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KEF ls50 - Highly Recommended

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
After a year of reading coutless speaker reviews and seeking advice from forum members I finally went for the KEF ls50.

I demoed a pair for literally 10 mins and loved the sound - detailed, smooth and great bass without being overbearing. On my journey I listened to:

KEF r300
PMC 21, 23, GB1i
Roksan TR5
Neat (sound mount - forgot the model)
B&W pm1

For the money, the KEF's will be difficult to beat and I couldnt justify spending an extra £1600 on the B&Ws (inc stands).... I wasnt convinced I would be getting anything extra.

They sound even better at home and they havent even been broken in yet .... my music sounds tighter, faster and fun.

I'll enjoy the KEFs for a while before I think about upgrading the amp.

These speakers should be on everyones audition list if they are after a pair of standmounters under £1000 .... I wouldnt be surprised if KEF increased the price.

Cheers,
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Kubs said:
I wouldnt be surprised if KEF increased the price. Cheers,
If from a manufacturing point of view KEF would've needed them to be more expensive, I don't think we'd have seen them launch at £800/pair. I dare say KEF could quite easily have commanded a higher price has they wanted to.

Enjoy :)
 

gregvet

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2008
126
7
18,595
I haveny heard the Kef LS50's yet, but I am going to have to give them a demo and find out for myself what all the fuss is about!

We are in the process of buying a new flat, and our bedroom is going to effectively double in size. My bedroom system currently consists of a Cyrus 8xpd qx and Spendor SA1's, and I love the combo. I am a little worried tho that the little Spendors will be overwhelmed in the new room.

Has anyone done a direct comparison between the Spendor SA1's and the Kef LS50's? And how would the little KEF's cope in a bigger room (20' x 18' to be precise!). I know that i will need to wait untill we are in to really know if I even need to think about changing the speakers, but there is no harm in planning ahead!

Thanks guys
 

Rethep

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
15
0
18,520
@Kubs:

Sorry to say, but i think it is really stupid of you to suggest an increase of price! Which is what you do. Especially because you already have the speakers! Put your enthousiams in listening please, and not in these sayings.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Rethep said:
@Kubs:

Sorry to say, but i think it is really stupid of you to suggest an increase of price! Which is what you do. Especially because you already have the speakers! Put your enthousiams in listening please, and not in these sayings.
I wouldn't worry about it, he's just expressing his opinion. KEF did some listening tests and many listeners guessed that they were priced between £1500-2000. I'm sure if they wanted to out the price up, they'd have done that before they released them. They didn't :)
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
@Rethep

Calling me stupid a little harsh - I was merely trying to express how good the speakers are for the price.

BTW, the correct spelling of ‘enthusiasm’

@David Frank Harvey Hi Fi

Thanks for backing me up!
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
4
18,895
I really like these speakers too. I'd love to have a pair however the specs kind of turn me off. They list the low end (-3db) at 79hz. I know these are just small stand mounters, but most speakers this size get into the mid 50's at least. I've not heard them, but wouldn't these sound rather anemic without more support in the lower frequencies? Maybe not since specs can be very deceptive. But it's a concern. Please post what they sound like when you get them. :)
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
jaxwired said:
I've not heard them, but wouldn't these sound rather anemic without more support in the lower frequencies? Maybe not since specs can be very deceptive.
They won't produce the depth of a floorstander, but their balance is far from anemic - grab a listen if you can :)
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
Hi Jaxwired

I have them at home now running in.

If you can, go and listen - you will not be disappointed. To my ears (and going from memory) they sound similar to the B&W PM1s.

Put it this way, they put a smile on my face when I listen to them: smooth, detailed, great imaging, music sounds more full bodied and powerful (compared to my Quad 12L).
 

Rethep

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
15
0
18,520
Kubs said:
@Rethep Calling me stupid a little harsh - I was merely trying to express how good the speakers are for the price. BTW, the correct spelling of ‘enthusiasm’ @David Frank Harvey Hi Fi Thanks for backing me up!
Apologize. I did not mean it for you as a person, but only for your saying. Some people kind of rant when enthusiast (good spelling now ?) but should never invite manufacturers to ask more, i.m.o.. Especially not during economical crisis.
 

g777o

New member
Mar 12, 2012
10
0
0
How would you compare the sound of the LS50's to 685's, I haven't had mine long, but fear an audition of these would make my Bowers sound bad! .....

Would love to have a listen, are there any dealers in the London North/Herts area that allow home auditions?
 

