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post #3181 of 3218 Old 10-13-2019, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noobtv View Post
I wouldn't be too worried about bit perfect as long as the samplerate is the same as the source files but I definitely wouldn't be using youtube. Youtube is very ordinary audio quality.

The lowest quality I listen to is 320k MP3, with FLAC much preferred. From the PC I use foobar2000 and I set it to the ASIO output of my soundcard (Focusrite 6i6) so it automatically switches the samplerate to whatever the file is. Alternately I use HDMI to my Denon AVR.

Youtube sounds muffled and lacks dynamics and clarity to me. Youtube definitely wouldn't bring out the best in LS50s.

Also just my opinion but I can't hear a difference in quality between good quality DACs or Amplifiers (except valve amps). I haven't A/B'd though. I can hear a big difference in headphone amps though.

Personally I would go with an AVR with Audyssey (at least XT32) or Dirac and go via HDMI to that. Or if you're always using a PC as source, you can even do room correction using free software that runs on the PC (if you buy a UMIK-1) - REW, equaliser APO and Rephase.

Audyssey XT32 and Dynamic EQ has been the biggest difference in sound quality that I've experienced (a lot of that may be due to my subpar room layout though, with a better room it may not make as much difference). I've bought a UMIK-1 to measure the room but have only just started experimenting with that.

I would look into room correction or room treatment before I spent money to get that 0.01% increase in quality from a different amplifier.
So that's the thing.. I have read some say that based on past blind testing, people were hard pressed to tell the difference between different amplifiers. But others claim they can readily hear a difference. I'm all about getting the most bang for my relatively budget bucks, wherever that big increase in diminishing returns kicks in... in other words, if I pay $500 for an amp, a $1000 amp would have to clearly be twice as good for me to make the move and not have buyer's remorse. Same for speakers. I'm not one who would find a 5-10% improvement at 50% higher cost to be worth it, personally.

I have been considering a Yamaha receiver like TS-R7810, which I think is 7.1 and is one of the few in its class that has all pre-outs an all channels. It is pretty current in its features and standards support.. including Dolby Vision. it can be found for about $400, sometimes less, has a direct mode for 2 channel audio playback, and YPAO for room adjustments. I could use for movies and music, listen to FM radio, stream, etc. But I wanted to make sure I get the most out of my LS50, and read enough posts from people who support the idea that separates would result in better sound, due to separate power supplies, better separation/isolation of parts which means less interference and noise, etc. Plus I liked the modularity of it.. being able to swap parts as I deem worthwhile..

So, I went with NAD C268 amp, an external dual Burr-Brown DAC, and no pre-amp.. it works fine for my purposes and does sound great.. I don't find the LS50 to be overly bright or harsh.. I think NAD has a tendency to be a bit on the warmer side, which may help balance things out.

So it makes me wonder if I should have gone with AV receiver and call it a day. For the room adjustments which I hear can make a good difference when you are limited in your placement options. It would be cheaper, simplify my setup and also make it more versatile.. but ultimately audio quality is most important.. but if it the sound quality sacrificed was like 5% or hard to notice, I'd rather go with cheaper and simpler.

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post #3182 of 3218 Old 10-13-2019, 08:30 PM
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Is anyone here using Dirac Live with KEF LS50W speakers?

What are you using to add Dirac and how are the results? I know LS50W has inbuilt DSP but not the the Automatic Room Correction. Wondering if it will improve sound in a 'lively' room.

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post #3183 of 3218 Old 10-13-2019, 10:11 PM
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What are you using for the front LR instead of the C268? And what makes them better than the C268? You mentioned C268 had an open and clear sound that was very impressive, which is good to know since it alleviates some doubt that I made a good choice. But now I'm wondering if I could have made a better choice even.
Most of my listening is Roon via Ethernet to an Ayre QX-5/20, KX-5/20, VX-5/20 chain to KEF Reference 1s. For surround, it's front LR from an Oppo 205 through the Ayre chain with side and rear surround through the NAD.
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post #3184 of 3218 Old 10-14-2019, 12:04 AM
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So that's the thing.. I have read some say that based on past blind testing, people were hard pressed to tell the difference between different amplifiers. But others claim they can readily hear a difference. I'm all about getting the most bang for my relatively budget bucks, wherever that big increase in diminishing returns kicks in... in other words, if I pay $500 for an amp, a $1000 amp would have to clearly be twice as good for me to make the move and not have buyer's remorse. Same for speakers. I'm not one who would find a 5-10% improvement at 50% higher cost to be worth it, personally.

