BBC L/S3a advice

And umpteen others. ;)

FWIW, a few points to keep in mind, as they sometimes get overlooked:

A 'clone' is a design that is specifically built to mirror the original design as closely as possible; in this case that would mean the original T27 and B110 drive units, using the original filter design, in a BBC spec. box. If you deviate from this, it is no longer a 'clone' and has nothing directly to do with the LS3/5a, being simply 'inspired [to a greater or lesser extent] by it'.

The above is not a criticism of such designs (far from it), nor a promotion of the original, just a statement of simple fact. An issue that particularly plagues the LS3/5a is that pretty much any compact 2-way is often described as an LS3/5a 'clone'. You see it multiple times on the thread referred to above. And with plenty of companies too. Which is both factually incorrect, and does everybody a disservice since as a result, nobody really knows either what is being done or asked for unless they go hunting for details, which not everybody has the leisure to do (assuming those details are even available). The point here is that these speakers loosely described as 'clones' are often wildly different speakers, so while one person might have built an LS3/5a to spec. and gives an answer, another might have built a totally different design that doesn't share any of the LS3/5a's design objectives or characteristics, and be describing that. Apples / oranges.

In essence then, it depends exactly what you want. If you want an LS3/5a, then the above is what you need: the original driver types, with the original filter and cabinet design. This is not optional if you want an LS3/5a. If you want a compact 2-way standmount and are not necessarily concerned about rigidly following the original: then there are, of course, a lot of other options, from which you can select based on your particular wishes.
 
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john k...

Member
2004-08-10 2:50 am
US
Hi guys,
Has any one built a BBC LS 3/5a speaker clone and any advice or thoughts?

I owned a pair of Rodgers LS3/5a in rosewood. Sold them several years ago after building clones with original drivers, etc.

Is it worth bothering?

In a work, no. The LS3/5a is still a nice speaker, but highly overrated by todays standards. The OE drivers are pretty much junk and a DIY speaker of similar design, using modern drivers can be far superior.
 
I'd certainly agree that the LS3/5a can be significantly improved on now; the B110 and T27 are to put it mildly outdated and superior results can be obtained with more recent drivers. Likewise with the filter, impressive piece of engineering though it was in its day (and within its particular context still is).

Something else to keep in mind is that the LS3/5a's frequency / amplitude response was selected based on the BBC's work on acoustical scaling and was shaped for its intended use: nearfield monitoring in contemporary small studios and mobile studio vans. Since very few home users are likely to have precisely these requirements, a different shaping or balance will probably be preferable, but it's worth separating these factors out for clarity.
 
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Hi Eldarvayar,

I did something similar - made myself kind of clone and I'm very happy about it's sound/performance. I used totally different drivers & self-made crossover and I was after that kind of sound - not actual clone but more in the same category of LS3/5a mini monitors with forgiving, detailed warm sound - yet musical... you can read some info from the post 699 down:

Introduction to designing crossovers without measurement