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KEF LS60 Wireless Just Announced

Sancus

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I’m talking about reference level not 100db. Who listens at 100db??
No idea which reference you're referring to(there are many) but I'll assume THX. Which is up to 105dB maximum per channel.
Yes there is limitation of loudness but at ref level they dig deeper than r11.
You can EQ up the low bass on the R11 if you want it to "dig deeper". It can probably do 85dB at 20hz without too much trouble. And definitely more than this can at 30-100hz.

All that said, the LS60 has good bass for most music listening. HT levels aren't too relevant since you always need subs for that.
 

Mnyb

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I’m a potential customer, would replace my old Meridian system with this for music duty .

I don’t view them as compromises but a solution.

What’s holding me back is mainly the unknown issues of future support and reliability of the electronics.

Genelec for example has a great track records with thier actives , they rarely fail and can be repaired .
KEF needs to take some note here .

In the field of industrial controllers and VSD drive system where I work . Our company practice is to stock spares at minimum a decade after we stoped production of the thing, the production run of a product can be decades to.
And if their is a large user base , support can last even longer . In practice that means spares are aviable for products developed in the 1990’s in some cases.
 

Daka

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But reference level is usually expressed as an average. Music has a crest factor of 6 to 20, so you’ll need to add that to whatever the “reference” is. So at 85 dB, that’s then peak of between 91 and 105dB.

Note that KEF noticed that crest factor in bass is relatively low, like 5~6 dB or so. But also note that bass is already much louder than anything else.

But equal loudness curve to the rescue for KEF: when loud, a lack of bass loudness will be less noticeable than at lower levels.

Funny though: a whole complex setup to remove distortion from bass, and then a system on top of it to add distortion again ;)
I would only hope that specs they provide is uniform across the speakers. Otherwise would be hard to compare. Active design and dsp shown on ls60 show it’s strengths and looks like indeed this is direction they will go with as it seems to blow passive design out of the water. One thing I didn’t see yet is what Harmonic Distortion it will have. They seem to omitted that from white paper or I have missed it.
 

Sancus

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What’s holding me back is mainly the unknown issues of future support and reliability of the electronics.
This is my biggest complaint with Kef's move to actives as well. I applaud it, but the support story HAS to be excellent. If in 5 years, there's little or no support for these and they start breaking, you're going to turn off so many buyers from ever touching actives.

If I was Kef I would have done a 3 year warranty with guaranteed parts availability and support for 10 years, or 5 years after product discontinuance, whichever is longer. This is similar to what Genelec offers.

If you're gonna charge $7000/pr, you need to start building a reputation for serious reliability from the start.
 

ebslo

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But reference level is usually expressed as an average. Music has a crest factor of 6 to 20, so you’ll need to add that to whatever the “reference” is. So at 85 dB, that’s then peak of between 91 and 105dB.
Weighted average though, right? Usually C-weight or something like that? So deep bass at "reference level" can be significantly higher than crest factor would suggest.

Edit: Unless they used unweighted for crest-factor, but who knows?
 

Daka

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No idea which reference you're referring to(there are many) but I'll assume THX. Which is up to 105dB maximum per channel.

You can EQ up the low bass on the R11 if you want it to "dig deeper". It can probably do 85dB at 20hz without too much trouble. And definitely more than this can at 30-100hz.

All that said, the LS60 has good bass for most music listening. HT levels aren't too relevant since you always need subs for that.
KEF reference level is 85db. I believe for music listening is always 85db.
You can EQ to some extent yes at the cost of probably bigger distortion.
But let’s remember we compare two speakers here if we’ll go into EQ territory then it will make it hard if not impossible. But.. there is a asterisk next to the spec pointing to built in EQ now question would be how different would be EQed r11 vs ls60 with built in EQ. They only mention with dsp they keep distortion in check. But that would need to be measured to tell us the difference.
 

Pearljam5000

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For $7,000 you could buy a pair of 8341 + a small sub
Or for $8,000 8351B with no sub
It would have been interesting to compare only the coax drivers of a Genelec and KEF if it was possible somehow
Screenshot_20220515-212651_Chrome.jpg
 

brandall10

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This is my biggest complaint with Kef's move to actives as well. I applaud it, but the support story HAS to be excellent. If in 5 years, there's little or no support for these and they start breaking, you're going to turn off so many buyers from ever touching actives.

I had OG LS50s and had the internals replaced once out of warranty just past the 2 years of ownership mark... the price was reasonable, about $350 IIRC. The second time I had an issue 4 years in they replaced the speakers free of charge with B-stocks that looked mint.

In both cases the Kef support person mentioned something about how they weren't happy about the reputation they speakers had gotten due to teething issues and were trying to do right by customers. It would certainly help if they had a more liberal warranty for sure though.
 

