Legacy Studio HD vs KEF LS50

KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
Mine do look like the active ones because they're the limited edition frosted black with blue driver that is one of the standard finishes for the LS50 Wireless.

I totally agree that his Yamaha A-S801 will serve his LS50's just fine even at fairly high levels.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
Seems you'll have a pretty good setup. Not ideal, not perfect, but few of us have that. One of the attributes of those speakers is that they do perform admirably under a wide range of conditions. Mine are (for now) a desktop application and it's an uncharacteristically tight soundstage like that. It's really good, don't get me wrong, just that I do have to be sitting exactly in the right spot for best effect.

Have you got them yet? I don't know what the future is for the passive version though I expect KEF will make the wireless one for a few more years before a change. BTW, there are people who seem to insist upon giving the LS50's 300 or more watt amps. Of course the speakers can never use all that without flames erupting but they claim the speakers need excess power to sound their best. Mine are powered by a 60w/ch Bluesound Powernode 2 and that goes loud enough to drive me out of the room.

Best of luck to you. Do report back with your impressions.
Thanks. I purchased the passive version and should have them by mid-week.

I did consider the active versions especially since my only source in that room is a Macbook Pro anyway. It is linked via Roon to my PC upstairs for FLAC files on the HD and also TIDAL for Hi-Fi streaming. I figured since I already had an extra amp that getting the passive version would give me some flexibility to mix and match with other gear if needed.

I thought yours were the active versions, no?

Those who insists in 300 W or more even if the speakers can never use all that....simply don't believe in science and there is nothing we can say to convince them. The plain fact is, if the voltage, current, hence power is not used, it has no effect. For the >300 W to make a difference, it means one has to drive them to produce probably at least double the spl the speakers are rated to produce at 1 meter, that would be about 109 dB. At that level, I would expect distortions will increase to the point it would be quite audible.

As I mentioned too, the LS50 (passive) are not too sensitive, compare to my R900 sitting right next to them, I have to crank the volume a few notches higher. The truth is, the specs call for amplifier requirement of 25 - 100 W, that typically means you can get the best performance out of them by using a 200/300 WPC amp but only if you also need them to work at or near their limit. In eargiant's room, I am 100% sure his A-S801 or similarly rated amp will be more than enough.
That's right, I'll be using the Yamaha A-S801 to power these. I agree, it should be more than enough in that room. I think the fact that the LS50 are not too sensitive will be a plus. I like to have some range on the volume control.

In a different part of the house, my Sansui AU-X1 powers the 805D2 + REL S/2 Sub combo from Speaker Selector "A" into the main LR and the CM5 which are in the adjacent office from Speaker Selector "B".
 
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KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
If you have Roon and a Tidal HiFi subscription, you could do away with having the use the MacBook Pro by getting a Bluesound Node 2. Those can be configured as a Roon endpoint and output via analog to your Yamaha A-S801. New, about $500, used they can be found for $400 or so.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
They are not very sensitive so if you don't want to miss the fully dynamic capability you have to crank the volume up to make up for it. If you do feel a sub is needed, I highly recommend Rythmik's seal type, that I find is a good match for their inherently tighter mid bass. I have one 15", if I had the room I would have preferred two of the 12" version, but the R900s sitting right nest to them left me with no such option.

So it seems like we both like British designed speakers.:)
Can you describe your set-up(s)? Since the LS50 are right next to the R900 I assume that is that because you use one for 2 channel and the others as part of a surround arrangement? Or are you just auditioning/comparing them?

We’ve interacted much here on AH but aside from knowing that you own the LS50 (and now I know about the R900), Denon 3805 and a vintage Marantz I really don’t know much about your current set-up(s).

Thanks in advance.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Can you describe your set-up(s)? Since the LS50 are right next to the R900 I assume that is that because you use one for 2 channel and the others as part of a surround arrangement? Or are you just auditioning/comparing them?

We’ve interacted much here on AH but aside from knowing that you own the LS50 (and now I know about the R900), Denon 3805 and a vintage Marantz I really don’t know much about your current set-up(s).

Thanks in advance.
They are both for 2 channels. Each had its own amps, dacs etc. I alternate the vintage Marantz pair and 3805 with the LS50. The R900s are hooked up to the Halo A21 and Cambridge Audio preamp.

The 7 channel HT system is in another room where I have another 2 channel system, the best of the 3.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
They are both for 2 channels. Each had its own amps, dacs etc. I alternate the vintage Marantz pair and 3805 with the LS50. The R900s are hooked up to the Halo A21 and Cambridge Audio preamp.

