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Kef LS50 v the rest


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Hi all, putting together a new hifi system for first time in 30 yrs. For bookshelf speakers I'm down to the Kef LS50, which sounded decent but are a little old now, versus more recent Monitor Audio Silver 100 or AE300 bookshelves. I've only heard the floorstand versions of these two and thought they were good, esp the AE309 but too big for me.

 

So any opinion? I know it's subjective, but Is the Kef considered king of the under 2k passive bookshelves, or do or think others are better, esp the two I mentioned above?

 

I've also listened to BW606, Emit20, Elac UB5, and Excite 18 and thought the Kef superior to all these except the excite 18 which are pricey.

 

Cheers!

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I prefer Dyns and Paradigm Prestige over the LS50s. If you can find Kef R300s used they leave the LS50 for dead. 

 

LS50s are still great and if considering them they really need decent power to realise what they can do. You are better off getting the active version if building a system and don't already have quality amps etc. 

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55 minutes ago, Bunno77 said:

I prefer Dyns and Paradigm Prestige over the LS50s. If you can find Kef R300s used they leave the LS50 for dead. 

 

LS50s are still great and if considering them they really need decent power to realise what they can do. You are better off getting the active version if building a system and don't already have quality amps etc. 

Ok thanks, I haven't listened to any Paradigms yet. I'm still deciding between the Elex-r, CA CXA60 and Audiolab 6000a for the amp. Dealer reckons they'll all work fine with the Kefs

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1 hour ago, Bunno77 said:

You are better off getting the active version if building a system and don't already have quality amps etc. 

there seems to be some consensus that Genelec make a significantly better active monitor (it doesn't look anywhere near as sexy as the Kefs though )

 

Also, fwiw the passive LS50s can apparently get a bit muddy at higher volume (This is what I've read, never listened to them) 

 

Edited by Sir Sanders Zingmore
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I didn't think much of the kef ls50 on my 150 watt HK990 at farfield, nor on a Nad d7050 in the nearfield, but when i hooked them up to the psaudio BHK250 they really perked up lovely, not enough to keep though.  Those Kef ls50 require quality amplification.

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9 minutes ago, warweary said:

I didn't think much of the kef ls50 on my 150 watt HK990 at farfield, nor on a Nad d7050 in the nearfield, but when i hooked them up to the psaudio BHK250 they really perked up lovely, not enough to keep though.  Those Kef ls50 require quality amplifications

 

So the amps I mentioned won't have enough power?

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I wouldn't use any of those amps with them no but the elex would be the pick. Those Elacs also need very good amps to perform their best too. 

I've not heard Genelec but I prefer the Dyn actives over Kef. 

Anyways this may not be helping....

It's best to listen as much as you can. Try compare passive to active if you can. 

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I am goinf to go against the flow and recommend the MA Silver 100.

They sound at least as good ( and better IMO ) as any of the speakers mentioned and can obviously benefit from amplifier upgrades........................however they are not highly demanding and provided you have a decent and well regarded amplifier they will work superbly.

I obviously don't know what amplifier you intend to use if you don't go active, but these go very well with the likes of the Musical Fidelity M3si or even the new M2si at $2299 and $1799 respectively

https://lenwallisaudio.com/category/hifi/amplifiers/#

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15 minutes ago, wolster said:

To put another option into the pot, have a listen to the Revel Concerta2 M16s at around $1,700 retail.

Undersold in Aus and, to my ears, were better than the LS50s.

I'll back this too. Not widely marketed yet, but hugely underrated. You owe it to yourself to audition if buying at this price point.

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2 hours ago, Rockymc said:

Ok thanks, I haven't listened to any Paradigms yet. I'm still deciding between the Elex-r, CA CXA60 and Audiolab 6000a for the amp. Dealer reckons they'll all work fine with the Kefs

I don't believe any of these amps have the current capacity to get the LS-50s to sound their best.  If the Audiolab sounds similar to the 8000 series then it would certainly be the wrong amp to partner with the little KEFs as the Audiolab sound is very laid back and the LS-50s tend to, I think the term is "run less hot than some in the highs".  So if you want very laid back sound maybe, but I personally would leave the Audiolab be.  

 

I've done a little work with them myself over the last few years.  The link below might give you a few ideas.

 

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1 hour ago, wolster said:

To put another option into the pot, have a listen to the Revel Concerta2 M16s at around $1,700 retail.

Undersold in Aus and, to my ears, were better than the LS50s.

