LSA speakers?


The name LSA came up in some other threads. I am always curious about small hidden gem type companies. Does anyone have any experience with these? Comparison with other specific models will be great, but impressions will do.
aktchi
I heard the LSA1 bookshelf monitors ($1000 retail) in my system, and thought they had amazingly musical sound with a large image and sweet spot. I don't know the frequency range specs, but they had very good bass. The upper mids and highs are good, but I detected some grain while they were installed in my room. All in all, though, they appear to be a very good value at their street price.
The LSA 2s have excellent dynamics and a deep broad soundstage with good image localization, perhaps comparable to Von Schweikerts as they both use a similar tweeter configuration. The high end, from what appear to be less than exotic drivers, is smooth and sweet in a way that reminds me of Avantegards (no really there is a kindred quality about the two) The midrange is uncoloured, nicely detailed with good presence like a KEF or an LS35a or a Celestion. The bass is perhaps a bit warmish compared to say an Audio Physic, but with good rhythm and drive. Most everything you hear through them sounds good(like really good). The general impression is sweet and musical, detailed yet non fatiguing. Almost a British kind of sound. I like them for the money ($2500)
Anacrusis: Based on what else you heard, would you be able to compare them against other under-$3000 speakers well regarded in this forum from the likes of Tyler, Zu, Salk, Green Mountain, and (speking of British) Harbeth, etc?
Aktchi: I have not heard the above mentioned speakers so I really wouldn't be able to comment. My reference to LS35as is based on considerable time spent with the Rogers issue of this speaker. I realize that Harbeth manufacturers an LS35a, but again I haven't heard them. I really do have to get out and hear more speakers!
Is there confusion?
LS3-5a is the code name of a '60s BBC spkr design for monitoring inside recording vans.

LSA is a brand name used by "dk designs". They make amps and spkrs (asaik).
Yes! Rogers LS35as are nearfield monitors and are commonly referred to as BBC monitors. They are characterized by the use of a bextrene KEF B110 midbass driver and T-27 tweeter which was later replaced by a celestion tweeter, if memory serves. Many homes use these as their primary speaker (I know I sold them). They still have quite a following, I understand, and are still considered a reference standard by the faithful. Spendor, Harbeth and a number of other British manufactures have been licensed by the BBC to use the LS35a designation. I don't know what LS35a stands for but LSA stands for Larry Staples something or other; Larry Staples being the new owner of DK and presumably the designer of the LSA line. Though I wouldn't say that the LSA2s are the equal of the little BBCs within their limited frequency band, there is, to my ears, a characteristic similarity.

Driven by tubes like the Luxman 3045s or the Quad Mono Blocks, little else, short of Quad 57s could compare to the Rogers LS35sa in the day, and I imagine this is still the case. In fact I've been considering building a second system around the Cayin S A-88T/KT-88 and, now that you mention it, LS35as may be the to go. Any recommendations for a CD player? Thanks!

So yes, your exactly right but there is no confusion.
OK, right. Didn't know the BBC LS is the dk owner. Thanks.
Yes, the LSA speakers are from DK Design. But I auditioned the LS2 at length at my dealer and they sound fantastic. The VS VR2s, which sit right next to the LS2s in the room, didn't sound as smooth or as open. I didn't get to compare them to any other speakers.

The cabinet quality of the LS2 is excellent and the rosewood finish is really classy but the drivers look just like the VS drivers...probably sourced from the same place but I can't say for sure. Arthur
Gregm:

YOU WERE RIGHT, "LSA is a brand name used by "DK Designs" who is now LSA Group and LS3-5a is the code name of a '60s BBC spkr design for monitoring inside recording vans".

LSA is in no way affiliated with any of the BBC licensed LS35as. I was just making the point that the LS35as are still around and in addition to their use in recording vans they are a classic reference quality nearfield home speaker.

