Eminent Technology LFT8b


I'm curious to know if anyone here owns or has any experience with Eminent Technology LFT8b speakers. I will be getting a pair of planars soon, probably Magnepans, but what I've read about these speakers is very interesting. Their biggest downside is sensitivity, 83 db. If you liver further than 100 miles from a dealer the company will sell these direct with a 60 day trial period.
linesource
If you search the speaker forum for Eminent Technology you'll find lots of threads. I owned a pair of the LFT VIIIs five or six years ago. They didn't work for me at all. Johnny Cash never sounded like Johnny Cash should. That's what I remember most about them.
Oh yeah, that and my wife and her friends laughing at those large panels in my listening room when they were touring our new house.
I was considering these a couple years ago but my local dealer was a clown(being nice) so I moved on, your lucky to be able to order direct. Don't worry about the 83db/spl spec, some claim the specs(85db) on the Maggies are jacked up. The latest model(b) is claimed to correct the rolled off treble which was one of the biggest weakness of the previous model. I can't comment on Timrhu's claim of upper bass/lower mid coloration since I've not heard the speaker. I would contact ET/Bruce Thigpen regarding any questions, since he was very polite and informative with me. If you can deal with the "ugly duckling" aesthetics you will possibly have one of the best new speaker values currently available.
If you read Doug Schroeder's review in Dagogo you would find out his preference for the LFT's over the 1.6. I have tried a few other speakers of similar design; Magnepan MG IIIa and MG 1.6 but I preferred overall the LFT8b. Originally I had the earlier version LFT8a and although the mids and upper frequencies were excellent, the lower bass suffered with the woofer bottoming out on certain passages. Bruce Thigpen cleared this issue up with the release of the LFT8b around 2006. The bass is much tighter with the new (now 8+ years old) woofer and he also improved the ribbon tweeter at that time. They have more punch in the lower 32-100hz range than the Maggie 1.6 and I also thought them superior in that regard to the 1.7. They do like power though, I run them with the Moscode 600 at 300wpc and they work very well with that amp. The clarity on well recorded jazz and acoustic music has to be heard and they can rock despite some saying they don't play loud. Some demo discs I use are Jon Anderson "Olias Of Sunhillow", Also Sprach Zarathustra, and Supertramp "Crime Of The Century". The floor shakes.
Oh, by the way, I do think the Sound Anchors are essential.
I spent a fair bit of time with the ET and almost pulled the trigger on a pair. I ended up with MMGs and a pair of Rythmik subs in a system using a prepro (for sophisticated subwoofer integration). I really like the ETs, but I do not for a second regret going a different way.
Martykl:
Not trying to hijack this thread, but could you kindly elaborate on why you preferred the MMG's to the ETs? I'm considering both speakers.
Thanks very much.
Ps,

From auditions many years back, so possibly imperfectly recalled:

To my ear, there were a lot of similarities between the two speakers from the mid-band up. I never A-B'd them side by side, but my sense was that both were similarly satisfying on vocals, horns, strings, etc. Obviously, the ET had more extended bass via the dynamic woofer, but there was some doubt in my mind about the broad region of two octaves (or so) between the upper bass and mids. Somewhere in there, the cross-over from the panel to the dynamic woofer took place. It's been a while, so I'm reluctant to be specific - I just had a question whether the panel/woofer integration was entirely successful.

The addition of a pair of 12" Rythmik subs to MMGs was a different story entirely:

First, I cross at 75hz which is low enough to get any x-over related issues out of the ear's most sensitive range. I'm not sure where the LFT crosses, but I'd guess it's an octave (or more) higher than my set-up.

Second, this combo represents some very serious deep bass capabilities - no question in my mind that the MMG/Rythmik combo was easily better for the kick drum region down to the lowest musical bass range (and HT range, too - tho I wasn't going to use the system for that).

Third, the Rythmiks allow electronically adjustable damping which - to my ear - further allows a more precise matching of panel and cone.

Most importantly, the whole thing was much cleaner to my ear. The LFT kinda made me wonder about a two octave range while the Rythmik (crossed via Audyssey) was just seamless top to bottom to my ear. Remember, Audyssey provides room correction, too - which cleans up the bottom octaves in a way that I like a lot.

If you're willing to use a digital cross-over/room correction device like Audyssey, I think the Rythmik/MMG combo represents monster potential for the dollar. Some of the issues that I had with the LFT might also benefit from Audyssey, but my gut sense is that it probably still lags due to the higher x-over point and more limited woofer capabilities. If you're not willing to consider Audyssey (or similar), then I can't really say which is likely more satisfying.

BTW, At the time, the cost of the two speaker alternatives was very close (within a $100 or so). I'm not sure if that's still true.

Good Luck
Last Friday; I auditioned a pair of the LFT-8b's, amazing speakers!
The dealer was powering them with a Rogue Atlas stereo amp. (100wpc); We listened to Steve Morse, Dire Straits, Grateful Dead, Robert Cray, Dream Theater and Diana Krall.
We started with some vinyl, then played CD's.
I listened for four hours; mesmerised at the detail, 3D stage, clarity and seamless speed of the bottom frequencies blending with the mids and highs. Never once getting fatigued or worn-out.
I've read about planars, stats, etc.. lacking loudness and/or dynamics; to my ears, the LFT's had PLENTY of dynamics, with zero distortion.
I ordered a pair; I couldn't help myself.
I also ordered the Sound Anchors with them.
I can't wait to hear them with my Class D Audio SDS470C ( 300wpc, upgraded P.S.)
The dealer had minimum wall treatment on the wall behind the speakers, and a rug on the tile floor in front of the seats.
I figured; I already have GIK wall treatment behind my A/V rack; if I need to, I'll put an area rug down on the tile.
NICE speakers!
The dealer says Bruce Thigpen of E.T. could sell the LFT-8b's for $8000.
Bruce Thigpen is brilliant and down to earth too!
When I e-mailed the company; it was Bruce himself that replied; he's a Class Act!

I’ve heard Magnepan 1.7i and the ET LFT-8b in the same system and the same room and if I didn’t know the price(s) I would have thought the LFT-8b was at least twice more expensive just based on how much better it sounded. I think the LFT-8b’s 8ohm impedance (vs. 1.7i 4ohm) contributed to its more open and effortless sound signature. They were driven by a Mark Levinson No. 585 integrated amplifier. They both obviously need plenty of room behind them to sound as they should.