AA Sierra 2, KEF LS50, Focal 906 shoot out! - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 08:13 AM
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I owned both Sierra 2s with RAAL driven by Parasound Hint 6 as well as LS50s driven by the same Integrated amplifier. Both setups were using a Rythmik E15HP subwoofer and in my A/B testing the Sierra 2s were the ones I preferred. One caveat is that the Sierra 2s were already broken in and the LS50s were recently purchased and subsequently returned to Amazon within the 30 day period after I decided I liked the Sierras better. It was pretty close but the Sierra 2s edged out the Kefs.

I came across a deal with the LS50Ws that I couldn't pass up so I went ahead and purchased one shortly thereafter. I did an extensive A/B testing with the LS50Ws and Sierra 2s (more difficult to do as you can imagine). What I did was listen to the Sierra 2s consistently and regularly for a week and I did the same thing with the LS50Ws (I also gave the LS50Ws time to break-in prior to extensive listening)

What I found was simply astounding... The LS50Ws were clearly superior in every way and I ended up selling the Sierra 2s and Parasound and keeping the wireless version of the LS50s. I know its not apples to apples and the wireless versions weren't in your initial list but highly recommend you look them up. The fine tuning of the DSPs, the amplification and DAC combination makes it a compelling system. Kef hit a home run with the LS50Ws
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post #92 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 12:15 PM
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@point1 awesome sauce bro! This not the first time that I have read that the LS50 wireless version is much better than the regular LS50's. Sounds like your experience is no different. Certainly something to consider. Thanks for the info!


Cheers,

Phil
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post #93 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofreak38 View Post
@point1 awesome sauce bro! This not the first time that I have read that the LS50 wireless version is much better than the regular LS50's. Sounds like your experience is no different. Certainly something to consider. Thanks for the info!


Cheers,

Phil
Thank you Phil, frankly the LS50Ws are a class on their own and comparing them to their cousin is not fair to the non wireless versions.

I do think the LS50s are good speakers but they do really need a good quality amp and components to make them really sing. Even then the LS50Ws are still way ahead IMHO due to the tweaks that Kef incorporated in this model.
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post #94 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by point1 View Post
Thank you Phil, frankly the LS50Ws are a class on their own and comparing them to their cousin is not fair to the non wireless versions.

I do think the LS50s are good speakers but they do really need a good quality amp and components to make them really sing. Even then the LS50Ws are still way ahead IMHO due to the tweaks that Kef incorporated in this model.
The LS50W's are way out of my price range. But, it never hurts to dream right? The LS50's may be doable, but I actually have my eye on the Focal Aria 906's. However, it is going to be a while before I can save that much. I no longer go into debt for this hobby. Paying it up front works much better for me. Lends itself in getting a better nights sleep that way. Maybe one day I can own something like the LS50W's!


Cheers,

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post #95 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 01:22 PM
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Have you considered the Dynaudio Evoke 20? They are quite special..


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post #96 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by point1 View Post
I owned both Sierra 2s with RAAL driven by Parasound Hint 6 as well as LS50s driven by the same Integrated amplifier. Both setups were using a Rythmik E15HP subwoofer and in my A/B testing the Sierra 2s were the ones I preferred. One caveat is that the Sierra 2s were already broken in and the LS50s were recently purchased and subsequently returned to Amazon within the 30 day period after I decided I liked the Sierras better. It was pretty close but the Sierra 2s edged out the Kefs.

I came across a deal with the LS50Ws that I couldn't pass up so I went ahead and purchased one shortly thereafter. I did an extensive A/B testing with the LS50Ws and Sierra 2s (more difficult to do as you can imagine). What I did was listen to the Sierra 2s consistently and regularly for a week and I did the same thing with the LS50Ws (I also gave the LS50Ws time to break-in prior to extensive listening)

What I found was simply astounding... The LS50Ws were clearly superior in every way and I ended up selling the Sierra 2s and Parasound and keeping the wireless version of the LS50s. I know its not apples to apples and the wireless versions weren't in your initial list but highly recommend you look them up. The fine tuning of the DSPs, the amplification and DAC combination makes it a compelling system. Kef hit a home run with the LS50Ws
That's interesting, I really wish someone would measure the preouts of the LS50w so I can see exactly how they're EQ'ing them compared to the passive version, I thought they just boosted the bass, which of course would still have a large affect on preference. I personally think the passive version are on the edge of being bright and I EQ them around the 2-3k area a bit to take that edge off, I wonder if the wireless do something similar.
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post #97 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I personally think the passive version are on the edge of being bright and I EQ them around the 2-3k area a bit to take that edge off, I wonder if the wireless do something similar.
LS50W:


LS50W:


The mid and high response looks mostly the same as the passive version. Obviously, the active DSP is being used for the crossover (a big deal) and for bass extension (less of a big deal with a sub and I assume the DSP will correct for any driver over-excursion.)