I have been considering a Yamaha receiver like TS-R7810, which I think is 7.1 and is one of the few in its class that has all pre-outs an all channels. It is pretty current in its features and standards support.. including Dolby Vision. it can be found for about $400, sometimes less, has a direct mode for 2 channel audio playback, and YPAO for room adjustments. I could use for movies and music, listen to FM radio, stream, etc. But I wanted to make sure I get the most out of my LS50, and read enough posts from people who support the idea that separates would result in better sound, due to separate power supplies, better separation/isolation of parts which means less interference and noise, etc. Plus I liked the modularity of it.. being able to swap parts as I deem worthwhile..

So, I went with NAD C268 amp, an external dual Burr-Brown DAC, and no pre-amp.. it works fine for my purposes and does sound great.. I don't find the LS50 to be overly bright or harsh.. I think NAD has a tendency to be a bit on the warmer side, which may help balance things out.

So it makes me wonder if I should have gone with AV receiver and call it a day. For the room adjustments which I hear can make a good difference when you are limited in your placement options. It would be cheaper, simplify my setup and also make it more versatile.. but ultimately audio quality is most important.. but if it the sound quality sacrificed was like 5% or hard to notice, I'd rather go with cheaper and simpler.
Separates are not for people who want bang for the buck, lol. They're for people who want diminishing returns.

It goes in this order, assuming everything is of passable quality: Speakers > Room Placement/Treatmeent > Amplifiers > Your hearing > literally anything else > Cables (lol!).

FYI, from my research to buy my new AVR recently, Dirac > Audyssey XT32 > YPAO/Audyssey XT. I bought the Denon X3500H because it was the most reasonably-priced one with XT32 and pre-outs.

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post #3185 of 3218 Old 10-14-2019, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by noobtv View Post
Separates are not for people who want bang for the buck, lol. They're for people who want diminishing returns.

It goes in this order, assuming everything is of passable quality: Speakers > Room Placement/Treatmeent > Amplifiers > Your hearing > literally anything else > Cables (lol!).

FYI, from my research to buy my new AVR recently, Dirac > Audyssey XT32 > YPAO/Audyssey XT. I bought the Denon X3500H because it was the most reasonably-priced one with XT32 and pre-outs.
A year ago I would have written that. It was only when I got the LS50's onto a really good amp that for me the speakers really began to reveal what they could do. That was reinforced when I demoed R7's on a lowly 40 watts...but it was a Naim Uniti Atom's 40 watts. Then there's push-pull tube amps, another whole discussion.

No, I didn't do double blind testing. All I did was listen to my LS50's for 8 months on other amps and then got the M10. Is it diminishing returns? Sure. It's a lot more money but was definitely worth it to me. I do not WANT diminishing returns, it's just part of the game and I'm willing to accept it.
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post #3186 of 3218 Old 10-14-2019, 09:27 AM
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No, I didn't do double blind testing.
Then your results are hopelessly confounded.
Note that this doesn't mean anything about your specific, idiosyncratic purchase decision.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #3187 of 3218 Old 10-14-2019, 09:54 AM
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Then your results are hopelessly confounded.
Note that this doesn't mean anything about your specific, idiosyncratic purchase decision.
Say what you will, I won't take it personally.


I'm happier with the NAD Masters M10 driving my LS50's than the previous Bluesound Powernode 2 for a number of reasons. Better DAC chipset (ESS Sabre 9028 vs. Burr-Brown PCM5122), a wee bit more power (100w/ch vs. 60w/ch), the very cool looks and ability to control everything with it's own front panel, my desktop app, my phone or my tablet. Here's an equally subjective analysis: It cost 2.5x as much, and I'm 5x happier.

