New KEF Studio monitors - any good?

Bobbyhifi

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Hi, I'm just wondering about some new monitors for my small, 2.5m x 3.5m home studio. I've been working abroad for the last nine months so am a little out of the loop and now I'm back I'd like to get back into my guitar playing! My PC with Pro Tools will be my source and I have an old 120w NAD amp to power the speakers if need be.

The speakers will need to be placed on the desk ideally rather than stands and the rear may be close to the wall as the desk is only 50cm deep. In looking through the forum over the weekend the KEF "LS50" came up and looks interesting, on their website they say: "LS50’s unique technology offers by far the cleanest, most accurate studio-grade performance of any mini monitor.". I presume this has to have some fact behind it or they'd be open to legal threats from rivals? My budget is £1k max so they look to be ideal - the rear port being the only potential issue. Has anyone tried them yet or are they too new? If not what good alternatives are there? I'm open to active models though it would be a shame to waste my old amp, I guess I could "eBay" it if necessary!

Sorry for all the questions, I'm a little out of touch with the current favourites!

Thanks for any help,

Robert.
 

chebby

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Clare said they sounded superb and John (founder of Arcam) Dawson ordered a pair after hearing them.

I should say - for starters - that's a pretty good testament to their sound quality.
 

Frank Harvey

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I'll be hearing them in a few days time, so I'll post up when I have.

I've always said that KEF's UniQ lends itself perfectly to near field monitoring, and now we have a dedicated product exactly for that purpose. I'll be interested to hear to hear others opinions when they've heard them too.
 
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Anonymous

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I'd take this statement with a very large pinch of salt

"LS50’s unique technology offers by far the cleanest, most accurate studio-grade performance of any mini monitor.".

The likes of the Adam A3X/A5X, Focal CMS40/CMS50 and Dynaudio BM5A Mk2's are Active studio monitors that should be more accurate than the little, Passive KEFs, They all come in well under budget too.

I'd *** down to the local Pro Audio store and demo some of them before making a decision.
 
ooh.. said:
I'd take this statement with a very large pinch of salt

"LS50’s unique technology offers by far the cleanest, most accurate studio-grade performance of any mini monitor.".

The likes of the Adam A3X/A5X, Focal CMS40/CMS50 and Dynaudio BM5A Mk2's are Active studio monitors that should be more accurate than the little, Passive KEFs, They all come in well under budget too.

I'd *** down to the local Pro Audio store and demo some of them before making a decision.

So should you *** to your local store. If you ain't heard them why take'em with a pinch of salt?
 
T

the record spot

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Well, some pretty grand claims there; it'd be nice to know which studio's grade they've gone by...!

Acoustic Energy did their AE1 which you can probably get secondhand for about £500-800 depending on condition, or maybe ex-demo for new. For that money though, I'd be looking at Genelec's range of actives in the £800-£1200 mark. Brilliant speakers for the money.
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Clare Newsome

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They're definitely worth a listen, but - as noted above - i'd also check out pro audio designs, too.

I heard the KEFs in a hi-fi context - they were sat on speaker stands, driven by Arcam separates - and on that brief listen I thought they sounded great for the money.

You've got a specific need - especially re placement - that requires further investigation. Happy auditioning and recording :)
 

steve_1979

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For under £1K the speakers that I recommend are:

Adam A7X - £790

AVI ADM9.1 - around £900 secondhand

Dynaudio BM5A MkII (rear ported) - £830

Genelec 8030A (rear ported) - £900
 

philipjohnwright

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The LS50's are definitely of interest and I look forward to hearing them at some point. I'm slightly confused by the price point though, which is half way between KEF's R100 and their R300. Both are well reviewed and use UniQ drivers. I would have thought something around the £1500-2000 point would have been more sensible - in between the smaller R series and the more expensive Reference 201/2's.

Can anyone in the know shed any light on this? If the answer is that the LS50 is a £1500 speaker (ie a direct competitor to the likes of Harbeth's P3ESR's) but KEF are only charging £800 for it, then fine. It does rather undermine the R series stand mounts tho.

Rick / David - care to give a view ( understand if not).

I should add by the way that I loved the sound of the R series at the Manchester show last year. And the Blades........sigh.

