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KEF ls50 and CA640A

njprrogers

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2015
28
5
10,545
Hi

I have the opportunity to pick up a pair of Kef LS50's second hand and have read that they are fussy enough with partnering equipment.

I currently have a Cambridge Audio 640A amplifier paired with a pair of B and W 685 S2's in my main living room. I'd be looking to upgrade the 685's.

There is a spec sheet here for the 640A https://www.cnet.com/products/cambridge-audio-azur-640a-amplifier/.

I've just upgraded my office with an Audiolab 6000A Play and B and W 606. I could possibly match the Audiolab with the Kefs as well although their 50 watts per channel may not be enough.

Might be tough to demo these for any period of time given social distancing etc.


Would love your thoughts!
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
671
289
11,270
Hi

I have the opportunity to pick up a pair of Kef LS50's second hand and have read that they are fussy enough with partnering equipment.

I currently have a Cambridge Audio 640A amplifier paired with a pair of B and W 685 S2's in my main living room. I'd be looking to upgrade the 685's.

There is a spec sheet here for the 640A https://www.cnet.com/products/cambridge-audio-azur-640a-amplifier/.

I've just upgraded my office with an Audiolab 6000A Play and B and W 606. I could possibly match the Audiolab with the Kefs as well although their 50 watts per channel may not be enough.

Might be tough to demo these for any period of time given social distancing etc.


Would love your thoughts!
personally I wouldn’t get the kefs unless you’re planning on upgrading the amp/s at some point. To get the best out of them you need an amp with a very very robust power supply. It’s not really about the watts.
 

njprrogers

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2015
28
5
10,545
I would possibly look at upgrading the CA over time... I've just shelled out on the Audiolab and the 606's for the office so there are budgetary constraints!

This is more of an opportunistic purchase, to be honest. I know with the right equipment, the LS50's are likely an upgrade on 685 S2's... which are great by the way, but the room is probably too big for them.

I am still tempted because I have a feeling that if I buy the LS50's I'll eventually end up buying a new amp. Incremental progress (or so I will be telling the wife).
 

Al ears

Moderator
If you can get them for a really good price then buy them. If they don't work then sell them on without loss.
I am a bit concerned when you say the room is too big for the 685s but you think the LS50 would be better in it.....
 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
671
289
11,270
I would possibly look at upgrading the CA over time... I've just shelled out on the Audiolab and the 606's for the office so there are budgetary constraints!

This is more of an opportunistic purchase, to be honest. I know with the right equipment, the LS50's are likely an upgrade on 685 S2's... which are great by the way, but the room is probably too big for them.

I am still tempted because I have a feeling that if I buy the LS50's I'll eventually end up buying a new amp. Incremental progress (or so I will be telling the wife).

If you have a plan for future purchases by all mean jump on them. But I echo Al ears concerns about room size they might be the wrong speakers for the job
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
837
176
19,070
If you can get them for a really good price then buy them. If they don't work then sell them on without loss.
I am a bit concerned when you say the room is too big for the 685s but you think the LS50 would be better in it.....
The LS50 could work in a smaller room, it’s not really fussy about placement. But yes he’d need a better amp to beat the sound of the 685s. I would suggest to the OP to reasses.
 
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RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
51
17
45
Some people have used very expensive amplifiers and were never happy with their LS50's. When they tried the powered ones that changed.

It's all subjective and difficult to assess from quotes but looking at the many YouTube contributions it's probably fair to say an at least very decent amplifier is needed to get the most from those speakers.

It may not all be purely money related though. Darko Audio seemed to like the combination of a 'lowly' NAD 316BEE with the LS50 though that is with the newer Meta.

Still, electrically they are largely the same as the original with slightly more refinement in the highs so I would not expect a night and day difference.

Whether your Audiolab or CA are good matches I can't say or predict.
 

njprrogers

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2015
28
5
10,545
Right! You've convinced me that it's not the right move for now... I'm in Dublin and since Brexit the used market in Britain is out of the equation with customs and taxes. I got over excited at the novelty of seeing a quality item locally.

I am loving my audiolab and 606's in my office. The sound quality is far superior than that from the CA and 685 S2.

My next purchase is going to be to replace the amp.

Cheers for the feedback!
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
837
176
19,070
Some people have used very expensive amplifiers and were never happy with their LS50's. When they tried the powered ones that changed.

It's all subjective and difficult to assess from quotes but looking at the many YouTube contributions it's probably fair to say an at least very decent amplifier is needed to get the most from those speakers.

It may not all be purely money related though. Darko Audio seemed to like the combination of a 'lowly' NAD 316BEE with the LS50 though that is with the newer Meta.

Still, electrically they are largely the same as the original with slightly more refinement in the highs so I would not expect a night and day difference.

Whether your Audiolab or CA are good matches I can't say or predict.
Zero Fidelity seemed to suggest the LS50 Metas are a bit easier to drive.
 

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