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Graham Audio Swisstone LS3

Passive Monitors
Published February 2019
By Phil Ward

In the LS3, Graham Audio have sought to recreate a classic BBC monitor but without the 'classic' price tag.

I was idly reading posts in the SOS Forum a little while ago and came across a contributor bemoaning the lack of compact, inexpensive, closed‑box, passive nearfield monitors. Well, I have good news...

Graham Audio Swisstone LS3We've reviewed a couple of Graham Audio monitors in Sound On Sound in recent times and admired them both. The first was the Chartwell LS3/5, a reboot of the original and famous BBC LS3/5(A) compact monitor. The second was the Graham Audio LS6, a new design but one very much influenced by the traditions of classic BBC style monitor design. Graham Audio's specialism in BBC‑stye monitors is no great surprise, seeing as the designer behind the Graham speakers is Derek Hughes, son of BBC speaker engineer Spencer Hughes. The speaker in question here, the Graham Audio Swisstone LS3, is essentially the same size as the LS3/5, but the cabinet is turned through 90 degrees so that it is narrower and deeper. Graham Audio's expressed intention with the LS3 is to create a monitor that provides 90 percent of the performance of an LS3/5(A) at around 60 percent of the cost. The 'Swisstone' name chosen by Graham Audio for this speaker is a nod to the company of the same name, who owned the Rogers and Chartwell brands in the 1970s and 1980s.

Black Box

If there are categories for monitors, the LS3 falls into the plain, no‑frills one. While there are options for gloss painted or real veneer finishes, monitors don't get much more unassuming than the entry-level LS3 submitted for review. It's a black, wood‑effect, vinyl‑finished MDF enclosure carrying a 120mm‑diameter bass/mid‑range driver and a 19mm dome tweeter on its front panel, and a pair of connection...

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Published February 2019