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Can you beat my option? KEF LS50 Wireless II + SVS SB-2000 Pro

richard12511

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the thing that made me pass on the AVRs (e.g Denon X3700) is that IMO this unit is tailored to effectively manage 9 channels audio and process many different codecs, pass through the video, room correction, Bluetooth and wifi, amplification, and many other features. But what I mainly need is only a good quality stereo amp with room correction. The room correction part is there but I doubted the good stereo amp. It is like an overall overkill yet underperformer. I may be totally wrong about other separate system with the perception of they would do better in just stereo (they could be as bad or as good as poor AVR) but it is hard to compare.
I guess my view is that the X3700 is a "good stereo amp" . We have measurements showing that it's almost certainly perfect to beyond the limits of human hearing. That means there is really nothing to be gained - sound quality wise - by getting a separate amp. You'll read and see a lot of subjective amp impressions on the internet and on Youtube, but it's my opinion that those are mostly based on placebo and expectation bias. Under controlled(blind) conditions, people don't seem to be able to tell well measuring amps apart very well within their volume limits.

On the other hand, Room EQ does offer real sound quality improvements that would hold under blind conditions.

From a pure stereo sound quality standpoint, the Denon + Audyssey will almost certainly sound better than the separates + SVS manual EQ. That said, if you have a device in the chain that can apply a convolution file for EQ, then you can do without Audyssey. With the right settings, REW can generate a pretty good EQ file, and the alignment tool in REW can handle phase aligning the L/R with the Subs.
 

Ron Texas

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There is a lively discussion here about how loud is loud enough. For the LS50 the LP varies from a 5' distance up to 9' or 10' with corresponding room size depending on who you talk to. I can tell you objectively that it takes a 100 Hz crossover to get rid of the LF excursions on that coaxial driver. More likely than not the listener will need 2 subs to avoid bass directionality. I did. One may look for an article by Diego Estefan on the Sound Stage network. He tested various SVS subs with B&W stand mounts and arrived at a 130 Hz crossover and said it was OK with a single sub.
 
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I was on the fence for LS50W2’s…but I ended up buying 705p’s and a 3000 micro. You’d probably want more sub for HT, but for music this combo hits all the right buttons for me. My room is much larger than yours and there’s plenty of vroom here for us.
 

bo_knows

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Recommendations are of course subjective and also depend on personal needs.
I used to own myself the Kali IN-8 (v1) and even the Neumann KH120 and with EQ I preferred even my old first gen passive LS50 to both of them (so I sold both again) and of course the LS50 Meta without the need of EQ. The only problem is that as a small 2-way its limited in bass depth and max SPL, something which can be dealt though with a good sub matching using a high crossover frequency.

Talking about max SPL, what makes me surprised is that this thread is already 3 pages long but I haven't seen one question of the most important decision factor which is the listening distance...
Also, not sure why members here like to mix professional gear with the comercial product. Not eveyone is
I guess my view is that the X3700 is a "good stereo amp" . We have measurements showing that it's almost certainly perfect to beyond the limits of human hearing. That means there is really nothing to be gained - sound quality wise - by getting a separate amp. You'll read and see a lot of subjective amp impressions on the internet and on Youtube, but it's my opinion that those are mostly based on placebo and expectation bias. Under controlled(blind) conditions, people don't seem to be able to tell well measuring amps apart very well within their volume limits.

On the other hand, Room EQ does offer real sound quality improvements that would hold under blind conditions.

From a pure stereo sound quality standpoint, the Denon + Audyssey will almost certainly sound better than the separates + SVS manual EQ. That said, if you have a device in the chain that can apply a convolution file for EQ, then you can do without Audyssey. With the right settings, REW can generate a pretty good EQ file, and the alignment tool in REW can handle phase aligning the L/R with the Subs.
Until he can sit 3-4 feet away from the back wall, and have at least a 4-inch broadband absorber behind his head, this is just a purely academic discussion. No amount of EQ or DSP will fix those reflections.
 
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Thread Starter #126
What I see more detrimental to a high audiophile experience is that your couch is directly at the rear wall whose close reflections reduce the spatial quality of a good loudspeaker, unless you use some significant absorption.
Seems like another great points that I had no idea about. I don't know what can I do for that, But I will consider that when I am going to buy a house in future!
 
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Chrispy

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Seems like another great points that I have no idea about. I don't know what can I do for that, But I will consider that when I am going to buy a house in future!
Can't move it forward away from the wall? (didn't see the pic)
 
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Thread Starter #128
I guess my view is that the X3700 is a "good stereo amp" . We have measurements showing that it's almost certainly perfect to beyond the limits of human hearing. That means there is really nothing to be gained - sound quality wise - by getting a separate amp. You'll read and see a lot of subjective amp impressions on the internet and on Youtube, but it's my opinion that those are mostly based on placebo and expectation bias. Under controlled(blind) conditions, people don't seem to be able to tell well measuring amps apart very well within their volume limits.

