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KEF LS50 Meta Review (Speaker)

Chromatischism

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Having had the chance to A/B these against other speakers including for example the Wharfedale EVO 4.2's, it is possible to notice these dips. I agree that they weren't all that bothersome up until the point where I did A/B them, but then once I did I couldn't escape it. I'm pretty sure I would have correctly identified it in blind A/B testing after that. If I only owned these speakers would my awareness of the dip fade over time without a reference to remind me? Probably some, but not necessarily entirely. Whenever I try there are some flaws I know are in my in-home reference speakers, but surely there are others I have forgotten and need to hear better speakers again to remind me of them. The mind is a fickle thing...
The Evo has an elevated treble response so make sure you are comparing to something neutral.

 

cavedriver

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The Evo has an elevated treble response so make sure you are comparing to something neutral.

That's the 4.1, not the 4.2, but assuming they are similar, the range I'm talking about is below the elevated response of the EVO, is it not? but also, does it matter, if the dip is a dip relative to what is below and above it in frequency range, it's still a dip, isn't it?
 

KMO

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Can someone tell when this unit is produced with this serial numebr:

LS50214604N05N2G
Having seen quite a few KEF serial numbers, I believe that would be week 5 of 2021.

Format seems to be:

Code:
              v  Colour? 1=Black; 2=White?
             v   Left/Right/Neutral
           vv    Week
          v      Year   A=2008; N=2021
     vvvvv       Serial
vvvvv            Product (LS502 = LS50 Meta)
LS50214604N05N2G

Not sure what the last character is. Could be product type - all speakers and subs I've seen have "G", and I've seen stands have "X".
 

juliangst

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Do you guys think it's worth it upgrade from the old LS50 to the Meta for near field use?
When I sell my old ones and get B stock LS50 meta the delta would probably be around 400€.
I also plan to use them in the living room later (with something like a SB 1000 Pro).
 

Deneroth

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Hi
I'm considering getting a pair of ls50 metas, and later on purchasing a sub.

I'm not very knowledgeable about high/low passes, so how would I make that work?
My current setup is as follows:
PC (usually Amazon Music) > ifi Zen Dac V2 > Accuphase P-300 Amp > Speakers

My understanding is that some subs come with a low pass filter, so that would do the job, but what about the high pass for the ls50?
 

juliangst

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Hi
I'm considering getting a pair of ls50 metas, and later on purchasing a sub.

I'm not very knowledgeable about high/low passes, so how would I make that work?
My current setup is as follows:
PC (usually Amazon Music) > ifi Zen Dac V2 > Accuphase P-300 Amp > Speakers

My understanding is that some subs come with a low pass filter, so that would do the job, but what about the high pass for the ls50?
You need some kind of DSP for that. The best option at the moment would be a minidsp flex which has 4 outputs.
You can set a high-pass filter for the speakers and a low pass for the sub and do room correction and other stuff.
You don’t need the Zen Dac in that case anymore.

Another option would be getting a sub with build in highpass filters. You can connect the DAC to the sub and the amp to the high passed out of the sub in that case.

I also want to get a sub for my LS50 but will probably not high pass them and just cross them over at their natural frequency roll off
 

Deneroth

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You need some kind of DSP for that. The best option at the moment would be a minidsp flex which has 4 outputs.
You can set a high-pass filter for the speakers and a low pass for the sub and do room correction and other stuff.
You don’t need the Zen Dac in that case anymore.

Another option would be getting a sub with build in highpass filters. You can connect the DAC to the sub and the amp to the high passed out of the sub in that case.

I also want to get a sub for my LS50 but will probably not high pass them and just cross them over at their natural frequency roll off
Thank you very much!
 

kolestonin

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30 square meters non treated living room.
Two listening positions.
Main: 2,40m
Secondary: 5,5m(also passing a lot of time as this my job desk)
You can check the attached photo and the room drawing with dimensions.

I am considering LS50 meta and a 2nd sub woofer but I have a concern that they are small/not enough for my space.
Is my concern valid?
Should I investigate other options?
13.jpg
numbers.JPG
 

juliangst

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30 square meters non treated living room.
Two listening positions.
Main: 2,40m
Secondary: 5,5m(also passing a lot of time as this my job desk)
You can check the attached photo and the room drawing with dimensions.

