The LS5/8 is the BBC’s flagship design, and was developed because of the need for higher sound pressure levels and greater transparency and consistency than the ageing LS5/5 offered. This was the first BBC loudspeaker to use a polypropylene diaphragm which, being lighter than Bextrene, offered greater efficiency and lower colouration. A carefully researched cone profile enables the unit to work successfully well into the midrange.
After many months of intensive development, the Graham Audio LS5/8 refines the concept further. Designed in conjunction with Derek Hughes and Volt Loudspeakers and manufactured under license in the UK, it features a unique 12 inch bass/mid unit that is married to the same 34mm Audax tweeter that is used in the LS5/9.
As with all our BBC monitors, the cabinet is a finely tuned structure that uses high quality birch plywood and hardwood batons. The 12mm panels are mass-loaded to move resonances away from the midrange region and Rockwool is used in preference to cheap foam for air damping.
The design retains the same midrange clarity and balance of the LS5/9, but offers an extended bass response and greater authority at high level in larger rooms. The continuity of sound quality between the two designs means that engineers can move between the two different loudspeakers with complete confidence during the recording and mastering process.
The LS5/8 was originally conceived as an active design, but Derek Hughes has designed a passive crossover that greatly improves on the resolution and imaging of the original design while still conforming to the demanding BBC specification.
|System||2 Way, reflex loading|
|Enclosure||Thin wall construction, birch plywood|
|Finish||Real wood veneer|
|Dimensions (w/h/d)||46cm by 76cm by 40cm|
|Frequency response||40Hz to 16kHz, ±3dB|
|Sensitivity||89dB SPL (2.83V, 1m)|
|Maximum output||Over 110dB for a pair at 2m|
|Bass/midrange||300mm Diaphnatone polypropylene|
|Tweeter||Son Audax HD13D34H|
|Recommended amplifier power||50 to 250 watts unclipped programme|
“The soundstage depth is stunning, as amazing is the ability of these two speakers, of still contained dimensions after all, to fill with music also very large spaces. All the people present at the Show in Munich in 2015 will be able to confirm this beyond any doubt. …Also impressive is the speed of transient response. …Let me also add one thing: if I had, for some reason, to change my reference speakers, I would replace them with these Graham LS5/8 for all the reasons that I have above mentioned. I cannot find any downside for these speakers even if I try hard to.”
“The Graham LS5/8 is a mighty fine loudspeaker. Those who value the mid-band and have a need for full-range (or nearly so) loudspeakers should investigate. Those who listen to a lot of vocals and classicals should do so too. The price is not cheap, but here is something that can convey atmosphere when most modern speakers fail to do so. If you know Maria Callas’ inimitable and never surpassed Casta Diva, you will know this factor is critical. Enthusiastically recommended!”
“The LS5/8 is extremely smooth across the midrange and bass, with an effortless dynamic range that only a big, easy-driving bass unit can bring.”