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Beolab 5 vs 50 vs 90?

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

In case I forgot to mention earlier in the thread, here is the link to my YouTube channel - please subscribe to be the first to hear when the video is uploaded:-

https://www.youtube.com/c/soundsheavenlycables

There is already plenty of B&O-related content on there, with more to follow regularly.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

BeoMatthew
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My two cents, having spent considerable time with all three:

The BeoLab 90s, properly set up, will so definitively outperform the other two as to make the comparison merely academic. Their capabilities put them in a class that few ultra-high-end two channel systems can approach. 

Now as for the BeoLab 5s & 50s, that's tougher...

The BeoLab 50s are, in my opinion, among the most beautiful speakers I've ever seen. For looks alone they're untouchable. Sonically speaking it's a bit more murky. While the BeoLab 50s outperform the BeoLab 5s in many respect, they do so with so much restraint that they seem to be underperforming for the hardware onboard. We've probably all seen episodes of Top Gear where a car is gonzo on paper, but has very little excitement when the driver is behind the wheel. 

The BeoLab 5s are a cannonball in a brick wall. I love everything about them. So all things being equal I might score the 50s higher on nearly every metric and then buy the 5s without hesitation. 

Mikipidia
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Mikipidia replied on Fri, May 31 2019 12:56 AM

Steve,

Maybe you could also put the 50's in the lab 5 preset(also known as party mode). The 50's are a lot flatter than the 5's are but in when the 50's go in 5/party mode the bass is more relaxed and much more pronounced. My neighbours prefer me to have them in the flat preset Stick out tongue

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound 1 Bronze edition, Beoplay M3.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

marexy
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marexy replied on Fri, May 31 2019 7:49 AM

I'm looking for a pair of BL5 ...for some time now.

As i can see prices are from 5k€ to 11k€.

But as i can see i can buy BL50 for 18k€ used one..

So if any of you know for a pair of nice BL5 give me a hint :)

Only problem is ..as i can see form forum are  electonic faults of BL5 and no way to repair it in component level..or it is possible but no one want to share that info :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

A quick question for Beolab 50 and 90 owners please - which sound mode do you prefer (eg. Narrow, wide or Omni)?

What is better about that mode? Thanks!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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MaxH
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MaxH replied on Sat, Jun 1 2019 11:05 AM

Steve,

On the 50s it depends on the sound stage. I definitely prefer narrow because it gives more depth but on a lot of orchestral music I prefer wide because - not unnaturally - it widens the sound stage; however, when more emphasis is to be given to single instruments or soloists narrow seems to be the way to go for me.

I guess there will be many interesting variations on preferences Smile

BeoMatthew
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Narrow.

schatzoy
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I only own a pair of BL20. However, one of my favorite tracks is Relax from Frankie goes to Hollywood. There is so much going on in the song and the finale just gives me goose bumps every time.

After that song has finished, I need a moment to calm down as my senses are on overload.

Mikipidia
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Depends on what you're doing, I mostly do movies and the like and use wide mode 90% of the time as I am hardly ever in the hot seat and I like the really wide soundstage. How ever if you sit in the hot seat for some proper music listening then narrow is better.

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound 1 Bronze edition, Beoplay M3.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

seethroughyou
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi,

A quick question for Beolab 50 and 90 owners please - which sound mode do you prefer (eg. Narrow, wide or Omni)?

What is better about that mode? Thanks!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

On BL90 always use narrow.

The soundstage and position of instruments in orchestra focused.

The bass is propulsive but controlled rather than boomy.

The notes in terms of tone sound more correct.

On wide and omni, the sound becomes progressively more muddy.
PaulGiles
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PaulGiles replied on Sat, Jun 1 2019 10:24 PM
Steve, great posts, If you get time you have to try private investigations by dire straits. Great test track for any set up.
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Razlaw replied on Sat, Jun 1 2019 11:16 PM
schatzoy:

I only own a pair of BL20. However, one of my favorite tracks is Relax from Frankie goes to Hollywood. There is so much going on in the song and the finale just gives me goose bumps every time.

