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LS50 vs LS50 Meta Comparison

phoenixdogfan

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The big box stores have a huge range, plenty of stock and not a single, actual salesman/person on the floor. Nobody who can actually sell, close and get the money in the till.

Things have changed @Doodski. :) That's why I went from HiFi, to my own businesses, to management and then to property-house/land. Gotta go where sales skills are not only necessary, but hugely rewarded.
A major problem. Try going into the electonics department of any big box store and getting an intelligent and informative answer to any question you might have about any product. They're just there to work the cash register, that's all, so better do ALL your homework on the internet before you set foot into anywhere from Best Buy to Walmart, because the sales staff knows not a frickin' thing.
 

tw 2022

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A major problem. Try going into the electonics department of any big box store and getting an intelligent and informative answer to any question you might have about any product. They're just there to work the cash register, that's all, so better do ALL your homework on the internet before you set foot into anywhere from Best Buy to Walmart, because the sales staff knows not a frickin' thing.
the problem with even high end stereo shops: they can't compete with the info we get here and AVS... they mostly deal in talking(selling) points and fodder, places like ASR and AVS let us actually talk to people like Dennis Murphy and Dave Fabrikant from Ascend ... once you deal with AVS/ASR long enough you almost are better off buying blind based on rec's from those 2 web sites...at least at best buy you know not to listen to the fodder, at a hi end store they are so cocksure of themselves that you might be talked into believing the b.s....
 

phoenixdogfan

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the problem with even high end stereo shops: they can't compete with the info we get here and AVS... they mostly deal in talking(selling) points and fodder, places like ASR and AVS let us actually talk to people like Dennis Murphy and Dave Fabrikant from Ascend ... once you deal with AVS/ASR long enough you almost are better off buying blind based on rec's from those 2 web sites...at least at best buy you know not to listen to the fodder, at a hi end store they are so cocksure of themselves that you might be talked into believing the b.s....
I think the older I get the more resistant I become to getting sucked into anyone's frame for how to look at absolutely anything. In short the HiFi cowboys do not bother me at all, I take charge of any and all interactions and if I meet pushback and/or condescension I just walk out the door, after I let them know why.
 

tw 2022

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I think the older I get the more resistant I become to getting sucked into anyone's frame for how to look at absolutely anything. In short the HiFi cowboys do not bother me at all, I take charge of any and all interactions and if I meet pushback and/or condescension I just walk out the door, after I let them know why.
i tend to be the same way.. i've had a hifi sales dude tell me that "revel speakers (any model) will ruin your entry level avr, you need a proper amp"... that one still has me laughing... i , of course didn't buy anything ...
 

Descartes

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I just purchased a new pair of Metas for $1000.
Tonight I listened for the 1st time. Naked (no subs, no PEQ) with the exception of a 48hrs LR4 high pass.
Very impressed by the 1st round.
Very clean sound, yet for the 1st time ever with a KEF speaker I was bobbing my head a little and moving with the tunes.
This is a good sign for me and the R3, Q350, and Q150 while being good sounding speakers, never really drew me in so hopefully these META's continue to.
I did basic HD testing and like others found the little speaker will likely work better with a high pass near 50hrz in 2.0 and a higher intersection with subs in 2.2 if one wants some SPL. I will start with 125hrs to two subs in the front of the space.
Anyway tonight I also did 1st sessions with the B&W 706 S2 and the Focal Chora 806 prior to the Meta.
The Chora 806 has a brighter yet thin sound quality (in other words tinny) coupled with a very obvious level of cabinet coloration.
The B&W 706 S2 is also bright but somehow very, very engaging and full sounding like an aggressive person that for some reason you are into what they are laying down. I was actually impressed and enjoyed the petal to the metal vibe and it was hard to stop and switch the KEF set in.
Anyway what is interesting is just how clean and not 'tinny' and not 'cabinety' the KEF sounded vs the Focal and how pristine and neutral vs the B&W... And not thinking about other speakers just how much sound that tiny little driver was able to put out with good dynamics and overall satisfying richness. So excited to address a couple room issues and go 2.2 with subs on these.(and eventually see how hey hang with the M126be's)

I would be curious to experience/replicate your tests. Very interesting and thanks for sharing. Wether it is quiet cabs, meta, crossover excellence and/or neutral response the set of META LS50's has made a very high quality 1st impression on me tonight.

&yes I paid $1k new. Maybe I was lucky, make your moves though as inflation might be motivating all types of dealers.
Great deal from which dealer, please PM me :)
 

pbc

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I’ve had the original LS50 for a couple years now and have wanted to compare them to the Meta ever since they were released. I use EQ to make them more neutral so I wasn’t expecting the meta to be much better but they do have better directivity and therefore are better to EQ. I see a lot of people asking about the originals vs the Meta so decided to write up a more detailed comparison than what I’ve seen done.

