KEF LS50 II wireless v Buchardt A500

Matt 0987654321

Standard Member
I know J Darko has compared these, but what do you get for the extra £1200 of the A500’s and what could it buy you to go with the KEF’s.
Also what additional extras would I need for both to add a record deck. Although JK did not review subs, would subs with the KEFs be a better option? Are the KEF’s reliable, they have the backing of a massive established company and Buchardt are new comers, this does bother me.
Any ideas what you might do if you had £3.5k to burn on an active set up.
Thanks in advance.
Matt.
Edited to add active to the LS50’s.
 
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gasolin

Member
why passive vs active and 1000 vs 3000 punds speakers, huge diference and the a500 has much better bass andre are much louder
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I think the biggest difference is that the Bouchard includes room correction dsp (Similar time Dirac, roomperfect, audyssey etc.) whereas the Kef‘s dsp looks like fairly basic static eq settings.
 

gasolin

Member
the kef ls50 wireless cost £1400 for the old version the new costs £2250 a little more than £1200
 

Matt 0987654321

Standard Member
the kef ls50 wireless cost £1400 for the old version the new costs £2250 a little more than £1200
The approximate £1200 difference is between the KEF II’s and the A500’s. You get a wireless hub with the A500’s. I just wondered which one would be people’s preference. I suppose both are new and most wont have heard them. But maybe someone could add a preference just on spec’s and past knowledge.
Thanks for taking time to reply.
 

Spooky Electric

Active Member
The approximate £1200 difference is between the KEF II’s and the A500’s. You get a wireless hub with the A500’s. I just wondered which one would be people’s preference. I suppose both are new and most wont have heard them. But maybe someone could add a preference just on spec’s and past knowledge.
Thanks for taking time to reply.
Prior to owning the A500’s, I owned a pair of the passive LS50’s, so, while not like-for-like in terms of your query, I can safely say that I couldn’t see any model of the LS50’s matching the jump in quality the A500’s have given me.

If you can stretch your budget, my advice is to trial the A500’s. If, after a 45-day trial, you don’t feel they’re for you, you can return them to Denmark for a flat 25 Euros fee.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Any ideas what you might do if you had £3.5k to burn on an active set up.
Guess it depends on one's priorities but if we're focussing purely on audio quality, other than those already mentioned, I'd consider the following actives:

(J Darko reviewed these too)


(and the discontinued Genelec 1032B, if still available)


Maybe the Focal Trio 6 Be too, and for a smaller model, the Dynaudio Core 7. I agree with your comment about the Kefs needing a sub but without room correction too, I probably wouldn't bother as integration can be tricky to get just right.

Also what additional extras would I need for both to add a record deck.
IMO, more than any other music playback gear, with turntables, you get what you pay for. I haven't heard any turntable/arm/cartridge combination for under £1000 that rivals good, moderately priced, digital sources. All the speakers mentioned in this thread are very revealing and would really benefit from a quality (i.e. pricey) turntable setup - or a well-chosen, cheaper digital source.

There are a few ways to use a turntable with a pair of active speakers. I'll describe the two most obvious methods.

First option: use a dedicated phono preamplifier which, usually, has one (occasionally two) input(s) for turntable only and rarely has a volume control. Cheap examples of dedicated phono preamps (not sure if any of these have volume control):


Unless the speakers come with remote volume control, you'll likely need to control volume somehow. You could add a stand-alone passive volume control to the output of the dedicated phono preamp, e.g.:

Amazon product
...but the setup starts to look messy.

Beware of dedicated phono preamps sporting volume controls as many (most?) only control volume of the headphone output and not the volume of the line level outputs that connect to the active speaker inputs.

Second option: use a 'standard' preamplifier that (usually) has several inputs and a volume control, at the very least. However, not all preamps include an input for a turntable these days so be wary. Example of one that does:


Also note that preamps sometimes have a range of other features such as digital inputs & outputs, tone controls, subwoofer outputs with bass management etc etc.

One last point. Some turntables (usually cheaper ones) have an inbuilt phono amplifier stage so they output a line level signal that's suitable for feeding into active speakers, however, you would need to add a stand-alone passive volume control as previously mentioned.

EDIT: should have added that I'm not recommending any of the linked equipment - they are simply examples of type.
 

Matt 0987654321

Standard Member
Guess it depends on one's priorities but if we're focussing purely on audio quality, other than those already mentioned, I'd consider the following actives:

(J Darko reviewed these too)


(and the discontinued Genelec 1032B, if still available)


Maybe the Focal Trio 6 Be too, and for a smaller model, the Dynaudio Core 7. I agree with your comment about the Kefs needing a sub but without room correction too, I probably wouldn't bother as integration can be tricky to get just right.



