Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Consumer Electronics > Audio/Video & Home Theater

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Home and Garden
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals with Free Stuff/Contests
· Black Friday 2014
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default Just bought KEF LS 50s...

They haven't arrived yet. But in preparation, I set up my NAD surround (T754, iirc) in my office with my old KEF iQ10s.

After the weekend, I resigned myself to the (obvious) conclusion that surround sound processors do sh*t stereo as a general rule. So, I am now looking for a US$ 1k~ish stereo integrated amp with an integrated crossover'd output for a small sub. A DAC in the same box would be good, but not mandatory. The recommended power for the new speakers is 20~100 watts per channel, and I would trade away some power for better clarity/detail/imaging. The intended usage is Nearfield (about 4 feet), for myself. Sources will be my Yammy CD player and my computer. Considering getting a dedicated streaming box down the road. Tubes OK.

I have a couple in mind, but would like to hear from the forum

Last edited by Scotteq; 12-17-2012 at 01:45 PM.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
gus6464
Golden Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,331
Default

The Emotiva USP-1 and UPA-200 combo is exactly what you are looking for. The USP-1 2ch Preamp has subwoofer out with independent XO control and the UPA-200 pumps out 125w@8ohms. You are going to have to get a separate DAC though. Both will come in at under $700 so you have plenty of room left for a DAC if you wish.

http://shop.emotiva.com/products/upa200
http://shop.emotiva.com/products/usp1

Last edited by gus6464; 12-17-2012 at 03:10 PM.
gus6464 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
Number1
Diamond Member
 
Number1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 7,155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
They haven't arrived yet. But in preparation, I set up my NAD surround (T754, iirc) in my office with my old KEF iQ10s.

After the weekend, I resigned myself to the (obvious) conclusion that surround sound processors do sh*t stereo as a general rule. So, I am now looking for a US$ 1k~ish stereo integrated amp with an integrated crossover'd output for a small sub. A DAC in the same box would be good, but not mandatory. The recommended power for the new speakers is 20~100 watts per channel, and I would trade away some power for better clarity/detail/imaging. The intended usage is Nearfield (about 4 feet), for myself. Sources will be my Yammy CD player and my computer. Considering getting a dedicated streaming box down the road. Tubes OK.

I have a couple in mind, but would like to hear from the forum

Your current equipment looks like fairly high end high quality equipment. Anything wrong with it? What happened this weekend?
Have you listened to the LS 50s first?
__________________
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4200, MSI P67A-G43 (B3) P67 ATX LGA1155, Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit, 5450 Radeon 500M X 2, 4TB storage, 600W OCZ GameXtream, Windows 7 HP 64, Samsung Syncmaster2463uw, Audio password Audio
Number1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

The LS50s haven't arrived yet, so I can't speak to them except to say they're VERY highly rated for the price ($1,500/pr). The iQ10s are an older gen KEF, and a lower series, but are of similar size and same driver type. So I set them up at my intended spot (on stands at the backside of my desk- 3.5 ft from my chair), with the amplifier I had (the NAD). Set to stereo mode, processing and tone controls off.

The result is pleasant enough... Impact is good, they're smooth, female vocals are not 'chest-y'. But the clarity is only 'meh' and the imaging is vague at best. I know for a fact the iQ10s are better than what the NAD has delivered in stereo mode, because I had them hooked up to an old Rotel setup in the past and they were much much better then I've experienced with the T754. As a result, I decided it's non sensical to cripple the LS50s with the NAD.

Last edited by Scotteq; 12-17-2012 at 08:47 PM. Reason: to clarify word choice
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Here's a picture for ya - If there's something wrong with the setup, please advise. I triple checked polarities, and the drivers are in the same plane as the monitors. (Not behind...)




Last edited by Scotteq; 12-17-2012 at 07:52 PM.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

They're Heeeeere!



Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

OK- the UPS guy dropped them off at 8 last night, so my listening was limited. They're not broken in yet anyhow... But:

VERY heavy for their size- around 15 lbs apiece. They were very well packed in snug fitting dense plastic foam. The only finish is a 'piano' black, which is well done. Nice, subtle lettering on the speaker surround, and in the finish on the tops.

