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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
OP
amirm

amirm

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Wow, that it did something to your Mark Levinson amp!
Those amps died earlier :(. It is my other amp which up to now has been functional:
index.php


It is the one in the center. It is a 400 watt/channel class AB amp. Cost $20K before it got discontinued.

I will have to test it with another speaker to see what is going on.

Thinking about it, it could have been Roon glitching as well. Either way, it was a pretty bad scare!
 
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amirm

amirm

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Is there a way to do a measurement of this particular speaker with the Aiyama versus the ML? Would be interesting to see if the sweep changes when switching the amps.
I shipped this speaker back today so no chance of doing that. The ML amp weighs something like 100 pounds so it is not possible to move it to where the lab is. The AIYIMA for sure is changing the response. Audiohlic's Jamese Larson was testing amps with similar class D amp, and they found out a few months ago that it was changing response of the speakers he was measuring. So the effect is real.
 

The_Lone_Funman

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"...people buying stories instead of a proper design..."

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

What an sagacious turn of phrase! People have been sold and are buying stories instead of objective vetted: science, engineering, and production values -- sadly appears to be the standard for modern marketing at large...

The only interesting, and potentially credible iteration of the LS3/5A that I've come across, and it was only a perfunctory listen, isn't even technically an LS3/5A, is the Falcon Acoustics Q7 which has a deeper than 5A standard box to get the Q down to 0.7, and a more modern crossover...

No idea if it's any good; the approach appears sound but the price is steep for a dice roll on a promise of sound engineering, and 'a story '... The Raymond Cooke story is however quite compelling, from the BBC; to Wharfedale, then founding KEF, his AES papers, books, and engineering prowess were impressive...

Thanks always Amrim for the erudite analysis!
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

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After reading the EDIT containing the listening & EQ review then this makes me think it's an even worse speaker than I imagined! Just not really a speaker to own under any situation!
 

Westsounds

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Still they are better value for money than spending 2.5k on a set of Rogers, Falcon / Whoever!
 

DSJR

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I think I'd sooner have a pair of smaller Diamond 12 series and save even more money!!! Easy to buy, easy to use and shouldn't drop so badly in value if sold on later.
 

LSPhil

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Many people appreciate the vintage character of the LS3/5a. It harkens back to a time when BBC studios and high-end audio systems around the world used this speaker.
Studios often use reference monitors such as the Rogers LS3/5a or other models with known non-linearity and precision. Sound engineers adjust their mixes on these monitors to ensure the sound is reproduced well on as many different systems as possible. Sound engineers make subjective decisions during the mixing process. These decisions can be based on the specific characteristics of the monitor. The Rogers LS3/5a has earned its reputation over the years due to its use in professional studios and its suitability for specific applications. The historical context can contribute to people evaluating its sound characteristics as positive. When these mixes are played on a good speaker with a linear characteristic, unexpected results may occur.
Here is my idea to carry out targeted equalization (equalizer adjustment) and integrate it into the preamplifier.
The result is an acoustic copy of the LS3/5a, where the old recordings sound the way the sound engineer wanted them to. here is my result:
 

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MaxwellsEq

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Many people appreciate the vintage character of the LS3/5a. It harkens back to a time when BBC studios and high-end audio systems around the world used this speaker.
Studios often use reference monitors such as the Rogers LS3/5a or other models with known non-linearity and precision. Sound engineers adjust their mixes on these monitors to ensure the sound is reproduced well on as many different systems as possible. Sound engineers make subjective decisions during the mixing process. These decisions can be based on the specific characteristics of the monitor. The Rogers LS3/5a has earned its reputation over the years due to its use in professional studios and its suitability for specific applications. The historical context can contribute to people evaluating its sound characteristics as positive. When these mixes are played on a good speaker with a linear characteristic, unexpected results may occur.
Here is my idea to carry out targeted equalization (equalizer adjustment) and integrate it into the preamplifier.
The result is an acoustic copy of the LS3/5a, where the old recordings sound the way the sound engineer wanted them to. here is my result:
You might want to move this to the legitimate LS3/5A review thread. This is a review of an utterly cr** clone whose only similarity with the BBC specification is the cabinet size!

 

TurnerGuy

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The LS3/5a sound and prescense owe a fair bt to the main driver being recessed behind the baffle, it would be hard to get the same 'LS3/5a' effect with drivers mounted on the front.
 