IMO, more than any other music playback gear, with turntables, you get what you pay for. I haven't heard any turntable/arm/cartridge combination for under £1000 that rivals good, moderately priced, digital sources. All the speakers mentioned in this thread are very revealing and would really benefit from a quality (i.e. pricey) turntable setup - or a well-chosen, cheaper digital source.

There are a few ways to use a turntable with a pair of active speakers. I'll describe the two most obvious methods.

First option: use a dedicated phono preamplifier which, usually, has one (occasionally two) input(s) for turntable only and rarely has a volume control. Cheap examples of dedicated phono preamps (not sure if any of these have volume control):


Unless the speakers come with remote volume control, you'll likely need to control volume somehow. You could add a stand-alone passive volume control to the output of the dedicated phono preamp, e.g.:

Amazon product
...but the setup starts to look messy.

Beware of dedicated phono preamps sporting volume controls as many (most?) only control volume of the headphone output and not the volume of the line level outputs that connect to the active speaker inputs.

Second option: use a 'standard' preamplifier that (usually) has several inputs and a volume control, at the very least. However, not all preamps include an input for a turntable these days so be wary. Example of one that does:


Also note that preamps sometimes have a range of other features such as digital inputs & outputs, tone controls, subwoofer outputs with bass management etc etc.

One last point. Some turntables (usually cheaper ones) have an inbuilt phono amplifier stage so they output a line level signal that's suitable for feeding into active speakers, however, you would need to add a stand-alone passive volume control as previously mentioned.

EDIT: should have added that I'm not recommending any of the linked equipment - they are simply examples of type.

Thanks for the detail and the options.
I am not really that tech savvy nowadays but still have a basic understanding of the principles behind the two speakers. But get a little lost with ‘end point’ and ‘ casting’ and what apps or not to use.
This lead to the question of what do the A500’s have extra, and thus the KEFs do not have that relates to the difference in price.

My current system is based on a Linn LP12 from the early 90’s. An Arcam Alpha CD player. Rotel pre power set up bi-amping a pair of Epos ES 14.

The system was mothballed for many years and has been set up for the last 4 months, only to find the pre amp Phono stage selector switch is only supplying a clean feed to the right speaker.

So a new preamp was always on the cards anyway hopefully with a decent phono stage. Bit time has moved on and these aren’t readily available unless two box (although thanks for the link).

I have always preferred the active route, nearly buying a pair of Tannoy Studio monitors 30 years ago.

I was going to go the route of Elec Navis Arb 5 but was getting confused with their wireless hub and wether to buy the Elec phono amp at another 2k with is a Roon end point? I was bothered that they may lack the bass response of my EPOS 14’s.

Then the A500 had a review and the room correction and master tunings looked interesting.
So I bought a pair. There was some initial disappointment that these had been used or I assume they had, as the remote had batteries installed and were paired to the hub. Possibly the speakers were unused, also the A500’s come only with Euro plugs, so the hub is shoved into make shift adapter. And kettle leads dug out the garage.
The master tunnings do offer noticeable differences but to some degree I find some music requires different tunings.
The basic setting lacks detail and a clear top end.
The bass response is low but not tight.
The room correction is not much good, I’m not sure I can hear much difference.
Some reviewers have found the same. It also loses its ‘setting’ and the graph can not always be seen and the the correction turned on or off. So has to be re-run.
Also, when I thought I could hear a difference, blind tests showed it wasn’t changing. The power of placebo/ cog. bias!

So the KEFs get released and I’d nearly bought the original wireless some time back, but was put off by the poor customer response regarding the control app. And the II’s seem to have solved this.
The batteries to the remote needed replacing today and I noticed the edge on opening the edge is marked so how long this was used nobody knows.

They sound good but surprisingly not massively better then my ES14’s.
I can do a direct comparison with the DAC of the A500’s driven by the optical output to the analogue out of the CD.
The warmer analogue output to the ES14’s balance the CD using the DAC of the Buchardt.
I am concerned of the longevity/reliability of the Buchardts to that of KEF and probably better quality components in the KEFs.
I was going to do a comparison with the Elac Navis Active Navis floorstanders as they are the same price, but time with the A500’s running out and I’m told they don’t go that low.
And the KEF’s are in short supply and I think would need a sub, but that could come from the £1200 and maybe some left over for the preamp, phono stage. Hopefully I can get a new CD player later.
It’s now 50 Euro to return the Buchardt’s and I think I have 10 days left.
The hub on the Buchardt is very cheap looking and the room correction is basic.
I don’t want to fall fowl of buying a a new product by new company that will be updated when all the feedback is compiled from the owners and they break after a few years. Changing master tunings is a clumsy procedure and should be selectable within an app.
Thanks for all the other options, the connection of the deck is the next problem as the pre/phono would only need only one input for the CD player but must have a headphone socket.
 

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