The 7 channel HT system is in another room where I have another 2 channel system, the best of the 3.
The best of the 3?!?! Tell me more.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
The best of the 3?!?! Tell me more.
4Bsst, Focal 1028 Be, Pro-jet Xpression 3, Oppo HA-1 headphone amp/DAC, Sonica AC and Adcom GFP565 that gets rotated with the Marantz SC7 and CA 840E but most of the time the HA-1 doubles as preamp.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
@eargiant, by the way, my previous claim that the LS50, and the R900s, didn't sound different to me was based on my experience in comparative listening and mixing components not by speculation based on specs. In one case my friend said he did hear a subtle difference between the Bryston and the Halo amp, at moderate SPL, about 75-78 dB average I think, but he wasn't sure and that was a sighted test, volume matched by ears, then we briefly did it single blind and iirc, he got it right a little better than 50/50 so still not conclusive. I have never tried that on the Focal set up, just too much work to move the heavy gear up and down. My belief is that you and many other audiophiles may have more discerning hearing, but recording and speakers/rooms really are the key factors by far, not amps. I still want to try the Benchmark amp some day, not for sound quality but I love owning electronic gear. I would have preferred the Lyngdorf but the Benchmark is much more affordable. It isn't digital, but at least it has a switching PS, something that I have not tried bfore.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
@eargiant, by the way, my previous claim that the LS50, and the R900s, didn't sound different to me was based on my experience in comparative listening and mixing components not by speculation based on specs. In one case my friend said he did hear a subtle difference between the Bryston and the Halo amp, at moderate SPL, about 75-78 dB average I think, but he wasn't sure and that was a sighted test, volume matched by ears, then we briefly did it single blind and iirc, he got it right a little better than 50/50 so still not conclusive. I have never tried that on the Focal set up, just too much work to move the heavy gear up and down. My belief is that you and many other audiophiles may have more discerning hearing, but recording and speakers/rooms really are the key factors by far, not amps. I still want to try the Benchmark amp some day, not for sound quality but I love owning electronic gear. I would have preferred the Lyngdorf but the Benchmark is much more affordable. It isn't digital, but at least it has a switching PS, something that I have not tried bfore.
Wait- you lost me, I thought at the end of post #13 you said that you did hear a difference between the LS50 and the R series. Anyway, no biggie either way.

I don't have much experience with JM Labs but I'm sure those 1028 Be of yours sound very nice. I remember walking by a set of Focal stand-mounts (can't remember the model but if memory serves I'm pretty sure they were Focals) that were set-up in open space at the New York Audio Show. They caught my attention as I walked by, I liked the little I heard. I came close to ordering Focal stand-mounts to try out on several occasions but never actually pulled the trigger.

What (aside from the fact that they are almost full range) do you like about the 1028 Be over the KEFs you own?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Wait- you lost me, I thought at the end of post #13 you said that you did hear a difference between the LS50 and the R series. Anyway, no biggie either way.
I did, the inconclusive subtle difference I mentioned in post#28 was between preamps/amps, using the same speakers, the R900 for that comparison session. Nice try!!:D

The 1028 Be are notably even more transparent than the LS50, also slightly more transparent than the 804 D, but much better bass. In my medium size HT room they don't need subs at all.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
I did, the inconclusive subtle difference I mentioned in post#28 was between preamps/amps, using the same speakers, the R900 for that comparison session. Nice try!!:D

The 1028 Be are notably even more transparent than the LS50, also slightly more transparent than the 804 D, but much better bass. In my medium size HT room they don't need subs nat all.
Ahh got it- but keep trying, you never know. You might someday come across that sole squawky harmonica or complex musical passage that might make you a believer!

Dang, more transparent than the 804D- they must be something else. Enjoy! What Focal stand-mount would you recommend?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ahh got it- but keep trying, you never know. You might someday come across that sole squawky harmonica or complex musical passage that might make you a believer!

Dang, more transparent than the 804D- they must be something else. Enjoy! What Focal stand-mount would you recommend?
No idea, mine are floor standing. I mainly listen to classical, large symphony orchestral music should be complex enough for me.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
No idea, mine are floor standing.
I looked them up, it looks like the stand-mount in that line would be the Electra 1008Be ($4K retail).

