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KEF LS50 Meta Review (Speaker)

q3cpma

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Nice performance and extremely pretty speaker! I wish the R3 styling followed the same theme. Distortion is actually okay for its size, when you look at the absolute instead of relative level.
Biggest problems are: the LF headroom (what do you use to cross at 120~150 Hz?) and small speakers losing directivity too high (can't be solved easily).

What's impressive is that they also fixed the directivity.
 
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FeddyLost

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With such small woofer it's totally nearfield.
For loud fullrange one will need some midbass augmentation, not just the ordinary subwoofer...
 

thewas

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First of all thank you @amirm , am really glad that you didn't punish them in your subjective review because of their bass and SPL limitations.

I own the original Anniversary model since it was released almost 8 years ago and the Meta since winter, as said from most here without sub(s) they are ideal only for nearfield listening or small rooms or low listening levels or music without much bass.

Since I have the Metas I use my old LS50 Anniversary ones for my desktop system where without a sub they go surprisingly low and that with just negative filters for room and loudspeaker correction with which they sound almost as good as my Metas:

1628323930997.png


The Metas I use for my classic stereo setup in the same not very large room and with 1,8 meters listening distance coupled to a cheap 10" subwoofer where I closed the BR port, but since those are better tuned I need and use EQ filters only up to room transition frequency of approximately 300 Hz:

1628323826375.png


Both sound really good to me, even more for the price I paid for for each pair (800€) and I have some good reference comparisons in that price range as I owned Genelec M040, Neumann KH120A and Kali IN-8 v1 in the past which I all sold as they didn't provide me significant extra qualities I need, so I preferred the for me nicer look of the LS50s and their lower vertical listening position sensitivity which is more important at my desktop system as I don't keep always the same sitting posture.

1628324342218.png
 

q3cpma

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I owned Genelec M040, Neumann KH120A and Kali IN-8 v1 in the past which I all sold as they didn't provide me significant extra qualities I need, so I preferred the for me nicer look of the LS50s and their lower vertical listening position sensitivity which is more important at my desktop system as I don't keep always the same sitting posture.
Another coaxial convert? Man, I wonder what I'll hear when I get the 8341A for my nearfield endgame (excuse the "heresy" of buying blind based solely on performance).
 

Eetu

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With a waveguide ( as the uni-q unit is functioning in R3 ) you dont need a rounded cabinet. Theres gonna be minimal diffraction.

With waveguides for the tweeter you dont need rounded cabinets.
Thanks, that confirms my thinking. That with the Uni-Q (+ 'shadow flare') the cabinet edges only have a minimal effect. Otherwise they would use rounded cabinets in the R & Reference series as well..
 

thewas

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Thanks, that confirms my thinking. That with the Uni-Q (+ 'shadow flare') the cabinet edges only have a minimal effect. Otherwise they would use rounded cabinets in the R & Reference series as well..
Sure, the difference is rather small thanks to the shadow flare but nevertheless still existent and their highest references Blade 1 & 2 and Muon (especially Blade 2 which is the newest and imho best of all) have rounded cabinets.
 

restorer-john

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and their lower vertical listening position sensitivity which is more important at my desktop system as I don't keep always the same sitting posture.

Yeah, I know what you mean. There's the upright, focused, on the ball position and the passed-out, asleep, head on the desk, position. Good to know they sound good in both positions. ;)
 
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thewas

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Yeah, I know what you mean. There's the upright, focused, on the ball position and the passed-ou, asleep, head on the desk, position. Good to know they sound good in both positions. ;)
Spot on! :D:cool:
 

mononoaware

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Haha! Exactly what I'm doing with my ls50s (not meta)

View attachment 145944

What are those naked woofers doing?
I have a similar set up myself, but I use two Tequila bottle hats one under each speaker aligned with the mid-point of the driver, for that extra sweet sound.
 

restorer-john

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I have a similar set up myself, but I use two Tequila bottle hats one under each speaker aligned with the mid-point of the driver, for that extra sweet sound.

How do you get the speaker to stand on two tequila hats- surely three would be a minimum (time to buy two more bottles)?
 

mononoaware

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How do you get the speaker to stand on two tequila hats- surely three would be a minimum (time to buy two more bottles)?

One hat under each speaker, perfectly aligned.
There is enough room underneath.

I assure you at least when I was under the influence they improved the sound!
They make the speakers go wooooooooo.
 
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dorirod

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With 2.1 channel system, how do you guy separate a low frequency to sub? Kindly name the hardware thank you.
This is another feature I wish DAC manufacturers would go after rather than aiming for improving SINAD from 119 to 120. I would go for a sub that can do it, myself considering the Kali WS-12 since I got the Kali LP-6.
 

Chrise36

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Yes, though if the driver is distorting badly and especially if is at and beyond xmax, you are getting loads of IMD. The rest of the spectrum will be damaged during bass attack's when that little woofer is just being pounded. Especially as that distortion in the 100-200 range is quite high and below it is really high.
Plus compression - likely a lot, plus likely mechanical noises and possible port noises.
I have pretty much settled on 120hrz as the proper point for high passing just about any 5.25" driver. Even ones I have used that show low distortion below 100hrz are still getting close to xmax and a benefit is noticed. I don't find this benefit is that subtle. Plus really no 5" driver can play kick drums at scale and volume.
I would take two subs and use them as stands (or right next to)for the Meta's in stereo to create 3 ways @ 150ish hrz and then add a .1 or .2 for the really low stuff. Plus the location of stereo bass is good for some frequencies and then the additional locations of the .2/.1 subs can maximize other location benefits.
I am using 250hz on the car system crossing from a 6×9 to a pair of alpine 5.25 coaxials. That way i get more spl in the 80 to 250hz range and lower distortion.If the sub is flat enough you can cross that high or use another 8" for that range.
 
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