Graham Audio's LS5/8

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I installed a factory fresh pair of LS5/8 in our living room yesterday and was gob smacked by their performance. All of the wonderful qualities of the LS5/9 are there: midrange magic, timbral accuracy, three dimensional soundstage. But the bigger brother plays so much bigger, it almost makes its sibling sound polite.
Currently driving the LS5/8 with a pair of Luxman B-1000f Anniversary monoblocks. The living room is approx. 1,200 sq ft on the ground floor and 1,800 sq ft on the second floor, so those 12" woofers are moving a lot of air. I am amazed that a $12,500 pair of speakers could fill our living room and do so with utter grace. Hats off to Derek Hughes & the Graham Audio team. Video links to follow.

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Magnetically attached grills

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True to its professional roots, the HF can be adjusted =/- up to 2dB, very handy in an overly bright or dead sounding room.
 
Agreed Dan, there is a lot of $$ snobbery in this hobby. If its not expensive, it can't be taken seriously. Can't wait to hear them in two months time, once they are more broken-in.
 
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Steve Williams

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Philip was kind enough to invite me over on Saturday to hear the LS5/9 and LS 5/8

I was interested in Philip's comments about being gobsmacked by how good the sound was from the LS5/8


I did hear the LS5/9 several months ago in an oak finish and I was quite surprised at how good these little book shelves sounded then and again on Saturday. The speaker was powered by a small Luxman tube amp. I have to admit that for $6800 one could build a very interesting system around these speakers. They were sitting on a pair of racks designed specific for the speaker and these were $600 for the pair.

The LS5/9 we heard on Saturday was in a rosewood finish

The real magic happened when Philip took me downstairs to hear the TOL LS5/8 which retails at $12,500 in oak finish. Philip's were in ebony which boosted the price to $15000.

What shocked me was how good these speakers sounded. They too were on a rack designed specific for the speaker also retailing at $600 for the pair

Philip powered these with his big Luxman SS amp and the source was tape and digital files. Many of the songs Philp played I was very aware of how they sounded in my system

When he played Depeche Mode, Welcome to my World the deep bass was terrific. A Leonard Cohen favorite, You Want It Hotter was played on a digital file and it was like having him in the room with us
I was interested that you can also tune the treble up or down by 2 Db's in 0.5 db increments. I wondered if a 0.5 db boost would add a bit more presence to the music so I a looking forward to hearing these speakers again

All in all I was shocked at how good the LS5/8 sounded. The deep bass was tight and forceful and the top end was also very good. For me however the magic to these speakers was in the mid range. I was thoroughly entertained and very impressed

I also wondered if the type of wood chosen for the cabinet would sound sonically different from those in other finishes. Suffice it to say that these speakers in Ebony lit up my ears

Like Philip I too was gobsmacked

Kudos Philip. Thanks for an enlightening wonderful afternoon and best of luck with this new Graham line. For the price they are needing to be heard as a terrific system could be built around the LS5/8
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Philip was kind enough to invite me over on Saturday to hear the LS5/9 and LS 5/8

I was interested in Philip's comments about being gobsmacked by how good the sound was from the LS5/8


I did hear the LS5/9 several months ago in an oak finish and I was quite surprised at how good these little book shelves sounded then and again on Saturday. The speaker was powered by a small Luxman tube amp. I have to admit that for $6800 one could build a very interesting system around these speakers. They were sitting on a pair of racks designed specific for the speaker and these were $600 for the pair.

The LS5/9 we heard on Saturday was in a rosewood finish

The real magic happened when Philip took me downstairs to hear the TOL LS5/8 which retails at $12,500 in oak finish. Philip's were in ebony which boosted the price to $15000.

