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Graham Audio is making BOTH an LS3/5 and an LS3/5a

Discussion in 'classic' started by Jodet, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Jodet

    Jodet pfm Member

    It's on their US website.

    I emailed them asking what the difference would be and the only thing they said was they wouldn't use the same drivers.

    Can't figure out why they would make both - they are almost identical.
  2. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Like you, why the LS3/5 ?
    Perhaps I'll contact Graham Audio.

    ( By the way, I've been in contact recently with Derek Hughes and he's a very busy man.
    I can see why )

    Re. the LS3/5a, I wonder how come they are using the name 'Chartwell.'
    I understood there is a Chinese company using that name for their LS3/5a copy.

    With the introduction of the new Falcon LS3/5a, we now have two markets.

    (A) The classic LS3/5a market, served by eBay and selling mainly to Far East
    (b) The brand new LS3/5a market, served by Stirling Broadcast and Falcon

    Watch this space...
  3. Jodet

    Jodet pfm Member

    Ls3/5a inspired speakers:

    Harbeth P3ESR
    Spendor S3/5R2
    KEF LS50
    Falcon 15 ohm LS3/5a
    Stirling LS3/5a V2
    Graham LS3/5
    Graham LS3/5a

    It's getting a little crowded!

    PS: I own 4 of the above speakers and used to own one more. No secrets - the Falcon is my favorite.
  4. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I am currently enjoying listening to a pair of Stirling MS88s.
    The MS88 is not a 'true LS3/5a', but it does have many of its characteristics.
  5. Wolverine II

    Wolverine II Member

    Has anyone measured these newcomers against the original version?
  6. Jodet

    Jodet pfm Member

    Update - they say the LS3/5 will be $2995 and available late October.

    $2995? Sounds insane to me. We shall see.
  7. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Over £1,900.

    Some Far East enthusiasts will be purchasing a pair to add to their
    collection of little BBC inspired speakers.
    After all, they will pay up to £2,500 for a pair of Chartwell
  8. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    It would appear Graham Audio is only making an LS3/5.
    Understandably, as the LS3/5a market is rather well
    addressed to say the least...
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'd argue the Falcon was a proper LS3/5A rather than merely being inspired by it. It is an exact rebuild using all the correct components and techniques and is licensed as such. The rest use different drivers, cabs etc, so are as you say something else. Interesting you feel it the best of the bunch too. I have a feeling I would too.
  10. fay spook

    fay spook pfm Member

  11. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    The Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a Kit I built ( which Falcon are no longer supplying ) sounded wonderful.
    My friend, who bought them, says he prefers them to a pair of Spendor LS3/5as he owns.
    Would the Spendors be 11 ohm ?

  12. stephen bennett

    stephen bennett Mr Enigma

    For those of you with Sound on Sound subscriptions, there's a review of the Graham Audio Chartwell LS3/5 in this month's magazine (free for all after 3 months, I believe).

  13. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I will be popping in my local WH Smith today...
  14. bhazen

    bhazen Infinitely Baffled

    I have the new Graham/Chartwell LS3/5's, and I can tell you -- they are stonking little monitors. Imagine P3ESR's on steroids; and, unlike the latter, they pass the Led Zeppelin II test. :) Beefier in the bass, more transparent treble, and mids that are more than competitive with the Harbeths.
  15. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I had a feeling they would be very good, especially knowing Derek Hughes' reputation.
    It would be interesting to see opinions on a Graham/Chartwell and Falcon comparison.
    No doubt some here will eventually own both...
  16. murphythecat

    murphythecat pfm Member

    Falcon ls3/5a Vs Graham ls3/5a Vs P3ESR would be amazing!!!!

    I will soon compare P3ESR to the Graham version.
  17. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Being the owner of 'ESRs and an original pair of 15 ohm LS3/5as, this is all fascinating stuff.
    The ongoing influence of the little BBC speaker carries on...
  18. Pac1

    Pac1 Designer/Manufacturer

    Precisely Tony.

    Falcon are the only manufacturers to actually hold the BBC licence. No other company does, despite what some might assume. Falcon are also the only company to be making the new drive units exactly to spec (with improvements in things like the basket design and construction). Therefore, one can argue that they are currently the only "proper" LS3/5a.

    The difference between the kits and the factory Falcons is that the factory models have cabinets carefully assembled to precise spec (kits will vary depending on who is assembling them) and crossover/drive units selected and tested to match the master curve for response, and certified as such. I'd guess that the kits are no longer offered as they were probably not very profitable, plus UK sales were probably next to nothing. Most Falcon Ls3/5a's made probably end up overseas. I doubt that many are now sold in the UK, as the new hifi market isn't well enough supported, which is rather sad but it's too small a market.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IIRC Stirling hold a license for the LS3/5A V2, which obviously isn't an LS3/5A, but is deemed similar enough to fill the same monitoring role.

    I think much of Falcon's issue now is they are just so bloody expensive. I'd have been very tempted to buy a pair had they stayed at the direct from Falcon introductory proce (£1250 IIRC). Now they seem to be well north of £2k!
  20. Pac1

    Pac1 Designer/Manufacturer

    They had no choice Tony. They were initially direct sold, but to fulfill marketing properly a distributor had to be appointed to take care of sales and export. The pricing strategy had to take that into account.

    It's no different at all to any other company when you look at it that way. Tannoy for example sell the Canterbury GR at around an RRP of £18K, but you can bet your bottom dollar had they been a direct sale, you'd probably be looking at closer to £10K. The LS3/5a doesn't look quite so expensive when viewed in that light, especially given the lengths that Falcon have gone to with manufacture of the drive units. They're probably making no more profit now than they were at £1250, except that distributors and o/s dealers now have their cut. It also commands a premium being the only LS3/5a made to the original BBC licence spec.

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