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Active Kef LS50

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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.
I do not recall anything specific but they said that this part of the app was under development at the time. That was back in September at CEDIA and prior to the public announcement of the product.

 

The Active KEF's are for stereo only, not HT according to KEF.
At the moment. The prototype app did include reference to multichannel applications and I was assured that, eventually, it would be implemented

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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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.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00S5STXLQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1482369844&sr=8-3&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=WinBook&dpPl=1&dpID=51mW5DsdTIL&ref=plSrch

 

 

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Product of the year for DARKO, he loves them:

KEF LS50 Wireless review & DAR's Product of the Year 2016 | DAR__KO


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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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.

 

I would consider the option of using a Raspberry pi3 with Moode Audio as a source.

Very small size, very low power consumption, very high sound quality up to 24/96 (is 24/192 a real must? A real improvement? Not in my experience YMMV)...and very low cost!

Pur your digital music either on a USB disk or even on a USB key, depending on "how big" the size you need.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Product of the year for DARKO, he loves them:

KEF LS50 Wireless review & DAR's Product of the Year 2016 | DAR__KO

Hm.. I think what the (passive) KEF LS50s need is a good sub-woofer (filtered at ~80Hz), not bi-amping and DSP. And I'm quite sure I'll miss my Schiit multibit DAC.. ;)


Current system: MacMini/PC  >> Schiit Eitr (with Uptone Audio LPS-1, for 5V USB power) >>  RME ADI-2 DAC (with Zerozone 12V linear power supply) >>  Xkitz Electronics XOVER-2, 100Hz active crossover (with Zerozone 17.5V linear power supply + LDOVR LT3045-A, ultra-low noise 15V voltage regulator) >> Schiit Vidar stereo power amp to KEF LS50 speakers + Sunfire HRS12/HRS8 active subwoofer. Cables used: Canare star quad speaker cables; AQ Cinnamon USB; AQ Big Sur & Schiit Pyst RCA; Supra CAT8 ethernet cable (with JSSG) for low voltage DC power; unknown coaxial cables; standard mains power cables (with Airlink BPS1502EU, 1500VA, balanced, mains isolation transformer).

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Hm.. I think what the (passive) KEF LS50s need is a good sub-woofer (filtered at ~80Hz), not bi-amping and DSP. And I'm quite sure I'll miss my Schiit multibit DAC.. ;)

 

How do those things hurt?

 

Internal amplifiers each one designed to match it's driver; DSP in this case means the drivers are controlled so the don't distort, and have more extended performance.

 

As far as a sub, in the Wireless you get a built in digital crossover to the sub.

 

All of the above means optimal performance of the speaker and better integration with the sub.

 

What you wrote sounds like old fashioned audiophile prejudice.

 

Note that Darko directly compared the two models and said the wireless sounds better.

 

Audiophiles need to listen with their ears, and not prejudge equipment based on some set of "laws" about what "must" sound good and what "must" not.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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How do those things hurt?

 

Internal amplifiers each one designed to match it's driver; DSP in this case means the drivers are controlled so the don't distort, and have more extended performance.

 

As far as a sub, in the Wireless you get a built in digital crossover to the sub.

 

All of the above means optimal performance of the speaker and better integration with the sub.

 

What you wrote sounds like old fashioned audiophile prejudice.

 

Note that Darko directly compared the two models and said the wireless sounds better.

 

Audiophiles need to listen with their ears, and not prejudge equipment based on some set of "laws" about what "must" sound good and what "must" not.

Well, of course you're right, I'll listen to the actives as soon as I have the opportunity. Until then I remain skeptical about these 'tailor made' amps and digital cross-overs. In my experience mid/high integration (time alignment?) is not a problem of the passive LS50s and Darko didn't explicitely mention a significant improvement of imaging or soundstage with the actives. In this respect a well-designed passive cross-over and a single amp might even be preferable. And the perceived SQ difference may be (largely) caused by Darko's Peachtree Nova amp/DAC. But we'll see.. :)


Current system: MacMini/PC  >> Schiit Eitr (with Uptone Audio LPS-1, for 5V USB power) >>  RME ADI-2 DAC (with Zerozone 12V linear power supply) >>  Xkitz Electronics XOVER-2, 100Hz active crossover (with Zerozone 17.5V linear power supply + LDOVR LT3045-A, ultra-low noise 15V voltage regulator) >> Schiit Vidar stereo power amp to KEF LS50 speakers + Sunfire HRS12/HRS8 active subwoofer. Cables used: Canare star quad speaker cables; AQ Cinnamon USB; AQ Big Sur & Schiit Pyst RCA; Supra CAT8 ethernet cable (with JSSG) for low voltage DC power; unknown coaxial cables; standard mains power cables (with Airlink BPS1502EU, 1500VA, balanced, mains isolation transformer).

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Audiophiles need to listen with their ears, and not prejudge equipment based on some set of "laws" about what "must" sound good and what "must" not.

