Larsen Loudspeakers


I would appreciate feedback from Larsen Loudspeaker owners or anyone who has auditioned Larsen Loudspeakers.  Thank you.
guppy
I had a pair of Larsen 8s for the better part of 2015. They are handsome and work very well up close to the front wall. Surprisingly good bass and they throw an expansive sound stage, which they paint more with broad brushstrokes than with detailed precision. This type of imaging is probably the key thing prospective buyers need to evaluate; Larsens image differently from the standard fare these days, but they offer a lot of good things in the tradeoff. Tonally they are in my wheelhouse, having some of the warmth, richness and organic correctness I hear from Harbeth. They really come alive at volume, but are at least adequate at quiet levels. I used them with a variety of amps, including an Audio Note Oto (10 wpc) and a much higher-powered Class D Hypex amp. They woked with everything, but solid state produced more controlled bass.

They are handsome as I said, but I felt the build quality was a bit disappointing in that the grill fabric on a few of the panels seemed to be on the verge of coming loose. Not a big deal, but nevertheless.

Try to get an in-home audition if you can. 

After a few members were impressed by the Larsens at THE Show Newport two years ago they were invited to demo them for our club.  That resulted in many more favorable comments.

I think drubin offers a good description.  They don't sound like most other speakers by design.  They do present a high level of musical detail, just not the pinpoint imaging some speakers might.  So personal taste comes into the evaluation.  If you like to sit up front center for your live music they won't likely appeal to you.  But if you prefer something more than say 10 rows back for a more integrated presentation they you may like them quite a bit.  Also many folks may like the near wall recommended placement.  They are specifically designed to take advantage of that.

I have an old pair of Sonab OA-116s in the garage I've considered restoring to use with TV.  Sonabs are the grandfather to the Larsens.

I have owned the smallest of the Larsens, the Model 4 for almost 4 years now. I pretty much agree with the above comments, and I would imagine as one goes up the ladder, the family resemblance remains, you just get more of it.

I have run mine with a Plinius 8200 integrated/200 wpc, A Naim Uniti/50 wpc, and currently with Croft Series 7 hybrid amplifier/45 wpc. The speakers have responded extremely well with all of the above amplifiers, showing the various flavors of each one quite easily.

I am pretty much a speaker nut-it is one thing in the entire chain of gear that I really get into, and while I have had quite a few other flavors in the system over the last several years, the Larsen remain.

What I like about them is that overall, they are fairly easy to situate in a room, keep them out of the corners, put them hard up against a preferably solid wall, get the spread right, and have decent equipment upstream.

The fact that they do go up against the wall keeps floor space open, nothing sticking out, in the way etc. The other thing that surprised me, even though they are a wall boundary type speaker, they do not present a flat image like many wall boundary speakers tend to do. They have a very lifelike stage, and great image height-although I do realize that some of these attributes are recording dependant. Depth of stage is very good, very 3-dimensional overall. As other comments made, they do not throw the laser beam/pin-point image that I generally find unrealistic anyway, but still they have an extremely wonderful image, full bodied, meat on the bones.

Bass also is pretty good too, especially considering their diminutive size, almost hard to believe at times. Not earth shaking, but very solid. Mids and treble also very good, at times I think the upper end reminds me of an electrostat, quick and clear. Maybe not the end all, be all in absolute definition, but again, very good.

Overall, a wonderful design I think. Plays music of all types and just gets out of the way of it all and goes about its business.

Any dislikes? Yeah maybe one, as Drubin commented on, the build quality is good, nothing great or exceptional, but then again, for the money, the build is commensurate. The speaker uses more than adequate drivers, decent cabinet and fittings etc., but the veneer is just average. You aren’t getting Sonus Faber here, but I don’t think it looks cheap either. Personally, I would rather have my money go into the sound anyway.

Very few speakers or any audio component is the end all, be all, and this is no exception. But I have to say, I could have spent a lot more money(and have before), and got way less in the form of musicality and enjoyment. I totally get these and enjoy them every day, cannot see getting rid of them except maybe to move up the line someday.

I will also put in a shameless plug for Michael Vamos of Audio Skies, the US distributor(no affiliation blah blah), wonderful guy to deal with!


Note: Speakers that I have owned in the last 5 years or so have been: Magnepan MMG/Subs, Shahinian Obelisk 2, Shahinian Lark(still own), Ohm Walsh 2, 2000, 3000, MWT, Linn Kan 2, Direct Acoustics Silent Speaker...just for reference FWIW.

Do Larsen's help in a very reflective room or are they just helpful with the ability to place them against the wall?

A "very reflective room" will likely present challenges for any speaker design.

Since the Larsen design is intended to increase interface with the room with their angled drivers, they might possibly be less successful than conventional designs which can direct initial sound waves more to the listener.  But I would think you'll need to add absorption to your room for any speaker to work well.

Oh yeah…those things. Very cool. I read a review someplace and thought they looked innovative, which is often rare these days…and regarding room absorption using "any speaker" (not including Ted Talks), I'm a big believer in furniture and carpets being tasked with that job, although people living in repurposed shipping containers (Abu Dhabi high rise workers for example) might need more stuff…I wear a fuzzy shirt and a thick headband made from long strand New Zealand sheep wool when doing any critical listening.