The Fifth Element #92 Page 2

Tue, 07/28/2015

Listening #152

During our second trip to the UK, my wife and I drove from Heathrow Airport to Swindon, to visit an older couple we'd met on our first trip. We arrived around noon, and Vera and Ross made us a nice lunch, which we enjoyed while looking at scrapbooks filled with family photos and well-worn newspaper clippings. Vera asked where we intended to spend the night, and I said that our next stop was York.
Tue, 07/28/2015

The Fifth Element #92

Chris Huston is as soft-spoken and unassuming a chap as you would ever hope to meet, a real gentleman of the old school. He also has an amazing backstory. He and John Lennon were close friends at Liverpool's College of Art, and later had "dueling bands" that played at Liverpool's Cavern Club. Huston's band was the Undertakers, with lead singer Jackie Lomax. Like the Beatles, the Undertakers spent time playing gigs in scrappy clubs near the Hamburg docks. However, Huston is not just an asterisk in the music encyclopedias. He co-engineered Led Zeppelin's II, earned a Grammy for producing War's The World Is a Ghetto, and has produced and/or engineered more than 80 gold and platinum records.
Tue, 07/28/2015

MSB Select DAC to be premiered at Michigan store, Saturday

Saturday, August 1, 11am–4pm, David Michael Audio (4341 Delemere Court, Royal Oak, MI 48073) will host an event showcasing and demonstrating MSB Technology's DACs and sources, including the new ground-breaking Select DAC (above). Confirmed guests include MSB Technology's Director of sales Vince Galbo and the company's CEO and Managing Director Larry Gullman. Larry has long experience in industrial engineering and digital electronics and has many innovations and patents to his name. Larry and Vince will be demonstrating the MSB Select DAC, explaining its innovative new technologies.
Mon, 07/27/2015

Jerome Sabbagh, The Turn

Jerome Sabbagh, 41, born and bred in Paris, a low-key staple of the New York jazz scene for the last decade or so, plays tenor sax with a plaintive tone and moody lyricism reminiscent of Stan Getz. And he's a composer, too, wading more in the vibe of early Sonny Rollins or the sinuous modalism of Paul Motian. His new album, The Turn (Sunnyside), is a fine display of Sabbagh as player, composer, and bandleader.
Sat, 07/25/2015

David Chesky Scores His Second IMA Award

The most refreshing music I encountered at the huge 2015 Munich High End Show was an excerpt from David Chesky's children's ballet, The Zephyrtine, which Paul McGowan played in the PS Audio room. Hence it comes as no surprise that another of Chesky's recordings, his Rap Symphony, has just won the Independent Music Award (IMA) for Best Contemporary Classical Album.
Fri, 07/24/2015

Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a loudspeaker Measurements

Thu, 07/23/2015

COMMENTS
dalethorn's picture

I bought the ca. 1975 version after reading Holt's review. I particularly remember the phrase "minimum recommended power 25 watts". He noted that maximum power was also specified as 25 watts. I eventually traded them off, fearing I would blow the little drivers at some point. Not an irrational fear given that the pair the seller loaned me (until a new set came in) had a blown driver.

Edit: If I had the original pair today, I'd put them closer to the wall (maybe 12-15 inches) and EQ down the bass hump, which would lessen my anxiety about over-driving them. Once you hit that sweet spot with these little speakers, they'd be almost like the theoretical point-source, having a terrific soundstage.

LS35A's picture

than any other speaker, by far. Even today it's still a favorite.

If you'd told me in 1975 that in 40 years they'd still be being made I'd have said you were crazy.

But in a small room they are still a really nice speaker.

Venere 2's picture

The staples are a nice touch… Really ugly speaker! As good as they supposedly sound, they look like a 99$ DIY project.