After that song has finished, I need a moment to calm down as my senses are on overload.

Just listened to it on my 20s. Thanks for the suggestion!

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks!

Both Relax and Private Investigations get regular airtime on my Penta 3s in the workshop!  I will ensure I have these tracks with me, in case there is time.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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BEOVOX141
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BEOVOX141 replied on Sun, Jun 2 2019 10:36 AM

Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Thanks!

Both Relax and Private Investigations get regular airtime on my Penta 3s in the workshop!  I will ensure I have these tracks with me, in case there is time.

Kind regards, Steve.

I would highly suggest Coldplay,- Adventures of a lifetime. Its nowhere as easy as Relax and Private Investigations. Very few speakers (if any ?) can handle the slow LF bass track at higher levels without crashing!

Low by Lenny Kravitz is another one I would include for dynamics and perspective.

Mr 10Percent
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Steve, 

im sure you don’t want a long list of everyone’s favourite tracks to cart around with you but if you were able to take 3 O’Clock Blues / Riding With The King / Clapton & King, I think you will go and remortgage the house to buy a pair of BL90s then and there.

Not saying it’s a good recording or anything like that but as show-off material for dynamics and imaging On the BL90s, I think it is up there. 

Enjoy

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

Whilst there will be a limit to how many songs we can audition on the day, it is great to hear about tracks that others use for their speaker testing - no doubt this will also help future readers of this thread who are keen to hear these speakers for themselves.

I think it is important to go with music that you know well and enjoy when deciding on a potential speaker purchase, rather than relying solely on tracks that the store has available (although they will generally have a good range of music).  About 15 years ago, I bought a pair of Royd Minstrel speakers purely based on the way that my favourite album sounded on them (Tourism by Roxette) and I haven't regretted the purchase once - they are still in daily use!

Please keep the suggestions coming..... Yes - thumbs up

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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mbolo01
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mbolo01 replied on Sun, Jun 2 2019 1:08 PM
I would go for Cool It by UZEB, R3UNION live album (2019) ... a great return to stage !

BS Moment, BS Core, BS Ouverture, BS1, BL18, BL19, BL8000 + RCV1, A6, M5, M3, A1, P6 (tks Botty), H5, TR1

seethroughyou
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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Jun 2 2019 5:59 PM

First an aside, to me the BL5 is the most attractive and sexiest speaker B&O ever made.

Now, I will recommend Rebecca Pidgeon's renditon of "Spanish Harlem" on her album "The Raven." That is the track that sold me the BL9s. I had not heard them setup well previously, so had few expectations, but when I heard them properly setup with that track, I swear my jaw was on the floor. Imaging, depth, bass, air, vocals, everything was just astounding sounding. Fell in love with the BL9s right there.

 

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi,

We will be discussing this issue on tonight's Beotalk podcast, starting from 7pm (UK time) / 8pm (European time), please join us at the link below:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzSxbjkjfvw

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

Jonathan
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Stylo - Gorillaz for bass testing. The intro has a nice strong bass without being muddy. Beolabs really shine with this track

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Jonathan
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Stylo - Gorillaz for bass testing. The intro has a nice strong bass without being muddy. Beolabs really shine with this track

x:________________________

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks guys,

I am pleased to confirm that I spent a very enjoyable day today with Nick at B&O Wilmslow, filming the Beolab 5, 50 and 90 speaker comparison video, plus another video to follow soon that will hopefully also interest many Beoworlders.

It may take me a few days to get this edited and uploaded, but you will be the first to hear once this is ready!  Thanks for your patience......

I must add that if you are considering purchasing any of these speakers, the Wilmslow store currently have all three models set up in the same area ready to hear, so this is the ideal opportunity to listen to them Cool

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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PaulGiles
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PaulGiles replied on Thu, Jun 6 2019 10:59 PM
Well done Steve!
Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Thu, Jun 6 2019 11:55 PM
Looking forward to the video! Just hope it does not make me regret my decision to upgrade my 20s to 50s. 🤔
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AdamS replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 11:27 AM

Razlaw:
Looking forward to the video! Just hope it does not make me regret my decision to upgrade my 20s to 50s. 🤔

Even more worryingly, I hope it doesn't make me regret purchasing BL90s... Sad

Martin
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Martin replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 2:04 PM

Hi,

I have last weekend got delivered my new Beolab 50. I have had Beolab 5 in 10 years.

