Kef LS50s - great like me but need to come up for air

So over the years I've really enjoyed my primary speaker the Kef LS50s. They work well in my current setup: Schiit Aegir, NAD preamp (class A) in a small room (11'x14').

Maybe I like them so much because they are very much like me: precise, balanced, neutral but not overly. Contrary to many they are more on the warm than bright side. You just need to know how to place them and match them to the right components. Like me :)

However, l've gone through a change. I need to and been told by my wife and doctors that I need to relax some and come up for air. I've been working on this for the past 2 years. Now I've seriously realized my beloved music system has come to the same change point.

Like me and my ears I'd like to find a speaker with the same basic qualities of the LS50s but that can come up for air - call it more relaxed, warm...whatever. Those in the know will know what I mean. I can explain this more if necessary.

My budget is up to 1,500.00...I've online researched Harbeths, Dynaudio Evoke 20, Usher, Spendor but don't really know where to go from here. I've thought about higher sensitivity speakers but most quality speakers are physically too large (maybe).

Any input is appreciated.


Atc11 v2 or the meta’ room is 10 by 13 feet.Im approximately 6 feet listening.Best room i have had ...ever.Can hear a mouse fart in there.Small sub would be another way to go.

For the price of take-out......have some fun!

PSB 300 or 300i

Especially in your room. a true audiophile.

Replaced my KEF LS50s (only happy at louder end of things) with a pair of LRSs and a set of Klipsch RP-600M.  Both were refreshingly different and fun.  The Maggies need power (Bryston 4B SST) but the RP-600M is happy with a 2W Decware.  Now have two systems I enjoy regularly. 

Seeing as you love the LS50s, you could try

  • Feed the KEFs with a tube amp
  • Try a tube preamp-e.g, Schitt Freya Tube Preamp, removing the NAD (under your budget)
  • Add a high quality, musical subwoofer


Each of these has some big benefits and would result a potential meaningful change without ditching the KEFs.  

If you want to replace the KEFs, there are great example suggestions above.  I loved the LS50s, but I preferred the Wharfedale Linton Heritage more--yet it is undisputed the KEFs had more detail and were a more advanced design.  The Wharfedale are super musical and smooth.  

I love the suggestion on Heresy.  If you could swing it a used Forte III (likely in the $2K range, they would sound super in that room size and you might not ever want a sub.  Heresy IVs are supposed to be spectacular.  I haven't heard those.  Disclaimer:   I moved into sampling and keeping horns about 3-4 years ago.  So I like them.  The power and clarity (AT LOW VOLUMES) with that Schitt into a Heresy or Forte would show you a relaxed big audio picture.  They are so efficient that things should open up to your ear.  

Enjoy your journey!  You are in a fun spot.  My recommendation is to have some fun if you have the time and patience.  

Sometimes we just need to try things out for ourselves.  It can be super fun, but also stressful so keep us posted!


I've heard the Epos, the Dynaudio, the Harbeth 3/5 and Usher.


My vote actually goes to ProAc Response 1 speakers.  If floorstand is OK, perhaps an audition of the PMC twenty5.23, not a big floorstander and the sound quality is really nice.


If budget allows, I can recommend the Sonus Faber Electa Amator bookshelf with a matching Sonus Faber sub.


Let us know what you have decided later.  :-)