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January 2016
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn
Resurrecting the old classic BBC LS3/5A that lives up against the older classics.
Review By Joseph Ki Cheong Ming

 

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

  It is no secret that Malcolm Jones did most of the design and development of the legendary KEF drive units such as the B139, B200, B110, T15, and T27. He left KEF in 1974 having just completed the famous Reference Series 104 system and thus began work on an active professional monitor plus his new company Falcon Acoustics Ltd. When Falcon announced making LS3/5A, using all-new drivers that were said to 'voice' to the original KEF 15 Ohm drivers (B110-SP1003 and T27-SP1032), a desire was set on fire waiting in anticipation among all LS3/5A enthusiasts! My pair finally came after four gruesome months of waiting. This pair arrived and is the 25th pair of LS3/5A within my collection. In early 2015 the Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com, Steven R. Rochlin, stopped by my home for a visit. He was highly impressed with my collection and the sound of the LS3/5A speakers within my very specially setup room and my personally-designed acoustic treatments.

 

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

 

The Sound Of A New Classic
These new Falcon LS3/5A small monitors sounded remarkably good straight out of the box! Prior to the Falcon, I was listening to Rogers 60th anniversary edition for the last two years. According to Rogers, the 60th version is said to voice very closely to the original 15 Ohm design using other drivers made within the UK. Of note is that these drivers can be played much louder than any of the KEF version LS3/5A drivers ever released! As such, I did fear that these newly designed Falcon units might not be able to take on the loudness war against the mighty 60th while in retrospect. Never-the-less, there was good confidence that the new Falcon version would sound impressive, if perhaps a bit better than the classic 15 Ohm versions.

 

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

 

Falcon's LS3/5A variant proved me wrong! Falcon is unlike my old 15 Ohm collections, as it can be played harder and louder than most designs yet perhaps not as loud as the 60th. Falcon's is loud enough and retains its composure, yet without those nostalgic sonic characters of the classics. The high frequency is crystal clear and yet sweet, with the midrange sounding very natural. As for the bass, it is expressive and articulate, with its low frequency timed accurately. The overall presentation conjured to a wholesome, homogeneous piece. It has a stable dynamic rise and fall that gives better 'swings' in music.

The "clean" sounding T27 soft-dome tweeter gives a defined "starts and stops", its residue in projecting a defined dynamic contrast benefited in appreciation of mass instrumentation as found in music with complex timbre structures and textures like the Mozart Chamber Music for Strings and Wings Rondo. Allegro by Boston Symphony Orchestra - Quintet in E-flat for horn, violin, two violas, and cello, K.407 is reproduced with effervescent of fine integration of strings. Wind instruments clearly "woke-up" the acoustics within the performance hall as they come through effortlessly into my listening room! There is an audible better delineated spread in staging laterally and vertically as well as a better depth field as compared to the classic 15 Ohm versions that conjured a basically clear image and soundstaging. Similarly, the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the music conductor of James Levine, Symphony No. 20 in D Major, K133 Andante the woodwinds cut through a dense strings textures, soars to a rich texture myriads of lights is simply awesome to listen to!

 

  

 

 

Falcon's LS3/5A excels in well-recorded human voices too like this dark, moody, sparsely spread blues vocal works of Doug Macleod  "Norfolk Country Line". Doug's voice is intensive to a vengeful level that sounded real and natural, which only soothes by a calm, heart-warming duet vocal of JanivaMagness, Falcon's LS3/5A is capable of delivering multiplexes extremes of the vocal works found in this Audioquest recording [AQ 1054]. In the reproduction of The Syd Lawrence Orchestra's Big Band Spectacular we have a fine catalogue of demonstrating the difference of 180 gram D2D vinyl against 1/2" master tape at 30ips 24-track mixed down. The Falcon small monitor has the ability to reproduce the differences between the two. This provides the ability of this impressive monitor transducer.

 

 

Conclusion
Falcon Acoustics has resurrected the old classic and certainly lives up against the older classics! Having been 'baptized' listening to the fame BBC 0011 and 002 owned by Paul Whatton of The Unofficial LS3/5A support site, Falcon comes closer to the 001 and 002 yet it remains a gap to the original reference... barring the aging issues of course. One thing is for sure, the Falcon LS3/5A small two-way monitor is capable of the known feats of the beebs in projecting the music in a wholesome and continuous piece, with higher than expected amplitude of the current modern music listening requirement.

 

Reference System During Review
Digital Source: Bryston BDP-2, 1TB SSD powered by Frank Power Supply; DAC: Bryston BDA-2

Analogue Source: LINN LP12 (Hercules Power Supply), Itok arm & Koetsu Rosewood Anniversary Edition cartridge, Frank Acoustic Pipit Reference phono & FM122 (Mark)

Amplifiers: FM Acoustic FM-155 pre and FM-108 Mono power amplifier

Speakers: Falcon LS3/5A, Rogers 60th Anniversary, Graham LS3/5, original Chartwell 15 Ohm, Rogers gold tag 15 Ohm, with subs from Rogers AB-1 in "KI Method Mark-III" arrangement, and REL Stantor II subwoofer

Power Treatments: Torus 8A-AVR, Frank Acoustics M5Hz+ Frequency Correction, Frank Acoustics PB15000Ws Powerbank, Frank ABL Sursum Cryo-MCB T1 B50amp fuse.

Listening Room: 13' 4" x 9' 5" x 10' (LxWxH)

 

 

Specifications
Type: Two-way small monitor loudspeaker
LS3/5a With Original 15 Ohm Crossover
Drivers: British made Falcon T27 tweeter and B110 midrange/woofer drive units. Tweeter is 0.75" Mylar dome and midrange woofer is 5" Bextrene cone.

Frequency Response: 70Hz to 20kHz

Sensitivity: 83dB/W/m

Impedance: 15 Ohms

Crossover: Hand-built BBC FL6/23 transformer design using transformer inductors made by British manufacturers and close tolerance pair matched components throughout.

Cabinets: Selected grade Baltic Birch Ply with beech battens. Veneered in selected wood veneers, Cherry, Walnut, Elm, Yew (Special Edition) and Rosewood are also available.

Dimensions: 11.9" x 7.4" x 6.4" (HxWxD)

Weight: 11.8 lbs.

The Falcon BBC LS3/5a is hand-assembled and final pair matched in Oxford England.

Price: 1485 including UK VAT per pair in Walnut. Other finishes available at additional cost. Sound Anchor stands for speakers adds $695 (or $550 when purchasing speakers). Within the USA they are are $2195 in walnut and cherry, with other finishes being slightly higher such as $2395 in Rosewood and $2495 in Burr Walnut. 

 

Company Information
Falcon Acoustics
Mallories, Pound Lane, Stanton St. John
Oxfordshire OX33 1HF
England

Voice: (44) (0)1865-358001
Website: www.FalconAcoustics.co.uk

 

Exclusive North American Distributor / Retailer
Big Ear Consulting
Ormond Beach, FL

Voice: (800) 752-4018
Website: www.LS35aDirect.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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