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How to evaluate a ELAC Navis bookshelf (powered speaker) versus the KEF LS-50 Wireless 2 (active speaker)?

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mel

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@mel

The "processing power" required to reproduce a cymbal crash is ... well .. nothing.. It is routine, has been done and is being done by chip costing a few cents...Video works in the MHz and chips digitize it and reproduce it day in and out .. no sweat, no issues ...
Additionally , most of us, including those who think they have the very best hearing, fail to distinguish the better lossy codecs from original décompresseur, past a certain level. Once you are at 320 kb/s, only trained people have a chance. And that, by focusing on things they know and have been trained to discern. You could be one of those, in which case you can tell us. But I didn't see that mentioned. What I saw was a very subjective way to evaluate music reproduction, based on arbitrary and subjective metrics.

Here at ASR , we tend to require solid proofs. You didn't provide any. Or, perhaps, any that I noticed.

Stay. Learn. Read, research, discuss. You will learn a lot and will with patience and dedication build a solid music and/or movies reproduction system that up to now , would have cost you several times as much.

Peace.

I am very sensitive to sound. I know about the research you allude to.

You seem to know a lot. You could help answer my question about KEF LS-50W (active, digital) vs. ELAC Navis (powered, analog). How does the digital crossover and amplifier architecture result in a perceptible driver sound output advantage over the ELAC? Or are the two architectures merely two different approaches to achieve the same perceptible end?

Let's assume the digital approach has better intrinsic synchronization control of the drivers. No need to cover basic active speaker knowledge.
  • much steeper crossover slopes that reduce distortion
  • delay and phase correction is applied between drivers
  • more amplifiers may generate greater near field noise
    • Additional ELAC power (300 vs. 230 watts) may be excessive for me, because I listen at short distances, low volume levels and in small spaces to acoustic music.

Breaking down the answer down into functional layers might enhance clarity.
 
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mel

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I am very sensitive to sound. I know about the research you allude to.

You seem to know a lot. You could help answer my question about KEF LS-50W (active, digital) vs. ELAC Navis (powered, analog). How does the digital crossover and amplifier architecture result in a perceptible driver control advantage over the ELAC? Or are the two architectures merely two different approaches to achieve the same perceptible end?

Let's assume the digital approach has better intrinsic synchronization control of the drivers. No need to cover basic knowledge.

The apparent "arbitrary" source link. Arbitrary to the extent of neural imaging and blood flows in the brain.
 
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mel

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FYI
The Kefs LS50 W II have no USB in.
The USB port is only for service.

The lack of traditional RCA input jacks surprised me. I am uncertain whether the HDMI ARC is intended to replace traditional RCA jacks for input.

Is the AUX headphone jack digital or analog? I seem to recall that it is actually digital.

Am I under the mistaken impression that the LS50W2 is purely digital input?
 

VintageFlanker

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Am I under the mistaken impression that the LS50W2 is purely digital input?
Yes.
Is the AUX headphone jack digital or analog? I seem to recall that it is actually digital.
It's analog. And it is regular 3.5mm jack, nothing related to headphones. It probably goes into an ADC, tho. Then: -> DSP -> DAC - Amp.

By the way @mel, would you please strop spamming the thread with something like 5 posts in a row? Thanks.
 
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mel

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Yes.

It's analog. And it is regular 3.5mm jack, nothing related to headphones. It probably goes into an ADC, tho. Then: -> DSP -> DAC - Amp.

By the way @mel, would you please strop spamming the thread with something like 5 posts in a row? Thanks.
What's the right way to add thoughts as they develop?
 
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mel

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What's the right way to add thoughts as they develop?
Is the HDMI ARC intended to replace RCA input? Or is the 3.5mm jack for traditional RCA input? Or is HDMI ARC purely for TV input?

What is the proper way to use the LS50, if you want to use the speakers in a traditional way by disabling the network connection?
 
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mel

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I am getting the impression that the LS50W is not for me. I can compromise on the lack of XLR balanced input.

I just want the active DSP processing to improve audio. Networking is convenient, but not a big feature.

I am getting the impression that the LS50W is some sort of a AV preprocessor with amplified speakers? The active DSP functionality is probably more for AV reasons, than pure audio. Like not blowing out the speakers for sound effects like explosions.

Why not use USB-C, rather than HDMI?