KEF use a concentric driver arrangement: the tweeter is mounted in the center of the driver, and protected by a star shaped waveguide which is the maker claims helps reduce interference and reflections. This particular speaker is rear-ported, so bass response will be affected by placement and distance from the back wall. KEF provide a set of foam plugs to help tune this- There's actually 4 of them - 2 tubes with matching plugs - so you may partially or fully block the rear port. The (sparse) user guide gives guidance as to how far for which combination. My desk is close to the wall, so based on their recommendation, I blocked the rear port entirely.

For placement, I set them on the same Audioengine, angled plastic stands I had for the iQ10's. About 3 and a half feet from my chair, which aimed the tweeters at the top of my head. Off angle response for these is supposed to be exceptional, so I toed them in only slightly. I briefly tried aiming them directly at me, and that sounded very little different. So I put them back to the original shallower angle so when I'm walking around the room stereo separation is better maintained.

It's easy to tell they're a different class of speaker- the soundstage is clearly more stable, deeper, and more detailed. They're also a little warmer sounding than I expected, and in a good way. I can tell they're a little less efficient than the iQ's were, but they`re tight and better controlled. It's too soon to make any real judgement, but the phrase "Highly Balanced" comes to mind - no area (high, mid, or low) stands out over any other.

On the other hand, I'm now more determined to replace the NAD than before.

Last edited by Scotteq; 12-19-2012 at 09:43 AM.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 09:24 AM   #8
Number1
Diamond Member
 
Number1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 7,155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
They're Heeeeere!



Very nice looking units. How do they sound?
__________________
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4200, MSI P67A-G43 (B3) P67 ATX LGA1155, Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit, 5450 Radeon 500M X 2, 4TB storage, 600W OCZ GameXtream, Windows 7 HP 64, Samsung Syncmaster2463uw, Audio password Audio
Number1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 02:04 PM   #9
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Update:

- decided to buy a Peachtree Nova 125 - should arrive later this week. (Can't wait!!). It's more than I originally wanted to spend ($1500 US), but it's supposed to have the best DAC in it's price range. No crossover, but it does have a preamp pass through for my sub.

I also spent Saturday tearing apart my basement. Mostly because it needed clearing out anyhow... but while I was at it, I went back to Audio Basics, pulled my table out into the middle of the room to get the speakers away from the walls and shelves. Moved my monitors further back behind them (off the original table, and onto another AAMOF), and spent a couple hours puttering around tweaking distance apart (settled on 4 feet), toe-in, and height. Definitely much better: I'm no longer disappointed in the sound, which is improved in all respects.

Very stoked now in anticipation of my new amp's arrival.

Then on to improving sources. :p
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
Number1
Diamond Member
 
Number1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 7,155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Update:

- decided to buy a Peachtree Nova 125 - should arrive later this week. (Can't wait!!). It's more than I originally wanted to spend ($1500 US), but it's supposed to have the best DAC in it's price range. No crossover, but it does have a preamp pass through for my sub.

I also spent Saturday tearing apart my basement. Mostly because it needed clearing out anyhow... but while I was at it, I went back to Audio Basics, pulled my table out into the middle of the room to get the speakers away from the walls and shelves. Moved my monitors further back behind them (off the original table, and onto another AAMOF), and spent a couple hours puttering around tweaking distance apart (settled on 4 feet), toe-in, and height. Definitely much better: I'm no longer disappointed in the sound, which is improved in all respects.

Very stoked now in anticipation of my new amp's arrival.

Then on to improving sources. :p
Have you tried your old speaker in the new configuration?
Why not go with real proven measurable science like a receiver with built in speaker equalization like audyssey, a top of the line equalization system? It would allow you to place your speakers wherever you want and extract the best possible performance out of your speakers.