 

You're going to kill this whole forum!


"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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I need to downsize my stereo system as I move into another house and need something out of the way and smaller than my dual mono amps, dac, computer, and floor standing speakers. These look ideal. Does KEF make a sub to use with them?

 

Sent from my SM-T350 using Computer Audiophile mobile app


Roon ->allo Sparky-USBridge w/ SBooster 5V LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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I need to downsize my stereo system as I move into another house and need something out of the way and smaller than my dual mono amps, dac, computer, and floor standing speakers. These look ideal. Does KEF make a sub to use with them?

 

 

Sent from my SM-T350 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

AFAIK, no special sub for them. Ask the dealer. Barring that there are lots to choose from.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Is there an easy way to get the subs connected wirelessly (with low enough latency to make integration relatively easy)?

 

I've got a few locations where these might work well.


Roon + HQ Player; MSB Platinum DAC; Pro Audio Technology 2115sm active speakers and amps plus four 15" subs; Lumagen Radiance video processor; Wolf Ref 700 projector; Kii3 + Control in another room; Accourate, Trinnov and similar room correction

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Owned passive KEF LS50's. Those speakers at their best with great amplifier match. Was set to drop green on Active LS50's thinking who but KEF could match amp stage with their speaker design? Learned soon after KEF Active announcement they would be limited by their internal Dac. If user has high percentage of digital files in DSD and 192 PCM it's a poor choice requiring external Dac to get around and that means more expense. Same frustration using wireless headphones wirelessly these days. For most part DSD is out and PCM resolution tops at 92 kHz with rare exceptions. Where for art thou wireless headphones and active speakers that can do DSD and highest resolution PCM in age of space shuttles, face transplants, gene editing and 3-D printing? If Bluetooth is bottleneck, lets get 2017 protocol that can get it done. No reason to live in past decade, and what's up with ancient 3.5mm jacks when there are better choices. Thank goodness for USB-C. At least there's hope.

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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Having the analogue inputs digitize the signal means you cannot use an external dac with these speakers . The lack of functionality is a deal breaker for me . I would want to use external dacs for flexibility . I think this was a bad decision by kef .

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Having the analogue inputs digitize the signal means you cannot use an external dac with these speakers . The lack of functionality is a deal breaker for me . I would want to use external dacs for flexibility . I think this was a bad decision by kef .
I think it wise and necessary. The essential DSP requires a digital signal.

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Having the analogue inputs digitize the signal means you cannot use an external dac with these speakers . The lack of functionality is a deal breaker for me . I would want to use external dacs for flexibility . I think this was a bad decision by kef .

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

There are other active speakers available if you are shopping. Klipsch just showed off some active floorstanders with 15 inch woofers ar CES for around $3K. Dynaudio Xeo 2 win What HiFi active speaker os the year,

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Is there an easy way to get the subs connected wirelessly (with low enough latency to make integration relatively easy)?

 

I've got a few locations where these might work well.

 

Go to Parts Express and get the wireless connector by Dayton, works great for me.

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I was going to get the new Kef LS50 Wireless, but I canceled my order when I read that they do not play gapless. Then I was told by Kef that the speakers will do gapless. Apparently the problem is that with some wireless setups for streaming, the speakers will not do gapless. Insert a device that I don't have, and gapless works with wireless. I read that some people found, however, that the use of gapless causes problems with these new speakers.

 

I would use cables connected directly to my computer and sub, not wireless, and Kef said with that setup gapless works.

 

Then I found out that the new LS50 Wireless speakers will not come of sleep mode automatically. Wake requires tapping a button on top of the speaker or the remote. No way would I have the patience for that. And I read that there is no easy sleep/wake workaround with these speakers (no switch or option). I read that Kef has drivers available by request to defeat the sleep function for Kef Egg speakers, and so maybe that would be worth asking Kef about for the new LS50 speakers.

 

I din't want to risk $2,200 on the new Kef LS50 Wireless speakers with these apparent dealbreaker issues. So, I got the $1,600 Dynaudio Excite 14A active speakers instead. Very pleased. Gapless and sleep/wake work perfectly.

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I was going to get the new Kef LS50 Wireless, but I canceled my order when I read that they do not play gapless. Then I was told by Kef that the speakers will do gapless. Apparently the problem is that with some wireless setups for streaming, the speakers will not do gapless. Insert a device that I don't have, and gapless works with wireless. I read that some people found, however, that the use of gapless causes problems with these new speakers.

 

I would use cables connected directly to my computer and sub, not wireless, and Kef said with that setup gapless works.

 

Then I found out that the new LS50 Wireless speakers will not come of sleep mode automatically. Wake requires tapping a button on top of the speaker or the remote. No way would I have the patience for that. And I read that there is no easy sleep/wake workaround with these speakers (no switch or option). I read that Kef has drivers available by request to defeat the sleep function for Kef Egg speakers, and so maybe that would be worth asking Kef about for the new LS50 speakers.

