What are your experiences with upgrading power cords on KEF LS50 wireless?


Hello ,
I’ll soon be investing in a pair of the new KEF LS50 wireless II speakers and I’m curious what experiences people have had regarding upgrading the power cables on the original wireless model or the new ones.  I haven’t had much luck finding info on this topic looking through past posts (maybe one thread three years ago) so I’m curious what owners may be able to share on this subject now.  I appreciate any information you care to share. Thanks.
indyvw
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The new model actually uses a class A/B for the tweeter. Not sure how much of a difference this would make with upgrading power cables but it’s worth pointing out. 
Your question it seems to me is based on the assumption that power cords are specific to certain components. That the same power cord that is excellent on one thing somehow magically knows to sound completely different when used somewhere else. As if the power cord knows where it is and how to behave in each situation.  

Interesting theory.
depends what the power cords are made of. Silver has a brighter sound. Copper is warmer. you dont want it to be any brighter as the kefs are already too bright with their metal dome tweeters!
Though I appreciate the sarcasm as usual sweetheart, that is not at all what my question alluded to. Given the specific design features of the LS50 wireless models, I’m merely interested in what owners of them have experienced when trying out new power cables. What models have they tried and what are their thoughts on the differences they heard versus the stock cords? That sort of thing. Furthermore, as I’m positive you are neither a previous nor current owner of the LS50 wireless model, Chuck, your opinions lack any pertinence on this matter.  If anyone has actual ownership experience with the LS50 wireless models  and would care to chime in on this I’m all ears though. Thanks again.
Wow. So you really do think it matters what they're connected to. So it wasn't sarcasm at all then. Think about it. Seriously. Give it some thought. 

The way to approach this, and this will be my last comment ever to you so you might want to pay attention, the way to approach this is to understand a power cord is just a power cord. 

Your question is no different than, "I have a Ford F-250 and wonder if anyone can tell me what is a good torque wrench for that model truck?" And then snottily corrected the one guy who tried to help saying bud, its a torque wrench.

Bud, its a power cord. But you go, girl!
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I apologize for the digression of this thread but hopefully enough people saw my last post, before it was removed, to understand where I’m coming from regarding the tactless behavior of some members and their consistent lack of meaningful, constructive input on myriad topics.  If anyone cares to offer any actual feedback on the original question I posed I would be pleased to hear it. And if this particular thread has been derailed beyond the point of inviting any sort of constructive discourse then that’s ok too. I think it still served a purpose, for me personally at least. 
This was a sad thread for a simple question. How can we as a community treat fellow members this way? What's the point? Sad to see. 
That is exactly the reason I reacted the way I did. I see one individual in particular create post after post in the same derogatory manner and it just becomes so grating that a reaction is inevitable. I’m complicit in this, I fully admit that, and if Chuck wants to continue down this path if I post something else in the future then I will be responding in exactly the same manner again. Enough is enough. I have nothing but respect for all the members of this forum, except for MillerCarbon. Any respect owed to him as a fellow member of the community has been forfeited in my opinion due to his behavior. I don’t believe for a second that I’m the only member that feels that way either.  That he continues to behave the way he does is what is truly sad.
OP, it is very simple. If anyone offers you a gift (advise or insult), you can accept the gift or give it back... The question is, to whom does the gift return? Hopefully to the rightful owner. You understand.. It’s only YOURS if you accept it..

Were you insulted? I think not.

Now Welcome to AG, I’m interested if a PC can change the sound. A few think there is a difference when you change a PC. Here is a little information, hope it helps..

https://audiobacon.net/2019/03/22/15-audiophile-power-cables-hear-for-yourself/


Regards
Were you insulted? I think not.
Hate to disagree with you, but it's pretty clear that he was, and to some of us the reason why.




No comment on cabling but on the last LS50W, several users noted improvements by adding an external DAC.


This was despite the signal needing to go back to digital for DSP inside the speaker.


My guess is that the additional gain fattened up the sound. Or possibly some added character added by external DAC was euphonic.
Upgraded power cords on active speakers is efficacious. I have tested such things out. Power supplies, amps, etc. in speakers respond to PCs. 

