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A much better cute speaker than the LS50?


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If you don't like small speakers.....................you probably need big speakers.

Steve/Doddsy,   I agree with you regarding the LS50, a very nice point source speaker if a little fudged in the bass like most standmounts.  You obviously have fussy ears as they would meet

Unfortunately the vast majority of  compact stand mount speakers suffer from the same issue.Fudged up bass as Steve M calls it and that is a good description.Which is why I built some Menicus Audio Ka

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On 01/08/2019 at 8:27 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

I've got a line on a used pair of KEF R3s which I'll  spring on her.

 

Failing that I'll build something, try some Lenehans or perhaps import some Salk Silks.

 

Or something.

 

:)

If you do try some ML-1's and can manage it, try the reference model.

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3 hours ago, Antipodean Brad said:

Dunno if the bass would satisfy you, and the price would satisfy the retailer, but what about ...

 

https://www.qacoustics.co.uk/concept300

 

 

Or perhaps a pair of Duntech DSM-15 speakers.  There is a pair on ebay, and maybe even here.  Small footprint, beautiful-looking speakers.

 

Alas, too tall with those stands.

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I would suggest there may be benefit in a demo of the LS50W. I have a pair and they have a sub out. They crossover at around 50 hz from memory.

 

if you want to stick with passive, i mirror the sentiments of the above, ie second hand Sonus Faber Auditor M, Lenehan ML-1 ref. Revel M 22 or M106. B&W 805, ATC SCM19 v2, the Osborn Eos Ref are awesome too.

 

Edit; I think there are still a few pairs of Dynaudio Special 40 B stock around, these would be a fantastic option IMO.

 

Edited by Ray H
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On 01/08/2019 at 7:07 PM, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

Kii3 or D&D 

Deserves a bump.

Small but a world apart, in design sophistication, from the typical passive 2-way tinies.

 

Another option is to get someone clever to re-work the KEFs crossover to better integrate with the sub ie. remove the 100 Hz hump, if possible.  I had this done to a pair of B&W CDM1se I used to own and it was a great improvement when used with a sub.

 

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On 02/08/2019 at 4:15 PM, firedog said:

Don't quite get that one. It's pretty common to run subs with a crossover at as high as 80hz. Certainly that would blend with the LS50's. I'm not familiar with his sub. Maybe he needs a different sub that will blend with the Kefs. 

Here's a visual representation of the issue. This is a measurement of the LS50 vs the KEF R300 from my listening position with sub crossed at 80Hz. The sub has been EQed, not the mains. With the LS50 there is a dip just above the crossover. The R300 is flat in this region.

R300 vs LS50.jpg

Edited by sfdoddsy
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Alas, the LS50s were modelled after the LS3/5A . As a consequence, they have the same problem I demonstrated above. 

 

One solution for the LS50 would be an updated version of the AB1 stands made for the LS3/5A.

 

Another would be to use them as head units like Wilson WATTS with proper stereo subs as stands (Rythmik F8s).

 

Even better (and simpler) would be an active floor-standing version with side-mounted woofers like the KEF Blade.

 

In other words a cheaper Kii/Dutch and Dutch.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, sfdoddsy said:

KEF Blade

One of the best modern current sounds around ATM despite being overpriced in Aust. The transparency and treble quality coming out of the dual concentric unit with excellent bass integration is amazing and notches above a standard LS50.

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1 hour ago, PKay said:

Chartwell LS 3/5

Chartwell Ls3/5a significantly better than standard Ls3/5a but nowhere near as good as a Ls50, compared in same room. The 30 year old shrivelled up capacitors in a Chartwell will be out of spec by 30-50% and your ears none the wiser.

Edited by Al.M
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16 minutes ago, Al.M said:

One of the best modern current sounds around ATM despite being overpriced in Aust. The transparency and treble quality coming out of the dual concentric unit with excellent bass integration is amazing and notches above a standard LS50.