 

I din't want to risk $2,200 on the new Kef LS50 Wireless speakers with these apparent dealbreaker issues. So, I got the $1,600 Dynaudio Excite 14A active speakers instead. Very pleased. Gapless and sleep/wake work perfectly.

 

Interesting. How do you compare the sound quality of Dynaudio Excite 14A with that of KEF LS50 wireless?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Umetaro, Tokyo, Japan

Dela(Melco)N1A/2012 i5 Mac Mini with 16GB memory - Audirvana/Pure Music/Amarra/JRMC - Devialet 800 - Wilson Audio Sasha

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Interesting. How do you compare the sound quality of Dynaudio Excite 14A with that of KEF LS50 wireless?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

I did not get the LS50 speakers. All I "know" about the LS50 Wireless is what I have read from people who have them. I got the Dynaudio instead.

 

I have read that the new LS50 Wireless are so good they are magical in sound quality. I also read that the older passive version is not good with rock. I would have purchased the new wireless version, but the problems were dealbreakers.

 

I am pleased with sound from the Dynaudio Excite 14A. They can play very loudly, although I only run them at 32 to 40 percent volume for the nearfield at around six feet which is loud at that distance. They sound good at lower volumes, too. I am using JRiver, and the sound is full bodied with plenty of detail. And they do handle all kinds of music well, including rock. The Jitterbug, without the Dragontail extender, helps. I also have an SVS sealed sub. Biosphere, Kemper Norton, Banco de Gaia, and the Future Sound of London all sound spectacular with this set up now that burn in has progressed, with spooky good midrange and vocals. I am listening to Kemper Norton's Salvaged album, and the sound sends chills and made me think "wow!" I suppose some folks would want more slam with some kinds of music, but I am pleased.

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I think this is a fantastic product, and definitely the wave of the future for what we might call the "mainstream audiophile" market (if that phrase is not an oxymoron!).

 

Building customized amps into the speakers is IMHO a fantastic idea, especially since they've amped each driver separately, and even done so with a different type of amp to really maximize the cost/benefit and performance (Class D for the woofer, Class A/B for the tweeter).

 

The 2nd piece, integrating the DAC, of course makes great sense because it allows the DAC, crossover, and DSP to be collapsed into a single unit and more or less a single processing step all in the digital domain.

 

The issue everyone's concerned about won't really be settled, again IMHO, until these speakers have been out for a few months and we see what, if any, firmware updates KEF pushes out. If we see one or two FW updates with notices like, "improves gapless performance with certain streaming devices," or, "adds support for additional file formats and resolutions," then I think most of the concerns will be allayed. If, however, they just stand pat on the device's digital capabilities - or if it becomes clear that their implementation leaves no room for software/firmware-based upgrades to the capabilities of the DAC - then I think that will be cause for some concern.

 

Wouldn't it be fantastic, though, if KEF took the Schiit approach and made the DAC a modular piece that you could swap with an upgraded unit in the future?

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OK so I just auditioned them...and I love 'em!

 

Great price, great sound, great convenience. For European in apartments, its almost PERFECT. For you yanks with tons of retail space in your home, this is an ideal 2nd system that is gentle enough on the pockets.

 

The new little active KEF should sell like hot cakes to the audiophile crowd living in condos in the big cities. It is the Phantom Killer. White, piano black and titanium are the colour choices. I demed the black.

 

They dont take up much space, play to 106 dB without subwoofer (only needed for bassheads and HT...not for normal listening...I checked with some deep plumbing organ music).

 

No DSD is NOT a deal-killing drawback as you can wifi or USB connect your laptop and with HQP/JRiver convert on the fly to PCM 24/192. The elegance and simplicity of the setup makes up for this minor shortfall.

 

Careful though, this may make you less audiophile and more musicophile given the turnkey nature of this beast! LoL

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I sat in a near field position as the loudspeaker postioning was not great. They sat beside some average size floorstanders and the dealer gentleman didnt want to move too much stuff around. Originally the speakers were about 5 feet apart and he moved them closer to 6ft apart, but almost touching the floorstanders. Despite this, the imaginging was exemplary and the tweeter beats the upgraded one in the Phantom Gold. Very coherent sound, but you would expect this from a standmount, and this is a VERY good one.

 

The music selection were from 3 of my system demo albums. Markus Miller/Kodo Giant drums, Mussorgsky Gnomus, Fairfiled 4 Swing Low, Lofgren Keith dont go, Ozone Percussion Group, Diana Krall - Case of you, etc, were just some of the cuts played. All was done via digital out optical connection from a Cambridge Audio spinner (they only had Ethernet setup there, no wifi).

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I realize this was not the purpose of the Kef wireless but I would have bought a pair if the analog inputs allowed use of other dacs and didn't digitize the signal and use the Kef speaker Dac . I like flexibility .

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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