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post #2251 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
Anyone here using the LS50 Wireless with a subwoofer? I'm hoping to improve these speakers for movies and games.

I have the LS50 Wireless speakers connected via USB (Computer) and via Optical-Toslink (PlayStation 4). I bought the speakers primarily for music and for that they sound incredible when paired with my subwoofer (SVS SB-1000). However, movies and games sound... off and just not really great. It's hard to describe the low-end except that the speakers sound better in 2.0 mode without the subwoofer when I'm playing games or watching movies, especially on the Optical-Toslink connection.

I'm thinking of returning the subwoofer but would rather keep it if I can figure out a solution for improving 2.1 sound on movies and games. Would a pre-processing unit help here and how would I set it up? On another thread, I read about a user here using a Marantz 1506 to add an LFE channel.

Does the subwoofer output on the LS50W provide LFE when paired with an HDMI receiver that is used as a pre-amp only for the speakers?

Thanks in advance!
Believe what you're looking for is bass management. This is having a crossover frequency such that signals below the crossover are sent to the sub and those above the crossover is sent to the LS50W.

What you're most likely hearing is 'double bass', where the bass frequencies are being reproduced twice. Once at the LS50W and again at the sub. The interaction of it all with the room is what's making it sound off.

The Marantz NR1506 has bass management. It also has pre-outs for the front left/right as well as the sub channel (LFE). Use them with the supplied Audyssey mic to set the correct levels and distances for the LS50W and SVS SB-1000 sub with respect to the Main Listening Position (MLP).

The Marantz NR1506 also has DIRECT/PURE DIRECT mode which will send the 2.0 'solid' stereo signal through to the LS50W if you want to go down this route.

What you're basically looking for is a receiver with pre-outs to connect up with the LS50W and SB-1000.

Placement of the sub within the room is important with respect to the MLP. If you haven't done so, do carry out the sub crawl test to identify some good locations to place the sub. Choose the one location that sounds the best to you. Axiom Audio has a youtube video walk through to show how the sub crawl test can be carried out.
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post #2252 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 04:34 PM
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Hi all. Any recommendations for good power amps for passive LS50?

- I'll be using a Denon AVR as a pre-amp (mostly using HDMI for audio).
- Budget for the power amp is $1500.
- I'll be using the passive LS50's for music, movies, games in a desktop setting paired with a SVS subwoofer.
- [Essentially hoping to mimic the performance of the active LS50 but with the increased flexibility of a passive speaker setup.]

Thanks in advance!
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post #2253 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post
Believe what you're looking for is bass management. This is having a crossover frequency such that signals below the crossover are sent to the sub and those above the crossover is sent to the LS50W.

What you're most likely hearing is 'double bass', where the bass frequencies are being reproduced twice. Once at the LS50W and again at the sub. The interaction of it all with the room is what's making it sound off.

The Marantz NR1506 has bass management. It also has pre-outs for the front left/right as well as the sub channel (LFE). Use them with the supplied Audyssey mic to set the correct levels and distances for the LS50W and SVS SB-1000 sub with respect to the Main Listening Position (MLP).

The Marantz NR1506 also has DIRECT/PURE DIRECT mode which will send the 2.0 'solid' stereo signal through to the LS50W if you want to go down this route.

What you're basically looking for is a receiver with pre-outs to connect up with the LS50W and SB-1000.

Placement of the sub within the room is important with respect to the MLP. If you haven't done so, do carry out the sub crawl test to identify some good locations to place the sub. Choose the one location that sounds the best to you. Axiom Audio has a youtube video walk through to show how the sub crawl test can be carried out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV3o...Y3ZBv4PKA&t=6s
Thanks for this reply! Just saw it. Ok, so I have the LS50 Wireless for 3 more days before I need to decide if I will be returning. I don't think I have time to test with an AVR right now but I will try it out tomorrow. I'm also leaning towards just getting the passive LS50s with a good power amp.

Others have mentioned that it is a headache to set up the LS50 Wireless in pre-amp mode with a Receiver because the LS50 Wireless has its own volume that is altered through its own remote. Additionally, matching it with a subwoofer through the AVR also doesn't seem easy for the same reason.

See this post: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-su...l#post52063297

Any advice?
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post #2254 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
Hi all. Any recommendations for good power amps for passive LS50?

- I'll be using a Denon AVR as a pre-amp (mostly using HDMI for audio).
- Budget for the power amp is $1500.
- I'll be using the passive LS50's for music, movies, games in a desktop setting paired with a SVS subwoofer.
- [Essentially hoping to mimic the performance of the active LS50 but with the increased flexibility of a passive speaker setup.]

