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LS3/5a question

Discussion in 'audio' started by GF670, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    You’ve definitely got to try them. They do seem to come alive with good valves upstream IME. I’m very pleased my first LS3/5A listening was in this context (my Falcons got hooked straight up to the Leaks). I recently picked up a nice Pass class A solid state amp, and I’ve not got the LS3/5As to sing on that yet, they much prefer valves to my ears, whereas the 149s sound very good on the Pass. It all goes to show just how important context/synergy is as if you were trying to decide which speaker was “best” you’d pick one pair in one context, the other pair in the other. No overall winner, just different systems. I’ve become increasingly jaded by people (paid reviewers or punters) ranking stuff as everything is about context. Everything anyone says about anything is true to their reality, e.g. LS3/5As really can sound dull as ditchwater in the wrong context, just as they can sound amazing in the right one.
    Niel Blackwood and GF670 like this.
  2. amazement

    amazement pfm Member

    Synergy so important, I just moved my LS50 Metas on as they just didn’t gel with me or the system, so as a stop gap I’m using a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 20 I’ve had tucked away and it’s pure magic but the speakers are way out of kilter price wise to the rest of the system. Soundstage, imaging, tonal realism all there. Makes me wonder why spend more.
    Niel Blackwood and PhilofCas like this.
  3. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    Thanks Tony. It's time for me to downsize my aging 'separate component' system so the idea of a new 10-15w. tube integrated is appealing. I have heard Rogers LS3/5a decades ago and if I remember well, they were very good to my ears but not so much with music from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and stuff like that so at the time I went for Kef 105.4's that had the same drivers + a couple of 8 inches.

    I also had a few ProAc's, including the 1sc's but i'm not sure a small integrated such as a Luxman SQ-N150 or a Leben CS-300f would drive them easily. So I guess I will head for the nearest Falcon dealer to hear some real high impedance ls3/5a's anew!
  4. Nagraboy

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

    I had the Leben CS300XS for 5 years with the Harbeth P3ESR and briefly with the Spendor S3/5R. One of the best matches I’ve had. I’ve seen people using Falcons with the Leben too and I’m sure it’s fine. I use a Leak 20 with my Falcons and it has the same output valves as the Leben.
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Stewart Tyler (RIP) designed his speakers with valves in mind and they tend to be very good matches IMO, arguably only really showing their potential so driven. He used to do shows with a lot of large Audio Research kit during the 1SC era. The little ProAcs are fairly efficient for a small speaker too IIRC, I’m sure they are all 86db or better. I very briefly had a pair of Ref 8 Sigs as a stop-gap between Tannoys and they sounded lovely on the Prima Luna I had at the time. I’m prepared to bet a Leak would sound great into them, so by extension a Leben should too. The thing with valve amps and mini-monitors to my mind is the efficiency is irrelevant as no one in their right mind wants to crank a tiny speaker up to high volume. Assuming the speakers don’t present an awkward reactive load a decent 12-15 Watt valve amp will easy get you to 95db peaks with headroom to spare, and why would you want more than that from a 5-6” bass mid? Go beyond that and you start getting all manner of distortion even on the end of a 200W Krell or whatever. It’s just physics. Want loud? Need big.
    Niel Blackwood and Robby like this.
  6. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Lots of speakers will have great midband reproduction, ATC are feted for it but that misses the point of them (see Tony’s post up thread).
  7. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    Yes, Mr.Taylor was a very nice man and he helped me out through the Canadian distributor when I had to replace a 11ohm ProAc/Scanspeak driver on Super Towers. I will add the Tablette 10 to the list of suitable speakers.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d add the DB1 to the list too as that looks to be the 1SC replacement.
    Tarzan likes this.
  9. sktn77a

    sktn77a pfm Member

    The original rationale was to be able to do precisely this. Never tried it so can't comment further.
  10. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    What music do you play Sir?:)
  11. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    The BBC did that regularly. I recall being in the old Glasgow studios and seeing a very early Goodmans 15 Ohm paired with a relatively new Rogers 11 Ohm. Ditto at World Service with an early Chartwell and late Spendor.

    Incidentally, the official Spendor position was that all their LS3/5a were classed as 8 Ohm....
  12. novak

    novak pfm Member

    I recently bought some Falcon LS3/5A Gold Badge. I think they're excellent speakers, and I believe they deserve the Stereophile 'class A' rating.

    My amp is a Jadis Orchestra REF SE. It seems like a great match.

    I have owned a few pairs of P3ESR through the last 10 years, and also heard the XD at home more recently. The latter were very similar IMO, perhaps a little extra treble but wasn't convinced that this flavour enhanced them or not. Both models are excellent.

    Harbeth speakers have always been my go-to, and have owned various models depending on room size. SLH5+ are my all-time favourite, I love the extra 'air' and dynamics, and their ability to sound great at very low volumes.

    Back to the mini boxes, compared to the P3ESR, I'd say the Falcons sound a touch more open and are more versatile across genres, sounding a little faster and more monitor like. The Harbeth P3ESR are also fantastic and are one of my all-time favourites. They have a warmer balance, perhaps a little weightier in the bass (although I'm not sure they go any deeper, just sounded a little thicker) and are, of course, very smooth. Occasionally I felt they lacked a little verve, which is what the Falcons bring. I would take either, but the Falcons perhaps have the edge in terms of their versatility and insight, without losing the glorious midrange. It's very room dependent though, I found the P3ESR a little more fleshed out in our previous space, which was larger.

    It would be good to compare them more thoroughly side by side in the future, but I now only have the Falcons. Both are excellent and will bring hours of happy listening.

    If all goes to plan, we're due to move in a few months, so will be looking for something larger to suit a room that's around 6mx5m, which I guess might be too big for the little LS3/5A? If so, the Falcons will most likely stay and be will be situated in a smaller room.
    TLS and GF670 like this.
  13. GF670

    GF670 pfm Member

    These days I tend to listen to a lot of folk and jazz, at fairly moderate volumes. Some classical as well.
    Tarzan likes this.
  14. GF670

    GF670 pfm Member

    That’s a great comparison.

    Interesting point about room size too - my main listening room is 7m x 3m, with speakers on the long wall around 2.5m apart. My thinking is that if I had something small like an LS3/5a I could pull them a meter or so out so would be less than 2m away for listening. I don’t know how well this would work.
  15. Nagraboy

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

    I’d tend to agree with @novak for the most part, but I’d probably say the P3ESR is the better all-rounder due to that deeper perceived bass reach and smoothness he mentions. Also that they can be played a touch louder than the Falcons without stress, which all helps the P3 in genres like various types of electronic and symphonic music.

    You can’t really lose picking either, but you will likely find one suits you better than the other. As Tony said earlier, the 15 Ohm Falcon does make a particularly fine case for itself when paired with vintage valve amps - and even the Quad 303, which @The Bish enjoyed at my house this morning.
    GF670 likes this.
  16. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    Your Falcons are special with the 303, they do that disappearing act very well and whilst being very accurate they are very musical. Voices are something else!
    Nagraboy likes this.
  17. Nagraboy

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

    Thanks, I’d have to agree. Moving them a little closer to the listening position has made quite a worthwhile improvement - or is it the Marantz doing that??
  18. The Bish

    The Bish pfm Member

    The source definitely shines through with the Falcons...
  19. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I really will have to listen to these Gold Badge Falcons sometime.
    No stockists nearby, unfortunately.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m sure I’ll cave in at some point and stump up the absurd amount of money for a pair of Gold Label crossovers for my pair. I can’t imagine ever selling them on so it kind of makes sense to at least hear both options.

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