Eminent Technology LFT 7 !!


Not a missprint!  LFT 7 was the LFT 6 with additional bass panels. The bass panels had 3 bass drivers per panel.  4 panels total.  Would like to hear them or purchase them.  
61eebd42 ef5f 470e a8c1 7b2099ea77c5riverdinaudio

Showing 3 responses by gstewtoo

Sorry for the slow response, busy couple of weeks at work.

@bdp24, was it obvi that I love ET speakers? I’ll have to try to hide that better!

I did do all the xover and panel upgrades myself, if anyone is interested message me and I can send you a link to my ET Speaker folder on my Google Drive space and you can see the upgraded xovers for the IVs, Vis, and VIIIs along with the Dynamat on the LFT-VI panels. One thing that made the upgrades work on the IV’s and VI’s was being able to use the now unavailable Northcreek Audio 100uF and 200uF polyprops. I should have bought some additional 100uF when they still had them! I used these to replace the 470uF electrolytics in the originals.

While there are other caps in the 47uF-100uF range now available that will likely surpass them in performance, their price/performance was very good back in the late 1990’s / early 2000’s and an upgrade over the Solen that were the standard back then. Today I’d have to spend time looking over the Humble Homemade HiFi reviews along with scanning PCX and Soniccraft to see what’s available, likely a lot of good choices today (and great ones if you want to spend real $$$$$). A quick glance suggests the Auricap XO 100uF could be a good contender today, but upgrading a pair of LFT-IV/VI/VIII 470uF electrolytic caps would be a $1000+ purchase!

On the LFT-VIII xovers, there was some chatter on AudioAsylum about leaving out the 470uF in the midrange leg, so I did that there… no issues after running them that way for 14 years, knock on wood!

My read of the LFT-IV, VI, and VIII xover is that you should be able to duplicate the basic mostly 1st-order xover configurations with the B4 while retaining Bruce’s passive compensation networks directly on the drivers. Takes more good amps than I have, though! The LFT-III original xover was a bit more complex with some higher-order slopes, discussed at length in the IAR review. Since Bruce went to all 1st-order xovers for all speakers after that (except for the LFT-VIII mid-panel highpass where I believe the C6 2.2uF cap is there to compensate for a top-end rise in those panels), I wonder if he changed the LFT-III xover in the later ones.

BUT as you said, just biamping them with the bass-mids xovers at low-level before the amps and bypassing the in-speaker passive components will make a significant improvement even if you don’t go all the way to 3-way biamping. AND I never understood Bruce’s recommendation for the biamping split on the LFT-VI between the bass/mid and tweeter… bass – mid/tweeter makes more sense to me. AND that’s how he configured the LFT-III/IV and LFT-VIIIs, so not sure why the LFT-VI is setup differently. I guess I should ask him.

@riverdinaudio, I love your LFT speaker/driver collection and look forward to hearing about your experiments. I’ll keep your comments on the driver usage below 100hz in mind. My thought is to use the LFT-VI+VI bass panels to as low as they are effective… I’m guessing 40-50hz, maybe a tad lower. Then eventually cross over to a dipole cone sub setup to take it lower, likely something from GR Research.

One non-speaker revelation that has significantly improved the bass quality and extension of my setups in ways I didn’t expect and couldn’t imagine was using UC pair buffers on my DIY’d-ish DAC setups. I use an Allo.com USBBridge Signature as an I2S endpoint and feed either very modified versions of their Kali DAC or Ian Canada’s FiFoPi/DAC/output stage combos. In the last year or so I added a final buffer pair of 325F Ultracaps to the 2 DAC/interface rails (2x5V for the Allo Kali, 2x3.3V for the Ian Canada FiFoPi/DAC combo) and a pair of 3000F UCs on the 5V to the USBBridge Sigs. IF you DIY your digital gear and can handle the UCs safely (they will source welding-level current if shorted), I highly recommend this. Revelatory in many ways, with the bass improvements just a part of the overall jump upward.

BTW, does anyone have the IAR LFT-III review scanned? I have the hard-copy, but if someone has it scanned and can forward, that’ll save the scanning effort. Just lazy, I guess.