On the other hand, Room EQ does offer real sound quality improvements that would hold under blind conditions.

From a pure stereo sound quality standpoint, the Denon + Audyssey will almost certainly sound better than the separates + SVS manual EQ. That said, if you have a device in the chain that can apply a convolution file for EQ, then you can do without Audyssey. With the right settings, REW can generate a pretty good EQ file, and the alignment tool in REW can handle phase aligning the L/R with the Subs.
Thank you for your comment. another +1 for AVR. As far as I know, there are some options for room correction in the separate systems too but it is either going to be more expensive or that systems would not have the usability of the normal AVR.
 
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Seems like another great points that I have no idea about. I don't know what can I do for that, But I will consider that when I am going to buy a house in future!
Most of us have to make compromises due to finances, WAF, room issues.. very few have the perfect room. Do what you can and try not to perseverate on it. You can get most of the way there.

My couch is also along the rear wall. I built a small long table to slide behind the couch that gets me about a foot and a half off the wall. I also lined the wall with 2" panels. Not the perfect solution, but sometimes I'll pull out a chair to get me a few feet off the wall and I can't say I'm wowed by any difference. I personally notice a bigger difference from turning Audyssey on or off.

I do have my speakers on sliders though and pull them out when I listen. I also eq'd the subs to try to keep it from sounding boomy at the wall. I did what I could, and I'm trying not perseverate on it.. but not with much success. Unfortunately I find myself focusing on trying to squeeze more performance out of my gear instead of just enjoying the music.
 
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Thread Starter #132
AudioSQ, post: 813469, member: 30346"]Most of us have to make compromises due to finances, WAF, room issues.. very few have the perfect room. Do what you can and try not to perseverate on it. You can get most of the way there.

My couch is also along the rear wall. I built a small long table to slide behind the couch that gets me about a foot and a half off the wall. I also lined the wall with 2" panels. Not the perfect solution, but sometimes I'll pull out a chair to get me a few feet off the wall and I can't say I'm wowed by any difference. I personally notice a bigger difference from turning Audyssey on or off.

I do have my speakers on sliders though and pull them out when I listen. I also eq'd the subs to try to keep it from sounding boomy at the wall. I did what I could, and I'm trying not perseverate on it.. but not with much success.
Thank you so much for the tips and tricks about the possible adjustments.

Unfortunately I find myself focusing on trying to squeeze more performance out of my gear instead of just enjoying the music.
This is what I wanted to avoid but apparently I am doing it too even before buying the system. The way it goes, I afraid I will not enjoy the music through this "HiFi" system as much as I do through my crappy bose computer speakers now.
 
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Take this for what it's worth, as I'm by no means an expert or even a particularly experienced listener. I didn't do any thorough comparisons, basically out with the Fives and in with the KEFs.

Disclaimer out of the way: I liked the Fives, they were a bit bass heavy, and maybe a bit less "precise" or "clear" in the midrange. The KEFs on the other hand seem more "detailed" or "refined" in the midrange and especially at higher volumes. Just overall sounded better to me. Of course I had just just spent $2,500 on them, so I certainly wanted them to sound better too!

I liked the Fives remote better, my girlfriend preferred their appearance too, combined with the built in phono stage and HDMI ARC, they had all the connectivity I needed, besides WIFI streaming.
Thank you for the response. I got The Fives paird with a PC2000Pro. Very happy with the setup (and the wife is too!), but upgrades are always at the horizon so that's why I asked :). Let's hope Amir or Erin gets a hold of the KEFs some day.
 

Ata

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@Vahidhm FWIW I am myself considering the following options:

1. Sony STR-DN1080 7.2 AVR + KEF LS50 Meta LRs + 2xSVS SB-1000Pros located under the speakers to have freedom of crossing over above 80Hz. All of this should fit in your budget, or if not, you could start with a single sub;

2. Sony STR-DN1080 7.2 AVR + KEF R3 + 2xSVS SB-1000Pros. This may be over your budget but you could delay buying subs as the LF response of the R3 is not too bad, especially close to a wall.

Why the Sony AVR? Well, I have it, and I like its sound, and it can be found much cheaper than the Denons recommended on this forum, thus a better match to your budget, but you won't get pre-outs and 2 extra channels.