For a 2.0 system that doesn't need to get too loud and has a built-in DAC and amps, the LS50W is near ideal. Although, popular Youtube guys like Tharbamar still prefer the passive version overall:



I've heard the active in a store and didn't care for it much. I'm listening to a passive version in my room as we speak and it's certainly not perfect, but has some undeniable strengths.

That 2kHz resonance is a real issue though. It doesn't show up in vertical polars so it's likely a nasty cabinet diffraction issue. Turn it sideways, and it might sound much smoother. If it's not cabinet diffraction, it might be the classic "horn effect" caused by the midrange/waveguide/horn. These LS50's sound more "hornlike" to me (much like Klipsch and Hsu, from my experience) compared to the other 2-way Kef coaxes I used to own (Q100 and Q150.)

Either way, I'm not sure if EQ can totally fix these issues. I know EQ is incapable of fixing certain flaws but I'm no EQ expert and I never use any EQ in my systems because I don't like what they do to the mids and highs, generally-speaking. I EQ my subs, of course.

You can see the resonance in the soundstage measurements and other places:



Horizontal:


Vertical:


Horizontal:


Vertical:




Raw drivers (in cabinet with crossover disabled):






Compare this last graph to what I'm comparing them to (Dyn X14):



More similar than different for the most part, especially in the mids. I also have a pair of Revel M16's arriving Monday:



I will be doing a Kef LS50, Dynaudio X14, Dynaudio BM5 mk III (active monitor), and Revel M16 comparison in the next couple months. I might throw in my X18's to the mix just for fun. I've already given a mini review of the LS50 vs the X14 here but that was based on initial impressions and no break-in.

None of these are "budget" speakers so I won't be comparing them to my budget champs: Klipsch 600M, Wharfedale 225, etc.

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post #98 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 04:47 PM
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Interested. As i took the x14’s over the ls50’s.. waiting to hear


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post #99 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
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Spoiler!
The video was incredibly interesting and useful!
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post #100 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post

The mid and high response looks mostly the same as the passive version. Obviously, the active DSP is being used for the crossover (a big deal) and for bass extension (less of a big deal with a sub and I assume the DSP will correct for any driver over-excursion.)
I've seen a few measurements that show they are pretty much the same except in the bass and I've seen the review with these measurements that show the wireless version to be very smooth without the 2-5k bump in the passives so I don't know what to believe:




Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
That 2kHz resonance is a real issue though. It doesn't show up in vertical polars so it's likely a nasty cabinet diffraction issue. Turn it sideways, and it might sound much smoother. If it's not cabinet diffraction, it might be the classic "horn effect" caused by the midrange/waveguide/horn. These LS50's sound more "hornlike" to me (much like Klipsch and Hsu, from my experience) compared to the other 2-way Kef coaxes I used to own (Q100 and Q150.)

Either way, I'm not sure if EQ can totally fix these issues. I know EQ is incapable of fixing certain flaws but I'm no EQ expert and I never use any EQ in my systems because I don't like what they do to the mids and highs, generally-speaking. I EQ my subs, of course.
The horizontal and vertical sound power from https://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/Direc.../index_DI.html
is very similar so I don't think it's diffraction. One of your pics said it was the raw drivers but I didn't see it, I have seen someone measure them on Medleys musings, which I can't find anymore, but the tweeter is the culprit, it has a resonance right around 2200Hz if I remember correctly, so the crossover in the passive version isn't going to filter that. I don't really like EQ above the transition frequency either but after months of comparing the EQ cuts, there is no comparison, the EQ sounds better to my ears and I have no fatigue even after long listening sessions. If you want to try my filters out I have a more detailed post about the settings in the LS50 owners thread.



Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
I will be doing a Kef LS50, Dynaudio X14, Dynaudio BM5 mk III (active monitor), and Revel M16 comparison in the next couple months. I might throw in my X18's to the mix just for fun. I've already given a mini review of the LS50 vs the X14 here but that was based on initial impressions and no break-in.
That should be a good comparison, I haven't heard a Revel I didn't like and the Dynaudio X12 I think it was sounded really good as well.
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post #101 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 06:10 PM
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I've seen a few measurements that show they are pretty much the same except in the bass and I've seen the review with these measurements that show the wireless version to be very smooth without the 2-5k bump in the passives so I don't know what to believe:

Those are good looking measurements. I can't seem to read the labels, but it looks almost like an in-room response. My own in-room response from the LS50's looks very similar to those as well. I use a phone app, so not very accurate. The LS50 power response is probably their best attribute and very well-done.

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The horizontal and vertical sound power from https://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/Direc.../index_DI.html
is very similar so I don't think it's diffraction.
I posted the polars and raw curves above, and you can see the subtle differences. It's not huge, but the vertical looks *somewhat* smoother than the horizontal to me. Being a coax, that only leaves the cabinet as the culprit. The sound power graphs you mention iron out those wrinkles and goes a long way to explaining why the LS50's sound as good as they do. A small glitch at 2kHz is certainly better than most monitors can achieve, and my own in-room response doesn't show it at all either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
One of your pics said it was the raw drivers but I didn't see it, I have seen someone measure them on Medleys musings, which I can't find anymore, but the tweeter is the culprit, it has a resonance right around 2200Hz if I remember correctly, so the crossover in the passive version isn't going to filter that. I don't really like EQ above the transition frequency either but after months of comparing the EQ cuts, there is no comparison, the EQ sounds better to my ears and I have no fatigue even after long listening sessions. If you want to try my filters out I have a more detailed post about the settings in the LS50 owners thread.
Yeah, by raw drivers I just meant without crossover but still in the cabinet. Maybe there's a better term for that. It's from this thread:

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...st5770313.html

There's a bump/spike at 2kHz in both drivers, but more so in the the woofer and perfectly matches the off-axis soundstage graphs. So it's either the cabinet, "horn," or inherent to the drivers (not sure which driver, could be either I suppose, but those graphs point to the woofer being the primary cause.)

If EQ is working for you, that points to diffraction from either the cabinet or the horn. In fact, that's really good news that it responds to EQ and might not be a mechanical driver resonance, which I don't think responds well to EQ, if I recall. I'm really liking the LS50, but so far, it's biggest weakness is around 2-3kHz and that's an area that can lead to fatigue pretty quickly for me. The Dynaudio is definitely smoother is this area but has it's own weaknesses (slightly "zingy" tweeter and maybe a hair too laid-back but I prefer this to "shouty" forwardness in the mids.)

Honestly, swapping back and forth between the two, I'm having a hard time picking a winner. For music, I lean Dynaudio. For movies and TV, I'm leaning Kef. I'm wondering if the Revel will split the difference and fall somewhere in between. Waiting is so hard!!!

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That should be a good comparison, I haven't heard a Revel I didn't like and the Dynaudio X12 I think it was sounded really good as well.
I'm looking forward to it. Your comparison threads are a big inspiration for me.

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post #102 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 06:21 PM
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I’d love to compare the 906 to my Dynaudio X14. I think the 906 are a bit too big for space however so it may not matter. That said if you’re interested I’d love to do it. If interested in Naim I have a couple Naim pieces to demo as well. Not far from you so offer is open if interested.
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post #103 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 06:33 PM
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I’d love to compare the 906 to my Dynaudio X14. I think the 906 are a bit too big for space however so it may not matter. That said if you’re interested I’d love to do it. If interested in Naim I have a couple Naim pieces to demo as well. Not far from you so offer is open if interested.
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Make this happen!


Absolutely


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dynaudio sound sig is way darker than focals...2 opposite sound sigs imo

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post #106 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 06:57 PM
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dynaudio sound sig is way darker than focals...2 opposite sound sigs imo
Kind of why I want to compare.
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post #107 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:04 PM
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Those are good looking measurements. I can't seem to read the labels, but it looks almost like an in-room response. My own in-room response from the LS50's looks very similar to those as well. I use a phone app, so not very accurate. The LS50 power response is probably their best attribute and very well-done.