What shocked me was how good these speakers sounded. They too were on a rack designed specific for the speaker also retailing at $600 for the pair

Philip powered these with his big Luxman SS amp and the source was tape and digital files. Many of the songs Philp played I was very awarenesses of how they sounded on my system

When he played Depeche Mode, Welcome to my World the deep bass was terrific. A Leonard Cohen favorite, You Want It Hotter was played on a digital file and it was like having him in the room with us
I was interested that you can also tune the treble up or down by 2 Db's in 0.5 db increments. I wondered if a 0.5 db boost would add a bit more presence to the music so I a looking forward to hearing these speakers again

All in all I was shocked at how good the LS5/8 sounded. The deep bass was tight and forceful and the top end was also very good. For me however the magic to these speakers was in the mid range. I was thoroughly entertained and very impressed

I also wondered if the type of wood chosen for the cabinet would sound sonically different from those in other finishes. Suffice it to say that these speakers in Ebony lit up my ears

Like Philip I too was gobsmacked

Kudos Philip. Thanks for an enlightening wonderful afternoon and best of luck with this new Graham line. For the price they are needing to be heard as a terrific system could be built around the LS5/8

There are actually models above the 5/8 too.
 
Bill,
We are planning the N.American launch of the LS5/5 (3-way, retail $15,000) in Montreal on 19 Sept. at Art et Son. The production version will be veneered not painted and constructed from the birch plywood that the BBC preferred for their cabinet construction. The folks at the Graham factory are raving about its performance. Have no experience of the lens around the woofers, so no way of knowing how it changes dispersion.

BTW, the original LS5/8 had a lens around its woofers and the design department thought it would be more acceptable / saleable without.

Happy listening,
Philip
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Bill,
We are planning the N.American launch of the LS5/5 (3-way, retail $15,000) in Montreal on 19 Sept. at Art et Son. The production version will be veneered not painted and constructed from the birch plywood that the BBC preferred for their cabinet construction. The folks at the Graham factory are raving about its performance. Have no experience of the lens around the woofers, so no way of knowing how it changes dispersion.

BTW, the original LS5/8 had a lens around its woofers and the design department thought it would be more acceptable / saleable without.

Happy listening,
Philip

They are great natural sounding speakers, no doubt. Wishing you great success with these. Music lovers speaker imo. Sit back and enjoy the music and forget about the world.
 

bonzo75

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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
The published specs suggest they are bass light
Is that the case?

This is what I heard

When he played Depeche Mode, Welcome to my World the deep bass was terrific

All in all I was shocked at how good the LS5/8 sounded. The deep bass was tight and forceful and the top end was also very good. For me however the magic to these speakers was in the mid range. I was thoroughly entertained and very impressed
 

orfeo_monteverdi

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2015
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Very experienced people like @zerostargeneral and @gian60 think the originals were among the best cones
[please excuse my bad English]

Indeed, they have a pedigree. BUT:

Does anyone have a little more experience with the Graham LS5/8 medium? (there seem to be another version: LS5/8S)
(@zerostargeneral? @gian60 ?)
The design is surprising: 2 ways, 30cm woofer + tweeter. This raises questions about the medium.

First, I'd like to mention that a Dutch reviewer compared the stand-mounted Graham LS5/9, the floorstander version LS5/9f, and the bigger stand-mounted Graham LS5/8 (all models are 2 ways).


I shortly listen to the LS5/8 at a dealer's.
(I was there to listen to an inexpensive Pre-Audio 1800NG air linear arm turntable, which I bought immediately, given its fantastic value for money; the Graham LS5/8 were the speaker playing that day).
I was not focused on the speakers, but I was very seduced by some of their qualities (transparency, big stage, a certain "live" character, bass of course, etc).
Though personally, I founded the medium sounded a bit lean (on a Jacques Brel vinyl, in comparison -not directly- with my Harbeth M30.2 Anniversary). The dealer agreed, and mentioned that they sounded a bit leaner in the mid than other Graham's models, while having other advantages. The dealer is also a Harbeth dealer, and loves both Graham and Harbeth, so no politics here (BTW, on his website, the dealer gave the big LS5/8 his famous home-award that he is known for; so no doubt: he loves them)




CONTEXT
I listen mainly to classical music, and I attend live concert regularly.
My tastes are: baroque, chamber, lieder, orchestral, jazz, rock.