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... Here's an equally subjective analysis: It cost 2.5x as much, and I'm 5x happier.
There's nothing wrong with subjective and (some) subjective, in the sense of self-reported internal state, evaluations can be assessed scientifically. It's just a matter of correct experimental design.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #3189 of 3218 Old 10-14-2019, 04:36 PM
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A year ago I would have written that. It was only when I got the LS50's onto a really good amp that for me the speakers really began to reveal what they could do. That was reinforced when I demoed R7's on a lowly 40 watts...but it was a Naim Uniti Atom's 40 watts. Then there's push-pull tube amps, another whole discussion.

No, I didn't do double blind testing. All I did was listen to my LS50's for 8 months on other amps and then got the M10. Is it diminishing returns? Sure. It's a lot more money but was definitely worth it to me. I do not WANT diminishing returns, it's just part of the game and I'm willing to accept it.
OP wrote that if something was 2x as expensive he wanted 2x the performance. That's why I wrote that.

Nothing wrong with paying for the extra quality if you want. Unless it's for cables or power conditioners.
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post #3190 of 3218 Old 10-15-2019, 06:13 AM
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A year ago I would have written that. It was only when I got the LS50's onto a really good amp that for me the speakers really began to reveal what they could do. That was reinforced when I demoed R7's on a lowly 40 watts...but it was a Naim Uniti Atom's 40 watts. Then there's push-pull tube amps, another whole discussion.

No, I didn't do double blind testing. All I did was listen to my LS50's for 8 months on other amps and then got the M10. Is it diminishing returns? Sure. It's a lot more money but was definitely worth it to me. I do not WANT diminishing returns, it's just part of the game and I'm willing to accept it.
If you feel the M10 has made an improvement that is the most important thing.

But I guess the point others are trying to make is that for the $4K retail of the M10 (and sale of your LS50s), you could have bought a pair of KEF Reference 1s.

And I don't think there is much debate that your current amp and Ref 1s would be better than the M10 and your LS50s.

I used to be an amp slut, but these days whenever I am tempted I ask myself what better speaker, or better RoomEQ product could I get for that money.

The LS50 is an awfully good $1500 speaker. But it is not as good as an awfully good $2K speaker like the R3, let alone an awfully good $5K (used) speaker like the Reference or (flipping brands) fancier Revels or Salks.
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If you feel the M10 has made an improvement that is the most important thing.

But I guess the point others are trying to make is that for the $4K retail of the M10 (and sale of your LS50s), you could have bought a pair of KEF Reference 1s.

And I don't think there is much debate that your current amp and Ref 1s would be better than the M10 and your LS50s.

I used to be an amp slut, but these days whenever I am tempted I ask myself what better speaker, or better RoomEQ product could I get for that money.

The LS50 is an awfully good $1500 speaker. But it is not as good as an awfully good $2K speaker like the R3, let alone an awfully good $5K (used) speaker like the Reference or (flipping brands) fancier Revels or Salks.

In the USA, the M10 had an original list price of US$2499, and I got a decent discount on that. I already had owned the LS50 special edition speakers for 8 months, buying them as used trade-ins from my dealer for US$900. My total investment was under US$3000, so no way could I have gotten even used Reference 1's, and I'd still be needing a good amplifier. The LS50's are VERY good, and I believe when combined with the perfectly integrated (via Dirac) KEF Kube 10b sub, would be as good as a pair of R3.

Maybe someday, but for now...no Reference series for me. I would LOVE to own a pair of Reference 3's or Blade 2, but need to wait.

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The LS50 is an awfully good $1500 speaker.
But they seem to be reliably on sale (in the US). They're $1,300 now and were $1,00 when I got mine this past summer (likewise last fall). I don't think that means KEF finds them hard to sell at $1,500 but, of course, I have no idea.

I might type 2K for 1080p.
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post #3193 of 3218 Old 10-30-2019, 12:30 PM
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LS50 with SONOS AMP

Hi everyone,

Does anyone here paired LS50s with Sonos AMP? I have bunch of Sonos speakers around the house and looking to buy a more refined pair of speakers for my living room and it would be good to be able to connect everything together. I'm not sure if Sonos AMP would be a good match for LS50s though.

Would appreciate your help.