Indeed.

 

One of the many things that bugs me about modern audiophileness is that we are still dicking around with ancient technology (like charging $5K for the LS3/5A clones mentioned above).

 

Take the Blades.

 

The interesting thing about them isn't the coax unit. I've owned a few recent KEFs. All use the Uni-Q. I doubt there is a massive difference in quality between that in the Q100, LS50, the R300, the Reference 1 and the Blade. 

 

What made the Blade cool (looks aside) was to use the 4 side-mounted drivers to make the entire speaker a point source.

 

Subsequently all of KEF's speakers say they are 'Blade-inspired', but none of them actually use the inspiration. Newbies like Dutch & Dutch and Kii have taken the idea and run with it.

 

Meanwhile I'm still fluffing around looking for something significantly better than the LS50 without going nuts money-wise.

 

In fact the scary truth is that once you reach LS50 level, or PMC level, or similar you are not going to see massive improvements except for bass extension and volume.

 

To break the mould you need speakers that break the mould (like the D&D, like Open Baffles... even horns (eek!) 

 

Otherwise we should all buy Revels.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, sfdoddsy said:

should all buy Revels

If not already tried, the Yamaha NS5000 is another modern ground breaker, though it will fly under the radar of many who think Yamaha isn’t up to the task or isn’t flash enough to fit the hype or one needs to spend 2-4 times to fit the bill.

Edited by Al.M
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16 hours ago, sfdoddsy said:

Alas, the LS50s were modelled after the LS3/5A .

In what way? I don't see many similarities. The LS50 is a bass-reflex box and uses a concentric driver. They could hardly be more different. Bass-reflex is usually a no-no for me, I reckon it just adds flab (often mistaken for bass).

 

I think the LS3/5a is one of the cutest looking small speakers around, but I may be biased :D They look even cuter on Linn Kan stands.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a brand new just opened box pair of Mark and Daniels Maximus monitors in white which I was planning to use but have 2 many speakers already if you are interested in a solid marble speaker with insane tweeter and as mentioned serious bass all in a 15 kilo package.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Not sure OP is still looking, but suggest a pair of Devialet Phantom Reactor 900s which I recently did a side by side comparison with Phantom Golds costing twice as much.  Yes the Golds were slightly better in a number of areas.  However, after spending the last part of the comparison solely on the Reactor 900s, not listening for differences but listening to the music, I will say that I can easily live with them.

 

For a more detailed review. please have a look at John Darko's Reactor 900 review who briefly covers the LS50 as well at the end of the video.

 

Not sure where you can listen to a pair of Reactor 900s in Sydney?  David Jones?  And please, do not listen to a lonely one because a single one does not do it justice.   When you try them,  if you can, use speaker stands, even non Devialet ones.

Edited by Snoopy8
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On 31/07/2019 at 10:25 PM, jakeyb77 said:

Have been hearing great things about a pair of Contrast speakers that @Grizzly has for sale. 

They look magnificent and sound even better from all reports 

 

Amen to that mate.

 

Seriously good on both cosmetics and sonics and  @Grizzly makes bespoke stands for them, which can be in the colour of your choice ( within reason )

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On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

<snipped>... even horns (eek!) </snipped>

Whew, lucky I read this before I suggested a horn speaker (which seems to be becoming flavour of the month in some circles).

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On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

What made the Blade cool (looks aside) was to use the 4 side-mounted drivers to make the entire speaker a point source.

Surely at the crossover frequencies (wavelengths) involved there is significant leeway in the location of the drivers, and you could put them on the front, back, or sides and it would make zero difference.

On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

Newbies like Dutch & Dutch and Kii have taken the idea and run with it.

They do a very different thing to KEF.... they aim for a cardioid polar pattern (a dipole summed with a monopole) in the bass and lower mids.

On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

Meanwhile I'm still fluffing around looking for something significantly better than the LS50 without going nuts money-wise.