When you purchased the 1028Be did you audition any of the other Focal lines. If yes, what did the 1028Be offer that the others didn't?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
I looked them up, it looks like the stand-mount in that line would be the Electra 1008Be ($4K retail).

When you purchased the 1028Be did you audition any of the other Focal lines. If yes, what did the 1028Be offer that the others didn't?
I am embarrassed to say that I did not audition the other Focal speakers except the Focal Supra that just happened to be there when someone else was auditioning a pair of the bookshelf version. I auditioned mainly the Paradigm S6, S8, B&W 804 D, 802 D, Sonus Faber. As soon as I heard the 1028 Be, I loved the sound, so went back there the second time with my own SACDs, both times driven by Bel Canto class D amps and some Esoteric SACD player. Then I negotiated the best price I could and that was it. I would have preferred the 1038 Be but the price difference was too big to justify.

Compared to the others, the violin sounded more live like. I had been going to live concerts often enough at the time to know that right away when I heard them. I would put the 804 D second the the S8 last. So I basically picked them for one of the violin concerto I brought with me. The S8 didn't even do well in bass regardless of their gigantic size relatively speaking, and they were powered by some big Pass lab, Krell, and Bryston amps so there were no excuses. The 802 Ds actually sounded very good even when powered by a 100-150 WPC Musical Fidelity stereo amp briefly, before the dealer got panic and hauled out the big Bryston 14B SST.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
I looked them up, it looks like the stand-mount in that line would be the Electra 1008Be ($4K retail).

When you purchased the 1028Be did you audition any of the other Focal lines. If yes, what did the 1028Be offer that the others didn't?
If you are interested in the 1008Be, but looking for a better value, you might take a close look at the $2600/pr. Solo6Be




I am pretty sure they have the exact same drivers. Of course the Solo's have active crossovers and have amps built in (150W Class D for woofer and 100W Class A/B for tweeter IIRC). They are front ported while the 1008be is rear ported.
Some will argue that these are nearfield speakers, and that is how Focal advertises them, but DTS uses the Solo6 Be in their overseas demonstration room. I doesn't seem DTS Labs is too worried about the nearfield designation on these speakers, and I expect they gave some careful consideration of which speakers to showcase their technologies on!
I don't see a photo of that room, but here is a photo of the Twin6 (adds a second identical woofer/amp to the Solo) in DTS Lab's HT demonstration room in their HQ in Calabasas, California. Note the Solo6's mounted up high (along with some room treatments-who needs wallpaper):
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
If you are interested in the 1008Be, but looking for a better value, you might take a close look at the $2600/pr. Solo6Be




I am pretty sure they have the exact same drivers. Of course the Solo's have active crossovers and have amps built in (150W Class D for woofer and 100W Class A/B for tweeter IIRC). They are front ported while the 1008be is rear ported.
Some will argue that these are nearfield speakers, and that is how Focal advertises them, but DTS uses the Solo6 Be in their overseas demonstration room. I doesn't seem DTS Labs is too worried about the nearfield designation on these speakers, and I expect they gave some careful consideration of which speakers to showcase their technologies on!
I don't see a photo of that room, but here is a photo of the Twin6 (adds a second identical woofer/amp to the Solo) in DTS Lab's HT demonstration room in their HQ in Calabasas, California. Note the Solo6's mounted up high (along with some room treatments-who needs wallpaper):
I almost forgot you have those. So between the Solo and the LS50's active version, which one would be your choice? I think I know the answer already.:D
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Well, I have never heard the LS50 actives, so don't know what they might bring to the table.
However, the Solo6 is an easy win over the passive LS50!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Well, I have never heard the LS50 actives, so don't know what they might bring to the table.
However, the Solo6 is an easy win over the passive LS50!
If done right, and KEF should know how to do it, active should always win.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
If done right, and KEF should know how to do it, active should always win.
Yeah, I wish I could get a 1008Be for 2 weeks to compare with my Solo6 Be and see what differences I can pick out.
The 1008 are certainly more stylized for the home market, but the Solo's are pretty finished looking for studio monitors.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Yeah, I wish I could get a 1008Be for 2 weeks to compare with my Solo6 Be and see what differences I can pick out.
The 1008 are certainly more stylized for the home market, but the Solo's are pretty finished looking for studio monitors.
The more up to date design should give the LS50 the edge. Being 2-way, I would think both manage to eliminate the typical passive crossover but the LS50 employs DSP that could potentially minimize phase related issues, as well as providing some EQ possibilities. I have not heard neither.
 

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