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Marketing bull ?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:23 pm

I did laugh when I saw this and not just because the vulgar looks

http://www.kef.com/html/en/showroom/flagship_hi-fi_series/LS50/overview/

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article/448.html

How this has anything to do with the LS3/5A I haven't a clue but the marking seems to be pretty hot
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Emmet » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:54 pm

my mixes are so missing 'spacious-ness', this must be where I'm going wrong!
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:01 pm

Emmet wrote:my mixes are so missing 'spacious-ness', this must be where I'm going wrong!


I'm missing hearing my music the way it was first recorded... Obviously the 5" driver helps me hear everything the way it was recorded especially those low organ sounds or dub basses
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Chevytraveller » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:05 pm

the words "Marketing" and "Bullsh!t" are completely interchangeable..


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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:09 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:How this has anything to do with the LS3/5A I haven't a clue

But it's an 'engineer's speaker'! surely that's enough?

However, the LS3/5a was a conventional two way sealed cabinet design and this is a coaxial ported cabinet speaker. They might be a similar size, though, with a similar nominal LF turnover.

Pretty tweeter design.

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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:22 pm

KEF is Chinese owned and the Chinese seem to have some kind of an obsession with the LS3/5a. KEF also made all the drivers used in LS3/5a's so they have a very close connection to that speaker model - even if the KEF version isn't as well known as some of the others.

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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:25 pm

And there I was thinking that it was Rogers who manufactured the LS3/5A

While according to this Wiki page, “Aside from Rogers, other manufacturers licensed by the BBC to produce the LS3/5a were Chartwell, Audiomaster, Spendor, and Harbeth. The LS3/5A was Rogers most successful speaker, and to date 50,000 pairs have been built worldwide.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_International

The LS3/5A did use the 5-inch KEF B110 woofer / midrange driver and KEF's T27 tweeter, but as far as I Know they had no other involvement in the design of the finished loudspeaker.


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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:26 pm

Martin Walker wrote:And there I was thinking that it was Rogers who manufactured the LS3/5A

As you've discovered, the Beeb licensed the LS3/5a design to most of the decent UK speaker manufacturers of the day. I remember most of the ones I used inthe Beeb were either Chartwells or Rogers, but I know there were other makes around the place.

The LS3/5A did use the 5-inch KEF B110 woofer / midrange driver and KEF's T27 tweeter, but as far as I Know they had no other involvement in the design of the finished loudspeaker.

None at all. The LS3/5a was originally designed as a scaled-down sound source for the beeb's in-house acoustics people to work with when measuring the acoustics of 1/8th scale models of the Beebs new concert halls and studios. It was found to be so good that they then developed it as a reference monitor for OB vans and compact studios.

You can read all about the LS3/5a development here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1976-29.pdf

And details of the acoustic scaling project and applications here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1970-13.pdf (general outline)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1971-03.pdf (reverberation room)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-03.pdf (proving experiment)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-34.pdf (instrumentation -- including the original speaker design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-12.pdf (effect of studio height)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-27.pdf (modifications to Maida Vale 1)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-28.pdf (subjective appraisal and quality guides)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-11.pdf (manchester studio design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-35.pdf (manchester studio final report)

There's a lot of really amazing stuff in the Beeb's R&D reports. The full listing is here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/rpt60s_70to96.pdf


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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:38 pm

Martin Walker wrote:

The LS3/5A did use the 5-inch KEF B110 woofer / midrange driver and KEF's T27 tweeter, but as far as I Know they had no other involvement in the design of the finished loudspeaker.



My LS3/5a's were actually made by KEF and have a gold plaque on the back of each one with Raymond Cooke's signature on it. They're not the sought after 15 ohm version but they work fine as decent small monitors (and I didn't pay any extra for what must have been a marketing led idea to add the plaque )

James

PS - I'd agree with Hugh's recommendation to dig around the BBC R&D archive. There are so many useful reports in there.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:48 pm

Brilliant reading material there Hugh, thanks. I'll have a proper look through later.

