LS3/5a in the House

I own a pair of Sound Artist faux LS3/5a that I found work superbly via my Hugo TT > WAD 6550 power amp. Not as detailed as the Falcon LS3/5a, for instance, but tonally rather wonderful.

However, swap out the valve amp for a NAP140 and, well, oh dear.

If I use a pair of tatty Kans I own the result with the 140 is far better …but, while these may sing with an 1980s LP12 they are rather etched with a modern digital front end.

The Harbeth P3-ESR XD absolutely sing with the digital front end and the 140. But, put in the valve amp and you know all about the metal tweeter.

I wanted something that would be more consistent with either amp, if possible, and so bought a pair of Grahams (Chartwell) LS3/5a - second hand.

A friend who has a few LS3/5a himself asked to come over with a pair of 15ohm Rogers, and so a date was set.

First we played the speakers via my nearfield system running with:
Prestige Server > dCS NB > Hugo TT > WAD 6550

The Rogers were the winner. More detail and what bass was there was well controlled and informative.

The Grahams were somewhat ‘nicer’, the Rogers’ detail could mean a slight touch of edge. The bass was a tad bigger, but not quiet as informative.

Now onto the main system:
Prestige > Chord 2go/2yu > Chord M-Scaler > Chord Qutest > Icon 4 pre > NAP300dr

Here the Grahams won. More balanced and informative.

I then put in the ‘Big Guns’, my 1980s LP12 / Armageddon / Aro / Troika

And the winner was?

The Naim SBLs, by a big margin! Synergistic heaven :wink:

The Grahams work very nicely with the 6550, and excellently with the NAP140 - which was my hope.

N.B.
For anyone using the Chord Qutest I also bought a pair of Cardas Reference rca connectors via the bay. These work very well with the Qutest allowing through some rather nice tonal qualities. This is NOT consistent as I haven’t had the same effect with other DACs, to date.

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My Falcon LS3/5As, on the end of an LP12/ARO/Rebuilt Troika and Nait50.

IMG_0039|375x500

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I am sure that is excellent.

Harbeth p3’s sounded brilliant in my room and I was seriously tempted but ended up with the bigger m30.2xd they sound similar but bigger.

Interesting Mr Underhill. A few years back I decided to compare my early Gold label Rogers LS3/5as - a version much revered by LS3/5a aficionados - with my SL2s, all on my main big Naim system. I found that the SL2s were at least as good in areas where the LS3/5as were strong, and much better everywhere else.

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Better keep going those SL2s as long as possible then :wink:

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