I have calibrated the speakers for different listening zones have "learned" how to use them properly. I have my Eclipse connected with Powerlink cables to the 50:s.

So to my findings with the 50:s vs the 5:s:

I am NOT so convinced that this speakers are "better" than the 5:s. The high frequencies (vocals from tweeter) is rather sharp/harsh when I compare with the 5:s. Also the Bass is rather "light" when I compare with the 5:s. I have all Bass and Treble put to zero.

Someone will of course say that I have not set these speakers up properly. BUT I know that I have done it right both with the "B&O"-app (set-up) and in the Eclipse. I use "Music" sound-mode from the eclipse. I have also tried "Custom"-soundmode but there is no difference from "Music"-mode.

Conclusion: I will not say that I am unhappy with the speakers BUT the old Beolab 5 was at least as good when I talk about smothness in tweeter, bassrespons and so on. Of course I get maybe more detailed sound-picture when I use "narrow" beam vs the Beolab 5 but I still think that the TREBLE is to much in the speaker (especially when you listen to female vocals some times).

Any comments???

Best Regards
Martin

SWEDEN

 

 

Beovision Eclipse 65 with floorstand (from STB Brackets), New! Beolab 50 front, Beolab 3 rear, 2 x Beoplay A6 linkrooms, 2xBeoremote one BT, Beosound 9000 Mark III (sw 3.4), Philips Hue (all lights in the home), Oppo UDP-203, Apple TV 4K

Stan
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Stan replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 2:17 PM

Give yourself a week or two to adjust to the new sound dynamics of the BL50s.  I believe our brains adapt our hearing and adjust our perception of what sounds good.  I think this is one of the main explanation behind the "break-in" phenomenon.  Audiophiles are always recommend not judging new equipment until it has been "broken in".  Except in a few rare instances with certain speaker materials, I don't think the equipment is changing, it's the owner's perception.

In my own experience, when I first got my BL1s, I thought their treble was hard/harsh relative to the BL8000s they replaced.  After a few weeks, I thought they sounded superb - far more detail and better imaging than the BL8000s and only harsh on some badly mastered recordings - and now when I listen to the BL8000s, there's something missing (still like them a lot, though).  I don't think the sound changed.  I guess I could blame the change of the BL8000s on the fact I moved them to a different room, but that doesn't explain my perception of the BL1s - and it wasn't "break in" because they were well broken in when I bought them used.

Stan

Martin
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Martin replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 2:36 PM

Hi Stan,

You might have right that the speakers must "broke-in". But other parameters is done as the technical soundguide describes. I dont know what to alter/change in regards to change the sound picture especially the treble-part.

I have done a proper calibration and made "presets" and connected the different calibrations with the presets. I use "music-mode" (sound mode)in the Eclipse and all tone controls in both speakers and Eclipse is set to neutral. I live in a home with wooden floor and rather "soft" walls.

Maybe Geoff Martin can give some advice regarding my findings when I compare the 50:s vs 5:s

Best Regards
Martin

Beovision Eclipse 65 with floorstand (from STB Brackets), New! Beolab 50 front, Beolab 3 rear, 2 x Beoplay A6 linkrooms, 2xBeoremote one BT, Beosound 9000 Mark III (sw 3.4), Philips Hue (all lights in the home), Oppo UDP-203, Apple TV 4K

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 3:25 PM

Stan:

Give yourself a week or two to adjust to the new sound dynamics of the BL50s.  I believe our brains adapt our hearing and adjust our perception of what sounds good.  I think this is one of the main explanation behind the "break-in" phenomenon.  Audiophiles are always recommend not judging new equipment until it has been "broken in".  Except in a few rare instances with certain speaker materials, I don't think the equipment is changing, it's the owner's perception.