James, I think it's Asia in general... The Japanese LOVE vintage JBL's/USA horn loaded designs, old Tannoys and yes e'oldie LS3/5A
I think Asia is Tannoy's most popular market for their residential speakers at a guess, especially the high end ones.

I heard some recent KEF designs (uniQ) and wasn't too keen on them compared to their older versions.
I live quite near to them, if they still are based in Maidstone that is... It would be cool to visit them.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Phil Ward » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:27 am

Well I guess I should prepare to climb into my flame-proof suit, but I'm quite intrigued by that KEF LS50. Yes, the looks are a bit gauche (the product is I'm sure aimed to some extent at a Far Eastern audience where aesthetics play very differently compared to the "aesthetically enlightened" West), and the marketing hyperbole is verging on the amusing, (but hey, it's no more amusing than I'm sure we could all find in "pro-audio" marketing). But, and it's a big but, I spent a hugely enjoyable couple of hours not long ago listening to the KEF Blade (http://www.kef.com/html/us/showroom/fla ... /overview/) and even though I'm a sad old git who these days rarely gets excited by the sound of speakers I haven't had a hand in designing, I thought they were absolutely bl**dy brilliant. Honestly the best speaker I'd heard for many years and good value at £20k. There was even a voice in my head working out how I might be able to buy a pair (it was a stupid voice of course and it might as well have been working out how I could fly to the Moon). If the KEF LS50 has even a bit of the magic I heard from the Blade, then I want to hear it.

And now I'm in rant mode, I'm sure nobody will mind if I continue with a broader point (especially as perhaps you're all hoping I'm going to say something truly dumb :-). The broader point is that actually, it's in the hi-fi sector that much of the World's worthwhile and genuinely interesting electro-acoustic speaker research is going on. Companies like KEF (yes, Chinese owned now but that doesn't mean they don't do genuine and innovative R&D), and Bowers & Wilkins in the UK, and Accuton in Germany (there's undoubtedly more, but those are just three off the top of my head) are doing the kind of ground-breaking work on the fundamentals of electro-acoustics that few (if any) pro-audio monitor manufacturers appear to be interested in. With my grumpy hat on, pro-audio monitor manufacturers look generally too busy simply working out how to make the next small, active nearfield a bit cheaper. From my perspective, one that covers both pro-audio and hi-fi sectors, the pro-audio sector is pretty much stagnant in terms of genuine electro-acoustic advances. For that you have to look to the hi-fi sector. So, dismissing the KEF LS50 'cause it looks a bit gaudy and the marketing copy is, well, marketing copy, might be to miss something significant.

Rant over. I'll get me coat.
Phil

PS. And when I say, "genuine electro-acoustic advances" I don't mean cables and other miscellaneous snake-oil.

PPS. As far as KEF and the LS3/5A is concerned. Seems to me, as manufacturer of the drivers specified by the BBC, KEF were fundamentally involved in its design and history, and I know for a fact that KEF worked incredibly hard to keep the drivers within the BBC's specs. Back in the days of hand-coated Bextrene cones that was not at all easy. Without KEF there would have been no LS3/5A.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:42 am

Phil Ward wrote:Well I guess I should prepare to climb into my flame-proof suit, but I'm quite intrigued by that KEF LS50.

Not at all, I think you make some good points worth discussing imo.
The only thing with a lot of hi-fi speakers now days (from what I found any way) is they seem to be tuned on the harsh side of things to sound impressive in a shop. Saying this I have not had experience with he very high end modern designs such as the Blade and B&W DM 800D series

I thought KEF's R&D was still based in Madistone and their high end models were still made there but everything else was made in China.

