Mark Kinsman wrote:
Coincidentally, I revived my HiFi interest when Covid hit and have been enjoying it ever since. As part of that two-channel system, I purchased a pair of the Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a Silver Badge Edition (BBC Licensed). Falcon was started by Malcom Jones, who, while working at KEF, designed the drivers that were used in the original BBC LS3/5a. The Falcon drivers are exactly as Malcom designed back at KEF. Very highly recommended. When I got back into this hobby, I purchased the Sound Artist Chinese homage version of the LS3/5a—surprisingly good for much less money. While not exactly an LS3/5a, they are more alike than not, with a great midrange. They are part of a bedroom system. While I now have three sets of speakers I rotate listening to, the Falcon Acoustic LS3/5a’s are magical and my forever speakers. The others may go, but these are here to stay.
Someone made a cryptic comment about Steve Huff, which made me go check if Steve had ever written about the LS3/5a speakers. (I seldom read other photo bloggers. Whenever someone tells me that another blogger has written a response to something I said, for instance, I don’t go read it. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.) Anyway, he wrote about them on July 11th, 2020 (down near the end of the article). This is a brief selection from what he had to say (I usually change the formatting and punctuation of quotations to accord to TOP’s style sheet, but Steve’s are distinctive and I have left them alone):
These tiny speakers are gorgeous in build, and have a unique sound that takes you back a ways but at the same time they do things I have not heard many modern day speakers do. They also lack in bass, so they are really only good for a small room and near field listening. In this kind of environment these are magic as once you start listening you do not even realize you are missing out on anything, as the speaker is just so natural and sweet and expansive in sound with a sweet fullness that makes you think what you are hearing is complete. […] Everything is just…beautiful…with the right music. They really bring some recordings to life in a way I have never heard before. These made me realize what a true holographic soundstage should sound like. […] …Vocals on these are magic. One of the best midrange performances I have heard, regardless of cost. […] I warn you, they are addicting.
I’m afraid I triggered my own obsessiveness again with that post the other day (note to self: never write about hi-fi ever again). If you want to try the little Falcon LS3/5a speakers, a little tip: unused factory seconds (the box might be the only thing that’s hurt) of the Falcon version of the LS3/3a are currently on closeout with MoFi badging for only $1,650. That’s well below the price of most of the other UK-made variants. For easier-on-your-wallet experimentation, try the Chinese knockoffs Mark mentioned*.
These speakers have been out of my price range my whole life, one way or another, even though I’ve owned or had a pair about five times for brief periods of up to a couple of months (one time I bought a pair on credit and had them repossessed, the only time in my life such a thing ever happened). Same story now. Some things never change. Please buy those bargain Falcon/MoFi LS3/5a speakers all up, please, so they won’t torture me any more!**
*But remember: small room, careful setup, small acoustic ensembles or vocalists. There’s a useful PDF about room setup at the Nordost site, but you have to give them your contact details to unlock it. Oh, and you need an amp with some grunt.
**I wasted my life. I’m not kidding. I should have done something that simply earned money effectively, and then pursued my interests as hobbies on the side. Too soon alt, too late schmardt.
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Jeff: “Some of the best advice I got early on in my business career, which was unrelated to photography, came from a photo dealer from whom I was buying prints for my eventual collection. A camera store owner, near retirement, had approached me about buying his business. And I envied the photo dealer’s life, at least as I naively imagined it at the time. Anyway, she emphatically told me to stick with my business career, make a lot of money, and indulge my other interests (including, at the time, hi-fi) as hobbies. Glad I listened.”