I posted the polars and raw curves above, and you can see the subtle differences. It's not huge, but the vertical looks *somewhat* smoother than the horizontal to me. Being a coax, that only leaves the cabinet as the culprit. The sound power graphs you mention iron out those wrinkles and goes a long way to explaining why the LS50's sound as good as they do. A small glitch at 2kHz is certainly better than most monitors can achieve, and my own in-room response doesn't show it either.
I finally found what I was talking about, the webpage doesn't exist anymore but I found the link to use in the wayback site: https://web.archive.org/web/20180418...50-drive-unit/

This is the raw driver without a crossover or cabinet so it shows the tweeter is pretty much to blame for the 2-5K response but mostly on-axis, which is why many people think they sound better at bout 15 degrees off-axis I'd bet. The cabinet is rock solid and curves away from the driver, so there isn't going to be any diffraction, that's partly why I would rather do everything I can to make them work over going with another speaker.





In the LS50 owners thread I show my in-room response has the peak at 2.2k, so I used that to EQ but if that isn't evident in your room, it may not be a problem. You do have to get a good spatial average though for the in-room response to be accurate in the highs, I measured 9 locations around my couch and averaged them to get a clear picture.

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Yeah, by raw drivers I just meant without crossover but still in the cabinet. Maybe there's a better term for that. It's from this thread:

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/mult...st5770313.html

If EQ is working for you, that points to diffraction from either the cabinet or the horn. In fact, that's really good news that it responds to EQ and might not be a mechanical driver resonance, which I don't think responds well to EQ, if I recall. I'm really liking the LS50, but so far, it's biggest weakness is around 2-3kHz and that's and area that can lead to fatigue pretty quickly. The Dynaudio is definitely smoother is this area but has it's own weaknesses (maybe a hair too laid-back but I prefer this to shorty forwardness.)
The weird thing is when I A/B with the 2.2k cut and without, I don't really hear much of a difference but with the cut, I can listen for hours without fatigue, I'm going on 5 hours tonight lol. I used to go for laid back speakers myself because I'm sensitive to the highs, Wharfedale Diamond 220's were great for that, but now I'd rather a slightly bright speaker like the LS50 and just make slight EQ cuts to make sure they don't fatigue me. My reason being that I was missing information with the laid back speakers, I want as much detail as I can get without fatigue now.

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Honestly, swapping back and forth between the two, I'm having a hard time picking a winner. For music, I lean Dynaudio. For movies and TV, I'm leaning Kef. I'm wondering if the Revel will split the difference and fall somewhere in between. Waiting is so hard!!!
If you have parametric EQ available try these filters, they are based on my in-room measurements but they correlate well to anechoic measurements so it should get you close. The highs are still amazing but smoother and without fatigue.

817Hz -2.5db Q=2.5
2.34k -2.5db Q=3.125
4.98k -1.5db Q-3.125

The 2.34 and 4.98k take care of any brightness and the 817 makes vocals sound even better. The weird numbers are because those are the frequencies my Emotiva uses.
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Kind of why I want to compare.

my tiny audioengine desktop speakers kinda dark and I like em alot....silk dome tweeter and images very well. dont think a wrong answer with dynaudio or focal....just different.
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post #109 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:26 PM
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When you guys discribe as dark are you meaning On the warm side ? Trying to get a handle as to “dark” discription


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post #110 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:39 PM
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When you guys discribe as dark are you meaning On the warm side ? Trying to get a handle as to “dark” discription


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that would be my interpretation as well , but opinions certainly vary

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post #111 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:50 PM
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When you guys discribe as dark are you meaning On the warm side ? Trying to get a handle as to “dark” discription


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My thought is dark compared to Focal leaning toward the bright side. I think Dyns are fairly neutral sounding.
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post #112 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:51 PM
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this is quote from poster on different forum that I agree with


Dark refers to a prominent bass with recessed treble.

Warm refers to a prominent bass with usually neutral treble.

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post #113 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 07:52 PM
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i dont like recessed treble at all and like more bass....so warm is what I like.
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post #114 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
this is quote from poster on different forum that I agree with


Dark refers to a prominent bass with recessed treble.

