KEF LS 50 Bookshelf speakers

Prince Vegeta

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So i'm looking to spend about a grand on a set of speakers. My current setup is in my signature (i think). Between the videos and reviews that I saw and read online it was between these and the SVS Ultras. They'll be my main speakers and will be used for tv/gaming and of course, spinning records. Here are a few randoms from different genres that I listen to regularly...

Melody Gardot, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, Charly Bliss, Julien Baker, Devo, The beths, American Football, THE POLICE, video game osts, movie soundtracks (lots of this in the background while gaming) and so forth.

Does anyone have any "You should know before you buy..." or "if you're looking at those have you considered these..." or "are you stupid? Why are you spending that on speakers?!"

Lets chat.
 

Ed Selley

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I like the LS50- I reviewed them a few years ago.

The only thing I'd point out is that they do their best work with plenty of power behind them and really conform to the old UK practise of 'front end first' where a speaker is the summation of the system running into it rather than something that lifts more affordable electronics. This isn't to say it won't work for you (because it will) but standard practise in UK dealers generally is to the partner then with an amp that costs about as much as they do or more.
 

plamtjeti

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I have a set of LS50s and think they're great... even with plenty of room for improvement behind them (Outlaw RR2150 with integrated phono stage, Pro Ject Debut Carbon). I read through @Ed Selley 's review, and won't be able to give you any more insight than he does there. Just wanted to throw in my support of them.

As far as using them for TV/movies/gaming they should do well, but I have found the bottom end is not as "rumbly" as I'm used to for those applications. I'm no bass head when it comes to music, so they have plenty for me there, but I did appreciate an external sub for watching movies when I had them set up to do TV audio too.
 

Prince Vegeta

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This is pretty important. I forgot to mention that I live on the third floor of an apartment complex and will NOT be using a sub and also I'll be keeping the bass at a low to mid level at most times (Especially while gaming). I don't see myself moving out of an apartment to really crank the bass anytime soon but I'm ok with that. I'm not bass heavy. I'm more interested in what the speakers can do for great vocalists like Melody Gardot in "My one and only thrill" or Madeleine Peyroux in "half the perfect world".

I'm fairly positive I'm still going for these, I just wanted to strike up a conversation! I appreciate this.
 

wgb113

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As @Ed Selley alluded to, they’ll sound good with your current setup. They’ll reveal another level if you then start saving for more power. I lived with the original LS50 for about four years, partnered with a McIntosh MA6300, and was very happy. When the active version came along, the LS50W, I jumped at the chance. They outperform my previous combo in every audible way, partly down to the power feeding them - a dedicated 200W Class D driving each woofer, and 30W Class A/B driving each tweeter (with active DSP crossovers to control all four drivers to boot).

If you commit to beefing up the engine that will drive them in the future you’d be hard pressed to find a better speaker in your price range.
 

Prince Vegeta

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This sounds like something I can work with down the line. I definitely intend to keep improving the set up. If I can buy these speakers knowing that I don't need to upgrade the speakers themselves but build around them, that's what makes me very excited.
 

Tanqueray

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I wanted the LS50s as well but when I spoke to my hi fi store they downplayed them as a little 'bright'...

So for the same price I got a pair of British made PMC DB1 Gold speakers and they are superb. Rich, warm and plenty of range for my varied taste in music. Just a thought ;)
Your Hifi store guy should not have downplayed them as bright, because they are not.

LS50’s bright? Nope . ......unless they had or have them hooked up to shit gear.

The Uni Q driver on the LS50 produces a solid balance of mids/highs. I’ve heard them so many times and owned them .

Excellent speaker., but I’ll let all the accolades and great reviews that are already out there speak for themselves.
 

Prince Vegeta

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I'll take anyone's input into consideration but you're right. That's the first I've heard in all the reviews and videos that I've seen where someone described it as a bright speaker. Everyone has a different ear so ... I get it.
 