B&W also make all but their high end stuff in China
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby John Willett » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:23 am

Phil Ward wrote:
And now I'm in rant mode, I'm sure nobody will mind if I continue with a broader point (especially as perhaps you're all hoping I'm going to say something truly dumb :-). The broader point is that actually, it's in the hi-fi sector that much of the World's worthwhile and genuinely interesting electro-acoustic speaker research is going on. Companies like KEF (yes, Chinese owned now but that doesn't mean they don't do genuine and innovative R&D), and Bowers & Wilkins in the UK, and Accuton in Germany (there's undoubtedly more, but those are just three off the top of my head) are doing the kind of ground-breaking work on the fundamentals of electro-acoustics that few (if any) pro-audio monitor manufacturers appear to be interested in. With my grumpy hat on, pro-audio monitor manufacturers look generally too busy simply working out how to make the next small, active nearfield a bit cheaper. From my perspective, one that covers both pro-audio and hi-fi sectors, the pro-audio sector is pretty much stagnant in terms of genuine electro-acoustic advances. For that you have to look to the hi-fi sector. So, dismissing the KEF LS50 'cause it looks a bit gaudy and the marketing copy is, well, marketing copy, might be to miss something significant.

Rant over. I'll get me coat.

Don't forget to include ME Geithain in the list with the innovative cardioid response. Where loudspeakers go omni-directional at bass frequencies the ME Geithain "K" range have a cardioid response that does not throw low frequencies out of the rear.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby fay spook » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:46 pm

Phil,
No flameproof suit is needed. All sound facts. I also think the main advances recently have been in manufacturing process and abilities, you will know from the design of the NBLs that cabinet designs like that can only be made in factories with modern equipment. The principles were there with SBL/DBLs. Diamond tweeters, cheap ribbon tweeters, cheaper beryllium tweeters, cheaper air-motion tweeters etc all made possible by improved manufacturing process.

Looking at KRKs with "kevlar" yellow bass drivers I dont think the KEFs look too bad. You also need to check out their fit and finish, something only a large company can achieve. And what is the harm in moving speaker design forward?

With the KEF co-axial driver you have the tweeter at the same point source as the part of the bass driver that is moving at the crossover point. With the Geithain 2-ways you dont. (the 3-ways have this from bass to mid). Dont forget how sensitive your ear is to phase delays.

I havent heard them and will reserve my judgement until then. I have heard some of the earlier uni-Q speakers and liked them. I am looking for some new small studio monitors but I can only stretch to some small Focals- another, erm, hi-fi manufacturer (I know they have a lot of pro crossover but that only goes to show that you should aim for good speakers from where ever they come from).
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Phil Ward » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:04 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:
Not at all, I think you make some good points worth discussing imo.
The only thing with a lot of hi-fi speakers now days (from what I found any way) is they seem to be tuned on the harsh side of things to sound impressive in a shop. Saying this I have not had experience with he very high end modern designs such as the Blade and B&W DM 800D series

I thought KEF's R&D was still based in Madistone and their high end models were still made there but everything else was made in China.

B&W also make all but their high end stuff in China

Yes, there is often pressure on designers when "voicing" hi-fi speakers to make them bright simply so that they will sound immediately impressive when demo'd in a shop. This tends to be a phenomenon of the low to mid market however. At high-end prices speakers are usually long-term demo'd at a customer's home so sales oriented voicing is less of an issue.

Both KEF and B&W do all their R&D in the UK along with manufacture of products above the mid-range level. Sourcing entry level and lower-mid level products in the Far East is, these days, an accepted part of manufacturing life. It's one of the prices we in the West pay for having a completely distorted conception of just how much it actually costs to engineer and make things (a whole separate can of worms and one I am also quite able to rant about).

Phil

PS. John, maybe I'm missing something but I really don't see how the ME Geithain speakers can have a cardioid response at LF.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Phil Ward » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:22 pm

fay spook wrote:And what is the harm in moving speaker design forward?

No harm at all, obviously, but I firmly believe that the moving forward is only going to come from R&D in the fundamental materials science and electro-acoustics (DSP bells and whistles and the like is just tinkering at the margins) and there's precious few companies in the World these days doing that – none, as far as I know in the pro sector (Genelec perhaps). However the LS50 sounds (and I simply haven't heard it), I think KEF should be applauded for bucking the trend and doing real electro-acoustic R&D.