I encourage you to think of your query as being resolved by working with entire sets of cables. Reports of how the LS50 reacts by swapping one PC will be of marginal value to you if it was used in a mixed set of cables. This is how the majority of audiophiles operate, and without particular discussion of the rest of their system, there is no way to isolate what the PC might be contributing. 

Your best solution for advancing your rig in a meaningful way in terms of not only that PC, but all cabling is to attempt comparison of entire sets. This is true for all audiophiles, ones with active or passive speakers. Yes, this is more time consuming, more bother, and potentially more costly, but it is the only way to directly move the rig toward a desired outcome. All other mixing of cables is guesswork. Once a preferred set is selected, then fine tuning is advisable with one or two cables. This is more bother, more time consuming and potentially more costly, but it is the only way to move a system with certainty toward one's goals. Treat the speaker as any other part of the system in terms of cabling. 



Starting to seem like no one with the wireless LS50s has upgraded their power cords?

Oldhvymec, I know you’re Chuck’s buddy so I don’t expect an unbiased view on what transpired between us yesterday. Chuck’s entire modus operandi is to insult other members on this forum in a poor attempt to inflate his own ego which then provides reaffirmation, at least in his mind, that he is the wisest or most experienced or most dedicated audiophile of all. It’s pathetic and destructive and that’s why I sent the “gift” back to him.  Enough is enough. But the most important thing I want to point out is that, just like him, you also missed the point of my original post. You guys both focused on a broader concept of power cables affecting sound and that’s not what I’m concerned with at all. I’m certainly open to the idea that changing power cords will impact the sound so I’m specifically interested in what other LS50 wireless owners have experienced when they have done so. I’m curious what specific power cables they have tried and how they thought the aftermarket cables compared to the stock cords.  Because many owners will use these specific speakers as a stand-alone, sort of all-in-one solution rather than a piece of a multi component system it offers the fairly rare opportunity to hear feedback from users that, aside from the listening environment, potentially have the exact same set up as you would have. Yes, I know many owners will utilize a separate DAC and that will certainly change the sound from stock but that’s a different discussion for another time. As a stand-alone the LS50 wireless will have the same DAC, the same amps, the same speakers, etcetera from one pair to the next. That’s a rare opportunity for comparison in this hobby that is unique to streaming based active speakers in general.  That’s why I want to hear from other LS50 wireless owners rather than have a general discussion about whether power cables affect sound.  I thought that concept would seem obvious but maybe I should have been more articulate in my original post. 


jetter, I appreciate that you get where I was coming from. 


seanheis1, a DAC addition is a possibility and I’m certain it would have a significant affect on the sound of the speakers. That would be a whole other topic for sure.


douglas_shroeder, I get where you are coming from and you make a good point. I still would like to hear from members that have hands on experience with the LS50 wireless specifically but I’ll have to take into account what you mention. 

@indyvw
You should post your question over on this site. You will get more answers than some of the arrogant ones that post here! 
https://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/etv.mpl?forum=cables
I wondered the same thing whenI had my LS50W’s and my dynaudio xeo’s...

I never got around to it but I’ve got to think that upgrading the powercords on the kefs will make a nice improvement.  As to what Douglas was saying, that makes total sense.  However, “all” of the cords for the LS50W 2 are the 2 power cords.

I say upgrade them right out of the gate.  You’re lucking out with the fact that by upgrading 2 power cords, you’r upgrading powercords for the dac, preamp, and multiple amllifiers.  With that in mind, it should make a nice change!

I’d take into consideration the lengths, the gauge, the flexibility of the cord (pangea ac 9 would be out,for example) and the sound signature.

I really like Cullen Crossover series because they are very open and detailed sounding.  The crossover series is a nice thin gauge too (12 gauge?) so its not hugely unwieldy.  The wire is a bit stiff though but once you have it in place, nk big deal.  Power cords do sound harsh for a few days after you bend them all up though, so be prepared for that.  Analysis plus power ovals for $130 are a great option as well.

