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spendorman
12-06-2009, 17:40
Hi Barry, I have to admit that I don’t use tuners very much now. Generally it’s internet radio (some good quality stations around) or a portable for talk programs. Some might frown, but I find that my middle of the road Creative soundcard fed straight into a power amp works pretty well. Amps that are used, Radford STA25 III, Quad 303, Quad 405-2 (Burr Brown op amps), Quad II, Radford SPA50, Radford ZD50. My favourites are the Radford STA25 III and Quad II. Speakers alternate, between Chartwell LS3/5a, BBC LS3/6, Spendor BC1, BC2, B&W DM1, DM2, DM3, DM4, DM5, Quad ESL57, ESL63, Various KEF, Rogers, LS2, LS7, JR149, Various old KEFs, Various old Celestions and more. Believe it or not I am getting enjoyment out of some cheap JPW Gold Monitors that have been modified by adding more damping.

To compare tuners at home fairly is difficult as not easy to do a proper A/B.
All the tuners (You are correct, the Radford is a FMT-2, but I had to look on the back panel to check!) don’t sound that different. I do seem to remember that I thought that the FM3 was very slightly brighter at the top end than the FM4, Ravensbourne or Radford.

For some time now one can get the Ravensbourne very cheap, strange, when it’s pretty good.

Barry
13-06-2009, 00:04
....... Radford STA25 III, Quad 303, Quad 405-2 (Burr Brown op amps), Quad II, Radford SPA50, Radford ZD50..........Speakers alternate, between Chartwell LS3/5a, BBC LS3/6, Spendor BC1, BC2, B&W DM1, DM2, DM3, DM4, DM5, Quad ESL57, ESL63, Various KEF, Rogers, LS2, LS7, JR149, Various old KEFs, Various old Celestions and more.

Wow! What an amazing collection of classic British equipment you have there 'spendorman'. Respect! I'm most envious.

Would you be interested in writing a piece about the BBC LS3/6 for AoS? Or how the Rogers LS2 and LS7 compare with the LS3/5A? I ask because I am interested in using the latter speakers with my TV.

Thanks

Barry

spendorman
13-06-2009, 09:32
Hi Barry and anyone interested.

Unfortunately there are many more speakers including Spendor Preludes, some very old Wharfdales , Tannoy, Tangent (forgot those RS2 and RS4) and quite a few home built concoctions. Inc. LS3/5a clones, Kef B200+Celestion HF1300 + Coles 4001G) EMI 14”x9” +Audax mid+Celestion HF1300+ Coles 4001G , Goodmans early Alnico Axiette 8” + Peerless soft dome tweeter. One day I should make a full list. I think it may be frightening.

I find it difficult to meaningfully describe the difference between speakers.
My good friend (completely non technical, whose Dad was technical Manager of Vitavox and was on the team designing the Klipschorn) said of speakers:

“All speakers are coloured, it’s just that the good ones have nice sounding coloration”

I will say that the LS3/5a (mine are early Chartwell 15 Ohm versions) are very good small speakers. They excel on small scale classical. However for rock (loud) these are not the ones.

The LS3/6 are very nice, unfortunately, they do not have the original bass/ mid units. These were damaged and that is how I got the speakers. However, after considering using various alternative bass/ mids (including BC1) I decided that some Dalesford 8” Bextrene units may be good. The reasoning is that I believe that some Rogers Export Monitors may have used these. LS3/6, Rogers Export Monitor, Rogers Studio 1 and Spendor BC1 are all closely related.

The choice has worked well, the LS3/6 have more controlled bass than the BC1 (I have several vintages of BC1). The mid is less coloured than the BC1 and the LS3/6 uses a Celestion HF2000 as a supertweeter instead of the Coles 4001G. This is an advantage as it is less delicate (can take more power) than the Coles.

So my LS3/6 are not original, but I am very pleased with them, and they can take more power that the standard LS3/6. Good sounding as the original LS3/6 bass/ mid was, it could not take much power.

Believe it or not I think I could be happy with just the LS3/6, the LS3/5a for second system and, wait for it!! the JPW Gold Monitors. I do like the electrostatics, but with all this equipment and no space left, they are rarely placed in ideal positions.

Apologies for all this rambling, that’s all it is.

Oh, I'm not answering your questions. LS2 I found very detailed in the mid, but a bit too coloured in the mid compared to LS3/5a. LS7, better in the mid and bass than LS2, very detailed and articulate, but the top end does not seem to heave the finnesse of speakers that used Celestion HF1300 and a supertweeter (eg. Spendor BC1, B&W DM1, DM2, DM3, DM4, LS3/6).

To be pedantic, the DM3 did not use Celestion HF1300, it was a Celestion HF1400, which is a 1300 with a bigger magnet.

Dalek Supreme D L
13-06-2009, 09:51
Useful rambling spendorman very useful. Thanks for asking Barry as I don't like to be to pushy ;) looking for new write ups for AOS.


Regards D S D L

Barry
14-06-2009, 16:43
Hi Barry and anyone interested.

Unfortunately there are many more speakers including Spendor Preludes, some very old Wharfdales , Tannoy, Tangent (forgot those RS2 and RS4) and quite a few home built concoctions. Inc. LS3/5a clones, Kef B200+Celestion HF1300 + Coles 4001G) EMI 14”x9” +Audax mid+Celestion HF1300+ Coles 4001G , Goodmans early Alnico Axiette 8” + Peerless soft dome tweeter. One day I should make a full list. I think it may be frightening.

I find it difficult to meaningfully describe the difference between speakers.
My good friend (completely non technical, whose Dad was technical Manager of Vitavox and was on the team designing the Klipschorn) said of speakers:

“All speakers are coloured, it’s just that the good ones have nice sounding coloration”

I will say that the LS3/5a (mine are early Chartwell 15 Ohm versions) are very good small speakers. They excel on small scale classical. However for rock (loud) these are not the ones.

The LS3/6 are very nice, unfortunately, they do not have the original bass/ mid units. These were damaged and that is how I got the speakers. However, after considering using various alternative bass/ mids (including BC1) I decided that some Dalesford 8” Bextrene units may be good. The reasoning is that I believe that some Rogers Export Monitors may have used these. LS3/6, Rogers Export Monitor, Rogers Studio 1 and Spendor BC1 are all closely related.

