Home Graham Audio LS3/5 – Speakers with a rich history

Graham Audio LS3/5 – Speakers with a rich history

1

Pros

  • Organic, detailed reproduction
  • Easy to position
  • Endless, stress free listening sessions
  • Gets to the point of the music played

Cons

  • The matching speaker stands are expensive
  • You will turn into a couch potato
  • Choosing between the LS3/5 and 3/5A is hard

Price: € 2750

Build quality
Usability
Sound
Price
Alpha-Audio Approved

Comparing with the Graham Audio LS3/5A

The LS3/5A gives more prominence to the midrange, which is placed more towards you. The playback of music has more flow though. The bass is well audible but does not extend as far and is less textured as with the LS3/5.

The high sounds a bit more rolled-off. But you also get something in return: there is more depth in the sound, it is as if you get even more information in the midrange. With Stevie Wonder, you hear more depth in his voice, he is singing more like he is in the room. The swinging gospel bass sound is a bit more recessed in the background.

The details you hear are different than with the LS3/5. The LS3/5 is more the true monitor, in the sense that the precise balance across all frequency ranges gives clarity and makes it easy to follow exactly what is happening. You are listening deep into the recording with the LS3/5.
The LS3/5A engages you more with the music, the LS3/5 gives you more insight into what is happening and what the different musicians are doing.

Deeper listening to point out the differences

Morphine’s “The Night” seems like two different performances. On the LS3/5, the baritone sax sounds layered and you can almost hear the humidity in the player’s breath. The separation between bass, low piano notes and the sax is very clear, you can easily follow each instrument individually. Mark Sandman’s voice is embedded between the instruments and the piano sounds take on the characteristic rich layering that belongs to the sound of a piano. A cello is clearly discernible in the background.
On the LS3/5A, melancholy engulfs you and piano and cello fade into the mix. The baritone sax sounds full and rich and demands all the attention.

The same happens with “Decks Dark” by Radiohead. Both speakers let the choir embrace the music like a ghost of sounds, but you can hear both the individual voices and the choir as a whole. With the LS3/5, it is a thin fog of voices slowly rising. With the LS3/5A, it sounds like wandering souls. In both cases, the reproduction is detailed but still organic. The LS3/5A emphasises drama and the LS3/5 sounds like a kaleidoscope of sounds, with the instruments making ever-changing connections with each other. Both modes of playback are great.

The stereo image is projected differently into the room

The most obvious difference is that the stereo image is different. Compared to the LS3/5, the image with the LS3/5A is a bit narrower and sits more between the speakers. With the LS3/5, it plays much more detached from the speakers and extends further. Placement is very good in both cases, but with the LS3/5 it is better delineated. With the LS3/5A, the stereo image takes on the form of a globe between the speakers and with the LS3/5 it is more like an ellipse protruding beyond the speakers.

Rhythm is a dancer

“Two Against Nature” sounds a little less tight with the LS3/5A, but it does have more swing. There is more depth and layering in the notes and it makes it impossible to sit still. The music demands your attention.

It is impossible to tell you which of the two is better. The pacing of the LS3/5A is more energetic. The rhythmic precision of the LS3/5 is tighter and of an impressive level. While the LS3/5 is punctual, the LS3/5A likes to party. In microdynamics, the LS3/5 rivals the 3/5A. Instruments and voices have more body with the LS3/5 and get more flow with the LS3/5A.

Type test
Single Test
Speaker class
Monitor - bookshelf
Speaker type
Dynamic
Speaker system
Closed
Signal control
Passive
Frequency range
70 Hz - 20 Khz (-3 dB)
Crossover
2-way
Efficiency
83 dB
Impedance
11 Ohm
Dimensions
  • Width: 18.5 cm
  • Depth: 16.5 cm
  • Height: 30 cm
Weight speaker
5.3 Kg
Production country
UK

Winkels met Graham

Korte Jansstraat 11
3512GM Utrecht, NL
Hennesweg 20
6035 AD Ospel, NL

1 COMMENT

  1. OK, although this is an older review, I would like to point out one thing, I think very important, which nobody is addressing. Apparently deliberately. It’s about measuring speaker distortion.
    Why do we have at home amplifiers with 0.1 or 0.01 distortions and further electronic devices with similar parameters, when our speakers can have distortions even above 10%.
    That’s probably why nobody measure speakers, because the manufacturers would be obviously very angry to the editor or the journalist…
    Surely there is some norm for measuring loudspeaker distortion, almost certainly the DIN standard knows such measurements, but maybe there are also other norms.
    Wouldn’t it be worth to show the truth to the readers?
    I have found so far distortion measurement of the loudspeakers I own. It’s the DALI Menuet SE and here are the values : 63 Hz – 3,2%, 3 KHZ – 0,2% and 10 KHz – 0,2%

×