GRAHAM AUDIO LS3/5 STANDMOUNT LOUDSPEAKER

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Graham Audio LS3/5 standmount loudspeaker

Once upon a time, the BBC conducted a study aimed at predicting the acoustic properties of studios, and to help with this it constructed an 1/8 scale model of its large Maida Vale studio. A shortage of 1/8 scale musicians to fill this model necessitated a loudspeaker be used to simulate the appropriately-scaled acoustic output. Existing studio monitor designs were too big, so a miniature design using a 110mm bextrene-coned main driver in a five-litre cabinet was developed. The end result was the LS3/5, a design expected to have useful output from around 400Hz upwards; in the event, output extended from around 100Hz, and the design was quickly also pressed into service as a speech-monitoring loudspeaker for use in confined spaces, typically the control rooms in outside broadcast vans. Around 20 pairs were built before the driver manufacturer, KEF, changed the specification of the 110mm unit, necessitating a redesign of the LS3/5, dubbed the LS3/5a. The LS3/5a was also taken up by the audio community, largely due to its notable lack of coloration in the crucial midrange, something many other contemporary designs couldn’t live up to.

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