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Battle For My Buck... Polk LSiM703 vs. KEF LS50 vs. KEF R300

10124 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  simon wagstaff2
I'm upgrading from some KEF XQ10's, I need something that hits a bit harder for the living room.

Unfortunately, I can't get a listen to ANY of these until I buy them. That said, if I don't like them, I can return them, no questions asked.

Obviously, this is not the optimal way to buy speakers... As a long-time audiophile, I don't believe I have EVER bought a speaker without auditioning it first. That said, these three have each piqued my interest... And much of the stuff I've been able to listen to (in my price-range) has failed to impress me much.

I have listened to the B&W CM5's extensively (another great speaker in this price-point), and while I like it, I'm not in love with it.

FWIW I can pick up the Polks for $900 open box, and the KEF's new for $1100 (LS50) and $1275 (R300). Which would you go for in my situation?

I suppose the return policy can sort of work like a "take-it-home audition", but I'd love to get some input here, regardless.
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I can't be of much but will opine in any case. I have heard the Polks and while generally liked them, in some ways a lot, they perhaps have the slam you are seeking but simply did not have the transparency to keep my interest. Haven't heard the others but the woofer on the LS50 is small. R300 has a slightly larger woofer. I have a pair of Q300s in my second system and they are satisfying. Decent bass, wide image, good transparency. I woould expect the r300 to exceed them in every way.
LS50's are the best of that very impressive lot. Stereophile class A. They begin rolling off about 70Hz though, so unlike the Polks or R300s, I think a sub is necessary for most types of music.
@Wagstaff- It's disappointing to hear that the LSiM703 lacks transparency... I have a set of LSi7 with modded crossovers, and they are very transparent... I had hopes that the 703 would exceed them. Ah, well...

@Stereofella- I have much the same opinion of the LS50 that you do, it's just the smaller size that has me a little wary... While we all know that many speakers produce sound well outside what their dimensions would suggest, it's always a little scary to go smaller to get bigger, ha ha. The LS50 is slightly smaller than the XQ10... But if it sounds bigger... I've heard from several reputable sources that the R300 is a monster.
Integrating a sub with the ls50 can be problematic. Op, as I understand is is looking for some slam in the room. LS 50 with sub wont do it. This is why I got Gallo ref 3.5 plus a pair of vmps subs with 500 watts each. Strada with it's two 4 inch woofers, like the ls50 won't have power in the 80 to 150 range which is why I recommended the r300.I am surprised by the amount of energy in the Gallo 10" woofers even though they are crossed over at 80 hz.
I am comparing them to Volent Paragon cl-2 and Gallo ref 3.5. Perhaps not fair.
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