Norville

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Contrary to everyone here it seems I love these little speakers.

Certainly better than Dynaudio BM5, DALI Zensor 2, Heco Victa Prime, Mission LX-2, Dynaudio Excite X18, Wharfedale Denton 80th, all of which haven't made me enjoy the music as much.

But I don't think I belong here, I don't let measurements guide me when buying gear. I love my tubes and such. And I never enjoyed the cold character of Topping and S.M.S.L.

Neutral is not flat. Doesn't sound live at all. Just my opinion. It'll probably bother you guys here. But hey, good that we are all are different.
 

Westsounds

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Contrary to everyone here it seems I love these little speakers.

Certainly better than Dynaudio BM5, DALI Zensor 2, Heco Victa Prime, Mission LX-2, Dynaudio Excite X18, Wharfedale Denton 80th, all of which haven't made me enjoy the music as much.

But I don't think I belong here, I don't let measurements guide me when buying gear. I love my tubes and such. And I never enjoyed the cold character of Topping and S.M.S.L.

Neutral is not flat. Doesn't sound live at all. Just my opinion. It'll probably bother you guys here. But hey, good that we are all are different.
Thanks for the info. And you very much belong here. Science is meant to be continually challenged, and your opinion is as valid as anyone's. Glad you've found a speaker you really enjoy, it's good to hear! Would like to hear those myself one day.
 

DSJR

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Contrary to everyone here it seems I love these little speakers.

Certainly better than Dynaudio BM5, DALI Zensor 2, Heco Victa Prime, Mission LX-2, Dynaudio Excite X18, Wharfedale Denton 80th, all of which haven't made me enjoy the music as much.

But I don't think I belong here, I don't let measurements guide me when buying gear. I love my tubes and such. And I never enjoyed the cold character of Topping and S.M.S.L.

Neutral is not flat. Doesn't sound live at all. Just my opinion. It'll probably bother you guys here. But hey, good that we are all are different.
I'll bite - a bit.

Topping and SMSL are almost certainly NOT cold in character, but your speakers may have a peaky upper mid and sharp hf end which might give you that impression!

Take it from someone who's been there - we almost ALWAYS blame a bad sound on the wrong component and can live in denial for years sometimes, as I did while all the time my ears were failing at mid-hf frequencies (I summed a few speakers up as 'dull with tinsel' until I was almost forcibly (by my wife and son) educated by three hearing tests into realising how far the mid kHz region had suffered in my ears' sensitivity)...

If you think your ears and the mind/personality behind them are infallible for you, then fair enough at this time, but I can assure you (along with most here over 50 or 60), that one day you'll be fooled in your subjective impressions - and then a whole load of doubts will creep in as the subjectivist wall comes crashing down around your once seemingly infallible ears!!!

Why not stay, go hear as much live unamplified music as you can as well and maybe your perceptions may change. I mean, I don't follow the crowd here and a classic case for me is my love of larger three-driver active ATC's which are a bit dated technically now but which 'sound' so convincing to me. Contrast that with some amazingly well 'measuring' and technically advanced Genelecs, which at least two people here (one a recording/mastering? engineer) have suggested don't sound 'right,' with some kind of upper mid/lower top 'resonance' that's difficult to pick up on but seemingly easy to hear when compared with their traditional in-line bass-mid-top actives.

So much to learn still and I'm still enjoying the ride although out of it now apart from here...
 

Norville

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I'll bite - a bit.

Topping and SMSL are almost certainly NOT cold in character, but your speakers may have a peaky upper mid and sharp hf end which might give you that impression!

Take it from someone who's been there - we almost ALWAYS blame a bad sound on the wrong component and can live in denial for years sometimes, as I did while all the time my ears were failing at mid-hf frequencies (I summed a few speakers up as 'dull with tinsel' until I was almost forcibly (by my wife and son) educated by three hearing tests into realising how far the mid kHz region had suffered in my ears' sensitivity)...

If you think your ears and the mind/personality behind them are infallible for you, then fair enough at this time, but I can assure you (along with most here over 50 or 60), that one day you'll be fooled in your subjective impressions - and then a whole load of doubts will creep in as the subjectivist wall comes crashing down around your once seemingly infallible ears!!!

