here you go:
They're really just junky old bookshelf speakers - which is why you found them at the thrift shop.
PM me and I can help by taking them off your hands for the price of shipping to me.
Assuming they are in decent shape, your Rogers speakers were a lucky find, and they are one of the great all time classics, particularly in the midrange and/or at lower to moderate volumes.
Having said that, it is my opinion that like say, Quad ESL 57's, they have an occasionally irrational cult following.
This has led to inflated prices on the used market, where one could arguably buy equal (or better?) performance for comparable or even less dollars and get a new product in the process.
The logic of keeping or selling therefore depends on how much you care about audio, and the elusive and magical midrange and balance of the Rogers LS3/5a
Others may know more but just my 0.02 reflecting on a listening session from 1981 and noting used prices in recent years.
Best regards and happy listening
Value to you or to the open market? This is a very special speaker when paired with the correct electronics. By that I mean a whole lot of stable current. Pillocks have tried running these with 100wpc Pioneer receivers which become mired in sloppy bass, wretched mdirange and finger nails on chalk board highs.
The speaker is meant only for near field listening. Push it hard and it will compress and break up. Cwlondon is correct in assessement of its now inexplicable market value for its decades old technology. Better can be had, but for now just enjoy an inoffensive little legend which was oft the owner's first foray into the world of audiofiledom.
You make a good point, but its so much fun to digress and the question did also ask "as good" and "why".
I would have guessed around $1500 for a 15 Ohm pair but hesitated to appraise given the emotional and cultish aspect to the valuation.
I see cult favorite Audio Research SP11's being offered for $3500-4K cult value but not necessarily selling at that price or mine would be long gone.
They were Stereophile Class D. I didn't see too many readers writing in disagreeing with this rating nor excessive used LS3/5A prices back then. They were cheap speakers back when they were new and cheap speakers don't age like a fine wine. Buying a pair at current used prices would be a horrible investment.
The LS 3/5A was a product of BBC research and development. This was a very important speaker for it's time. The final design was licensed to various British speaker manufacturers that were forced to adhere to strict BBC guidelines. The speaker cabinets were made of different types of wood and took the cabinet resonances into consideration when the crossover was designed. The crossovers were designed so that the speaker to speaker matching was better than 2dB. The cone material, a first for any woofer, (a Kef driver) was a new thermal plastic material called Bextrene and opened the door for other poly (plastic) woofers. For it's day, it was a true miracle worker. Superb imaging and decent bass out of a small woofer. The downside....Because it's bass was lumpy,it was somewhat finicky about coupling to a subwoofer. The Kef T-27 was rather spitty. The mod at the time was to remove the screen over the tweeter, and that did help, but the tweeter was prone to slight compression at reasonable volume. But the worst problem was the speakers miserable sensitivity which was 82dB/1w/1m. Couple that with a maximum power rating of 50 watts and you realize very quickly that this speaker was not designed to play loud. With improvements in materials and technology, this beautifully made speaker is no longer considered the sonic miracle it once was decades ago.
****The Rogers had no real bass and the dynamics were not that great but
what they had in spades was that certain je ne sais quoi.****
Exactly! Sometimes it's a bit of a mystery why some components have that
certain something that lets one simply take in the music and not just the
Don't know about cabinets or various drivers, but I can tell you about some
experiences with this speaker which may help answer your original
question as to how good (or not) they are; you may be able to extrapolate
some useful info from these accounts.
Years ago (before I became addicted to solder fumes) I was a regular
customer of George Kaye of NYAL fame, to who I would bring my various
tube equipment (including my Moscode gear) for mods. I liked to hang out,
watch George work on my gear, learned a lot of DIY in the process, and
listened to music played over his LS3/5a's which were part of his
"monitoring" system. As some may know, George is an
accomplished jazz bass player, so listening and talking about music
(especially bass players) was very enjoyable. George's mods were always
terrific sounding. One day I showed up to pick up my Counterpoint 5.1
preamp which he had modded and noticed that the Rogers' had been
replaced with Quad electrostats; everything else in his system remained
the same including the Futterman mono's which I had always lusted after.
Coincidentally, that would be my last visit to George as he was moving his
business elsewhere. He had done his usual fine job modding the preamp
except that the Counterpoint now had excessive and thunderous bass; it
didn't work in my system. Coincidence, since he was now listening to his
mods over Quads as opposed to the Rogers? The result of the Rogers'
infamous mid bass hump now being gone?
Around the same time I visited a local hi-fi emporium to audition the Proac
Tablettes since I was in the market for a pair of small stand-mounteds. The
system in the room where I would be listening to the Proacs was set up
with LS3/5A's. Perfect! I knew the sound of the Rogers well and so could
compare the Proacs to them. I listened to the Rogers for a while and as
usual had a very enjoyable relaxed experience and was very drawn into the
music. The Proacs were then substituted for the Rogers. It was an
incredible change in the sound; "detail" not heard before, purity
and refinement that in direct comparison made the Rogers sound a little
rough. Had I found my speakers? I listened for quite a while longer and
started to notice that I was not listening to the music, only the hi-fi. I bought
the Proacs anyway thinking that I could set them up properly in my system.
I sold them a month later. I never did buy LS3/5A's, but have always had a
soft spot for them.
I traded in a pair of JBL Jubal L65 for a brand new pair of 15 ohm Rogers LS 3/5A which sold new for $400.00.
Today I still have to wonder what people see about either speaker that would inflate their prices.
Back in those days I powered the Rogers(Swisstone -15 ohm)with a nice new Yamaha integrated and then with an old Dynaco Stereo 70 that I bought used for around $90.00.Later I used the NAD 3020 as an integrated and then just it's pre-amp section with the Dynaco.
So those were the good old days, when you could put together a decent amp/speaker combination for under $500.00.
The Rogers sounded great in my first small listening room.
Later, I opened up thst room and brought the Rogers out into the bigger room.
This was a mistake.
But it never occured to me to listen in the near field, not much written about that in my green audio years.
I tried to find a subwoofer, and some add ons made for Rogers LS3/5A on which they sat , but nothing jelled, so away went the Rogers for the new flavour of the day, the Mission 770.
Yes more bass, bigger but not better sound, but I was happy because the room seemed to be more friendly to these Brits than the last.
Another nit I had to pick with the LS3/5A was that everything was in miniature,which truth be told,only became a problem when a reviewer pointed this out.He said the image of these speakers was like looking thru a pair of binoculars the wrong way, or something like that.
So yes, these speakers are great if you use them as intended, near field listening.
But there are a lot of speakers that can do just as good and some even better for far less money, new or used, so I have to wonder why some gear increases in value over the years and other things do not.
Having spent time with the Rogers, they were a great speaker for $400.00 new,and would still be today for that same price.Spending outrageous amounts of money for a "classic" LS3/5A in my mind is a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Just what the naysayers of fancy power cords would advise.
I've read great things about the Kef LS50, and it sells new for less than classic LS3's.Never heard them yet.
I wish someone( like Ken K) would do a side by side review.
I find it a bit sad that Kef has to compare their newest monitor with improved tech to the old Rogers,but that has only helped sales of each speaker I suppose.
The nostalgia bug is a fickle thing.
Some items like the LS3 can fetch more than five times it's orignal selling price and create bidding wars, yet the just as classic NAD 3020(for me a real audio awakening) from the same era, seldom sells today for even it's original asking price of $198.00.