The choice has worked well, the LS3/6 have more controlled bass than the BC1 (I have several vintages of BC1). The mid is less coloured than the BC1 and the LS3/6 uses a Celestion HF2000 as a supertweeter instead of the Coles 4001G. This is an advantage as it is less delicate (can take more power) than the Coles.

So my LS3/6 are not original, but I am very pleased with them, and they can take more power that the standard LS3/6. Good sounding as the original LS3/6 bass/ mid was, it could not take much power.

Believe it or not I think I could be happy with just the LS3/6, the LS3/5a for second system and, wait for it!! the JPW Gold Monitors. I do like the electrostatics, but with all this equipment and no space left, they are rarely placed in ideal positions.

Apologies for all this rambling, that’s all it is.

Oh, I'm not answering your questions. LS2 I found very detailed in the mid, but a bit too coloured in the mid compared to LS3/5a. LS7, better in the mid and bass than LS2, very detailed and articulate, but the top end does not seem to heave the finnesse of speakers that used Celestion HF1300 and a supertweeter (eg. Spendor BC1, B&W DM1, DM2, DM3, DM4, LS3/6).

To be pedantic, the DM3 did not use Celestion HF1300, it was a Celestion HF1400, which is a 1300 with a bigger magnet.

Hi Spendorman,

Thanks for the write up. More or less reinforces my impressions. I have a high regard for BBC designs and know that licensed manufacturers have quite often offered 'domestic' models based on the BBC designs. I remember hearing the Rogers BBC Studio Monitors many years ago. I knew it was based on the LS3/6 but with an additional tweeter. It was very good and at the time I think I preferred it to the Spendor BC1, however I could afford neither.

Your comments regarding the Rogers LS2 and LS7 vis-a-vis the LS3/5a are very interesting. First of all let me say that the Chartwell's LS3/5a are considered to be the best of the various versions that were licensed. I am looking for a small bookshelf sized set of spreakers to use with my TV. I had either the Rodgers LS7 or LS3/5a in mind - looks like I will have to track down a reasonably priced pair of 3/5a s after all! At the moment I am using a pair of Eltax 1621 speakers (a three unit ported design) that I picked up for virtually nothing and which work very well, so there is no great rush to change them; however a pair of 3/5a s would be nice. I have the opportunity to get a pair of B&W DM2s cheap, and would appreciate your opinion on the use of these for TV use.

Again thanks for the write up.

Regards
Barry

PS Where do you keep all those speakers of yours?

spendorman
14-06-2009, 17:00
Hi Spendorman,

Thanks for the write up. More or less reinforces my impressions. I have a high regard for BBC designs and know that licensed manufacturers have quite often offered 'domestic' models based on the BBC designs. I remember hearing the Rogers BBC Studio Monitors many years ago. I knew it was based on the LS3/6 but with an additional tweeter. It was very good and at the time I think I preferred it to the Spendor BC1, however I could afford neither.

Your comments regarding the Rogers LS2 and LS7 vis-a-vis the LS3/5a are very interesting. First of all let me say that the Chartwell's LS3/5a are considered to be the best of the various versions that were licensed. I am looking for a small bookshelf sized set of spreakers to use with my TV. I had either the Rodgers LS7 or LS3/5a in mind - looks like I will have to track down a reasonably priced pair of 3/5a s after all! At the moment I am using a pair of Eltax 1621 speakers (a three unit ported design) that I picked up for virtually nothing and which work very well, so there is no great rush to change them; however a pair of 3/5a s would be nice. I have the opportunity to get a pair of B&W DM2s cheap, and would appreciate your opinion on the use of these for TV use.

Again thanks for the write up.

Regards
Barry

PS Where do you keep all those speakers of yours?

I think all but the very early BC1's and LS3/6's had a supertweeter. A reasonable priced pair of LS3/5a, difficult. Perhaps consider the JR149, but they are getting rediculous in price.

I hate to go on about it but those JPW Gold Monitors, but they are brilliant, especially as they go for peanuts on e bay. The Mini Monitors are very good as well, same speakers but cheaper tweeters (still good as Audax). The bas/ mids in both are Peerless, so should not be bad. The Mini Monitors are available with shielded magnets which is a bonus.

As for DM2's I like thenm very much (DM2a almost identical except HF1300 is level is adjustable). Not really an advantage the DM2 is about right anyway.

I have several pairs of DM2 and DM2a.

I trust that they will be far away from the TV avoid magnetic interference.

Not familiar with the Eltax, but they generally look good value.

THe JPW Mini Monitors and Gold Monitors are around LS3/5a size (small).

Barry
14-06-2009, 17:07
Hi Spendorman,

Thanks for that. The DM2s I have in mind are the 2a versions. The person who is selling them has recently replaced them with Spendor s9e (?)

Will check out the JPW speakers.

Regards
Barry

spendorman
14-06-2009, 17:23
Worth trying the DM2a's watch out for blown supertweeters. They should measure 23 Ohms DC resistance.

By the way, JPW did quite a lot of speakers for the BBC.

Room for more! speaker space is very limited here now!!

DSJR
14-06-2009, 20:21
Good grief, this is turning into an extension of the yahoo Spendor group...:)

Didn't the BC1 and siblings use the larger magnet version of the HF1300? Speakers like the baby Celestions (Ditton 15's, 25's County's etc) used a small magnet version I believe.

That HF1300 does have a wonderful sound in its narow passband, but there's a nasty at 3.5KHz approx and a peak at 14KHz that can cause trouble in some speakers.

According to Spencer Hughes (r.i.p.) not many LS3/6's were ultimately sold to the BBC or even made IIRC. The BC1 seemed to be the most acceptable one, either for costs, or some other reason. Old 3/6's, Rogers Exports and Spendors with the "white" surround to the bass cones will certainly be shagged by now, as the surround material returns to its flat sheet state and stops working as it should. Terry Miles (who I believe works hard at Spendor still) can re-build BC1 drivers, but I don't know about the others. Mike O'Brien (O'Brien HiFi in Wimbledon) may be able to offer pointers as he "was" Swisstone for a good few years.