If I were you, I’d already have my 2 upgraded power cords all ready even before you get the speakers.  Use the upgraded cords right out of the gate and burn the powercords in as you are burning the speakers in.  The first genLS50W sounded much better after 3-4 days of continual use.  I left mine on overnight at low volumes playing classical music.  I’ve had experience with 4 pairs and they were all a bit aggressive right out of the box.

Upgraded powercords, some nice non resonant stands at the right height (usually 28”-32” for LS50’s) and a REL T7i (Or 2 or more) and you’re in business!

I’d also upgrade your outlets.  Cullen Cables has pass and seymours for $10 or Albert Porter (check out his rig here on audiogon!) has cyro’d medical grade outlets for $50.  Those are called porter ports.  They’re worth every penny!

Anyhow, enjoy your new LS50’s!  They are just awesome little speakers and the new metas are supposed to be better so you Sir, are in for a treat!
Oh, and to clarify, the original LS50W’s also used a class a/b amp on the tweeters.  The new meta version puts out more power to the tweeter yhan the previous version.  I can’t remember the specs off the top of my head.  I think the originals were 50 class a/b watts to the tweeter, 200 class d watts to the midbass.  The new metas are 100 and 200, I believe.

I’ve also heard that the app for the metas is waaaay better, which wasmy complaint with the originals.  We had to really work to get my brothers internet running at 5ghz (New router, changed settings, etc) so that he didn’t have dropouts.  His LS50W’s ran much smoother hardwired and on a 5ghz speed.

I suppose an upgraded ethernet cord might be nice as well.

The cool thing about LA50W’s is that whenyou get the urge to tweak something, it’s usually the room or subs, 2 important areas often overlooked by many people while the are upgrading pre amps, amps and dacs...


Oh, and mine did sound better using an external dac as well.  Just an audioquest dragonfly (red) coming out of my laptop sounded smoother than just using the app.

The app on the Metas is supposed to be improved so I woud not go down that route of external dac as well.  Focus on room treatments and subs and the payoff will be larger.

Every single personwho has heard my friends LS50W’s and 1 T9i were pretty impressed!


indyvw OP
24 posts11-23-2020 5:32am

Oldhvymec, I know you’re Chuck’s buddy so I don’t expect an unbiased view on what transpired between us yesterday.


jetter
2,022 posts11-23-2020 3:09am
Were you insulted? I think not.
Hate to disagree with you, but it’s pretty clear that he was, and to some of us the reason why.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


It’s very simple, the same CRAP happened to me, I just laughed it off. I explained my position, CLEARLY. I just don’t get upset UNLESS someone calls names, or calls folks liars. I’ll abide NIETHER..

Behind the ol keyboard though.

My point was you wanted to know about your power cord, YOU didn’t need the BS. I don’t have to take a side. I simply would have RETURNED the gift... I lost my temper just recent, me and an AG member went at it a bit.. I sure wasn’t the better person for it..
Screwed up the thread.. you know the drill.. Your back on track collecting DATA..

You’ll never hear from him again, just my observation.. No worries anyway.

I hear you OP, I got your point. The "why" I looked up some info from a guy, I KNOW, will give a pretty honest opinion on "Power Cords" for YOUR powered speakers.

BTW... Pretty cool speakers..

BUT be aware, this guy can REALLY GO OFF. I’ve seen him just ripp into a few.. The "power cords don’t matter" crowd get him pretty worked up, WHY? Name calling and saying he couldn’t hear what he clearly could.. along with a host of others...

I’ve NEVER met a Man or a Woman, I didn’t like. EVER.. Just some more than others. MC is like HOT coffee, just a little at a time, you’ll be fine. A little cream and sugar don’t hurt either.

I take it all back.. NO YOKO ONO..:-) well not the singin’ anyways, I’m sure she’s just fine. :-)

Power Cords do matter with your powered speakers.. They have a factory upgrade also.. from what I read.

Most of all enjoy them, pretty respected little speakers..

https://audiobacon.net/2019/03/22/15-audiophile-power-cables-hear-for-yourself/

With great regard, and respect to ALL..

