A Truer Way To Listen…BBC LS3/5a


For me, it’s always an enlightening experience to listen to another’s audio system and its set up. I always got to pick up a gem or two from each experience.

Here, I was invited to listen to a serious enthusiast and passionate collector of the famed British mini monitor, the LS 3/5a.

Mr. Lee has been a collector of that mini monitor for years. He welcomed me to listen to one of his prized and preferred pair, the Chartwell LS 3/5a (kit) of around 1974 (estimated).

For me, it was “mesmerizing and intimate”…I would also add,…”detail”.

He played some ‘vocalist’ CDs from Kit Chan, Stacey Kent, Rickie Lee Jones, Tsai Chin, etc…

I have played through those CDs in many ultra end audio systems but, so far, I have yet heard a ‘sweeter sounding presentation’.

It was not an exaggeration, mind you…it’s a revelation even to me (the gem that I got to collect).

The presentation continued with the Roger ‘Gold Tag’ LS 3/5a…

Nothing was change but only the mini monitor.

That presentation was different;…imaging was more solid, soundstage was slightly different and the bass was more delineated.

Finally, he changed the mini monitor to my Graham Chartwell LS 3/5 (signed pair).

That was another different presentation!

It was a ‘harder and brighter’ presentation…or ‘modern’ presentation, in comparison.

However, I did find that the tonality and general characteristics of all 3 iterations of the BBC LS 3/5a to be on par, and that similarities could be drawn.

In other words, each pair of those mini monitors sounded slightly different.

That was why collectors kept collecting different LS 3/5a…

At the end of that session, I found myself ‘wanting to hear’ more different iterations of the famed BBC LS 3/5a.

Mr. Lee’s audio system at play then:

Fisher 50C mono preamp,
Leak TL12.1 BBC Version mono block,
Studer A730 CD player,
Rogers LS3/5a Gold Tag,
Chartwell Kit LS3/5a,
Full Gotham interconnect, speakers cables and power cord.