Minds you, you're talking audiophile so, meh, science doesn't count at that level.
__________________
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4200, MSI P67A-G43 (B3) P67 ATX LGA1155, Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit, 5450 Radeon 500M X 2, 4TB storage, 600W OCZ GameXtream, Windows 7 HP 64, Samsung Syncmaster2463uw, Audio password Audio
Number1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #11
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default



My intent is to remove and simplify, rather than add more processing or equalisation. - the Audiophile axiom is "straight wire with amplification". That the system can ideally re~create the original atmosphere as recorded without adding or changing {"coloring"}, while rendering any/every detail, and providing the auditory illusion of 'space'- meaning the locations of the performers and a sense of the "air" around them. The problem is I have an impossible (for me) to reach standard, as I roommated with a *serious* audio nut when I was in the service: Since he didn't need to tend to such trivialities like a mortgage or food or clothing, he put all his coin into his stereo.... and more.... To the tune of 3x his annual take home pay. 20 years later, I still have the memory of his B&W Matrix 802 speakers ($16K a pair in 1990), Conrad Johnson preamp, and (bought used) Mark Levinson monoblocks as my internal reference for sound quality.

The thing I don't like about the NAD is I can hear it processing the sound, as opposed to delivering clarity and transparency. I know I'm being picky, but I want to take that processing away, rather than add more stuff to the signal chain.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #12
blotto
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 196
Default

Have you tried a $1200 Audioquest cable with those yet? Things like placement, DAC quality, and proper amplification don't matter with amazing cables. That's all you'll need for multiple eargasms.
blotto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 08:51 AM   #13
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blotto View Post
Have you tried a $1200 Audioquest cable with those yet? Things like placement, DAC quality, and proper amplification don't matter with amazing cables. That's all you'll need for multiple eargasms.

Audioquest are terrible

What you really want is a set of Omaewabakatareda - They use a rarified alloy of 99.999% pure silver in a proprietary process which results in a flexible, yet durable conductor guaranteed to reveal the last mysteries of your beloved music. The latest advance in their never ending quest for improvement is with a new insulator technology derived from hand weaving the pubic hair of virgins from the Fiji islands ...you have no idea how hard it is to find virgins with pubic hair in Fiji!!!! with down combed from the ass of an ass... The resulting presentation is easygoing, unobtrusive, elegantly balanced in the midrange, and smells ever so slightly of fish...

...oh - As an added bonus, the purchasers of these fine cables - clearly a bargain at $50,000/ft - will receive a genuine leather binder containing the pictures and autographs of the virgins who contributed to your interconnect. ...don't look, though - there's good reason they were virgins...


Last edited by Scotteq; 12-27-2012 at 08:54 AM.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 05:50 PM   #14
Number1
Diamond Member
 
Number1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 7,155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Audioquest are terrible

What you really want is a set of Omaewabakatareda - They use a rarified alloy of 99.999% pure silver in a proprietary process which results in a flexible, yet durable conductor guaranteed to reveal the last mysteries of your beloved music. The latest advance in their never ending quest for improvement is with a new insulator technology derived from hand weaving the pubic hair of virgins from the Fiji islands ...you have no idea how hard it is to find virgins with pubic hair in Fiji!!!! with down combed from the ass of an ass... The resulting presentation is easygoing, unobtrusive, elegantly balanced in the midrange, and smells ever so slightly of fish...

...oh - As an added bonus, the purchasers of these fine cables - clearly a bargain at $50,000/ft - will receive a genuine leather binder containing the pictures and autographs of the virgins who contributed to your interconnect. ...don't look, though - there's good reason they were virgins...

Not bad, did you come up with this yourself?
__________________
Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4200, MSI P67A-G43 (B3) P67 ATX LGA1155, Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit, 5450 Radeon 500M X 2, 4TB storage, 600W OCZ GameXtream, Windows 7 HP 64, Samsung Syncmaster2463uw, Audio password Audio
Number1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default



The leather binder of virgins is a Lewis Black reference, but the rest I pulled out of my...




..head.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
kornphlake
Golden Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,548
Default

Since you're re-arranging the room, the speakers would probably benefit from either being placed on the edge of the table or being raised a couple feet off the table (which would mean you'd have to sit on a very tall chair or stand to listen to them.) You're probably hearing some floor bounce, the short little stands you're using are no doubt improving the sound, but there's still quite a bit to be gained by minimizing the reflections off the desktop.
kornphlake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2012, 09:04 PM   #17
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

I did move them to the edges of the table, and moved my monitors further back. That made a diff,,,

I have some stands on order, but you gave me an idea to treat the desk itself. Shall investigate Thanks!!
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #18
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kornphlake View Post
Since you're re-arranging the room, the speakers would probably benefit from either being placed on the edge of the table or being raised a couple feet off the table (which would mean you'd have to sit on a very tall chair or stand to listen to them.) You're probably hearing some floor bounce, the short little stands you're using are no doubt improving the sound, but there's still quite a bit to be gained by minimizing the reflections off the desktop.

