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  #1  
Old 08-24-2015, 12:25 PM
brazil-nut brazil-nut is offline
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Default Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3

Some of you may remember a little comparison I made between the Goldenear Aon 3 and the B&W 805S:
http://www.audioaficionado.org/gener...iew-thing.html

Recently I picked up (read: stole) a pair of KEF LS50's from Canada (long live the weak CA$) and I put them up against my beloved Goldenear Aon 3's.

Just to jump to the end, I am keeping the LS50. The 'why' might surprise you...

First I started off with some of the old faithful songs that I know very well and have played many times with the Goldenears.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Under the Bridge
Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing (live)
Norah Jones: Nightingale (high resolution 24/192)

As expected from the Goldenears, it sounded like a live performance, huge soundstage, natural sounding mids and deep lows...
The sound I loved for almost 3 years.

Now it is the KEF's turn. The looks are very different, the KEF being the smaller of the 2 with that Orange 'sunny side up' fried egg in the middle.

I let them warm up a little after being shipped to me before I gave them a listen. Not a clue if it made a difference, but at least I made it look like that I knew what I was doing...

First thing I noticed, smaller soundstage and a little less bass (not a lot, but enough to notice). Not sure if I could live with that...

Then it hit me, these things are a lot easier to listen to than the Aon 3's. Where the Aon 3' were more fun and 'I want to move to the music', the LS50's invited you to sit down and really enjoy the music. It sounded more 'soothing' (if that makes sense to anyone, besides me). Still, they sounded warm and very natural. There was a little more detail and more 'air' between the instruments and singer.

Reading back the 'review' of the B&W 805S and Aon 3 (see link above), I think I found the perfect in between with the LS50's.

Now the reason why I am keeping the LS50's...

I prefer the deeper bass, wider soundstage and more fun sound of the Aon 3's, but the LS50's kept me more engaged to the music. With the Aon 3's I could walk around the room and listen to the music as if it were played live in my room, the LS50's made me sit down and appreciate the songs I have known for a while all over again.

Maybe I should keep them both and switch between them depending on my mood that day, but I don't think my wife and 'interior decorator' will let that fly...
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:52 PM
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2fastdriving 2fastdriving is online now
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I love the LS50's and have mine in my theater. Just for fun, I hooked up my LS50's to my ARC gear and paired it with my JL F113 sub to compare with my Sasha's. Wow! They won't be replacing the Sasha's any time soon, but paired with great gear and a sub, they can be made to really sound amazing.

I love experimenting like that.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:31 PM
brazil-nut brazil-nut is offline
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I have mine connected to a Primaluna Dialogue 2 tube amp.
Sweet combo!
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:35 AM
erniejade erniejade is offline
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Did you find the kef 50's got a little ringy when pushed?
Granted they can go darn loud for how small the speaker is. The mids are fantastic on them and piano is amazing. I prefered a sub with them but again for the size and $, an outstanding speaker.

I had them on a in home trial st the same time as psb imagine t2.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:58 PM
brazil-nut brazil-nut is offline
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I never play music that loud, so I couldn't tell if they did or not.
For the $ they are great, but to get the low frequencies you really need a sub woofer.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2015, 06:51 AM
clin36 clin36 is offline
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Default got LS50, but so far not

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fastdriving View Post
I love the LS50's and have mine in my theater. Just for fun, I hooked up my LS50's to my ARC gear and paired it with my JL F113 sub to compare with my Sasha's. Wow! They won't be replacing the Sasha's any time soon, but paired with great gear and a sub, they can be made to really sound amazing.

I love experimenting like that.
hi 2FastDriving,

I got my LS50 last week and hooked up to my HT as front speakers, replacing a pair of Mission 771.

Last year I listened to LS50 at local dealer and was reasonably impressed, so this time around I just bought it (directly from KEF online) without thinking about home audition. Well, LS50 still sounded very good to me but I am a bit underwhelmed by it. Seems to lack the 'air' around sound stage that I thought it would have, and lack of bass.

Does LS50 need any break-in time? I listened for total of about 3, 4 hours, using DVD of Krystian Zimerman playing Chopin Ballads, and of him playing Beethoven piano concerto under Bernstein. Also Ma, Perlman and Barenboim playing Beethoven Triple Concerto on EMI DVD.

AV amp is Yamaha RX-2030.

Mission 771 gave me brighter highs (which maybe contributes to its better 'open air' stage sound) and deeper bass, I thought. But I also felt that LS50 may have a better overall tonal balance, so I am not convince yet that I had made a purchase mistake.

Maybe the location of LS50 is not ideal either. I tried to move it as far away from back wall as possible, but the most I can achieve is still slightly less than the ideal 50 cm (or greater) as suggested by the owners manual.

Will try to move it to my 2-channel listening area and hook them up to ARC 250 mono to see how much better they will sound.

Last edited by clin36; 10-25-2015 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:23 AM
erniejade erniejade is offline
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200+ hours for break in open them up. Placement is also key and a subwoofer!
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:39 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Just ordered a pair to go with my McIntosh MXA70. I have very limited space and I have always loved the KEF sound. I will move the McIntosh speakers to the surround system in the living room. The smoothness, sound stage, and airiness of KEF is what I have always loved. Sitting down and getting into the music is everything to me and that is where KEFs have always shined to me. Hopefully these will be the same. From everything I have read this should be the case.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:29 AM
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Just got a pair of LS50s for the bedroom system, which is driven by a DIY Triode amp we built a couple years ago. They replaced my 31-year-old Infinity RS4s, which despite their age, still work fine. While with less than five hours, the tighter bass and clearer highs are a welcome upgrade.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2015, 12:26 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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You will notice significant improvements the more you listen to them. They take about 200 hours to settle in!
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