Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 3148 times.

karmanfamily

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 73
Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« on: 28 Jan 2016, 03:31 pm »
Some of you may have read the little comparison I made between the Goldenear Aon 3 and the B&W 805S:
B&W 805S vs. Goldenear Aon 3 (kinda review thing)

Recently I picked up (read: stole) a pair of KEF LS50's from Canada (long live the weak CA$) and I put them up against my beloved Goldenear Aon 3's.

Just to jump to the end, I am keeping the LS50. The 'why' might surprise you...

First I started off with some of the old faithful songs that I know very well and have played many times with the Goldenears.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Under the Bridge
Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing (live)
Norah Jones: Nightingale (high resolution 24/192)

As expected from the Goldenears, it sounded like a live performance, huge soundstage, natural sounding mids and deep lows...
The sound I loved for almost 3 years.

Now it is the KEF's turn. The looks are very different, the KEF being the smaller of the 2 with that Orange 'sunny side up' fried egg in the middle.

I let them warm up a little after being shipped to me before I gave them a listen. Not a clue if it made a difference, but at least I made it look like that I knew what I was doing...

First thing I noticed, smaller soundstage and a little less bass (not a lot, but enough to notice). Not sure if I could live with that...

Then it hit me, these things are a lot easier to listen to than the Aon 3's. Where the Aon 3' were more fun and 'I want to move to the music', the LS50's invited you to sit down and really enjoy the music. It sounded more 'soothing' (if that makes sense to anyone, besides me). Still, they sounded warm and very natural. There was a little more detail and more 'air' between the instruments and singer.

Reading back the 'review' of the B&W 805S and Aon 3 (see link above), I think I found the perfect in between with the LS50's.

Now the reason why I am keeping the LS50's...

I prefer the deeper bass, wider soundstage and more fun sound of the Aon 3's, but the LS50's kept me more engaged to the music. With the Aon 3's I could walk around the room and listen to the music as if it were played live in my room, the LS50's made me sit down and appreciate the songs I have known for a while all over again.

Maybe I should keep them both and switch between them depending on my mood that day, but I don't think my wife and 'interior decorator' will let that fly...

maty

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 324
    • Nauscopio Scipiorum
KEF Q100 and KEF LS50
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jan 2016, 04:41 pm »
KEF Q100

I have the "cheap" KEF Q100 (front bass-reflex) and I am very satisfied too. This weekend I will do tests to improve its sound (adding rockwool -rear side- first and change the capacitor and the resistor after, the wire inside and... ).

-> http://aficionados.foroactivo.com/t342-kef-q100-monitor-con-altavoz-coaxial-de-5-25-y-bass-reflex-delantero spanish forum

KEF LS50

They say that to take full advantage of the LS50 have to keep them away from the side walls 1 m / 3 ft and more from rear wall! I guess the rear bass reflex will be one of those responsible.


You MUST read:

Pimp my KEF LS50!

-> http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-104-26095.html german forum


Rocket_Ronny

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1071
  • Your Room Is Everything - Use It Well.
    • ScriptureSongs.com
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jan 2016, 04:45 pm »
Thanks for sharing. I picked up a pair of GoldenEar Sat 3s for my camper van. Have yet to install and find a sub to go with them.

Only listened to them once at Wind Chasers house. They were demo models with some hours, but not many. They showed promise and are quite efficient, at least 90 db. Top end was a bit hard and shrill, but I think they are not broken in yet. Still, I think the high end would be quite revealing and would lean towards the analytical side verses the emotional side of things. They Kefs may be a bit more relaxed on the top end thus your conclusions. I thought the highs on the Kefs would have been more forward.

Take this post with a grain of salt as I have not spent much time with the Super Sats.

Rocket_Ronny

jk@home

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 736
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #3 on: 29 Jan 2016, 01:23 pm »
...I prefer the deeper bass, wider soundstage and more fun sound of the Aon 3's, but the LS50's kept me more engaged to the music. With the Aon 3's I could walk around the room and listen to the music as if it were played live in my room, the LS50's made me sit down and appreciate the songs I have known for a while all over again.

Maybe I should keep them both and switch between them depending on my mood that day, but I don't think my wife and 'interior decorator' will let that fly...

How big is the room the KEFs are in? From what I have read, that is a determining factor on how well they perform (especially bass wise).

I've had mine for almost two years now, still enjoying them greatly. They do well enough at both moderately low level and high leveling listening, on most types of music. I would say full scale classical and such, not as well. But they can rock or do easy listening jazzy stuff. In my dedicated 12 x 15 room, adding stereo subwoofers made a big difference in the overall performance.

BTW, Ronny, we have a Open Range 5er, figured when the KEFs get upgraded (no time soon), they would be perfect for the camper. :thumb:


karmanfamily

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 73
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #4 on: 29 Jan 2016, 08:34 pm »
My room is 15x17. It is in the bedroom, so there are heavy curtains, bed etc. that helps the acoustics a little also.

Don't expect earth moving bass, but expect a good bass for the size of the speakers

maty

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 324
    • Nauscopio Scipiorum
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jan 2016, 10:34 pm »
-> http://www.stereophile.com/content/kef-ls50-anniversary-model-loudspeaker-measurements



Fig.6 KEF LS50, spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JA's listening room (red); and of BBC/Rogers LS3/5a (blue).

-> http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=113593.20



and

-> https://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/Directivity/KEF%20LS50/index.html

They do not have more bass.

maty

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 324
    • Nauscopio Scipiorum
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jan 2016, 10:51 pm »
By the way, others speakers:

-> https://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/Directivity/

jk@home

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 736
Re: Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jan 2016, 11:24 pm »
My Kefs replaced some modded Maggie MMGs, I felt the differences in the two were similar to what is reported here. The dipole gave that more ambient sound, due to the extra info produced by the backwave. The KEFs show more precision in the soundstage, as a monopole speaker would.

But I still miss what the Maggies did with some music. I added an Ifi iTube in the system after the DAC, and found that it's "3D Holographic Sound" setting actually mimics the spacial sound of the Maggies, to some extent, on the KEFs. I don't always listen to it on, as it does diffuse the sound just a touch. But fun to experiment with. The processing really helps with those compressed internet radio station.