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Yet another one post about amplifiers matching KEF LS50


Apr 30, 2022
Has anything been done yet? I hate reading posts that just end without any conclusion or telling if anything was even tested. Im glad it was less than the usual 10 pages before finding it was dropped.

My own testing has shown me that most suggestions that include a mini DSP are not the ones you want to rely on. It took me a few days of struggling with the Mini (using it on an all analog system as a crossover and eq) was that it made very noticable changes to the overall realism. It removed all the little nuances and the tiny fringes that make things sound like it was actually in my room.

Whe I see people suggesting that piece or suggesting adding a sub, their speakers are not producing the quality of sound that can reveal those parts of recordings right from the start and they cant even hear whats lost by the mini.

Since you seem to be stuck using an all digital system, Im not sure if you can achieve a perfect reproduction no matter what components you are using (other than the speakers which should be fine). I tried several DSPs and found them all to be quite limited on their capabilities. Mostly due to available memory and limited CPU power. You dont get unlimited choices on anything. Youll find that you are limited to just a few choices before youre out of power. That also goes for youre typical conversion being limited which will then drop off anything thats not as important as the main body of sound. Meaning those fringes disappear.

I ended up with a separate dual 31 band eq and a 3 way analog xover that I use as a 2 way since my testing showed that having an overlap in my woofer to highs in my full range 2-way speakers sounded the best. Testing with a calibrated mic is only good to get a general idea. It cant tell if the realism is there or has been removed. They're only good for finding dips or peaks that will provide you with info needed to figure out where to cross over your drivers. In my case I was looking for a point where I had woofers that dipped around 500 to 800Hz so I could use that as a point where my electrostatic panels were starting to naturally roll off. I needed some overlap to blend the sound and I tested many woofer combinations before I found a perfect match.

After that the mic was useless and using it to correct the sound was quickly dismissed. They crazy settings that it showed I needed were so far from sounding good that I knew it was a useless tool, only popularized by the people that stood to make money from its use. Think of it like this, trying to create an environment where every seat has perfect sound has already been proven to be impossible, even by every publication printed, but this is very important for AV systems (which have been shown to deliver a less accurate sound) to achieve as close as possible recreation for all, has led to using a test mic to set it up.

This doesn't apply to stereo sound systems. Dolby will alter sound so drastically it has no place in trying to listen to music. What you lose from conversion is audible with good speakers its more than obvious. Every signal that carries sound is eventually converted to analog before it goes to a speaker! There are no digital speakers or amps putting out a pure digital signal. Digitals big claim to fame is silence! It does silence better than anything ever. The problem has been getting it to do analog!

Conversion isnt 100% it cannot be since its limited to memory and processing. I dont care what is tested since I know that testing cant show the actual sound, it can only show if a certain tone is processed accurately it can't display if the complex notes of music are properly reproduced as it was originally since the tests are done digitally.

If you listen to nothing but digital tones then a digital system would be the best ever. 1 note at a time would be ideal. Pink noise tends to be put out of sight now since it's harder to set up, well its harder to figure out where correction needs to be.
Once you figure it out it is the only method that works but then again only for a rough idea of where youre at since as it is known, moving the mic an inch or aiming it slightly different will give you a completely different reading proving that mic tests are completely useless. You have to be able to test the entire room with infinite mics aiming infinite places to be able to get a accurate plot. Nobody is doing this so chances of getting perfect correction is not likely ever going to happen. Correcting for 1 tiny point and setting your system to that point could be the worst idea ever. I found that my settings require very little correction and never have i needed to have 2 bands next to each other set one at -15db and the other +15db as all DSPs were telling me to do and none of them were showing the same settings. If 2 if the 10 I tested were even close to showing the same plot I would have given some merit to them but when 3 computer programs 10 phone apps and 6 DSPs couldnt agree on a similar plot I knew the digital tests were nothing more than wasting my time voodoo audio science that was originally developed to test and set up digital circuits for mechanical switches and motors. Then adapted to include audio, but most who understand its limitations dont use it. Theres a whole lot of belief going on when you research how it provides the output. Its kinda like you have to trust someone because theres some parts that have no exact number equations that show exactly whats done. There are comparisons and errors that occur so often theres buffers that are in place to hide them, without, youd be hearing squeaks and squealing noises constantly. Read up on digital and see whats been written and how the tests are done before trusting the results to be gospel. FFT tests are basically guesses that can be repeated but each application tends to not plot the same curves, even though each individual program can posts exact plots every time, a different program using the same test formula gives a completely different plot, after 10 different plots the entire idea loses its luster and it can't be trusted. Even if 1 does show it correctly, that has no meaning unless it can be corroborated by another program, thats how science tends to work now. So far I have not had that experience, there cannot be any deviation and only 100% exact plots can be accepted as proof. I can repeat tests 100% the same by each program but no 2 test results are the same meaning theres no accurate tests.

Steven Holt

Senior Member
Forum Donor
May 8, 2022
The NAD C399 seems to have replaced the C389 I referenced earlier in this thread.

I just read that review. That is one hell of an amp. If the OP wishes to save a little money and still have excellent sound, I hope he also looks at the Yamaha AS-1200.
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