KEF LS50 Meta AMP

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landco

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Which non-coaxial speakers out perform the LS50 Meta at a similar price, in your opinion?
For example, you can buy JBL STUDIO 620 - bookshelf speakers with a compression high-frequency driver, with a horn design. This is important if the listening point is far enough away, the sound wave is less scattered and the sound pressure increases

PS. The price is much lower.
 
For example, you can buy JBL STUDIO 620 - bookshelf speakers with a compression high-frequency driver, with a horn design. This is important if the listening point is far enough away, the sound wave is less scattered and the sound pressure increases

PS. The price is much lower.
They look interesting, and the horn design might work better in a larger room than the KEF. However, I‘m amazed a JBL is only 84dB sensitivity.

Unfortunately, they aren’t widely available in the UK, and are the same price here as LS50 Meta. Actually the KEFs are currently £100 or more off at many outlets.

IMG_1216.png
 
Odd that more manufacturers are adopting concentric driver arrays if it’s such a flawed technology - Mobile Fidelity, TAD, Elac, KEF, Tannoy, Technics, Pioneer, Fyne, and Ascendo spring to mind, and there’ll be more. The fact is that producing this design is harder than conventional designs, so most manufacturers stick with the easy route. And let’s not forget, many loudspeakers try and imitate point source technology without actually having to produce it.
 
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Roger_A

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For example, you can buy JBL STUDIO 620 - bookshelf speakers with a compression high-frequency driver, with a horn design. This is important if the listening point is far enough away, the sound wave is less scattered and the sound pressure increases

PS. The price is much lower.
Horn loaded speakers especially with compression high-frequency drivers are a very small part of the market so by your own argument shouldn't you do without these without compromising sound quality?
 

landco

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Horn loaded speakers especially with compression high-frequency drivers are a very small part of the market so by your own argument shouldn't you do without these without compromising sound quality?
Did you notice the condition of the problem in my comment - distance to the listening point, narrow focus? Of course, not all audio enthusiasts need this. The specificity of coaxial speakers is that they do not have a specialized application, that is, they can be dispensed with in any situation. Therefore, your clumsy irony suggests that you do not understand the topic of discussion.
 
your clumsy irony suggests that you do not understand the topic of discussion.
I don't think there's any irony there - more suggesting that you are perhaps tying yourself up in logical knots.

But I think we're straying quite along way from the OP, so back on topic please people. Feel free to start a separate thread about speaker designs if you wish.
 

Roger_A

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I don't think there's any irony there - more suggesting that you are perhaps tying yourself up in logical knots.

But I think we're straying quite along way from the OP, so back on topic please people. Feel free to start a separate thread about speaker designs if you wish.
Quite right and apologies for getting involved in some of the nonsense being spouted.

To the OP, you do mention the active (wireless) version of the LS50 Metas and before you make a final decision, if you haven't already done so, then I would urge you to listen to them in comparison to the passive version. Any dealer who stocks one is likely to have the other version in stock as well.

Please let us know what your current thoughts are or if you've decided which way to go.
 
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Low sensitivity in small speakers is necessary if you want to make the bass more low-frequency than is usually done in speakers of this size. Forced compromise.
Yes, I know Hoffman’s Iron Law, but JBL typically seem to prefer higher sensitivity and less bass extension. But it’s an interesting newcomer, that I suspect won’t be very popular here in the UK.
 

The_Lecht_Rocks

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I demo'd the LS50s with a Naim Unity Atom and the TDAI-1120.
I was utterly disappointed in their signature / sound after all the hype they receive.
Cutting a long story very short, I ended up with the CA EVO150 driving Dali Opticon2 Mk2's.
The system is used in a wee snug room, and is beautifully musical, rythmic and a pleasure to listen to [listening to Paramore on it now]....
The truth is, you need to go and listen to everything. Its the case of the never ending curiosity with Hi-Fi and unless you're convinced, it'll cost you £1000's more......
Good luck.
[All in my personal opinion of course] !
 