@riverdineaudio, really looking forward to your reports!

Greg in Mississippi

P.S. I’ve been an ET enthusiast since before he made speakers, getting an ET-1 tonearm not long after they first came out, upgrading it to an ET-2 when that became available, and now having 2 ET-2.5s.

Interesting... sorry I missed this thread earlier.

I got a pair of LFT-VIs in 1994 or so and used them as my main speakers until I moved across-country in late 2006.

From 1981-1994, I cycled through Acoustat 2s, 2+2s, MG-IIIAs (Still the best highs overall in my setups!), 1+1s, PK R&D mods to the 1+1s, and original CLSs. Sometimes I used various fill-in speakers as gaps between selling and buying occurred and I filled those gaps with SMGs, MG-Is, MG-IIs, and Spica TC-50s (still have them!).

While all of the top planars above had their pros and cons, I found the LFT-VIs to be the best overall mix... not quite as detailed as the best electrostatics, but very close, not as good of highs as the big Magnepan ribbon, but not far behind, while not a single-driver electrostatic, with careful positioning they equaled the coherence of those speakers and the TC-50s, AND more dynamic than any of the other planars.

Before I moved, I’d already gotten the panels to do a mid-woofer rebuild (2 mid drivers had trace breaks) and looked for a fill speaker to use in the apartment until after we bought a house there and I had the chance to do that rebuild after we got settled. I found a good deal on some Gallo Ref 3A’s which were ok, but the mid-to-woofer transition was not as good as the full-range or otherwise coherent speakers like the LFT-VI. THEN I found a GREAT deal on a pair of LFT-VIIIs and got them... and they quickly replaced the Ref 3As. We moved into the house, I used the Ref 3As in the smallish downstairs ’temporary’ stereo room, and put the LFT-VIIIs upstairs for when I got time to setup that room.

Before that happened, I found another great deal on a pair of LFT-IVs and jumped on that. They went into that downstairs ’temporary’ setup in 2007-2008 and are still there now, a couple of crossover upgrades and lots of system changes later and sounding better than ever. AND I use the Ref 3A just away from the corners with a resistor across the woofer terminals as a bass damper... works!

Back to the LFT-VIs... The LFT-VIIIs (also with upgraded crossovers) are sounding great in that upstairs room. I’m working hard to retire mid-next-year so I can do that LFT-VI rebuild. BUT to the subject of this thread, I found a pair of mostly dead LFT-VI’s and got them for a good trade in 2009 or so. The dead panel drivers on my original LFT-VIs were the mids on 2 of the mid-woofers, so I figured that the 6 pulls from the LFT-VI rebuild would supply sufficient drivers for the deaders. BUT when I reached out to Bruce T at ET about using them to construct LFT-VII’s, he suggested getting 6 woofer only panels, similar to what they used in the old LFT-III outer panels, as that’s what they used on the original LFT-VIIs. So I did. MAYBE a year from now, everything willing, I can update y’all on how they worked out. Will be bi-amping them with separate amps for the woofer panels... and yes, if I need more woof, I’d consider some of the dipolar cone drivers like the GR Research ones mentioned above, I’ve heard a number of good dipole cone-drivered woofers/subs since 1980 or so and suspect they’d be the best overall match to the LFT bass presentation.

Greg in Mississippi

P.S. The LFT-VI’s got Sound Anchor bases (also on the LFT-VIIIs) and upgraded crossovers too along with Dynamat on the non-driver portion of the diaphram panels. All were well-worthwhile, though the Dynamat is way ugly!
Just saw this LFT-VI pair plus bass modules from LFT-VIII's listed on EBay for $2,500 USD earlier this week:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Eminent-Technology-LFT-6-Linear-Field-Transducer-Planar-Magnetic-Speakers/3...

They went pretty fast, 2-3 days.

I personally consider the price VERY fair... when I bought mine back in the mid-1990's, I paid $1200 plus $100 shipping. In current $$$, that is almost $2,500, so one could consider the LFT-VIII bass modules a bonus. 

There was another set of those bass modules listed and sold in the last few weeks. Sorry, don't have a link for that listing.

Greg in Mississippi