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Anyone running KEF LS50 with a sub?


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Running many ideas through my head at the moment as to my next speaker purchase and, although I'm a "big speaker" fan, I've always been curious about how I would cope with a set of nice standmounts supported by a decent sub. I've heard some amazing bass output from little speakers but I still think I'd need a sub to make them sound like "big speakers". Maybe I'm wrong, however, the question remains, is anyone running these little KEFs with a sub? If so, what sub and how easy was it to integrate the two?

 

Cheers

 

M

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Does anything here help ?   http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php/topic/86489-kef-ls50/page-1

 

If you want to add a woofer to LS 50 maybe worth looking at the KEF R Series as I believe KEF themselves have said the R series mid driver is superior to the bass/mid in the LS 50.

Cheers Mike

Thanks @@Ando. Plenty of good info there.

Cheers

 

M

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Running many ideas through my head at the moment as to my next speaker purchase and, although I'm a "big speaker" fan, I've always been curious about how I would cope with a set of nice standmounts supported by a decent sub. I've heard some amazing bass output from little speakers but I still think I'd need a sub to make them sound like "big speakers". Maybe I'm wrong, however, the question remains, is anyone running these little KEFs with a sub? If so, what sub and how easy was it to integrate the two?

 

Cheers

 

M

Let me know when you decide to get a pair as I might be selling mine soon. :)

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Within their price and performance context the Ls50 do very good bass for their size and I could almost live without more bass. The official advertised freq spec says 79hz at -3dB and 47hz at -6dB so the later is still quite usable/audible bass, which subjectively translates in my 4 x 5m room with my head against the wall and room enforcement (maybe down to 37hz) as good bass for a little speaker. Coupled with what I hear as tuneful punchy bass for a small speaker it sounds about right and that's why am generally happy.

 

A carefully matched and well tuned (to the Ls50, room and your tastes) sub should enhance the sound. My experience (not getting into room treatments and measurements, which are to be recommended), with the majority of subs on 2 channel system I can still hear where it is even though subs are meant to be omnidirectional and one should not be able to hear the location. So the result for me is that it reduces the best stereo imaging from a purely 2 channel setup. I've tried 2 subs in stereo to address this which helps but I can still hear them in their locations even if very close to the speakers.

 

I havn't invested a lot of effort and equipment in sub combos in the 2 channel system and about a dozen combinations the best result was a pair of old Linn Kan monitors with a DIY transmission line 100L box with Kef B139 oval/racetrack woofer (equal to 10 inch woofer). The sealed Kans with a ported TL sub was magical so I intend to build another TL sub but also look into reducing the box volume and size somehow by going isobaric (twin clam-shell woofers that results in half the box volume for the same response) sub woofer design or similar. I would subjectively estimate the Kef DIY TL sub to be doing about 20hz so would fill the region below 47hz and not interfere with things. I tried several commercial subs rated to the same 20hz but for whatever reason not as good as the DIY Kef TL.

 

The other benefit of a well matched sub is that you can enjoy good bass at low overall volume and one doesn't need to turn the little monitors up to pump up the bass as a substitute and you and other householders can listen for longer at longer levels and get a more full sound.

 

In my family room there is a separate HT 3.1 system with monitor speakers and the sub is invaluable for internet TV, movies, gaming, background music and it often gives the 2 channel room run for the money when not in a 2 channel discerning mode.

 

If my experience is anything to go by, 9 out of 10 sub matches were unsatisfactory and indicates it is not easy to find a good 2 channel + sub match. Without a good matching sub there is enjoyable sub bass information that will be lacking in a lot of acoustic bass, reggae, dance, electronic and ambient music such as the low rumbling background effects, which I perceive to be around 20-30hz and below what the Ls50 is capable of. So the objective may be to have the Ls50 being affected as little as possible by a sub, not drawing attention that there is sub heard in the room, only subtly underpinning the Ls50 character with only the bottom missing low frequencies being filled in, imaging unaffected, bloating, strange audible phasing occurring etc. It may involve a lot of trial and error of different subs both sealed and ported designs and larger diameter woofers 10 inch+ and room aesthetics may be involved also for or against large sub boxes that tend to perform better to shift enough air, tuneful, capable and audible 20-30hz low frequency.

Edited by Al.M
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Weirdly I can see why many say they don't need a sub with standmounts when I listen to non classical music. But when I listen to classical music standmounts fall seriously behind the satisfactory bass level. A sub or two become mandatory for me.

Even then, there's no magic small box that can sound big like good big speakers can...haven't heard the LS50s but the reviews don't suggest their performance in these regards overcome the physics.