I demo'd the LS50s with a Naim Unity Atom and the TDAI-1120.
I was utterly disappointed in their signature / sound after all the hype they receive.
Cutting a long story very short, I ended up with the CA EVO150 driving Dali Opticon2 Mk2's.
The system is used in a wee snug room, and is beautifully musical, rythmic and a pleasure to listen to [listening to Paramore on it now]....
The truth is, you need to go and listen to everything. Its the case of the never ending curiosity with Hi-Fi and unless you're convinced, it'll cost you £1000's more......
Good luck.
[All in my personal opinion of course] !
Not really the sort of amps the LS50s will sing on the end of - I’m not surprised you ended up with something else. They need something a bit beefier.
 

podknocker

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I tried the LS50 Meta on the end of a Quad Artera Stereo power amp with Artera Play CD/Pre. No shortage of beef there, and the KEFs still didn't do anything for me. It all depends on the sort of sound you want in the
This setup should sound amazing. I'm wanting an upgrade next year, with these KEFs on my shortlist.

I'm after a really clean and detailed sound, with a real 'bounce' and energy.

What did your KEFs sound like and why did you think they were unsuitable?
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
This setup should sound amazing. I'm wanting an upgrade next year, with these KEFs on my shortlist.

I'm after a really clean and detailed sound, with a real 'bounce' and energy.

What did your KEFs sound like and why did you think they were unsuitable?

It should indeed, and it certainly offered the clean and detailed sound, but not the real 'bounce' and energy. It was too 'hi-fi' and not enough fun/involvement. That can be a Quad signature, but I didn't find the LS50 Meta to be much more involving with a Roksan K3 either.
 
Beefier ? The CA EVO150 provides Hypex NCore Class D amplification and 150w / channel...
Doesn’t necessarily mean the amplifier will suit the LS50, or any other speaker for that matter. Many Class D amps lack ”oomph” in the bass - just compare any £2k Class D amp to a good Class AB amp at the same price. Some amps “bring out the bass” in some speakers. An example of that was the KEF Reference 200 series, which were pretty fussy on partnering amplification. “Power” is only part of the story. There are some 50wpc amps that will outperform 200wpc amps.
 
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I tried the LS50 Meta on the end of a Quad Artera Stereo power amp with Artera Play CD/Pre. No shortage of beef there, and the KEFs still didn't do anything for me. It all depends on the sort of sound you want in the end.
I can’t speak for the Artera as I’ve never heard it, so can only go by my experience of Quad in general. Quad tends to put more focus on the midrange, which makes it weaker at frequency extremes. I wouldn’t say that was a particularly good match personally. Maybe something a little more exciting… :)
 
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podknocker

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People appear to be very polarised with the LS50 meta. Some people love it and others hate it.

Perhaps it's a perfect speaker, but there isn't an amplifier to do it justice.

I've never heard the Naim Unit Atom, but I've always thought it's underpowered to drive modern speakers.

Most new speakers are designed to cope with really powerful, grippy amps and can go very loud.

I'm less likely to buy the Atom anyway, now the price is £2499 up from £1999 about 3 years ago.

It's also Class A/B like my Audiolab Omnia and I think this is why I'm getting that softer sound.

Does anyone own the LS50 meta and a Class D amp/streamer and think it's a good combo?

Also, do Class D designs inherently have lower damping factor, to control the speakers?
 
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People appear to be very polarised with the LS50 meta. Some people love it and others hate it.

Perhaps it's a perfect speaker, but there isn't an amplifier to do it justice.

I've never heard the Naim Unit Atom, but I've always thought it's underpowered to drive modern speakers.

Most new speakers are designed to cope with really powerful, grippy amps and can go very loud.

I'm less likely to buy the Atom anyway, now the price is £2499 up from £1999 about 3 years ago.

It's also Class A/B like my Audiolab Omnia and I think this is why I'm getting that softer sound.

Does anyone own the LS50 meta and a Class D amp/streamer and think it's a good combo?