Sorry but I do not own the speakers that you mentioned. However, I am a believer that power cords do and can make a difference. I am of the school that if I hear a difference it must be a difference I like and if I hear no difference then I don’t need to consider that piece of gear. Can you get some power cords to try at home to see what your own ears will tell you? Happy Thanksgiving
Oldhvymech is a true gentleman and the member I’ve been trying to act like, lately, in these threads.
There is one poster though that gets under my skin like no other, and when I resort to insults, I’m never better off for it. Best just to ignore him and not respond.

Anyhow, back to the Metas!!
yogi, I appreciate the suggestion and I’ll check audioasylum out. I’m a member on the Steve Hoffman forum as well and it’s usually void of the colorful characters on here that tend to derail a thread pretty quickly. 
b_limo, as always I appreciate the thoughtful responses man. Yeah I do think the new version of this speaker will be a big improvement, if for no other reason than the functionality enhancements utilizing the new app and the new electronics on board. And I certainly like the idea of reducing cable clutter and being able to focus on just the power cables and perhaps a couple Ethernet cables. I will probably choose to hard wire them as well, to the router and possibly to each other. The tethering idea doesn’t bother me as much as it may bother others. I just got a few panels from GIK a couple weeks ago and I’ve been running the passive LS50s with a JL E-110 up to this point so I’m curious to hear how the wireless version sounds in my room. I know KEF has discussed offering discrete sub outs on this new model too with a firmware update in the future so that could be pretty interesting and one more reason to invest in another sub. 
oldhvymech, I’m picking up what you’re putting down. We’re good man. Although Chuck is more like cat p*** than hot coffee for my taste profile. Lol 
Hilarious. This is why a lot of times I post my answer and never come back. Because its a virtual certainty the thread devolves into Lord of the Flies spats. 

What a shame. For the record, the OP posed a question that exposed a deeply flawed point of view that nevertheless is widely accepted common wisdom. Its silly, as I exposed with my torque wrench analogy. 

A power cord is a power cord. You find one that sounds good, it will sound good on everything its connected to. A tiger does not change his spots. 

Yes there are better and worse and cheaper torque wrenches. They come digital, they come with the little pointy wire, they come with ergonomic grips, they come inaccurate and they come calibrated. But the one thing that is true of all of them is they work on a Porsche or a Pontiac all the same. 

Its just nuts to ask about a power cord, or speaker cable, or whatever, as if these things are matched to what they're connected to. Oh yes that is true of a few things. And if there's one thing audiophiles are really, really good at its pointing out the irrelevant exception that changes the subject preventing anyone from ever learning anything. Any of this sounding familiar? Anyone? Beuller? 

Its just truly awful to have to be pointing this out to so many who should know it by heart by now but you do not match the components to each other you match the components to the listener.  

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blather. Where did we leave off? Oh yeah. Who is friendsies with who. Have at it girls.
Based on your moniker, I’ll put this out there: If you’re in Indianapolis; I have some PCs you can audition, on your KEFs (ie: Zu Mothers, Synergistic Master Couplers, a PS Audio xStream Plus SC).     I’m willing to remove them from my system (TV, in the Plus SC's case), for your enlightenment (one way or the other).      None of my pieces are for sale, but- you’d at least know if better-than-stock PCs make a difference, with powered KEFs.
I heard that you don’t have to tether the new LS50W together...

I thought the wireless version was a completely different animal than the passives.  It was a big part of the reason that I think actives will be the future. I just think that when you are engineering speakers at the level of kef, and others, the designers of the drivers have more control of the final sound when they have control over everything.

I’d like to see what the differences in bracing are on this new model.  It’s supposedly even less resonant than the originals which were already ridiculously solid.  
That new plate on the back of the driver that cancels the backwave is really cool.  I think KEF is trying to push the boundaries in both performance and bang for the buck.