Thanks in advance!
What ever external power amp you're going to get, check with the supplier and make sure it can support 4 ohm nominal load. Whilst KEF has stated their passive LS50 is 8 ohms nominal load, the lowest impedance dips close to 3 ohms. So you'll want an amp that can readily supply the current as impedance of the LS50 changes with frequency. Look for good solid state amps with clean outputs (less than 0.1% THD from 20Hz to 20kHz) with at least 100W output at 8 ohms. Double that for 4 ohm loads. As KEF uses D-class amps for their self powered LS50W, might want to look at D-sonic amps. There is a thread here at AVS:https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...udio-amps.html and one can ask a few owners of their opinion on them. The stereo amp (model M3-800S) is within your budget.

If you're going down the Denon AVR route, be sure to look into at least the 2016 models as these will be going on sale soon as the 2017 models are coming out this summer. With an external amp powering the passive LS50, one doesn't have to care about the AVR's internal amp as it's going to be used as pre/pro. The Denon AVRs are feature packed.

Look at the X4300H model which has the top end Audyssey XT32 room correction system and supports two independent sub channels. Eventually you'll want the ability to have multiple subs in the room to help deal with room modes and minimize seat to seat variance.

The most interesting bit is the Audyssey app (extra $20) that is available for the 2016 models and onwards. With the Audyssey app, it's possible to look at the frequency response before and after room correction is applied to the speakers/sub. One can then customize the curve to taste. For instance, you might want to limit the room correction up to 500Hz and have no correction beyond that to allow the LS50 to interact with the room in a natural way. Or you might want to have a gentle rising ski slope on the bass to give that vice-real impact. This is possible with the Audyssey app and amount of tweaking available with this is quite good.

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Last edited by steveting99; 04-10-2017 at 08:18 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2255 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post
What ever external power amp you're going to get, check with the supplier and make sure it can support 4 ohm nominal load. Whilst KEF has stated their passive LS50 is 8 ohms nominal load, the lowest impedance dips close to 3 ohms. So you'll want an amp that can readily supply the current as impedance of the LS50 changes with frequency. Look for good solid state amps with clean outputs (less than 0.1% THD from 20Hz to 20kHz) with at least 100W output at 8 ohms. Double that for 4 ohm loads. As KEF uses D-class amps for their self powered LS50W, might want to look at D-sonic amps. There is a thread here at AVS:https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...udio-amps.html and one can ask a few owners of their opinion on them. The stereo amp (model M3-800S) is within your budget.

If you're going down the Denon AVR route, be sure to look into at least the 2016 models as these will be going on sale soon as the 2017 models are coming out this summer. With an external amp powering the passive LS50, one doesn't have to care about the AVR's internal amp as it's going to be used as pre/pro. The Denon AVRs are feature packed.

Look at the X4300H model which has the top end Audyssey XT32 room correction system and supports two independent sub channels. Eventually you'll want the ability to have multiple subs in the room to help deal with room modes and minimize seat to seat variance.

The most interesting bit is the Audyssey app (extra $20) that is available for the 2016 models and onwards. With the Audyssey app, it's possible to look at the frequency response before and after room correction is applied to the speakers/sub. One can then customize the curve to taste. For instance, you might want to limit the room correction up to 500Hz and have no correction beyond that to allow the LS50 to interact with the room in a natural way. Or you might want to have a gentle rising ski slope on the bass to give that vice-real impact. This is possible with the Audyssey app and amount of tweaking available with this is quite good.
This is incredible advice! Thank you so much. Unfortunately that brand is not available where I live (Canada) but Emotiva is and I noticed the XPA-2 is decently powerful:

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-gen3

What do you think?

Thanks again!
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post #2256 of 3259 Old 04-10-2017, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
This is incredible advice! Thank you so much. Unfortunately that brand is not available where I live (Canada) but Emotiva is and I noticed the XPA-2 is decently powerful:

https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-gen3

What do you think?

Thanks again!
Emotiva makes fine amplifiers and I have their previous XPA - Gen 2 model driving the KEF E301 speakers, no complaints what so ever and very happy with Emotiva.

The new XPA Gen3 amps are the class H type and has sufficient power to drive the passive LS50 speakers. The XPA amps are rated for 4 ohm load so you're good to go there. Emotiva's price for the XPA is decent for 2-channel setup and it's hard to beat. You might want to get the 3-channel version for an extra $200 and be ready for an LCR setup in the future. The money saved by going with Emotiva can be put to good use else where. Once such place is a second sub (i.e. another SVS SB-1000) which will give an improvement in quality for sound reproduction. You will then have a 2.2 setup with the pre/pro, external amp, passive LS50 speakers and a pair of subs.

