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Active Kef LS50

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Been away for a while - enjoying music and not worrying about gear!  Ran into an issue with my nearly 3yr old LS50Ws this past Monday.  Posted about it a couple of other places but figured I'd add it here as well:

 

First the stats:

  • Manufactured 11/2016
  • Running latest firmware.
  • Approx. 150 - 200 hours on them.

Was listening to albums for about 3 hours on Sunday and everything was perfectly fine. Went to listen to an album Monday night and about half a side in it sounded like the left (slave) speaker’s woofer stopped working.

Played through the rest of the side (was needledropping) and then switched to the Optical input to rule out the Turntable and Phono Preamp as the fault. Used a mono CD and confirmed it was an issue with the speaker.

 

Checked the firmware version, it was up to date.

 

Disconnected and reconnected all source connection and the speaker-to-speaker cable.

 

Performed a Reset which did not work.

 

Unplugged both speaker’s power cords for a minute and reconnected. Everything was working fine again…for about a minute.

 

Unplugged just the slave speaker’s power cord - did not work.

 

Unplugged just the master speaker’s power cord - sound came back as normal…for about a minute.

 

Contacted KEF USA and they requested I send the speakers back which I’m doing today.  I’m obviously well out of the curiously short 1 year warranty at this point which is my reason for updating this post - to see how they deal with out-of-warranty repairs. I agree with the earlier poster that suggested KEF should have simply extended the warranty on all LS50Ws within a given production batch to at least 5 years (the standard warranty on the much-less complex passive speakers). They could have saved a lot of the bad feeling that have resulted as well as the hesitation prospective buyers feel when they come across the issues that are being reported.

 

As a big KEF fan I’m hoping they’re able to fix my pair at no extra charge other than shipping. I love the LS50W as it seems to me to be the fully-realized version of what they intended the LS50 to be (I lived with the passives for close to 4 years). I really don’t want to have to start a new search at this point, even though there are more options now than there were 3 years ago.

I’ll report back in about a month (they quote a 3 week turnaround time to diagnose and repair).


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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I have the very same problem with my LS50Ws.

On the left speaker bass drops out about every minute for a while and then comes back.

Very annoying!

 

I have to send them to my dealer and hope it won't be too expensive to repair them.

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So I got an update yesterday. Both “main boards” had to be replaced. They should ship Monday and I’ll have them back Tuesday/Wednesday.

As far as I know they replaced them free (except for shipping to them) and they’re 2 years out of warranty which I think is the right thing for them to do so, we’ll done KEF.

There does seem to be an unforeseen issue with early batches that hopefully has been fixed as they began to see problems. Still wish they would have done something similar to what Subaru did with the CVT on our Forester and simply sent a letter to owners stating they’d extended the warranty on them rather than leaving uncertainty out there.

Can’t wait to get them back!


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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well after 2.5 years of enjoying music ln the LS50W on an almost daily basis, today they started to act up, after an initial loud pop, the power icon started to blink (all other icons are off). After removing power and waiting for a few minutes, the speaker system boots up normally and works for a few minutes to an hour, and then it dies again.

I was running 1-year-old firmware - I just updated the pair to v4.1 (posted a few days ago). The update completed successfully but after a while the same issue started to happen.

 

Anyone had this problem? I'm wondering if it's worth trying a factory reset

 

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I'd reach out to KEF - they took care of my pair well out of warranty and I was only out shipping costs to them.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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I did connect with KEF and had a very fast response (their support seems great) - however, noticing the that issue seemed to 'build up' over time and then suddenly 'spark', and that the air here (winter time) got really dry specially since last week, I used an electronics (no-moisture) air duster, very gently and from the exterior (through connectors etc). The thought was that maybe some particle + much higher than usual static was causing this. I did that two days ago and since then I've been using the speakers for many hours on end, with no re occurrence.

If they do fail again anytime I'm planning to drop them off at the local KEF service center. Although I'm hoping that I will get a few more years of great listening before that happens. Let's see.

FWIW firmware 4.1 seems solid - ugraded using a mac with no issues. Unfortunately older speakers do not get the new "remote power on" feature. It would have been a great addition.

 

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I purchased, a week ago, a pair of LS50w mainly for my wife and kids (to keep them away from my main system).

The value for the price is impressive and the sound was dramatically improved (I mean really dramatically) after some upgrades. 

Namely:

- Ifi Power Station (this device is a killer for the money)

- Wireworld Silver Electra power cables

- Wireworld Platinum Starlight Ethernet cable to connect the two speakers 

- Audioquest Diamond USB with Carbon DBS (...and Duracell batteries- a friend has insisted on this combination who claims that he can hear differences between different batteries brands....I don’t have a personal opinion but I am very pleased with the cable).

- the factory rubber feet were removed and adjustable spike cones are installed.

 

the sound is now very impressive and hard to believe 

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I use Cullen  power  cables and star sound spike cones.  You are right, the speakers do respond  well to small tweaks. 