I am considering LS50 meta and a 2nd sub woofer but I have a concern that they are small/not enough for my space.
Is my concern valid?
Should I investigate other options?
View attachment 232046View attachment 232047
At this listening distance, LS50 should be fine. If you want more headroom and SPL you can high pass them and let the sub(s) do the bass.
If you want more bass from the speakers you could also consider the R3.
 

Ata

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30 square meters non treated living room.
Two listening positions.
Main: 2,40m
Secondary: 5,5m(also passing a lot of time as this my job desk)
You can check the attached photo and the room drawing with dimensions.

I am considering LS50 meta and a 2nd sub woofer but I have a concern that they are small/not enough for my space.
Is my concern valid?
Should I investigate other options?
View attachment 232046View attachment 232047

Yes, no problem with the LS50 Meta unless you like your music very loud while you work (>80 dB average). If anything you may want to dampen the room a little bit, throw a rug or something. For reference, my room is 32sqm and MLP is at 2.9m.

Have you considered using dedicated near field speakers at your desk, they will likely sound better than listening to your main setup off-axis and with quite a bit of sound reflections?
 

curiouspeter

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At this listening distance, LS50 should be fine. If you want more headroom and SPL you can high pass them and let the sub(s) do the bass.
If you want more bass from the speakers you could also consider the R3.
I run the LS50 Metas without subs using 60/120W to 8/4 Ohms in a 200 sqft room. They have enough bass just by themselves after room correction. Just place them a few inches from the front wall and get a free boost.

The -6 dB typical in-room bass extension is 26 Hz IIRC. This means with a bit of DSP boost they are practically full-range.
 
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juliangst

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I run the LS50 Metas without subs using 60/120W to 8/4 Ohms in a 200 sqft room. They have enough bass just by themselves after room correction. Just place them a few inches from the front wall and get a free boost.

The -6 dB typical in-room bass extension is 26 Hz IIRC. This means with a bit of DSP boost they are practically full-range.
Oh really? I sit 1.2m infront of my LS50 and do not get nearly enough bass. Dirac Live and Sonarworks SoundID can't fit it either.
Could still be the room but I think they really need a sub for a full range experience
 

Head_Unit

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The -6 dB typical in-room bass extension is 26 Hz IIRC. This means with a bit of DSP boost they are practically full-range.
I sit 1.2m infront of my LS50 and do not get nearly enough bass...Could still be the room but I think they really need a sub for a full range experience
While at some low level small cones can certainly extend low-an extreme example was a 5" in the door of an Alfa Romeo prototype we were testing at work-that doesn't mean much (due to Fletcher-Munson). I don't have access to this
https://secure.aes.org/forum/pubs/journal/?elib=5147
online and my copy is too buried in the garage. Basically (BASS-ically?) Fielder and Benjamin state that if you can't generate significant SPL at low frequencies it is useless because you cannot hear it. Looking at @amirm's curves, I'm not seeing where the 26 Hz comes from. Looks more like 50 if we postulate +6 dB room gain. Or maybe 40 Hz if you mean the speaker/room combo would be -6 dB...but they are ported at like 52 Hz so below that becomes useless in any case.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Oh really? I sit 1.2m infront of my LS50 and do not get nearly enough bass. Dirac Live and Sonarworks SoundID can't fit it either.
Could still be the room but I think they really need a sub for a full range experience
I agree. I have Metas in a 12 x 12 room and an SVS SB 2000, and no, running without the sub is not as good as running with it. Make sure you have a way to tame the sub (Dirac or REW). The Metas are much better IMHO. I have owned the OG LS 50s for five years, and I have owned the Metas for 15 months. Listen to them in the mid field (around 5 ft away) use EQ and Dirac and really love the Metas. They are just smoother and mellower, with no loss of detail or soundstaging. The OG LS 50s have now become surrounds.
 

curiouspeter

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Oh really? I sit 1.2m infront of my LS50 and do not get nearly enough bass. Dirac Live and Sonarworks SoundID can't fit it either.
Could still be the room but I think they really need a sub for a full range experience
How far are they from the wall behind?

Dirac does not boost bass level as much as it should. You can use EQ to do that.
 

kolestonin

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Yes, no problem with the LS50 Meta unless you like your music very loud while you work (>80 dB average). If anything you may want to dampen the room a little bit, throw a rug or something. For reference, my room is 32sqm and MLP is at 2.9m.

Have you considered using dedicated near field speakers at your desk, they will likely sound better than listening to your main setup off-axis and with quite a bit of sound reflections?
I do not listen very loud. More the opposite.