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post #2257 of 3259 Old 04-12-2017, 06:57 AM
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Emotiva makes fine amplifiers and I have their previous XPA - Gen 2 model driving the KEF E301 speakers, no complaints what so ever and very happy with Emotiva.

The new XPA Gen3 amps are the class H type and has sufficient power to drive the passive LS50 speakers. The XPA amps are rated for 4 ohm load so you're good to go there. Emotiva's price for the XPA is decent for 2-channel setup and it's hard to beat. You might want to get the 3-channel version for an extra $200 and be ready for an LCR setup in the future. The money saved by going with Emotiva can be put to good use else where. Once such place is a second sub (i.e. another SVS SB-1000) which will give an improvement in quality for sound reproduction. You will then have a 2.2 setup with the pre/pro, external amp, passive LS50 speakers and a pair of subs.
Is there any chance of overdriving the LS50's with the Emotiva XPA-2? The recommended amplifier for the LS50 is in the range of 25W- 100W (according to KEF) while this amp is rated at 300W.
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post #2258 of 3259 Old 04-12-2017, 07:14 AM
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Of course there is that chance. However, you should be well aware that it's in the danger zone because it's so loud you can't tolerate being in the same area code.

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post #2259 of 3259 Old 04-12-2017, 07:51 AM
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Is there any chance of overdriving the LS50's with the Emotiva XPA-2? The recommended amplifier for the LS50 is in the range of 25W- 100W (according to KEF) while this amp is rated at 300W.
As Ken mentions, the first rule is know thyself and the limits of thy gear.

KEF specs the LS50 speaker sensitivity as 85dB/W/m and if the input is a clean 100W that gets SPL up to 105dB. KEF says the maximum SPL of the LS50 is 106dB, so there's some wriggle room if one does go beyond 100W.

If you intend to use the LS50 for near field application as per the intended design, reference level is 85dB SPL is achievable and most people will find this to be pretty loud. The sensible ones will turn this down a bit.

Note that once bass management is applied via the pre/pro, the power hungry low frequencies are diverted to the more capable sub which will reduce the power to the speaker itself.

Use the auto-calibration with your pre/pro to see what the distance and trim levels are for your LS50. If the numbers are below zero, you've got some headroom to play up to reference level.

You also have the option to set volume limits within the pre/pro if knowing thyself is too hard to do.

The above final step is the best protection for your ears and your speakers.

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Last edited by steveting99; 04-18-2017 at 03:29 AM. Reason: additional text
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post #2260 of 3259 Old 04-12-2017, 10:32 AM
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Guys,

I've been toying with the idea of vinyl wrapping my black/rose-gold 50s with a wood grain look ( main body only. leaving the front part black ), has anyone done it before?

Apart from 'spicing' up its look, thought it would be perfect as protection from scratches, etc. Any sites or pictures that I can refer to as final choice to which wood-look that would suit it best?

TIA.

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post #2261 of 3259 Old 04-12-2017, 07:55 PM
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got my LS50W in today.

Still have to learn a few things about it.
The sound, is amazing. It sounds like I have a surround system coming out of stereo. I don't know how they do it.

Functionality is lacking though...there is no way for me to know what volume output I am it.
Changing settings for the speaker can only happen in wifi mode, which makes it impossible to alter sound while listening to music from say, a pc through usb connection.
I still have not figured out how to stream music over wifi, if at all possible.

Lastly...the black/blue combo looks absolutely beautiful - much more so than in photos online. They are also larger than I expected.
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post #2262 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 02:26 AM
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Functionality is lacking though...there is no way for me to know what volume output I am it.
Changing settings for the speaker can only happen in wifi mode, which makes it impossible to alter sound while listening to music from say, a pc through usb connection.
I still have not figured out how to stream music over wifi, if at all possible.
Just like the rest of us you will soon realize that the worst part of LS50W is the app. You're not able to stream music over WiFi through anything else than the provided app, which, as you already noticed, is only functional in WiFi mode so there's no way to say know the volume level before you start playing music at 3 AM to kill your insomnia. The music, of course, needs to be downloaded on the device to stream over WiFi, since there is no support for streaming services. So you're left with either Bluetooth or Aux connection for that purpose.