In my own experience, when I first got my BL1s, I thought their treble was hard/harsh relative to the BL8000s they replaced.  After a few weeks, I thought they sounded superb - far more detail and better imaging than the BL8000s and only harsh on some badly mastered recordings - and now when I listen to the BL8000s, there's something missing (still like them a lot, though).  I don't think the sound changed.  I guess I could blame the change of the BL8000s on the fact I moved them to a different room, but that doesn't explain my perception of the BL1s - and it wasn't "break in" because they were well broken in when I bought them used.

Stan

Excellent observation..."break in" is you adjusting to the sound, not the sound changing. Most loudspeaker parameters settle in very quickly, there's not much change after the first few minutes of play if that, but break-in is a great way to keep your customer from returning something before they adapt to it.

The only instance I've personally experienced wrt break-in being a thing was a pair of Magnepans, new out of the box, over a period of a day their bass response changed, measurably, but their design, a large membrane based speaker, is more apt to have changes in tension and response of the stretched Mylar menbrane than a cone driver.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Millemissen
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Jeff:

Excellent observation..."break in" is you adjusting to the sound, not the sound changing. Most loudspeaker parameters settle in very quickly, there's not much change after the first few minutes of play if that, but break-in is a great way to keep your customer from returning something before they adapt to it.

Hi Jeff, you’re so right.....I do agree ;-)

 

@Martin

Are you aure that you new speakers have been updated to the latest sw?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 4:02 PM

Another sign of the impending Apocalypse MM! Big Smile

Jeff

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Martin
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Martin replied on Fri, Jun 7 2019 4:31 PM

Hi MM,

yes. I have latest 2.4.xxxx software.

Beovision Eclipse 65 with floorstand (from STB Brackets), New! Beolab 50 front, Beolab 3 rear, 2 x Beoplay A6 linkrooms, 2xBeoremote one BT, Beosound 9000 Mark III (sw 3.4), Philips Hue (all lights in the home), Oppo UDP-203, Apple TV 4K

Mikipidia
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Hi martin,

How do you have your eclipse set up? And have you, besides tinkering with that, tried to load the bl5 preset yet theough the app?Big Smile

New: Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beovision eclipse, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound 1 Bronze edition, Beoplay M3.

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Old: Beolab 1's, beolab 2, beovision 10-46, overture 2300, beolab 8000's, beolab 4000's, beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your patience, I am pleased to confirm that the video review of the speakers is now live at the link below:-

https://youtu.be/RUVGQSU8FBE

Please let me know what you think......

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

MaxH
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MaxH replied on Sat, Jun 8 2019 11:53 AM

Good work, Steve  Really interesting and I am prepared to accept that - without compromise of any kind - the 90s are supreme.

Your conclusion though is the aspect that most resonates with me. Since getting the 50s I have rediscovered my love of music and have found myself actually really listening as I used to do years ago instead of the wallpaper music I have become accustomed to.

Many thanks for your and Winslow’s efforts.

M

Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sat, Jun 8 2019 1:35 PM
Thanks for the great video!
valve1
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valve1 replied on Sat, Jun 8 2019 3:42 PM

Well done Steve !

BEOVOX141
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Hi Steve

What was the final set list?

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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BEOVOX141:

Hi Steve

What was the final set list?

Hmmm...  We spent over an hour listening in the end (a big "Thank You" to Nick at B&O Wilmslow for his patience!), with some of my tracks, some of Nick's and some suggested by Geoff Martin, including:-

  • Roxette - Silver Blue
  • Frank Sinatra - Fly me to the moon
  • Madonna - Sorry
  • Donald Fagen - Morph the cat
  • James Blake - Limit to your love
  • Sting - Englishman in New York
  • ......plus sections of a Phil Collins live concert with three drum kits

I could have gladly stayed there all day playing more music! Whistle Thanks for everyone for your comments and suggestions, these are greatly appreciated - I would certainly recommend hearing all three speakers together if you are considering any one of them.

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

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Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

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