My 2nd system is built around a pair of lovely, but limited, Harbeth M30.2 Anniversary. Note that I do not feel very frustrated by their limit in the low (the perceived limits of the M30.2's mainly come from the fact that my main system in town is based around Analysis ribbon panels + Aries Cerat...)

The room is a man cave (a former stable, used as a storage-room), with very good acoustics. It is large enough for big speakers (though I wish no big problems with the bass) such as LS5/8.
The total size is approx. 8.5m x 5.75m (27' x 19').
Brick walls. The ceiling is low (2m50?), but has interesting curved little vaults of bricks
In the winter here, curtain allows to warm only the half of the room => width-axis listening (picture - TonTraeger stands have now replaced those on the pic).
In the summer, the curtain may be opened (offering then a splendid view on the junk/storage room behind the curtain; no picture, please do not insist ;-) => length-axis listening.

I know the Harbeth M40.2 (not Anniversary version), and found that the expressiveness and naturalness of the medium was stunning (even compared to the 2 ways M30.1 at that time, same medium cone as the M40.2). This was undoubtedly due to the fact that the medium cone of the M40.2 (three ways) has no low frequency to deliver, in addition to the medium.
But as the Graham LS5/8 is a two ways, it raises questions regarding the medium (delivered by a 30cm cone here...). Opinions over their medium are divergent.

A subwoofer in addition to my Harbeth M30.2 is not what I am looking for (bass is not that important to me: what I enjoyed much more with the LS5/8 I shortly listened was the transparency, the more convincing feeling of attending a concert of jazz "live" music: Miles Davis ‎Live In Europe, a somewhat "bigger" sound, etc).

The amplifier for the M30.2 is at present an old 2nd hand Marantz PM-16. Will be upgraded soon, probably.

Ideally, a pair of Harbeth M40.2 Anniversary/M40.3 would be nice in that room. But given their price, it would be overkill for a 2nd system. The Graham LS5/8 (basic, not S) cost half the price of the M40's, but I don't want to regret the magnificent medium of the M30.2 Anniversary either (sounds a bit like "squaring the circle").

Moving the very heavy LS5/8 from the showroom to my place for a home-trial, is alas not an option. And the dealer has no M40's anymore in stock. So a direct comparison is impossible.

Opinions? Experiences with the LS5/8 medium?
Thanks!
 
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Birdwatcher

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May 29, 2018
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Oliver, what do you mean with medium and S? I just know and have one type of LS5/8 that I like a lot. Unfortunately no direct comprisons with any Harbeth. My musical favorites are nearly the same as yours. I have them in a 42qm living room with Jeff Rowland, Zanden and exposure amps.
 

orfeo_monteverdi

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2015
24
29
145
Europe
Sorry, my English sucks:
medium => midrange !!
Could the moderator correct this (or let me correct it) in post #12 ? Sorry again for the confusion! Thank!
Please read again my post (my main concern is: 'where' did the mid-range disappear, between that 30cm cone woofer, and the tweeter?)

As for the 'S':
there seem to exist an S version ( < Dereck Hughes), equipped with acoustic lenses to widen the directivity, and also with a somewhat fine-tuned cross-over (don't know the details). The S is more expensive (don't know the price either).

Thanks!
 

orfeo_monteverdi

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2015
24
29
145
Europe
@Ron Resnick, please could post #12 be corrected as described in my post #14:
medium -> midrange.
(the Edit button is no longer available for me).

Thanks!
Sorry for my English!
B.R.
 

movingmagnet

Member
Jan 10, 2021
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Hello
can someone explain to me how to change the height adjustment ? just take out the pin with the cable and plug it back in at +2 for example ? or do you need a trained technician to do this ?

Thank you for a short feedback.
 

movingmagnet

Member
Jan 10, 2021
15
54
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59
could this be a solution to make the tweeter adjustment quickly ? Or are there any sound impairments to be expected here, as there is no soldering.

Or does anyone have a better idea?
thank you.

Metall-krokodil-klemmen.jpg
 

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