We sold many LS7's (Chartwell PM310) at the time and my remaining memory of them was a full toned but tuneful bass and a spiky treble, which tamed over ten or more years of use. The LS7T was atrocious when new, but again, the tweeter bedded in eventually.

Regarding the 3/5A's, Chartwell supplied a pair to Angus MacKenzie for the 'Chioce speaker book in 1976 and he loved them. Audiomaster submitted a pair and they weren't liked as much. Twenty odd years later, when 'News did an appreciation of all the versions of this speaker, the Audiomasters came out better than the Chartwells they had. It just depends on the samples you have, as the spec allowed for such differences.

3/5A licencees varied in quality too. I can guarantee that Audiomaster (Robin Marshall) took huge care to get each one as right as possible, often taking them twice or more to Hirst Research centre to be calibrated and re-calibrated. I don't believe Rogers were as good in later years. if you blew a bass unit, they'd send out a straight B110 and you'd hope for the best. I can say that of the later ones, Harbeth were fastidious in their unique way and apparently they do their best to help 3/5A owners where possible.

I can also say that the BBC themselves used to have absolutely "centre-line" spec ones (every single sample was the same) and these had XLR sockets on the back. Occasionally, a few pairs were sold retail, but not often..

spendorman
14-06-2009, 20:58
Ah, yes Celestion Ditton 10, 15, County and probably others used a very small magnet version of the Celestion HF1300. The Spendor BC1, BC2 and I think the BC3 along with B&W DM1, DM2, DM4 (and many othe speakers assemblers) used a larger magnet version.

The B&W DM3 used a Celestion HF1400 and that is a 1300 with a magnet that looks very much like the BC1 etc. 1300 magnet, but is about 1/4" deeper. It is easy to miss this.

The HF1400 was also used on one of the BBC monitors (can't remember which) but its not the LS3/6 (I think!!).

The HF1400 must be a very rare beast. I certainly have four of them (two pairs of DM3's)

Yes, the curse of the white surround. Similar problems with early B&W DM4 bass/ mids and early Audax Bextrene cone bass/ mids.

Barry
14-06-2009, 22:37
According to Spencer Hughes (r.i.p.) not many LS3/6's were ultimately sold to the BBC or even made IIRC. The BC1 seemed to be the most acceptable one, either for costs, or some other reason. Old 3/6's, Rogers Exports and Spendors with the "white" surround to the bass cones will certainly be shagged by now, as the surround material returns to its flat sheet state and stops working as it should. Terry Miles (who I believe works hard at Spendor still) can re-build BC1 drivers, but I don't know about the others. Mike O'Brien (O'Brien HiFi in Wimbledon) may be able to offer pointers as he "was" Swisstone for a good few years.

We sold many LS7's (Chartwell PM310) at the time and my remaining memory of them was a full toned but tuneful bass and a spiky treble, which tamed over ten or more years of use. The LS7T was atrocious when new, but again, the tweeter bedded in eventually.

Regarding the 3/5A's, Chartwell supplied a pair to Angus MacKenzie for the 'Choice speaker book in 1976 and he loved them. Audiomaster submitted a pair and they weren't liked as much. Twenty odd years later, when 'News did an appreciation of all the versions of this speaker, the Audiomasters came out better than the Chartwells they had. It just depends on the samples you have, as the spec allowed for such differences.

3/5A licencees varied in quality too. I can guarantee that Audiomaster (Robin Marshall) took huge care to get each one as right as possible, often taking them twice or more to Hirst Research centre to be calibrated and re-calibrated. I don't believe Rogers were as good in later years. if you blew a bass unit, they'd send out a straight B110 and you'd hope for the best. I can say that of the later ones, Harbeth were fastidious in their unique way and apparently they do their best to help 3/5A owners where possible.

I can also say that the BBC themselves used to have absolutely "centre-line" spec ones (every single sample was the same) and these had XLR sockets on the back. Occasionally, a few pairs were sold retail, but not often..

The Rodgers Studio Monitor LS3/6 I heard (~37 years ago!) had the white surround. It seems that the relaxation of the white surround would have affected all speakers using it. Will have to bear that in mind if and when LS3/6s come up on eBay.

Looks like I should only show an interest in well used LS7s. 10 years! - that's a long time for a component to 'bed down'.

So back to the LS3/5As, ex BBC ones do come up on the bay from time to time but are usually in a 'well worn' condition.

Barry

spendorman
14-06-2009, 23:14
Those DM2a's never used a white (shrinking) surround, they have a rubber surround that seems to last and last.

You mentioned small speakers, the DM2a's are pretty big and very heavy, I would not call the Rogers LS7 small either.

DSJR mentions ex BBC LS3/5a with XLR connectors, even if in good condition these do not seem to fetch as much as other LS3/5a's.

I have an engineer friend at the BBC (he is actually the son of a friend, so much younger than me) A few years ago Just before he started at the BBC I told him of the LS3/5a and BBC connection. He was not that interested, until he found and tried some at work! He was not able to acquire a pair, so I told him of the JR149 and it's similarity. He managed to get a pair on e bay. He is delighted. Sod's law, just after that he managed to get a pair of LS3/5a on e bay at a low(ish) cost. He mainly uses the JR149 as he prefers the bass. He later got a pair of LS2, but sold them on as he preferred the JR149 and LS3/5a.

My Chartwell LS3/5a were purchased new in 1976 by a friend who is a musician. He listened to all the manufacturers LS3/5a at the time and chose the Chartwells. In fact he bought two pairs. About 17 years ago ( I think) he came upon hard times and asked me if I would like to buy a pair from him. £90 was agreed. That was probably a fair price for both of us at the time. He still has one pair of Chartwell LS3/5a and a pair of Quad ESL63's.

Incidentally, Jim Rogers was a family friend and this is how my interest in Hi Fi started. In the late 60's I used to go to his factory at Catford and collect some of his cast off bit of equipment. He sold me (at very low cost) some drive units to make my own speakers. They were EMI 13"x8" bass/ mid with massive magnet, Celestion HF1300 and Coles (then was STC) 4001G. I still have those speakers and they are very good.

