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Stirling Broadcast LS3/5a V3 Review.

Discussion in 'classic' started by Martyn Miles, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I hooked up the Quad IIs today......brilliant! The Quads have enormous grunt, and drive the Stirling V3s easily with only a 1/4 turn of my valve preamp volume control. Completely free from hum or hiss too. I find the amp/speaker combination to be particularly successful.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    ArtK, sideshowbob, Nagraboy and 2 others like this.
  2. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Running the V3s with a valve amp is something I’d like to try.
    Doug Stirling’s recommendation of the Marantz PM6004 amp. has been very successful for me.
    It works very well with an expensive Sony CD player I have.
    The Sony is so smooth and ( almost ) laid back but with detail, and gives a ‘big’ image.
    Works really well with the Stirlings.
     
    Nagraboy and Panderos like this.
  3. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    @ampedup What is the finish on your Stirlings?:)
     
  4. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Rosewood.
    And it’s superb.
     
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have a good relationship with Doug and I’m more than happy to help promote his speakers.

    To my ears his products are honest with no ‘spin’ attached to them.
    He’s a really lovely guy, as is his designer Derek Hughes.

    As for commission, Doug is always quick to help me out with components and advice.
    What more could you want ?
     
    wacko likes this.
  6. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    One of my ‘test tracks’ is a particular song by the Irish singer Mary Black.
    I played it when the V3s arrived in January and my jaw dropped in dis-belief.

    I thought I knew it, but the V3s showed I didn’t.

    It was the way her voice sort of ‘hangs in the air’, detached from the backing but still part of it.
    It is difficult to put into words, but you’ll understand I’m sure.
     
    Panderos, ampedup and Robby like this.
  7. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    I love Mary Black - she is a wonderful singer. Which track in particular are referring to please?
     
  8. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    I will be auditioning the Stirling V3 soon, will share my feedback
     
    Tarzan likes this.
  9. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    It’s ‘Treasure Island’ from the Holy Ground album.

    I’m playing it now.
    She’s singing and it’s ‘right in front of me’ but you can easily follow the bass line, or anything else.
    The bass is important to me, as I used to play bass guitar.
    ‘Summer Sent You’ is much the same.

    I’ve had these V3s for seven months now and I still can’t quite believe how good they are.
     
    Panderos and Robby like this.
  10. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I chose the 'English Oak' finish on my V3s. It turned out to be a very good choice. Pretty.
     
    Tarzan likes this.
  11. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    An interesting observation. I, too, am finding new relationships with familiar music. Actually, the V3s are revealing to me how good my vinyl playback system is.....revealing depth and detail that I had not paid attention to before. I will try Mary Black too.
     
  12. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    Thank you. Will have to dig that album out.
     
  13. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    You appear to have quite a sophisticated vinyl replay system, though I can’t quite work out what you
    have from the pictures.
    Mine isn’t very ‘up market’, consisting of an Acoustic Research XA turntable with a Denon DL110 cartridge.
    It actually sounds much better than you might imagine...
     
  14. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Martyn, the heart of it is the Music Hall mmf 9.1 turntable on top, which has phenomenal isolation, with three plinths and an outboard motor. The phono stage is at the bottom of the pile: Channel Islands PEQ-1 with an extra power supply next to it. It's not super expensive kit but it sounds extremely good. I use a vintage Shure MM cartridge.
     
  15. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    I always liked the look and sound of those turntables.
     
  16. 57charles

    57charles pfm Member

    Is that a Schiit Loki you're using there?
     
  17. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I had one in the ‘70s and never really appreciated how good it was.
    Sold it to buy a Technics DD turntable.

    My present one hadn’t been used for decades, and it only cost me £25.00
    A new belt and felt mat cost me another £25.00
    The plinth and lid were still in very good condition.

    I completely dismantled it, checked and lubricated all the necessary parts.
    Fitted with a used NAD cartridge I had it sounded OK, but nothing special.

    With advice from a PFM member, I fitted a Denon DL110 MC cartridge.
    I just couldn’t believe how good it sounded.
    It’s definitely staying...
     
    ampedup likes this.
  18. ampedup

    ampedup Lost in audio

    Yes it is. The Loki is my choice for increasing the bass response of the system. It works very well, and having tried subwoofers, I discovered that most of what I need can be effected more simply with a Loki. I think everyone has a different relationship with bass frequencies. I seem to be ok with this modest tweak.
     
  19. EPear

    EPear pfm Member

    Here is my brief review of the Stirling V3 after I've had a chance to demo them in comparison.
    I’ve been looking to decide on a pair of more definitive long term small speakers, and should add, mostly considering the modern versions LS3/5a type or similar. I am interested in how they sound and I’ve owned or heard a few before, including from Spendor, Harbeth and Falcon (these not extensively and not in comparison), and reading through here reminded me not to forget the Stirling V3. I’ve been curious about the V2 before as well but may be because I had other small monitors at the time, I somehow did not get round to explore them. So as I would not likely be able to lay hands on (or indeed afford) the Falcon special super limited edition (if these are the best sounding?), I thought I would try the Stirling V3 and have as a reference the P3ESR, which I was considering (again) and which I like and know really very well. So, I did a good quality audition of the Stirling V3 and the P3ESR 40th AE, in direct comparison over a couple of days. Naturally, here I’ve been bracing up and getting quite excited for a close contest and hair splitting differences, with difficult decisions but, surprisingly for me at least, this was far more straightforward than I thought.

    The midrange, and voice reproduction in particular, was very good and similar with both, with some nuances perhaps - the Stirling slightly better defined and the Harbeth may be a bit fuller sounding so I could have had either, again, both brilliant in this regard (and as expected). So, if anything, this was the only “too close to call” part of the audition ... but then ... with everything else ... to me the Stirling was just really easily better - not by some crushing enormous margin "day and night" and all that, of course, but - easily and clearly, as if without any effort at all, spooky good tbh - more open, more detailed with a superb better top end, more vibrant, punching joyous and alive, natural sounding, better at both lower and higher listening volume levels and with all kinds of music; the bass - felt deeper, but probably just more “correct” and tactile without any bloated elements, the soundstage, the subtlety, the instruments presence, the air and ambiance ... I could go on but essentially to agree with Martyn's review (as well as others here), which he has written better than I would. The fact that the Stirling is slightly cheaper is just the cherry, of course, but to be honest even if the P3ESR was the cheaper speaker, no, in fact even half the price of the Stirling, I would still buy the Stirling V3 - which I did, as you might have guessed by now.

    As for the P3s ... well, they remain good speakers ... however the Stirling V3 is simply a lot more musically rewarding and accomplished in my view, and by this I mean both by classical ls3/5a and modern standards! The Stirling V3 is indeed “something else” and to me as well, in a different league altogether. I would have not believed it if someone had told me that the difference would be so clear - so you certainly don’t have to, but I encourage you to hear them out if you want the best in this class.
    Well, that’s me, it was fun to do and hopefully of some use to others. I feel like I am happily done with this and looking forward to enjoying the V3 for many years to come. Back to music.
     
    Goat, omers, Gervais Cote and 7 others like this.
  20. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    Very useful, thank you for that.
     

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