CnoEvil

The BBC Monitor

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@tuga Thank you for all the info....and shows just what a can of worms this is. As I see it:

1. There is the history, of the original brands that made them...like Rogers

2. You now have current brands that stick very closely to the design....like  Falcon

3. You have current models that have taken the basic design and "improved" on it....Harbeth

4. You have brands that use the design principal, but have taken it in their own direction....Spendor

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This video might be of interest. It's a friend of mine, Paul Whatton, whose father headed the design team for the LS3/5A, and Andy Whittle, formerly of Rogers, talking about the LS3/5A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldq9VZ4VEw4

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32 minutes ago, CnoEvil said:

@tuga Thank you for all the info....and shows just what a can of worms this is. As I see it:

1. There is the history, of the original brands that made them...like Rogers

2. You now have current brands that stick very closely to the design....like  Falcon

3. You have current models that have taken the basic design and "improved" on it....Harbeth

4. You have brands that use the design principal, but have taken it in their own direction....Spendor

Hughes Senior (bextrene cone) and Harwood (polypropylene cone) were at the forefront of the research for many of those speakers.

The BC1 latter became the LS3/6 but the Spendor version is more cherished than the Rogers one. Harbeth produced the HL1 but I don't think it would be unfair to say that the SuperHL is a much better speaker (I thought I had a FR plot of the HL but can't find it) which is also closer in topology to the BC1-LS3/6:

TB2DqeWaFXXXXXzXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!17634120.j

Edited by tuga
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We know what is strictly a BBC speaker.

But what are you going to do if you want to go out and buy a speaker today?

As I remarked on a different thread, almost all of the great speaker manufacturers from the past have changed ownership and changed direction.

You can't buy the original components anymore. You have to reverse-engineer.

If you buy an old pair of speakers they will not be performing to specification. BBC isn't designing any new speakers.

What is a person going to go out and buy today? What are the choices?

There's not much point in duscussing what the BBC did 70 years ago. I want to buy a decent pair of speakers now.

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1 hour ago, Kevin Wood said:

This video might be of interest. It's a friend of mine, Paul Whatton, whose father headed the design team for the LS3/5A, and Andy Whittle, formerly of Rogers, talking about the LS3/5A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldq9VZ4VEw4

Thank you for this. A fascinating and engaging video.

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14 minutes ago, Birdbrain said:

We know what is strictly a BBC speaker.

But what are you going to do if you want to go out and buy a speaker today?

As I remarked on a different thread, almost all of the great speaker manufacturers from the past have changed ownership and changed direction.

You can't buy the original components anymore. You have to reverse-engineer.

If you buy an old pair of speakers they will not be performing to specification. BBC isn't designing any new speakers.

What is a person going to go out and buy today? What are the choices?

There's not much point in duscussing what the BBC did 70 years ago. I want to buy a decent pair of speakers now.

My SB LS3/6s perform better than the BC1s, the SP1s and the original SP1/2s in every single aspect of measureable performance. They sound great too.

I think that the SHL5+ may have a slight edge when it comes to sub-bass performance due to a more damped reflex that's tuned a bit lower but I would rather not have hard domed tweeters.

The SB88 is built a bit differently but has the same tweeter and woofer as the LS3/6. The M30s and GA LS5/9s should be nice too.

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2 hours ago, tuga said:

My SB LS3/6s perform better than the BC1s, the SP1s and the original SP1/2s in every single aspect of measureable performance. They sound great too.

I think that the SHL5+ may have a slight edge when it comes to sub-bass performance due to a more damped reflex that's tuned a bit lower but I would rather not have hard domed tweeters.

The SB88 is built a bit differently but has the same tweeter and woofer as the LS3/6. The M30s and GA LS5/9s should be nice too.

And that's almost the same as my list.

The vast number of speakers out there, and yet so little choice.

I think the Classic Spendor 'R' variant hadn't deviated too far from the original.

I remember reading in a Hifi mag when Spendor was for sale in the 1990's, the turnover was given and I was shocked. I'm inclined to think that 'people get the loudspeakers they deserve' (to twist a phrase)

But if your LS3/6 are measurably different from the originals..............?

Edited by Birdbrain

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21 minutes ago, Birdbrain said:

And that's almost the same as my list.

The vast number of speakers out there, and yet so little choice.

I think the Classic Spendor 'R' variant hadn't deviated too far from the original.

I remember reading in a Hifi mag when Spendor was for sale in the 1990's, the turnover was given and I was shocked. I'm inclined to think that 'people get the loudspeakers they deserve' (to twist a phrase)

But if your LS3/6 are measurably different from the origianals..............?