Barry
14-06-2009, 23:43
Those DM2a's never used a white (shrinking) surround, they have a rubber surround that seems to last and last.

You mentioned small speakers, the DM2a's are pretty big and very heavy, I would not call the Rogers LS7 small either.

DSJR mentions ex BBC LS3/5a with XLR connectors, even if in good condition these do not seem to fetch as much as other LS3/5a's.



Regarding the white surrounds, I was referring to the Rogers Studio Monitors / LS3/6.

Yes, I know the DM2As are large, probably too large for my purposes - it's just that I may be able to get them cheap.

I am quite happy to have LS3/5As fitted with XLRs, however these are usually ex BBC items and are usually in a worn cosmetic condition (i.e. have a poor WAF).

Looks like I will make do with the Eltax speakers (I believe Eltax are a sister company to Jamo) for the time being. As I said, despite having indifferent street creditability, they work well fed by a Quad 33/303.

Thanks for all the advice.

Regards
Barry

spendorman
14-06-2009, 23:53
Actually, I think I heard some Eltax speakers in Maplin a few years ago, they were quite good.

Worth trying the DM2a's especially if cheap. Better bass than BC1, same tweeters, so usually quite a bargain. Quad 303, I quite like, have four of them.

Rare Bird
05-10-2009, 15:00
I lived with 'DM2a' for quite some time, great speaker but a bit dull in the mid, the 'DM4' are a bit more open sounding.. again a later pair if you can with black woofer surrounds. What ever you do don't mix up DM2/a with DM2-II, they are totally different speakers..

freefallrob
06-10-2009, 12:37
Interesting thread this.

I personally use a pair of Rogers LS2, anything else is to big for our room. I'm very happy with them, excellent overall sound for my needs, super midrange, which is where most things happen, and well balanced. I can only listen at fairly low levels and for this they work better than many modern designs.

Interestingly by Dad (after hearing my LS2) dug out his well used Rogers LS7t and they have now taken preference to his B & W 705's. The LS7t were originally consigned to the loft, presumed 'out of date', strange what happens I guess....:)

DSJR
06-10-2009, 22:20
When new, the LS7T bit one's head off compared to the already lively PM310/LS7 that preceeded it. A few years later and the tweeter had mellowed beautifully, the spit taming into a pleasant sparkle as I recall. Good speaker IMO.

The LS5 and LS6 were pretty good too as I remember.

My BC2's have late SA2 drive units, which are almost identical to the original BC2/BC3mid driver, but the suspension is slightly better damped which may explain why the bass isn't anything like as bad as I thought it might be. The port mods and extra damping in the box help too...

The Grand Wazoo
06-10-2009, 22:37
When new, the LS7T bit one's head off compared to the already lively PM310/LS7 that preceeded it. A few years later and the tweeter had mellowed beautifully, the spit taming into a pleasant sparkle as I recall. Good speaker IMO.

Didn't the LS7T have a hole through the centre of the tweeter?
I spent several very enjoyable Saturday afternoons perched in front of those (& their predessesors) back in the early 90's.

aquapiranha
14-10-2009, 22:06
Ah, yes Celestion Ditton 10, 15, County and probably others used a very small magnet version of the Celestion HF1300.

I have a pair of Ditton 15's here - the first model I am told. They have the unusual looking tweeter you mention. I think they sound OK, not brilliant, but then I am sure the crossover could do with sprucing up a bit.

Rare Bird
14-10-2009, 22:44
One of the first speaker i ever owned while at school those, bought a cheap system, those Ditton, but they were the later 15XR with the newer tweeter..J.A.Michell 'Focus One' Vinyl grinder A&R 'A60' amp..Nakamich 582 cass deck..Quite a good system for a school kid..Anyhow i was suprise how weak the Bass was in those Celestions to say there's an ABR unit! Always like the Ditton '22' tho but couldnt afford em.

speakers-1989
30-10-2009, 23:36
I have a Leak Stereo 20, really nice amp.

I've been told it goes best with a passive preamp. I can understand why.

Rare Bird
31-10-2009, 12:21
I have a Leak Stereo 20, really nice amp.

I've been told it goes best with a passive preamp. I can understand why.

O yes spent 100 quid yesterday on Mundorf, Kimberkap & Sanyo oscon SG capacitors for it...

DSJR
31-10-2009, 13:30
Passive preamps aren't totally the bees doo-dah's, as any change in volume level alters the source loading as seen by the amp. if you do find one Shane, use very low capacitance cables as recommended by Richard Dunn..

To go back a few months, the XLR LS3/5A's as used by the beeb were supposed to be "centre-line" spec models, so ALL of them should sound the same if replaced in a broadcast environment.. If they're cheaper than the domestic ones and you really want 3/5A's at home (the new little Harbeths are decades ahead in sound and performance) then the XLR ones in un-bodged condition would be my choice.....

I started when celestion were still selling Ditton 15's, Counties, 25, 44 and 66's etc. The Ditton 15 was way outclassed by 1974, the KEF Chorale and monitor Audio MA7 of the period leaving them way behind. the XR version just sounded very "nasal" to me, but the HF1300 needed a more sophisticated crossover to integrate it better IMO, as it has a nasty little resonance at 3.5KHz which the BBC derived models lost in the steep crossover slopes and Spendor may have eliminated in the SP1 model...

RewindFishwalk
04-08-2011, 11:02
Hello, I Recently Picked up a pair of Eltax Digital Line 1621 at a local second hand shop. I am impressed with the sound quality (Not the best admittedly), and i was wondering if anyone could recommend a modestly priced amplifier.

Many thanks,

Rewind Fishwalk. :)

worthingpagan
04-08-2011, 17:56
Hello, I Recently Picked up a pair of Eltax Digital Line 1621 at a local second hand shop. I am impressed with the sound quality (Not the best admittedly), and i was wondering if anyone could recommend a modestly priced amplifier.