Also, do Class D designs inherently have lower damping factor, to control the speakers?
The LS50 is quite a demanding speaker, which most people don’t expect when they look at their size. They’ll presume any 50wpc can drive them, and if it can drive them, it’s a match. Anyone who was witness to Hegel’s room at the Bristol show some years ago will have witnessed a comparison of the H390 and H590 amps with them (and maybe even the H190). Someone I know who say through the demo preferred the H390 overall, even though the H590 still demonstrated a good difference. He felt that was the sweet spot.

Class AB generally will give a softer sound in comparison to Class D, which usually will have more control over a speaker at the budget end of amplification, but that comes with a lack of “heft” in the bass. Gone is the warmth of Class AB, and I think it’s the warmth that will usually help the HF of a Class AB amp sound a little sweeter in comparison to a Class D.

One thing Class AB amps don’t always do is double power when the impedance halves, like a good Class AB will.

I despair when I see the “packages” offered by retailers online with some of the amps and all-in-one systems that they offer with LS50s - there’s no thought gone into whether it’s actually a good match or not, it’s just offering two popular products as a package in order to attract people who buy on looks or review ratings to make money from them. It’s probably why there are photos of damaged drivers on the Internet - if LS50 owners had gone into dealers and got decent advice rather than just buy packages online, there’d be less driver issues. Personally, I’ve always said the LS50 should be treated like Reference - limited outlets, only those who understand the product and know how to properly demonstrate it to a customer, and insure a suitable system is provided.
 
There’s also the stability of the amplifier at lower impedances. A lot of speakers nowadays dip down to 4ohms, some less like KEF’s R series which are around 3.2 if I recall correctly - even the Q Series are 3.7ohms - the LS50s dip to 3.5ohms. so really you need an amp that’s stable down to at least 3ohms. You’re not getting that from lifestyle all-in-ones and budget amps…
 

podknocker

Well-known member
There’s also the stability of the amplifier at lower impedances. A lot of speakers nowadays dip down to 4ohms, some less like KEF’s R series which are around 3.2 if I recall correctly - even the Q Series are 3.7ohms - the LS50s dip to 3.5ohms. so really you need an amp that’s stable down to at least 3ohms. You’re not getting that from lifestyle all-in-ones and budget amps…
Current availability and damping factor are important with tricky loads. Many speakers used to be 8Ohms nominal. Many are now 6 and that curve can dip to just over 3 as you say. If it's the bass that's drawing more current, then the amp will struggle. Some guy on youtube dismantled an LS50 meta and found the guts to be very lacklustre. Average grade caps and stuff and he thought for the money, KEF should have polished the inside bits.
 
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Some guy on youtube dismantled an LS50 meta and found the guts to be very lacklustre. Average grade caps and stuff and he thought for the money,.
Different people will have different opinions though, and let’s not forget the LS50s are a mass market product - its not a boutique brand making small run speakers that only sell occasionally. Whatever’s in there will be what KEF want to be in there. Better components on the crossover would likely push up the price to £1500 or more, and that’s not a price point the LS50 wants to be.
 
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podknocker

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Different people will have different opinions though, and let’s not forget the LS50s are a mass market product - its not a boutique brand making small run speakers that only sell occasionally. Whatever’s in there will be what KEF want to be in there. Better components on the crossover would likely push up the price to £1500 or more, and that’s not a price point the LS50 wants to be.
But like you mentioned earlier, they should be branded and marketed as a boutique model and not the mass market speaker they are perceived to be. These LS50 meta and cheap amp combos, as you say, are ridiculous.
 
But like you mentioned earlier, they should be branded and marketed as a boutique model and not the mass market speaker they are perceived to be. These LS50 meta and cheap amp combos, as you say, are ridiculous.
Definitely. I to,d KEF from day one they should be a limited dealer product, treated like Reference, but they said they were an anniversary product (as they were initially), so wanted them more widely available, especially given their original price of £795.
 

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