Has anyone tried Graham LS5/9 with 282/250DR

Seeking experiences on Graham LS5/9. Does it sound good with mid level Naim amps? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I have just acquired a pair of LS5/9 speakers driven by SN3 and HCDR so rather less than your 282/250DR. I still have the ATC SCM19s that they replace but I suspect I will shortly be moving those on.

I had been looking for a pair to try and got an excellent deal on these so I took the plunge without hearing them first. (I know, I know - not the way to do things).

I have a very difficult room and the Something Solid stands were built for the ATCs so are not ideal for the Graham’s.

Music is primarily classical but with quite an eclectic mix of other music as well.

With that background, overall I am very happy with them with one reservation. Compared with the ATC’s, they have much better bass and altogether a much “fuller and richer” sound whilst still being fairly fast. They are perhaps a touch more reserved but that is marginal. The ATC’s are superb on piano music, the Graham’s are a little bit behind but not by much at all.

My one reservation is that the top end can on occasion sound thin and harsh. I have had this on speakers before and it could be my ears, the room or they need more time to run in. Or it could be recording specific. Or it could be the speakers. Or all of the above! The jury is out.

Overall though I like them especially if I can resolve the occasional top end issue.


Thanks for the thoughts which are greatly appreciated. The Graham should be quite similar to the Harbeth but was said to be a bit livelier with slightly better clarity. The comparison to the ATC SCM19 is interesting. Similarly I have read about the slight sparkle in the treble with the LS5/9 in comparison to the smoother Harbeth but that may be down to other aspects which you have mentioned.

A friend recommended the Graham for its superb human voice reproduction capabilities.

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Before I forget, I noticed that most people who have the Graham LS5/9 use tube amps with the speakers. I’m not sure if solid state amps might have contributed to the slight harshness in the treble.

I cannot answer the title but have LS5/9 and read a lot of the background.
My first experience of them was on a tour of a TV studio where they were driven by Quad amps, which is I believe how the BBC originally used them. There is a lot of information on the Mark Hennessey website with links to the design paper.
I wasn’t particularly looking to change my speakers, when Graham demonstrated at the Bristol show using Pass Amps they grabbed our attention. At that time there was only one dealer so we arranged to visit Graham with my EAR 859SE, so yes valves and “only” 13 watts. Their room above the workshop and store was about 30’ by 30’, possibly more and the amp was at its limit. At home in 24’ 7" by 11’ 10", with the volume at midway, 12 o’clock it is loud, using a phone app average 82dB, peaking about 93dB, only when the neighbours are out. I always thought I was a bit of a loner using valve amps!
Where this gets interesting is that the EAR needed to go for a service, I had the chance of an Astin Trew AT2 2100 amp at a very good price whilst it was away.
90 watt solid state, that later was used with Graham speakers at the Bristol show and won best sounding room. I was quite happy listening with the pairing but when the EAR returned, there was a feeling that the Astin Trew lacked a bit of top end “sparkle”. Not harshness at all, perhaps lacking detail.
I later found a review of the Astin Trew which described a mild top end roll off which the designer said was deliberate as they felt the typical price match speakers might have bright treble. That review also described the amp as having good PRAT.
The point of the rambling is to bear in mind that the LS5/9 was designed for VHF/FM broadcast and the tweeter rolls off at 16 kHz because of the high frequency carrier tone.
Personally, I find the recent revisions of Harbeth speakers too bright, despite my having hearing loss above 6 kHz. Perhaps it is having tinnitus?
Music tastes are wide, a particular liking for just about anything Sly and Robbie which is possibly not typical BBC speaker material. I don’t subscribe to the dull and ponderous bass some people use to describe the speakers, or (in particular in my case, EAR) valve amps.


Is this with the latest XD or the pre-XD versions of say SHL5+ which I own?

I may have the opportunity to try the latest version of the LS5/9 and end up owning it. My current Harbeth SHL5+ is severely underutilised as the room is too small for the speakers to show their full potential.

The XD version. To be fair, there was nothing else that I know, I recall it was a Hegel amp and music I did not know in a strange room.

I used to have a pair of LS5/9s with a SN3 - excellent combination. Fabulous mid range.

I now have the LS5/9fs, the floor standing version with a 300DR. Very pleased with what I’ve had from Graham Audio.


Thanks for the information. I was made to understand that the XD version of most Harbeth models sound brighter than the preXD models, so that may explain it.

Back in 2017, I purchased a pair of Graham Audio LS5/9 BBC Monitors with Something Solid XF mkII stands. Recently I added IsoAcoustics GAIA III isolation footers to the stands.

The Graham Audio LS5/9 BBC Monitors are the last speakers I will buy.

They replaced Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers.

Originally the speakers were powered by a 202/200 combo, but now they are powered by a 282/250 DR combo.

Between listening to music and watching movies my system is on 16 hours a day/seven days a week, and I have never once thought about changing the speakers.


Sounds good. Ls5/9 with 282/250DR which is exactly what I have.

Slightly different, but I have a 252/250DR with Harbeth M30s (Harbeth’s version of the LS5/9). A good match. Be aware this is not a “spectacular” sounding system; it is, however, very natural sounding.
It needs a large room to sound its best.


Thanks for the post. Currently my SHL5+ is in a small room so a smaller speaker around M30 or LS5/9’s size would be a lot more suitable. The main consideration of the LS5/9 is the diminutive size, sound quality is secondary although still important.

Hi @ryder

I have the LS5/9 but with SN3+Hicap DR.
To my ears, in my room, I have never found them to bright. I cannot comment on the bass as I use them with the Graham Audio Sub3 passive subs.
IMHO they are a very honest speaker and neither add nor subtract anything from what is being played; feed them with best source possible and they will not let you down.


I always thought that there were two BBC-licensed studio monitor loudspeakers: the LS3/5A and the LS5/8.

The 3/5A is still in production, and I have a pair on order at the moment, being built by Falcon Acoustics in Oxford, for an extra ‘bedroom system’ at home.

But the 'speakers under discussion here are LS5/9. Is this an improved version of the LS 5/8 model, or have I simply misremembered the old model number?

And is this a variant of the huge fugger which - in active mode powered by onboard QUAD 405 power amps - was memorably described many years ago as being so loud that they were likely to affect the milk yield of cattle in a neighbouring county?

@Richard.Dane I hope this link doesn’t break the rules, it seems the easiest way to answer @graham55 question.


The LS5/8 was a HUGE sucker! The LS5/9 was a larger version of the LS3/5a. Both are still in production but not by Rogers (well, let’s not talk about the new Chinese “Rogers” company).

It’s a reference piece and doesn’t appear to be commercial so I’m Ok with it.

Thank you very much indeed for that.

My recollection of the existence of an LS5/8 is confirmed, and your comment that it was a ‘HUGE sucker’ chimes with that recollection - just a shame that your comment was auto-corrected to ‘sucker’ by the substitution of the initial ‘f’ consonant.

Now we just need confirmation that the sheer volume of the LS5/8 could indeed affect the milk yield of cattle herds in adjoining counties!

They make the VOTU if the 5/8 isn’t big enough.