Many thanks,

Rewind Fishwalk. :)


How deep is your modesty? Does not the local s/h shop have a amp that would companion your speakers? Ebay may be your friend :cool:

synsei
11-09-2011, 21:53
My attention was first drawn to B&W's DM2's when I heard them described as 'a poor mans BC1', and having witnessed several pairs sell on eBay for very reasonable money I set about arranging an audition through friends. Once I'd heard them I was determined to source a pair. I've been bowled over by my DM2's which I acquired nearly four months ago for £90, the cabinets and drivers of which are in superb condition. After installing them into my system I initially thought one of the Coles supertweeters had blown but I've had them both tested recently and they are AOK, so I put the discrepancy down to my ageing ears. Regardless, they are easily the best speakers I have ever owned and despite their considerable age they look and sound absolutely magnificent.

Having never heard a pair of BC1's I wonder how the two models compare?

DSJR
12-09-2011, 07:27
The BC1 remains great in one significant area IMO, and that's in the midrange - vocals - acoustic instruments - small scale works etc. The frequency extremes are somewhat compromised now, especially the bass, which can be tweaked a bit to remove the boooooooom, but is still a little "fulsome" in balance. The DM2 was never *quite* as clean in the mid, but was as sweet in the treble (the Hf1300/Coles combo is a bit of a mess to implement, but sounds very good for such vintage bits) and the bass had a free-breathing kind of quality that these days could be tamed to advantage.

Enjoy your DM2's. Lovely :)

P.S. This looks ugly at home, but if BC1's can be raised high enough (24" or more), they can be turned upside down and this used to "sort" the bass honk no end. I believe many of the BBC examples (they were used as a general "noise box" for non critical monitoring) were "flown" from the ceilings and angled down slightly. I believe they were withdrawn from general service in the late 80's..

Dingdong
12-09-2011, 09:02
I've not heard a pair of BC1's yet, but I don't really like the look of them. The tweeter being stuck out a bit and the woofer being recessed just doesn't look right to me. But what do I know.
I'll have to go and have a listen to Synsei's pair connected up to his amps soon. Mine are hooked up to an LK280, which seems to do a decent job of controlling the low frequencies.

DSJR
12-09-2011, 12:59
One normally uses them with the grilles on, although they can be removed if you're really keen (I'm not!)

later baffles looked much better, having superior finish, paint and there was a genuine reason why the HF1300 stuck forwards a tad. having this unit flush helped one aspect and hindered another I believe from reading in the Yahoo Spendor group, where it was discussed a year or two back. Apparently, there were a few versions of the Hf1300, some with larger magnets and others not.

Rare Bird
12-09-2011, 13:05
Ive had both B&W 'DM4' & Spendor 'BC1' i know which i prefer.

synsei
12-09-2011, 17:28
Well, I now have the DM2's mounted on suitable stands (Atacama SL400's) and my God, what a difference they've made. I'm currently playing Mike Oldfield's, The Songs of Distant Earth and everything is so in focus. The bass is cleaner and more extended and yet the midrange and top end are as sweet and open as they ever were. Imaging has improved marginally as well (not that it was ever an issue). The Atacamas are far more substantial than the other stands I was using (To be fair, the Targets were never meant for such large speakers) and the DM2's look very good on them (they looked a bit uncomfortable perched on the narrow topped, 600mm tall Targets).

Frankly, to improve on what I'm hearing I'd probably need to move significantly upmarket, maybe to Harbeth's. However, unless my financial situation improves significantly this is where it's at, and that is absolutely fine with me... :rave:


I'll have to go and have a listen to Synsei's pair connected up to his amps soon.

You are welcome to visit anytime Mark, just give me a bell when you're free. Also, thank you for checking out those Coles tweeters and all the other drivers in my DM2's, At least I know they are all in spec now. The TD160 didn't enjoy the trip home from your place last week and now doesn't bounce at all :lol: It'll probably be best to tweak it in situ methinks ;)

Dingdong
12-09-2011, 17:56
I was going to get in touch with you about the TD160. As I had to solder a wire back on I though I'd have a sort out of the suspension, while I had its bottom off. After a bit of a clean of the springs and rubber bits I've got it to bounce for 12-15 seconds after pushing down on the spindle. Getting the spring closest to the motor right is the tricky one.
I'll be in touch soon about popping over.
Yeah for getting some better stands. They seem to like something quite sturdy.

synsei
12-09-2011, 18:07
Hmmm, sounds like a plan :)

Sorry for sliding off topic a tad guys, back to the speakers... :eyebrows:

DSJR
12-09-2011, 21:08
Ive had both B&W 'DM4' & Spendor 'BC1' i know which i prefer.

Don't tell me, the B&W ?

I've compared both and also thrown in the Rogers export Monitor too - when they were new :ner: Some would say they're all as bad as each other :lol:

Dingdong
12-09-2011, 21:19
Sshh!! DM2 & 4 prices will be on the up on ebay if you keep comparing them favourably to BC1's. If anybody asks just say that they are enormous ugly (mostly)teak boxes that can only be used with the grilles on as they are too fugly without.

dantheman91
11-05-2014, 14:20
We sold many LS7's (Chartwell PM310) at the time and my remaining memory of them was a full toned but tuneful bass and a spiky treble, which tamed over ten or more years of use. The LS7T was atrocious when new, but again, the tweeter bedded in eventually.

Hi Dave

So the CHARTWELL PM 310 is the same as the Rogers LS7 i see their still make by SWISSTONE? I'm interested as i have just come across a pair and not sure of their value.?

ff1d1l
13-05-2014, 14:40
I opened this thread with an anticipatory sigh....vintage speaker ramblings...should be some good stuff here...
Instead its full of exhaustive opinionating about bloody "monkey coffins" (as Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenburg has it). Christ on a bike if I wanted to sleep I'd get a sub to What Hi Fi.

Look, lets have some interesting stuff about vintage speakers.

Starting with some interesting vintage speakers might be a good start.

A by no means exhaustive list. (I think these are interesting, you might disagree - please do, its got to be less tedious than endless debate over which unexceptional mid fi box of yesteryear beats the other).