This reads like soundbar functionality. I don't even own a TV. I understand ARC as being incompatible with computer monitors, much less older ones.

The speakers are compatible with HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) output from your TV for integrated control through a single HDMI cable. The speakers must always be first connected to your local network before HDMI connection.
The speakers are also backward compatible with ARC and HDMI CEC. HDMI CEC allows the use of the television remote control to adjust the volume of the speakers
 
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Xulonn

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What's the right way to add thoughts as they develop?

This thread seems to be more of a "random stream of consciousness" wandering around some technical audio parameters and sonic characteristics rather than a "research it thoroughly, analyze and consolidate the information, discard the irrelevant, organize the remainder, and then ask focused and intelligent questions" style. The tangles of redundancy, circular paths, and lack of structure make it difficult to understand the goals or intent of the OP.

I am following it because of my life-long interest in the psychology and social dynamics of audio enthusiasts and audiophiles.

Cymbals seem to be a key symbol of audio reproduction difficulties in this discussion. (Pun intended.)
 
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mel

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This thread seems to be more of a "random stream of consciousness" wandering around some technical audio parameters and sonic characteristics rather than a "research it thoroughly, analyze and consolidate the information, discard the irrelevant, organize the remainder, and then ask focused and intelligent questions" style. The tangles of redundancy, circular paths, and lack of structure make it difficult to understand the goals or intent of the OP.

I am following it because of my life-long interest in the psychology and social dynamics of audio enthusiasts and audiophiles.

Cymbals seem to be a key symbol of audio reproduction difficulties in this discussion. (Pun intended.)
Sorry to give that impression. I have proceeded in the manner you suggest. I have done a tremendous amount of research and organized in as notes on my laptop.
 

Xulonn

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Sorry to give that impression.

Please don't take my comment as a personal affront - just an observation. Most of us who hang out at internet forms tend to "ramble on" at least occasionally. Stream of consciousness rambling is an casual, informal and relaxed style, and although knowledge can be shared, it is not the best mode for serious attempts at learning about technology. Those who enter such "conversations" to offer knowledge in a more serious and purposeful manner can become frustrated, and should probably just bow out gracefully.
 
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mel

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Please don't take my comment as a personal affront - just an observation. Most of us who hang out at internet forms tend to "ramble on" at least occasionally. Stream of consciousness rambling is an casual, informal and relaxed style, and although knowledge can be shared, it is not the best mode for serious attempts at learning about technology. Those who enter such "conversations" to offer knowledge in a more serious and purposeful manner can become frustrated, and should probably just bow out gracefully.
OK. I have been all over the map, so I understand.
 

VonGoethe

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So here are my final words in this thread:

Elac Navis ARF-51+ RME ADI 2 DAC sounded worse then KEF LS50 W I sounded worse than KEF LS 50 W I + Sub sounded worse than KEF LS 50 W II + Sub
All regarding jazz with focus on presentation of instruments (guitar, piano, drums) and vocals.

TV stuff i am not interested and the missing USB In doesnt bother me, as there will not be a benefit soundwise to use an external dac and streamer. (Testet with LS50 W I (analog in) and ADI RME 2 DAC , which I use for my headphone Setup and USB with external streamer.

If you are not a friend of an all in one system and do not trust engineers of KEF, then go with the Elacs, but don't wait to get here confirmation of your prejudices.
But if you are interested in best presentation for this genre, I would go with the KEFs.
 
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mel

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KEF LSX Block Diagram.png


This LSX block diagram might help somewhat. I could not find the equivalent for LS-50W.

I am under the impression the LS-50W is an AV preprocessor with amplified speakers. The DSP processing will protect the speakers from getting blown out in AV special effects like explosions.

I do not think comparing the ELAC Navis with the KEF LS50W is very productive. I am not looking for HMDI, because I do not even own a TV. I understand HDMI ARC to mean that computer monitor connections are not supported. A USB-C port would be valuable.

The LS-50W is not for me, because it lacks some features that I want. It also has central features that I will never use and cannot take advantage of.
 

VonGoethe

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Sorry that I'll get in touch again.

I really do not understand your position.

You want to play Tidal Master on maximum resolution - So you need a DAC with MQA capability connected to your MAC. The RME ADI 2 DAC has no MQA capability.
The LS50 W II can play Tidal Master MQA on maximum resolution without any PC or Laptop. You just need your Smartphone or tablet.
You do not need any DAC or USB IN. If you want to play files from your mac, just start a UPNP server on your MAC.