Rethep

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
15
0
18,520
I don't know your 685's but i expect them to give more stronger and deeper bass. But the "disappearing effect", the sound the LS50's have, can't be denied!
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
g777o said:
How would you compare the sound of the LS50's to 685's, I haven't had mine long, but fear an audition of these would make my Bowers sound bad! .....
Hi g777o

I used to sell Rotel's RC-995 and RB-991 and if you're considering alternative speakers then i'll highy recommend also looking at ATC's SCM11 monitors. Fwiw, i've got clients who used RB991 + 685's and both upgraded to SCM11 monitors. RB-991 works a treat with SCM11 monitors :rockout:

Btw, the RC-995 is also an excellent pre amplifier :)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
I'm sorry, but I can't ignore this any longer.

Rick - I do find it amazing how you seem to have what must be millions of clients all using every possible combination of products you've ever sold or heard of, regardless of how odd, mismatched, or rare the products.

I don't care what flack I'll get for that, I just needed to get that out there.
 

NHL

New member
Nov 12, 2009
83
0
0
The new

KEF X300A Powered Speaker

also seems to be of interest.

Active with async DAC, perfect for a computer in the kitchen or computer in the bedroom system.
 

fayeanddavid

New member
May 27, 2009
191
0
0
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Mine turn up today - can't wait to get home and get them set up :)
Yes, and as mentioned elsewhere, looking froward to your initial thoughts and then when they are fully run in.

Should be very interesting..................
 

g777o

New member
Mar 12, 2012
10
0
0
Hi Rick,

Thankyou for your suggestion.

I did look into the SCM11's and wondered if they would be a good match, seems that they do thrive on power, of which my power amp has in heaps. I notice that they come up for sale regularly second hand as they are like the 685's, an older but multi award winning speaker.

I would still like the try the LS50's though, it's sometimes difficult to know unless you hear speakers for yourself, KEF have certainly marketed them very well, as they did with the Q300's which I didn't rate compared to the 685's.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
fayeanddavid said:
Yes, and as mentioned elsewhere, looking froward to your initial thoughts and then when they are fully run in.

Should be very interesting..................
Well, this goes out to all those who think that store demo rooms sound way better than their own homes. Obviously, this may be the case sometimes, but in this case, yet again, a product stuns me with just how good it is. They've only had about an hour playing time, and its late-ish, so I've not been driving them very loud, just trying a couple of soft bits and bobs out - I can't wait to get these cranked up a bit and shifting some air. For the record (and for those who followed the convo over on the other channel, I've set them up using just the outer bungs (as I did with my old R300's).

The ability of the HF unit to be delicate is pretty amazing. There's the smallest details going on, so delicate that you wouldn't think that the diaphragm could move enough to produce it. Very smooth with it too, no harshness, and no hint of veiling. And these are yet to run in.

Bass is a little harder to comment on as I've not been able to turn them up much, but Portishead's Dummy was surprising. With this type of music there's so much texture in the samples that many speakers tend to smother it. I've heard distortion on Roads that I don't think I've heard before - either that or it brings so much more detail to the fore. Basslines are extremely easy to follow, and once again, string detail stands out on some tracks that you never knew existed.

With Angus & Julia Stone's album Down The Way, the LS50's have the ability to hang their voices right in front of you in a way that defies their price point - I thought the R300's were good at it, but the LS50's do it in a more open way, which makes it all the more convincing.

I'm now listening to Track & Field's album In Search Of, and like Portishead's Dummy, they are surprising me with their layers of instruments and samples, and all the while the speakers aren't attracting any attention to themselves whatsoever. Their ability to throw the sound free of the cabinet and send it towards you is nothing short of stunning. The R300's could do this, but again, because the cabinet of the LS50 isn't adding anything, they're essentially invisible.

You'd expect an album like Ocean Colour Scene's Moseley Shoals to make the speaker draw more attention to itself as it isn't clean electronica, but no, business as usual. Bass guitar can be followed throughout a whole track as it is never obscured, and drum skins are more apparent than usual too. One thing I have found that high quality speakers do way better than others is to reproduce electric guitar distortion more accurately. That might sound stupid, but I find it is one tell tale sign of a loudspeaker if it just sounds like a distorted mess with electric guitars. That makes no sense, but I know what I mean! Maybe those that play guitar will know what I mean.

I'm really looking forward to these settling down and trying some real demanding music on them and seeing how they perform in a real world situation (i.e. not a store). Even out of the box these sound pretty damn good, and the scary thing is, most of the above comparisons have been against the R300's - themselves one of the best sub £1,000 speakers! I'm dying to try a few movies out on them too...

Since the R series emerged, we've felt that they've been KEF's finest range of loudspeakers since the introduction of the current Series 2 Reference range. They could even be described as a gamechanger - not only for KEF, but also for the speaker industry too.

This really is Reference performance at a budget price.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
143
15
18,595
Whilst in my local dealer on Saturday I happened to hear a pair of R700's driven by an Arcam A28.

Blimey! It sure sounded good, almost pinned me to the back wall. Pity I didn't have a spare 2 grand on me


Couldn't hear the ls50's but they looked very classy close up.

.
 

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