They're slightly different due to the use of different drivers.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-s100-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-classic-sp100rsup2sup-loudspeaker-measurements

I must admit to some puzzlement over the Spendor SP100R2's measured performance, especially as, other than having tighter, better-controlled low frequencies, it doesn't appear to perform as well as Spendor's S100 from 20 years ago. Certainly, these measurements don't indicate why AD liked the speaker as much as he did. An enigma.

John Atkinson

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At the end of the day it is worth noting the venerable LS35A was designed to monitor voice in the back of a van.  It has some lovely qualities if you want to listen in a cloakroom but if you intend listening at anything near normal listening levels then forget it.  It is revered because in the early 70s when it made its way onto the retail circuit there were very few decent small loudspeakers. 

KEF did bring out a higher power rating version of the B110 (I think suffix was B) but they were not specified for the LS35A .. I do not know if anyone has tried this unit instead of the B110 A and it wouldn't surprise me if second hand samples may have had the wrong unit put in when the originals blew without people realising. 

If you want a micro monitor most of the modern designs from Spendor, Harbeth and a host of others, better it by some margin.  However, the nostalgia element perhaps play with peoples ears and emotions.

If I could only have one pair of loudspeakers and the choice was between the LS35A and modern designs of the same size (Spendor, Proac, Harbeth, Monitor Audio and a host of others) then I am convinced in a blind dem I would not pick the LS35A .. in fact in the late 70s in the dem room I much preferred the KEF Reference 101. KEF Reference 102 and the cheap little Visonic David's at that time (the great hook line in their ads being "biggest isn't always best, try David for size") gave it a good run for its money and was smaller and far cheaper.

Rant over :) 

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1 hour ago, tuga said:

They're slightly different due to the use of different drivers.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-s100-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-classic-sp100rsup2sup-loudspeaker-measurements

I must admit to some puzzlement over the Spendor SP100R2's measured performance, especially as, other than having tighter, better-controlled low frequencies, it doesn't appear to perform as well as Spendor's S100 from 20 years ago. Certainly, these measurements don't indicate why AD liked the speaker as much as he did. An enigma.

John Atkinson

Yes, that's the 'R2' variant.

I haven't compared the versions, but I think that there was a gradual move away from the original with each new variant. There are numerous comments to be found that it is the 'R2' where the big change happened. Tests on the newest version should be interesting.

Having moaned about this move away from the original Classic, I would rather go with these later versions than many alternatives. And having noted what Spendor's turnover was in the 1990's, what choice did Phil Swift really have? You have to give people what they want don't you?

And you didn't mention the improved measurements of your LS3/6 ;-)

Edited by Birdbrain

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4 hours ago, Kevin Wood said:

This video might be of interest. It's a friend of mine, Paul Whatton, whose father headed the design team for the LS3/5A, and Andy Whittle, formerly of Rogers, talking about the LS3/5A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldq9VZ4VEw4

As an aside to this, I was present when that video was made and, afterwards, we compared a few of the LS3/5As (in a sighted, non-level-matched, completely unscientific manner) and all present liked the Dymo taped "BBC S/N 1 & 2" pair the best.

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47 minutes ago, Kevin Wood said:

As an aside to this, I was present when that video was made and, afterwards, we compared a few of the LS3/5As (in a sighted, non-level-matched, completely unscientific manner) and all present liked the Dymo taped "BBC S/N 1 & 2" pair the best.

I was also there at the Hanger, it was a very good evening, wish I still had my 15 ohm original early Rogers. 

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5 hours ago, Birdbrain said:

And you didn't mention the improved measurements of your LS3/6 ;-)

Derek Hughes has written that he used the BC1 and the SP1 as benchmarks when developing the LS3/6. By improved measurements I meant less distortion from the modern drivers and a higher maximum SPL ceiling.

I had a pair of SP9/1s for a handful of years and the LS3/6s perform better in most aspects except for low- and sub-bass performance and "scale".

Edited by tuga

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What a surprise. There is a review of the Graham LS6 at SOS site, and something I have not seen there before - there are some graphs

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/graham-audio-chartwell-ls6

And here is a bit I liked:

‘Voicing’ a monitor through passive equalisation is a real skill that I suspect will, within a couple of decades, be mostly a thing of the past.

Derek knows how to do this. One of the few people left. At the Graham site on the development of the VOTU speaker, Derek states that a speaker like that is something he has not done before, he states that all his experience has been in designing BBC type speakers.

If it isn't obvious by now, IMHO, watch what Derek does.

Edited by Birdbrain

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