killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#61
Seeing how these "pride of ownership" types of threads have no real reason to get spent, I hope no one will mind me bumping it shortly.

Main reason being post #46 of the same thread. Not to belittle anyone, I think Verdinut knows some things better than others and I see no one reacting to this proposal of his.

Is this something to think about? What is the expected expiration date of electrolytic capacitors?




P.S.: For the sake of the thread; I've never had any inclination to this brand. When I was back at the university a friend of mine had a floor-standing 2 way model. This was too far back to remember the model. I thought they sounded good. They were obviously happy to be situated in a smallish room under the roof so the ceiling sloped towards them and side walls weren't that close. They had a 2x60Wpch into 8 Rotel stereo amp and just a CD player. It was more than enough back then.

But I've always heard good things about KEF. I like that piece of their history that says the company was founded in a molding factory. :D Iron cast! Molded steel! He, he!

My speakers raised some interest towards these and got me interested in how (much better) the Reference 1 would sound.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#62
I don't like to buy much older speakers for that age degradation issue with certain electrical components. He's probably spot on suggesting you really should be educated about crossover network design before swapping out components. I'm not, so I won't. I have swapped out failed tweeters in a pair of speakers before, and luckily found exact same one the OE used.

A big thing for KEF is the Uni-Q coherent driver. It started in the late 1980's and is really mature now. I wouldn't buy the older ones because in my head I know how much they've improved over the years. It would always be in my head that "there's a better Uni-Q driver out there." And it's true, I can hear the improvement in newer ones and independent reviews with measurements confirm that. The current Reference series is at the pinnacle of that development. I can say with confidence that no corners were cut in what components they used in the current Reference series. There won't be any cheap caps in those...just the best.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#63
Well, thanks for some reassuring words!:D

Even If I ever decide to do anything with these speakers I would write KEF and ask them what exactly to do and use. I did see some on-line tutorials about improving the LS50's but I disregarded those as "kids havin' fun with pimpin'".

I believe in merging with equipment. I don't like changing much so obviously I'm interested in prolonging the life of my speakers (well before time, I know, but that's how it goes, if you wish to find parts you should jump at them right away, they may go out of production).

Thanks again.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,941 9 1
#64
Well, thanks for some reassuring words!:D

Even If I ever decide to do anything with these speakers I would write KEF and ask them what exactly to do and use. I did see some on-line tutorials about improving the LS50's but I disregarded those as "kids havin' fun with pimpin'".

I believe in merging with equipment. I don't like changing much so obviously I'm interested in prolonging the life of my speakers (well before time, I know, but that's how it goes, if you wish to find parts you should jump at them right away, they may go out of production).

Thanks again.
If use normally, I wouldn't worry about them for at least 15-20 years. The life expectancy is dependent on temperature so they should last longer than equivalent ones in amps.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#65
Another inquiry. Hope no one minds.

There is a huge (HUGE) difference in price between LS50 and Reference 1 KEF speaker.

Now, prices and preferences have been debated to hell and back, but this is from the same producer and the LS50 really gets praised for performance. Where does the 6650$ difference kicks in?

Would anyone care to comment on 1500$ for LS50 and 8150$ for Reference 1?

This company is not infamous for pulling prices out of its a.. Both are bookshelves. One has the extra woofer which shouldn't account for the entire difference (not even close). Both are wood, it's not gold.

Would anyone of you go for this difference in price?
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#67
There are MANY differences. The Uni-Q drivers are profoundly better than the LS50 Uni-Q. According to Johan Coorg, a spokesman and "Brand Ambassador" for KEF, the LS50 uses the same Uni-Q driver as the R500's. The one used in Reference and Blade/Blade 2 is hand built with higher-end components (voice coils, poles and shorting rings) and matched to within 0.5dB output of each other for a matched pair.

Moving onto the crossover network, the Reference series uses high-end capacitors and inductors, plus Nordost internal wiring. The LF and HF networks are built on separate boards and decoupled from the cabinets. The "Link"-equipped binding posts are carefully machined and operate silky smooth.

The hand-built cabinet includes a multi-layer front baffle with a thick brushed aluminum front plate and inner plate sandwiching a "constrained layer" damping material. Throughout the cabinet, similar constrained layer damping material is employed to reduce any cabinet resonance. On the outside of the cabinets, the wood finishes are given multiple coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, while the Piano Black and HIgh Gloss White finishes are done in the same way as a high-end piano for years of service and enough thickness to endure refinishing if required. The "Flexible Port" features interchangeable soft, specially shaped tubes of different lengths so the speaker port output is configurable for various placement, and are devoid of turbulent noise that could affect sound quality.