Why not stay, go hear as much live unamplified music as you can as well and maybe your perceptions may change. I mean, I don't follow the crowd here and a classic case for me is my love of larger three-driver active ATC's which are a bit dated technically now but which 'sound' so convincing to me. Contrast that with some amazingly well 'measuring' and technically advanced Genelecs, which at least two people here (one a recording/mastering? engineer) have suggested don't sound 'right,' with some kind of upper mid/lower top 'resonance' that's difficult to pick up on but seemingly easy to hear when compared with their traditional in-line bass-mid-top actives.

So much to learn still and I'm still enjoying the ride although out of it now apart from here...
I'm mostly a headphone guy. And I usually EQ around 3100 Hz if there's an annoying peak. I know what upper mid can cause.

Topping headphone amps do sound cold. Don't like the character. I've been through multiple. But I do think that DACs should sound uncolored and that the speakers and amps should be what's coloring the sound to one's individual taste. That is it EQ can't fix it

I've heard top of the line Genelec 8381 at my good friend who is a premium reseller of Genelec and with GLM they can be made to sound absolutely brilliant. Just not warm enough for me, although adding a bass shelf can help a lot, and yeah, dealing with the upper mids.

My favourite Genelecs are the 8361 and if EQ or some kind of tube preamp can correct them to my taste, then they are my endgame.
 

Penelinfi

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I'm mostly a headphone guy. And I usually EQ around 3100 Hz if there's an annoying peak. I know what upper mid can cause.

Topping headphone amps do sound cold. Don't like the character. I've been through multiple. But I do think that DACs should sound uncolored and that the speakers and amps should be what's coloring the sound to one's individual taste. That is it EQ can't fix it

I've heard top of the line Genelec 8381 at my good friend who is a premium reseller of Genelec and with GLM they can be made to sound absolutely brilliant. Just not warm enough for me, although adding a bass shelf can help a lot, and yeah, dealing with the upper mids.

My favourite Genelecs are the 8361 and if EQ or some kind of tube preamp can correct them to my taste, then they are my endgame.
EQ "fixed" my multiple headphones in ways that any amplifier simply cannot.
 

EXIF68

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The problem is:
the speaker should have a linear fequency response under all angles
the amp should have a ruler flat frequency response and super low dirturbances
the DAC have the same on a higher level, eg lower distor
so far so good.
then you as a biological individual system are comming:
the human ear is all, but not linear in frequency response and disturbance level. And there are no two Individuums with the exact same ear conditions. Additionally ist’s time depended And gets tired after a while of (loud) hearing.
So you can imagine the different response from one high end system to several listeners.…
 

MaxwellsEq

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Contrary to everyone here it seems I love these little speakers.

Certainly better than Dynaudio BM5, DALI Zensor 2, Heco Victa Prime, Mission LX-2, Dynaudio Excite X18, Wharfedale Denton 80th, all of which haven't made me enjoy the music as much.

But I don't think I belong here, I don't let measurements guide me when buying gear. I love my tubes and such. And I never enjoyed the cold character of Topping and S.M.S.L.

Neutral is not flat. Doesn't sound live at all. Just my opinion. It'll probably bother you guys here. But hey, good that we are all are different.
Are you saying you like BBC LS3/5A speakers? Or do you like THESE specific speakers which are fake clones totally unlike LS3/5As and which measure and sound bad?
 

Norville

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The problem is:
the speaker should have a linear fequency response under all angles
the amp should have a ruler flat frequency response and super low dirturbances
the DAC have the same on a higher level, eg lower distor
so far so good.
then you as a biological individual system are comming:
the human ear is all, but not linear in frequency response and disturbance level. And there are no two Individuums with the exact same ear conditions. Additionally ist’s time depended And gets tired after a while of (loud) hearing.
So you can imagine the different response from one high end system to several listeners.…
Yes, HRTF comes into play and psychoacoustics.
 

MaxwellsEq

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I'm saying I like the Sound Artists.

Have you actually heard them?
Fortunately not. I can't understand why anyone would want speakers as bad as these

On the other hand I have heard hundreds of different BBC LS3/5As.
 

Penelinfi

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It's quite possible that some people may actually like something that colours the sound. After all, musical instruments are like that.
Despite me going for good measurements speakers , sometimes I amp the equaliser right up with mega hard limiting or clipping with narrow band peaks because it sounds interesting to me
 
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