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KEF LS50 Active speakers

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  • KEF LS50 Active speakers

    OK so I just auditioned them...and I love 'em! $2,200 a pair at Amazon.com. Harrods has them in London and they are CHF2,499 a pair in Switzerland.

    Great price, great sound, great convenience. For European/Asians in apartments, its almost PERFECT. For you yanks with tons of retail space in your home, this is an ideal 2nd system that is gentle enough on the pockets.

    I sat in a near field position as the loudspeaker postioning was not great. They sat beside some average size floor standers and the dealer gentleman didnt want to move too much stuff around. Originally the speakers were about 5 feet apart and he moved them closer to 6ft apart, but almost touching the floorstanders. Despite this, the imaginging was exemplary and the tweeter beats the upgraded one in the Phantom Gold. Very coherent sound, but you would expect this from a standmount, and this is a VERY good one.

    The music selection were from 3 of my system demo albums. Markus Miller/Kodo Giant drums, Mussorgsky Gnomus, Fairfiled 4 Swing Low, Lofgren Keith dont go, Ozone Percussion Group, Diana Krall - Case of you, etc, were just some of the cuts played. All was done via digital out optical connection from a Cambridge Audio spinner (they only had Ethernet setup there, no wifi).

    The new little active KEF should sell like hot cakes to the audiophile crowd living in condos in the big cities. It is the Phantom Killer. White, piano black and titanium are the colour choices. I demoed the black.

    They dont take up much space, play to 106 dB without subwoofer (only needed for bassheads and HT...not for normal listening...I checked with some deep plumbing organ music).

    No DSD is NOT a deal-killing drawback as you can wifi or USB connect your laptop and with HQP/JRiver convert on the fly to PCM 24/192. The elegance and simplicity of the setup makes up for this minor shortfall.

    Careful though, this may make you less audiophile and more musicophile given the turnkey nature of this beast! LoL

  • #2
    Is there any way to play analog sources?
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
      Is there any way to play analog sources?
      The AUX is the RCA Analog connection
      Chris
      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

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      • #4
        Yes, and it gets redigitized, I believe.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wisnon View Post
          Yes, and it gets redigitized, I believe.
          Pretty much agree. on DARS site he noted "" Some people still use turntables – we’d better add a pair of RCAs connectors to tap a phono pre-amplifier’s line-level output and digitise it."
          Chris
          ----------------------------------------------------------------
          Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds very interesting. I know at that price PCM is about all one can expect but I really feel the lack of DSD is a drawback. Though with things like an iDSD Dac for a couple of hundred, that shouldn't be out of the question either. There was a famous thread elsewhere about the inability to hear the difference between PCM and DSD in this system and it turned out everything was being reduced to 24/96.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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            • #7
              Myles, they can only do the DSP and digital X-over in PCM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by wisnon View Post
                Myles, they can only do the DSP and digital X-over in PCM.
                Norman, a user should be able to upsample PCM - DSD using Roon, JRiver or even HQPlayer
                Chris
                ----------------------------------------------------------------
                Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

                Comment


                • MylesBAstor
                  MylesBAstor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think what Norman is saying that the DSP is the limiting factor?

              • #9
                They DSP their drivers and have to do that in a closed ecosystem.

                Comment


                • cpp
                  cpp commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So that means no upsampling of any kind ?

              • #10
                No upsampling internally, but you can use HQP to do so on the laptop to 24/192 and Stream that via wifi to the speakers.

                Comment


                • #11
                  maybe these speakers aren't good enough to discern the subtle difference between 24/192 and DSD?
                  Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Listen to them and let me know. Note, I am a DSD lover.
                    These speakers are superb....imho

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by wisnon View Post
                      No upsampling internally, but you can use HQP to do so on the laptop to 24/192 and Stream that via wifi to the speakers.
                      Yep that will work.
                      Chris
                      ----------------------------------------------------------------
                      Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Actually, single DSD converts more purely to 24/88 or 24/176. Single DSD mathematically converts to 16/176 or 32/88. Even in my budget rig, playing DSD natively sounds different (and I think much better) than letting JRiver convert it to PCM on the fly. I was surprised at how noticeable the difference was.
                        Steve Lefkowicz
                        Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
                        -
                        Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
                        Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
                        Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
                        Speakers: Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
                        Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
                        Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
                        Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
                        Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
                        Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

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                        • #15
                          Use HQ Player instead!

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