KEF LS50 Owners - Page 55 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1621 of 2359 Old 12-19-2015, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Crimguy View Post
It's interesting. Every electrical engineer I know (3 actually, one of whom used to work for Intel and did a lot of design work for the DoD) find the cable issue to be silly. Only the engineers with a hat in the ring seem to believe there's a difference.

I have never heard a difference.


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I was pretty sure of that. The article by Russell that I mentioned is pretty convincing but I did not want to take the risk of messing up my set up over a pair of cables. I expect that people here feel the same about interconnects. Thanks, Crim, for the reassurance.
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post #1622 of 2359 Old 12-20-2015, 03:58 AM
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I haven't own too many different speaker or interconnect cables, but in some cases, have heard some differences. It's system dependent and personal taste, so pretty hard to recommend. Then again, just playing around with the positioning and toe-in of these speakers can change the sound, so it is a big can of worms.

My biggest problem with the boutique cable industry is the prices they want for their products. Hard to justify if one’s on a budget. You can read some of the web reviews out there to get an idea of what might work with the KEFs.

Right now using all diy cables; Canare 4S11 speaker cable with Audioquest spades, short silver braided unshielded interconnects, and Mogami 2549 balanced inteconnects.

One thing I found interesting was the Mogami cables. Had first started out with their star quads configuration (2534), thinking the slightly extra cost of this cable would equal sonic superiority. Not the case.
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post #1623 of 2359 Old 12-22-2015, 08:42 AM
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Hi Everyone - I have LS50s across the front of my theater area. I use them for both 2.1 channel and 5.1 listening. I'm demoing a ID sub now and while it does fill things out quite a bit, i'm going to need 2 to get it 'right' -- my room is 18x35x8 (with only 18x12 as the listening area). I really don't want $2k+ tied up in subs.. has anyone tried a DIY sub with the LS50s?

re: cables. Bluejean cable FTW - never looked back.
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post #1624 of 2359 Old 12-22-2015, 12:11 PM
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A pair of SVS SB1000 or PB1000 subs is only $1K. Very nice subs for the money.

A pair of the SB2000 is only $1400 - this is a very accurate and musical sub and an excellent match for the LS-50.

(re: cables. Ditto bluejean - great QC and customer support.)
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post #1625 of 2359 Old 12-22-2015, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post
A pair of SVS SB1000 or PB1000 subs is only $1K. Very nice subs for the money.

A pair of the SB2000 is only $1400 - this is a very accurate and musical sub and an excellent match for the LS-50.

(re: cables. Ditto bluejean - great QC and customer support.)
I'm getting ready...to try some SVS myself; for a little 3.1 system I'm putting together.

If they sound half-way decent; GREAT value for the price.

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post #1626 of 2359 Old 12-22-2015, 04:23 PM
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I was going to try out the SB13, but ended up trying the PSA S1500. On paper, they're nearly identical wrt output and response curve. After about a week, the s1500 is performing well for HT applications. The jury is still out for music. I'm still trying to dial in the setup... Though, after hearing 1 s1500, i'm leaning toward wanting 2 SB2000 to evenly distribute (2 sb2000 = 1 S1500). 2 s1500s are just shy of 2k ($1900).

I also thought about REL...
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post #1627 of 2359 Old 12-23-2015, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by martinman View Post
Hi Everyone - I have LS50s across the front of my theater area. I use them for both 2.1 channel and 5.1 listening. I'm demoing a ID sub now and while it does fill things out quite a bit, i'm going to need 2 to get it 'right' -- my room is 18x35x8 (with only 18x12 as the listening area). I really don't want $2k+ tied up in subs.. has anyone tried a DIY sub with the LS50s?

re: cables. Bluejean cable FTW - never looked back.
There are a lot of good designs over in the AVS diy section. Ported and sealed. I'm currently building a pair of these for the HT system, but not to use with my KEFs:

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...ndle--300-7099

Using a simple Duratex coating, the total cost will be around $500 each, but that doesn't include amplification, cabling, etc. I have some pro amps already on hand, so good to go there. I may also do some grille covers, which will add to the cost.

They have similar kits for the smaller drivers, although the box size difference between the 15" model and the 18" model is not that much, which justifies going with the 18"er.

Ultimately you don't save a ton of money going diy vs ID, plus the finished product may not look as nice. Especially if you have to buy all the tools, clamps, etc. But hopefully, if done right, the dollar for dollar performance is superior.

To add on to KEFs in a music only system, maybe a couple of these below?