Thanks
Mohammad
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post #3194 of 3218 Old 11-02-2019, 11:03 AM
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Ken,

I'm going to use a NAD M10 to drive front LR LS50s and a pair of of 268s to drive side and rear surround LS50s. Sources will be Cox cable via HDMI to an Oppo 205 and discs played by the 205. The LS50s will be supplemented below 80 Hz by a pair of Velodyne HGS-10s. I'll continue to use the Ayre 5X Twenty series components with the Ref 1s for stereo.

I've had the M10 for a while, but haven't used it. I have been impressed with the 268s.

db
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post #3195 of 3218 Old 11-02-2019, 04:17 PM
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Ken,

I'm going to use a NAD M10 to drive front LR LS50s and a pair of of 268s to drive side and rear surround LS50s. Sources will be Cox cable via HDMI to an Oppo 205 and discs played by the 205. The LS50s will be supplemented below 80 Hz by a pair of Velodyne HGS-10s. I'll continue to use the Ayre 5X Twenty series components with the Ref 1s for stereo.

I've had the M10 for a while, but haven't used it. I have been impressed with the 268s.

db
I will be very curious to read your impressions of the M10 with your LS50's, though would also be keen to know if you'd give it a try with your Reference 1's at some point. With the Dirac, it might surprise you.

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post #3196 of 3218 Old 11-02-2019, 05:23 PM
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Hi all,

I am a total newbie to the speaker game, and I have a couple of questions that I really can't seem to figure out despite a bunch of reading and perseveration.

I live in a medium-sized apartment, and my main room where my entertainment area is measures about 24' x 14' x 10' and includes my kitchen, but the living room area is isolated to one quadrant/corner. After going back and forth between tower and bookshelf speakers, I am pretty set on using 3 KEF LS50s for my L/C/R speakers, and 2 Q150s for my rear surround speakers. I will be pairing these with a subwoofer TBD.

My listening pattern will likely be 2:1 in favor of home theater/gaming vs. music. I am planning to purchase an AVR that has eARC capabilities to integrate the speakers with my television. The problem that I am running into, however, is that it seems there are no HDMI 2.1 compatible AVRs on the market. With the advent of PS5, 8k televisions, etc. on the horizon, it seems wasteful to spend a few thousand dollars on a top of the line AVR that will not even be able to support the new 2.1 standard and its ability to display 4k at 120 Hz or 8k at 60 Hz and will need to be replaced in a year or so. Be that as it may I have been looking at some cheaper AVRs such as the Denon S650H to use in the mean time. This receiver outputs 75W per channel, but I have read many posts online regarding the LS50s and KEFs in general and understand that these speakers can benefit from more power. Would the solution to a receiver/speaker combo like this be the addition of an amplifier? If so, what sort of specs should I be looking for? And would it be something that I would still have to use later on when next year I purchase a top of the line 11 channel HDMI 2.1 capable AVR? Or should I just look elsewhere to an AVR with higher power output?

Thanks in advance. And if this has been asked before I apologize!
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post #3197 of 3218 Old 11-02-2019, 06:20 PM
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Hi all,

I am a total newbie to the speaker game, and I have a couple of questions that I really can't seem to figure out despite a bunch of reading and perseveration.

I live in a medium-sized apartment, and my main room where my entertainment area is measures about 24' x 14' x 10' and includes my kitchen, but the living room area is isolated to one quadrant/corner. After going back and forth between tower and bookshelf speakers, I am pretty set on using 3 KEF LS50s for my L/C/R speakers, and 2 Q150s for my rear surround speakers. I will be pairing these with a subwoofer TBD.
That's a decent size room so I would cross the LS50 over at 100-120Hz and dual subs would be much better than 1 if you can swing it. Otherwise the setup will sound great.
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post #3198 of 3218 Old 11-03-2019, 12:08 PM
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That's a decent size room so I would cross the LS50 over at 100-120Hz and dual subs would be much better than 1 if you can swing it. Otherwise the setup will sound great.
Thanks for the tip. I was sorta wondering about a 2 sub setup given the size. I will definitely look into it.

