Home Review Graham LS8-1 monitor speaker – British Pride

Review Graham LS8-1 monitor speaker – British Pride

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Pros

  • Very clean midrange
  • Rich experience
  • Places easily
  • Insightful sound

Cons

  • Tripods separate
  • Tripods too expensive
Build quality
Controlability
Sound
Price

Intro

Let’s start with an understatement: the British have a rich audio history. This was evident in the interview with Derek Hughes and Paul Graham about their speakers. The stories about the BBC make it abundantly clear that the British have put a lot of time and money into the development of fine speakers. We review and listen to a popular Graham model: the LS8/1.

A while back, we had a very nice interview with Derek Hughes and Paul Graham of Graham Audio. In that conversation, we talked in part about the BBC and why it has had so much influence on the loudspeaker industry. It’s really incredible how much research the BBC has done on loudspeaker designs. And that has also put them pretty much on the map. So did the monitor speakers they designed, by the way.

Direct derivative

Graham loudspeakers are a direct derivative of the BBC’s design. Graham has been able to obtain (buy) the schematics and rights of most of the models and thus can and do manufacture these speakers. (These are specifically the LS3/5, the LS3/5A, the LS5/9 and the LS5/8).

Now, improvements have been made to the Graham versions. This is partly due to the vast knowledge of Derek Hughes, a familiar name at the BBC. He happens to be the son of the man behind Spendor…. who again designed speakers for the BBC. You can see it all in the interview we had with these two men.

The Graham LS8/1

The Graham LS8/1 we received from Hexagon Audio is its own design, but inspired by the philosophy of the BBC monitors (the LS3/6 is kind of the father of the LS8/1). A pair will cost you 6200 Euros. That does not include the stands, by the way. Since you can’t actually place the speakers neatly without these stands, we would have liked the stands to be included in the price. And frankly, we think 1100 euros for the matching stands is a lot of money. Anyway: we have to have something to complain about, don’t we?

This is where the whining stops though, because about the speaker itself there is little to complain about! The finish is very good. It’s “retro,” of course, but very nicely finished, as can be seen in the photos. And beyond the optical: the design rings true. It is strange that there are two tweeters in use (we really had to look carefully), but apart from the fact that it looks a bit weird and the idea is a bit crazy, it sounds very good.

The basis of the Graham LS8/1 is a three-way bass reflex system. And as befits BBC monitors, it is a thin-walled construction. The panels are only 9mm. Graham uses birch plywood. The veneer is real Teak wood veneer. That makes the whole thing quite attractive.

At the bottom of the LS8/1 is a paper woofer. At the top are two tweeters (Seas, modified to Graham’s specifications). The second tweeter was added to provide additional resolution. The crossovers are at 3500 Hz and 13,000 Hz. You read this correctly: 3,500 Hz! So the woofer basically takes care of the complete bass and midrange. And the second tweeter in fact only fills the top end. An unusual and different design. But how does it sound?

Type test
Single Test
Speaker class
Monitor - bookshelf
Speaker type
Dynamic
Speaker system
Bass reflex
Signal control
Passive
Frequency range
45 Hz - 20000 Hz
Crossover
3-way
Efficiency
87 dB
Impedance
8 Ohm
Dimensions
  • Width: 30 cm
  • Depth: 30 cm
  • Height: 63 cm
Weight speaker
17 Kg
Production country
UK
Sound Samples

Winkels met Graham

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. Met interesse heb ik kennis genomen van de Graham BBC retro monitor speaker. Uiterlijk lijkt deze speaker veel op de Spendor BC2 die ik al jaren (vanaf 1977) in mijn bezit heb en al die jaren koester. Door persoonlijke omstandigheden en ruimtegebrek zijn deze speakers al een tijdje niet meer aangesloten en dus niet meer actief. Ik heb ze met trots al die tijd onderhouden en gekoesterd. Maar ik sta nu op een punt waarop ik mij afvraag wat met deze “beauty’s” te doen. Ben ook heel benieuwd hoe ze op verschillende bronnen klinken. Weet iemand in dit forum meer van deze speakers??? Ben benieuwd.