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I have no doubt the bass slams, as is typical with many good standmounts. They need that bump in the mid bass region otherwise they would sound too sissy. However, you just can't get them go really deep. Unless I see some review that says they best Totem Mani 2 by a large margin, I would stay sceptical.

That said, if I listened to non classical music mostly they would be quite adequate.

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Definitely do it ! 

 

in my opinion its the main reason you see these with their maxed out little drivers....pushed too hard....

 

...they need a sub...a decent sub...one that goes way way lower than these physically ever can...

 

unless ... have a very tiny room or listen to music without much bass to speak off at very low levels.

 

yes can run them without a sub...I would even do so likely myself .... but will end up probably running them with a sub ... eventually....just given kind of wide variety of music I listen to.

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This thread is putting ideas in my head, damn you @@unclemack, :D

How about getting a pair of LS50s as there's a promotion ATM, and pair them up with 4 X 10" Eton drivers 2 X side in parallel.

Trial them out and see if it's better than a pair of 1.7r maggies on there own. Hopefully let go of the 1.7 maggies :P.

They're easier to drive than any maggie, and I'll have a Magtech powering the whole lot..... :thumb:

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I'm looking at getting a pair soon, and would be interested if unclemack doesn't want them. :)

Go for it mate. I'm not ready to commit to anything. Just running ideas through my head. First thing I have to do is hear a pair. Then I can start formulating a plan. M
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In my larger sized room (7.1m x 6.5m) the LS50s hold their own and punch well above their weight, even without subs. But, I do run a pair of SVS SB-13 Ultra in stereo with them, because I can. You'd easily think there was a much larger speaker in the room, and they continue to impress me (even without the subs).

I've got a load of power on hand, but if you're realistic with the dial, many people would be content with the remarkable imaging and tonality of the LS50s.

 

Welcome to come listen any time unclemack, although there's no shortage of places to hear them.

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With difficult tracks with a lot of low bass and quick transient drums you can hear where the LS50 is starting to fall a part. The mentioned Kef R300 do better in that area, but you loose out on the magic of the finer details the LS50 presents. I think you have to be careful not to overkill the LS50 with bass.

 

Would love to build a HT setup based on the LS50, but I don't t believe they will work out to well with the low bass and the dynamic range present in movie soundtracks.

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In my larger sized room (7.1m x 6.5m) the LS50s hold their own and punch well above their weight, even without subs. But, I do run a pair of SVS SB-13 Ultra in stereo with them, because I can. You'd easily think there was a much larger speaker in the room, and they continue to impress me (even without the subs).

I've got a load of power on hand, but if you're realistic with the dial, many people would be content with the remarkable imaging and tonality of the LS50s.

Welcome to come listen any time unclemack, although there's no shortage of places to hear them.

. Thanks mate. I'd love to arrange something in that regard as I've not been able to attend any of your gtgs so far.
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Go for it mate. I'm not ready to commit to anything. Just running ideas through my head. First thing I have to do is hear a pair. Then I can start formulating a plan. M

Cool, thanks!

I'm also planning on using subs with the Kefs (already have a pair of Adelaide Speaker subs)

I'm not really a bass junkie, but running subs at low levels with bookshelfs/standmounts can really add some presence with that extra lower octave.

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For me they seem better voiced for 2 channel listening than HT. In HT mode they were not as remarkable, but others seem to be happy.

 

My 2 channel system uses much better amp quality (large 200W SS or 50w tubes), whereas the HT system uses a Panasonic digitial AV 100w amp which is well reviewed and performs better than most standard HT amps.

 

Also, when placing the Ls50 on stands to get them to ear level some extra positioning or slightly higher stands (70cm) are needed in my setup.

 

Some recent shoot out experiences with monitors in the same/similar context:

 

1. Chartwell Ls3/5a 15 ohm (best sounding Ls3/5a) - Ls50 better in every respect, bigger soundstage, bass, coherence. Ls3/5a sweetness and warmth still good

 

2. Jamo Concert 8 - Ls50 overall better with more coherence & detail. Jamo has more deep bass & refined treble

 

3. Sonus Faber Minima FM - same as 2 above. SF tweeter has more refined treble and sexier looking

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One of the reasons I'm thinking of the LS50 is the beautiful sound that I heard from the Osborne standmounts at the Osborne demo night last year...they were sublime in their imaging and tonality. Never thought I'd like smaller speakers as much... mayhap I'll check Gregs speakers out too..

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One of the reasons I'm thinking of the LS50 is the beautiful sound that I heard from the Osborne standmounts at the Osborne demo night last year...they were sublime in their imaging and tonality. Never thought I'd like smaller speakers as much... mayhap I'll check Gregs speakers out too..

 

many years ago at a osborne gtg, his little stand mounts coupled wiht his HUGE subwoofers in his main room was probably the best sound on the night ! 

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