The Red 50’s limitations are more stated aims of the design than shortcomings proper. It’s a loudspeaker designed to make a big, fun sound from a small speaker in a small room. Break those design criteria and it shows. If you want ELAC-like lean, clean, and fast sound, buy an ELAC. If you want LS3/5a-like fidelity, then buy a pair of LS3/5a. If you expect gut-churning bass, or you have a room you could tango in and never touch the sides, buy a bigger loudspeaker. There will be a contingent of listeners who will protest that any loudspeaker tuned to deliver a bit of a lift in the upper bass cannot be considered ‘high fidelity’ because ‘high fidelity’ in such a rigid definition means ‘flat frequency response’. I’d suggest they shut up and listen, but this is the same contingent completely unable to do either. The rest of us will be happy listening to a lot of music on loudspeakers like the Red 50.
The ‘discs strewn around the floor’ cliché is kind of irrelevant now (because so much music is stored or streamed) and the idea of spending hour upon hour listening to music enrapt is fairly hard to reconcile with our time-poor modern lives. So a good loudspeaker needs to be quickly captivating, capable of drawing you in whether you have the time to play one track or a whole back catalogue. And that’s what the Red 50 does so well. It puts a very big smile on your face when you get those rare moments where you can listen to music. And that means you find time for more music.
Reviews build an elaborate vocabulary, which is in part useful for padding out the pages. We write of soundstaging, inky-black inter-transient silences, micro-dynamic shading, and lots of other terms that attempt to create a linguistic interpretation of sound. This can be useful, but can also get in the way when something is just ‘right’. And I think, for many people, the Russell K Red 50 is just ‘right’. It’s enjoyable, musically insightful, easy to partner, and easy to love. Very highly recommended.
Type: Two-way, two-driver stand-mount monitor with rear-ported bass reflex enclosure.
Driver complement: 25mm soft dome tweeter, one 130mm doped paper mid-bass driver.
Frequency response: 45Hz–20kHz
Crossover frequency: 2.2kHz (2nd order)
Impedance: eight ohms nominal
Dimensions (H×W×D): 30 × 20.4 × 20cm
Finishes: Walnut Oak or Mahogany veneer, Piano Black, or High‑Gloss White.
Price (excluding stands): £975 (std finishes), £1,100 (piano gloss), £79 (optional grille)
Manufacturer: Russell K Ltd
UK Distributor: Kog Audio
Tel: +44(0)2477 220650