FALCON ACOUSTICS: LS3/5a loudspeaker test review

Herb Reichert (Stereophile) writes:

When all you've ever heard are wooden boxes that shout, it's difficult to recognize their highly accented "voice." Few of us actually notice how miserably distorted all loudspeakers are. Don't believe me? Try listening to a recording of your child's voice, the sounds of rattling keys, or an audience applauding.After you've spent a bunch of time with horns, electrostats, or ribbons, box speakers won't sound "boxy," as many reviewers claim; they'll just sound squawky and . . . peculiar. To my ears, the bigger and heavier a speaker cabinet, the more peculiar it sounds. In contrast, petite boxes, like that of Falcon Acoustics' new re-creation of the British Broadcasting Corporation's classic LS3/5a, have a way of sounding closer to solitary drivers hanging in thin air—ie, more open and invisible—than ultradamped, 250-lb, tower-monolith speakers, which, on a gray and humid day, can sound an awful lot like moaning, wheezing piles of wood.

This spanking-new incarnation of the BBC's LS3/5a (footnote 1) costs $2195/pair and is a highly artisanal labor of love and pride manufactured in Oxfordshire, England, under the technical supervision of KEF's first employee and Falcon Acoustics' retired founder, Malcolm Jones, and the inspired passion of Jones's old friend and Falcon's present owner, Jerry Bloomfield. When I asked Bloomfield how this entire what's-old-is-new-again-let's-do-it-right-this-time Falcon LS3/5a thing got started, he laughed. "Boardroom curries and lots of wine!"

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