Cheers

Phil
 

oldric_naubhoff

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all's well, but I think it would be prudent to factor in the cost of a preamp in case of active monitors.

(I k now, I know. AVIs have integrated preamp and DAC).
 

Frank Harvey

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philipjohnwright said:
The LS50's are definitely of interest and I look forward to hearing them at some point. I'm slightly confused by the price point though, which is half way between KEF's R100 and their R300. Both are well reviewed and use UniQ drivers. I would have thought something around the £1500-2000 point would have been more sensible - in between the smaller R series and the more expensive Reference 201/2's.

Can anyone in the know shed any light on this? If the answer is that the LS50 is a £1500 speaker (ie a direct competitor to the likes of Harbeth's P3ESR's) but KEF are only charging £800 for it, then fine. It does rather undermine the R series stand mounts tho.

Rick / David - care to give a view ( understand if not).

I should add by the way that I loved the sound of the R series at the Manchester show last year. And the Blades........sigh.

Cheers

Phil

Hi Phil

I need to confirm if it is exactly the same driver as the R100 or not, but even if it is, the cabinet of the LS50 is a total redesign, with completely new and unique aspects like the port. Ignore the price point as its a totally independent model that doesn't belong to any of the KEF ranges.

As these have been designed more from a monitor point of view, I can see these replacing my existing R300's in my 5.1 system if they sound like I think they do. I'll find out Friday :)
 

gregvet

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
As these have been designed more from a monitor point of view, I can see these replacing my existing R300's in my 5.1 system if they sound like I think they do. I'll find out Friday :)

I thought that you loved your new R300's >)
 

Frank Harvey

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I do. They're probably the best speaker I've heard for AV since my old M&K's. But from what im reading and being told, these LS50's are more revealing,

I'm currently trying the Audiolab 8200AP out in my system, and it seems to have brought my R300's to life - not that I thought they were lacking before! If the LS50's can better my current detail level (which will be going some!), they're in with a good shot of making it into my system. For movies, I do like a LOT of detail :)
 

steve_1979

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oldric_naubhoff said:
all's well, but I think it would be prudent to factor in the cost of a preamp in case of active monitors.

Yes that's a good point. :)

He could sell the amplifier that he already owns which would help him pay for a preamp (and DAC if needed) to use with the actives. I think that when spending £1000 the advantages of using an active setup over a passive one would be worthwhile.
 

Bobbyhifi

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Thanks for all the advice guys!!

I popped into my nearest pro product dealer yesterday - only a few miles down the road but never knew they were there! They've got a wide selection of gear so I've arranged a demo later, discussed my situation and they're putting together the product they think will best suit - I'll let you know how it goes...
 
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Anonymous

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Bobby, i'd try to listen to a few different models if i were you, as they can sound very different from one to the next. The Adam A5X sounds totally different to the KRK Rokits, for example, i much preferred the former which some say are on the bright side, yet i felt they were very smooth sounding and the KRKs horribly bright. The store owners taste might be different from yours so listening to several monitors would be wise, IMO.
 

alchemist 1

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Soundstage mini review:

http://www.soundstageglobal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=252%3Akefs-killer-compact-monitor-the-ls50&catid=88%3Afeatures&Itemid=314

Any specification information on them ? :)

Will they be for domestic use ?
 

The_Lhc

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ooh.. said:
Bobby, i'd try to listen to a few different models if i were you, as they can sound very different from one to the next. The Adam A5X sounds totally different to the KRK Rokits, for example, i much preferred the former which some say are on the bright side, yet i felt they were very smooth sounding and the KRKs horribly bright. The store owners taste might be different from yours so listening to several monitors would be wise, IMO.

But but but, this isn't possible, Active speakers are more accurate, if they're all accurate how can they possibly sound different from one another?
 
A

Anonymous

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The_Lhc said:
ooh.. said:
Bobby, i'd try to listen to a few different models if i were you, as they can sound very different from one to the next. The Adam A5X sounds totally different to the KRK Rokits, for example, i much preferred the former which some say are on the bright side, yet i felt they were very smooth sounding and the KRKs horribly bright. The store owners taste might be different from yours so listening to several monitors would be wise, IMO.

But but but, this isn't possible, Active speakers are more accurate, if they're all accurate how can they possibly sound different from one another?
No speaker is accurate..
 

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