Daka

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I had OG LS50s and had the internals replaced once out of warranty just past the 2 years of ownership mark... the price was reasonable, about $350 IIRC. The second time I had an issue 4 years in they replaced the speakers free of charge with B-stocks that looked mint.

In both cases the Kef support person mentioned something about how they weren't happy about the reputation they speakers had gotten due to teething issues and were trying to do right by customers. It would certainly help if they had a more liberal warranty for sure though.
I will try to ask them that question. What’s the support out of warranty, how long etc. That is the biggest threat not only to speakers themselves but them retaining any value.
 

Sancus

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KEF reference level is 85db. I believe for music listening is always 85db.
You can EQ to some extent yes at the cost of probably bigger distortion.
But let’s remember we compare two speakers here if we’ll go into EQ territory then it will make it hard if not impossible. But.. there is a asterisk next to the spec pointing to built in EQ now question would be how different would be EQed r11 vs ls60 with built in EQ. They only mention with dsp they keep distortion in check. But that would need to be measured to tell us the difference.
The LS60s obviously have and are using their built in DSP to boost the bass. That is why they have so much extension. That extension would not be possible without the EQ.

If you are comparing actives to passives you must include basic EQ to be fair, because it's very cheap and easy to do. I don't mean complex filters, but a few PEQs to fix bass.

Anyway, most people are listening to music at like 75-80dB average at most. And their music probably has no more than 10dB dynamic range. So it just all depends on your needs and use case as usual. These are things that are easy to measure.

Weighted average though, right? Usually C-weight or something like that? So deep bass at "reference level" can be significantly higher than crest factor would suggest.

Edit: Unless they used unweighted for crest-factor, but who knows?
HT calibration uses dBC, it counteracts the down sloping of pink noise so that the SPL ends up being the output of the speaker around 100-200hz. I would generally assume unlabeled dB values in a white paper are unweighted.

Their calculations don't really matter much though as you should know what levels you need and it will be very different person to person with different room sizes, content, and expectations.
 

Zvu

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I’m a potential customer, would replace my old Meridian system with this for music duty .

I don’t view them as compromises but a solution.

What’s holding me back is mainly the unknown issues of future support and reliability of the electronics.

Genelec for example has a great track records with thier actives , they rarely fail and can be repaired .
KEF needs to take some note here .

In the field of industrial controllers and VSD drive system where I work . Our company practice is to stock spares at minimum a decade after we stoped production of the thing, the production run of a product can be decades to.
And if their is a large user base , support can last even longer . In practice that means spares are aviable for products developed in the 1990’s in some cases.

Let us remember that Kef made this model for their 60'th anniversary. They obviously intend to exist quite a long time.

If i was that worried, i'd send a mail to Kef with a question about what is the way they intend to service active loudspeakers in future. If it is one module where everything is attached that they send to you for a repair, i'd buy the speakers. I guess that they will be produced at least 8 years (probably longer but let's be pessimistic).

The day Kef discontinue LS60 would be the day i would order two modules that will serve as my personal insurance. If i ever have a malfunction, i can repair both loudspeakers if needed. If i ever decide to sell the speakers, i can sell the modules with it or separate. NOS service parts always worth quite a few bucks if there is no more support.

I remember recone for JBL 2202H sold for 250-400 euros when JBL announced stopping the production of those.

If it is Genelec type of service - send it to us at your own expense and we will repair it for a hefty price - i'd give it up.
 
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McFly

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The problem with electronics these days is the servicing, as much as the failures. If someone were going to spend so much on pair of these, you'd hope they don't have to bin them if they fail outside of warranty periods and can at least get them repaired somewhere, OR buy whole replacement plate amps to DIY direct from KEF or KEF dealers.
 

harkpabst

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Many of us deploy the LS50 with one or two subs. The former if the xover is at 80Hz or below, the latter if above. Even though no one seems to measure excellent bookshelf speakers that way, experience seems to show it truly beings the best out of them. In the LS50, that means that true LF duties are outsourced to the sub and hence the MF can focus on what it does best.

To me the question is how much better the LS60 are compared to such a setup.
I fully agree as this is exactly how I use my LS50 Meta: Stereo subs, integrated streming amplifier with digital crossover and room correction. So these are basically turned into semi-active speakers. I don't know how much better a pair of LS60 Wireless might be (or if better at all). There are pros and cons to both concepts.

In fact, I wouldn't even bother too much because LS60 Wireless are simply not the best choice for my personal requirements (e.g. still using a turntable and a CD transport). But this is just me and I am pretty much impressed with what KEF has done here. I am convinced that these are a near perfect solution for many other music lovers.
 