Quad electrostatics
Beveridge
Vitavox
Klipsch
Tannoy
JBL
Altec
BTH
Lowther
Voight
IMF

Preferably BIG, no compromise, low WAF. Studio stuff. Cinema stuff. Pro PA Stuff. Rich mans toys of yesteryear...
Stuff that gets you going, both visually and aurally...

Rant ends.

Barry
13-05-2014, 14:54
This thread was started by Alex (spendorman), so I don't understand why you're annoyed?

The speakers you list are interesting, especially the electrostatic designs (you could add Sound Labs and Audiostatic to the list). But with the exception of a very few most of the speakers you list, that are used in cinema and pro PA, are IMO far too coloured to be of much use in a domestic audio system

ff1d1l
13-05-2014, 15:48
Ok...I'll see your Audiostatic and Sound labs and raise you a Western Electric:)

The Grand Wazoo
13-05-2014, 16:19
Why don't you start another thread to discuss the stuff you are interested in, rather than moan about this one?

ff1d1l
13-05-2014, 16:35
A rant rather than a moan, surely?
Maybe later.
Just this thread had such an enticing title, and started so promisingly.

BTH K10A
13-05-2014, 17:14
This thread was started by Alex (spendorman), so I don't understand why you're annoyed?

The speakers you list are interesting, especially the electrostatic designs (you could add Sound Labs and Audiostatic to the list). But with the exception of a very few most of the speakers you list, that are used in cinema and pro PA, are IMO far too coloured to be of much use in a domestic audio system

Sorry Barry but I have to disagree. My JBL, Westrex & BTH speakers have very low colouration. Not in the ESL57 league but they have their own shortfalls.

ff1d1l
13-05-2014, 17:41
Sorry Barry but I have to disagree. My JBL, Westrex & BTH speakers have very low colouration. Not in the ESL57 league but they have their own shorfalls.

As a past owner of ESL57's, I'd have to say that their real strength, and what makes them sound uncoloured (which they aren't - take a look at a FR graph) is their extremely low distortion, and the absence of box resonance overhang to their sound. But like all comparatively inefficient speakers, they are dynamically compromised, although sitting near in perhaps a smallish room this will not seem apparent. In a smallish room the dynamic constraints of their power handling will not be an issue either. Trouble is they breathe much better in a large room. But within their limitations they're fantastic speakers, and among a handful that can fool you and have you turning round at an apparently real sound. Makes you wonder with such a comparatively poor FR associated with such a stellar speaker exactly how important a flat FR is?

Of course, if the coloration, less obviously a colouration but one nontheless, of constrained dynamics, is a consideration, then high efficency/low distortion designs of the past should be explored, areas where many of the vintage speakers I listed, and certainly BTH K10A's own JBL, Westrex and BTH, excel.

Gordon Steadman
13-05-2014, 17:54
Makes you wonder with such a comparatively poor FR associated with such a stellar speaker exactly how important a flat FR is?


:exactly:

Whilst a flat FR may well be wise to aim at, there are more important things. The 57s remain the benchmark for me and are with me forever (however long that is). I don't find them dynamically limited though, they just sound natural as opposed to the overlit disco speakers that seem all the rage now. I do have an REL Quake just about on to help at the bottom end. Apart from that, they do everything I look for in a speaker.

ff1d1l
13-05-2014, 18:04
:exactly:

Whilst a flat FR may well be wise to aim at, there are more important things. The 57s remain the benchmark for me and are with me forever (however long that is). I don't find them dynamically limited though, they just sound natural as opposed to the overlit disco speakers that seem all the rage now. I do have an REL Quake just about on to help at the bottom end. Apart from that, they do everything I look for in a speaker.

As one who unfortunately experiences discos much more than he'd like, which is not at all, I'd quibble with you that disco speakers are dynamic, or more accurately that the sound that emerges from them is. Most sound squashed and boomy, loud overall but not dynamic.

But I'm with you all the way on what lovely speakers ESL 57's are:)

loo
14-05-2014, 16:48
Ok...I'll see your Audiostatic and Sound labs and raise you a Western Electric:)

I'll see your Western Electric and raise you a Rehdeko ;)

ff1d1l
15-05-2014, 14:39
I'll see your Western Electric and raise you a Rehdeko ;)
I'm INTERESTED!
Tell us more....don't know much about them except they have a dedicated following (including Paul Messenger - think I'm right in saying this?) And claim to prioritisetime domain accuracy over FR. Which kind of takes us in the Esl 57 direction again doesn't it?

BTH K10A
15-05-2014, 16:03
Starting with some interesting vintage speakers might be a good start.

).

Quad electrostatics
Beveridge
Vitavox
Klipsch
Tannoy
JBL
Altec
BTH
Lowther
Voight
IMF

Preferably BIG, no compromise, low WAF. Studio stuff. Cinema stuff. Pro PA Stuff. Rich mans toys of yesteryear...
Stuff that gets you going, both visually and aurally...

Rant ends.

http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?27339-BTH-K-10A-Exciting-dual-concentric-project-larger-than-big-Tannoys!&highlight=British+thomson+houston

Marco
15-05-2014, 16:20
Hi Andy,

Nice to see you popping in again - hope life is treating you well! :)

Marco.

ff1d1l
15-05-2014, 17:48
http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?27339-BTH-K-10A-Exciting-dual-concentric-project-larger-than-big-Tannoys!&highlight=British+thomson+houston

Oh yes...well aware of this thread, one of the best ever on the forum IMHO. Made me
aware of these fabulous drivers - shame they're so rare. Love to hear a pair, definitely on the wish list.

Also realise that great and iconic speakers as they are, the classic tannoys duals are
not the only fruit.

The Urei 811 which are my current
adrenalin rush use selected Altec 604 8g's
with a time aligned crossover. They are
noticeably more efficient than big tannoys,
and once certain crippling original design
features are dealt with, are capable of
excellent performance. You have to realise
these designs ousted Tannoys in many, if
not most studios, and possibly with good reason.

loo
15-05-2014, 18:21
I'm INTERESTED!
Tell us more....don't know much about them except they have a dedicated following (including Paul Messenger - think I'm right in saying this?) And claim to prioritisetime domain accuracy over FR. Which kind of takes us in the Esl 57 direction again doesn't it?

