The original classic. The Graham Audio LS3/5 has surprising bass extension for a small stand-mount speaker and an absolutely massive soundstage. An ideal near-field monitor that works exceptionally well in small to medium sized listening rooms.
- Two way sealed enclosure
- Thin wall, internally damped construction
- 110 mm Bextrene woofer and 19 mm fabric dome tweeter
- 83 dB sensitivity and 9 Ω impedance
- Exceptional midrange clarity
- Available in a range of real wood veneer finishes
History of the LS3/5
The LS3/5A is perhaps the best-known of all the BBC’s monitor designs. The BBC needed a small monitor that was suitable for critical assessment of programme quality in cramped outside broadcast vehicles and control rooms, and nothing suitable was available commercially.
At the same time, a separate research project, an investigation into acoustic scaling of studios, had developed a miniature loudspeaker. BBC engineers realised that it could be adapted for monitoring use. After much development, the original LS3/5 was born.
Initially, twenty units were built in-house for field trials, but upon deciding to build another batch, it became apparent that KEF had altered both of the drive units. The new drive units were sufficiently different to the originals to affect the way the loudspeaker measured and sounded. As a result, significant re-engineering work had to be completed by the BBC’s design department. This was such a significant deviation from the original model that the A suffix was added.
The new B110 woofer needed to be decoupled from the baffle in order to prevent an interaction with the cabinet. Next, when fed from the existing crossover, the new high frequency unit exhibited significant colouration which required modifications to the crossover and the addition of the familiar protective grille and felt pads. The small number of loudspeakers from the original batch were now considered obsolete, and the true LS3/5 was never manufactured commercially.
The new classic
While the revised LS3/5A sounded very similar to the original, many felt at the time that the original loudspeaker was better. Could this version be recreated today?
Graham Audio presents the ultimate version of the most famous of all the BBC loudspeakers. The bespoke drive units and crossover networks are developed by Derek Hughes, working in conjunction with Volt and SEAS loudspeakers, to produce a fully licensed loudspeaker using the very finest materials available.