RBrooks's picture

No boxes,No horns,No ribbons,No electrostatics,No distortion.
The author of this article thought rather highly of Siegfried Linkwitz Speakers.
As do Steve Guttenberg and Nelson Pass.
www.linkwitzlab.com

audiocaptain's picture

Just wanted to say a big thank you for doing this review. It is a classic and important piece of Audio History that every music lovers deserves to know about. Great writing - Thanks Again! BEC

dce22's picture

Quote : "They played enjoyably well with all—with one exception. Class-D made these hyper-responsive, 15-ohm speakers sound dry, slightly hard, and more generalized than I like. Class-D amps awoke that napping bass bump and turned the slightly rising treble into a distraction. The LS3/5a has always been an exceptionally amp-friendly speaker, not because it makes mediocre amps sound good, but for quite the opposite reason: The LS3/5a excels at letting you hear exactly what your amp really sounds like."

Translation : "I did not try class d amp on this speaker but this is what i think it will sound"

No class d amps were noted in the associated equipment section, message to Herb you need to tell people what kind of class d amp you were using if you were using one in the first place so people need to stay clear of it.

LS35A's picture

Yes, I also was taken with the implication of 'all class d amplifiers are the same' here. Obviously not true.

supamark's picture

Literally the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp. [flame deleted by John Atkinson]

John Atkinson's picture
supamark wrote:
the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp.

The Hegel doesn't use a class-D output stage. But Herb has been recently using the Rogue Sphinx, which does use Hypex class-D modules.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jporter's picture

The Magnepan 1.7 is $200 less than this speaker. The Paradigm 15B is $600 less. The PSB Imagine B is $1200 less. Monitor audio has their silver series. All of these sound great and just look so much nicer than the Falcon. I have not heard the Falcon speaker, but those staples are just awful.

audiocaptain's picture

This speaker is made to be played with the grills on. The staples are there to hold the velcro firmly in place and work a great deal better than little plastic nipples or other securing methods. You never see these, ever, in normal use. The image is just to show the original T27 and the B110 drivers.
Although there are other lesser priced speakers they are not authentic classic LS3/5a's.

Venere 2's picture

Authentic, a word that is so elastic that it can be stretched to encapsulate everything that is good and worthy of owning. Even when it is not true.

I did not need to be told the speakers were meant to be played with their grills on, and that the grills would hide the staples. I believe most people picked up on that as well.

And yes, there are lesser priced imitators that claim the lineage of the LS3, and are not truly "classic" and oh so authentic LS3s. But remember, there are also numerous other designs from a myriad number of speaker builders in this price range. Maybe they can't claim the authenticity of nostalgia and the good ole days, but they offer much better build quality, aesthetics, and most importantly great sound.

supamark's picture

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

This speaker is aimed at a specific, small, market segment (not you obviously, but nothing in Stereophile is). As to build quality, from the photos at least, it looks both exceptional and faithful to the original speaker.

Pages

Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Thu, 07/23/2015

COMMENTS
dalethorn's picture

I bought the ca. 1975 version after reading Holt's review. I particularly remember the phrase "minimum recommended power 25 watts". He noted that maximum power was also specified as 25 watts. I eventually traded them off, fearing I would blow the little drivers at some point. Not an irrational fear given that the pair the seller loaned me (until a new set came in) had a blown driver.

Edit: If I had the original pair today, I'd put them closer to the wall (maybe 12-15 inches) and EQ down the bass hump, which would lessen my anxiety about over-driving them. Once you hit that sweet spot with these little speakers, they'd be almost like the theoretical point-source, having a terrific soundstage.

LS35A's picture

than any other speaker, by far. Even today it's still a favorite.

If you'd told me in 1975 that in 40 years they'd still be being made I'd have said you were crazy.

But in a small room they are still a really nice speaker.

Venere 2's picture

The staples are a nice touch… Really ugly speaker! As good as they supposedly sound, they look like a 99$ DIY project.