Hi Nial,
Well yes they do have a lot of the same Qualities of the Quad ESL , except they also do drums and percussion with scarey realism, I am no expert just a big fan.
sadly the company closed after owner and designer Weber Rehde died ,they do have a loyal fanbase and owners rarely part with them so they have become like
rocking horse poo ,and yes I believe you are right about Paul Messenger.
a couple of pics of the top models
http://i1308.photobucket.com/albums/s612/loonieboo1/RK-150_zpsa9d6978f.jpg (http://s1308.photobucket.com/user/loonieboo1/media/RK-150_zpsa9d6978f.jpg.html)http://i1308.photobucket.com/albums/s612/loonieboo1/RK175d_zps8a9551fa.jpg (http://s1308.photobucket.com/user/loonieboo1/media/RK175d_zps8a9551fa.jpg.html)
cheers
Paul

nat8808
15-05-2014, 18:50
And claim to prioritise time domain accuracy over FR. Which kind of takes us in the Esl 57 direction again doesn't it?

Time domain accuracy is the strength of the Yamaha NS10 too - why they moved from hifi obscurity and unpopularity (I guess because of peaky FR response) to studio legend.

ff1d1l
15-05-2014, 19:45
Time domain accuracy is the strength of the Yamaha NS10 too - why they moved from hifi obscurity and unpopularity (I guess because of peaky FR response) to studio legend.
Apparently the much derided Auratones are still prized for the same reason.

Actually I wonder if the move from farfield (Tannoy/Lockwood, Urei's, Fostex, big JBL's) to nearfield monitoring(Auratones, Ns10's plus more recently active speakers like Events) is responsible for the general decline in recording quality since the golden age, which I'd put mid fifties to the late eighties. After all, if stuff is mixed and monitored nearfield, its really going to be optimised for such playback. Yet most Audiophiles listen farfield or midfield, unless you have a couple of monitors for your computer on a desk. Much of the material mixed farfield on those big high efficiency monitors - and here we come back to Rehdeko - has beautifully recorded drums, which recordings really come alive when treated to something like the playback chain they were mixed on.
In fact many are just beautiful recordings, full of dynamics and inner detail just waiting to be rediscovered.

Percussion on which recordings gets the Rehdekos going Paul? (and thanks for the pics and info - really interesting, maverick genius savant and very high on my must hear list now)

In fact I sometimes wonder if the old Quad maxim, "the closest approach to the original sound" might not be the thing to aim for in hi fi. Surely as just as valid an aim is reproducing, or getting as close as you can to reproducing the sound the creator of the work heard in the studio when he'd finished mixing it. Before he gave it to the mastering engineer....

Heresy!

Mr Kipling
15-05-2014, 22:26
I tend to listen Silly Mid-On or Forward Square Leg.

Howzattttt…

BTH K10A
15-05-2014, 22:55
A few pics of BTH, Westrex, JBL & some Vitavox drivers amongst others on top of the record storage unit

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1573_zps539009a1.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1573_zps539009a1.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1578_zps0d512a0c.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1578_zps0d512a0c.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1541_zpsbdf19dfe.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1541_zpsbdf19dfe.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/112-1201_IMG_zpsc31a9393.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/112-1201_IMG_zpsc31a9393.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/HiFi/105-0544_IMG-1.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/HiFi/105-0544_IMG-1.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/HiFi/IMG_1472.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/HiFi/IMG_1472.jpg.html)

Firebottle
16-05-2014, 06:10
Fook me! :respect:

ff1d1l
16-05-2014, 09:15
I tend to listen Silly Mid-On or Forward Square Leg.

Howzattttt…

Something exceedingly good for Mr Kipling

http://youtu.be/Z2PmnTvPfn4

ff1d1l
16-05-2014, 19:00
Wow Andy that's an astonishing display of uberdesirables.
I am deeply deeply green.

"Preferably BIG, no compromise, low WAF. Studio stuff. Cinema stuff. Pro PA Stuff. Rich mans toys of yesteryear...
Stuff that gets you going, both visually and aurally..."

Oh yes.

And apart from the speakers is that an EMT 927 or 930 lurking unobtrusively in the background?
And, what is the mahogany veneered single central speaker...its a a new one on me?
And are the JBL(4333's?) standing on subs...and whats in the subs?
Do you have a favourite or is it horses for courses?

I'll try and get together some pics of my stuff over the weekend. Not a patch on yours mind.

But thanks again for letting us all see your fantastic system(s).

Mr Kipling
16-05-2014, 19:26
A few pics of BTH, Westrex, JBL & some Vitavox drivers amongst others on top of the record storage unit

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1573_zps539009a1.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1573_zps539009a1.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1578_zps0d512a0c.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1578_zps0d512a0c.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/IMG_1541_zpsbdf19dfe.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/IMG_1541_zpsbdf19dfe.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/112-1201_IMG_zpsc31a9393.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/112-1201_IMG_zpsc31a9393.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/HiFi/105-0544_IMG-1.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/HiFi/105-0544_IMG-1.jpg.html)

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/emttsd15/HiFi/IMG_1472.jpg (http://s46.photobucket.com/user/emttsd15/media/HiFi/IMG_1472.jpg.html)

15" drivers? No way Jose.

What you really want is a couple of these, Sunshine.
12403

BTH K10A
16-05-2014, 20:29
Wow Andy that's an astonishing display of uberdesirables.
I am deeply deeply green.

"Preferably BIG, no compromise, low WAF. Studio stuff. Cinema stuff. Pro PA Stuff. Rich mans toys of yesteryear...
Stuff that gets you going, both visually and aurally..."

Oh yes.