By way of comparison only, I feel the DK Design LSA2s have a palpable, uncolored midband sonic character similar to LS35as (BBC Monitors), and a smooth sweet extended quality to the treble that reminds me of Avant Gardes. The primary difference is that they can jump jive and rock(perhaps in the way of an Audio Physic but with a warmer, bass reflex kind of sound). I'll also restate the fact that rather than "brutally revealing the weaknesses in the audio chain and source material" they seem to be very forgiving of the source and make everything you hear through them sound good. I'd be curious to know why this is.

Gregm, I apologize if I confused the issue earlier, your initial post to this thread was indeed correct.
I bought a pair of LSA 1s last December after comparing them to the B&W DM603 S3s (which I had intended to buy when I went in my local dealer). To my ears they sounded much better (more realistic, with a broader soundstage, and better midrange and bass).

After listening to them for six months now they just seem to get better, and I have no regrets. I haven't heard some of the speakers referenced in this forum, but I think the LSAs are a great value.

The company is owned by a man named Larry Staples. LSA is located in Lexinton, KY. and their e-mail address is:

LSAGroup@bellsouth.net

If you are in the market for a new set of great spekers at a resonable price I suggest that you contact then to find a dealer in your area. Unless you are really into ultra high-end speakers I don't think you will be dissappointed in the LSAs
Sorry - LSA is actually located in Louisville, not Lexington.
1. LSA bought DK, not the other way around.
2. I also own LSA 1's, their "bottom of the line" bookshelf speaker, and I think it's wonderful. It has an uncanny life-like sound.
Art
Heard LSAs at a show. Extremely high cost to performance ratio. Nicely voiced with a solid midrange.
Just demo'd LS1 Signature and LS2 at my house with local dealer using my modest Creek 5350 se/Opera Consonance 120 Linear system wired together with Audio Art cable. The monitors, augmented by a Final Sound S100 sub, sounded much better in my room. The floor-standing LS 2's were not bad-sounding-- it's just that they couldn't compete in terms of clarity, quickness, soundstaging and overall musicality with the little LS 1's. These monitors are very revealing of cd quality (or lack thereof), and accordingly, the weight of the presentation varies enormously. In a few days I'll listen to the top-of- the-line LS 1 Statement, which, according to the dealer, has considerably more bass extension and does not require a sub. I'd love to hear the LS 2 Signatures, but they're beyond my budget at present.
Heard LSA LS 1 Statement today and it's indeed quite a step up from the LS 1 Signature. The bass is amazing-- no need for a sub in my large room. It's even more revealing than the Signature and as the dealer commented, it "seems" louder than the Signature although rated the same 87 db, I believe. EmmyLou Harris sounds like she's right here in the room. It seems to me that anyone looking for a monitor in the $ 2500 (list) and above range should check out this speaker.
I bought a pair of LSA statements from underwood hifi. probably the best audio purchase I've made. They absolutely stomp the usher be 718 which I owned prior to the statements.
At the prices they are being sold at here on audiogon they are an incredible buy. these are some wonderful speakers. I recommend them highly
I have a pair of LSA-1 standards that I enjoy tremendously. I will be upgrading to the statements soon. This speaker is a tremendous performer at the price point. I am driving it with a Mcintosh MC-7270 and it sings!
I am very interested in this thread. I was thinking of buying the PSB Synchrony 2B (around $1700) but another dealer suggested that the LSA1 Statements blow the PSBs away, and he's got them on sale for a competitive price. It's a hard decision! I have a medium-small room (around 16 x 13 with an 8 foot ceiling) and I value transparency, listenability, and imaging/soundstage, and on all these fronts the online comments are stellar. So I'm stumped!
Well, I just pulled the trigger on a pair of LSA1 Statements from Underwood! It'll take about 10 days to get them. I'll report back when I have them set up. Any advice on set-up or break-in appreciated.
Rebbi, What happened? I thought you were all set with the Ohm's? Anyway, good luck, and please post your experience.
I recommend the Sumiko or Iron Chef set-up method. Do a Google search for the instructions. It takes some time, but the method works very well.

