I have also used the LS5mkIII for the last several years and I believe that you have to go with a Ref 1 or the new Ref 2 to get better sound. I auditioned the LS25 and found that it was different from the LS5mkIII but not better. The LS25 was more detailed but the LS5 had better bass extension and was warmer sounding especially when listening to jazz. I also auditioned the Ref 1 and think that preamp combines the best qualities of the LS5mkIII and the LS25. The dealer that sold me the LS5mkIII feels the same. I haven't listened to the Ref 2. I decided to keep the LS5mkIII because I didn't feel the LS25 was an improvement and I have not yet found a used Ref 1. The Ref 2 at $10,000 is out of my budget.
6 responses Add your response