Kef Ls50 vs. Dynaudio Focus 160 with Hegel H300

Hey folks,

I am currently running my Hegel H300 with Dynaudio Focus 160. It is a beautiful setup, but back in my mind I have this feeling that I can get more with Hegel and Kef Ls50 combo. Sadly I can't really go and audition the speakers, as I have to specially order the Ls50's. Can anyone please help me decide if I really should go with Hegel and Kef combo or should I stick to my present speakers?

I'll try and describe what I feel of my current combo. H300 and Focus 160, connected to my Macbook via USB; bottom end is very heavy, clean and very controlled. Well, Dynaudio is known for its deep and heavy bass. And the H300's power makes the best of it. Mid is very clean but here I always get a feeling that Ls50 could be even better. High is smooth and relaxing without missing much I believe. Obviously a bit more shine on the high frequency will benefit a lot more music tracks.

Soundstage and imaging. This is where things get confusing for me. Depending on the placement of the speakers (currently the speakers are set on a rigid DIY metal stand which is filled with sand, 32in from side walls and 40in from the back wall in a 10ft/10ft; yes a square room, giving around 58in in between and slightly toed in, sitting almost 6ft away from the speakers) I get a very focused image, tall but a narrow soundstage. It is mixer of both holographic and accurate listening experience. In most tracks e.g. Artic Monkeys- Mad Sounds, I get the voice and a deep bass from the middle surrounded by other instruments from left right speakers. As most of the time I don’t use the bass bunks, bass kind of shadows the soundstage and image in some tracks but in some like "Jazz" and tracks from Infected Mushrooms (huge DnB fan btw) makes the whole listening experience almost satisfying. With the bass plugs, bass is tighter but less extended, better mid and high giving a better imaging. All in all, it is quite an engaging experience but again, here I think Ls50's could do more. Sad part is a little shift in speaker placement or the sweet spot, changes everything. Sound from both speakers are coming out right but loses the balance and rhythm. Drum roll from one side to another usually gets dominated by one side of the speaker causing the other to lose its effect. Mostly the whole thing sounds very very very dull.

Every time when I am listening to music I start on focusing on every other thing except for the music, which is really very frustrating. I know every element in the room makes a difference but seriously this is just too much. Quoting this good fella who wrote on a forum, which I came across - "Beware if you go the Dynaudio path. Its a bottomless pit. Requires a lot of kungfu and $ to make it sing", made total sense to me. OK! There is no doubt Focus 160 is a brilliant standmounter given every other aspect around it has to be just right and Hegel's H300 can drive them without any issue. Buuut! Given my size of the listening room and mentioned observations, everything I read about the Kef Ls50 and my current listening experience, just makes me more ‘n more confused.

So, dear good people please help me out of my dilemma. Finance is defiantly an issue here otherwise I’d be writing a comparison. Your kind words are welcomed, especially if any of you is fortunate enough to do a side-by-side comparison. You guys are my only way out of this fix.

Thank you so much.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Hi,What speaker cables are you using? Eventually you can use a more open cable to tune up the system...About the LS50 and the 160, well i've the X12 and I got curious to demo the LS50, and did... IMO the LS50 are more open in all the freq. range that the X12 are, they apparently seem more detailed due that fact, but in the end I think they aren't, and the bottom end the dyns win in spades.I don't think the LS50 will be a step up from the 160, and i only got the X12.this is the kind of decision that one need to do for himself...Eventually I'll up grade my X12, and I do think that i'll stay within the brand, Contour or Confidence
 

CnoEvil

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If you are (mostly) loving your system and can't audition the LS50s, then (imo) leave well alone. Always looking over the hedge for something better (rather than enjoying the music), is the Audiophile disease. The LS50s should give a wider sweetspot, but you may not prefer their presentation.

If at a later date you still have the itch, get some used LS50s and then sell them on for little loss, if you don't prefer them.
 

dap33

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huge DnB fan aswell, how does the hegel handle DnB. I'm on a quest to find an intergrated amp & speakers but the hegel is out of my price range
 

dap33

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huge DnB fan aswell, how does the hegel handle DnB. I'm on a quest to find an intergrated amp & speakers but the hegel is out of my price range
 

Jota180

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D&B? I'd steer clear of the KEF's for that genre. I have the LS50's but if D&B was high on my list of listening material I'd be looking for something different.
 
dap33 said:
huge DnB fan aswell, how does the hegel handle DnB. I'm on a quest to find an intergrated amp & speakers but the hegel is out of my price range

Hi dap33

Hegel's range starts off with the H80 at a RRP of £1300. So far I've not found a genre of music which Hegel electronics have not been able to cope with. A couple of days ago I had Monitor Audio Silver 8's being powered by an H80. Using the H80's on board DAC and listening to Border to Bastian (Mathias Schaffhauser) the sound was fluid but also tight, grippy, dynamic and with a superbly punchy and powerful bass
regular_smile.gif


All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
Hegel is a brilliant brilliant int. amp. a bit organic, falls on the neutral side, has a very black background. i bet H300 can drive any speaker without an issue. this a piece of equipment that intend to use for many years to come. money well spent i must say.

sorry for the late reply btw.
 
By the way, Guys thank you very much to help me set my heart with the Focus 160. It is a great system without a single doubt. Very detailed and speakers positioned right; holographic image. Just the Dyn's are too demanding. Not only power-wise but every other thing surrounding them have to be right. It gets really annoying most the times. But once you do everything right the speakers do, do wonders. I consider the H300 to be the strongest source in the chain. I really look forward to listen to many other different speakers with Hegel combo (if you know what i mean;). KEF and Hegel is a highly praised combination and been recommended on Hegel's web site (an information i found after my purchase). So yeah, another reason for me to obsess over the Ls50. Anyway putting my obsession aside, i can focus on the weaker links such as, my cables/interconnects, a good budget phono preamp, a subwoofer and in a very distant future, a better DAC. Any budget suggestion for speaker cables? Im currently using cheap speaker cables which i want to upgrade asap. But given my short budget i can only hope for an improved sound with budget wires. Overall i just want a bit more openness and transparency in the high/upper-mid area. Bottom end is tight, deep and punchy but a tad slow in my opinion. Yeah, if i can achieve the sound i desire by investing in cables i am open to it. For phono preamp i've decided on Emotiva XPS-1 ($149) to pair with my Project Debut Carbon TT. Emotiva has a signature sound. Open, expressive, perfect low end and well balanced. I think my Dyn's can benefit from that. Don't judge me but, for some reason i have a "thing" for this brand. I have read nothing but good things about Emo gears. Mainly for the price i'd like to believe they make good quality stuff. For subwoofer im taking the DIY route. Fits my budget :) to be honest. BUT SERIOUSLY, if you are planning on a new AMP do keep Hegel in your short list. And do try the Hegel and KEF combo. For any genre, any speaker; Hegel won't be a disappointment. Thanks again folks. **sorry for any typo's. Posting this on Iphone been a huge pain!
 

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