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snurb

aspiring Audiophile

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Hi all from a new member.

 

My current setup is Hegel H190 amp + KEF LS50s (nearfield desk setup) though am finding the LS50s tough to listen to for long periods. Is it just me?

 

Also thinking of adding a REL sub. 

 

Hope to learn much from many users on here with more experience.

 

Cheers

snurb

 

 

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Your experience is invaluable and what other people is totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it's not "others" that find that or not. It could be anywhere in the chain of your components, but I find the LS50s are "light" with their sound, meaning tonally there isn't enough bass for the rest of the frequency response. They roll off quite early and while that's not universal, most smaller speakers suffer from that. A sub may well change that dramatically by fleshing out the bass, and is a nice way to fix the tonal balance - if that's the actual problem - and may fix your fatiguing sound, if you are still confined to nearfield listening, but integrating a sub isn't that straight forward. What source are you using and where are your speakers relative to the wall? Some repositioning of your speakers closer to the wall will enhance the bass and may go a fair way towards fixing your issue at no cost, and some digital sources have a tendency to sound fatiguing so it may be a combination of things. More information and experimentation before you spend any money is vital, Mr. Burns (I think someone already took the snrub handle.)

Edited by Ittaku

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Hi snurb

Welcome to stereonet, lots of experience and knowledge here, enjoy.:welcome:

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Subwoofer means plenty of fun. Rel and SVS are the most popular and quite different. I mean Rel T5i vs SVS SB-1000.

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

Your experience is invaluable and what other people is totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it's not "others" that find that or not. It could be anywhere in the chain of your components, but I find the LS50s are "light" with their sound, meaning tonally there isn't enough bass for the rest of the frequency response. They roll off quite early and while that's not universal, most smaller speakers suffer from that. A sub may well change that dramatically by fleshing out the bass, and is a nice way to fix the tonal balance - if that's the actual problem - and may fix your fatiguing sound, if you are still confined to nearfield listening, but integrating a sub isn't that straight forward. What source are you using and where are your speakers relative to the wall? Some repositioning of your speakers closer to the wall will enhance the bass and may go a fair way towards fixing your issue at no cost, and some digital sources have a tendency to sound fatiguing so it may be a combination of things. More information and experimentation before you spend any money is vital, Mr. Burns (I think someone already took the snrub handle.)

Thanks for the feedback Ittaku!

 

I've tried messing with the placement, though I've never heard anyone say get closer to the wall! 

 

The LS50s are currently about 20cms from the back wall.  According to the manual that means they should have the full foam plugs inserted however, when I tried that, the bass response was even more subdued.

 

Many things I've read point to LS50s being amazing on stands when they've got space to breathe.  It definitely could be a mix of their top end sharpness combined with the room dynamics.

Prior to this I had some B&W685 S2s and I don't know whether it was because they were front ported, but they overall sounded more balanced, even if they weren't quite as detailed as the KEFs in the top end.  Also far less fatiguing.

Edited by snurb

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3 hours ago, snurb said:

Hi all from a new member.

 

My current setup is Hegel H190 amp + KEF LS50s (nearfield desk setup) though am finding the LS50s tough to listen to for long periods. Is it just me?

 

Also thinking of adding a REL sub. 

 

Hope to learn much from many users on here with more experience.

 

Cheers

snurb

 

 

I think the combo you have is a nice marriage, however the fatigue could be down to the individual (YOU!). So not to knock the products per se, but I guess the option to try different speakers should be on the cards.

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5 hours ago, snurb said:

Thanks for the feedback Ittaku!

 

I've tried messing with the placement, though I've never heard anyone say get closer to the wall! 

 

The LS50s are currently about 20cms from the back wall.  According to the manual that means they should have the full foam plugs inserted however, when I tried that, the bass response was even more subdued.

 

Many things I've read point to LS50s being amazing on stands when they've got space to breathe.  It definitely could be a mix of their top end sharpness combined with the room dynamics.

Prior to this I had some B&W685 S2s and I don't know whether it was because they were front ported, but they overall sounded more balanced, even if they weren't quite as detailed as the KEFs in the top end.  Also far less fatiguing.

Okay you're already quote close to the wall, but you can still put them even closer. Won't hurt to try. The other thing to do is listen to them more off axis. Point them forwards or even away from you instead of directly at you to soften their top end. All free things to try first. Front vs rear ports really doesn't make much difference at all with the way bass works, except for more resonances (and possibly wind noise) from within the speaker being audible when they're at the front.

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Does the Hegel have any tone controls? When I got my recent speakers they seemed really harsh and unlikable. With some adjustment I loved them. The room and my positioning was limited so they were a lifesaver. I hadn't really been into tone controls before, but they might be the fine tuning you need. Consider me partially converted of their merit

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Hegel is quite flat in playing. It lacks saturation in diameter. Unfortunately, this is a disadvantage of most mass devices.

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11 hours ago, Ittaku said:

Okay you're already quote close to the wall, but you can still put them even closer. Won't hurt to try. The other thing to do is listen to them more off axis. Point them forwards or even away from you instead of directly at you to soften their top end. All free things to try first. Front vs rear ports really doesn't make much difference at all with the way bass works, except for more resonances (and possibly wind noise) from within the speaker being audible when they're at the front.

I always preferred listening to them this way.

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I've had KEF LS50s and yes they are not the deepest speakers and i partnered mine with a sub. However in nearfield set up they should be adequate 

 

May be some room acoustics coming into play where you have a bass null at your listening position.

