like listening to music. I like nice quality music. Not super loud or anything. Just good quality - well at a reasonable level. I am not an "audiophile" as you guys call yourselves. I am just an average guy who likes to listen to music at times. Sundown is always a nice time for some nice tunes....with a nice cold beer, watching the sun go down over the escarpment.

 

I was going to get the smaller wireless KEF's. While researching the KEF's i read all about the LS 50 passives. I seriously considered going that way but in the end all the reasons i listed took precedence. I was thinking about really going for it and going with the Devialet's but decided that was way too much speaker for me at this time ( as correctly pointed out - dont know enough about computer based audio to dive in too deep right now)

 

The LS50 actives therefore seem perfect to me. Between the smaller KEF wireless speakers and the Devialet's.

 

Some good things on the LS50 actives...2.4Ghz AND 5GHz radios. 802.11n as opposed to just B/G on the smaller wireless KEF's. Some big improvements right there. 802.11ac would have been better, but it is what it is.

 

Sub output. Not sure i will go that way but nice to have the option.

 

I have not heard them and have zero chance of auditioning them. But I am willing to bet they are good.

 

Also, why Cat 6 Ethernet to connect them together? Why not Cat 5e? What is it about Cat 6 that they went this way. Just curious.

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Most of you looking at the KEF LS50 actives would be pretty up to speed on it all i would think. But if anyone was looking for a basic primer on some of the in's and outs, i found this info following a link posted up a few posts.

 

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/our-tech has lots of good infomationals

 

Just passing it along in case like me you need a basic education . Even though i am a newb, still getting the LS50's ;}

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Anyways,.... got cunning. I downloaded the user manual of the ASUS tablet.

 

There is precious little mention of its sound abilities other then this.....

 

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]31468[/ATTACH]

 

 

See the part about " Supports 192Khz / 24 Bit Digital USB audio output.

 

I take this as meaning, yes it does support 192/24 from its USB - C port. So in theory what i want to do is possible. I am a little skeptical though as there is so little mention of the tablets 192/24 ability.

 

But if the above statement from the manual is indeed as it is - 192/24 out the USB port then that would be the way to go when the time comes to use 192/24 - right? I have raised this several times now but no one biting...the speakers themselves only do 192/24 when fed by its USB port - i have i got that right?

 

Its the 13th today.... where are the LS50's ?

 

YoU MUST get a Windows tablet to have all your digitaal output options open and it SHOULD have a full suized USB in addition to the mini one (for charging). I find the rest of the discussion here as misdirected chatter. I actually own and have used this option....in real life, not theoretically.

 

Amazon releases the LS50 active in early Jan. (Date slipped). They look to be KILLER...I would go with them over the Phantom. You may want a sub, inwhich case I recommend: http://www.tbisound.com/dsp_products_subwmagvisu.asp

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I find the rest of the discussion here as misdirected chatter.

 

Indeed.

 

All of this is why the tablet makes sense to me with these speakers, but yes not strictly technically about the speakers. I only offered this information in response to "chatter" about the subject. But lets keep it on topic.

 

What is about the speakers is can some one confirm that 192/24 is only available to the LS50 Actives via USB?

 

I respect your real life experience and its great that you share this, but would ask you why is it that ONLY a windows tablet will do this? Is it something about tablets playing music in general or something specific to these speakers?

 

I am only interested in how this all plays out to THESE speakers. I have no interest in any other topic other then how to get a source playing to these speakers.

 

What will be the best way way to get the best from these speakers ? I think that is speaker specific and pertinent to this thread.

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Windows means no restrictions. IOS and Androids are not full computers and re limited. Mac and Linux have high rate DSD restrictions.

 

With a Windows tablet you have a full functionality PC and will be able to used the popular Advanced players like JRiver/JPlay/Bughead/HQ P/Masterclass/Pure Music/ etc...plus other free ones. No real limitations.

 

I suspect that high rez PCM files will ONLY work via USB, but there is a chance that wifi may work too. DSD files can be converted to PCM on the fly in the tablet/software, so no problems there to listen to them.