RBrooks's picture

No boxes,No horns,No ribbons,No electrostatics,No distortion.
The author of this article thought rather highly of Siegfried Linkwitz Speakers.
As do Steve Guttenberg and Nelson Pass.
www.linkwitzlab.com

audiocaptain's picture

Just wanted to say a big thank you for doing this review. It is a classic and important piece of Audio History that every music lovers deserves to know about. Great writing - Thanks Again! BEC

dce22's picture

Quote : "They played enjoyably well with all—with one exception. Class-D made these hyper-responsive, 15-ohm speakers sound dry, slightly hard, and more generalized than I like. Class-D amps awoke that napping bass bump and turned the slightly rising treble into a distraction. The LS3/5a has always been an exceptionally amp-friendly speaker, not because it makes mediocre amps sound good, but for quite the opposite reason: The LS3/5a excels at letting you hear exactly what your amp really sounds like."

Translation : "I did not try class d amp on this speaker but this is what i think it will sound"

No class d amps were noted in the associated equipment section, message to Herb you need to tell people what kind of class d amp you were using if you were using one in the first place so people need to stay clear of it.

LS35A's picture

Yes, I also was taken with the implication of 'all class d amplifiers are the same' here. Obviously not true.

supamark's picture

Literally the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp. [flame deleted by John Atkinson]

John Atkinson's picture
supamark wrote:
the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp.

The Hegel doesn't use a class-D output stage. But Herb has been recently using the Rogue Sphinx, which does use Hypex class-D modules.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jporter's picture

The Magnepan 1.7 is $200 less than this speaker. The Paradigm 15B is $600 less. The PSB Imagine B is $1200 less. Monitor audio has their silver series. All of these sound great and just look so much nicer than the Falcon. I have not heard the Falcon speaker, but those staples are just awful.

audiocaptain's picture

This speaker is made to be played with the grills on. The staples are there to hold the velcro firmly in place and work a great deal better than little plastic nipples or other securing methods. You never see these, ever, in normal use. The image is just to show the original T27 and the B110 drivers.
Although there are other lesser priced speakers they are not authentic classic LS3/5a's.

Venere 2's picture

Authentic, a word that is so elastic that it can be stretched to encapsulate everything that is good and worthy of owning. Even when it is not true.

I did not need to be told the speakers were meant to be played with their grills on, and that the grills would hide the staples. I believe most people picked up on that as well.

And yes, there are lesser priced imitators that claim the lineage of the LS3, and are not truly "classic" and oh so authentic LS3s. But remember, there are also numerous other designs from a myriad number of speaker builders in this price range. Maybe they can't claim the authenticity of nostalgia and the good ole days, but they offer much better build quality, aesthetics, and most importantly great sound.

supamark's picture

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

This speaker is aimed at a specific, small, market segment (not you obviously, but nothing in Stereophile is). As to build quality, from the photos at least, it looks both exceptional and faithful to the original speaker.

Pages

Ayre Acoustics MX-R Twenty monoblock power amplifier Measurements

Thu, 07/23/2015

COMMENTS
Banana97's picture

The -112dBW unweighted residue noise is spectacular.
However, in figure 4, the 120Hz hum noise component is only -100dB below the 2.83V signal. Is it something going on?

John Atkinson's picture
Banana97 wrote:
The -112dBW unweighted residue noise is spectacular.

One of the best I have measured.

Banana97 wrote:
However, in figure 4, the 120Hz hum noise component is only [100dB] below the 2.83V signal. Is it something going on?

The apparently anomalous behavior stems from the fact that I measure S/N ratio with the amplifier's input shorted. There is therefore no signal current being drawn from the power supply. But in my spectral analyses of the low-frequency noisefloor, I use a more realistic condition, which is with the amplifier delivering at minimum 1W into 8 ohms. In this condition, the AC transformer is being asked to deliver greater current, and the 120Hz and 240Hz spuriae appear. But at -100dB, these are still negligible.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Pages

Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a loudspeaker Specifications

Thu, 07/23/2015

COMMENTS
dalethorn's picture

I bought the ca. 1975 version after reading Holt's review. I particularly remember the phrase "minimum recommended power 25 watts". He noted that maximum power was also specified as 25 watts. I eventually traded them off, fearing I would blow the little drivers at some point. Not an irrational fear given that the pair the seller loaned me (until a new set came in) had a blown driver.