I do, however, believe that the performance of these speakers definitely outweighs the cons. I'm also noticing that the sound is improving over time (I'm in my third week now), so I'm willing to give KEF a chance to also improve this abomination of the app that they somehow thought was ok to be published half baked.

Congrats on your purchase and enjoy the amazing sound coming out from this small yet big boys. I don't know what hipnotizes me more, the sound, the beautiful finish or the gorgeous Uni-Q driver.
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post #2263 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 04:45 AM
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I think pairing these with the bluesound node 2 is the way to go. The streaming built into the app is pretty useless. Plus the bluesound supports MQA from what I'm told
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post #2264 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 06:04 AM
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The Bluesound Node 2 does indeed do full decode of MQA files (I stream them via Tidal HiFi) though you must use the analog outputs from the Node 2 to get it. Odd, but understandable because the MQA decoding has to occur and be converted in one DAC. When the signal arrives at the LS50 Wireless that analog signal gets converted back to digital again but I know it's done well and it sounds incredible. I can't tell a difference between using the analog or digital at the hi-fi store feeding LS50 Wireless with non-MQA files. Perhaps a "golden-ear" person could.

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post #2265 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 08:20 AM
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
Hi all. Any recommendations for good power amps for passive LS50?

- I'll be using a Denon AVR as a pre-amp (mostly using HDMI for audio).
- Budget for the power amp is $1500.
- I'll be using the passive LS50's for music, movies, games in a desktop setting paired with a SVS subwoofer.
- [Essentially hoping to mimic the performance of the active LS50 but with the increased flexibility of a passive speaker setup.]

Thanks in advance!
If you have not made up your mind, I would recommend you to visit the Nuprime site and forum at audio circle. Depending on your budget and room size, you can choose Between the IDA-8, IDA-16 (integrated) or STA-9 stereo or dual monos, or the ultimate ST-10.

Currently I am running a LS50, IDA-8 + Rythmik LS12 SE Sub for my office rig (13'x12'x9' carpeted room), all brand new equipments still in its break-in period, and the sound is just incredible. People that come into the office floor, ask where is the live music coming from.

The IDA-8 is a bargain for its price, given its solid 100wpc and sonic signature. A balanced, dynamic amp that imbues some "liquid" touch to the music. Being a state of the art integrated, It's performance with regular MP3 files is north of good; Feed it with Highress files and you will not believe what is coming out of your LS50s.
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post #2266 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 11:09 AM
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If you have not made up your mind, I would recommend you to visit the Nuprime site and forum at audio circle. Depending on your budget and room size, you can choose Between the IDA-8, IDA-16 (integrated) or STA-9 stereo or dual monos, or the ultimate ST-10.

Currently I am running a LS50, IDA-8 + Rythmik LS12 SE Sub for my office rig (13'x12'x9' carpeted room), all brand new equipments still in its break-in period, and the sound is just incredible. People that come into the office floor, ask where is the live music coming from.

The IDA-8 is a bargain for its price, given its solid 100wpc and sonic signature. A balanced, dynamic amp that imbues some "liquid" touch to the music. Being a state of the art integrated, It's performance with regular MP3 files is north of good; Feed it with Highress files and you will not believe what is coming out of your LS50s.
Thanks for your reply. So I am considering Nuprime since they seem to be more Canada-shipping friendly. Mostly the STA-9 though since the ST-10 is almost $2200 with the exchange rate. I haven't read too much on it yet but the user reviews don't seem the best.

See this: https://www.super bestaudio friends.org/index.php?threads/nuprime-sta-9-power-amplifier-mini-review.3932/
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post #2267 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by HiFi81 View Post
Guys,

I've been toying with the idea of vinyl wrapping my black/rose-gold 50s with a wood grain look ( main body only. leaving the front part black ), has anyone done it before?

Apart from 'spicing' up its look, thought it would be perfect as protection from scratches, etc. Any sites or pictures that I can refer to as final choice to which wood-look that would suit it best?

TIA.
I would check out the diy speakers forum here, and the DIY Audio and Parts Express forums.
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post #2268 of 3259 Old 04-13-2017, 06:39 PM
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For those here that are unaware, KEF has a blog that can give great info on our speakers. Here are recent posts pertaining to the active LS50:

https://www.kefdirect.com/introducti...e-ls50w-part-1

https://www.kefdirect.com/introducti...part-2-the-dsp

https://www.kefdirect.com/ls50w-acti...er-integration

https://www.kefdirect.com/open-your-...ase-correction
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post #2269 of 3259 Old 04-14-2017, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jkhome View Post
For those here that are unaware, KEF has a blog that can give great info on our speakers. Here are recent posts pertaining to the active LS50
Too bad that fancy articles about speakers, that we already know are good, can't fix the accompanying app. And since some articles have been published three months ago, it worries me that KEF haven't done anything about it during this period.
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post #2270 of 3259 Old 04-14-2017, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by highd3f View Post
Too bad that fancy articles about speakers, that we already know are good, can't fix the accompanying app. And since some articles have been published three months ago, it worries me that KEF haven't done anything about it during this period.
I cannot imagine KEF hasn't been or isn't working on improvements to the weaker points of an otherwise outstanding product. I'll give the benefit of the doubt and suggest when a firmware update is available it will have been fully tested for functionality. I had been advised by a strong KEF dealer (where I bought all my KEF speakers) that KEF is well aware of the complaints and working to implement MQA decoding together with the app update. Negotiations for and implementation of MQA technology licensing can be a long process. Will that not be worth extensive testing in-house before it's released?
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post #2271 of 3259 Old 04-15-2017, 02:46 PM
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On the LS50's...can they take a banana? There is a red plug in the back to the speaker terminal, and I don't know if I have to remove that? I've been using spades..and have to switch connection types.
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post #2272 of 3259 Old 04-15-2017, 03:43 PM
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How can I get banana's in the LS50? There is a red peg blocking the hole, does that come out?
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post #2273 of 3259 Old 04-15-2017, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancjodanc View Post
How can I get banana's in the LS50? There is a red peg blocking the hole, does that come out?
Yes, it comes out easily. Use a knife or similar to start it.

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post #2274 of 3259 Old 04-15-2017, 06:39 PM
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I wonder what purpose KEF envisioned for the red plug. I didn't find any instructions for the option of removing it in the manual. Bananas would be handy for switching between amps, but I've already bought spade-ended Cardas Clear Day speaker cables.

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post #2275 of 3259 Old 04-15-2017, 07:22 PM
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The plugs are required by several governments in the European market.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.
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post #2276 of 3259 Old 04-16-2017, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highd3f View Post
Too bad that fancy articles about speakers, that we already know are good, can't fix the accompanying app. And since some articles have been published three months ago, it worries me that KEF haven't done anything about it during this period.
Yeah, I will be sticking with the passive version, don' want all my eggs in one basket. You have to admit though, for the additional price, the actives are quite the deal. Hopefully they will get the bugs fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancjodanc View Post
On the LS50's...can they take a banana? There is a red plug in the back to the speaker terminal, and I don't know if I have to remove that? I've been using spades..and have to switch connection types.
I had a hard time keeping spades tight on my LS50s, switched to Audioquest BFAs, much better.

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post #2277 of 3259 Old 04-16-2017, 07:20 PM
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I have a single Kef ls50 used as center speaker for sale. PM or email [email protected]
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post #2278 of 3259 Old 04-17-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkhome View Post
Yeah, I will be sticking with the passive version, don' want all my eggs in one basket. You have to admit though, for the additional price, the actives are quite the deal. Hopefully they will get the bugs fixed.

I had a hard time keeping spades tight on my LS50s, switched to Audioquest BFAs, much better.

I use Anticables Level 3 Reference wires with the BFA style plugs as well. They work great!

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post #2279 of 3259 Old 04-18-2017, 03:10 AM
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Thumbs up Give them a try

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
Thanks for your reply. So I am considering Nuprime since they seem to be more Canada-shipping friendly. Mostly the STA-9 though since the ST-10 is almost $2200 with the exchange rate. I haven't read too much on it yet but the user reviews don't seem the best.

See this: super best audio friends.org/index.php?threads/nuprime-sta-9-power-amplifier-mini-review.3932/
That review sure read gloomy and discouraging, but I stand by my advise to give the products a try. I did and have no regrets Visit their forum at Audiocircle and write to Jason Lim (CEO) that goes by rustydoglim and/or John Casper (Dealer). They have a 30 or 60 days return policy no questions asked, that have benefited many forum participants.

I am sure there are many other positive reviews and awards given to the same amp. But until you listen to it in your set up and give the unit time to blossom, everything else is just words to convey somebody else's experience and likes.
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post #2280 of 3259 Old 04-27-2017, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Yes, it comes out easily. Use a knife or similar to start it.
Ken,

Do you unscrew the barrels that tighten on spades to access where you insert the knife? Bananas would facilitate switching between amps. I want to listen using an Ayre VX-5 Twenty alternating with a pair of Cary CAD 572 SE monoblocks. Speakers are KEF LS50s, subs Velodyne HGS-10s.

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