 

Make sure the Win tablet has a full sized USB port and then you can use a 3m standard USB cable or longer (eg 10m Corning glass cable with a Regen/Intona to clean up the signal) and you can thus have the tablet with you in the listening position.

 

There will be ALL options open with such a Windows tablet!

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Thank you wisnon - that is very helpful information.

 

I have sent an email to KEF asking about 192Khz/24Bit being available on which input.

 

Also, when are these speakers available for purchase.

 

Lets see what the horses mouth has to say.

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Confirmed by Andy at KEF ......

 

"The best sampling rate (Up to 192kHz (USB Type B)with LS50 Active can only be achieved via the USB cable.Please contact your local retailer for availability."

 

So not going to get the High Res from Ethernet, Wi-Fi or RCA in's. Only way to get the 192Khz sampling rate is via USB

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Confirmed by Andy at KEF ......

 

"The best sampling rate (Up to 192kHz (USB Type B)with LS50 Active can only be achieved via the USB cable.Please contact your local retailer for availability."

 

So not going to get the High Res from Ethernet, Wi-Fi or RCA in's. Only way to get the 192Khz sampling rate is via USB

 

wisnon suggested using a Windows tablet. While Microsoft has a USB Audio Class 2 driver that works at 24/192 in beta testing, I think Windows as shipped only suggests up to 24/96 audio. Ask KEF whether they have a Windows drive rthat will allow you to send 24/192 audio from Windows to the LS 50 speakers.

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they have to have such a driver or they would not tell him that USB IS THE WAY TO GO.

 

All dacs have to have a windows usb driver to work.

 

I didn't suggest the WINDOWS TABLET, I merely told him what to look for...full size usb port....after the tablet idea came up.

 

Corning seems optical usb cables up to 30m long.

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Seriously considering a pair of these. I loved the simplicity I had with my Quad 12L actives and Dynaudio BM5AmkII and these gave gobs more connectivity and tech built in.

 

The McIntosh/B&W Nautilus setup was always a goal if mine and it's enjoyable but there's something I miss about the LS50s.

@Kal Rubinson did you get a chance to bounce around the sub integration settings on the app? I ran dual subs with the passive LS50s but with only one Sub Out and a highish crossover point I'm wondering if there's any benefit to two mono subs (vs stereo subs like I have now).


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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Seriously considering a pair of these. I loved the simplicity I had with my Quad 12L actives and Dynaudio BM5AmkII and these gave gobs more connectivity and tech built in.

 

The McIntosh/B&W Nautilus setup was always a goal if mine and it's enjoyable but there's something I miss about the LS50s.

@Kal Rubinson did you get a chance to bounce around the sub integration settings on the app? I ran dual subs with the passive LS50s but with only one Sub Out and a highish crossover point I'm wondering if there's any benefit to two mono subs (vs stereo subs like I have now).

I have no idea what you are referring to.

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Seriously considering a pair of these. I loved the simplicity I had with my Quad 12L actives and Dynaudio BM5AmkII and these gave gobs more connectivity and tech built in.

 

The McIntosh/B&W Nautilus setup was always a goal if mine and it's enjoyable but there's something I miss about the LS50s.

@Kal Rubinson did you get a chance to bounce around the sub integration settings on the app? I ran dual subs with the passive LS50s but with only one Sub Out and a highish crossover point I'm wondering if there's any benefit to two mono subs (vs stereo subs like I have now).

 

Try a single powered TBI Sub!

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So this is all over the place.......

 

I got this in this morning after phoning suppliers in UK to try to get information on the High Res and an ETA on availability of the speakers.

 

......."Our KEF representative says the LS50 wireless system is DLNA certified so should cope with 24/192 on a wired network. The same should apply to wireless so long as it's a stable 5Ghz signal....."

 

So the email i got from KEF direct says USB only, the High Street reseller gives the above info out.

 

Which is it ?????

 

Be great if KEF would make a definitive statement on this.

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I have no idea what you are referring to.

 

Sorry Kal, let me clarify. I noticed you mentioned seeing some different settings such as multi-channel in the app that KEF will provide to take advantage of the Wireless LS50 technology. I was wondering if you had a chance to see, within the app, what sort of bass management will be made available.

 

Bill


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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