Following the success of the Graham Audio LS3/5 and LS5/9, we were curious to discover what could be done with a cabinet that was sized somewhere between the two.
The result is the Chartwell LS6, designed by Derek Hughes. A custom built 6 inch long-throw bass drive unit mated to a compact 17 litre cabinet gives bass extension and power handling that is comparable to the LS5/9. The bespoke 19mm dome tweeter extends to beyond 20kHz. The overall response retains the smoothness of both the LS3/5 and LS5/9.
A large rear mounted port gives effortless bass, while allowing us to minimise the size of the cabinet to allow it to blend easily into typical domestic environments.
A sophisticated crossover network blends the two units and equalises the overall response for optimum performance in free space. A switch on the front baffle adjusts the tweeter level to +1dB or +2dB. This can be useful for situations where the listening position is off axis.
In common with all our loudspeakers, the cabinet uses the classic BBC “thinwall” construction, where the panels are mass-loaded to ensure that resonances are moved away from the critical mid-range region, and a layer of Rockwool is held in place by fabric to provide air damping. Hand-matched veneers are applied and finished to a very high standard. The grille is carefully designed to minimise diffraction effects and is held in place by concealed rare-earth magnets.
|System||2 Way, reflex loading|
|Enclosure||Thin wall damped construction|
|Finish||Real wood veneer|
|Dimensions (w/h/d)||24cm by 37cm by 26cm|
|Frequency response||45Hz to 20kHz, ±2dB|
|Sensitivity||87dB SPL (2.83V, 1m)|
|Maximum output||Over 100dB for a pair at 2m|
|Tweeter||19mm dome tweeter|
|Recommended amplifier power||50 to 150 watts unclipped programme|
“…the Grahams won a first-round knockout – they got me more intimate with the performers, something readily apparent throughout extended listening. …Partly because of that excellent low end the soundstage presented by the LS6s is panoramic. …Vocals retain their characteristic warmth and there was detail aplenty meaning the LS6 places performers clearly within a large acoustic space. Ultimately with the right partners, the LS6 focuses us on performance nuance, not just its sound. …Thinwall sound advocates can have their cake and eat it, the LS6s ceding none of the benefits whilst also sounding faster, dynamic, and more controlled. Their appeal will be much wider than that though, particularly given that they cover many music genres with aplomb.”
“There’s something uncannily realistic about the way the LS6 does voices. It’s a quality that’s reflected in the stereo imaging performance, too; voices hang there in space… This fabulous mid-range performance to me speaks not only of a very high-performance bass/midrange driver and skilful driver integration through the passive crossover, but also of a cabinet that’s not significantly playing along with the signal. The LS6 is a win for thin-wall cabinet design. …there’s absolutely no reason why the LS6 won’t provide exactly what’s needed of a nearfield monitor.”
“…after the LS3/5 review, I wanted to hear a similar, extremely direct and engaging sound, built on a naturally warm midrange. But… I also wanted the bigger Chartwells to give me the real, low bass and dynamics that the smaller monitors didn’t have. So, have my dreams come true? Basically, yes!”