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I have my work cut out for me KEF LS50

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  • #31

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    • #32
      Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post

      I have been wondering if there are any really nice, not crazy expensive, coax drivers I could build up. Could be fun.

      There will be a room full of ideas at the end of April in Fort Wayne Indiana. The Daytons and SB Acoustics could be done reasonably. I think if you have a bit of distance for integration horn loading a tweeter can give a smoother response and create more options.
      John H

      Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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      • #33
        Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post
        I may be getting old, losing hearing and just don’t know what I don’t know. I don’t hear the hot 2-5k. I guess that makes me a cheap date
        You may be hearing it as "extra detail"
        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
        Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

        95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
        "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

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        • #34

          The Ares has smoother response than this . . .
          That extra energy in the 2K-5K region could get a little fatiguing after a while.

          ​Jeez, my 29-year old Mordaunt-Short MS3.2s with a modified x-over and replacement cheap Audax mylar tweeters have a smoother measured response than that. I suspect that the LS50 has a lot more going for it than just the measured FR. It actually makes me wonder a bit how important getting a flat FR actually is in loudspeaker design...
          Brian Steele
          www.diysubwoofers.org

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post

            ​Jeez, my 29-year old Mordaunt-Short MS3.2s with a modified x-over and replacement cheap Audax mylar tweeters have a smoother measured response than that. I suspect that the LS50 has a lot more going for it than just the measured FR. It actually makes me wonder a bit how important getting a flat FR actually is in loudspeaker design...
            It is important. That kind of variance in response in that region would definitely get my attention. Some instruments would become very strident, and some vocals might be a little piercing too as the harmonics would be artificially enhanced.
            R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
            Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

            95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
            "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post

              ​Jeez, my 29-year old Mordaunt-Short MS3.2s with a modified x-over and replacement cheap Audax mylar tweeters have a smoother measured response than that. I suspect that the LS50 has a lot more going for it than just the measured FR. It actually makes me wonder a bit how important getting a flat FR actually is in loudspeaker design...

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              • #37

                It is important. That kind of variance in response in that region would definitely get my attention. Some instruments would become very strident, and some vocals might be a little piercing too as the harmonics would be artificially enhanced.
                Yet you would struggle to find any review of them that would indicate this is a problem area.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post


                  I do think that you are correct. How many times have you read about a commercially designed speaker or even amplifier that measures terrible on paper and sounds great? I certainly cannot look at a graph and get an image of the sound. You can pick out certain aspects for sure as Pete is pointing out. Same with the built in hump of the LS3/5a or the Bagby Continuum.

                  I would bet (I don;’t have a lot anyway) that what Pete is pointing out is not by accident. When you read the white paper they specifically state that they were not going for a flat response but rather a specific voicing. They also talk about avoiding any coloration in the region that Pete has pointed out. That lead them to using a viscoelastic material between the braces and the sidewalls.

                  In no way do I think that the LS50 is the best or most accurate monitor. In fact many here could build a way better design on paper. It is however a very enjoyable little speaker. It has the ability to go pretty loud yet not sound like it is struggling. Is the distortion down low a problem? Not to my ear. It has a round bottom end rather than tight and defined bottom end but in a small monitor it gives the impression of more bass than it has.
                  Not arguing with you, but "sounds great", is a highly subjective personal impression, individual dependent.
                  Great, to some means boosted highs, to others boomy bass, to others pleasing distortion and so on.

                  Not saying a technically flat response is the only thing, but through my years or experimenting with many retail speakers, using published FR data and measured Response at home, and then trying to EQ out (to a moderate degree) the response deviations, almost has always resulted in what seems to be a more realstic/neutral or accurate sound picture.

                  Boosted upper mids would create a very intimate vocal sound, sometimes a spectacular wide image or some other effect, but the EQ'ed Response always sounded more "right",

                  Some of the response deviations would make certain music sound more impressive, more laid back or more punchy, but the EQ'ed response, would always bring the sound back to something more long term listenable, at least to me.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by kevintomb View Post

                    Not arguing with you, but "sounds great", is a highly subjective personal impression, individual dependent.
                    Great, to some means boosted highs, to others boomy bass, to others pleasing distortion and so on.

                    Not saying a technically flat response is the only thing, but through my years or experimenting with many retail speakers, using published FR data and measured Response at home, and then trying to EQ out (to a moderate degree) the response deviations, almost has always resulted in what seems to be a more realstic/neutral or accurate sound picture.

