KEF LS50 Vs DIY Vs... - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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KEF LS50 Vs DIY Vs...

Looking to pick up another pair of bookshelf speakers for listening to music. I don't need another pair...but like many of you I enjoy exploring all of the different speaker/amp/source combinations in the pursuit of audio nirvana.

I live in a small town and have several young kids, so I unfortunately don't typically have an opportunity to test/demo speakers, so I typically scan the web for all of the information I can find, and then pull the trigger and enjoy.

I am very fortunate to have a wife that really enjoys listening to music with me, but she is not an audiophile and really only cares about looks. We often listen to music in our master bedroom together, and as long as I keep the audio equipment at a minimum and keep everything clean, organized, and understated, she is happy. This means no Floor standing or MTM styled speakers, woofer sizes below 8", and no difficult to place speakers, as symmetry and looks will trump room placement. I have several speakers/amps that I rotate in and out as the mood strikes (Airmotiv 6s, Classic II's, S2000's, and C-Notes) but I find that the Airmotiv's get the most playtime (love that ribbon tweeter). Though we listen to classic rock more than anything else, I don’t think there is a genre of music we don’t at least dabble in from time to time. As for as sources go, its about 50% vinyl and 50% streaming, and more often than not, we listen at moderate to low volumes. Its also worth noting that I run these speakers without a subwoofer.

About a year ago I got the itch to build Jeff Bagby's Helix speakers, but then I started reading a lot of reviews about the KEF LS50's, and based on everything I have read, they can hold their own with much more expensive speakers. Though I have built quite a few speakers, I don’t really do it for the passion of the build but for the ability to reach a performance level that I wouldn’t be able to afford paying for retail speakers. The LS50’s can be easily snagged in the 5-600 range used, which is only about $100 or so more than it would cost me to build Bagby’s Helix speakers with a really nice finish.

Though I know it is likely a long shot, has anyone heard the KEF LS50’s and Jeff’s Helix speaker? Or the LS50’s and any of the speakers I mentioned in the list above?

Thoughts?

Thanks a bunch for any input you guys can provide.

I am always shocked by the wealth of knowledge and altruism on these forums,

Troy
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 07:47 AM
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@brian6751 had (still has?) the Helix Domes and has owned/listened to more speakers than most. Wonder if he has experience with the LS50s?

Sub builds: Yet another Infinity 1260 build | Twins! | Modified V.B.S.S. build | UM12-22 builds | AV stand and sealed UM18s

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by smcmillan2 View Post
@brian6751 had (still has?) the Helix Domes and has owned/listened to more speakers than most. Wonder if he has experience with the LS50s?
I have owned the LS50's and the Helix MT's. I've also owned the LS50 Wireless and the Helix MTM LOL

The LS50 is a great speaker but its very limited below 70Hz. You really need a sub with these for any active listening. The Helix actually sounds very similar, tone-wise, to the LS50 and you can definitely get away with not using a subwoofer. It will also be easier to drive and have more output before distorting than the LS50. I would take the Helix over the LS50 all day everyday.

hope that helps
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 08:00 AM
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Based on the measurements posted at Audio Science Review, I would flatly rule out the LS50s without a subwoofer. They do not produce enough bass to be truly satisfying full-range.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post
I have owned the LS50's and the Helix MT's. I've also owned the LS50 Wireless and the Helix MTM LOL

The LS50 is a great speaker but its very limited below 70Hz. You really need a sub with these for any active listening. The Helix actually sounds very similar, tone-wise, to the LS50 and you can definitely get away with not using a subwoofer. It will also be easier to drive and have more output before distorting than the LS50. I would take the Helix over the LS50 all day everyday.

hope that helps
That helps a bunch, thanks!
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-21-2020, 11:45 AM
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For classic rock those Carmody Classix II's are tough to beat. If you like those for that genre I can tell you that the low-end of the LS50 is going to let you down.

I have not heard the Helix dome's but if they are anything like the Classix II's but with a better overall sound, they should be a win/win.
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