Break in is the typical several hundred hours, like any new speaker. The woofers need to loosen up and relax. There's no difference with the LSA 1.

Like all monitor speakers, the LSA 1 will respond to top quality stands. You will be rewarded by not cheaping out on stands. A friend uses Sistrum monitor stands (which he purchased used), and I can attest to their effectiveness.
Aktchi,
Yes I had the Ohm Micro Walsh Talls and Ohm Walsh 100's for a total of about 18 months. They have many strengths, to be sure and there was a lot to love about them. But after trying a good pair of monitors at home (PSB Synchrony 2b's) and being wowed by them, I've drawn the conclusion that the whole pseudo-omni thing isn't a great match for my listening room, which is rather small and rather lively. So I've been researching monitors for awhile and decided to pull the trigger on the LSA1 Statements. I'm psyched.

Tvad,
I will do some research on those set up methods. Thanks for the tips.

The designer of of the original LSA1, Larry Staples (great guy, by the way) wrote to me that I shouldnÂ’t do any really critical listening until the Statements have 100 hours on them. Beside the midrange driver, he said that the crossover components really need to settle in. And Walter at Underwood said that they start to open up at around 50 hours but will not have come fully into their own until about 200 hours of use. So maybe I'll try the wire-them-out-of-phase-facing-each-other method for breaking them in.
I have a couple of nice, all metal stands filled with sand for stability and resonance control. LSA sells a stand for use with the LSA1's, but they're not inexpensive and I'll see how my stands do first.
For those of you with the LSA1:

What kind of speaker wire are you using? And are you biwiring?

Also, are you using LSA's stands or something else?

Thanks!
Rebbi,
The speaker was never meant to be single wired--it is dramatically better bi wired. Single is for convenience only.
Ask John Tucker at LSA, he has a wire that is the 'best I've heard personally' (within any 'reasonably priced' cable).

Brian can recommend the stands which we use--they're perfectly sized for the best height off the floor and relative to the typical ear height.

Good listening.

Larry
Lrsky,

Thanks! I took the plunge and ordered some biwire cables, and sold my old Audioquest cable here on Audiogon.

Brian at LSA told me that if my current stands were 24" to 30" inches in height, they should work fine. But I'll investigate the LSA stands anyway.
I have had a pair of LSA1 Statements since hearing them at the RMAF in 2008. I wandered into John Tucker's room to hear his electronic and ended up buying the LSA1- Statements. At the time I had no need for them, but I was so shocked at their performance that I had to have them. Since then I have a summer home in the NM mountains and have decided to take them there.

These speakers have some link back to the speakers DK Designs had when LSA bought them. John Tucker is greatly responsible for the great improvements in the Signature and Statement versions. It is the Statements which are truly mindblowing. I have not hear any rack speaker that even approaches them.
Tbg,

Excited about getting mine. They should ship Wednesday!
Rebbi, good luck. What amplifier are you going to use?
Tbg,

I've done some pretty effective "horse trading" here on Audgiogon. :-) I now have a Bel Canto S300 power amp (150 w/ch into 8 ohms) fed by a Manley Shrimp tube preamp. Should be plenty of current. I'm just not sure how I'm going to speed break-in, which I understand they need a lot of. My wife's home office is above my listening room, so I can't just run them all day. So break in may take quite awhile.
Rebbi, face them together but reverse one set of speaker wires and put on a mono source. Much of the sound will be cancelled. I have only once had the patience to do so, but it worked.
Tbg,

Yes I've heard of that method before. I don't think I have any mono CDs, though! Anyway, what do you actually hear when you do this?

Thanks.
Probably. any break in disc you have is in mono or any old jazz cd.

Presumably, you would hear nothing, but you do hear a good deal but at much lower level than were both speakers in polarity.
My Statements are shipping out today! Woo hoo! :-)
Rebbi,
Remember, DONT make any evals when they're new out of the box. They might 'sound' ok for a couple of hours then its downhill for several hours...BAD. So just let them break in for about 100 to 150 hours.