Warm refers to a prominent bass with usually neutral treble.
Dark - yes prominent bass with recessed treble Mission,
Warm - mid-range is the focus bandwidth Think Harbeth or PMC or Quad, LS50
Balanced/neutral - fairly flat response across all frequencies Most speakers
Forward - slight rise to the upper mids and lower treble aka presence region, this also gives some impression of more detail but that’s not necessarily accurate Older B&W, monitor audio, Paradigm
Bright - a rise to both the presence region and upper treble, generally recession in the mids to lower mids Think Monitor Audios RS line, current B&W 700 series,
Hot - treble and bass focus, think old Klipsch Synergy line, BIC speakers

That’s how I’ve viewed the terms
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post #115 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I finally found what I was talking about, the webpage doesn't exist anymore but I found the link to use in the wayback site: https://web.archive.org/web/20180418...50-drive-unit/
Great link! Kudos to whomever did the testing. It's a shame that information is no longer live.

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
This is the raw driver without a crossover or cabinet so it shows the tweeter is pretty much to blame for the 2-5K response but mostly on-axis, which is why many people think they sound better at bout 15 degrees off-axis I'd bet. The cabinet is rock solid and curves away from the driver, so there isn't going to be any diffraction, that's partly why I would rather do everything I can to make them work over going with another speaker.
The cabinet is truly phenomenal for the price. You are certainly right about the elevated on-axis tweeter response in the 2-5kHz region. It's pretty clear the woofer plays nicer in that area than the tweeter. Good find.

Just thinking out loud here so take this with a large grain of salt, but I'm not entirely convinced that the front baffle isn't partly to blame for some of that extra 2kHz energy off-axis. I only say this because while in the cabinet, you can see it. Outside the cabinet, both raw responses look pretty good.

Although, both drivers do tend to "bend" or "knee" right at 2kHz which, when added together, might create that peak. The crossover at 2.2kHz should eliminate that though. Also, since it can fixed with EQ, it's gotta be acoustical in nature due to a combo of the waveguide/front baffle and not mechanical in the drivers themselves.

The front baffle is indeed curved, but it still has very sharp edges and could be diffracting at that frequency which has a 6.7" wavelength. If one takes a flexible tape measure from the tweeter to the top or bottom cabinet edge you get (drumroll...): 6.7"! This leads me to believe that the vertical edges are summing/interfering with the horizontal response off-axis and not in a good way.

The upside is that this is purely acoustical in nature and thus responds very well to EQ. Furthermore, at typical listening distances (not the 1-2m nearfield these things are usually measured at) this will completely go away. So yeah, if you listen at around 2m or less, it might be a small issue, but further than that at the typical 3m+, it won't be as audible and maybe completely inaudible. What I hear is the overall on-axis 2-5kHz zone, not the little 2kHz off-axis peak.

This is just a hare-brained theory and I'm probably way off base. It's fun to speculate though!

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
In the LS50 owners thread I show my in-room response has the peak at 2.2k, so I used that to EQ but if that isn't evident in your room, it may not be a problem. You do have to get a good spatial average though for the in-room response to be accurate in the highs, I measured 9 locations around my couch and averaged them to get a clear picture.
I've only done a high resolution FFT using my phone app across the listening area. So it's not really a frequency response, per se, since I'm not doing a full sine sweep. I'd need a calibrated mic and tripod to do that properly.

Instead, I'm just recording pink noise at a reasonable volume level at the listening position. Both the LS50 and BM5 have an incredibly smooth FFT response in-room with no major peaks or valleys. It's not a very precise way to measure. It's just a quick 'n dirty way to see if there's something really wonky happening.

I'll post some screengrabs later. It's nothing I'd put a lot of stock in.

I've gotten the best results with Kef and Dynaudio, by far. They are very similar. I'm guessing the Revels won't disappoint either.

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
The weird thing is when I A/B with the 2.2k cut and without, I don't really hear much of a difference but with the cut, I can listen for hours without fatigue, I'm going on 5 hours tonight lol. I used to go for laid back speakers myself because I'm sensitive to the highs, Wharfedale Diamond 220's were great for that, but now I'd rather a slightly bright speaker like the LS50 and just make slight EQ cuts to make sure they don't fatigue me. My reason being that I was missing information with the laid back speakers, I want as much detail as I can get without fatigue now.
I'm in total agreement with you here. Oh and it's super subtle as you say. We are getting into perfectionist territory here and that's the joy of this hobby. I find the LS50 just shy of fatiguing or bright, but it's so close that it's sometimes hard for me to "forget" that I'm listening to speakers. This is just a minor nitpick but the Dynaudio soft-dome is crazy smooth (compared to metal tweeters like Kef) while still being detailed and extended (but not as much as the Kef), so it's a tradeoff.