All are built to order, so each is given individual attention and documentation signed off by the people who worked on them. When they have a major upgrade available, they can be retrofitted (at a cost.) This has happened so far with only the $220,000 Muon. Being made to order, KEF will not be stuck with discounting "remaining stock" as they have with the previous Q series and now underway with the R series.

All this adds significant cost, but from what I've heard it's worth it if you have the money to invest.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#68
There are MANY differences. The Uni-Q drivers are profoundly better than the LS50 Uni-Q. According to Johan Coorg, a spokesman and "Brand Ambassador" for KEF, the LS50 uses the same Uni-Q driver as the R500's. The one used in Reference and Blade/Blade 2 is hand built with higher-end components (voice coils, poles and shorting rings) and matched to within 0.5dB output of each other for a matched pair.

Moving onto the crossover network, the Reference series uses high-end capacitors and inductors, plus Nordost internal wiring. The LF and HF networks are built on separate boards and decoupled from the cabinets. The "Link"-equipped binding posts are carefully machined and operate silky smooth.

The hand-built cabinet includes a multi-layer front baffle with a thick brushed aluminum front plate and inner plate sandwiching a "constrained layer" damping material. Throughout the cabinet, similar constrained layer damping material is employed to reduce any cabinet resonance. On the outside of the cabinets, the wood finishes are given multiple coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, while the Piano Black and HIgh Gloss White finishes are done in the same way as a high-end piano for years of service and enough thickness to endure refinishing if required. The "Flexible Port" features interchangeable soft, specially shaped tubes of different lengths so the speaker port output is configurable for various placement, and are devoid of turbulent noise that could affect sound quality.

All are built to order, so each is given individual attention and documentation signed off by the people who worked on them. When they have a major upgrade available, they can be retrofitted (at a cost.) This has happened so far with only the $220,000 Muon. Being made to order, KEF will not be stuck with discounting "remaining stock" as they have with the previous Q series and now underway with the R series.

All this adds significant cost, but from what I've heard it's worth it if you have the money to invest.
Thanks, man. Did you have the opportunity to audition them?
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#69
Thanks, man. Did you have the opportunity to audition them?
Yes, my dealer has both Reference 1 and Reference 3 available for demo. Now that I own both R500 and LS50's myself, I figured it would be a worthwhile expense of my time to audition one of them.

Well, that was a BIG mistake! I had them set up the Reference 1 pair on their bespoke stands. The feed was Tidal HiFi via an NAD M32 integrated amp, Nordost cables. OMG, the difference between those and my LS50's with a well-integrated KEF Kube 10b sub was just jaw-dropping. Everything the LS50's do, the Reference 1 just does so much better!

The highs were far smoother and more extended, clearer. The mids were not as pronounced, yet 100% there. Then, the bass. There is just no reason on earth that any speaker sitting on top of a metal stand should be able to produce such rich, clean, yet deep bass.

I want to go back and hear the Reference 3's they have, but both they and I knew I would have to sell something dear to me to get them. And that I probably would, so I just can't do it.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
264 2 1
#70
Yeah, when a dealer near by had a KEF/Hegel/Nordost event last month, Johan Coorg had me listen to the Reference 1. I wish he hadn't because I really, really want a pair. I like my Q750 just fine, but the thought of how much better my system can sound sometimes rears its ugly head. But hey, it's only money!
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#71
Yes, my dealer has both Reference 1 and Reference 3 available for demo. Now that I own both R500 and LS50's myself, I figured it would be a worthwhile expense of my time to audition one of them.

Well, that was a BIG mistake! I had them set up the Reference 1 pair on their bespoke stands. The feed was Tidal HiFi via an NAD M32 integrated amp, Nordost cables. OMG, the difference between those and my LS50's with a well-integrated KEF Kube 10b sub was just jaw-dropping. Everything the LS50's do, the Reference 1 just does so much better!

The highs were far smoother and more extended, clearer. The mids were not as pronounced, yet 100% there. Then, the bass. There is just no reason on earth that any speaker sitting on top of a metal stand should be able to produce such rich, clean, yet deep bass.