As for the room, there are carpets and canvas on the walls. It is just that the photo was taken right after I moved in this apartment and most of decoration was still not in place.

I also consider using my current lsr305 for listening while I work on my desk. And I am pretty sure that music/sound wise this would be the best solution. But I want to avoid having 4 speakers in my living room, cables, lost desk space or stands, and all the hassle. An 'one in all' solution is what I aim for, no matter I know sound in the secondary distant and angled position will never be as good.

So I will be more than happy if meta's can fill the room.
I am on the begining of my search and I also need to investigate the other 'contenders'(R3, Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2, Revel F35, Focal Aria 906) I have in mind, but I was really impressed by the praise LS50 meta's get on the web and wanted to know if they will be sufficient for my space.
 
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YSC

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I do not listen very loud. More the opposite.

As for the room, there are carpets and canvas on the walls. It is just that the photo was taken right after I moved in this apartment and most of decoration was still not in place.

I also consider using my current lsr305 for listening while I work on my desk. And I am pretty sure that music/sound wise this would be the best solution. But I want to avoid having 4 speakers in my living room, cables, lost desk space or stands, and all the hassle. An 'one in all' solution is what I aim for, no matter I know sound in the secondary distant and angled position will never be as good.

So I will be more than happy if meta's can fill the room.
I am on the begining of my search and I also need to investigate the other 'contenders'(R3, Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2, Revel F35, Focal Aria 906) I have in mind, but I was really impressed by the praise LS50 meta's get on the web and wanted to know if they will be sufficient for my space.
Filling the space should be fine but sound quality should be far from great listening at desk area, I know cables can be a hastle, but then why not consider something like the IKEA SONOS frame? can double as decoration with good sound, or even apple home pod, when using as background music these good sounding Bluetooth seems more logical
 

juliangst

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How far are they from the wall behind?

Dirac does not boost bass level as much as it should. You can use EQ to do that.
Tested everything from 10cm to 50cm. Didn’t change much. I’m now using the port plugs to get rid off some of the boominess in the bass.
I generally don’t boost the FR with EQ.
The bass is about 10-15dB down below 70hz and boosting that would only lead to other problems. I’ll just get a sub to fill in this gap
 

Ata

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I do not listen very loud. More the opposite.

As for the room, there are carpets and canvas on the walls. It is just that the photo was taken right after I moved in this apartment and most of decoration was still not in place.

I also consider using my current lsr305 for listening while I work on my desk. And I am pretty sure that music/sound wise this would be the best solution. But I want to avoid having 4 speakers in my living room, cables, lost desk space or stands, and all the hassle. An 'one in all' solution is what I aim for, no matter I know sound in the secondary distant and angled position will never be as good.

So I will be more than happy if meta's can fill the room.
I am on the begining of my search and I also need to investigate the other 'contenders'(R3, Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2, Revel F35, Focal Aria 906) I have in mind, but I was really impressed by the praise LS50 meta's get on the web and wanted to know if they will be sufficient for my space.
I auditioned LS50, LS50W and R300 4 years ago, and ended up not buying any of those.

Last year, I auditioned R3, LS50 Meta, LS50W2 and Aria 906s. Very close call, in the end KEF Metas + SVS SB1000Pro fit the budget very nicely. Also listened to Dynaudio Evoke 20s but it did not shine next to the Arias, with Dynaudio passive bookshelves I would not consider anything less than the Special 40.

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 can be cheapest option by far, especially on a special, but despite the good reviews here and elsewhere I don't think sound-wise they outdo the other contenders on your list.
 

keff

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I auditioned LS50, LS50W and R300 4 years ago, and ended up not buying any of those.

Last year, I auditioned R3, LS50 Meta, LS50W2 and Aria 906s. Very close call, in the end KEF Metas + SVS SB1000Pro fit the budget very nicely. Also listened to Dynaudio Evoke 20s but it did not shine next to the Arias, with Dynaudio passive bookshelves I would not consider anything less than the Special 40.

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 can be cheapest option by far, especially on a special, but despite the good reviews here and elsewhere I don't think sound-wise they outdo the other contenders on your list.
Considering 20% price difference (which is ok for me) should I choose R3 over LS50 Meta? In both scenario I'll add SVS 2000 Pro.
Room is 30 square meters, but open for kitchen and corridor.
 
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