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Any KEF LS50 recommendations?

Posted on July 14, 2012 at 08:23:36

Posts: 136
Location: Canada-Ontario
Joined: April 24, 2005
Hi Folks,

Anyone listen to the LS50 yet? The You Tube video is quite interesting (from the Munich audio show)... I wonder how they'll do with rock though. My Paradigm Studio 80v2 are getting a bit long in the tooth and my listening area is quite small. So I'm in the market... So far the only speakers I like are the Totem Mani-2 Sigs - but they're >$5K :(



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RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on July 14, 2012 at 10:17:22
John Elison

Posts: 20793
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
January 29, 2004
The LS50 sure looks nice. I considered buying it, but I went with the new B&W PM1 instead. I'm quite pleased with the sound of the PM1, but my room is probably just a little too large for this size speaker. I might have been better off with the B&W 805 Diamond.


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on July 14, 2012 at 11:25:57

I have not heard the LS50, it's my understanding that it was designed as a studio monitor. The new KEF R series are very good loudspeakers, if you are looking for a stand mount speaker I would definitely listen to the R300 too.


I hear they are very good, posted on July 14, 2012 at 12:26:05

Posts: 7154
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
I'd love to hear a pair, but I'm chest deep in small British monitors (and esl's).

The big question is how they compare to the Harbeth P3ESR, the current reigning champ of the LS3/5a legacy.

"To Learn Who Rules Over You, Simply Find Out Who You Are Not Allowed to Criticize."



RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on July 22, 2012 at 03:06:23

you have selected 2 brands with a total different design & background philosophy. KEF based their products only on scientific results & technical innovation. Totem use voodoo & feel (in this case:hear) good factor.

Ever heard of the totem peak? it uses the cabinetvibration to radiates the high frequencies. it may works, but shows only how bad the(ir) cabinets are made. Further on, i think their very first topmodel, a 5-way system with the sub housed separately in a square cabinet. the flat cone of the sub had the logo of totem in white printed on it and was screwed to the cabinet with 20!screws or so: a very weird and messy crossoverfrequencies. on top of that: they RECOMMEND to put the peak on it!
Their spks may sound good in my ears but i will never want them because theirs designbackground.

KEF. i have listened this ls50 in the Netherlands (iEAR). From what i was told, this couple is the demo on tour and may have been in munich. And frankly, i was not impress (i listen to fullrange + sub for more than 15 years. So, the strong points of point-source is well known to me.) But i dont think this is due to the spkr. the main cause is probably the used van den hul 352 spkrcable. i cannot imagine that the mcltochs mc7000 is contributing to the bad sound. sign or signal interlinks were used (no idea about them).
this speaker has a very tight and dry low, in that room 60-80 hz was the limit. i know that, so i had take that into acccount.

i preorderd it anyway, because the price is fairly low. compared with the R100 and the technology delivered. Also KEF started more than 20 years ago with uni-q and they consistenly improve it. My favorite of english brands, Tannoy, never shows this achievement since uni-q. Instead, they add a seperate SACD-high frequency tweeter on top of the cabinets .(td8 ,td10 or so).

also i had planned to build a similar speaker with the SEAS excel C16N001/F. but the KEF are easier and save time :)
i will uses the KEF with selfmade SEAS subwoofers.
Sofar i found 2 disadvantages: no-biamping (most people do not biamp but biwire).

you can also look for Genelec or dynaudio bm12a(dont like this brand too, but their coils are oversized which is perfect for you playing loud and for a long period). i am over their nearfield studiostuff. (totem use in the past for sure some dynaudio drivers)



RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 15, 2012 at 18:14:16

Posts: 104
Location: Rhode Island
Joined: August 22, 2003
I've enjoyed your tech posts in the past, John. Great photo here. Is the main ttble an SME? I don't recognize the other ttble. A Dual? I'm looking forward to hearing the KEF LS50. B&W's are generally not to my taste, with exception of the DM2a and DM4's, grandfathers in the line.

Have you tried any mono cartridges? Regards, RA


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 15, 2012 at 19:55:44
John Elison

Posts: 20793
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
January 29, 2004
Never tried a mono cartridge. I have a mono switch on my preamp, though.

Main turntable is Sota Millennia Vacuum with SME V and Denon DL-S1 cartridge. Second turntable on top of the equipment rack is a Technics SL-1200 Mk2 with tonearm damping, Cardas rewire, strobe disabler, and Applied Fidelity platter bearing. It also has a Denon DL-S1 cartridge installed. Presently, I have only one phono stage, a Pass Labs XOno.

Best regards,
John Elison


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 17, 2012 at 06:27:18

Posts: 15
Location: St Louis
Joined: July 18, 2008
Totem does not design with voodoo and feel :rolleyes:

Yes, the beaks were silly but unfortunately this is a market filled with silly ideas. The new Element series Totems sound fantastic, and to design a new driver from scratch like they did to work that well without a crossover took plenty of applied science to accomplish.


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 17, 2012 at 09:11:42

Posts: 1628
Joined: June 1, 2012
KEF is no where near the same Co since the founder Raymond Cooke passed away it is now Hong Kong owned and does not understand customer service, same goes for IAG Quad etc.


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 17, 2012 at 11:30:01

Posts: 107
Location: Central CA Coast
Joined: April 5, 2005
I spent considerable time listening to them at the recent California Audio Show, and I was VERY impressed. I'm considering purchasing them. I'm hearing the Opera Mezza this weekend for comparison purposes.


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on August 28, 2012 at 18:03:52

i had a 2nd listening to them. this time i brought my jvc woodcones for a direct showdown. the gear was marantz cd (type dont remember, but same line as amp) and
marantz pm-1s of 15. ddirect switch by bananas on the spks.

the kef and jvc was positoined freely with more than 0.8 m space aroud them. the kef sounds like a real full hifispeaker (except the very low off course) and beat my jvc in almost every aspect except for 2: 3D-soundstage (or whatever you want to name it) and details. i am dissapointed because i hope the kef does so well (according to (UK)hi-fi news july 2012 and (D)stereoplay 8-2012. the measuremenst shows nothing remarkble except the off-axis response and the nominalimpedance), but it didn't. It didnot reach the level of building a 3D-sound of the JVC and what i used to. i played a part where you can experience the 3D easily well and the salesman didnot argue after he had heard the difference.

at the moment, i didnot buy them. instead, i ask the salesman to bring the 3D-performance of the kef at least to the same level of the jvc. i am not optismictic
because i think the xover is the evil here. to make the case worse, the jvc are not my best 3D speakers, but they are at the moment what i am listening to. so, the kef have to do a whole lot better than this time. it also confirmed my first listeining session why i was not impressed: poor 3D.

remarks: the first session was with a set which is 1 of 3 touring around europe. the 2nd session was executed with the dealer own demo (no testsample, but for sale types}. both by the same dealer, different rooms and gear.

he can contact me when he is ready.


update: the listening was 2 wks ago and no contact yet.


RE: Any KEF LS50 recommendations?, posted on September 12, 2012 at 20:03:28

I noticed that these are rated Class K in the October issue of Stereophile so I would expect a review in the November or December issue.


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