Im betting that pair of LS50W Metas and a pair of subs is a going to be a hard, if not impossible combo to beat.  
A big concern of mine on the originals was the 1 year warranty on the electronics.  I’d advise any buyers to purchase an extended warranty.  Something that will cover the electronics for 3-5 years.  Both Magnolia and my small local b&m offered extended warranties.  
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First off Chuck, stopping stealing my original riff on you by saying things like “you go girl” or “have at it girls.”  Secondly, I thought we agreed you wouldn’t respond to any of my threads going forward?  What happened?  Is there really no one else to insult or degrade right now?  No one here cares about your opinion on anything Chuck, least of all me.  I do find it amusing that you of all people, a person that has consumed the audiophile kool-aid down to the last drop and bought into almost every tweak imaginable, would claim that a particular cable (of any sort) that you find appealing in one system will work in any system that could possibly be assembled. So a cable that may offer a bit more top end revelation and is a perfect fit for a pair of speakers with characteristics like warmth and body will match equally well with a pair of speakers that sound characteristically bright and detailed?  Even for someone that has not ventured down the cable upgrade rabbit hole that far that thinking seems fundamentally flawed. Kenjit early on in the discussion brought up a point on the inherent character of different wire materials as something that needs to be considered and that is exactly why I’m pointing this out. It sounds as though you don’t think the sound characteristics of a cable relate at all to the equipment they are used with. Kenjit again proving much more useful than Chuck. Do me a favor and stick to your promise this time that you’ll avoid responding to me ever again. We’ll both be happier I’m sure.


rodman99999, I very much appreciate the gesture and I am indeed in Indy. I will reach out if I decide to take you up on your offer my friend. 


b_limo, yes the new one model doesn’t need to be tethered unless you desire the maximum 24/192 resolution rather than the untethered max of 24/96.  So I guess I’ll decide on how important that is with experimentation. Totally agree with your thoughts on the speakers potential overall.  It seems like a truly great option within its price category.  I’m honestly interested in this option because of how easily it would fit my particular lifestyle. I have moved six times in the past four years for various reasons, tend to live in smaller apartments, I gravitate towards minimalism in general, I occasionally have my girlfriend’s very small child running around the apartment, and so forth. I enjoy my current set up with the passive LS50s, a Yamaha A-S2100, and a Marantz HD-DAC1 but yeah the wireless LS50s are probably a better lifestyle fit. Especially if I don’t have to sacrifice sound quality. 

Some design features of a power cord like effective shielding provides the same potential benefit in all cases, but the actual results can still vary case by case depending on the specific setup and whether that shielding is needed or how bad the problem is.

BTW, I have found that effective shielding in power cables specifically designed for line level gear can make a difference in DACs and pre-amps. They (Pangea) did in my case.

Others may be more designed for more power amp applications with a focus on current delivery. How effective that is case by case also will vary depending. Some amps may benefit, some not.

I do not have experience with the ls50 actives specifically, but were it me I would most consider trying power cords that feature highly effective shielding with active speakers in general.

I do have passive ls50s and I use the Pangea power cords designed for line level applications with both my pre-amp and DAC. The results are spectatular with ls50s specifically. Have never tried stock cords there so can’t say how much difference there might be but I did hear a clear improvement in detail soundstage and imaging when I first applied the Pangea cords with other speakers I run concurrently off the same system (Ohm Walsh).   Also at the time with Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkII, which the ls50s (plus sub) replaced.

THe down side of the Pangea cords is their weight and bulk....it is not easy to get them to stay plugged into the gear initially.

My DAC is mhdt Constantine and pre-amp is Audio Research sp16.

@indyvw
I have replaced the power cables on my KEF LS50 wireless speakers and evaluated the change. I have to run off to several Zooms for work, but will report back tonight or tomorrow night.

As far as I can tell, I am the only one on this thread to have actually performed the experiment. Everyone else here is speculating.

-docknow
I appreciate your input mapman. Definitely something I’ll consider in my search. I appreciate the link as well oldhvymech. Thank you. 
I’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts docknow.  Your input is much appreciated sir.  
When I first bought my KEF LS50 wireless three years ago, I had a couple of Cerious Technology power cords lying around. I put them on the LS50s and didn't notice any meaningful difference ... if anything I thought the sound was a bit less open (but honestly, that could have been me straining to find any differences). I put the stock cables back and this is how they've been used since then.

