This morning the courier took away my second pair of faulty KEF LS50W’s and in the next few days I’ll be getting a full refund (kudos to the dealer). As a temporary stop-gap I am using a Bluesound Powernode 2 and a pair of Monitor Audio GS10’s that I’ve had stored in the shed for the last 6 years. They sound surprisingly good but they lack the magic of the LS50W’s.
I won’t be buying another pair of LS50W’s but I do want to get close to re-creating their beautiful musicality. Obviously, the LS50W’s are a highly integrated design and - apart from the Dynaudio 200 XD’s - I’ve not seen anything that will get close.
Here are my two options (I know there are more but I’m restricting myself to these):
(1) Integrated DAC/amp feeding a pair of passive speakers
(2) High-end DAC/pre-amp feeding a pair of active speakers
The critical req’t is that the front-end streamer/source has to fully support the RAAT protocol. Also, I want volume control in Roon that directly changes the volume in the streamer/(pre-)amp (not digital volume).
With respect to (1), I have a demo lined up at my local dealers to hear the following:
2x Bluesound Powernode 2 (both set-up in ‘mono’ mode and feeding a speaker each) paired with:
Monitor Audio GS10 (already own)
Amphion Argon 3S (arriving tomorrow)
With respect to (2) I have been eyeing up studio monitors (e.g. Adam A7X, Dynaudio LYD-7) and active speakers (e.g. Acoustic Energy ActiveOne). I’ve not ventured too far down the active speaker route so far.