Kef LS50 - on a bookshelf?

thurstan87

Standard Member
I know Kef LS50 are bookshelf speakers, but if I were to put them on a bookshelf (part of a bookcase) to be the front channels of a 5.2.4 setup, would the proximity to the back of the bookshelf drastically and negatively affect the sound?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The proper name for the LS50 is a standmount speaker and they should be placed on a speaker stand to get the best performance. No speaker will sound its best in a bookshelf as they are designed to be placed in free space. Speakers can be adversely affected by being too close to a wall or corner so placing them in a bookshelf will have an effect. I used to have my centre in my AV cabinet but the sound improvement was quite marked when I moved it out and mounted it using a proper speaker bracket.
 

thurstan87

Standard Member
Frustratingly in the current house, I don't really have a choice for speaker placement. Trying to build the surround sound subtly into a relatively small living room means they'll have to be on a bookshelf.

The only consolation is that we are likely to move in 18-24 months time, but that doesn't help much at the moment.

So if I rearrange my original question, would the LS50s still sound good (if not their best) on a bookshelf? They'd be on top of Auralex MoPads.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Not really, they are rear ported too which will just create issues in an enclosed space.

What will you be using to drive them? another thing is that they are pretty power hungry. on my avr they didn't sound that great unless i was using additional power amplifiers. just my experience
 

thurstan87

Standard Member
Not really, they are rear ported too which will just create issues in an enclosed space.

What will you be using to drive them? another thing is that they are pretty power hungry. on my avr they didn't sound that great unless i was using additional power amplifiers. just my experience
It may be back to the drawing board then! It'll be powered by a Denon AVR-X4400 but preferably would be without an additional power amp.

Are there any speakers that are suitable for use on a bookshelf? My Kef 2005 eggs sound great from the same place, but I'm sure they could also sound better more in the open.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
The older q100's were had front mounted ports but the newer q range and the r's are all rear ported too.

It may not be idle but they do have port bungs which will massively help if they need to be there. Personally I'd look at the new q150's or the r100's as they are less demanding on the avr.

I love the LS50's but they are not the easiest speaker to work with imo. The r100's are great with higher sensitivity and lower impedance swings.

What are you planning to use as a center? what size room? what sub will you be using?
 

thurstan87

Standard Member
The older q100's were had front mounted ports but the newer q range and the r's are all rear ported too.

It may not be idle but they do have port bungs which will massively help if they need to be there. Personally I'd look at the new q150's or the r100's as they are less demanding on the avr.

I love the LS50's but they are not the easiest speaker to work with imo. The r100's are great with higher sensitivity and lower impedance swings.

What are you planning to use as a center? what size room? what sub will you be using?
Thank you for the advice - I'll look into both.

Currently the set up is a Kef 2005.2 (with a Kef PSW-2010 sub) set up as 5.1. Then a Bose Acoustimass 2.1 as rear heights.

I'm looking at turning this into 5.2.4 by moving the front left and right eggs up to front height and replacing them with *whichever speaker I find best fits*. If necessary I'll replace the centre egg as well, but currently I've spent far more than I should have...
 

dollag

Well-known Member
If your happy with the Kef sound, then the logical upgrade path is to stay with them. I actually went on a similar path starting with the 2005's, I got the 3005's, then a set of q500's for the L&R's, then a set of r500's for the L&R's. :D

Their uniQ system makes them quite unique for imagine so if you wanted another brand you really should change all front 3 speakers to match; however they kefs are easy to mix and match making future upgrades fairly easy.

Depending on budget, I'd look at the q100's second hand which can be had for less than £150. They are a great speaker.

If your looking new, the new q150's are a step up.

The R100's are again another step up and imo, a great all round speaker for a surround system. I actually prefer the sound of the r range over the LS's, hence i sold mine and replaced them with the R300's standmounts. they are a tad warmer and more laid back than the ls's. This is obviously subjective and would advise a listen if you can to compare; however they are a lot easier to control which again is a benefit running off an avr.

The issue you will run into is that once you replace the L&R, you will see the centers limitations, especially at higher volumes.

I recently set up my mothers 5.1 and got a pair of Q100's off ebay (£130) and a center 3005se egg (£110) and once set up, sounded balanced and can vouch is a good LCR. Ideally you would want the q200 center but this is a big box and my mothers lounge would not accommodate such a big speaker.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You may find, giving your considerable constraints, that the R100s will give a better short term improvement. They do work well very close to a wall, the rear port can be fully bunged with the provided stopper, but yet remain remarkably controlled. I would like to comment as to how this would be within a bookshelf cabinet though. I fear the LS50s would really suffer in such a position.

R300s, R200C and R100s have all performed really well in my setup which has, or has had, them all sitting on my heavyweight TV cabinet. Sitting on Fisual isolation feet they transmit no vibration whatsoever to the cabinet with the bass, especially when playing stereo from the Rega amp is tight and well controlled with the port half closed.

165315424.7JqH7i6z.jpg
 

thurstan87

Standard Member
Thank you both, @dollag and @gibbsy - greatly appreciated.

Following your recommendations, I'm now looking into the R100s. @gibbsy - apologies for not considering the environment when taking your advice on the LS50s before.

@dollag - is the 3005se a fitting centre for the R100s?
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Thank you both, @dollag and @gibbsy - greatly appreciated.

Following your recommendations, I'm now looking into the R100s. @gibbsy - apologies for not considering the environment when taking your advice on the LS50s before.

@dollag - is the 3005se a fitting centre for the R100s?
Yes it will work; However it’s not the ideal partner that’s the r200. A lot better than the 2005 centre though I held on to my 3005 centre for a while. Really depends on your listening habits and room size
 

thurstan87

Standard Member
Budget won't be able to stretch to the R200 until 2019 (apparently I need to prioritise a wedding over immersive sound) so if the R100s end up being my best option, I'll test them with the 2005 centre, if/when that's not enough, I'll have to look at the bank account and work out my best arguments for why a new speaker is necessary.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I contacted KEF about running the 3005 centre alongside the 100s and was told it would be fine. A week later though I did order a 200C but running the 3005 didn't cause any problems, it's a pretty good centre in it's own right.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Well if you can get a 3005 for the center, it would suffice. Keep an eye out on eBay they go for circa £100
 

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