                    Boosted upper mids would create a very intimate vocal sound, sometimes a spectacular wide image or some other effect, but the EQ'ed Response always sounded more "right",

                    Some of the response deviations would make certain music sound more impressive, more laid back or more punchy, but the EQ'ed response, would always bring the sound back to something more long term listenable, at least to me.
                    I would sure like to see a blind listening test done using the Ls50 and Diy speakers. I have been to a lot of events and have only heard a few speakers that will compete with them. Everyone knows their limitations so add a sub if you want more bass. This will just improve the mids taking the strain off the midwoofer. Its amazing how everyone can build a better speaker, with this being one of this companies best reviewed and bedt selling speakers ever.
                    craigk

                    " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                    • #40
                      Our ears adapt pretty quickly to response irregularities, so it's sometimes not easy to spot mild deviations in frequency response. And of course the dispersion characteristics of a speaker can affect the perceived loudness at any given frequency. I use a reasonably flat headphone set (AKG K702) to compare, as well as performing FR measurements, as I adjust EQ.
                      Francis

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by craigk View Post

                        I would sure like to see a blind listening test done using the Ls50 and Diy speakers. I have been to a lot of events and have only heard a few speakers that will compete with them. Everyone knows their limitations so add a sub if you want more bass. This will just improve the mids taking the strain off the midwoofer. Its amazing how everyone can build a better speaker, with this being one of this companies best reviewed and bedt selling speakers ever.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by stephenmarklay View Post

                          I am certain the some really skilled folks can do better. I don’t think it is and “easy” thing to do. If it were the LS50 would not be reviewed so well compared to all of the competitors in the space.

                          To paraphrase Kevin, there simply is no objective reality when it comes to peoples preference.

                          I compared these to the Continuum, a great design, well respected designer and all around enjoyable speaker but the LS50 would be my choice most of the time.

                          If you step up to a very high performance driver complement life gets easier. Still the engineering resources a company like KEF has makes it hard to design as well as they can.

                          I did not really get the hear the LS-50's long enough to know "everything" about how they sound, but they are amazing for the size and quite decent overall.
                          Sadly I have not heard very many DIY speakers, nor made any comparisons of them to the LS-50.
                          I have to wonder, what the cost of their driver is, and what DIY driver would be similar.

                          Also, anyone around Pittsburgh Pa, willing to let me hear some of your DIY speakers!

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by kevintomb View Post
                            I did not really get the hear the LS-50's long enough to know "everything" about how they sound, but they are amazing for the size and quite decent overall.
                            Sadly I have not heard very many DIY speakers, nor made any comparisons of them to the LS-50.
                            I have to wonder, what the cost of their driver is, and what DIY driver would be similar.

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                            • #44
                              I have the LS50's, Continuum, Carreras, Usher be- 718, and Jkims Usher with HDS tweet currently. I have had in the past the Kairos, Jed's Resolution 6( Satori and Seas 6"mag.) and several of Troels Designs. Within their bass limitations the LS50 is right in there with the best of them. The Carreras are great top to bottom, they definitely have better bass. I love the midrange of the Continuum and the tweeter while not up there with the Hiq. or the Satori , doesn't do anything wrong, I do find the Contiuums run out of gas in the bass department relatively easily, the LS50 does better bass in my opinion.

                              The LS50 are really nice although I would still pick the Carreras or Resolutuion 6, with subs it's even more of a toss up.
                              I will say for desktop use the Continuum are great!

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                                Those look like something near 19 liters each and a 50 Hz f3. Seems easy enough, unless I have to pay for my time and sell them for a profit.
                                I can't think of a single 4 ohm, 165 mm woofer that can do that with 88 dB system sensitivity and hit 110 dB peaks. I know manufacturer's specs are 'optimistic', but that seems like an apostasy against Hoffmanism. If you had a second woofer, an 8", or floor-loaded the woofer I could maybe see it, but that wouldn't be quite the same thing. I also won't take for granted that any of the coax drivers available to DIYers are as good as the KEF units. Maybe the newest SEAS units are, but those don't come cheap.

                                You'd still have to build a CLD cabinet, make aluminum trim rings, and polish the gloss-black finish. I'm not saying it couldn't be done but it would be a labor-intensive and costly endeavor to equal or better the KEF in its every detail.

                                The Minerva monitor looks like it would check about every box on that list. You could maybe build it (with cheaper caps and coils) for the full MSRP of the KEF, but it would not be a weekend project.

                                Even if you assume the specs below 500 Hz are exaggerated, and knock maybe 3 dB off everything, pretty much the only 7ish" woofer that could give you 107 dB and still net 85 dB with baffle step loss would be an SS 18WU and the only coax with comparable features (shorting rings, prominently) would be the SEAS C16. That's over $1100 in drivers, as a starting point. $165 for cabinets and 3-way crossovers would be a tight squeeze.

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