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...ndle--300-7090

Last edited by jkhome; 12-23-2015 at 07:14 AM.
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post #1628 of 2359 Old 12-23-2015, 10:38 AM
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My son and I split cost on an SVS SB2000 yesterday for him, and let me tell you I wish I'd ponied up another $200 when I bought the SB1000! The SB2000 is amazing for the money, and so much cleaner, deeper & smoother than my SB1000...and that's no slouch either.
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post #1629 of 2359 Old 12-27-2015, 12:22 PM
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Finally getting a sub to go with my LS50s in my desktop setup. Velo DD10 Plus is on the way. Super excited to hear everything in full range finally. The DD10 Plus has a very good EQ system so everything should sound epic.

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post #1630 of 2359 Old 12-28-2015, 01:25 PM
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I have bad shape room for bass. It is 11ft x 11 ft x 8 ft. Very hard to get good bass punch even with two 12 inch sealed sub across the front, next to each speakers. I tried crawl method, REW measurements, bass trap, etc. I ended up buying another 10 inch sealed sub to place it right behind my seat. That helps a lot getting the punch. So I now have 3 subs in my tiny room.
: )

Anyway, I got the LS50 about a month ago. I was missing the holographic, big sound stage that a few here mentioned. I finally got that feeling after trying multiple different source/dac. I tried Peachtree Nova 125, Oppo 105, low cost Sony Blueray player, cheap dacs, and Emotiva Stealth DC-1. I like the Emotiva the best. Finally very happy with my LS50 + 3 subs setup in my small room.
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post #1631 of 2359 Old 12-28-2015, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jkhome View Post
I haven't own too many different speaker or interconnect cables, but in some cases, have heard some differences. It's system dependent and personal taste, so pretty hard to recommend. Then again, just playing around with the positioning and toe-in of these speakers can change the sound, so it is a big can of worms.

My biggest problem with the boutique cable industry is the prices they want for their products. Hard to justify if one’s on a budget. You can read some of the web reviews out there to get an idea of what might work with the KEFs.

Right now using all diy cables; Canare 4S11 speaker cable with Audioquest spades, short silver braided unshielded interconnects, and Mogami 2549 balanced inteconnects.

One thing I found interesting was the Mogami cables. Had first started out with their star quads configuration (2534), thinking the slightly extra cost of this cable would equal sonic superiority. Not the case.
Okay, good to know. Thanks for sharing. I spoke to some employees at an audiophile store who were nearly shocked that I suggested that there is no significant difference between cables!

The Stereophile review lists the speaker cables used are all waaay beyond my budget - in fact some are beyond my budget for the entire system. I bought the Audioquest Rocket 33 yesterday, then realized that they were biwired and cancelled the order.
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post #1632 of 2359 Old 12-28-2015, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pdxaudio View Post
I have bad shape room for bass. It is 11ft x 11 ft x 8 ft. Very hard to get good bass punch even with two 12 inch sealed sub across the front, next to each speakers. I tried crawl method, REW measurements, bass trap, etc. I ended up buying another 10 inch sealed sub to place it right behind my seat. That helps a lot getting the punch. So I now have 3 subs in my tiny room.
: )...
Hi pdxaudio,

If no one has said so, welcome to AVS!

Did you end up time aligning all three subs as a mono signal and implemented bass management? Splicing the LS50 with the subs is a bit tricky and one way to get a smooth transition is to use the sub distance tweak with REW.

When you combined all three subs properly, REW measurements (15Hz to 300Hz) should show a nice smooth response at the listening position. Ideally you'd like to shape that response to taste as most listeners like a ski slope shape, 8dB to 10dB at the lowest frequency to about 0dB at 120Hz. The Harmon curve is a good starting point.

Also check the waterfall graphs (or spectrogram) for any ringing - the bass traps are meant to help deal with them.

Once you've got the bass as best as one can, then look at the 1st reflections and impulse response to improve the stereo imaging. Getting this right will get the holographic, big sound stage that a few here mentioned.

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Last edited by steveting99; 12-28-2015 at 04:51 PM. Reason: added greeting
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post #1633 of 2359 Old 12-28-2015, 08:11 PM
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Hi pdxaudio,

If no one has said so, welcome to AVS!

Did you end up time aligning all three subs as a mono signal and implemented bass management? Splicing the LS50 with the subs is a bit tricky and one way to get a smooth transition is to use the sub distance tweak with REW.

When you combined all three subs properly, REW measurements (15Hz to 300Hz) should show a nice smooth response at the listening position. Ideally you'd like to shape that response to taste as most listeners like a ski slope shape, 8dB to 10dB at the lowest frequency to about 0dB at 120Hz. The Harmon curve is a good starting point.

Also check the waterfall graphs (or spectrogram) for any ringing - the bass traps are meant to help deal with them.

