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SoundArtist ("BBC") LS3/5A Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 183 93.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 5 2.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 3.6%

  • Total voters
    196

DanielT

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View attachment 328969
Minimum impedance of just 1.7 ohm??? Roger's response was some 9 ohm at the same spot. Not only is that wrong, it will be very tough load for amplifiers.
Good consumer information about this with the impedance.:)

What does the manufacturer specify about the speaker's Ohms? Now, IF the speaker you tested is not broken and IF the manufacturer does not point this out with a dip in impedance, then it should be considered almost illegal to sell them. :oops:o_O Considering they seem to have the potential to destroy amps.

Amir, I don't usually point out in your tests that there might be something wrong with the stuff, but in the case of the SoundArtist ("BBC") LS3/5A, I wonder if there's seriously something wrong with the ones you've tested, or what do you think?
 

Galliardist

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It's a fake. Let's not mince words or think of it in remotely the same way as the Falcon or Rogers versions which have the license. It has nothing to do with the BBC.
 

peniku8

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There are so many variations over the years with different versions, clones, tolerances and ageing that people who think get THE LS3/5 sound can get quite different "intepretations" of it. ;)
The measurements of Stereophile in the past had also shown that:
So there *is* a chance that one "interpretation" of it is pretty good just by pure chance? :D
 

DSJR

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Proper B110 is a Bextrene cone (not sure if all versions are doped but the classic one always was. Crossover Network of the official BBC licenced model was extensive and the midrange 'scoop' pretty common to all although earliest ones seemed flatter as the 1.5khz peak was barely there and the 120hz bump more pronounced as a result, if you see what I mean. Below a 'reference' version (no idea whether 11 or 15 ohm, but I suspect the former) and below that, a slightly confusing comparison of a Rogers sample which looks to have the 1/5khz issue and the 5/9 with the upper hundred hertz scoop as preferred by the editing suite staff I gather.

ls35a.JPG


LS3 5a and LS 5 9 overlap.jpg
 

Sokel

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Highly likely (TM)

It just should be renamed, its 1/5 if we count Rogers as 3/5 and good speakers as 5/5:)
Also looks like the marketing team was a little hasty listing them,it should be:

SoundArtist Rogers Harbeth Falcon Acoustics Graham Audio Musical Fidelity ,etc LS3/5A Monitor Bookshelf HIFI Speakers Passive Loudspeakers A Pair​

 

OldTimer

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It's very bad because it has 11 ohms of impedance. The lower the better, right?
 

Svensson

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Many people will favour the looks, the nostalgia sound preference (normalise to the sound?). None of those work for me, so unfortunately, voted "Poor".
 

Sonny1

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Wow! That was a lot worse than I expected and my expectations were low! You get very bad response across the board and get to blow your amp in the process. Finally a speaker Danny can improve! Throw some No-Rez, a set of tube connectors, some boutique caps, audiophile internal wires on those and $500 bucks later, you are in business!
 

CleanSound

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I wonder if it's
There are so many variations over the years with different versions, clones, tolerances and ageing that people who think get THE LS3/5 sound can get quite different "intepretations" of it. ;)
The measurements of Stereophile in the past had also shown that:
This leads me to wonder if BBC ever share the technical built specs of these speakers. If there are so many versions of these BBC speakers and none of them measurements remotely similar, how are they building it? Did they looked at a picture and build it to visual resemblance?

Well, the bottom line is, one can cross these BBC speakers off of their list.
 

NHL99

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o_O ‘BBC licences over the last 20 years are commercial agreements to use the name, not technical.
There’s no staff anymore to check them as they used to do in original manufacturing days,
and BBC are not interested now. Just told not to bring the name of the BBC into disrepute.
It used to cost £2K, but may be more nowadays.’ o_O
 

RandomEar

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I got a kick out of that "CE" mark. What exactly did they test?
It means "that the manufacturer or importer affirms the goods' conformity with European health, safety, and environmental protection standards.". CE markings are not reserved for mains powered devices - childrens toys for example can (and should) have them.

If the speakers were made in China, it could also mean "China Export"! The font of the 'CE' logo varies very slightly between the two.
No. That is an urban legend that refuses to die. The regulations concerning the letters and the CE logo overall are quite lax:
The CE marking must be visible, legible and indelible.

The CE marking must consist of the initials "CE", both letters should have the same vertical dimension and be no smaller than 5mm (unless specified differently in the relevant product requirements).
Tiny differences in the logo don't mean anything. Also, the CE marking is self-certified. By using it, the manufacturer or importer itself assures you and everybody else that he definitely checked all those 10 billion EU regulations and that his products absolutely complies with all of them. The result is that lots of products carry the marking, but the manufacturer never actually bothered to check if the product is technically allowed to carry it. I assume that this problem is also the basis for that "China Export" urban legend.

EDIT: You could loosely interpret the CE marking as the opposite of California's Proposition 65. Many consumer products sold in CA carry the cancer warning, even if the dangerous component will never come in contact with you or pose any actual risk. This effectively renders the warning meaningless. Opposed to that outcome, most consumer products sold in the EU carry the CE marking, but you never know if they actually comply with all the regulations. That renders the marking essentially meaningless ;)
 
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fpitas

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It's very bad because it has 11 ohms of impedance. The lower the better, right?
No, not really, unless it's car audio, where you're often voltage limited.
 

BadAudioAdvice

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So I am the unfortunate owner of these speakers.

I bought them based on all the positive reviews on YouTube when they were first released (note to self - never believe a word that was said by those reviewers again). My hope was that due to their supposed 11-ohm impedance I could make an era-appropriate system with a Quad 33/303 I am going to refurbish.

In case some might wonder if the one I sent Amir might be a bad sample, I can say that I measured each in the pair I have with a DATS v3 and both speakers had nearly identical impedance/phase measurements.

Now I have a dilemma, what to do with the speakers since I have them, and don't feel comfortable selling them with the terrible impedance dip.

The only redeeming quality is the cabinet.

Do I replace the speaker drivers? I don't mind spending a little bit of money to make them into something decent.
Passive with high impedance would be great so I could still pair them with the Quad.

Or I could make them active, so that I could plug a record player direct into them.

I also see that I could adjust the response with EQ, but that wouldn't solve the 1.7ohm problem...

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 
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