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It’s about time for another LS3/5a ( plus others ) Shootout.

Discussion in 'classic' started by Martyn Miles, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    This may be the case, but I have not seen any documentation or reporting as to who makes (what kind of) determinations at the BBC, or how they do it. Conjecture is not the same as hard information.
     
  2. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy How’d all these people get in my room?

    I saw Jerry from Falcon say that when he brought a sample speaker to the BBC to look at they were very excited to see them and when he mentioned about getting licensed they just waved his questions away saying ‘oh yes yes yes, of course you can have the license, but tell us how you made them...’ etc. But no, we don’t have an official statement on what goes into the decision to give a license.
     
  3. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Perhaps @Martyn Miles can ask Doug Stirling or others he knows in the business, just how the 'ls3/5a' determination is arrived at? (If it's not too forward an enquiry?).
     
  4. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I understand Falcon presented the BBC with a pair of their LS3/5as.
     
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I could ask Doug Stirling, but asking ‘canonman’ of this parish is probably the best idea.
    He was involved for many years building LS3/5as ( for Rogers, I believe ) and was heavily involved
    in the Rogers LS3/5a re-launch.
    The model made by Stirling Broadcast.
    Superb speakers.
    I wish I’d bought a pair...
     
  6. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    As I have said on several occasions, 'BBC licences/ licenses' 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 the original manufacturing days and the BBC are not interested now. Just told that you are not to bring the name of the BBC into disrepute. It used to cost £2K but may be more nowadays.
     
    Electrostat and Nagraboy like this.
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    These days it is just marketing IMHO as the BBC no longer (to my knowledge) use any LS3/5As, or for that matter any other BBC-designed monitors. They moved over to Dynaudio actives etc a long, long while ago. They have some MEGs too. The LS3/5A nameplate on the back sells products to audiophiles, and the BBC can make some money selling them, so they do! We also need to factor the BBC is a hugely diminished entity these days, a fraction of its historic size and much production is outsourced to private companies that use whatever monitoring kit they like.

    Anyone arguing that modern “LS3/5As” are actually that needs to understand how the BBC used them. As an example if one of a pair had an issue that one would be replaced from another in stock. Just the broken one, not the pair. This being why ex-BBC ‘pairs’ of LS3/5As, LS5/8s etc for sale so seldom match from a serial number perspective. As far as the BBC were concerned they all paired as they were all the same thing and met an incredibly tight spec. Is anyone really suggesting the various modern Stirling, Graham, Chinese, or whatever speakers that wear the badge these days are so similar regardless of the fact they use entirely different drivers and crossovers that they could be used randomly as pairs and still sound matched? If they couldn’t then they are not an LS3/5A!
     
    GML and Nagraboy like this.
  8. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I wonder if a modern Falcon could be dropped in with an old LS3/5a to make up a pair.
    Presumably it could.
    As for the Falcon ‘Gold Label’, I really don’t know.
    With them, and the Limited Edition ‘Kingswood Warren’, perhaps Falcon are also moving away
    from the BBC spec. to some extent.
     
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I have to admit I’ve no real idea what the Falcon limited editions are beyond the badge on the front.

    Obviously there are two different LS3/5A specs, the original 15 Ohm and the later 11 Ohm. Within each type there will be very slight changes between manufacturer, e.g. Rogers may have used one brand of resistor or capacitor, Spendor another, but the value of the components will be identical. It is a very tight spec with a clear design, schematic and BOM that then needs to meet a very specific measurement criteria.
     
  10. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    The 11 ohm spec. was easier to adhere to, as the re-worked B110s and crossovers were supplied
    to all the LS3/5a manufacturers by Kef.
     
  11. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    According to Stereophile measurements the Falcon LS3/5A has more HF energy than a vintage Rogers LS3/5A, but I'm not sure how much you can infer from that given the unpredictable spec drift that can affect drive units and crossover components over time...
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    My suspicion is there is a slight issue with the Falcon T27 right up at the very top (15-16kHz-ish) as that peak Stereophile measured is present on my 149s too despite not showing on measurements of both speakers from their own time (e.g. old Gramophone reviews etc). It doesn’t concern me as it is sadly above my hearing, and even if it wasn’t it would only translate as a little ‘air’ as there is nothing musical up that high (most mics are out of the game at about 14kHz anyway!).
     
  13. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I recall the Stirling V2 was much the same, compared with vintage Rogers LS3/5as.
     
  14. Radfordman

    Radfordman pfm Member

    Decades ago when my friend and I made speakers mainly for friends and friends of friends, and our hearing was better, we decided that the T27 had a slight sort of fizzle sound to it at the very top.
     
  15. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have read that somewhere, also when the perforated dome was fitted ( when the T27 was used in the LS3/5a ) it increased the ‘fizzle.’
     
  16. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I didn't measure the effect but there was a huge change to the sound when I fitted the mesh grilles the T27 tweeters in my IMF MCR2A's many moons ago. It appeared to reduce upper midrange / lower treble and increase upper treble, making 's' sounds more like 'sss' instead of 'sshh'.
     
  17. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy How’d all these people get in my room?

    Noticeable upper treble changes? You must’ve been a very young man back then! ;)

    I played a new Electronic track on my Falcons the other day and my boyfriend who’s 24yo asked me to turn it off because of the high treble annoying him, something I’d not noticed as I’m 40yo. He’d never commented on the treble before so it must’ve been an unusual electronic sound right up in the frequency range that’s not normally there.
     
    ampedup and ToTo Man like this.
  18. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I'm 34 now, so I must've been in my mid-20s then. When I say 'upper treble', the effect was probably in the 8kHz-16kHz region as I haven't been able to hear 20kHz since my late teens.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  19. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    This is getting interesting...
     
  20. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill pfm Member

    Hi Martyn,

    I ordered a pair of the Sound Artist LS3/5a's a few days ago. Now they very obviously AREN'T LS3/5a, but I would love to do some form of side by side test.

    I will be using them in a nearfield system.

    Depending where this get together will be held, post Covid, then I will be interested in joining you.

    ATB,

    M
     

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