Odaey's LS3/5As

Postby mozilla » Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:58 pm

Hey DaN! Congratulations on your new LS3/5As's. What amps are you playing them with?
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Postby Tubedude » Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:47 pm

mozilla wrote:Hey DaN! Congratulations on your new LS3/5As's. What amps are you playing them with?


Thank you. Frankly I could use some advice. I know some amps have synergy with the LS, like your Quad.
I have EL34 and some KT88 amps. I very much love PP EL84 same as James.
Richard Lim is going to send me an amp he and DR King have developed as a business venture in a few months time. It’s a PP KT66, somewhat like an older Leak. John and Richard use vintage Leak KT 66 with LS. I have to respect that very much.
PS So what do you think of the Mac?
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Postby odaey » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:17 pm

Tubedude wrote:
ichabod wrote:Tubedude, welcome to the LS club of music lovers! Those Harbeths rank highest amongst different LSs in the KK shoot-out! Congrats on your undying confidence for these speakers. They're indeed closest to the Quad (889?) you once had!


Thank you, Sir Ichabod! And to our WS LS3/5A moderator and members.
It became clear after hearing your speakers that the LS3/5A is very special. I also thank you for your support and advice during my search.



Congratulations on your new acquisition!!! Whether its your first or second time around with the LS, Welcome to the world of music the LS way.


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL :D :D :D
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Postby pigdog » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:18 pm

interesting thought about matching the LS3/5a with the older leaks I have a pair of the Leak TL12.1 and has recently acquired a pair of rogers LS3/5a 11ohmers from hypetriode, i have yet to try it, but i guess now is the time. i can also try it with a pair of QUAD II to see the difference

so stay tune!
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Rogers LS3/5A with Leak TL 12.1

Postby pigdog » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:50 pm

I like what i am hearing with the Leaks and the Rogers. will try it with a Quad II at some point for comparison. btw, these are 11 ohm bi wire versions

i am not good at writting listening impressions, but what i can say is that these rogers are very well defined with the leaks, i can hear lots of detail and air. in a smaller room, i am sure the bass would be just enough, my room is a bit on the large side
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Postby pigdog » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:53 pm

Tubedude wrote:
mozilla wrote:Hey DaN! Congratulations on your new LS3/5As's. What amps are you playing them with?


Thank you. Frankly I could use some advice. I know some amps have synergy with the LS, like your Quad.
I have EL34 and some KT88 amps. I very much love PP EL84 same as James.
Richard Lim is going to send me an amp he and DR King have developed as a business venture in a few months time. It’s a PP KT66, somewhat like an older Leak. John and Richard use vintage Leak KT 66 with LS. I have to respect that very much.
PS So what do you think of the Mac?

you mentioned about these two gentlemen developing a KT66 based amp similar to the Leaks, I assme they are referring to the Legendary Leak TL12.1 can you refer me to them and i would love to see some pictures. i splurged with tubes for my leaks, i am using ecc32 mullards. other than that i would use ecc33 and somehow i think there can be no other valves to as nicely as these babies!
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Postby Tubedude » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:50 pm

pigdog wrote:you mentioned about these two gentlemen developing a KT66 based amp similar to the Leaks, I assme they are referring to the Legendary Leak TL12.1 can you refer me to them and i would love to see some pictures. i splurged with tubes for my leaks, i am using ecc32 mullards. other than that i would use ecc33 and somehow i think there can be no other valves to as nicely as these babies!


Black 12.1 is the amp name. It is not a copy, even though the patent is expired long ago. It should be start production within the next few months. I expect to have one soon.
You have PM…Regards Dan
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Postby ichabod » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:54 am

Hello Dan. We didn't had a chance to listen to the Mc 225 this week! Maybe next depending on Oscar's sched. But I thought the LS sounded very good on the fisher 7868s and 7591s like what the Mc's are using. I reckon this Mc is the best sweetest sounding amp from their stable, and there's one more lucky guy on earth smiling no doubt! Got the tubes you sent, and my TS 34.1 is back in harness. Thanks.
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Postby ichabod » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:42 am

Hello again Dan. The Mc 225 is a refined performer on the LS 3/5A. It inches the fisher in some respects like it's a little tamer. I expected that since they say this is the sweetest Mc on one's taste. I agree.
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Postby Tubedude » Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:44 pm

Hi James!
Thank you for your expert ear report, only wish I was there with you guys. 8) I’m pleased the Mac has a good new home.