PVDUBBER

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I was in a similar position as you and had the ability to listen to them and thought they were the most clear and well balanced speakers I have ever heard. That being said I knew I did not want a sub so I Opted for a pair KEF R300's. These speakers (very nearly) offer everything the LS50's does with a better low end. Honestly if you have made up your mind you will not be disappointed. I think if I only listened to a lot of vocalist and Jazz. I would have chosen the LS50's, but because I Listen to broad variety of music the R300's made more sense for me. I drive them with a Cambridge Audio CXA60 for reference.
 

Tanqueray

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I was in a similar position as you and had the ability to listen to them and thought they were the most clear and well balanced speakers I have ever heard. That being said I knew I did not want a sub so I Opted for a pair KEF R300's. These speakers (very nearly) offer everything the LS50's does with a better low end. Honestly if you have made up your mind you will not be disappointed. I think if I only listened to a lot of vocalist and Jazz. I would have chosen the LS50's, but because I Listen to broad variety of music the R300's made more sense for me. I drive them with a Cambridge Audio CXA60 for reference.

Excellent choice! The R300's do give that extra bass that is kinda missing in the LS50's.....................I agree with everything you said 100%
 

Prince Vegeta

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Well shit...I've been diving into reviews. They're not AS PRETTY but damn... If these somehow go on sale at some point I feel like I would grab these. Especially considering that they'll suffer less from my current set up. AHHH.

As far as music taste goes I've found that listening to jazz/vocalists has become more fun the better my set up gets. I listen to a good amount of Against me! Robyn, Cursive, mewithoutyou, lagwagon etc... (I think these 300s will compliment this music even more)

Just more things to consider. What a fun problem to have.
 

Prince Vegeta

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So I just remembered that I have this Old boy Kenwood KR-V126R. It's supposed to be a bit more powerful than the HK that I currently have connected. I think it's rated at 125 watts @ 8 ohms (HK is 40 wats per channel @ 8 ohms). I'm going to hook this thing up to my current set up and see what happens...
 

PVDUBBER

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Well shit...I've been diving into reviews. They're not AS PRETTY but damn... If these somehow go on sale at some point I feel like I would grab these. Especially considering that they'll suffer less from my current set up. AHHH.

As far as music taste goes I've found that listening to jazz/vocalists has become more fun the better my set up gets. I listen to a good amount of Against me! Robyn, Cursive, mewithoutyou, lagwagon etc... (I think these 300s will compliment this music even more)

Just more things to consider. What a fun problem to have.
Aesthetically they are not the LS50's that is for sure. The sound they produce are definitely worth the visual displeasure. Here they are in my old setup.
DSC_0363_zpst9ymhvmc.JPG
 

displayname

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As far as music taste goes I've found that listening to jazz/vocalists has become more fun the better my set up gets.
I remember the first time I heard well recorded jazz on a really good system and walked away thinking “I think I understand jazz now? Maybe I should start listening to jazz.”

I went to work and put some jazz on in the earbuds and thought “Now I also understand why so few younger people like jazz.”

Some music simply transforms with a system!
 

Prince Vegeta

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Thanks for that. I was wondering about that website. I didn't get to look up any reviews about that site specifically. I may be leaning towards the R300s now but I'm going to try to find a shop that has them. I'm thinking Music direct. They're pretty close to me.
 

wgb113

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Thanks for that. I was wondering about that website. I didn't get to look up any reviews about that site specifically. I may be leaning towards the R300s now but I'm going to try to find a shop that has them. I'm thinking Music direct. They're pretty close to me.
By all means, if you have a local dealer go and see if they'll loan you a pair to demo in your room, with your gear. That's REALLY the ONLY way to know which you like.

No (stocking) KEF dealers local to me - all custom-install people that'll order them for me. A4L has been great to deal with, most products arrive like new. Just an option for others that might stumble upon this thread.
 
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