Need help budget $5k

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by pmo, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    I read the stereophile review some time ago. I was more impressed with the stereophile review before I came to the AH forums. The AH forums tend to take the stereophile reviews and put them in a place of non-esteem. Glad you had a chat with the KEF folks though, there must have been some great insights there. One of my goals is to get free from subwoofers if I can in my dedicated music room. That was one of the deciding factors in my decision that led away from the KEF LS50's. I think the LS50's are a great solution and if you are in a London apartment, you should be set with them. It sounds like you did good research and I hope you are happy with the KEFs. I bet they sound great in your space
  2. shkumar4963 Enthusiast

    shkumar4963
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    Yes it does. Very happy with the clarity. I could never find that clarity with a speaker where a woofer shares the same cabinet as mid and tweeters.


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  3. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    I am happy for you. Clarity and time alignment seemed to be the best qualities of the KEF. Its great to have a hobby with so many excellent solutions and choices. Be well, enjoy !
  4. KenM10759 Audioholic Field Marshall

    KenM10759
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    I'm also looking closely at the LS50 for my future 2 or 2.1 channel music only system. It would be a battle between the new LS50 Wireless and one not mentioned here yet that I've heard and LOVED, the Ariel Acoustics 5T.
  5. Pogre Audioholic Ninja

    Pogre
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    I just looked those up. They're beautiful. I can't afford that price tag, but I'd love to hear them.

    *Edit: Or maybe not. At least until I can afford them!
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  6. vsound5150 Audioholic

    vsound5150
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    If it's for a larger room size those small Polk speakers will sound....well small. Larger enclosures have more room to generate a bigger fuller sound without distorting like a tiny cabinet especially when you start cranking up the volume.
  7. KenM10759 Audioholic Field Marshall

    KenM10759
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    Do not listen to these. I like the KEF LS50 a lot and have heard them many times. The LS50 is incredibly accurate, has impactful midrange, and very detailed treble. The Aerial Acoustics 5T just smashes them with a much more engaging sound, perfect voice rendition, far deeper bass and able to separate the music from the speaker boxes in a way I can't easily describe.

    You do not want to hear those speakers. ;)
  8. shkumar4963 Enthusiast

    shkumar4963
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    Well the big rooms require big woofer and sub woofer. Not a big mid or big tweeter. So if you add a decent sub or two, book shelf speakers can fill up to 400 sq ft room.


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  9. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    For that small room, LS50 plus a pair of beautiful stands plus a sub or 2 will beat most towers including the LSI towers. For AVR, as suggested, SR7010 is great, also AVR-X4200W that has been on sale in the past for $799, it will come back if you wait. I have quite sure those two AV will sound identical when eyes are closed, there is no reason to pay more for the Marantz unless you need multi-channel analog in.
    PENG,
  10. KEW Audioholic Spartan

    KEW
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    For those considering the ls50, I would recommend you audition them first and listen to some solo piano. I found them lacking in ambiance (this may be the same effect Ken described in post 27). IOW, I felt like the sound of a piano was being projected at me rather than being played in the room with me. I believe it is an issue of dispersion/waveguide. I also found some detail missing from Norah Jones vocals.

    That said they did many other things splendidly and if you are not taken back by the effect I describe above, they are otherwise very nice.

    To get specific, if you buy the ls50 via Amazon with their return policy, you have 30 days to return them.
    You can also buy the Sony SC5 speaker via Amazon (or BestBuy, with 14 day returns) to provide a point of comparison. Listen to some well recorded piano and vocals. The Sony is lacking in many ways in comparison to the KEFs, but they do have a generally good FR and their dispersion is better IMHO. Main thing is check it out before paying $1500 for a pair of speakers and assuming they are great. If you reach the same conclusion I did, then look at the SVS Ultra B-stock for $800 shipped, the Philharmonic Audio "New Philharmonitors" for $1150 plus S&H, or the Philharmonic Audio "BMR Philharmonitor" for $1600 plus S&H. At their respective price points, these three speakers represent the best values in sound quality among the speakers I have heard (IMHO, of course, YMMV).