What I have learned so far... The Audio Research VS 55 is not a great match to the LS3/5A. It was a bit dry and not as musical as with the Quad ESL or Ariel. A darn nice sounding amp though.
You were the one who showed me the way with the EL84 and LS. So far the Pilot 6V6 monos sound best with Harbeth. Yep, betters the Pilot SA232 or the Radio Craftsmen 6V6 monos.
I have some other amps to roll through but am thinking the Eico HF-60 will be the sweet one.
Oscars Golden Dragon KT66 Retro’s arrived yesterday but I’ve nothing to run em in. As we know this tube works well with LS3/5A. Sold my KT66 Pilots. :cry:
Lucky Pigdog has heard Richards’s new Black 12.1’s (KT66) and LS3/5A. I’m very curious to get that one. Richard is the vintage master.
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Postby ichabod » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:41 am

THe GD KT66 are for what? The anniversary edition fort knox "gold bar" edition of Quad IIs? That would be interesting since I don't hear very much of those Quad IIs of Oscar. I thought so that the 6V6 tubes are a better match even against those el84s (mullards even mind you) of the Pilot SA232 fame. The Pilot SA 232 that I have sound great on the Rogers Studio 3 with the Fisher 50Cs driving. While the Stromberg 433 can sound open and liquid on my spendor LS, the studio 3 will give it a more neutral natural openness (greater clarity and presence!) that can better the LS! But the stromberg 220 model using 6V6 still wins me over when driving the LS 3/5A. So tube types are quite an important matter to consider when pairing off the LS. While the LS sounds better with tubes, one still needs to find the right tubes to give it the "right" sound! Have fun!
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Postby Tubedude » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:29 pm

Yes, I would guess the KT66 would power the "Goldfinger" Quad II LTD. I wish my Pilot worked (waiting rebuild) am curious how this tube sounds with the LS3/5A. Alas they will be off to Cebu next week.
The Mullard EL84 is a fantastic sounding tube, BEL is close second. I have a stash of this type but can not afford to replace them once they expire. I agree with you James the 6V6 can match the Mullard. Not only that, most 6V6's sound great. Early Sylvania ST's and the Redbank sound best. Redbank clearly so, but are very slow to warm up.
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Postby ichabod » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:48 pm

What I hear with the 6V6 is a rounder sound specially on the treble of the LS 3/5a which can be a little rowdy, and "echoey," with the brighter el84s in a small ideal room setting at nearfield. I have a brighter untreated room with average furnishings to break standing waves, and despite this, I like the general "tone" and power output of about 10 watts to give the LS 3/5A an even relax quality, that well known 3d effect plus clarity that puts the sound field right in front of the listener where it's taking place. I think this can happen better at nearfield where the LS is best listened to!

Tubedude, good luck on your venture to get the best out of your LS 3/5A. I hope those KT66 will outshine those 6V6s you're now enjoying. The whole darn thing wrong with this hobby is always the looking for a better sound that can make your better best! Is there such a thing? Or is it all in the mind only, ha ha? Enjoy your music friend!
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Postby ichabod » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:31 am

I hope putting this in would spark some more interest in the LS 3/5A culture of sound. There's always the question about how a speaker is voiced. How was the LS 3/5a voiced anyway? To answer that I found these rather interesting if not intriguing notes from a write-up entitled "BBC Research and the Untweakable LS3/5A" from the ls forum thread on "frequency response."

From Jim Finnie, ex Beeb engineer.

"The BBC was in a unique position and had several advantages over commericial manufacturers in the development of loudspeakers. The enginners had access to a wide range of live music and could easily make comparisons between reproduced and live sound. Indeed at times live musicians would be hired specifically for engineering test.

But the single factor that made it possible to develop the LS3/5 was the Blue Skies culture of the department which was largely free of the time and cost constraints of commercial manufacturer. The team would agonize over tiny changes and Jim Finnie remembers how some of those involved argued for the best part of the week over a modification which changed the speaker's performance by just 1dB change was inaudible. However Research Department had someone with hearing that was demonstrably so sensitive that he was able to hear changes of 1dB and so they were able to justify these changes. The person with such acute hearing was probably Ralph Mills who worked in the Design Department and who is credited on the BBC technical paper describing the LS3.5A. '

Thus the LS 3/5 evolved through a series of small improvements to become the LS3/5A. The "a" suffix was added because the changes made the speaker sufficiently different that it could not be used in a stereo pair with its older brother. It became the most tweaked speaker in the world. The full extent of this work can be realised from a huge cost of the LS3/5A project, estimated at 100,000 pounds in 1975. At today's prices this represents an investment in research of about 1,000,000 pounds (US$ 1,600,000). Clearly no commerical loudspeaker manufacturer could hope to approach this level of investment in a project."

