The fully licensed Graham Audio LS3/5A, engineered by Derek Hughes, includes authentic details such as the perforated metal tweeter grille, thick felt pads surrounding the tweeter and Velcro to secure the grille frame. The cabinet uses 12 mm birch plywood panels and a fixed rear panel, in accordance with BBC specifications. It faithfully reproduces the sound of the original, with exceptional midrange clarity and a sweet top end.
- Two way sealed enclosure
- Thin wall, internally damped construction
- 110 mm woofer and 19 mm fabric dome tweeter
- 83 dB sensitivity and 11 Ω impedance
- Exceptional midrange clarity
- Iconic design
- Available in a range of real wood veneer finishes
A brief history of the LS3/5A
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. At the time, nothing suitable was available commercially. As part of a separate research project, an investigation into acoustic scaling of studios, BBC engineers had developed a miniature loudspeaker. They realised that it could be adapted for monitoring use. After much development, the original LS3/5 was born.
Initially, the BBC built twenty units in-house for field trials. However, when they decided 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 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 HF unit exhibited significant colouration. This required modifications to the crossover and the addition of the familiar protective grille and felt pads.
The rest, as they say, is history. The original LS3/5 was never manufactured commercially, but the LS3/5A went on to become one of the most iconic speakers of all time.