CnoEvil

The BBC Monitor

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This is really to help untangle my own brain, as to the confusing array of Brands, that under Licence, make various BBC Monitors under varying model numbers. It would also be useful, if people could describe the differences in sound, between the iterations of the different Brands.

History

Not a lot needs to be said here, as most people know about the BBC approach, with the "Thin Walled" design. "A cracked Bell" doesn't ring....and by having a cabinet that has thin walls and lossy joints ....resonances are pushed down in the frequency range, to a point below which we can hear. This is the opposite of modern speaker design.

BBC Models

LS 3/5A (P3esr)

LS 3/6 (HL5)

LS 5/8 

LS 5/9 (Monitor 30)

LS 5/5 (Monitor 40)

BRANDS

Harbeth

- P3ESR

- M30.1

- SHL5+

- M40.2

Spendor Classic

Classic 3/5  (Old S3 5/R2).....BBC 3/5A

Classic 3/1 (old SP3/1R2)

Classic 2/3...more akin to Harbeth C7ES3 and Stirling SB88

Classic 1/2 (old SP1 /2 R2)....descendant of BC1 and comparable to LS3/6

Classic 100 (BBC LS 5/8)

Graham Audio

LS 3/5A/Chartwell LS3/5

LS 5/9

LS 5/8

Falcon

LS 3/5A

Stirling Broadcast

LS 3/5A

(SB 88)....similar to Spendor Classic 2/3

LS 3/6

I'm not entirely sure I have got this right...or know how Spendor Models equate to BBC models....so any help appreciated.

I'll go into potential sound differences in other posts, but would like like to get this clear, if possible.

Edited by CnoEvil

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BBC LS 3/5A

Harbeth

Harbeth P3ESR

Related image

Spendor Classic 3/5

Image result for graham audio ls3/5a image

Graham Audio LS 3/5A

Image result for falcon ls3/5a image

Falcon LS3/5A

Image result for stirling broadcast ls35a image

Stirling Broadcast LS 3/5A

Edited by CnoEvil

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I think that the Spendor S100/SP100 and the M40 are descendants of the LS5/5, not the LS5/8:

http://www.hifido.co.jp/sold/03-15828-16360-00.html?LNG=E

https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/rdreport_1967_57

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In my view current Spendor Classics have steered away to far from the original designs to qualify as BBC monitors.

Derek Hughes, son of BBC Engineer Spencer Hughes who created Spendor, hasn't "'owned' the Spendor company since 1992 (...) when the company was transferred to the ownership of Soundtracs PLC. 

He "then worked part time for Spendor for a few years, and also when the company was bought by Phillip Swift. I retired from the company entirely in 2002, after which I met up with Alan at a HiFi show & have subsequently assisted him in some aspects of design."

The Spendor SP100R2 measures worse in most parameters that the S100. All the other "real" BBC-school speakers measure as well or better than the original models.

.

Derek Hughes is responsible for the (updated) design of both Graham Audio and Stirling Broadcast BBC speakers:

https://vimeo.com/90453529

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53 minutes ago, tuga said:

I think that the Spendor S100/SP100 and the M40 are descendants of the LS5/5, not the LS5/8:

http://www.hifido.co.jp/sold/03-15828-16360-00.html?LNG=E

https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/rdreport_1967_57

Thank you, I find it confusing, so was looking to be corrected where wrong.

Do Harbeth/Spendor etc have an equivalent of the LS5/8.

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You missed the Stirling SB-88 which is similar to LS5/9 and SP2/3

As Tuga points out there has been a significant change in the Spendor Classic (and now yet another newer version). There was a statement on the Harbeth site at the time, that Derek left the company his father founded because he was unhappy with the direction in which Spendor was moving. I interpreted that as that he was particularly unhappy at what was being done to the Classic range. Didn't know it was as early as 2002.  I was surprised to recently discover that Derek didn't design the 'S' range at Spendor.

I don't think Derek stayed long at Harbeth. I can imagine that two individuals might have conflicting approaches. There is a fascinating video about the development of the new LS5/9 in which Derek discounts the significance of new cone materials ! stating that it's all in the crossover.

Funnily, only today I was thinking how interesting it would be to compare Derek's SB-88, his redesigned LS5/9 (which I assume will sound very similar but you are paying for the BBC badge), the Harbeth C7, and the latest SP2/3. It will not be easy to set up.

Edited by Birdbrain

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As i understand it (but I could be wrong) the BBC only designed the LS1,2,3 and 4 series (check this out https://www.markhennessy.co.uk/rogers/bbc_txt.htm )

All the others are peoples attempts to improve on said designs and because the BBC may have used some other designs they are assigned as being designed by them.  

In a way it is a hindrance rather than a help in my mind when using the term BBC sound (seeing as the most famous design was just to do voice monitoring in the back of a van and if you try to play music at realistic levels in anything bigger than the bathroom you are likely to blow them up) but that is of course just my opinion.

To many such an association today is perhaps not treated in the way we did years ago, as we now know they are politically, age and gender biased so who is to say the same is not true of BBC preference for loudspeakers :) 

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31 minutes ago, Birdbrain said:

You missed the Stirling SB-88 which is similar to LS5/9 and SP2/3

I did, as it didn't seem an actual BBC design...more "inspired by". I've added it to the list, as being similar to the Spendor Classic SP2/3.

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7 minutes ago, graham67 said:

And don't forget the rather lovely Chartwell LS 3/5.

Added to the list under Graham Audio....I'd thought they were too similar to list separately.....but I'm learning as I go.

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