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absurdist
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Amplifier for KEF LS50

So i have been looking to modernize my vintage audio setup, and on little more than a whim i bought a pair of KEF LS50 speakers on sale without testing them first. Im not usually the type to act so rashly with my audio purchases, but i did plenty of research and did have some logical excuses for purchasing these specific speakers. without getting into justifications, i now need to get an amplifier to pair it with and am looking for recommendations. there are several threads ive found looking for advice on pairing LS50 speakers with amps, and there has been lots of feedback on these, so apologies for walking over well trodden ground - but i have a few specific criteria that wasnt quite covered.

I will have the space to prioritize speaker placement, with a decent distance, not squished up against the wall or in a corner..... however, my studio, while small for an apartment, is inconveniently large for a listening room: a little under 400 sqft of open plan with a moderately high ceiling. i know this sucks, especially with such small speakers - one of my thoughts was that in the future if i move to a big house and get a system with more punch, these will be great to transfer into a smaller office room. for solo listening, i can be a good distance and height from the speakers, but they will be used as an around the house system. additionally, i like to throw parties and have guests over, and so while these are never going to bring the roof crashing down, i do need to get as warm and full a sound as i can out of them without sacrificing audio quality.

Secondly, while the listening area will be awkwardly large, my apartment is studiospace and on the small side, so space is a factor - which is part of the reason i chose the LS50's. While I am not quite as limited with my choice in amplifier, i dont have the space for a monstrosity that will require linking up several different boxes. i really need an all in one amp that will be able to handle things by itself, and being compact is a plus.

my final issue is cost. most of the recommendations i am seeing are for amplifier setups costing several thousand plus. if i had $5,000 to invest in a my rig, then frankly i would not be going for the LS50's. when people discuss a budget, the recommendation is to go for a used model, which is something i would also like to avoid if possible (not that i dont think that makes sense). ideally i would like to spend under $1000, but can go slightly higher if there is a really good justification.

the amplifier that seems to be the optimum choice to me is the marantz PM-8005, which runs at around $900. I am also very interested in Peachtree amplifiers, from what I have heard of them. I also like that they are more compact, and i think they look pretty nifty too. i could justify going up to maybe $1200 for something like the peachtree decco125 SKY, but i am not sure how suitable this would be for the LS50's. does anybody with experience powering these speakers have advice to share? is the decco125 going to be a good idea? are there other amps in that range i should consider?

Thanks!
- Robert

bierfeldt
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For the money

My personal preference would be the Rogue Audio Sphinx with remote will run a bit above your budget but it is a hell of a nice amp. I have it's big brother, the Hydra and am very happy with it.

On your budget, check out the NuPrime IDA-8. At $999 it is a stellar option and will sound good roving those Kefs. Incidentally, power is important with those Kefs so looking for 100w of power is ideal. .

absurdist
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Ooh, the nuPrime IDA-8 looks

Ooh, the nuPrime IDA-8 looks like a really good option. I'm hearing a lot of good things and several people have it paired with the KEF's. Do you have any experience with the Marantz?

bierfeldt
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The PM8005

I own or have owned multiple Marantz units and I like Marantz's sound very much. I am currently using a M-CR510 to drive a pair of Revel Perform3s. The sweet spot for Marantz in cost vs power CSS quality is the PM6005 which is an amazing unit. The PM8005 feels a hair expensive for what you get and is lower power that the NuPrime or the Rogue. Additionally, with your space I think you will want every watt of power you can get.

absurdist
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Great, thats really helpful.

Great, thats really helpful. I think I'll go for the IDA-8. I won't have my setup going until I move into my new place at the end of December, but I'll come back and let you know how it works for me.

bierfeldt
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Wise option

Consider buying the NuPrime from someone like Audio Advisor. The advantage is they have a 30 day return policy. If you don't like it you can ship it back. Better to be safe.

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