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Are Linn Kans and LS3/5As similar?

Discussion in 'classic' started by Flashman, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Flashman

    Flashman Member

    I've not heard either but obviously read plenty on both.
    They certainly look similar. Is a Kan a flat earth version of the other?
  2. Flashman

    Flashman Member

    That should be 3/5s !
  3. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    They use the same drive units and are similar in size but other than that they couldn't be more different! The Kan is a terrible squawk box and one of the worst speakers ever made whereas the LS3/5A is a true BBC monitor design of great accuracy in the mid and treble. Neither will go low or really loud as they're so small.
  4. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    They are as different as chalk and cheese.

    The kan is a rhythmically agile tuneful speaker. It's compromised but gets the fundamentals right.

    The ls3/5a is a tuneless dirgemeister devoid of any redeeming positive qualities. A classic example of a product so over engineered as to have designed out its basic function.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

  6. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    I've listened to the LS3/5A on a few occasions and had a 'ho-hum' reaction. I much prefer the Harbeth p3esr.

    I have heard the Kans on numerous occasions and think they're the most god-awful sounding things on the face of the planet. Ok for plinky plonky stuff, but feed them anything complex and they'll have you heading for the hills.
  7. jules68leo

    jules68leo pfm Member

    Buy some Royd Edens bloody amazing!

    Had Kans for about 22 years never heard proper LS3/5a
  8. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    They look similar but that’s as far as it goes. Never heard LS 3/5As (though I heard, and enjoyed, JR 149s which share some DNA). I’ve heard Kans and personally thought them one of the worst sounding speakers I’ve come across. Shouty, shouty.
  9. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    I think I read somewhere that Kans originated when a batch of unused LS3/5A boxes became available?
  10. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Possibly, I heard they were developed as cheap in car speakers for someone at Linn.
  11. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    There isn’t half some bollocks written on here.
  12. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    You have a problem with opinions? I believe that that was what the OP asked for. o_O
  13. Fatmarley

    Fatmarley Agnostic

    I can't speak for other kans but my mk2 were only harsh when used with some Naim amps (42 102 180). With the Onix OA21 they were fine but seriously lacked bass and needed a subwoofer to fill out the low end.
  14. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    This is what I was told by Alan Shaw when we had a conversation about them.
  15. lazycat

    lazycat pfm Member

    Kans are for playing music. Maybe not so good on dub..

    In the 70s/80s, LS3/5As were available on prescription for insomniacs(after all else had failed) and had a high success rate. They were also occasionally used to aid a difficult anaesthesia, again with some success.
    docstocker and Rico like this.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Both great speakers IMO, but very different. LS3/5As are truly superb on acoustic music and have astonishing abilities when it comes to creating a soundstage. If you mainly like jazz, string quartets, female vocal etc they may be amongst the best speakers you ever get to hear. They need to be away from walls on high-mass stands and ideally driven with a very nice valve amp. Kans are the polar opposite, they need to be hard against a solid rear wall, on their dedicated open-frame stands and driven with a good fast and punchy solid state amp. They are not great tonally, but superb fun on rock and pop music and are a wonderful speaker if you are stuck in a little rented flat or whatever. If you like classical music forget them as they can’t do the scale and are just too odd tonally.

    I really like them both and owned Kans for well over a decade driven with various Naim amps right up to 135s, though given how my musical tastes have changed I’d now pick LS3/5As out the two now. I actually have JR149s for my mini-monitor fix which represent a very nice mid-point between the two being punchier and grippier than 3/5As and having far better tonality and soundstaging abilities than Kans.
    Wolfmancatsup, irb and Wilson like this.
  17. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Precisely! :cool:
  18. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    They're both loudspeakers (more or less).
    That's about where any resemblance stops.

    Both, however, are in the Marmite love/hate category. In the wrong system, either can be made to sound pretty appalling. In the right system, either can manage to sound brilliant on, oh, typically about 2-3 albums out of 10.

    The downside to both, IMO, is that each has such obvious and frequently intrusive limitations that they can tend to end up dictating the type of music you play on them, which for me is kind of putting the cart before the horse.

    As you can probably tell, I'm not really a fan of either.
  19. Ragaman

    Ragaman Mentalist

    Agree, get hold of the Eden's , they outperform both IMO.
  20. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    IME, even Akoyd 7 perform better than both.

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