    https://www.amazon.com/KEF-LS50-Mini-Monitor-Gloss/dp/B00EPDMDZ8
    https://www.amazon.com/Sony-SSCS5-3...=UTF8&qid=1487355976&sr=1-1&keywords=sony+cs5
    KEW,
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  11. Pogre Audioholic Ninja

    Pogre
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    Kew speaks wisdom. If you don't mind going through the process, you can do some auditioning at no risk. I own the SVS Ultras and they're pretty impressive speakers. You'd need to spend significantly more to do better at 800/pair. If you keep an eye on their outlet they pop up fairly frequently.
  12. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    Funny you mentioned piano. My LS50s are side by side with the much bigger R900, and the Yamaha piano is in the middle. Neither one sound exactly like the real piano but both sound good enough in comparison. The LS50 sounds more transparent than the R900. I haven't listen to the LS50 solo much but with the E15HP they don't sound their size at all.
    PENG,
  13. shkumar4963 Enthusiast

    shkumar4963
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    Check out PMC 21 and audition them next to LS50. They were the only speakers less than 5k that I thought sounded better than LS50.


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  14. KEW Audioholic Spartan

    KEW
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    Comparing one KEF to another is not IMHO a good reference. I believe both have Uni-Q coaxial drivers, correct? Not identical, but very simular.
    If you compare either KEF against your Focals and don't hear the ambiance effect I am talking about, that would be a surprise and cause me to wonder if my ls50 were defective in some way (but they were bought new in a factory sealed box). I don't believe the sub would impact what I heard very much. I would chose the ls50 over the Philharmonic AA's, but this particular aspect was clearly more realistic on the AA's. For directional instruments such as trombones and trumpets, the effect of the Uni-Q tweeter was wonderful!

    Also the effect with Norah Jones was the breathinesss in her voice was pronounced in an unnatural way making it sound like she was holding a paper cup with the bottom pushed out to her mouth (for the breathiness in her voice, not so much the rest of her voice).

    Please share if you get a chance to compare with the Focals.

    I know you've had yours for a couple of years. I played with toe-in and did not notice any major sensitivity as I adjusted. If you've found otherwise, it may be I did not play with positioning enough to find the magic spot.
    KEW,
  15. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    You are right, and I did compare them all though not in very good ways. Still, for transparency, I feel confident that Focal>LS50>R900>=Veritas 2.3i. I have only compared the Focal 1028 and the LS50 in the same room side by side without subs, and the LS50+sub in the same room with the R900. So I can only be sure that the Focal sounds better than the LS50 without sub and the LS50 with sub sounds better than the R900. However, for whatever reason, I just don't find either KEF exhibit the ambiance effect you heard, not in my rooms anyway. Actually not in the dealers room either, otherwise I would have picked the Revels (forgot the model now) that had more impressive bass but not as transparent.

    It is late now but I am going to listen to Norah Jones more carefully tomorrow and will report back.
    PENG,
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  16. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    I did listen to Norah Jones SACD a few times and didn't hear anything unusual. When I have more free time I may move them upstairs and compare them side by side with the Focal again (did that before). It may be possible that because I use them with a sub with crossover set to 80, 90 or 100 Hz, the effect you noticed might have been reduced due to lesser cone movement. Again, time permitting I will do more serious listening running them full range.

    If you remember, I mentioned that I made up my mind on the LS50 after I auditioned the Blades and learnt that the LS50 employed the same technology.

    KEF has been using coaxial design for ages so one would expect they do how to do it well. It is interesting to see the KEF website groups the LS50 with the flagship Muron and Blade, very smart marketing strategy!!

    https://www.kefdirect.com/speakers/flagship-hi-fi-speakers.html
    PENG,
  17. shkumar4963 Enthusiast

    shkumar4963
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    I concur. I tested a few amplifiers over the last few years and believe that a properly sized amplifier will sound as good as the other one. I also have not been able to find any audio quality advantage from expensive interconnects. YMMV.


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  18. shkumar4963 Enthusiast

    shkumar4963
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    Do you sometime feel like turning the subs off and just listening to Norah Jones or any other Jazz singer purely on LS50. The voice is so transparent and clear that you feel as if they are with you in the listening room.


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