If you are not against a coaxial driver, then IMVHO just put a coax in a small sealed box on a stand/wall, whatever (or make a floor standing box) ... and have a subwoofer per channel.    Put all the electronics in the subwoofers ... or in a seperate box.   Easy, three way.

On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

To break the mould you need speakers that break the mould (like the D&D, like Open Baffles... even horns (eek!) 

Yep.  All of those (seeming different) speakers are all attempting to solve the same problem..... changing frequency response with angle particularly as we move below 1 or 2 khz.

 

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I am a long term user of the ls50's and looking to upgrade at the moment. Enter Grizzly with his little Contrasts.

He has been kind enough to let me get familiar with them over a few days and as well as one of Bens single end 300b NanoAT amps after I pulled the pin on getting my Weston.

I have entered a whole new world of detail and delicacy to my music at the moment this combo has a presentation like nothing else out there and it can be hard to get your head around initially when you are so used to hearing strongly emphasised speakers ramming detail and bass down your throat like a pressure washer, these just pull you in and shower you with fresh spring water.

OK analogy overload but you get the picture.

I have yet to get these thing rocking yet but will do over the next couple of days.

More to come.

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On 08/08/2019 at 12:03 AM, sfdoddsy said:

Indeed.

 

One of the many things that bugs me about modern audiophileness is that we are still dicking around with ancient technology (like charging $5K for the LS3/5A clones mentioned above).

 

Take the Blades.

 

The interesting thing about them isn't the coax unit. I've owned a few recent KEFs. All use the Uni-Q. I doubt there is a massive difference in quality between that in the Q100, LS50, the R300, the Reference 1 and the Blade. 

 

What made the Blade cool (looks aside) was to use the 4 side-mounted drivers to make the entire speaker a point source.

 

Subsequently all of KEF's speakers say they are 'Blade-inspired', but none of them actually use the inspiration. Newbies like Dutch & Dutch and Kii have taken the idea and run with it.

 

Meanwhile I'm still fluffing around looking for something significantly better than the LS50 without going nuts money-wise.

 

In fact the scary truth is that once you reach LS50 level, or PMC level, or similar you are not going to see massive improvements except for bass extension and volume.

 

To break the mould you need speakers that break the mould (like the D&D, like Open Baffles... even horns (eek!) 

 

Otherwise we should all buy Revels.

 

 

 

FWTW. I upgraded from Ls50s to Dynaudio Special 40s and for me they are very significantly better in all areas 

 

 

and the wife thinks they look much better as well ??

 

 

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Thanks for continuing the thread chaps.

 

Cuteness aside, I've now auditioned at home a bunch of very good speakers.

 

Obviously the LS50s. But also KEF R3s, GoldenEar Triton 3s, Revel M20s, Sonus Faber Grand Pianos. And previously I've owned vastly expensive speakers like Wilson WATTs, Genesis Vs, Martin Logans, Apogees, Maggies and others too numerous to mention.

 

And I have also listened to the Dynaudio Special 40s. A fine speaker.

 

The thing that stands out is that all the well-designed, accurate, good measuring speakers sound pretty much the same. There are variations in bass and in the treble. But the use of subs (which I believe in) and Room EQ for bass (which I also believe in) makes them sound even more alike.

 

This is, of course, what one should expect. Just as well-designed amps should sound the same, well-designed speakers also should.

 

Exotic tweeters like ribbons and AMTs tease, but they aren't that different.

 

The speakers that stand out are the outliers.

 

Those with idiosyncratic frequency response (notably single driver speakers), deliberately inaccurate response (B&W and PMC) and unusual radiation patterns (my beloved dipoles).

 

In other words, poorly designed speakers.

 

They may be very enjoyable, but they are not 'good' speakers. They are acoustic tone controls.