Edit: If I had the original pair today, I'd put them closer to the wall (maybe 12-15 inches) and EQ down the bass hump, which would lessen my anxiety about over-driving them. Once you hit that sweet spot with these little speakers, they'd be almost like the theoretical point-source, having a terrific soundstage.

LS35A's picture

than any other speaker, by far. Even today it's still a favorite.

If you'd told me in 1975 that in 40 years they'd still be being made I'd have said you were crazy.

But in a small room they are still a really nice speaker.

Venere 2's picture

The staples are a nice touch… Really ugly speaker! As good as they supposedly sound, they look like a 99$ DIY project.

RBrooks's picture

No boxes,No horns,No ribbons,No electrostatics,No distortion.
The author of this article thought rather highly of Siegfried Linkwitz Speakers.
As do Steve Guttenberg and Nelson Pass.
www.linkwitzlab.com

audiocaptain's picture

Just wanted to say a big thank you for doing this review. It is a classic and important piece of Audio History that every music lovers deserves to know about. Great writing - Thanks Again! BEC

dce22's picture

Quote : "They played enjoyably well with all—with one exception. Class-D made these hyper-responsive, 15-ohm speakers sound dry, slightly hard, and more generalized than I like. Class-D amps awoke that napping bass bump and turned the slightly rising treble into a distraction. The LS3/5a has always been an exceptionally amp-friendly speaker, not because it makes mediocre amps sound good, but for quite the opposite reason: The LS3/5a excels at letting you hear exactly what your amp really sounds like."

Translation : "I did not try class d amp on this speaker but this is what i think it will sound"

No class d amps were noted in the associated equipment section, message to Herb you need to tell people what kind of class d amp you were using if you were using one in the first place so people need to stay clear of it.

LS35A's picture

Yes, I also was taken with the implication of 'all class d amplifiers are the same' here. Obviously not true.

supamark's picture

Literally the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp. [flame deleted by John Atkinson]

John Atkinson's picture
supamark wrote:
the first component listed under the integrated amps, the Hegel H160, is a class D amp.

The Hegel doesn't use a class-D output stage. But Herb has been recently using the Rogue Sphinx, which does use Hypex class-D modules.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jporter's picture

The Magnepan 1.7 is $200 less than this speaker. The Paradigm 15B is $600 less. The PSB Imagine B is $1200 less. Monitor audio has their silver series. All of these sound great and just look so much nicer than the Falcon. I have not heard the Falcon speaker, but those staples are just awful.

audiocaptain's picture

This speaker is made to be played with the grills on. The staples are there to hold the velcro firmly in place and work a great deal better than little plastic nipples or other securing methods. You never see these, ever, in normal use. The image is just to show the original T27 and the B110 drivers.
Although there are other lesser priced speakers they are not authentic classic LS3/5a's.

Venere 2's picture

Authentic, a word that is so elastic that it can be stretched to encapsulate everything that is good and worthy of owning. Even when it is not true.

I did not need to be told the speakers were meant to be played with their grills on, and that the grills would hide the staples. I believe most people picked up on that as well.

And yes, there are lesser priced imitators that claim the lineage of the LS3, and are not truly "classic" and oh so authentic LS3s. But remember, there are also numerous other designs from a myriad number of speaker builders in this price range. Maybe they can't claim the authenticity of nostalgia and the good ole days, but they offer much better build quality, aesthetics, and most importantly great sound.

supamark's picture

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

This speaker is aimed at a specific, small, market segment (not you obviously, but nothing in Stereophile is). As to build quality, from the photos at least, it looks both exceptional and faithful to the original speaker.

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