To Doug Schneider,
I auditioned the KEF LS50 yesterday and they sound great. However, I found that I wanted some more bass in them. The guy in the shop suggested either the REL T7 or T9 sub to be connected in parallel. Any ideas?
Furthermore, I would also like to know what speaker stands are most appropriate. I am currently looking at Custom Design FS104 Signature, Partington Super Dreadnought, and Partington Ansa 60.
Lastly, which hi-fi amps would you suggest for them?
Any input is welcome.
KEF’s LS50 is an amazing little speaker; in fact, I’m just in the process of reviewing a pair right now. I can’t say much until the review comes out, but insofar as bass goes, I think most will be content with how deep they go -- they have solid extension to about 50Hz before their output starts falling off rapidly. That's pretty deep. But if you want bass that gets closer to 20Hz, which is what it sounds like you want, then you will have to use a subwoofer. REL makes good subs, but so does KEF, Paradigm, JL Audio, SVS, and a number of others. The most important thing won’t be as much the brand you choose if you buy from one of these good companies, but how well you integrate it with the LS50s. If you can achieve a seamless blend, you’ll likely have astoundingly good sound. But achieving a perfect sub-sat blend isn’t easy at all -- there's much more than simply hooking it all up and hoping for the best. Prepare to put some work in to get it right.
As for stands, you certainly want sturdy, stable, good-quality ones, and the brands and models you mention do look like they offer that. But what’s as important as the brand and model names is the height -- basically, you want the tweeter to be at the same height as your ears. I’m using 28”-high stands with the LS50s, but what’s suitable for your situation will depend on your ear height in your listening chair. Get out the tape measure and check.
Now amps. We have yet to measure the LS50, but I have no reason to doubt KEF’s sensitivity spec of 85dB (2.83V/1m) -- it seems about right. They also say it presents a nominal 8-ohm load, but with a 3.2-ohm minimum. Therefore, an amp with decent power output that’s stable into loads under 4 ohms is what’s needed. KEF recommends amps from 25-100W, but I’d recommend staying closer to 100W than 25W, since it's better to have too much power and not need it than be under-powered and have the amp clip. The brands I'd look to right now for good performance and a reasonable price are: NAD, Anthem, Cambridge Audio, Arcam, and Hegel. . . . Doug Schneider