"The sheer scale of the BBC resource of those times defies belief in the present day. For examle, I think they had four (yes, 4) symphony orchestras on the books, as well as 2-3 full choirs and a raft of smaller groupings. Not only that, you also need to add the annual Proms concerts which gave the BBC (enginners) access to live sources from some of the best classical performers of the period."

"I think that the LS3/5A design reflects a strong subjective input which was gained from live performance and from professional musicians, coupled with the original design environment brief. They have stood the test of time because they have taken a tentative step towards bridging the great objective/subjective divide and they are so tiny -- therein lies the real engineering achievement."

This talk/interview with Jim Finnie was done by Paul Whatton, son of Maurice Whatton, one of the luminaries involved in the BBC's LS 3/5 research project.
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Postby vintage_dog » Wed May 23, 2007 4:24 pm

odaey wrote:.... Yes, i do try them once in a while w/ the ab-1's. Though we are expected believe that they should sound the same, once you see the insides then you get to understand the small differences in sound. From the Bi-wire specimens that i have the Rogers seems to be the most mellow but it is also the most particular with regards to cabling. Even the links in the binding post would be a big factor and the configuration in the attachment to the binding post. My spendor would sound in-between the rogers and Harbeth. The Harbeth being more revealing across the entire freqs. It would be very hard to generalize the character of each brand since variations in the specimens do occur counting out the amount of play they recieve.

with permission from the mod i'll post some pics to show the differences.

Image


hey doc, in case you've forgotten your spendor is still with me connected to the marantz 8 ;-)
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Postby odaey » Thu May 24, 2007 9:39 am

It would benefit from the workout with you as it gets less playing time with me. I believe it's having a time of it's life since this is the only chance to have his cones massaged by the purest watts of a marantz 8. The rest of it's blood brothers with me will just have to contend themselves with a marantz 8 wannabe (pilot sa-260).

Any new observations with regards to the team-up?
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Postby ichabod » Thu May 24, 2007 1:14 pm

Interesting amp, the Pilot 260 power with el34s. Probably you're the only guy who has that here, a real collector's item a lot harder to come by than the Pilot 232 I guess?
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Postby odaey » Fri May 25, 2007 9:43 pm

ichabod wrote:Interesting amp, the Pilot 260 power with el34s. Probably you're the only guy who has that here, a real collector's item a lot harder to come by than the Pilot 232 I guess?


James, I believe the cebu mafia knows a lot about vintage pilot gear than what i actually know about this model. I really hate to use often abused hi-fi praises but it really is an amazing amp. Did a recent comparo and In it's stock form it competes head on with the ARC classic 60 and c-j mv60se. Easily outclassed the dynaco gears that i had. It was actually more comfortable driving some bigger speakers than the Ls3/5a.
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Postby ichabod » Sat May 26, 2007 10:03 am

Our experience is limited to the SA 232. Several of us are fans of it to include Dan Hayes of Kent City, WA, US of A, Oscar, and myself. I used to own a Pilot 240 which I sold later after getting the famed 232. One guy who collects pilots is Allan Leung of HK. He's the authority on it specially the mono versions.

YOu should try also the Stromberg Carlson amps. They're superb as well. The AP55 being their very famous fantastic sounding amp. The SC has a deeper tone, very good base (sounds like an ss) spearkling highs, and a lucid authoritative midband. If I were to choose, I'd end up with SCs, Pilots, and Fishers. The Fisher X100B sounds very good on the LS3/5A using 7868s. But right now I'm using (owing to the size of my room) the Stromberg Carlson 220 using four 6v6 power tubes and twin 6u8s on the drive stage.

Bogens too are not to be outclassed specially the DB 230A for some brighter sounding speakers. Real gem of an amp this Bogen. This was the only amp I really enjoyed listening on Omega full range single driver speakers. Just sweet music over a deep soundstage and lotsa power!

I forgot to mention but a fisher 50C mono preamp (two monos) was very good on the SA 232. It should sound incredible I think on your bigger speakers! Worth having those from Fisher! Oscar's favs are the 400cx2 preamp, and the fisher 50Cs. They go very well with the Quad IIs too!
Just some added info in case you might get some opportunity to get these preamps. They look simple and handsomely brass!
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Postby odaey » Sun May 27, 2007 5:06 pm

Yes, the fisher 400cx2 preamp together with the pilot 216 has been on my wish list for quite some time now. I was dreaming of teaming either of them up with my small tube based cabinet system consisting of a scott 350b tuner, an eico hf-85 preamp and a pilot 232. It would seem practical to use the pilot 232 in a cabinet system since it gives off less heat, small size and its auto bias. That's how it started it's life anyway since my 232 was pulled out of a stereo console.

I still remember your advice about the fisher 400 series preamps but they're not easy to find and not cheap :(
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