But don't even think you've heard them until the caps have formed.
I think you'll be in love with these speakers.
Coongrats,
Larry
Thanks! I decided I am going to spring for the LSA stands, by the way. Those Statements are heavy little beasts, and my current stands, while plenty sturdy for a smaller, lighter speaker, feel a little wobbly and precarious to me under the weight of the Statements.
Finally got to temporarily hook up the speakers. (Temporarily because while my biwire cables finally arrived, I sold my old pair of stands and ordered the LSA stands, and those have yet to arrive. So now I have cables but no speaker stands... what a hobby this is!)

Lrsky is correct about the out of the box sound -- there are inklings of a lovely midrange, but the lows are constricted and the sound is still largely not "out of the box." Once I have the stands, though, I'll give them a good 50 hours before I really begin to fiddle with placement. I'll report back when I'm at that point!
Well, I've got around 25 to 30 hours on my LSA1 Statement monitors... still a good deal of break in to go, but I'm beginning to hear what they can do.

One thing I can report -- they are, so far, very listenable, moreso than any other speaker I've auditioned in my listening room... and I've heard quite a few. They will go quite loud, but never seem to get shouty or obnoxious.

Soundstage and imaging is great. I've found that a slight bit of toe-in increases soundstage width quite a bit, and center fill is very stable and precise.

Was listening today to "Skylarking" by XTC on vinyl. It's an album of Beatle-esque psychedelia, produced and engineered by Todd Rundgren, with all sorts of phasey studio effects thrown in.

I was listening today to the opening cut, "Summer's Cauldron." There are synthesized cricket chirps that open the track, and they were spread way, way beyond the outer borders of the speakers. There's then a synthesized bird chirp and some sort of harmonica (or synth harmonica) that enters. And I heard something I've never heard before in my listening room: image HEIGHT! The bird chirp was coming from somewhere up near the ceiling of the room, and the harmonica melody was centered between the speakers but again, way, way up off the floor. It was spooky, and very cool.

More to come...
Nice, glad to hear it's working out.
Art
Thanks, Artmaltman. Do you have them, as well?
I guess I'll add here that I am really, really enjoying the Statements. The bass is beginning to open up and they do amazingly well in that department. And the highs are so open, airy and sweet.

I was listening the the other day to some Steely Dan -- a track from "Two Against Nature" called "Negative Girl," that features a vibraphone solo about half way through. I've listened to that cut hundreds of times, but never heard that instrument -- its percussive quality -- rendered so realistically. Indeed, the Statements sound so good so far, with only shy of 50 hours on them at the most, that I keep wondering how much better they can get.

Kudos, as well, to Brian Warford, President of LSA. My first pair of LSA Stands -- purchased from Underwood Hi Fi -- came with some problems. Brian sent me a new pair right away and emailed me a prepaid UPS label to return the old set. So these guys stand behind their product, which is a pleasure.
I've got LSA standard in my Home Theatre, along with the standard center. I was seeking a very musical speaker - not super revealing like I would use in my high end audio system (where the Statement is a tempting choice!).
Art
More people should know about these, for sure!
Well, the LSA1 Statements continue to sound better and better. I was listening to Ride Across The River from Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms" CD today, and the amount of deep bass put out by those little mid woofers was amazing, plus, imaging and soundstage depth to die for. More to come...
Coongrats??? Is that a word?

Larry
I have the LSA statements with about 25 hours on them. Of the 40 speakers I have had, and I still have some good ones, these are by far the best speakers I have had in my house. They say you need 200 hours but the 3d image, with sound up down, in front and behind are so mind blowing that I give my highest rating which is > " Just listen to the music" award because they sound so life like. I am so critical and these float my boat like nothing I have heard anywhere. Outstanding !!
Bbchem,

Yeah, I was very taken with mine while I had them. Wait... they'll sound even better at 50 hours!

Had I not had a chance to grab a pair of Merlin TSM's at a very good price, I'd have kept my LSA's. Whether I experience buyer's remorse remains to be seen. Merlin's come tomorrow!