New high-end desktop mini monitor (KEF LS-X)

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by pippenainteasy, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    When I think of tiny monitors you could fit in the desktop, I think of some venerable models like the Dynaudio Contour SR and the Paradigm Signature S1, or the current Ascend Acoustics Luna. However, it looks like there's going to be a new competitor in this space soon, the LS-X. It's going to be MUCH smaller than the LS50. Anyone else excited? (Pics from Kef's facebook page):

    1899684399_KEFLS50andnewLS-X.jpg.bd8cbfa8e5de4e59ca12a9a5a5438668.jpg

    6249354_KEFLS-X.jpg.514eecee9342376112c3bf04867563cd.jpg

    Apparently there will be a gloss white finish, plus 4 cloth finishes--green (shown), black, red, and blue. Price should be around $1099 USD. ETA in November.
     
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  2. makiskav

    makiskav n00b

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    I was quite excited till I saw their price lol.
     
  3. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    I'm sure Z will have a review. Gonna wait for that but he's always so late..
     
  4. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    True, from a driver pedigree standpoint it's not that exciting. The ls50/lsx get their drivers from the Kef Q series.

    The dynaudio contour sr was $2200 and got its drivers from the Contour/esotec+ series.

    Paradigm Signature S1 was $1500 a pair and used beryllium/cobalt-AL drivers from the rest of the signature line.

    Ascend Luna has a RAAL 70-10 tweeter and Seas Prestige CURV woofer.

    From a qualitative standpoint the LS50W/LSX uses the lowest quality drivers out of the mix, on the other hand you are paying for a powered speaker, DSP, and bluetooth/wireless, plus has it's own DAC (optical/USB input). So the value proposition is based on versatility rather than the highest quality transducers.
     
  5. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Looks interesting, but I've had a pair of LS50 on my desktop for almost a year. Best speakers I've ever owned. You'd have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  6. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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  7. margrave

    margrave [H]Lite

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    It puzzles me why they leave out the speaker grilles on these.
    I can only guess that they save a few pennies of manufacturing cost.
    But you pay the risk of damage.
     
  8. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    Grills hardly protect speakers from damage, lol. It's just a cloth cover for cosmetic purposes.
     
  9. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    OTOH, they do pretty well at hiding the shiny bits from kids.
     
  10. margrave

    margrave [H]Lite

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    ... and from a host of other ills.
     
  11. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    looks like these are in stock at my local Best Buy Magnolia. I'll head over and listen to them over the weekend.
     
  12. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    I loved the larger ls50 wireless. They were just too big for computer desktop use.

    I’m looking for the best speaker setup 1,000 and under. I have audio engine a2 which are solid. But want to grab an upgrade

    With the kef, I feel like I’m spending a a lot for the “convenience” of their wireless abilities—next to useless for me since they will be connected to my computer

    Any other ideas?
     
  13. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Are you looking for powered monitors or passive + amp/receiver?
     
  14. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Powered. Trying for a relatively clean setup
     
  15. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    I’ve had the bw mm1 before the audioengine a2
     
  16. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Sweetwater and zZounds are good places to check for PMs.
     
  17. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Appreciate the advice
     
  18. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Gawd

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    wish they would release a passive version of these. meh
     
  19. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Then you have to deal with clunky amp/receiver....

    What other high end computer speakers are there?

    I feel like we have audioengine and then nothing else....
     
  20. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    How much desk space do you have? You can get pretty creative with speaker and amp configurations. My setup (I know, gotta clean up the wires):

    IMG_20181225_222331.jpg
     
  21. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    Coaxial is a plus for close-distance use, and KEF's coax drivers are very, very good. ELAC's UB5 models might be competitive, but they're passive and probably too big for you. Genelec's coaxials are too $$$.

    My first thought was the new Kali monitors, but they're about the same size as the LS50. When this size isn't a problem, the LP-8 (or similar JBL 308mkII) + damping panels will give better results than $1k speakers with no treatment in most situations.

    How about Vanatoo? The new Encore model is currently $500 on pre-sale, though it's not expected to ship until February. Vanatoo's history makes that a pretty safe bet, and I would not say that about many speaker companies. Of course, the original Transparent One's still available, though it's currently more expensive (Wrong! Depends on finish, and B-stock is available.) as well as older.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  22. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    Whoa, you're not serious, are you?

    I guess it depends on what you're defining as "computer speakers". In reality, there is no such thing. Speakers have inputs, there isn't really anything special that makes certain ones specific to computer use.

    What you're looking for are powered monitors and there are many, MANY high quality options and have been for years. If anything, Audioengine is the lower end of what's available. As others have mentioned, Sweetwater has great selection.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/c405--Active_Monitors
     
  23. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for info! Are those the lsx or the larger ls50?
     
  24. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Sorry you’re right, I should elaborate when I mean the cliche audioengine are what people suggest/recommend.

    Just odd to me that there isn’t a higher computer speaker recommended more often

    I’ll check out sweet water!
     
  25. atarione

    atarione [H]ard|Gawd

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    pfft priorities.. I've managed to fit quite a lot of speakers in here with my computer..

    desk_jun18.jpg
     
  26. DReborn

    DReborn Limp Gawd

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    Those new vanatoo transparent encores look great. A bit big and basic looking but performance wise looks awesome
     
  27. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I never clean the wires. The moment you tie them down you're going to have to rip them open to replace / move something and you will curse everything is tied. Always. So I don't even try anymore.
     
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  28. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, I always seem to find a creatively convenient reason to avoid cleaning up the Amazon rainforest of cables under my desk.
     
  29. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm a KEF fanboy but the 1yr warranty on their powered speakers (especially $2200 for the LS50w) makes me queasy.

    Hoping to make the jump from Q100s to LS50s come bonus time in the Spring...
     
  30. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    1 year warranty is normal with electronics. You won't get any more with amps and players either. If you're scared of the built in amp breaking, it can be replaced just as easy as your 'regular' amplifier. You don't need a whole new speaker.
     
  31. Iratus

    Iratus [H]ard|Gawd

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    I’m interested, the LSX had me looking at my office audio for the first time in a while. Problem is it then gets real hard to commit. Plus LS50s are the same price here (sans electronics obviously) and LS50w’s have been reduced in price by 30% and have better low end response than either.

    All that is complicated by the fact I already have a well regarded iFI DAC and my frame of reference these days is $1,000 Focal Headphones. It’s hard to beat good headphones with speakers until you spend 10x as much in my experience so I run the risk that everything sounds crap (I have closed cans too and they slegitimately sound broken next to my Focals but are Mr Speakers aeon flows so hardly crap)

    Problem I have is that it’s hard to try competing speakers as resellers rarely have the brands I’d want to look at together. It’s more money than I’d want to spend without comparingthe competing options back to back as it’s so subjective. I’d never buy blind either (tried the very well regarded Schiit audio electronics and Fostex headphones and HATED them, which was conflicting as I’m in the amp=amp category of audio fan. Enough watts and a low enough noise floor they’re all the same so fuck knows what my utter disdain for the Schiits was about)

    In my ideal scenario I’d get the LSX, LS50w, Genelec 8331 and the Focal Shapes, A/B them and see where my cost / quality tolerance cuts off.

    In reality I suspect the LSX and a compact Subwoofer for bass extension (I like flat response but also to get to low hz and perhaps a 3-6db boost to the low end) would probably be my best option balancing cost, musicality and space.