I want to go back and hear the Reference 3's they have, but both they and I knew I would have to sell something dear to me to get them. And that I probably would, so I just can't do it.
Wow! You really seem impressed and then some. You did get me interested. What do you think, is the price justified, in your own opinion?
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#72
Yeah, when a dealer near by had a KEF/Hegel/Nordost event last month, Johan Coorg had me listen to the Reference 1. I wish he hadn't because I really, really want a pair. I like my Q750 just fine, but the thought of how much better my system can sound sometimes rears its ugly head. But hey, it's only money!
I have the exact same problem, though with Johan Coorg it was when he was showing off the sound of Blade 2's. Fortunately, even a pair of used ones are well out of reach for me.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#73
Wow! You really seem impressed and then some. You did get me interested. What do you think, is the price justified, in your own opinion?
Not quite justified, IMO. I think that's only because I really can't buy them for at least 2 or 3 years. If I had the funds though, they'd already be sitting in my office-turned-listening-room.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
264 2 1
#74
I have the exact same problem, though with Johan Coorg it was when he was showing off the sound of Blade 2's. Fortunately, even a pair of used ones are well out of reach for me.
Oh yes, Johan hooked up the Blade 2s after the Reference 1s. Very, very impressive but I knew they were out of reach so they did not have the same effect on me. The R1s are juuust within reach. ;)
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#75
If I had the funds though, they'd already be sitting in my office-turned-listening-room.
This is what I really wanted to ask. I know that at that price the choice widens... So you wouldn't mind if it was a pair of those? No looking back, no second thoughts?

It is quite a recommendation, especially coming from you. I mean, I know you like KEF, but from what you write here in these forums you seem like you know your stuff.

The Nordost part of the story goes over my head every time, but it doesn't matter.

I will go and listen to them first chance I get. I think a local dealer has them in a listening room all the time, but I'm a bit busy before my vacation, trying to get things done so I can relax.

I see Sound Stage says the price is 7500$. That's the lowest I found yet.

How do you like the latest colour scheme addition?
1529999759410.jpeg
 
Last edited:
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
924 8 1
#76
If I had known 2-1/2 years ago that my wife would hate low frequency effects, I could have gotten really close a pair of them instead of the 5.1 R series setup I have. I now spend more time in my office listening to 2.1 channel music, while the R series setup collects dust.

Personal taste, I'm not enamored with the "Foundation Edition" colors. There was one custom made pair of Reference 1's on Audiogon recently that was the Piano Black with blue driver. Those I would have loved to have! My LS50's are the frosted black with blue driver (seen in my avatar image) and that combination appeals more to my personal taste. I could even take the gloss white with blue driver that is the other Foundation Edition option.

I will probably look to get my dealer's demo pair of Reference 1 or 3 for significant discount in a couple years. If I was shopping now, they pop up on Audiogon or US Audiomart every now and then for under $5k. I like new, but am not stuck on it.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
787 6 13
#77
If I had known 2-1/2 years ago that my wife would hate low frequency effects, I could have gotten really close a pair of them instead of the 5.1 R series setup I have. I now spend more time in my office listening to 2.1 channel music, while the R series setup collects dust.

Personal taste, I'm not enamored with the "Foundation Edition" colors. There was one custom made pair of Reference 1's on Audiogon recently that was the Piano Black with blue driver. Those I would have loved to have! My LS50's are the frosted black with blue driver (seen in my avatar image) and that combination appeals more to my personal taste. I could even take the gloss white with blue driver that is the other Foundation Edition option.

I will probably look to get my dealer's demo pair of Reference 1 or 3 for significant discount in a couple years. If I was shopping now, they pop up on Audiogon or US Audiomart every now and then for under $5k. I like new, but am not stuck on it.
Have you ever tried going really high with crossing those LS50's? I've done some reading on Reference 1 and it says that it is really helpful for the Uni-Q to be crossed at something like 350 or was it 370?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,941 9 1
#78
I auditioned the reference and didn't find them a whole lot better sounding than the LS50. Yes there is a big difference but I don't feel it is a $20,000 difference of even $10,000 difference. I thought the Blade definitely sounded better, much better.
 
S

shkumar4963

Audioholic
Ratings
46
#80
Likely the biggest cost factor for the Reference line is the fact that they are hand built in the UK, vs a factory in China.
Also each pair is calibrated individually and tweaked or components replaced to create a reference pair.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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