 

The Boenike is too inaccurate to be a good speaker, although it is obviously an enjoyably expensive one.  I can't imagine why you'd pick them over Kii or Dutch&Dutch if you want accuracy, or Davone if you want pretty, but that's just me.

 

I've not heard the Contrasts, but have built something similar. Also enjoyable on its own terms,  but wildly inaccurate. There is a reason most speakers have crossovers. Sure crossovers may restrict the freedom of your drivers, but they also stop your ears having to listen to cone breakup and distorting tweeters.

 

I'd be flabbergasted if they measured well and sounded accurate.

 

However, as alluded to above, the open baffles I've been enamoured with for the past 20 years also fail the good speaker test.

 

The fact that they sound so different from regular monkey coffins indicates either that those who love them (like me) are deluded, or that the 99% of the speaker industry who are obsessed with making the most of drivers in boxes, and those who buy them, are deluded.

 

I suspect it is me.

 

Alas, I'm not allowed to move my DIY active open baffles into the family lounge. Because they are ugly. But I have finally set them up in my Lair. 

 

They are the only speakers I've tried recently that sound obviously 'better' to my ears than the LS50s (and all the others).

 

So I've sold the LS50s. I'm (currently) keeping the KEF R3s for the family area because they sound somewhat better than the other sensible speakers I've tried (at the afore-mentioned extremes) and because my wife likes the look more.

 

Even if I were prepared to spend the silly money I used to spend on speakers, I'm struggling to see an upgrade path from them short of Pioneer/TAD monitors, or active monitors like Neumann, Genelec or JBL.

 

And all those are ugly as sin.

 

Sorry, just saw the post above. I really like the look of Focal Kantas. 

 

I don't think they'd sound any better to justify their price, but I would pay more just for the aesthetics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sfdoddsy
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Very interesting post covering a big range of speaker styles Doddsy.  Good to read because you have no conflict of interest like the typical hifi magazine.

 

On 30/10/2019 at 8:53 PM, sfdoddsy said:

Even if I were prepared to spend the silly money I used to spend on speakers, I'm struggling to see an upgrade path from them short of Pioneer/TAD monitors, or active monitors like Neumann, Genelec or JBL

Since you've had first hand listening experience to such a large range of quality speakers and you liked the sound of the LS50 so much, what do you think the step up in expenditure for a Neumann or Genelec monitor will give over the LS50?

 

I have to admit to not having auditioned the latter so ask just out of pure interest.  Especially given the "active" version of the LS50 and the Neumann/Genelec studio monitors have similar driver and cabinet sizes, what sonic benefits would the jump in money deliver?

 

 

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I think the smaller active monitors like a Neumann KH80 are more accurate than the LS50 out of the box. And cheaper and more reliable than the LS50W.

 

Were I buying new, (and didn't care about aesthetics) I'd pay the $1600 for the KH80. No amps needed, built-in DSP, built-in room EQ. Measures as flat as decent amps.

 

But I don't think the difference is massive, especially if you EQ the LS50.

 

Pro monitors tend to have a narrower dispersion, which may help in some rooms.

 

But again, minor differences.

 

The bigger and vastly more expensive pro monitors will play louder and deeper (just like the bigger and more expensive KEFs/TADs/Revels will) and should have audibly less distortion when played loud, but if you don't listen at concert volumes and use (ideally stereo) subs, this becomes moot.

 

IMHO, you'd have to jump all the way up to something like the Dutch & Dutch 8C or Kii Threes which use technology to adjust their response and interaction with the room to find good speakers which notably improve on the performance of cheaper good speakers like the LS50/R3/Revels with subs and room EQ.

 

And even then, you'll get awfully close.

 

You should, however, be aware of my biases. I also used to own very expensive amps, turntables, DACs etc until listening tests showed me that I couldn't tell the difference between them and their cheaper brethren. 

 

Obviously many other audiophiles disagree, hence this website and the sales of expensive speakers, amps, DACs and cables.

 

:)

Edited by sfdoddsy
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