For critical stereo listening, I will be applying Room + speaker correction using large # taps convolution filters in Audirvana. For movies, I will let the receiver EQ as much as it can, but will also end up using the PEQs on the subs. The ultimate solution for movies would be multi-channel convolver in JRiver, but one step at a time. ;)

LS50 Meta and KEF R3 in direct comparison, I liked the sound and single sound source of the LS50 Meta in a very large room, but:

- I am almost certain the R3 was suffering from a room mode due to its better LF response. Did not have my UMIK at the time to measure;
- I do not listen to music above 80dbA average.

Hope this helps one way or another!
 
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Thread Starter #136
@Vahidhm FWIW I am myself considering the following options:

1. Sony STR-DN1080 7.2 AVR + KEF LS50 Meta LRs + 2xSVS SB-1000Pros located under the speakers to have freedom of crossing over above 80Hz. All of this should fit in your budget, or if not, you could start with a single sub;

2. Sony STR-DN1080 7.2 AVR + KEF R3 + 2xSVS SB-1000Pros. This may be over your budget but you could delay buying subs as the LF response of the R3 is not too bad, especially close to a wall.

Why the Sony AVR? Well, I have it, and I like its sound, and it can be found much cheaper than the Denons recommended on this forum, thus a better match to your budget, but you won't get pre-outs and 2 extra channels.

For critical stereo listening, I will be applying Room + speaker correction using large # taps convolution filters in Audirvana. For movies, I will let the receiver EQ as much as it can, but will also end up using the PEQs on the subs. The ultimate solution for movies would be multi-channel convolver in JRiver, but one step at a time. ;)

LS50 Meta and KEF R3 in direct comparison, I liked the sound and single sound source of the LS50 Meta in a very large room, but:

- I am almost certain the R3 was suffering from a room mode due to its better LF response. Did not have my UMIK at the time to measure;
- I do not listen to music above 80dbA average.

Hope this helps one way or another!
Thank you so much for the options. I will take a look at the Sony AVRs. The lack of pre outs could be a problem and I need to compare Sony's room correction with Audyssey to see the difference. The good thing is this Sony AVR is actually in stock but Denon has been sold out for a while
 
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Thread Starter #137
One more thing - if I was looking to buy an AVR-based system sometime this year, I'd probably wait a bit for reviews and measurements of the upcoming Pioneer and Onkyo AVRs to start coming in, as some of them will have a version of Dirac Live for room correction.
With Denons and Kefs are all out of stock, I am forced to wait and Review and compare all of these different brands. Seems the only way to go for now
 

Ata

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Thank you so much for the options. I will take a look at the Sony AVRs. The lack of pre outs could be a problem and I need to compare Sony's room correction with Audyssey to see the difference. The good thing is this Sony AVR is actually in stock but Denon has been sold out for a while
The Sony may also have better DACs now that AKM are running out of stock…
 

symphara

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From a pure stereo sound quality standpoint, the Denon + Audyssey will almost certainly sound better than the separates + SVS manual EQ. That said, if you have a device in the chain that can apply a convolution file for EQ, then you can do without Audyssey. With the right settings, REW can generate a pretty good EQ file, and the alignment tool in REW can handle phase aligning the L/R with the Subs.
I don’t know about that. I don’t have a Denon but a Marantz with MultiXT32 and playing music though Audyssey, using the pre-outs into my Electrocompaniet in HT mode sounds remarkably worse than playing the same music but uncorrected from my DAC/streamer into the same amp.

I checked with UMIK and on paper it does measure better with Audyssey. A bit, it’s not a huge difference. But listening is a different story, it sounds mushy and unrealistic through Audyssey. The instruments (sax, cymbals) lose the natural sound.

For video content however it’s a different story. Audyssey clearly makes a positive difference in terms of the cohesiveness of the surround field, which sounds flat and lifeless without it engaged.

That’s my experience.
 

dominikz

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I don’t know about that. I don’t have a Denon but a Marantz with MultiXT32 and playing music though Audyssey, using the pre-outs into my Electrocompaniet in HT mode sounds remarkably worse than playing the same music but uncorrected from my DAC/streamer into the same amp.

I checked with UMIK and on paper it does measure better with Audyssey. A bit, it’s not a huge difference. But listening is a different story, it sounds mushy and unrealistic through Audyssey. The instruments (sax, cymbals) lose the natural sound.

For video content however it’s a different story. Audyssey clearly makes a positive difference in terms of the cohesiveness of the surround field, which sounds flat and lifeless without it engaged.

That’s my experience.
That's interesting, but not necessarily unexpected if you're running room correction on the full spectrum - have you instead tried using the partner Denon/Audissey app to limit the room correction to just the LF area below the transition / Schroeder frequency of your room?
 

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