The Kefs are still very smooth overall and well-extended at both extremes. Just being a little forward in the mids keeps them from being "perfect." This forwardness sounds more direct like a horn to my ears and has less dispersion like a horn as well. Traditionally, I'm not crazy about horns even when executed properly (600Ms and Hsu) so we'll see if I end up keeping the LS50's or if they go back like the Klipsch and Hsu's.

According to the M16 measurements, they have the broadest top-end and the lowest tweeter directivity I've ever seen, even surpassing the M105 and M106. I have very high hopes for them since that's the signature I've always enjoyed the most. I can't seem to fall in love with directional speakers and flat baffle speakers usually sound a little too laid-back in the crossover region to me, but I prefer sins of omission.

The Revels might solve both issues and be truly neutral with extremely wide dispersion, at least for the M16's. The Performas are smoother in other areas (crossover for the M105 in particular), but the M16's have ridiculously smooth and extended early reflection and sound power curves compared to either Performa. The little "BBC dip" at the M16 crossover might actually be a good thing for me as an anti-LS50. We'll see:







That 8kHz spike scares me but it's only on-axis so it might just be another small waveguide diffraction that goes away at normal listening distances (much like the Kef!) Unlike the Kef, it goes away quickly off-axis so I doubt it's audible at all. To be determined...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
If you have parametric EQ available try these filters, they are based on my in-room measurements but they correlate well to anechoic measurements so it should get you close. The highs are still amazing but smoother and without fatigue.

817Hz -2.5db Q=2.5
2.34k -2.5db Q=3.125
4.98k -1.5db Q-3.125

The 2.34 and 4.98k take care of any brightness and the 817 makes vocals sound even better. The weird numbers are because those are the frequencies my Emotiva uses.
Wow!! That's great work. It's funny, but if I was guessing, those are the exact areas I would tweak first. I think our ears might be very similar. If I can live with the more directional (albeit very well-controlled) nature of the Kefs and it's peculiar 2-5kHz push, I will absolutely try this! Thanks!

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post #116 of 123 Old 04-27-2019, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by point1 View Post
I owned both Sierra 2s with RAAL driven by Parasound Hint 6 as well as LS50s driven by the same Integrated amplifier. Both setups were using a Rythmik E15HP subwoofer and in my A/B testing the Sierra 2s were the ones I preferred. One caveat is that the Sierra 2s were already broken in and the LS50s were recently purchased and subsequently returned to Amazon within the 30 day period after I decided I liked the Sierras better. It was pretty close but the Sierra 2s edged out the Kefs.

I came across a deal with the LS50Ws that I couldn't pass up so I went ahead and purchased one shortly thereafter. I did an extensive A/B testing with the LS50Ws and Sierra 2s (more difficult to do as you can imagine). What I did was listen to the Sierra 2s consistently and regularly for a week and I did the same thing with the LS50Ws (I also gave the LS50Ws time to break-in prior to extensive listening)

What I found was simply astounding... The LS50Ws were clearly superior in every way and I ended up selling the Sierra 2s and Parasound and keeping the wireless version of the LS50s. I know its not apples to apples and the wireless versions weren't in your initial list but highly recommend you look them up. The fine tuning of the DSPs, the amplification and DAC combination makes it a compelling system. Kef hit a home run with the LS50Ws
I'm always a big believer in DSP. I think everyone should try DiracLive for a stereo setup, it makes a massive difference in the performance of a speaker. I suspect people can buy much cheaper speakers and correct them with a high quality DSP and get the performance exceeding a much more expensive speaker.

What I'd really like to see is someone compare the LS50 with a Minidsp DL unit or Arcam/NAD DL receiver and compare it to LS50W and see if a passive with DSP correction can compete with active amplification/digital crossovers.

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post #117 of 123 Old 04-28-2019, 12:45 AM
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Found this comparison between the active and passive LS50:



And these measurements of the LS50W:



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post #118 of 123 Old 04-28-2019, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post

The cabinet is truly phenomenal for the price. You are certainly right about the elevated on-axis tweeter response in the 2-5kHz region. It's pretty clear the woofer plays nicer in that area than the tweeter. Good find.