Once you've got the bass as best as one can, then look at the 1st reflections and impulse response to improve the stereo imaging. Getting this right will get the holographic, big sound stage that a few here mentioned.
Hi Steveting99,
Thank you for your welcome and all the REW suggestions!


The only thing I did with the REW results was to trim ~60 hz using eq. I gave up making more adjustments 2 years ago. : )

I added the third sub just recently. All I did this time is to use Soudoctor CD to adjust the phase and volume of the three subs with the speakers. I adjusted the 12" subs individually first with the LS50, then adjust my third sub with the rest. I am too lazy to do anymore this time. I did check all the freq from 120 hz down to 20 hz. Not too bad. : )

Thanks again for welcoming me!
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post #1634 of 2359 Old 12-29-2015, 08:28 AM
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Hi Steveting99,
Thank you for your welcome and all the REW suggestions!


The only thing I did with the REW results was to trim ~60 hz using eq. I gave up making more adjustments 2 years ago. : )

I added the third sub just recently. All I did this time is to use Soudoctor CD to adjust the phase and volume of the three subs with the speakers. I adjusted the 12" subs individually first with the LS50, then adjust my third sub with the rest. I am too lazy to do anymore this time. I did check all the freq from 120 hz down to 20 hz. Not too bad. : )

Thanks again for welcoming me!
Sorry, I meant to say soundoctor CD. I was missing an "n" in my previous reply, but I can't find a way to edit my original post.
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post #1635 of 2359 Old 12-29-2015, 05:48 PM
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You're welcome Oboe, and good luck. Yes...if you had mentioned most any other tube unit, than PL; I would have hesitated the ringing endorsement...just because of statements like this: "(my level of clumsiness being so extreme that I find changing light bulbs challenging), I am intimidated by tubes."

But, as you may have discovered by now...PL is about as idiot-proof as it comes, for toob noobs. So it sounds like, you have yourself narrowed-down...to a much more manageable 2 candidates. PL for tubes, the Rogue if you want a hybrid; and all the better...it sounds like you have the means, to hear both.

For the record...I'm pulling for the PL I'm a big fan...and, with all due respect, to Senor Glass-Head Kevin Deal; I still say, stick with the ProLogue Premium...at least to start. The HP, is twice as many tubes...and I just don't think, you'll lack for much with the PLP.
Hi again:

I ended up buying the Dialogue Premium (with phono stage), thanks to CD's excellent advise, spurred by a sale on all electronics for two days to celebrate the opening of a new branch (I do not know if I can mention the store). I have to admit that I did not get much help from listening at the store since the Dialogue was hooked up to a pair of Martin Logan Montis, which were very fine but did not make me swoon and Simaudio Moon equipment. Being used to impatient, inattentive and audio store employees in NYC, I was totally amazed by the knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, audio passion and friendliness of the people here . However, they are pushing me into getting the Moon 380D which the company may be able to make in red (be still my heart!) to match the beyond-gorge special edition red LS50. However, this is a bit higher than what I had budgeted, especially since I already spent more upgrading from the Prologue to the Dialogue. My intention had been to get the Oppo 105D with the USB Regan (which I already have). If I went for separates, I was thinking of the highly rated Benchmark DAC1 HDR ($1295) (could go up to the $1995 e DAC2 HGC) paired with the Musical Fidelity M1CDT transport ($999) though I have no idea if there is synergy. I probably need to ask for advice in a different Forum, though I have gotten great advise here, and if I do, please help me know where.

Michael
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post #1636 of 2359 Old 12-29-2015, 08:13 PM
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Okay, good to know. Thanks for sharing. I spoke to some employees at an audiophile store who were nearly shocked that I suggested that there is no significant difference between cables!

The Stereophile review lists the speaker cables used are all waaay beyond my budget - in fact some are beyond my budget for the entire system. I bought the Audioquest Rocket 33 yesterday, then realized that they were biwired and cancelled the order.
You can get them in the standard (not biwired) configuration.

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post #1637 of 2359 Old 12-29-2015, 09:51 PM
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You can get them in the standard (not biwired) configuration.
You can get them in the standard (not biwired) configuration.

Ha! Thanks TWD. What do you know?!!! You'd think that companies would make their websites clearer.