Comparing the ELAC Navis with the KEF LS50W is very well productive regarding sound (if you are interested in sound).

It is not a AV optimized speaker - its an optimized speaker regarding sound which also amongst other things have TV connectivity for those who need it.

The architecture prevents crosstalk, you have a dsp crossover, crossover for 2 subs (stereo!), phase correction etc.
EQ settings not for AV but for room correction regarding positioning of the KEFs.

All these features are there to optimize the sound - no gadgets.
 
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mel

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Sorry that I'll get in touch again.

I really do not understand your position.

You want to play Tidal Master on maximum resolution - So you need a DAC with MQA capability connected to your MAC. The RME ADI 2 DAC has no MQA capability.
The LS50 W II can play Tidal Master MQA on maximum resolution without any PC or Laptop. You just need your Smartphone or tablet.
You do not need any DAC or USB IN. If you want to play files from your mac, just start a UPNP server on your MAC.

Comparing the ELAC Navis with the KEF LS50W is very well productive regarding sound (if you are interested in sound).

It is not a AV optimized speaker - its an optimized speaker regarding sound which also amongst other things have TV connectivity for those who need it.

The architecture prevents crosstalk, you have a dsp crossover, crossover for 2 subs (stereo!), phase correction etc.
EQ settings not for AV but for room correction regarding positioning of the KEFs.

All these features are there to optimize the sound - no gadgets.

I am not interested in MQA. I don't have any MQA files in my library.

I wanted a balanced XLR connection, not 3.5mm jack or HDMI. I see these features as something that I pay for that I cannot use. I lose the XLR (which Navis has) and pay for HDMI which I will never use, because I do not own a TV. I think it would be great if it had USB-C connection to a computer monitor. I would put the speakers next to my computer monitor for music videos.

I look at it from KEFs perspective. Audiophiles are a tiny percentage of market share. Home cinema soundbars are a giant in comparison. I see the LS50W competing in the soundbar market.

The reason I want an external connection is because I do not know what the weaknesses are. What if the KEF DAC is not as good as my RME?

My AudioEngine A3s are awesome for my purposes. But the DAC is horrible.

When a manufacturer prices out the components, they need to strike a cost balance. They favor one function to the detriment of another. I get closer to what I want from ELAC. Some people call it state-of-the-art, other call it state-of-the-affordable. I figure the KEF will cost $4000 with one matching KEF subwoofer.

ELAC is a three way speaker. I might not need a subwoofer for my purposes.
 
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VonGoethe

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So if you label the KEFs as a soundbar, then it really is of no help to you. Get happy with any pieced together setup believing it will sound good.
 

Beershaun

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Hi. You may find it more digestible from a visual standpoint. Here are a couple of videos comparing the kef ls50wireless 2 to some conventional speakers and discussing what it is and what it isn't. Hopefully this helps address your concerns.




And then the benefits of the subwoofer combined with the wireless.

 
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mel

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Hi. You may find it more digestible from a visual standpoint. Here are a couple of videos comparing the kef ls50wireless 2 to some conventional speakers and discussing what it is and what it isn't. Hopefully this helps address your concerns.




And then the benefits of the subwoofer combined with the wireless.


Thanks. I watched them already.
 
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mel

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I was hoping to learn about the difference between ELAC Navis analog and KEF digital crossovers. I really do not know how to compare them.

ELAC has three drivers. Three way crossovers are more problematic than two way. Digital has many advantages over analog. I give the benefit of the doubt to KEF. I don't know what the perceptible differences amount to, if anything.

ELAC and Andrew Jones know what they are doing. To me, it doesn't seem like a difference that changes the decision.

I don't know how to compare them in meaningful way.

Inside each Navis Bookshelf Loudspeaker is a Tri-Amp Pure Analog Amplifier, employing three separate amps for each transducer: a 160-watt BASH AB amplifier for the woofer, a 100-watt BASH AB amplifier for the midrange, and a 40-watt Class AB amplifier for the tweeter. A total amplifier power of 300 watts ensures that each transducer is optimally—and amply—powered, eliminating clipping and crossover distortion, and driving each transducer with authority. Specs like a 110 dBA signal-to-noise ratio and 100 uV noise floor could only come from such audiophile-quality amps!
 
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