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Powered KEF LS50's Anyone?


Gary.D.Olson
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You have to give them credit. KEF designed the LS50's to be the ultimate Wife AND Audiophile Approved speaker, and they nailed it. That alone was brilliant, but then they let it fester on the market long enough for us to understand that sonic nirvana will require the right amplification which can be tricky and expensive to find.

 

Tomorrow, KEF releases an Active version taking the guess work of proper amplification out of the equation. At only $700 more than the passive version, this alone is a bargain, but they've also added a no-tinkering-required high resolution streaming solution, and it works with or without wires! All you need is an iDevice, digital library, and a glass of your favorite adult beverage.

 

KEF will make a fortune on these and they deserve every penny.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KEF-LS50-Wireless-Speaker-Copper/dp/B01M65KZ5Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1477860734&sr=1-2&keywords=active+speaker

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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I think they hit the target but missed the bullseye. The way these are designed they are for stereo use only. I would prefer to use them in a 5.1 or 9.1 configuration.

 

Home Theater & multi-channel audio may be the next & final phase in KEF's plan to rule the world.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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You have to give them credit. KEF designed the LS50's to be the ultimate Wife AND Audiophile Approved speaker, and they nailed it. That alone was brilliant, but then they let it fester on the market long enough for us to understand that sonic nirvana will require the right amplification which can be tricky and expensive to find.

 

Tomorrow, KEF releases an Active version taking the guess work of proper amplification out of the equation. At only $700 more than the passive version, this alone is a bargain, but they've also added a no-tinkering-required high resolution streaming solution, and it works with or without wires! All you need is an iDevice, digital library, and a glass of your favorite adult beverage.

 

KEF will make a fortune on these and they deserve every penny.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KEF-LS50-Wireless-Speaker-Copper/dp/B01M65KZ5Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1477860734&sr=1-2&keywords=active+speaker

 

They might make it difficult to add a subwoofer, which they DO need.

George

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They might make it difficult to add a subwoofer, which they DO need.

 

KEF's own description:

"Should you be after additional bass, the LS50 Wireless allows the option to output to an external subwoofer. Frequency crossover points can be set via the LS50 Wireless app."

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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KEF's own description:

"Should you be after additional bass, the LS50 Wireless allows the option to output to an external subwoofer. Frequency crossover points can be set via the LS50 Wireless app."

Excellent! Thanks for posting that. Does KEF have a matching sub that they recommend?

George

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Excellent! Thanks for posting that. Does KEF have a matching sub that they recommend?

 

None that I'm aware of. Neither their product information sheet or quick start guide mention any specific subwoofer model/s.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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There is a full and excellent review on Darko site. They are superb and as a standard LS50 owner I have been following with interest. The only wrinkle is that there is no way to use an external DAC so you have to go all-in with the KEF solution. Apparently some issues still with gapless streaming but all likely to be resolved.

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  • 1 month later...

My pair arrived this week and they've improved over the passive version in every way, particularly the bass. Curious as to how they've managed to take this already excellent speaker further. Is it simply the complete control over the driver with custom amplification? Is there some DSP/EQ magic going on? Have any of the "standard" parts been improved/optimized? A little bit of all of the above coming together? I mean, it extends a full 20Hz lower! They sound absolutely fantastic (so far).

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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My pair arrived this week and they've improved over the passive version in every way, particularly the bass. Curious as to how they've managed to take this already excellent speaker further. Is it simply the complete control over the driver with custom amplification? Is there some DSP/EQ magic going on? Have any of the "standard" parts been improved/optimized? A little bit of all of the above coming together? I mean, it extends a full 20Hz lower! They sound absolutely fantastic (so far).

 

How do you think they compare to the B&W 805 / McIntosh integrated amp combo you have in your signature?

David

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My pair arrived this week and they've improved over the passive version in every way, particularly the bass. Curious as to how they've managed to take this already excellent speaker further. Is it simply the complete control over the driver with custom amplification? Is there some DSP/EQ magic going on? Have any of the "standard" parts been improved/optimized? A little bit of all of the above coming together? I mean, it extends a full 20Hz lower! They sound absolutely fantastic (so far).

 

Totally agree. Next time I am in Chester PA, we must link up!

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My pair arrived this week and they've improved over the passive version in every way, particularly the bass. Curious as to how they've managed to take this already excellent speaker further. Is it simply the complete control over the driver with custom amplification? Is there some DSP/EQ magic going on? Have any of the "standard" parts been improved/optimized? A little bit of all of the above coming together? I mean, it extends a full 20Hz lower! They sound absolutely fantastic (so far).

 

Congrats on your successful score.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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How do you think they compare to the B&W 805 / McIntosh integrated amp combo you have in your signature?

In MY setup - better. My room is small so nearfield is a must. The N805s are no slouch and pair nicely with the McIntosh but it felt like the drivers never quite came together before reaching my ears. Being seated at the center of the woofer height-wise probably didn't help.

They also sound much better than the passive LS50s I had partnered with this McIntosh for over three years prior to bring the B&Ws in house last spring.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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