Do you have any insight into the power/amp question? Will that receiver be sufficient to bring out the best in the LS50s?
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post #3199 of 3218 Old 11-03-2019, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for the tip. I was sorta wondering about a 2 sub setup given the size. I will definitely look into it.

Do you have any insight into the power/amp question? Will that receiver be sufficient to bring out the best in the LS50s?
That depends more on your listening distance and how loud you listen at that position. Try this SPL calculator (https://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html) and input your listening distance, etc. If you have one of those little handheld SPL meters you can see how loud you listen, you want to know the peak SPL at the loudest you ever listen and see how much power is needed to get you there. 75 Watts is enough for most people.
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post #3200 of 3218 Old 11-04-2019, 01:19 AM
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I will be very curious to read your impressions of the M10 with your LS50's, though would also be keen to know if you'd give it a try with your Reference 1's at some point. With the Dirac, it might surprise you.
Sorry Ken, I was mistaken about having an NAD M10. It's an M22. I'm not familiar with NAD models so I don't know how an M10 and M22 differ. IIRC I read a very favorable review of the M22 before I bought it, but I haven't used it. I can try it with the Ref 1s.

db
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post #3201 of 3218 Old 11-04-2019, 01:48 AM
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Ken,

I just checked out the M10 streaming amp and M22 stereo amp at the NAD web site. It appears as though the two are aimed at different markets. The M10 is loaded with features, whereas the M22 is a basic stereo amp that does seem to have an audio trigger capability.

db
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post #3202 of 3218 Old 11-04-2019, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
Sorry Ken, I was mistaken about having an NAD M10. It's an M22. I'm not familiar with NAD models so I don't know how an M10 and M22 differ. IIRC I read a very favorable review of the M22 before I bought it, but I haven't used it. I can try it with the Ref 1s.

db
The M22 is a VERY good 2-channel power amp. I don't know how much difference you'll hear between it and your Ayre amp, but you'll definitely notice the lower heat and energy costs.

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post #3203 of 3218 Old 11-04-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
The M22 is a VERY good 2-channel power amp. I don't know how much difference you'll hear between it and your Ayre amp, but you'll definitely notice the lower heat and energy costs.
I bought both the NAD M22 and Ayre VX-5 Twenty used. The Ayre is used in balanced mode and sits between the speakers, as will the NAD. This morning I bought a pair of all black LS50s (at KEF's sale discount) to use as front LR with the M22. The amp comparison will be confounded: Oppo 205 to NAD M22 to Ref 1s v Ayre DX-5 DSD, KX-5/20. VX-5/20 to Ref 1s fully bi-wired. I've never tried it, but the Oppo is connected to the Ayre QX-5 digital hub via a $200 AQ optical cable, so I might try Roon through the Oppo/NAD. The optical link was a suggestion from the very helpful support at Ayre.

Energy efficiency was the compelling reason behind the purchase of the NAD M22 and pair of C268 amps -- that the C268s sound so good with the LS50s was a surprise to me.

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post #3204 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 10:37 AM
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That's a decent size room so I would cross the LS50 over at 100-120Hz and dual subs would be much better than 1 if you can swing it. Otherwise the setup will sound great.
Hi guys! I have an LS50, but when my amp broke down, I bought a Dynaudio Xeo 2 to replace it, since a decent amp alone like the naim 5si wuld cost more than the active speaker itself, I replaced it with a Dynaudio Xeo 2. I liked the Xeo 2, but then, I missed the midrange of the LS50, and when my Xeo 2 started to have problems with its slave speaker, and I heard of the release of the LS50W, I bought the LS50W at once. I really liked that the LS50W allows you to have a sub since I already have an SVS PB12NSD. Would you guys know at what point should I cross over the LS50W for optimum performance? Because I just set it at 60 Hz since I saw that the LS50W is said to reach 39Hz or something.

Also, I have a dilemna. This is because my dealer took more than 2 years to replace my xeo 2, since it was phased out already, they replaced it with a dynaudio evoke 10. Now I dont know what to do with this. Do I keep it for in case in the future I wanna make a 5.1 system, or sell it and buy an R3 instead in the future, or add money and have them make it a Dynaudio Special 40?

Thanks for all your help.

