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I use the Harbeth P3ESR in my computer room, setup is close to what you describe. Speakers are in the corners of the room about a foot from the wall, not quite equidistant. At the volumes I listen to in this room, it is the best sounding system I have. They are driven by an ARC VSi55 tube integrated. I have an SVS SB12-NSD sub in the system also.
I haven't heard the LS50's so can't compare, but I'm not sure how it could get much better without spending way more.
Some of the other speakers I've compared to in this setup were Focal 1008 BE, Canton Vento Reference 9.2 DC, Klipsch Heresy I, and probably some others I've forgotten.
There isn't anything about them that I don't like or wish they did better. They are a "plain box" though as far as looks go, although I think they're really attractive and nicely finished.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. The more I read the more I think coincident/coaxial is the way to go here. I’m going to look into used KEF Reference 1s as the natural step up from the LS50s. Has anyone compared those and the LS50s in a desktop arrangement? (I do worry that they may be too imposing for a desktop setup but I’ll worry about that after I figure out if the sound is a massive upgrade)
I will also see if I can get a demo of the Harbeths although I’m not crazy about the prominent exposed screws in the design.
I used to have the LS50's on my desk with the same stands. It was OK but the desk is really not the best place for the LS50's. I have them to the right of me now and though not ideal the sound is so much better. The room treatments were an incredible upgrade for $700 from GIK.
For the desktop the smaller KEF LSX maybe better than the LS50's or even the LS50W which has a desktop mode for the built-in DSP. I also tried the Audience 1+1 V3 speakers on my desk. It was an interesting sound. I did not have enough space behind my desk to give those omni speakers proper placement. I kept the LS50's over the 1+1 V3's. They cost 2x more than the LS50's.
I am going to buy some new top end electronics soon and the LS50's are always going to be around in my house.