And apart from the speakers is that an EMT 927 or 930 lurking unobtrusively in the background?
930 and there's a 938 lurking out of picture
And, what is the mahogany veneered single central speaker...its a a new one on me?
An original BTH K10A cabinet
And are the JBL(4333's?) standing on subs...and whats in the subs?
Not truly subs but L200's that could double up for sub duty using just the LE15B's via Martin sub crossovers. I sold the 4333's, L200's plus some SM50 S8's and S7's a few years ago so the only JBL's I now have are the 1400 Arrays and various drives & horns
Do you have a favourite or is it horses for courses?
Difficult to choose but I as I have a penchant for vintage stuff the Westrex and BTH win the day


I'll try and get together some pics of my stuff over the weekend. Not a patch on yours mind.

But thanks again for letting us all see your fantastic system(s).

:)

Martyn Miles
23-09-2014, 15:27
Good grief, this is turning into an extension of the yahoo Spendor group...:)

Didn't the BC1 and siblings use the larger magnet version of the HF1300? Speakers like the baby Celestions (Ditton 15's, 25's County's etc) used a small magnet version I believe.

That HF1300 does have a wonderful sound in its narow passband, but there's a nasty at 3.5KHz approx and a peak at 14KHz that can cause trouble in some speakers.

According to Spencer Hughes (r.i.p.) not many LS3/6's were ultimately sold to the BBC or even made IIRC. The BC1 seemed to be the most acceptable one, either for costs, or some other reason. Old 3/6's, Rogers Exports and Spendors with the "white" surround to the bass cones will certainly be shagged by now, as the surround material returns to its flat sheet state and stops working as it should. Terry Miles (who I believe works hard at Spendor still) can re-build BC1 drivers, but I don't know about the others. Mike O'Brien (O'Brien HiFi in Wimbledon) may be able to offer pointers as he "was" Swisstone for a good few years.

We sold many LS7's (Chartwell PM310) at the time and my remaining memory of them was a full toned but tuneful bass and a spiky treble, which tamed over ten or more years of use. The LS7T was atrocious when new, but again, the tweeter bedded in eventually.

Regarding the 3/5A's, Chartwell supplied a pair to Angus MacKenzie for the 'Chioce speaker book in 1976 and he loved them. Audiomaster submitted a pair and they weren't liked as much. Twenty odd years later, when 'News did an appreciation of all the versions of this speaker, the Audiomasters came out better than the Chartwells they had. It just depends on the samples you have, as the spec allowed for such differences.

3/5A licencees varied in quality too. I can guarantee that Audiomaster (Robin Marshall) took huge care to get each one as right as possible, often taking them twice or more to Hirst Research centre to be calibrated and re-calibrated. I don't believe Rogers were as good in later years. if you blew a bass unit, they'd send out a straight B110 and you'd hope for the best. I can say that of the later ones, Harbeth were fastidious in their unique way and apparently they do their best to help 3/5A owners where possible.

I can also say that the BBC themselves used to have absolutely "centre-line" spec ones (every single sample was the same) and these had XLR sockets on the back. Occasionally, a few pairs were sold retail, but not often..

My own speaker 'ramblings'
take me back to my early BC1s, which suffered in the hot 'Summer of '76' when the white roll surround on one speaker drooped. Inverting it temporarily cured it and Spendor fitted new drivers in Sep. '77.
I owned
DM4s and various LS3/5as later on. The '4s were similar to the BC1s, which were replaced by original Harbeth HL Monitors as the excessive bass end on the '1s couldn't be cured in my room.
After the LS3/5a dabbling I bought a pair of little Harbeths.
These P3ESRs are THE best loudspeakers I have ever owned...

Martyn Miles
14-10-2014, 17:38
Good grief, this is turning into an extension of the yahoo Spendor group...:)

Didn't the BC1 and siblings use the larger magnet version of the HF1300? Speakers like the baby Celestions (Ditton 15's, 25's County's etc) used a small magnet version I believe.

That HF1300 does have a wonderful sound in its narow passband, but there's a nasty at 3.5KHz approx and a peak at 14KHz that can cause trouble in some speakers.

According to Spencer Hughes (r.i.p.) not many LS3/6's were ultimately sold to the BBC or even made IIRC. The BC1 seemed to be the most acceptable one, either for costs, or some other reason. Old 3/6's, Rogers Exports and Spendors with the "white" surround to the bass cones will certainly be shagged by now, as the surround material returns to its flat sheet state and stops working as it should. Terry Miles (who I believe works hard at Spendor still) can re-build BC1 drivers, but I don't know about the others. Mike O'Brien (O'Brien HiFi in Wimbledon) may be able to offer pointers as he "was" Swisstone for a good few years.

We sold many LS7's (Chartwell PM310) at the time and my remaining memory of them was a full toned but tuneful bass and a spiky treble, which tamed over ten or more years of use. The LS7T was atrocious when new, but again, the tweeter bedded in eventually.

Regarding the 3/5A's, Chartwell supplied a pair to Angus MacKenzie for the 'Chioce speaker book in 1976 and he loved them. Audiomaster submitted a pair and they weren't liked as much. Twenty odd years later, when 'News did an appreciation of all the versions of this speaker, the Audiomasters came out better than the Chartwells they had. It just depends on the samples you have, as the spec allowed for such differences.

3/5A licencees varied in quality too. I can guarantee that Audiomaster (Robin Marshall) took huge care to get each one as right as possible, often taking them twice or more to Hirst Research centre to be calibrated and re-calibrated. I don't believe Rogers were as good in later years. if you blew a bass unit, they'd send out a straight B110 and you'd hope for the best. I can say that of the later ones, Harbeth were fastidious in their unique way and apparently they do their best to help 3/5A owners where possible.

I can also say that the BBC themselves used to have absolutely "centre-line" spec ones (every single sample was the same) and these had XLR sockets on the back. Occasionally, a few pairs were sold retail, but not often..

Re. the LS3/6, there is a very early pair currently on eBay. They have no badges/labels and very old connectors. A bit of Rogers' history according to the Seller. Starting price is £499. No bids as yet.

They would be interesting to listen to...

Martyn Miles
30-10-2014, 20:55
Re. the LS3/6, there is a very early pair currently on eBay. They have no badges/labels and very old connectors. A bit of Rogers' history according to the Seller. Starting price is £499. No bids as yet.

They would be interesting to listen to...

There were no bids on these very old LS3/6 speakers.
A bit expensive, even for a bit of history...