 

Play a song you know really well with a well balanced bassline which is melodical and walk around the room may find a point in the room where the bass in more prominent.

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On 29/02/2020 at 3:24 PM, snurb said:

Thanks for the feedback Ittaku!

 

I've tried messing with the placement, though I've never heard anyone say get closer to the wall! 

 

 

https://youtu.be/5qzGbmCADjE

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And https://sonicscoop.com/2017/12/14/the-1-speaker-placement-tip-speaker-manuals-get-completely-wrong/

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Posted (edited)

How did you go with LS50s and bass response? 

 

I just moved on a pair of KEF lsx the smaller model which is powered.

 

they worked well for near field but when in my larger room with a bit of distance between them really opened up 

 

I know Kef claim the LS series in based on a studio monitor design but probably work better (less fatiguing) with more traditional placement 

Edited by mpearce38

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Posted (edited)

Hi snub from another ex-lurker. Experimenting with the placement of the KEFs is a good idea, but you might also try borrowing a friend’s amp and speakers for a few hours to see what’s off in your system. Even pretty cheap gear would tell you something.

 

And before you do that, two silly ideas:

  • Have you checked that the speakers are wired + to + and - to -? (I once made this mistake).
  • Have you tried the whole setup in a different room? Rooms make a big difference that can go overlooked in all the tech talk.

 

The REL sub is a great notion for music. I added an old REL T2 a while back and found it a subtle but terrific addition.

Edited by David Walker
Added question about alternate room.

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Posted (edited)

Looking at this a bit more - because I too covet those LS50s - KEF's specs say they measure +/-3db at 79hz. Below that, according to published figures, they roll off fairly quickly. All that suggests a sub, set low and with the right crossover, might add a lot.

 

Warning: I'm not an expert in anything here. But here's some evidence worth looking at:

Ears and brains vary too. My taste is for a little more  deep bass than my 20-year-old son hears as ideal. A small REL made a big difference to my own nearfield listening, even though I liked my speakers.

 

If you opt for a sub, it won't need to be that big for nearfield. REL T5iT7i? Or if you bought a Hegel, maybe you can run to REL's S line, reportedly faster and more dynamic. Then you'd have all that LS50 clarity and dynamism, plus the bass extension you might be seeking. 

 

Note to self: If you ever buy the LS50s or even the Q150s, keep the REL.

Edited by David Walker
Minor tweaks.

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On 29/02/2020 at 1:04 PM, snurb said:

Hi all from a new member.

 

My current setup is Hegel H190 amp + KEF LS50s (nearfield desk setup) though am finding the LS50s tough to listen to for long periods. Is it just me?

 

Also thinking of adding a REL sub. 

 

Hope to learn much from many users on here with more experience.

 

Cheers

snurb

 

 

Hi Snurb

 

Have you thought about  eq'ing those speakers. If you are using something like Jriver to play your music it is very easy to add an eq function. 

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=941:nrc-measurements-kef-ls50-loudspeakers&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

 

fr_on1530

If you look at an anechoic measurement  above, it shows the speakers to have excess energy in the 1.5k - 7khz region. This is a very sensitive region for human hearing and will make the sound fairly siblant and fatiguing. I'd eq 3-4 db out of that region to help with the sound balance. This should help a fair bit although you will not get those frequencies under 70Hz without sub integration.

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IMNSHO, I think the Hegel and LS 50 are not a good match.

The Hegel is lean and clean, as is the LS 50. I am not even slightly surprised that you find this set up difficult to listen to for long periods. Adding a sub may extend bass response but I think it is a band aid solution.

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Posted (edited)
On 15/04/2020 at 1:21 PM, niss_man said:

Hi Snurb

 

Have you thought about  eq'ing those speakers. If you are using something like Jriver to play your music it is very easy to add an eq function. 

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=941:nrc-measurements-kef-ls50-loudspeakers&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

 

fr_on1530

If you look at an anechoic measurement  above, it shows the speakers to have excess energy in the 1.5k - 7khz region. This is a very sensitive region for human hearing and will make the sound fairly siblant and fatiguing. I'd eq 3-4 db out of that region to help with the sound balance. This should help a fair bit although you will not get those frequencies under 70Hz without sub integration.

Thanks for the tip niss!  I actually downloaded an older version of Vox and have been messing with the EQ there.
 

Edited by snurb

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On 15/04/2020 at 4:12 PM, blakey72 said:

I auditioned the LS50's and found them too bright for my ears. I ended up with PMC. If you decide to change speakers these may be to your liking.

https://www.theaudiotailor.com.au/products/pmc-db1-gold-bookshelf-monitor-speakers

Hey blakey, thanks for the tip.

 

I just watched a few reviews on these and they appear to be awesome.

 

Especially like the callouts of the excellent near field performance. 

 

I honestly think that the LS50s aren't best suited for nearfield.  Everything I've read about them mentions they sound great on stands, given room to breath.

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On 15/04/2020 at 4:23 PM, rantan said:

IMNSHO, I think the Hegel and LS 50 are not a good match.

The Hegel is lean and clean, as is the LS 50. I am not even slightly surprised that you find this set up difficult to listen to for long periods. Adding a sub may extend bass response but I think it is a band aid solution.

You might be right rantan. When I switch back to my old speakers, B&W 685 S2s, they really spotlight what's missing in the LS50s in my setup:

Just a fuller, more balanced, non wince inducing sound.  

I think LS50s and near field (plus whatever room acoustics I have going on) might not be the best setup.  

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These seem to be universally accepted as a good amp for LS-50s.

 

 

Rare as rocking horse poo now though.

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