Setup:
As some may know, I compare speakers similar to the Harman method, 1 of each speaker in mono as this has been shown to be the easiest to discern differences and I agree after some past trials. I also cross them over at 100Hz and don’t use subs to focus on 100Hz and up. Normally I put both speakers directly in front of me but this time I put one of each on my normal stands to more closely simulate my roughly 15 degree listening angle. I use a windows PC as my source and have a program that allows me to instantly switch from left to right speaker. Here was my setup:

View attachment 239024


LS50 vs LS50 Meta without EQ:

This was a quick and easy comparison, they sounded exactly like they measured. The LS50 were a bit hot in the highs and the Meta were neutral and maybe a bit laid back. In the short term I could see some preferring the original LS50’s highs but in the long term it is no contest that the Meta are the more neutral speaker and would be preferred by most people. Here are the Soundstage listening windows overlaid to show where the differences lie. LS50 in blue and meta is purple

View attachment 239025

LS50 vs LS50 Meta with EQ:
This was much more interesting and the main reason I bought the Metas to try out. I use Equalizer APO with the Peace addon to apply parametric EQ filters to make the LS50 basically as good as they can get and wanted to see if and how much better the Metas could be with EQ since they do have better directivity. This comparison used the Soundstage anechoic measurements and EQ in REW to make them as neutral as I could get them, here are the before and after listening windows that show this, LS50 in blue and meta is purple.

View attachment 239027


You can see that after EQ they are very similar but because the LS50 have an off-axis dip around 4k I was wondering if the Metas would have better highs despite the near identical listening window response. This wasn’t an easy comparison obviously since they are now almost the same speaker but I did hear some differences. I went back and forth, initially I felt they were very similar but the meta just sounded more clear but I found out that was just a trick with how the meta were voiced. Once I applied a high shelf to lower the output of the meta by 1db from 4k and up that went away and they were basically identical. I think the slight dip in the 2-3k region combined with a slight rise from 4k and up made them sound very clear but also crisp in the highs. I feel like both versions of the LS50 are sculpted to be generally neutral but they play tricks on you to sound more detailed in the highs, the Meta do a better job of this because they achieve it without being fatiguing over time.

Either way after swapping speaker positions from left to right and back they were basically indistinguishable to my ears. I tried convincing myself to keep the Meta but I really like the look of the black edition LS50 so that and the PITA of selling mine was enough to send the Meta back. I will say to anyone who doesn’t have the ability to apply PEQ filters, the Meta are amazing as is and definitely worth the upgrade over the original LS50, assuming you don’t like the extra energy in the 2-4k region. Despite the slightly different bass response in the Soundstage measurements, my in-room response was identical between the 2 and either pair greatly benefits from subs offloading the bass under 100Hz or so.
This is a timely thread. Have been looking at setting up a 2.1 channel system in my work office, using a SMSL AO200 to power a pair of speakers (still determining what streamer to use with it and/or DAC).

I also remembered that i have an unused balanced MiniDSP 2x4 in the basement which I can use to EQ.

Have been debating on whether I want to bother spending the money on the Meta version of the LS50, though I do love the look of the blue version with bronze drivers and it would match the room perfectly, its' more than double the cost of a used gloss black LS50 set.

Distortion at high levels is not a concern, because I will likely never push them remotely hard. Amir's glowing review of the Meta's and much less glowing of the regular LS50 had me "concerned", but seems like with EQ in particular, the LS50 is a great option?
 

tw 2022

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but seems like with EQ in particular, the LS50 is a great option?
seems like it, other options to check out: polk r100/200.. revel m16/105... the polks should sound "pretty similar" the the kefs given the measurements...
 

ROOSKIE

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This is a timely thread. Have been looking at setting up a 2.1 channel system in my work office, using a SMSL AO200 to power a pair of speakers (still determining what streamer to use with it and/or DAC).

I also remembered that i have an unused balanced MiniDSP 2x4 in the basement which I can use to EQ.

Have been debating on whether I want to bother spending the money on the Meta version of the LS50, though I do love the look of the blue version with bronze drivers and it would match the room perfectly, its' more than double the cost of a used gloss black LS50 set.

Distortion at high levels is not a concern, because I will likely never push them remotely hard. Amir's glowing review of the Meta's and much less glowing of the regular LS50 had me "concerned", but seems like with EQ in particular, the LS50 is a great option?
I like the Revels @tw 2022 mentioned yet
for a desktop coaxial designs just make sense unless you have your head in vice, I move alot and switch from standing to sitting and in the process ear height changes.

