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kef ls50 - under priced or overrated ?

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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the kef ls50 is a speaker that has a lot of praise from reviewers including what hifi.

however, like myself, many struggle to get a sound out of them that was "inline" with the glowing reviews...

(i was using a musical fidelity m6i, 200w, rrp £2500...)

i understand that these speakers thrive with good (expensive ?) amplification hence with a retail price of £800 are these speakers under priced if they need to be matched with much costlier amplifiers ?

or are they just overrated on the grounds that many people have purchased them and, like me, struggled to get them to sound great ?

one final note is that i was informed that kef had originally intended the retail price to be around £1500. i was also told that one of the reasons for the release of the ls50w, with its built in amplifiers, was because many people had asked / complained to kef as regards to which amplifier is best for the ls50 !
 

michael hoy

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2008
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I had a pair of LS50's combined with an Arcam A49 and the sound was very impressive. /I think for the price these speakers out perform a lot of more expensive speakers.
I do agree that they need good amplification to get the best out of them.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
988
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I had a pair of LS50's combined with an Arcam A49 and the sound was very impressive. /I think for the price these speakers out perform a lot of more expensive speakers.
I do agree that they need good amplification to get the best out of them.
so possibly then you believe they are under priced (if they out perform other more expensive rivals) but that they do need good / expensive amplification to get the best out of them.

(arcam a49 retailed at nearly 4k ?)
 

Al ears

Moderator
so possibly then you believe they are under priced (if they out perform other more expensive rivals) but that they do need good / expensive amplification to get the best out of them.

(arcam a49 retailed at nearly 4k ?)
Perhaps he means that the more expensive rivals are overpriced...... :)
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
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They are well priced and rated highly by some and less by others. I think they can be underwhelming when not partnered very well. Al is pretty much on the money.
They are something that you build around as opposed to adding at a later date.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
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1,270
one final note is that i was informed that kef had originally intended the retail price to be around £1500. i was also told that one of the reasons for the release of the ls50w, with its built in amplifiers, was because many people had asked / complained to kef as regards to which amplifier is best for the ls50 !
I doubt given the design costs and adding a DAC and amp etc to the original speaker that there is much to that. I could be wrong , just ask the chaps on here. I often am.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
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As with all speakers they can be pushed a lot further than people think and give credit for. “Budget” speakers in particular can be very surprising when driven and setup correctly. Diminishing returns hit very quickly with speakers. After all there’s only so much that can be done with 2 pistons in a box. And becomes more about wave guide and exotic shapes after a certain price.

In my mind it not about spending all the money you can on speakers, it’s flawed advice and is normal taken out of context. You buy what fits the room and that can cost money but doesn’t have to.

Ls50s could easily take 5k worth of amplification if you wish, budget or not the ls50s are hard to drive and power costs money. Especially if you really want to pressurise the room they’re in. For kicks at a dealer I’ve heard them on the end of a naim statement and they are truly end game speakers for many many people.

And then there some that just expect to much from a small box it’s a simple as that. That and the dangers of buying blind or not listening to them.

Are they under priced maybe. Are they as good a people give them credit for? Depends what your looking for! But more importantly they’re misunderstood even by some dealers that sell them.
 
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knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
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I've found they really sing with 100 wpc or more of the 'right' amplification in a small to medium space...
Maybe I've gotten lucky but I switch mine between the 2 amps in my Sig and they've been a revelation. I've had a lot of speakers and these are the best bang for buck I've had by far. They've been less than impressive though with smaller wattage.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
988
172
570
I doubt given the design costs and adding a DAC and amp etc to the original speaker that there is much to that. I could be wrong , just ask the chaps on here. I often am.
i was told that by a hifi dealer regarding the possible £1500 rrp point.

the ls50w info came from kef themselves.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
988
172
570
I've found they really sing with 100 wpc or more of the 'right' amplification in a small to medium space...
Maybe I've gotten lucky but I switch mine between the 2 amps in my Sig and they've been a revelation. I've had a lot of speakers and these are the best bang for buck I've had by far. They've been less than impressive though with smaller wattage.
i was using a 200w musical fidelity m6i.

maybe this amp was just a "mismatch" for these speakers ?
 

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