 

Btw, in my other rig, i have audioquest cv8 72V  speaker cables and i agree  on the battery  choice  as well. I don't  know how to explain  how the battery  can make a difference  but it did.  

 

  Do you have a sub on them?  


Den: Kef LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Lumin D1, Cayin SCD50T, Jolida D9, Technics 1200, Denon DL160,

Livingroom: T+A PA1530 r Integrated Amplifier, PS Audio DSJ, Tyler Acoustics Highland H2, High Fidelity Cables. 

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16 minutes ago, erniejade said:

I use Cullen  power  cables and star sound spike cones.  You are right, the speakers do respond  well to small tweaks. 

 

Btw, in my other rig, i have audioquest cv8 72V  speaker cables and i agree  on the battery  choice  as well. I don't  know how to explain  how the battery  can make a difference  but it did.  

 

  Do you have a sub on them?  
 

I do, KEF KF92

 

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8 hours ago, Emm said:

I purchased, a week ago, a pair of LS50w mainly for my wife and kids (to keep them away from my main system).

The value for the price is impressive and the sound was dramatically improved (I mean really dramatically) after some upgrades. 

Namely:

- Ifi Power Station (this device is a killer for the money)

- Wireworld Silver Electra power cables

- Wireworld Platinum Starlight Ethernet cable to connect the two speakers 

- Audioquest Diamond USB with Carbon DBS (...and Duracell batteries- a friend has insisted on this combination who claims that he can hear differences between different batteries brands....I don’t have a personal opinion but I am very pleased with the cable).

- the factory rubber feet were removed and adjustable spike cones are installed.

 

the sound is now very impressive and hard to believe 

I am just amused by the irony of the fact that the "W" in LS50W stands for "Wireless". Just look at all of those wires you bought 😉. And , at prices in my country (UK), your upgrades would have cost more than the speakers did in the first place.

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33 minutes ago, PAR said:

I am just amused by the irony of the fact that the "W" in LS50W stands for "Wireless". Just look at all of those wires you bought 😉. And , at prices in my country (UK), your upgrades would have cost more than the speakers did in the first place.

That's why I named this thread "active". They aren't wireless like Dynaudios (obv need power cables)


Peach Audio Iso Transformer, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275 

Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, SVS SB13 Ultra x2, Dynaudio BM5A MKII

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On 9/18/2019 at 8:08 AM, wgb113 said:

Been away for a while - enjoying music and not worrying about gear!  Ran into an issue with my nearly 3yr old LS50Ws this past Monday.  Posted about it a couple of other places but figured I'd add it here as well:

 

First the stats:

  • Manufactured 11/2016
  • Running latest firmware.
  • Approx. 150 - 200 hours on them.

Was listening to albums for about 3 hours on Sunday and everything was perfectly fine. Went to listen to an album Monday night and about half a side in it sounded like the left (slave) speaker’s woofer stopped working.

Played through the rest of the side (was needledropping) and then switched to the Optical input to rule out the Turntable and Phono Preamp as the fault. Used a mono CD and confirmed it was an issue with the speaker.

 

Checked the firmware version, it was up to date.

 

Disconnected and reconnected all source connection and the speaker-to-speaker cable.

 

Performed a Reset which did not work.

 

Unplugged both speaker’s power cords for a minute and reconnected. Everything was working fine again…for about a minute.

 

Unplugged just the slave speaker’s power cord - did not work.

 

Unplugged just the master speaker’s power cord - sound came back as normal…for about a minute.

 

Contacted KEF USA and they requested I send the speakers back which I’m doing today.  I’m obviously well out of the curiously short 1 year warranty at this point which is my reason for updating this post - to see how they deal with out-of-warranty repairs. I agree with the earlier poster that suggested KEF should have simply extended the warranty on all LS50Ws within a given production batch to at least 5 years (the standard warranty on the much-less complex passive speakers). They could have saved a lot of the bad feeling that have resulted as well as the hesitation prospective buyers feel when they come across the issues that are being reported.

 

As a big KEF fan I’m hoping they’re able to fix my pair at no extra charge other than shipping. I love the LS50W as it seems to me to be the fully-realized version of what they intended the LS50 to be (I lived with the passives for close to 4 years). I really don’t want to have to start a new search at this point, even though there are more options now than there were 3 years ago.

I’ll report back in about a month (they quote a 3 week turnaround time to diagnose and repair).

 

Hang in there. I helped a friend set up her LSX's. I believe that KEF powered speakers are one of the best values in audio.

 

I had her download a trial version of Roon and within days she proceeded to purchase the lifetime license. Add in Qobuz and you can explore new music forever without filling your home with CD cases or buying music that you did not know that you did not like!



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:15 AM, mourip said:

 

Hang in there. I helped a friend set up her LSX's. I believe that KEF powered speakers are one of the best values in audio.

 

I had her download a trial version of Roon and within days she proceeded to purchase the lifetime license. Add in Qobuz and you can explore new music forever without filling your home with CD cases or buying music that you did not know that you did not like!

All is well - KEF fixed them well out of warranty and all I paid was return shipping to them.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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