Larsen speakers ... anyone here heard or owned them?


Larsen speakers ... anyone here heard or owned them? A very different design.

I am intrigued by these, and if I heard them I might get obsessed. I’ve spoken to both the distributor and a dealer who love them. They say the Larsen puts up a wall of sound that is akin to a live performance, though maybe at the slight expense of pinpoint holographic imaging that front-firing speakers offer. If you’re committed to that extremely precise imaging effect like you get from 2-way monitors etc, they may not appeal.

From AbSound: Larsen Model 9 Loudspeaker $14,995
2020 Golden Ear Awards: Robert E. Greene Equipment report by Robert E. Greene | Nov 20th, 2020

"The Model 9s are the most recent and, by a considerable margin, the best embodiment to date of the unusual but very effective design principles developed by designer John Larsen, based on and extending the earlier work of Stig Carlsson. Like other Larsen models, the Model 9 calls for placement against a long wall, some distance from either adjacent corner. The speaker has a wide dispersion pattern frontally, but the wall placement gives it “halfspace directivity” from the bottom up. The result is very close to a theoretical ideal of uniform response into the room, but with long-delayed first reflections since there is in effect no back wall reflection—the distance to the side walls makes those reflections also long delayed. This, combined with the high-quality drivers, makes the sound of the Model 9s truly remarkable. Especially when a slight prominence around 500-600Hz is removed with EQ, the overall response becomes very nearly neutral in a way that escapes speakers with highly variable radiation patterns. And the absence of early reflections makes the sound very precise. An instant classic."

REVIEW: https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/larsen-model-9-loudspeaker/

EXCERPT: "Where the Larsen 9 Is Relative to Other Speakers

Reading reviews of unusual speaker designs, one is tempted sometimes to think that Talleyrand was anticipating audio reviewers, not describing the Bourbon royal family, when he remarked “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Speaker design as a whole was the subject of a lot of theoretical thought and insight beginning long ago—the first serious speaker designing goes back at least as far as the 1920s. And the field reached almost a feverish intensity in the great hi-fi boom of the 1950s and early 1960s. But reviewers have in recent times often tended to lock themselves into one aspect of the theory, and to expect, whether consciously or not, all speakers to work essentially the same way, albeit some better than others. This is an odd development because how speakers ought to work in rooms is a complicated and far from completely resolved question.

This creates a challenging situation for a design that works in a way different from the, by now, ensconced forward-radiating box with directivity increasing with increasing frequency that has somehow become a “standard,” whether it should have or not. And such a design as the Larsen Model 9—this is something different. It is also something good. Very good, indeed.

It is also something very different from usual. If I may borrow one of HP’s phrases once more, this is a speaker that should be heard by every student of the audio arts. The idea of using boundary placement to reduce the influence of the listening room on the sound has been around for a long time and tried in various ways. But it remains rather unusual. All you have to do is look through audio magazines to see that almost all contemporary speakers are really quite a lot alike in their general nature. Some are better than others, and we all have our favorites according to various theories and listening experiences. But there is a considerable sense of “déjà vu all over again.” The Larsens are members of a family, too, in some sense. But their family of boundary-placement speakers is a very much smaller one. The Larsens offer a unique sound that to my ears is unusually true to actual music, and they are unusual, too, in their ease of effective placement in the room. They offer their unique sound with a truly minimal disturbance of domestic life. Whether their unique sound is for you is something you need to experience for yourself. You will have not heard anything else much like the sound—except of course in live music."


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I heard a pair at Capital Audiofest a couple years back. Yes a different approach as described and unique for ability to be placed against walls. My audition was short and limited but I liked what I heard which was certainly not offensive on any way.  Nice products!
I'm gonna find a pair to audition! 
Please post your impressions.
With the boundary speakers I use (Naim NBL) a nice solid wall to put them against is advisable, they’re not so good with plasterboard on batons. I’ve never heard Larsens though they do look like an interesting mix of omni and boundary.
I've had a number of speakers in our large living/kitchen area over four decades, some over $10k. My wife doesn't want speakers too far out in the room. I've finally found the perfect speaker for that room and those restrictions, the Larsen 8.2. No need for subs either. The low bass on these relatively small speakers is amazing. I tried several amps, both solid state and tube. So far I'm getting the best synergy with Manley Snapper monos.
Good luck finding a pair to audition. Very few dealers.

BTW, I respectably disagree with sound_real_audio. My room, living room and kitchen, is very large. Definitely not a small room speaker.
vinylvalet
Definitely two things in their favor, that you don’t have to put them far out in the room, and the "wife/partner acceptance factor".

The Larsen 9 is really gorgeous ... I’d put them in any living room. I was told by the distributor that a client has them in his large-ish modern open floorplan home’s living room, because he likes to cook and they throw a wall of great sound from the LR to the kitchen. Sweet spot is huge. That appeals to me. I could see having a smaller second system in another listening room with front firing speakers for a more traditional presentation with specific imaging and soundstaging.
I owned a pair of Larsen 4.2 for a bit over five years. A very enjoyable sound, don’t be put off by its different looks, or even somewhat odd sound at first. They certainly do deliver the goods, and I am sure the more expensive models just add to it. 
If it weren’t for moving on up to Duevel Venus Omni’s, I would still more than likely still have the Larsen’s. Well recommended for those that do not want a room intrusive speaker.
i heard the model 9's at 2019 axpona. i thought they were very dependent on quality recordings. if it was a great recording they were fabulous. if the recording was sub part -think of most rock recordings- they were not good.
Interesting, but in my experience all really good speakers and front ends are dependent on good source material. Highly revealing front ends and speakers reveal all the defects in bad recordings. 
Over sensitivity to poorer recordings is a sign the timings off a bit in the system to my thinking. Detail is pulled out of context and it can sound quite impressive but the music itself is less engaging, If the music carries you with it the recording quality is of less importance, though you’re still aware of it. I’m not talking about masking a bad recording but getting to the music it contains. Who needs a system that tells them most of their collection is crap?
It would be disappointing to find Larsens fall into the former camp, they look so promising.
the larsen 9's seem to be more dependent upon quality of recording than most speakers i have heard.
One of the things that impressive most about my Larsen 8.2 speakers is how great they sound with my many mediocre rock recordings (played on both very high quality analog and digital source components). I have not experienced what others above have; that they only sound good with the best recordings.
Can't speak for the Larsen 9 though. Never heard it.