ChrisHeinonen

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I still don't understand who's the potential buyer.
"Hardcore" audiophiles would prefer active studio monitors
"Mainstream" audiophiles don't even want to touch actives and want to play with different amps and DACs.
Who's left?
Late to this, but people who want good sound and don't want to have to learn to deal with something new.

Do you already know how to use a wireless speaker using Bluetooth/AirPlay/Spotify Connect? Great, you don't need to learn anything. Do you know how to change the volume on your TV? Great, with eARC it'll automatically move audio to them and you don't need to do anything different at all.

Active studio monitors, by comparison, are less attractive, don't have the ease of inputs, and have separate volume control. Passive speakers with electronics have even more cables, more remotes to learn to use, and a whole bunch of other issues by comparison. To me, these aren't audiophile speakers, they're high-end lifestyle speakers that also happen to be audiophile quality. I know so many custom installers that are probably incredibly happy they can offer something like this to clients, where it's easy to setup and use and put into a secondary room/bedroom/office and doesn't need a control system to work. The fact that these appeal to the people that would go with studio monitors or passive setups is just a nice bonus, not the primary target IMO.
 

sweetmusic

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Late to this, but people who want good sound and don't want to have to learn to deal with something new.

Do you already know how to use a wireless speaker using Bluetooth/AirPlay/Spotify Connect? Great, you don't need to learn anything. Do you know how to change the volume on your TV? Great, with eARC it'll automatically move audio to them and you don't need to do anything different at all.

Active studio monitors, by comparison, are less attractive, don't have the ease of inputs, and have separate volume control. Passive speakers with electronics have even more cables, more remotes to learn to use, and a whole bunch of other issues by comparison. To me, these aren't audiophile speakers, they're high-end lifestyle speakers that also happen to be audiophile quality. I know so many custom installers that are probably incredibly happy they can offer something like this to clients, where it's easy to setup and use and put into a secondary room/bedroom/office and doesn't need a control system to work. The fact that these appeal to the people that would go with studio monitors or passive setups is just a nice bonus, not the primary target IMO.
Right. Agree!

"Hardcore audiophiles" who prefer active studio monitors for home listening make up a vanishingly tiny market, even if many of them are active on ASR. I wouldn't be surprised if the KEF wireless speakers have outsold this entire market from all manufacturers combined.

"Mainstream audiophiles" are an important and influential but declining niche.

The growing market is lifestyle audio with increasing appreciation for design, sound quality and convenience. The LS60 check all the boxes. They are a bit pricey though, and I'm sure KEF is very interested to see how they sell.

An alternative for KEF is to trickle down the innovations into a less expensive, not as good sounding wireless speaker, below the LS series. They might try that as well, and they might make more money from it.

Why haven't they already? Maybe because the LS50 and LS50W have been outselling the LSX even with the higher cost.
 

Zvu

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^LS60 trickled down technology from Blade. I'm not sure that there is a room for more trickling down than this. It has all the stuff Blade Meta has and some more.

Go smaller and you'll end up at LS50W.
Go larger and you are making fierce competition to Blade.

While were at it, does anyone known what material is used for cabinets in LS60, MDF of some composite ?
 

NYfan2

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I still don't understand who's the potential buyer.
"Hardcore" audiophiles would prefer active studio monitors
"Mainstream" audiophiles don't even want to touch actives and want to play with different amps and DACs.
Who's left?
What I heard from KEF the production of the LS60 for this year has sold out in the 2 days after the LS60 was announced, I don't know who these people are but there is plenty of interest for this speakers (ofcourse a lot are ordered by dealers).
 

NYfan2

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I guess that they can not work the same in the same room. Blade is suited for large rooms, in my opinion.

What were subjective differences between the two ?
I heard the Reference 5 Meta, LS60 and Blade 1 Meta in the same room and in this order.

For met the biggest difference is that in the sound of the LS60 there was too much mid-high. Bass and mid sounded all right to me.
The Reference 5 Meta sounded very good but a bit dark (don't know how to explain it otherwise) a bit coloured in the low-mid's ( maybe the room or the amplifier that I heard).
Then the Blade 1 Meta, first idea it's a bit plain, until I realized that everything in the sound is there and nothing is coloured.

The tracks on the LS60 were played from a phone through Qobus, the tracks on the Blades were played from a laptop through a Hegel DAC and 2 Halcro Eclipse mono power amplifiers, the tracks on the Reference 5 were played from a laptop through a Hegel H590.

Of course, this is my subjective opinion and like I said in a room I do not know with 20 people in it and I definitely don't claim to have golden ears.
I never heard the LS50 Meta so I don't know if the LS60 has the same sound signature in the mid-high.
 
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