Phil

PS. I have a dreadful fear that writing, "none, as far as I know in the pro sector" will turn out to have a touch of the Life of Brian, "what have the Roman's ever done for us" scene about it. So bring it on. I'm big and ugly enough to be shown to be wrong.
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby Phil Ward » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:

You can read all about the LS3/5a development here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1976-29.pdf

And details of the acoustic scaling project and applications here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1970-13.pdf (general outline)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1971-03.pdf (reverberation room)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-03.pdf (proving experiment)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-34.pdf (instrumentation -- including the original speaker design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-12.pdf (effect of studio height)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-27.pdf (modifications to Maida Vale 1)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-28.pdf (subjective appraisal and quality guides)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-11.pdf (manchester studio design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-35.pdf (manchester studio final report)

There's a lot of really amazing stuff in the Beeb's R&D reports. The full listing is here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/rpt60s_70to96.pdf


Hugh

That's all fabulous stuff Hugh. I occasionally think that somebody should write the history of the UK speaker industry before we're all dead and buried, and then I think, well maybe I could do it? And then I remember I have also to pay the mortgage.

Phil
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:58 pm

Phil Ward wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:

You can read all about the LS3/5a development here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1976-29.pdf

And details of the acoustic scaling project and applications here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1970-13.pdf (general outline)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1971-03.pdf (reverberation room)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-03.pdf (proving experiment)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1972-34.pdf (instrumentation -- including the original speaker design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-12.pdf (effect of studio height)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-27.pdf (modifications to Maida Vale 1)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1974-28.pdf (subjective appraisal and quality guides)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-11.pdf (manchester studio design)

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1975-35.pdf (manchester studio final report)

There's a lot of really amazing stuff in the Beeb's R&D reports. The full listing is here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/rpt60s_70to96.pdf


Hugh

That's all fabulous stuff Hugh. I occasionally think that somebody should write the history of the UK speaker industry before we're all dead and buried, and then I think, well maybe I could do it? And then I remember I have also to pay the mortgage.

Phil

Either way some one should do it I think

Kef, JBL and Thorens do have some books written about them though...

http://www.amazon.com/KEF-50-Years-Innovation-Sound/dp/988154274X/ref=pd_sim_b_1/187-1572559-2007633

http://www.amazon.com/The-JBL-Story-Sixty-Innovation/dp/1423412818

http://www.theanalogdept.com/swiss_precision.htm
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby fay spook » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:27 pm

As do QUAD and they have only made a relative handful of products.

Another good read is the series of books written by Gilbert Briggs. Most are good and you can get them for not much on Amazon. Very interesting to see what, why and how from back in the day. Including some info about my faves the Sand Filled Baffle speakers. Open baffle speakers are another pro-no-go area. Just listen to what a box can contribute and you will be pleased you dont always need one.

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/SFB.htm
(Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire!!)

http://www.gradient.fi/Gradient/Helsinki_1.5.html
(I am not convinced by all the blurb but I listen to speakers not marketing)

http://www.jamo.com/speaker-types/floorstanding/?sku=R909
(I bet you didnt think they would do this)

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/
(a bit of technical blurb to help you understand)
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Re: Marketing bull ?

Postby John Willett » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Phil Ward wrote:

PS. John, maybe I'm missing something but I really don't see how the ME Geithain speakers can have a cardioid response at LF.


It's simple, they have the same network as a cardioid microphone, but in reverse, so that the sound cancels to the rear.

This is the polar-pattern for the mid-range 3-way RL944K

Image

Sorry it comes out on a black background - but it comes clear when you click on the image.

Image

You can see the slots on the side of the loudspeaker that allows sound from the rear of the diaphragm to come out and cancel the sound from the front.

This is exactly the same way as a cardioid microphone works, but in reverse.

It's quite unique and they are very popular with broadcasters in Germany.
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