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Rogers LS3/5a (BBC) Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 146 55.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 86 32.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 20 7.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 4.2%

  • Total voters
    263

GXAlan

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Scan as promised. The tech introduction does I recall state where the 'anechoic' tests were conducted

View attachment 329325
Tagging @amirm. But this is pretty clear that the speaker on test is as close to the original as can be expected. The woofer dip has always been there but was lost to the audiophile mythology.
 

MattHooper

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Oh and @MattHooper, the designer of the S3/5 I understand, is now at Harbeth ;) He said elsewhere he was proud of the S3/5.

Cool. The Harbeth SuperHL5plus that I owned was the other speaker that seemed to do vocals particularly well.
 

theREALdotnet

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Tagging @amirm. But this is pretty clear that the speaker on test is as close to the original as can be expected. The woofer dip has always been there but was lost to the audiophile mythology.

I reckon it’s pretty far from the way it sounded 40 years ago. It is clearly in need of a service. The resonances are a hint.

I’ve repaired LS3/5a speakers in the past, the oldest one of them about 30 years old. With that one, the beech batts that are glued along the plywood panel joints had come loose (could be broken off with the force of a finger) because the glue had crumbled. I had to clean off the old crusty glue and stick the batts back on with Titebond. The damping foam had also perished and needed to be replaced. Lastly, it is highly unlikely that the tested speaker is still air tight. The box test would reveal that, but I’m 100% sure that the front baffle gasket needs replacing, and the front baffle screws need tightening. The gasket and screws around the B110 probably, too.
 

GXAlan

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I reckon it’s pretty far from the way it sounded 40 years ago. It is clearly in need of a service. The resonances are a hint.
Well, I meant in response to the woofer dip. Great points on all that you have pointed out.
 

Sokel

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It's bad, 15 ohms of impedance.
1700988038016.jpeg


Get it now?
 

DSJR

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Cool. The Harbeth SuperHL5plus that I owned was the other speaker that seemed to do vocals particularly well.
My more 'organic' sounding 'non plus' is much the same, but I'm pining for that tactile 'active speaker' quality still, so the next few years will be telling as I won't have funds for what I'd really like speaker-wise back in my life :(
 

DSJR

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Are your HiFi Choice books falling apart at the binding like mine? It does make it easy to scan as the pages just fall out!
My first two speaker books and the first turntable one definitely are :(

If you have the 'yellow cover' Angus McKenzie authored speaker book from 1976, please take many of the results wit a pinch of salt, especially on the smaller speakers tested, as they were subjected to very cruel high power tests BEFORE the listening sessions (in the days when 50WPC was quite high and 80WPC was very high power into 8 ohms and the DC300A was an animal of an amp). Audiomaster had their two speakers basically annihilated by A McK and on their return, I remember Robin coming down from his office extremely angry and upset, showing us the heat damaged LS3/5A crossovers (board burned and caps now out of spec) and the BLOWN Image 2 boards with burned up caps and part melted coils. Audiomaster wasn't the only one and in fact even KEF at first refused to offer their new R105 to the publication to review (a London dealer supplied that pair - cough - and KEF, initially angry, were subsequently pleased the Colloms authored review was a very good one).
 

AudioSceptic

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Are your HiFi Choice books falling apart at the binding like mine? It does make it easy to scan as the pages just fall out!
I've also got a load of those. I need to dig them out and have a look.

BTW with modern digital cameras or smartphones, you can get a pretty good photo as good as a scan, as long as you can hold it still and perpendicular to the page(s). With a scanner, of course, the pages are flattened against the glass, which you can't do with a camera/phone, but I've got an A4 sheet of acrylic that I'm going to try (glass would be better as long as the edges are made safe).
 

AudioSceptic

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My more 'organic' sounding 'non plus' is much the same, but I'm pining for that tactile 'active speaker' quality still, so the next few years will be telling as I won't have funds for what I'd really like speaker-wise back in my life :(
Go on, then: what would it be? A big ATC?
 

DSJR

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Go on, then: what would it be? A big ATC?
Too damned heavy (and dems I've witnessed of 100ASL and 150ASL have had stands SPIKED to the floor as well - EEK!!!!!!! I don't effin' care if the response isn't as flat or directivity *quite* as good as modern boxes, I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear them and just settle into the music, forgetting the mechanics of the playback system for a while - isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

Having said that, I'd love to hear the KH420's which are so much cheaper (they look like smaller 100A's too :D) but I seriously don't need anything that good now. I'm currently having huge fun in the second rig with a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 7.2SE's I picked up for twenty odd quid, which are surprisingly good to listen through (they've never been properly tested though), the 'buy wire' links maybe adding some residual value as and when they're sold on.
 

DSJR

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I've also got a load of those. I need to dig them out and have a look.
Ummm - My originals were given away in a house move, but dealer friends and eBay came up trumps and as you can see, most have been VERY well read - cough... These stopped in 1987 when the rag became monthly and I checked out when that happened although the store bought them.

IMG_20231126_120933089.jpg
 

restorer-john

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Ummm - My originals were given away in a house move, but dealer friends and eBay came up trumps and as you can see, most have been VERY well read - cough... These stopped in 1987 when the rag became monthly and I checked out when that happened although the store bought them.

View attachment 329464

Wow! You do realize you are now the official HiFi Choice review repository don't you?
 

sergeauckland

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Ummm - My originals were given away in a house move, but dealer friends and eBay came up trumps and as you can see, most have been VERY well read - cough... These stopped in 1987 when the rag became monthly and I checked out when that happened although the store bought them.

View attachment 329464
A few of those were even written by proper engineers!
Angus Mckenzie and Hugh Ford. Anything with Paul Messenger's name to it would immediately be suspect.

S.
 

GXAlan

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you have to go back a little further to find the allure of BBC speakers but they were on the right track early on…with roots in EMI and B and W…please read the white paper above I could not figure out the hyperlink so you may need to copy and paste.

Yeah, and the BBC Monitor white paper shows improved measurements too. But the LS3/5 measurement from 1972 isn’t as good.

My understanding is that you had the BBC prototype -> LS3/5 where 20 or so were made -> LS3/5a Prototype which is the modern transducers with the fancy crossover (seen in the Falcon Gold) -> LS3/5a production models which had all sorts of variation.
 
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