I compared the LS50 Wireless to the passive LS50 speakers. Even though the bass on the Wireless model goes down to a solid 50Hz or lower depending on room setup, I actually preferred the passive speakers. To my ears, the sound of the LS50 Wireless lacked some of the tonality and timbre that was more clearly evident with the passive models. I really approached this with an open mind when I auditioned the LS50's, because I like the concept of active speakers plus the convenience of wireless operation. However, the passive speakers were more engaging and I found myself tapping my toes and enjoying the presentation.
I told the dealer, Halsten Entertainment in Golden Valley, MN, that I have a few amps to drive these speakers:
- McIntosh MC240, recapped and modified new soft/fast recovery diodes (40W)
- Dynakit Stereo 35, recapped and modified with Dave Gillespie's Enhanced Fixed Bias (EFB) circuit (17W)
- diyAudio.com group buy Wiener 2.0 PBTL (dual mono) Texas Instruments TPA3118-D2 Class D amp designed by gmarsh, and modified with Altec Peerless 15335A bridging line-level input transformers to convert unbalanced signals to the amplifier's differental inputs, and CoilCraft output inductors for clean high-pass filtered, high current output to the speakers. (13W)
Obviously, I was concerned that the last two amps would not have adequate power to drive the 85dB passive LS50's. When I got them home and set them up in our open floor plan living room (dining room, kitchen and staircase--about 700 sq. ft.), I wired them up first with my DIY Class D dual mono amp, and these speakers sounded better than they did at Halsten Entertainment with the 200W Rotel RA-1592 integrated amp.
After several hours with this amp, I switched to the Dynakit Stereo 35 tube amp. Again, I was getting rich, full sound with bass deep enough that negates any need for a subwoofer. The soundstage is larger than these monitors should project based on their cabinet size. I love these speakers and can see why professional engineers like them for studio monitors, because they are musical yet very revealing of the mix/mastering of the recording. I would take these over many of the powered professional studio monitors I've heard.
I have yet to try these speakers with my MC240, but I expect nothing less than what I've heard to date.
Perhaps the DSP wasn't set up correctly with the LS50 Wireless speakers, but Halsten Entertainment is a reputable dealer. Maybe they just aren't for me.