System Advice

mizzor

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2015
48
3
10,545
Hi,

I have kef ls50wII and klh model 5 with unity atom and looking to add a new sytem in another room (20sqm)

I have a few questions to understand better hifi and make my choice, if some people have interesting things to say on any of those, I'll appreciate. I am not an audiophile, don't need to have speakers calibrated to personal taste, but hate obstacle to a good experience which for me are mostly sound reflections / poor recordings / entry level speakers and not amp quality or file resolution.

1. Subwoofer. I feel like I need that to enjoy music. I have tried a KC62 with the ls50 and it was great but was bother a lot by it turning off automatically when input is not super loud, then I bought a svs sb 1000 for the klh model 5 in a 70sqm room and find it was great and sufficient for me after spending some time finding the settings I liked (lpf at 42Hz and volume -15db). I am quite new to subs, is it worth bothering buying more expensive? I like the punch of low frequencies but I am not sure I can make differences in terms of musicality between a good entry level sub and a more high end one but that my change after more observation.

2. Speakers. I don't have a treated room because it's ugly and I don't have a spare room for that. It makes experience frustrating at times because I am becoming increasingly aware of reflections after having spent a bit of time experimenting with settings. It feels like going for new mission 770 of ls50 meta might be irrelevant in terms of sound quality? Of course there will be a noticeable difference, but if the room is untreated the experience will be poor anyway.

3. Kef reference 1. Why is it so expensive? Cost more that the new ls60. I understand it's hand build here and with more premium material, but from a technical point of view does that make a huge difference? It looks like it's the same uniQ & meta technology behind with a bit more dampening with the premium materials. I am just wondering if it is worth considering if money is not an issue instead of having metas or if that is just ridiculous to listen casually to spotify with many poor recordings in a room in which the sound will never be that great anyway unless I find sexy panels for the ceiling.

4. I am considering buying an Atom Uniti again because it sounds fine to me, looks very nice and is super convenient. Connectivity experience has been better than streaming on the ls50wii which had required regular resets of the config. I don't see the point of having active wireless speakers if you end up with even more apparent cables and never experienced huge difference with amps. I have tried the marrantz 40n and I was shocked to have an experience very different from the reviews I have seen/read on this, how is that possible. It sounds fine but felt I missed something from the initial amp I had which was a cheap marrantz pm6005 and after replacing it by the uniti everyone felt there was a noticeable improvement, more precised and opened sound. It wasn't just personal taste, I don't see how it had such great comments including with people having tested it with same speakers. Also the streaming is slow as hell to start, few seconds delay and it's a pain to have less compatibility (no google cast, no qobuz connect).... very surprised I didn't hear that before.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Re 2, most of us don’t treat rooms. As long as they’re furnished with a bit of thought then most speakers will work fine. Personally, I prefer carpet to tiles in a living room. Curtains keep warmth in and heat out, and can be more versatile than blinds for sound purposes. Book cases and LP cabinets are reflection friendly.

Obviously if you like marble floors and mirrored walls than I’d not be confident of good sound.
 

mizzor

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2015
48
3
10,545
Re 2, most of us don’t treat rooms. As long as they’re furnished with a bit of thought then most speakers will work fine. Personally, I prefer carpet to tiles in a living room. Curtains keep warmth in and heat out, and can be more versatile than blinds for sound purposes. Book cases and LP cabinets are reflection friendly.

Obviously if you like marble floors and mirrored walls than I’d not be confident of good sound.
not a lot of experience with that but the only time I listened speakers in a demo room, I was stunned by the clarity despite they were cheaper than anything I am considering. I assume the room made all the difference.
 

Gray

Well-known member
I assume the room made all the difference.
Your assumption is correct in my experience.
I once heard unbelievable central imaging from a pair of Proac speakers - in a purpose-built demo room.
The speakers were way out into the room with, crucially, nothing between them.
I bought them.....no chance of me repeating the performance in my room.
In fact, I ended up rejecting them thanks to their rear ports needing to be too close to my wall - resulting in an unacceptable one-note bass quality.

Sadly, for the majority of us, positioning and acoustics are usually compromising potential to some extent.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
not a lot of experience with that but the only time I listened speakers in a demo room, I was stunned by the clarity despite they were cheaper than anything I am considering. I assume the room made all the difference.
It’s hard to say, as it depends how different their room layout, size and materials were in comparison to yours . Obviously they will have made some effort with the set up, but in my (part-time) days in the Hifi trade most demo rooms were terribly compromised, just stuck where they’d fit. Worse still, many shops played into the shop floor itself, nothing like most homes.
 

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