As an aside, I recently bought a power cord from Audio Envy and swapped my Cerious Technology PC on another amp ... the AE power cord seems to add a level of refinement (more cohesive, less sparkle) over the Cerious. I only have one Audio Envy PC so not possible to use it with the LS50Ws. AE cables are very affordable and they offer a 45-day trial. The best way to find out is to order some and try them for yourself.
Interesting theory, Millercarbon states in another post:

9:14am”Amps make a huge difference. As do cables. As does the fuse inside the amp. As does the interconnect between the pre amp and the amp. As does whatever is or is not supporting the pre amp, amp, cables, and interconnect. As does.... well you get the point. Everything matters”Dan
@indyvw-       Just PM me, when/if curiosity begins to bite.          
Hours of Zoom later ...

In March I moved out of my Manhattan apartment to a friend’s in-law apartment on Long Island and took my Roon Nucleus and LS50w’s as my "pandemic" system. The Nucleus was connected to a Google WiFi endpoint via ethernet, as were the LS50w’s. All three were plugged into the wall using their stock cords, via a short multi-outlet extension cord. Bits were provided via mostly Hi-Rez files from a Samsung T5 SSD hooked by an AQ Carbon USB cable to the Nucleus, or occasionally Tidal HF.

After about 4-6 weeks of listening to the system, set-up in near field on a large desk that became my new office, I finally pulled out a pair of 6 ft. Signal Cable MagicPower Power Cords I had brought with me, but had not bothered to hook up, because I thought that even if they improved the sound, it would not be by much.

WRONG!!

I was flabbergasted and floored. The better power cables made an instant difference, easily heard. A clear reduction in noise floor, and increase in clarity and tonality. There was no need to replace the stock cables and go back and forth to know what was better.

Based on this finding, a few weeks later I returned to my Manhattan apartment and picked up my Core Power Technologies Equi=Core 1800 Balanced Power conditioner and plugged the three power cords into it. Once again, the sound was better, mostly in a lowering of the noise floor. Surprisingly though, the overall magnitude of the improvement was less than the replacement of the stock AC cords.

Lastly, I decided to replace the ethernet cables to and from the Google endpoint with CAT8 cables from Monoprice. I heard little to no improvement.

So, in my experience, upgrading the power cables on KEF LS50w’s makes a significant improvement. I think the improvements would have been even greater if I had used some of my AQ Hurricane or Shunyata Apha or Sigma NR cables. Conceptually, think of better AC cables extending out the beginning of your component, not as the last piece of wire in the hundreds of miles of wire from you power generation station.

I’m curious to hear what experience others who have changed the AC cables on their LS50w’s think. I don’t care what those who claim to "know" that it makes a difference, or that it doesn’t, if they haven’t done the experiment and have "data" (which is subjective in this case; but that is a lot better than no data-which leads to pure speculation and conjecture).

-docknow

PS-I think we all have a common love of music and want to experience it in our homes, as if we were seeing it live. We might differ in how we think we can get closer to that goal in a real world, cost effective manner, but keep in mind we are all trying to get to the same place.

PSS-Have a safe and happy holiday. The news on the vaccine front has been beyond expectations. We will be back to normal, mostly, by next summer. Just stay alive and healthy till then.
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I think so as well. They went into a storage unit with my ARC and Martin-Logan gear when I moved out of my Manhattan apartment and I didn’t feel like going to dig them out.
arafiq, I appreciate the feedback. Thank you. 
rodman99999, thank you again and I will certainly PM if I decide to entertain your gracious offer. 
docknow, thank you very much for the lengthy write up on your experience. I greatly appreciate everyone’s input but it certainly helps that extra little bit when owners of the LS50 wireless, like you and arafiq for instance, can discuss trying a particular pair of power cables and the subsequent changes they made to the overall sound. Also, I’m with tvad on wanting to know what differences you hear with the AQ and Shunyata cables. No one here will be disappointed if you get bored one day and decide to harvest them out of storage. Hahaha. Thanks again for your feedback on this and perhaps we will have a few more owners chime in as well. Take care. 
I upgraded to Audioquest and it made zero difference. Only benefit is aesthetics.  Otherwise, expensive power cables are a gimmick, don’t waste your money.  
helloitsben, I appreciate the feedback. Did you try the Audioquest cables with the LS50 wireless speakers or are you speaking in general terms based on your experiences with other gear?
JPS labs power cords might have something at a price sensible for the ls50