With the recent holidays, we have LOTS of packing material in the garage, I didn't have much to do this weekend, and it gave me the illusion of doing something productive. It seems the tabletop isn't much of a problem, and I have a set of 1 foot stands coming sometime this week. So those should take care of that. But the monitors (still!!) are/were.

I made a pair of.. "blinders" ( the best descriptive word I can think of) out of some slabs of styrofoam, a couple short pieces of 2x4 I had laying around, and some masking tape to hold the mess together. Started with single sheets of 2 inch foam just leaned against the monitors, and yah - imaging improved. Tried 2 pieces for 4 inches, and that was better. Putting a 3rd piece of foam in there didn't make much difference, so out with the tape...

Imaging is stronger and clearly more stable. Result

Poked around a little, and ordered some patterned acoustic foam from Amazon since (as expected) I didn't find anything ready made.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 11:18 PM   #19
kornphlake
Golden Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,548
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Poked around a little, and ordered some patterned acoustic foam from Amazon since (as expected) I didn't find anything ready made.
For future reference, you can find foam mattress toppers at any department store for around $20 which would give you enough material to cover every flat surface within 4 feet of each speaker. The stuff that is marketed as acoustical foam is $$$ compared to a mattress topper. Then again if it were me I'd buy 30 sqft of foam cheap and only use 1 sqft, then I'd have 29 sqft of foam cluttering up my garage for the next 20 years until I finally realize I'm never going to use any rotted old foam for anything.
kornphlake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 09:25 AM   #20
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Excess??

Bass traps for the corners, my friend... Bass traps.
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 06:22 PM   #21
goobernoodles
Golden Member
 
goobernoodles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,798
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Audioquest are terrible

What you really want is a set of Omaewabakatareda - They use a rarified alloy of 99.999% pure silver in a proprietary process which results in a flexible, yet durable conductor guaranteed to reveal the last mysteries of your beloved music. The latest advance in their never ending quest for improvement is with a new insulator technology derived from hand weaving the pubic hair of virgins from the Fiji islands ...you have no idea how hard it is to find virgins with pubic hair in Fiji!!!! with down combed from the ass of an ass... The resulting presentation is easygoing, unobtrusive, elegantly balanced in the midrange, and smells ever so slightly of fish...

...oh - As an added bonus, the purchasers of these fine cables - clearly a bargain at $50,000/ft - will receive a genuine leather binder containing the pictures and autographs of the virgins who contributed to your interconnect. ...don't look, though - there's good reason they were virgins...

^LOL
__________________
Case/PSU: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 w/ Corsair HX750
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme 4
CPU: i7-4770K w/ PH-TC14PE
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16gb DDR3 1866
Video: EVGA GTX 780TI w/ Monoprice 27" IPS-ZERO-G 2560x1440
Drives: 2x Crucial M4 128Gb SSD in RAID-0
goobernoodles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 06:26 PM   #22
goobernoodles
Golden Member
 
goobernoodles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,798
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotteq View Post
Poked around a little, and ordered some patterned acoustic foam from Amazon since (as expected) I didn't find anything ready made.
http://www.atsacoustics.com/
__________________
Case/PSU: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 w/ Corsair HX750
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme 4
CPU: i7-4770K w/ PH-TC14PE
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16gb DDR3 1866
Video: EVGA GTX 780TI w/ Monoprice 27" IPS-ZERO-G 2560x1440
Drives: 2x Crucial M4 128Gb SSD in RAID-0
goobernoodles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 06:43 PM   #23
Scotteq
Diamond Member
 
Scotteq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey (USA)
Posts: 5,279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by goobernoodles View Post
Bookmarked!~

Thank you, Sir
Scotteq is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.