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Thanksgiving Pick: KEF LS50

Some people return from their Thanksgiving trips with turkey leftovers. Others return with speakers. I’m in the latter category with a set of KEF LS50 speakers.

My Sad, Sad KEF LS50 Story

Years and years and years ago, I attended the first Chicago AXPONA. There, I heard both the KEF LS50s and the KEF Blades. In the demo room, they were both fantastic. I especially enjoyed the Blades. However, the LS50s were not only terrific but also much closer to my price range.

I should also add that my spouse and I have a small(ish?) collection of British bookshelf speakers. As such, I thought the KEF LS50s would make a nice surprise gift for my spouse. In addition, so many people showed interest in them that I was convinced that I’d soon be able to buy a used pair from one of the many people in this world who buy new equipment, keep it for 6 months, tire of it, and resell it.

Unfortunately, they were so popular that they seemed to resell fairly quickly. In addition, the used prices didn’t seem much different from the new prices. So, I waited. And waited. And waited.

On top of that, I reconnected with a friend who is in that buy-new-get-tired-and-resell-in-six-months category. When, when I mentioned these speakers, he said, “Oh, that’s too bad, because I just had a pair and sold them, last week.” Are you kidding me?! Do I have the worst timing? I guess so…

Years Passed Without KEF LS50

Well, that’s it – years passed. I never did get a pair of KEF LS50 bookshelf speakers in those years. I don’t think I saw a single pair for sale in the used section (or even the new section) of any of the audio shops I’ve been in.

Thanksgiving Rolls Around

So, Thanksgiving 2019 rolls around and we’re visiting family. And what do you do when you visit your family? Well, you look for audio shops around them that you normally wouldn’t get to shop in.

Anyway, we strolled into some tiny shop in the village my in-laws live in and I’m just stunned. We could have bought the store out, basically, because they had several sets of speakers that we’d just have loved to purchase. We almost bought a pair of Spenders, which we’d have loved to try. There was a big pair of B&W’s that might not actually have fit in the car for the trip home and were outside our price range. And, if you guessed they had a pair of KEF LS50’s at a decent price, you’d be wrong – they had a pair of KEF LS50;s at an AWESOME price PLUS a holiday weekend discount.

So, Check Out B-Side Records in Lemont, IL.

The KEF LS50 Speakers

So, now that they’re here, I do still love the KEF LS50;s. Now that they’re outside the demo room and I’m listening on one of our own systems, I’m still enamored with them. Of course, they’re still new to me and so I still have that happy glow of putting new equipment in. And, having only had them running since Sunday night (almost upon arriving home) and only having listened a relatively few hours, have a lot of listening to do.

With that said, upon listening to some of my favorite “listening” music, I already hear a few things. First of all, they’re extremely responsive speakers. They’re well-balanced. However, the bass isn’t that rich.

To be fair, I think the room they’re in sucks the bass out of speakers. In addition, they’re now sitting where a set of Wharfdale Linton Heritage speakers were sitting and the Lintons are known for their bass response.

You might now be wondering why I haven’t yet written about the Lintons. Well, despite having them a few months and thinking highly of them, I’ve just been busy.

Finally

With these speakers being too recent to my collection to decide whether they’re going to make it into the long-term speaker collection, I think the excitement of trying something new is part of the fun.

In addition, and some of you reading will relate to this, when you’ve waited for so many years to acquire something, part of the thrill is merely in the acquisition. Sometimes, the actual item is a huge disappointment. In this case, these speakers will never be that, for starters, and I’m sure there are plenty of happy listening hours ahead.

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