Just thinking out loud here so take this with a large grain of salt, but I'm not entirely convinced that the front baffle isn't partly to blame for some of that extra 2kHz energy off-axis. I only say this because while in the cabinet, you can see it. Outside the cabinet, both raw responses look pretty good.

Although, both drivers do tend to "bend" or "knee" right at 2kHz which, when added together, might create that peak. The crossover at 2.2kHz should eliminate that though. Also, since it can fixed with EQ, it's gotta be acoustical in nature due to a combo of the waveguide/front baffle and not mechanical in the drivers themselves.
You may be right, that gets into speaker design and outside of my expertise. I just know it's extremely rare to have a curved cabinet at the LS50's price range, you'd have to buy Revel Ultima 2's or Blades to get that kind of cabinet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
According to the M16 measurements, they have the broadest top-end and the lowest tweeter directivity I've ever seen, even surpassing the M105 and M106. I have very high hopes for them since that's the signature I've always enjoyed the most. I can't seem to fall in love with directional speakers and flat baffle speakers usually sound a little too laid-back in the crossover region to me, but I prefer sins of omission.

The Revels might solve both issues and be truly neutral with extremely wide dispersion, at least for the M16's. The Performas are smoother in other areas (crossover for the M105 in particular), but the M16's have ridiculously smooth and extended early reflection and sound power curves compared to either Performa. The little "BBC dip" at the M16 crossover might actually be a good thing for me as an anti-LS50. We'll see:
Yeah it's really interesting that the M16 seems to measure better than the M106, if the 105s sounded better in my shootout, I was actually planning on grabbing a pair of M16 next for a final comparison because of that extended treble. I didn't realize the X14s were very similar to the X12, I did hear those and thought they sounded very good and the measurements on soundstage look good as well, it's interesting though that they have a dip in the 2-5k range while the LS50 has a peak there, they should sound quite a bit different.

Kefs new R series would be a nice way to split the difference, they are slightly laid back but still a very smooth, extended treble. I honestly still prefer the LS50 to them though, I want as much of the highs as I can get before fatigue sets in.
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post #119 of 123 Old 04-28-2019, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
You may be right, that gets into speaker design and outside of my expertise. I just know it's extremely rare to have a curved cabinet at the LS50's price range, you'd have to buy Revel Ultima 2's or Blades to get that kind of cabinet.
I can't think of any other curved cabinet like that either. Only Genelec comes to mind in the active world. It's such a great design and for the price, you really can't beat it.

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Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
I didn't realize the X14s were very similar to the X12, I did hear those and thought they sounded very good and the measurements on soundstage look good as well, it's interesting though that they have a dip in the 2-5k range while the LS50 has a peak there, they should sound quite a bit different.
The X14 is flatter in that region than the X12 and has a similar but less extreme push compared to the LS50's.

X12:


X14:


Another X14:


X14:


The X18 is a little more laid-back and v-shaped:


X18:


LS50:


You can see that the Excites have mostly neutral mids with the X14 being flatter and maybe a tad forward while the X18 is more laid-back. All the Excites have that rising treble though where the LS50 treble is basically dead flat but has the forward mids.

I'd say the X14's have more in common with the LS50's than either the X12's or X18's. The X14's have more midbass and less deep bass than the LS50. The mids are flatter in the X14, but the treble is more forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons915 View Post
Kefs new R series would be a nice way to split the difference, they are slightly laid back but still a very smooth, extended treble. I honestly still prefer the LS50 to them though, I want as much of the highs as I can get before fatigue sets in.
Check this site if you haven't already: https://www.hifi-voice.com/

They have measurements of all the new R-series and your ears are exactly right! They all have recessed mids and probably too recessed for my tastes. The measurements of the new Evoke series look really good and they no longer have that upper treble rise. I killed a good hour going through that site, lol, but no Revel measurements, sadly.

The Wharfedale 225, in particular, looks to be a phenomenal value even today, especially for someone just getting into good sound.

Other good sites to peruse:

https://www.hifitest.de/
https://audio.com.pl/
http://www.i-fidelity.net/

You will need to use google translate but it's pretty easy to navigate once you figure it out. Lot's of good data out there.
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post #120 of 123 Old 04-28-2019, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Spurrier Sucks View Post
Kind of why I want to compare.
Dynaudio Excite X12 listening window top, Focal 906 bottom.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140




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