Originally Posted by Bill_B4
I'd look through this thread as well as others on the web regarding amp pairings for the LS50. The passive version can be very demanding of an amplifier an while it will sound "good" with most competent amps, it won't necessarily sound it's best. There's a reason KEFs pumping 230W into each cabinet of the LS50W.
If your budget is limited there are more affordable speaker options that would pair with a budget amp and possibly sound even better than the LS50s with that same budget amp. If it were my money I'd be looking at the Elac UB5 @ $500 and possibly their integrated amp @ $700, unless USB is the only way to connect your particular PC.
Wake_, Cyral, Bill_B4, et al;
I have been following along, appreciate, and agree with all the comments.
I'm still gobsmacked by LS50Ws. I got even more perspective recently. I was able to attended the Definitive Hi-Fi vendor show last week in Seattle, where some ridiculous 'Hi-Fi' systems were demonstrated.
I was fortunate to listen to some great music on a 'Hi-Fi'; a pair of full range floor standing Focal Sopra N°2 speakers, Audio Research tube amp VT80, their whole Foundation series line, including their new high end DAC 9, on HRS shelves. Oh, almost forgot, a $10K Turntable (didn't even look at the name), the cart alone was double the price of my receiver. Wow, the sound was glorious, 'just stereo' music. Snoop that I am I asked the price, (yes expensive) worth at least $80k they said. l am satisfied I got my reference system fix for the year.
I went home and happily listened to my 'mid-fi' system. Comparing the LS50Ws to my own passive LS50s at home with what I had heard at the show, I have to say the LS50Ws hold up well against the big boys, with a high res. source. As I said earlier, the LS50Ws at $2200US are by a large margin the bargain of the century, IMHO.
Wake_, If you don't have the funds
I agree with Bill that there are other speaker/amp combinations which will do well.
To est'b the power requirement for a speaker there is always the old rule of thumb; use the rated wattage of the speaker (LS50 is about 100 watts, if I remember correctly) plus half again as much. Many used amps out there fit that requirement. If the amp can drive 8 ohm speakers at 150 watts (rms per channel two channels driven), I am sure you're in business with the passive LS50. Remember it's a rule of thumb. Some folks say the right amp at 70-80w can be better, or smoother, etc. YMMV.
Listening to the combinations is really the only good way to choose. I got by on >90w for some time, but power does make a difference, my new rig sounds better. If you have a powered sub-woofer crossed over at or above 60hz, mine are set to crossover at 80hz, you can save significant load on the amp. Run your PC out to it by any reasonable means and you will be in business.
Save up for them, or sell something etc to make up the budget difference: you only need your pc to run the LS50Ws. If you can get your PC out to, ethernet, wi-fi, or bluetooth, that's really all you need. No receiver or other boxes required. Your PC does do wi-fi, yes?
If I was only going stereo and listening to only digital music streams I'd dump all my gear and get a pair. My iPad and LS50Ws are to my mind an ultimate apartment system for music and anything else digital. As it is, I'll have a pair in a couple of years when I save up. Just my two cents.