Subjectively the LS50 meta is a pleasant even beautiful sounding small speaker. Very easy to listen to. It is not my 1st choice for farfield but if I wanted a nice desktop system I would choose them.
I actually don't use a desktop system and just a good background set-up as I prefer that while working.

Objectively it is a better speaker than the older model and therefore warrants the $$.
Comparing costs with older used models is impossible. It just doesn't work. Since you have the Mini DSP and $$$ is a factor just but the Q150 from bestbuy/crutchfield. $300 and some opened box options for less. Heck My bestbuy credit card has an extra $25 in rewards for $250. I could buy a like new set of the Q150's for effectively $250 after tax.
That speaker will sound great with a little PEQ to take down the highs and since higher SPL is not required the benefits of the LS50 design and attention to extra enclosure and driver design are vastly mitigated.
 

Descartes

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Yes, it's a bad thing. Who gets the partially used/opened ones? Who wears the wasted freight, wasted energy, financial losses and annoyance?

Thank goodness in this country consumer laws are such that they protect both the buyer and the seller. Here, returning perfectly functional products for a refund is not a right or a given. Retailers can tell you to go jump in the lake if they want to. Many allow you to return products, but plenty stick to the consumer law and that's a bit tougher.

I'm old school. I do my research, buy only when I am sure and if I screw up in my choice- it's my problem, not the poor retailer.

But, with less and less bricks and mortar stores, I guess these unconventional arrangements can work- just not for me.
Glad we don’t live in your country!! In the US there are less and less dealers where you can listen speakers, plus listening in your own environment is much better to decide if you want to keep them!
 

Descartes

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the problem with even high end stereo shops: they can't compete with the info we get here and AVS... at a hi end store they are so cocksure of themselves that you might be talked into believing the b.s....
Yes that why I don’t frequently go to Hi-Fi shops anymore, most of the time they just repeat amplify and exaggerate the BS from the marketing brochure they just read.. iIn addition I have a very hard time feeling like I am getting ripped off since I know the margins are 40 to 50 points off the MSRP!!
 

restorer-john

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Glad we don’t live in your country!! In the US there are less and less dealers where you can listen speakers, plus listening in your own environment is much better to decide if you want to keep them!

Whatever works for you I guess. The consumer pays for it all one way or another, with actually less competition in real terms because margins are being artificially held high in order to cover costs for returns.

HiFi retailing has changed (more like been turned on its head) and in my opinion, not for the better. Even in my area, I remember there being 7 dedicated HiFi dealers 25 years ago, now there are only 2. And the population has grown by 4 times in that period!
 

fineMen

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Seems like that means the biggest difference between the two versions isn't the Meta material - like their marketing would have you believe - but instead is the different crossover filters.
For the LS50 KEF introduced a soft coupling of the cone to its voice coil. It took away some upper midrange from the cone. Maybe they gave up on the idea.
 

Descartes

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Whatever works for you I guess. The consumer pays for it all one way or another, with actually less competition in real terms because margins are being artificially held high in order to cover costs for returns.

HiFi retailing has changed (more like been turned on its head) and in my opinion, not for the better. Even in my area, I remember there being 7 dedicated HiFi dealers 25 years ago, now there are only 2. And the population has grown by 4 times in that period!
What is the value proposition of a HiFi dealer beside always trying to upsale
 

restorer-john

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What is the value proposition of a HiFi dealer beside always trying to upsale

Are you asking a loaded question or stating an opinion? Either way, I'm not engaging.
 

tw 2022

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What is the value proposition of a HiFi dealer beside always trying to upsale
There are deals to be made, but in general that's a decent point...most of the dealer upside is offset by ez returns at places like crutchfield..
 

juliangst

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I see the Meta everywhere now which kinda makes me want to upgrade from my LS50 to the Meta.
Metas are 1000€ here and I could sell my LS50 for about 500€.
I also need to finally get the Dirac Live license for my Windows PC.

Is it worth to get the LS50 meta and sell my LS50?
If simple PEQ filters can already make them sound so similar then Dirac Live will make them even more identical I guess.
 

Descartes

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I see the Meta everywhere now which kinda makes me want to upgrade from my LS50 to the Meta.
Metas are 1000€ here and I could sell my LS50 for about 500€.
I also need to finally get the Dirac Live license for my Windows PC.

Is it worth to get the LS50 meta and sell my LS50?
If simple PEQ filters can already make them sound so similar then Dirac Live will make them even more identical I guess.
Yes it is tempting at “1000€” in the US they are still $1599 plus tax!! Currently on sale for $1299 + tax!

In witch country do they sell for that low!
 

juliangst

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Yes it is tempting at “1000€” in the US they are still $1599 plus tax!! Currently on sale for $1299 + tax!
Damn, that's really expensive. The Metas hit the 1000€ already ~1 month after release here
 
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