By the way, JK I neglected to tell you how hard I laughed at your designation of the high priced cable companies as the boutique cable industry! Right on target considering the silver-gold plated plugs, pretty colors and fancy

boxes.It has been suggested that I buy cables to match the color of my speakers.
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post #1638 of 2359 Old 12-30-2015, 02:17 AM
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For those of you who have standard surround avr's and have been scared away to get ls50's because so many are saying that it just won't cut it, just forget everything you read and get the ls50's. Let me explain:

I've read this thread backwards and forwards and the great majority of posts have basically said that you really need an audiophile type amp to run these speakers due to it being power-hungry, ultra-revealing, etc. That may be true for you audiophiles (actually I'm sure it's true period) and I respect that. Yet I'm sure there are quite a few who read this thread and just want to add really good speakers to their existing home theater equipment. That's the position I was in.

Reading this thread, I almost gave up on the idea of getting ls50's as I started adding up how many system upgrades I would need to get this speaker to "sing." But finally I decided to go ahead and replace my LCR Definitive Technology Powermonitor 700's and ProCenter 2000. I figured if they sounded terrible on my Denon avr-1712 I could just sell them. Well, I'm definitely not selling them. I am amazed how great these sound in my 5.1 setup (surrounds still def tec pm 100's, Supercube 3 sub). The soundstage is gigantic, the clarity is amazing and the immersion level is off the charts.

The issue with lower sensitivity also has been a non-factor. Because everything is so much clearer, I can play at a lower volume yet hear everything better. I can also play loud without much trouble (12 feet distance) but it almost seems unnecessary now. I actually really love how full everything sounds at very low volumes for late-night listening.

Hopefully my experience can help others take the plunge and get themselves some of these amazing speakers. Maybe in time I will upgrade the amplifier, etc but it's nice to know that the entry fee to enjoy these speakers is not so steep after all.

Last edited by johnsmith808; 12-30-2015 at 02:24 AM.
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post #1639 of 2359 Old 12-30-2015, 11:15 AM
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I've read this thread backwards and forwards and the great majority of posts have basically said that you really need an audiophile type amp to run these speakers due to it being power-hungry, ultra-revealing, etc. That may be true for you audiophiles (actually I'm sure it's true period) and I respect that. Yet I'm sure there are quite a few who read this thread and just want to add really good speakers to their existing home theater equipment. That's the position I was in.
Any top speaker will reveal the limitations of the downstream chain. It's their job. What's unique about the LS50 is that is does it at a pretty unfathomable price point, provided you're into an more analytical sound signature. I see a lot of discussions about having to add a sub, and would just caution that it's easy to set up a sub in a way that it actually detracts from getting the full revealing nature the LS50 are capable of.
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post #1640 of 2359 Old 12-30-2015, 03:36 PM
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Any top speaker will reveal the limitations of the downstream chain. It's their job. What's unique about the LS50 is that is does it at a pretty unfathomable price point, provided you're into an more analytical sound signature. I see a lot of discussions about having to add a sub, and would just caution that it's easy to set up a sub in a way that it actually detracts from getting the full revealing nature the LS50 are capable of.
I agree that it is not that easy to integrate sub and speakers. It took me years to get to what I really like.

For me, due to room interaction issue, having a way to eq my front 2 subs + adding a third sub recently behind my seat really helped with speakers and sub integration. I am really happy with my 2 channels audio performance now.
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post #1641 of 2359 Old 12-31-2015, 06:00 AM
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I agree that it is not that easy to integrate sub and speakers. It took me years to get to what I really like.

For me, due to room interaction issue, having a way to eq my front 2 subs + adding a third sub recently behind my seat really helped with speakers and sub integration. I am really happy with my 2 channels audio performance now.
For anyone having trouble integrating subs, I would suggest a few things that made a world of difference to me. 1 - get an antimode sub eq, 2 - use rew to find the best spot in your room (best natural curve, no eq), 3 - run the antimode, 4 - run Audyssey/Dirac/whatever
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post #1642 of 2359 Old 12-31-2015, 06:16 AM
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I finished integrating the DD10 plus yesterday. The EQ built into the sub made a huge difference. It sounds amazing now.
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post #1643 of 2359 Old 01-01-2016, 07:58 PM
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For anyone having trouble integrating subs, I would suggest a few things that made a world of difference to me. 1 - get an antimode sub eq, 2 - use rew to find the best spot in your room (best natural curve, no eq), 3 - run the antimode, 4 - run Audyssey/Dirac/whatever
So, tell me about anti-mode. I think i have things integrated well, but the guys at PSA recommended it (probably for the same reasons you are). I ran MCACC setup on my pioneer a few times each with different modes and compared the results. I have a good blend across the front 3, and sub frequencies are much better... However, I'm not sure if MCACC does much with sub 100hz frequency.
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post #1644 of 2359 Old 01-02-2016, 09:07 AM
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I'm into week four with the LS50s and have learned a lot about the 'care & feeding' of the little KEFs. Early on, I experimented with various speaker cables on hand and found that the Kimber 8TC I initially used was simply too harsh and bright. Mogami 3104 was better but a pair of old Hitachi SSX-102K LC-OFC (Linear Crystal, Oxygen Free Copper) cables were the most musical. I then realized early on that low-level listening in my small (11' x 12') music room was just not doing a proper job of breaking the speakers in. To correct this, when leaving the house I would put on pop music (FM) and turn the volume up to high levels. Each and every time I returned to the house there was a noticeable improvement in sound quality... less stridency & harshness. I also spent considerable time on speaker placement and ended up with the speakers placed one-third of the room width in from the side walls. To provide some bass reinforcement at low listening levels, I placed the back of the speakers 18" from the front wall. Last, but not least, I found that 6-7 degrees of toe-in (speakers pointed at my shoulders) really helped with side-wall reflection problems. Absorption panels on the side walls was not an option due to room layout and wife-acceptance-factor (WAF).