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post #3205 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 11:17 AM
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I really liked that the LS50W allows you to have a sub since I already have an SVS PB12NSD. Would you guys know at what point should I cross over the LS50W for optimum performance? Because I just set it at 60 Hz since I saw that the LS50W is said to reach 39Hz or something.
Since you have a capable sub, the lowest I would cross is 80Hz but higher might sound even better. I really don't know the slope of the LS50W sub out or if you can change it but if it's 2nd order, I would cross at 100Hz, 80Hz would be fine with a 4th order high pass. I find the more bass I can remove from the LS50 driver, the cleaner they sound.
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post #3206 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rahvin36 View Post
Hi guys! I have an LS50, but when my amp broke down, I bought a Dynaudio Xeo 2 to replace it, since a decent amp alone like the naim 5si wuld cost more than the active speaker itself, I replaced it with a Dynaudio Xeo 2. I liked the Xeo 2, but then, I missed the midrange of the LS50, and when my Xeo 2 started to have problems with its slave speaker, and I heard of the release of the LS50W, I bought the LS50W at once. I really liked that the LS50W allows you to have a sub since I already have an SVS PB12NSD. Would you guys know at what point should I cross over the LS50W for optimum performance? Because I just set it at 60 Hz since I saw that the LS50W is said to reach 39Hz or something.

Also, I have a dilemna. This is because my dealer took more than 2 years to replace my xeo 2, since it was phased out already, they replaced it with a dynaudio evoke 10. Now I dont know what to do with this. Do I keep it for in case in the future I wanna make a 5.1 system, or sell it and buy an R3 instead in the future, or add money and have them make it a Dynaudio Special 40?

Thanks for all your help.
The LS50 (passive) has an F3 of 79hz so starts dropping off in the high 80's. That rated spec of 39hz is a little optimistic given the size of the driver. I use a 100hz crossover and it sounds good to me. I could get away with 90hz, but keep it 100hz since they're closer to the wall than I'd like.

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post #3207 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 02:58 PM
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The LS50 (passive) has an F3 of 79hz so starts dropping off in the high 80's. That rated spec of 39hz is a little optimistic given the size of the driver.
If you can obtain a spectral display of in-room frequency response with a microphone at your listening position, that would be more useful than specs for setting crossover to subs. I discovered that the in-room response of my Ref 1s is pretty flat to just below 30 Hz then rolls off sharply. I set the crossover at 40 Hz with a 24 dB/octave slope. This setting provides jazz that's free of bass emphasis yet delivers the feel and sound of organ pedal notes. I'll be setting up LS50s and measuring their in-room response in a few days -- of course, that's in my room at my listening position.

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post #3208 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 03:09 PM
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Dbphd what port are you using in your Reference 1’s?

Last edited by tr4a; 11-06-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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post #3209 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
If you can obtain a spectral display of in-room frequency response with a microphone at your listening position, that would be more useful than specs for setting crossover to subs. I discovered that the in-room response of my Ref 1s is pretty flat to just below 30 Hz then rolls off sharply. I set the crossover at 40 Hz with a 24 dB/octave slope. This setting provides jazz that's free of bass emphasis yet delivers the feel and sound of organ pedal notes. I'll be setting up LS50s and measuring their in-room response in a few days -- of course, that's in my room at my listening position.

db
Hi DB, sorry for my lack of knowledge, but how do you get a spectral display of in-room frequency response? I have always been tempted to get an Anthem MRX-300/310 just to use the ARC... Is this a good idea? Thanks.
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post #3210 of 3218 Old 11-06-2019, 09:12 PM
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Since you have a capable sub, the lowest I would cross is 80Hz but higher might sound even better. I really don't know the slope of the LS50W sub out or if you can change it but if it's 2nd order, I would cross at 100Hz, 80Hz would be fine with a 4th order high pass. I find the more bass I can remove from the LS50 driver, the cleaner they sound.
Thanks for the reply. My SVS PB12NSD has crossover settings at the back, do I enable this and set it at say 95 hz, or just disable it? Then on the Kef Remote App, the high pass is set at 95 Hz and the sub out low pass frequency is set at 100 Hz. Is this setting ok? Thanks.
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