Ae1 vs LS-50

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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Whathifi have just today released the review of the actives AE1's but are they better than the kef LS-50?

Haven't heard them, had i to choose one of them i wouldn't know what to get, some say the ae1's sounds best

What do you think https://www.whathifi.com/acoustic-energy/ae1-active/review

https://www.whathifi.com/kef/ls50/review

Im not upgrading speakers, i just wanna start a debat,discussion about which one is the best, you do on whathifi talk alot about the AE1's and the passive kef's are as fare as i know one of the best passive speakers for under £1000 (regardless of size)

Not shure if it's a fair comparison since the expensive one (£1000) is active speakers and the cheapest one is passive and not by much(£800) the active wireless ls-50 are £2000.
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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gasolin said:
Whathifi have just today released the review of the actives AE1's but are they better than the kef LS-50?

Haven't heard them, had i to choose one of them i wouldn't know what to get, some say the ae1's sounds best

What do you think https://www.whathifi.com/acoustic-energy/ae1-active/review

https://www.whathifi.com/kef/ls50/review

Im not upgrading speakers, i just wanna start a debat,discussion about which one is the best, you do on whathifi talk alot about the AE1's and the passive kef's are as fare as i know one of the best passive speakers for under £1000 (regardless of size)

Not shure if it's a fair comparison since the expensive one (£1000) is active speakers and the cheapest one is passive and not by much(£800)  the active wireless ls-50 are £2000.
They are two different types of products/features and can't be directly comparable like that but as for sheer sound quality no one can say which is best as it's down to preference.
I wouldn't worry what whathifi think anyway.
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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They are quite different as actives, not just due to the price so much as design decisions.

I’ve heard both in show settings, and both sounded terrific. For me the KEFs were more startlingly good but they had a much better room and source.

The AE are more domestically acceptable, and perhaps slightly more traditional in sound. I’d happily live with either were I to be starting over, though if ATC actives were on offer then they’d be my top choice.
 

gasolin

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The only 200 pound amp i can think of is some nad 3020, mabye the old one or one of the newer versions, i remember that someone (mabye in the review), mentions the nad D3020 sounding very good with the LS-50's but needed a bit more power.
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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gasolin said:
The only 200 pound amp i can think of is some nad 3020, mabye the old one or one of the newer versions, i remember that someone (mabye in the review), mentions the nad D3020 sounding very good with the LS-50's but needed a bit more power.
[/quote

Even my bluesound powernode was used with a LS50 + Rel T series sub's , crossed over at 80hz with apparently very good results.
 

gasolin

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insider9 said:
Was I ever to downsize or get a pair of standmounts for second system AE1a would be one of the first on demo list.
Also over the adam artist 5 for 400 bucks? https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/adam-active-bargain
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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I still believe the AE1's will out gun the kef ls50's due to their active design and amp+driver synergy. Not to mention no crossover distortion and phase shifts.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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Not heard the AEactives but for what it's worth, Kef's wireless sound magnificent.

You will most likely want to add a preamp to the AE's which could bump up the price substantially.
 

Pedro2

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Nov 29, 2010
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A fairer comparison would be the AE alongside the LS50 wireless although the latter includes a DAC and other additional features. As I was happy with my streamer/pre amp, I therefore didn’t need/want the KEFs additional functionality.

The review does capture the open honesty of the AE1a as well as its beguiling nature. Put simply, it’s a speaker that is hard to switch off. The music is aloud to shine and the equipment gets out of the way. Having said that, to get the most out of them, you need to feed them via a decent source.

I think that the passive LS50 could hold their own with suitable quality amplification but this usually comes at a price. Again, it would also come down to personal preference.
 
There are no £200 amplifiers that are going to do justice to LS50s, so to answer the question directly, the active AE1s will come out on top.

The Cyrus One is my minimum recommendation to start doing the LS50s any justice, making it a £1500 combination. Worth the extra £500 over the AE? Only you can decide. For that you get more inputs plus a phone stage and Bluetooth. Adding some sort of source to the AEs would bring them closer to this price anyway.

Many will say the actives will be superior full stop due to the very nature of actives, and to a point, they’d be right. The LS50s have their strong points too though in the shape of the UniQ design, which doesn’t produce a different sound or any negative effects when lying on its side, isn’t as critical with regards to elevation when sitting close to the speaker (because the HF and LF aren’t separated), and more even dispersion due to the point source approach. Their even dispersion helps reduce HF reflection in sparsely furnished rooms.
 

Andrewjvt

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chebby said:
I would be very tempted by the ‘Piano Cherry’ real wood veneer versions.

According to AE they have ... “ Slim magnetic fit clothe grilles”, so domestic compatibility ensured in this household :)
Here
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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I would be very tempted by the ‘Piano Cherry’ real wood veneer versions.

According to AE they have ... “ Slim magnetic fit clothe grilles”, so domestic compatibility ensured in this household :)

I have never like the look of the KEFs with their disposable foil ashtray aesthetic (and no grilles)...

KEF driver ...



Disposable ashtray ...

 

Frank Harvey

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As others have said the LS50's with a £200 amp isn't going to be well driven and you won't be getting anywhere near the capabilities of those speakers.
 

MajorFubar

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davidf said:
Bloody images on this site - it should be so simple...
It is really, you just have to find somewhere that hosts them for you. I can highly recommend postimage.org.
 
MajorFubar said:
It is really, you just have to find somewhere that hosts them for you. I can highly recommend postimage.org.
Most forums you have a few options of how to post images - I’m not faffing around saving the image to my iPad, then to Flickr, then sorting the right size, then c+p. Should just be able to just c+p and be done with it. Oddly though, I’ve done that once or twice and it’s worked.
 

drummerman

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Frank Harvey said:
As others have said the LS50's with a £200 amp isn't going to be well driven and you won't be getting anywhere near the capabilities of those speakers.
I am pretty set on the wireless. I just don't like any of the colour schemes.

Would an H90 drive the LS50 (black Edition!)
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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In my admittedly modest experience of the LS50, I would suggest that the speaker setup will be far more important than the differences between good amplifiers. Sure, a big Hegel or Electro would probably lift the performance significantly, I am a believer in the need for really good amplification, but given the somewhat mercurial nature of the LS50 this will only be really important in a very well setup system.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I have yet to hear LS50s in a shop environment sound anything other than distinctly average even though the partnering equipment has, on occasion, been exemplory. I find this very offputting, I no longer live in a world where I am prepared to allow my speakers to totally dominate my room, so speaker systems that are that critical in terms of positioning and setup are not what I would choose to live with.

Obviously you will have your own views and your own way of doing things but in general I would say this, if you are prepared to get the speakers into optimum position in your room and spend a lot of time getting them 'right', then go for it. If your setup is rather less than optimum, then you might find yourself in the position that the system sounds great in some ways but falls apart badly in others.

This is to my mind the worse possible outcome, glimpses of superb performance one minute and frustratingly average sound the rest of the time, I've been there and it drove me to distraction!

Sorry for the long post, but I was in the mood to offer a genuinely considered opininion, for once...*smile*
 

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