I'm finally realizing the magic that so many LS50 reviewers talk about. My only problem right now is that the wife is complaining about the amount of time I spend in the music room... (LOL)
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post #1645 of 2359 Old 01-02-2016, 11:51 AM
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Nice story. What the pre-amp/power amp and source material you are using to be able to notice such subtle differences in cable types?

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post #1646 of 2359 Old 01-02-2016, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Nice story. What the pre-amp/power amp and source material you are using to be able to notice such subtle differences in cable types?

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post #1647 of 2359 Old 01-04-2016, 09:31 AM
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I find it interesting that the KEF specs for the LS50 and R100 (see below) indicate considerably better bass performance for the R100 even though both use the same size woofer and the R100 cabinet is 15% smaller.

LS50: 79Hz-28kHz (+/-3dB)
R100: 56Hz-28kHz (+/-3dB)

Frequency measurements performed by SoundStageNetwork, however, indicates that the LS50 has much better bass performance than the R100. It's almost as if KEF got the specs reversed. Equally interesting is that the Sound & Vision LS50 measurements indicate a freq. response of 46Hz-20kHz (+/-3.2dB) and Stereophile measurements also look pretty flat down to approx. 50Hz.

What's your take on all this?
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post #1648 of 2359 Old 01-04-2016, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by turnbowm View Post
I find it interesting that the KEF specs for the LS50 and R100 (see below) indicate considerably better bass performance for the R100 even though both use the same size woofer and the R100 cabinet is 15% smaller.

LS50: 79Hz-28kHz (+/-3dB)
R100: 56Hz-28kHz (+/-3dB)

Frequency measurements performed by SoundStageNetwork, however, indicates that the LS50 has much better bass performance than the R100. It's almost as if KEF got the specs reversed. Equally interesting is that the Sound & Vision LS50 measurements indicate a freq. response of 46Hz-20kHz (+/-3.2dB) and Stereophile measurements also look pretty flat down to approx. 50Hz.

What's your take on all this?
I would trust the test results by SoundStageNetwork that's been measured in NRC anechoic chamber. There is no reference given for both KEF or Sound & Vision, Stereophile on where the measurements were taken.

What the test results show is a roll off for both the R100 and LS50 starting from 100Hz. The R100 has a steeper roll off compared to the LS50. The distortion measurements of the LS50 is a bit worse than the R100 when looking at 200Hz and below.

If one pairs a good sub (or better yet a pair of good subs) with either the LS50/R100 it would be able to reproduce the full set of signals. I.e. 20Hz to 20kHz.

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Last edited by steveting99; 01-04-2016 at 10:16 PM. Reason: additional text
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post #1649 of 2359 Old 01-04-2016, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post
I would trust the test results by SoundStageNetwork that's been measured in NIRC anechoic chamber....
Like you said, the NRC uses a real anechoic chamber, but one thing to remember is SoundStage does not measure port output, and since it is at the rear of these speakers, in an anechoic chamber, no output is measured from a rear port...it is absorbed by the chamber. If you look at measurements of speakers with front ports on their site, you can see that they seem to have more bass overall.

I know Stereophile measures port output and splices that into the measurement...their technique also adds a bit of "boost".

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post #1650 of 2359 Old 01-04-2016, 11:46 PM
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^Thanks curtis for the insight on SoundStage not measuring the port output. I'm guessing it must not fall into their testing protocol or too troublesome carry out the extra work.

Marantz SR-7009, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, aTV, Harmony Home Control remote, KEF E301+T101, MiniDSP (2x4)+(10x10HD)+(DDRC-88A), Emotiva 2xXPA-5 (Gen2), Rythmik 2xF12G+2xF8, HiMedia Q16, LG 55EC9300.
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