Best amp for my scenario (with KEF LS50 speakers)?

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Well-known member
Nov 7, 2012
Open to all options really. Just learning.
Last year I auditioned LS 50 with NAD (in the range of 1500 eur max), and after some time, with HEGEL 90 (same dealer, same sources): NAD sounded maybe a little more fun, but HEGEL more composed and maybe better long-term solution. Both amps detailed, good imaging, involving.
As to "all options really", I auditioned it on both occassions against KEF R3, which was my primary interest. Room largish (4,5 x 6 meters, cca 2,8 meters ceilings), same amps and sources, speakers placed on the shorter side. In my opinion, R3 was more detailed, less congested when pushed and as good in imaging. Definitely worth more than its price difference compared to LS 50, in those conditions.
You should check re. network/digital capabilites of those amps, analogue was good.
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Active member
Jan 5, 2021
For what it's worth... I have the KEF LS50s with: Marantz PM15s2 amplifier and Marantz SA15s2 SACD player (which I use in DAC mode). I use a custom DC filter, Ecosse MS 5.5 Bi-wire speaker cables, and Ecosse 'the composer' interconnects. Speakers are on Iso Acoustics Aperta AP155 Speaker Isolation bases.

Input is via a Sonos ZP80 without compression (connected to SA15s2 DAC via optical cable). I use Tidal HiFi for streaming in 'master' mode.

I think the room and positioning of these speakers makes a big difference. I moved house recently, and these were in a ~5m x 5m room on SolidSteel SS-6 stands with around 15 degrees of toe-in. The room had a wood floor, no rugs, but a few soft furnishings and a couple of blinds. They sounded fantastic in that room (or at least I thought they did). I now have them in a ~7m x 7m room, with carpet and more in the way of soft furnishings, and I think they sound even better -- even though I no longer have them on the SS stands (as I now have a small child and needed to put them out of reach).

I am of course biassed, but I've auditioned a lot of different amps and setups. For me, this is the perfect combination for the LS50s. But it's also a matter of personal preference, and -- I think -- also depends on the type of music you want to listen to (and the quality of the recording, among so many other things). You have to go with your gut and your heart. When you hear them purr, and you hit that sweet-spot, you'll know.

Hope that helps.
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Well-known member
Dec 24, 2008
You seem to intend to send music to the system via Ethernet. While you can do this, please understand that very few stereo amps have Ethernet capability. Ethernet is used by computers and streamers generally.
Assuming that your music is in the form of ripped files on your computer, you will have more options if you send the digital signal via optical, which will still require a DAC, either standalone or built in to the amp, which is a much more common input nowadays on amps.
If you want/need the music to be multiroom, then you will need a streamer also, and as a rule these work best if you stick to the same make or system - you can’t sync Sonos and bluesound to play the same music for instance

I do wonder if the LSX would be a better fit for you tbh


Feb 8, 2021
“Give them a lot of Power” they all say. !!!

I own a pair of LS50 black edition, and they have never sounded better than now - driven by a Vincent SV-200 rated 2 X 25 Watt in 8 ohm.

a long story short, its not just about the Watt, its also the transformer in combination with current etc etc etc..

This comb is a killer ;)


Sep 12, 2020
Hello! We are new to all of this but just purchased the KEF LS50 wired speakers after hearing them at a friends. We need to purchase a new amplifier to go along with them. We will be using only ethernet (no WIFI), mostly powered from our iMac in our relatively small living room. Can you all recommend an amplifier within a <$1500 budget? Capability to expand the setup in the future would be nice.
Thank you so much.
Arcam SA20 you going to love the sound



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