Glad to hear this, I was going to ask whether the Revel stacked up in this company.  I was demo'd a pair and was blown away.  :)

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2 hours ago, rantan said:

 

I am goinf to go against the flow and recommend the MA Silver 100.

They sound at least as good ( and better IMO ) as any of the speakers mentioned and can obviously benefit from amplifier upgrades........................however they are not highly demanding and provided you have a decent and well regarded amplifier they will work superbly.

I obviously don't know what amplifier you intend to use if you don't go active, but these go very well with the likes of the Musical Fidelity M3si or even the new M2si at $2299 and $1799 respectively

https://lenwallisaudio.com/category/hifi/amplifiers/#

That's good to hear. I really liked both the MA Silver 200 and esp the AE 309 floorstander but my wife is dead set against any floorstanders! I'm leaning toward the Elex-r amp ATM as I have a good price at $1600 new but may check out the MFs as well. Thanks

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2 hours ago, Marc said:

I'll back this too. Not widely marketed yet, but hugely underrated. You owe it to yourself to audition if buying at this price point.

Yes I think these are rated 5 stars by WhatHiFi

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2 hours ago, wolster said:

To put another option into the pot, have a listen to the Revel Concerta2 M16s at around $1,700 retail.

Undersold in Aus and, to my ears, were better than the LS50s.

Thanks I'll put these on my list!

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1 hour ago, Cafad said:

I don't believe any of these amps have the current capacity to get the LS-50s to sound their best.  If the Audiolab sounds similar to the 8000 series then it would certainly be the wrong amp to partner with the little KEFs as the Audiolab sound is very laid back and the LS-50s tend to, I think the term is "run less hot than some in the highs".  So if you want very laid back sound maybe, but I personally would leave the Audiolab be.  

I agree. I had passive LS50's and demo'ed them with many of these amps and then some (including demo'ing many way out of budget, just for fun/interest).

 

I found the active LS50's were something completely different - quite an amazing difference. I guess this is what you can get if the speaker designers get to choose/design/control amplification of their drivers.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cafad said:

I don't believe any of these amps have the current capacity to get the LS-50s to sound their best.  If the Audiolab sounds similar to the 8000 series then it would certainly be the wrong amp to partner with the little KEFs as the Audiolab sound is very laid back and the LS-50s tend to, I think the term is "run less hot than some in the highs".  So if you want very laid back sound maybe, but I personally would leave the Audiolab be.  

 

I've done a little work with them myself over the last few years.  The link below might give you a few ideas.

 

Is there a short version? which amp did you end up useing?

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5 minutes ago, Music2496 said:

I agree. I had passive LS50's and demo'ed them with many of these amps and then some (including demo'ing many way out of budget, just for fun/interest).

 

I found the active LS50's were something completely different - quite an amazing difference. I guess this is what you can get if the speaker designers get to choose/design/control amplification of their drivers.

 

 

That's funny as the dealer reckoned the passives LS50 with separate components are better than the LS50 wireless.

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6 minutes ago, Rockymc said:

That's funny as the dealer reckoned the passives LS50 with separate components are better than the LS50 wireless.

More stuff to sell?

 

Highly recommend you give it a demo though.

Edited by Music2496
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Just now, Music2496 said:

More stuff to sell ya?

 

Highly recommend you give it a demo.

My thoughts exactly! But it's a bit more fun than being sensible and just buying speakers?

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Just now, Rockymc said:

My thoughts exactly! But it's a bit more fun than being sensible and just buying speakers?

Definitely need to hear both passives with a bunch of separates vs the actives and decide for yourself, rather than just trusting me or others that think/say the actives are significantly better.

 

The good news is the same dealers should have both, available for comparing both hopefully.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Music2496 said:

Definitely need to hear both passives with a bunch of separates vs the actives and decide for yourself, rather than just trusting me or others that think/say the actives are significantly better.

 

The good news is the same dealers should have both, available for comparing both hopefully.

 

 

Yes but if the consensus thinks they need more power than the Elex-r, I think I may just look at the MA 100s and the Revel instead. Plus I'll give the actives a listen! So thanks all for your comments!

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3 hours ago, wolster said:

To put another option into the pot, have a listen to the Revel Concerta2 M16s at around $1,700 retail.

Undersold in Aus and, to my ears, were better than the LS50s.

Just checking the specs and these require a minimum 50w and have low sensitivity like the LS50s

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