LSA the gem of a good system


I've had an LSA Statement integrated for a few years now and every now and then I have the urge to replace it with separate components or with a "better" integrated. I even called up the owner/director of the company that makes my speakers (Reference 3A de Capo) and he essentially told me that unless I was willing to spend $15K or so, I wasn't going to get any better.

The other day I bought a pair of the Class D-rated but still well-reviewed Pioneer SB-BS122 monitors for a fledgling A/V system in the livingroom (for context, my wife and I have had the same flat screen for eight years now, and with two toddlers rarely have the time or energy to watch full movies), but I did miss having a music source upstairs besides a Tivoli radio that could also hook up to an iPad.

For kicks and giggles, I took the de Capos off their stands and replaced them with the diminutive (by comparison) Pioneers and started playing CD's (my phono platter is being replaced by Pro-Ject at the moment). Wow. These little, cheap ($129) thingies were awesomely transparent and clear. They rolled off where they should roll of, and they were nowhere near the de Capos in terms of presence and holographic projection, but the LSA made them sing.

A few days later I took the LSA with me to a local dealer (well, his house actually, from where he conducts his business), to compare Leben and Line Magnetic to the LSA (brought to you by the letter L, of course). Our speakers were Harbeths and Devores.

Maybe it was listening bias, but the LSA simply crushed both Leben and Line Magnetic, both of which are fine components in of themselves. The music bloomed in the former much more colorfully and palpably; I felt with the LSA and the Devores that I could walk around the living room and pinpoint different instruments if I had to.

I'm not a shill for LSA by any means; I bought the amp sound unheard off of audiogon several years ago and then had it upgraded to the Statement series. I've owned ARC's, Blue Circles, CJ's and Sophia Electric. But these past few months have made me realize that it's the LSA, not the de Capo's, that's the gem of my system.

Now, maybe to commit audio adultery on the de Capo's and start auditioning Devores...
simao
John Tucker had a hand with the LSA integrated that is why it is so good. I own John's Exception integrated, mind blowing good. My brother-in-law just bought the LSA 5 speaker deal from Underwood hifi and loves the speakers. John also had a major role in those as well. Good luck...
I'm driving a pair of Harbeth SHL5+ with the LSA Statement and couldn't be happier. The sound is truly amazing.
Simao, I have had a LSA Statement Plus for many years now. I really just keep it as a backup for the B.M.C. M2s and the Koda K-10 which are better, but the Statement is very close. I'm thinking seriously about selling it and the LSA1 Statement speakers.
When I started LSA Group a decade ago, my goal was to offer products which people could own without regret, for a long, long time. I hired the brilliant John Tucker of Exemplar (and NASA) to be my VP of RD. We then brainstormed to come up with ways to make a great amp (integrated) a world class amp.
John was completely up to the task.
Now, years later I"m no longer involved with the company, (now Living Sounds Audio), but the products live on. I"m proud to have contributed a tiny, tiny bit to the industry that I love so much.
But, it's all about the music.
Thanks for the kind words guys.
Larry Staples
TBG,
And any other owners of LSA Speakers. To improve them dramatically, buy real virgin wool (at a fabric shop I suppose) and stuff them with this, tightly... tightly.
There is some cheap stuff in there now, get rid of it.
I'd like to take credit for discovering this, but the advice came from the Legendary Irving M. 'Bud' Fried.
I used to speak to him frequently back in the '80s and early '90's. He told me that nobody really understands the 'sonic difference' between synthetic sh*t and the 'good stuff' like real wool. He, as usual was 100% correct.
I miss Bud, what a character!
Larry
Larry,

Have owned a number of LSA products including the Statement IA and they're terrific. Don't know if you have any insight into LSA's future? They haven't introduced any new products for quite some time (that I'm aware of) and are, of course, now selling ID through Underwoodhifi. Anything new on their horizon that you know of?? Thanks.
Actually, now that I'm not with the company, I have no inside information.
I had (probably pollyanna) visions of a 7 channel home theater pre/processor with tube gains. That idea still excites me.
No, there's no design leadership without John and I collaborating.
The products though, are still more than valid some 9 years later.
Thanks for your business and wonderful comments.
Larry
Lrsky, I well remember the story of the very favorably reviewed speaker that you got from DK Designs that had no wiring inside when John sought to get it working.
Tbg,
Good memory.
The X-Dream as I recall, that was part of what we purchased when we bought the assets of DK Design, was the remarkably reviewed speaker. All plate aluminum, and if that design caught your fancy, quite stunning looking. I was psyched to hear it after having read the review.
When we called to have it shipped to us from the aero space company that had cut the aluminum on their CNC Machines, which were set up to cut such thick unforgiving alloy, we were told that Daniel Khesin had never paid the bill for their work. We paid a small fortune to get them out of hock.
Then, when they arrived, we discovered that the speakers had never been wired, no portals cut for running wiring from the crossover to the drivers. The review, in other words, was completely fraudulent. This rhapsodic review by Positive Feedback was a complete sham. These speakers could never have been listened to. No internal wiring, no crossover, no nothing.
So, I got to work and selected the drivers, some of the best available--uncommonly flat output, smooth, dynamic, easy loads. It took a while. Then my VP of Design and Engineering John Tucker hired a man to do the crossovers. 1st and 2nd order crossovers. Then I crossed my fingers. I knew the cabinet would be spectacular. It was totally, and completely solid. It was amazing with 1/2" plate in places. When it was finished, we let it play endlessly to break in as some of the components in the cross over were notoriously hard to break in.
At the end, the fictitious review did not even do them justice. They were really spectacular speakers.They were not to be driven by tubes as we found out in Denver, but with SS amp (the LSA) the sang loudly.
Thanks for that walk down memory lane Tbg.
Lrsky, I heard them and was crushed that they were not made. I even thought of buying the prototypes.
You were in Colorado at the Rocky??
Larry
Larry - how much of a difference would rolling the pre-tubes make?
Rolling tubes is, for me, essential.
The supplied tubes sound ok, but are not to my taste. I prefer the actual tube 'sound' to the solid state sound. Well, not true. I love the control and extension of solid state, when coupled with the 'sweetness' of the tube midrange. For many years, I would use a good solid state amplifier with a tube preamp, which to me was the best of both worlds.
Theres nothing, (to me) like the warmth and low level res of tubes to bring out, what for me is the most musical sound.
I chose 6dj8 pre tubes for my LSA Statement. They are Amperex (made in Holland circa 1964 August, and are very 'rich' sounding. The Telefunken are good, but more sterile sounding.I believe they were costly, but I can't remember what I paid, something like $250 for the pair. I got them from Brent Jesse as I recall.
You can completely change the sound of the LSA Amp with really good tubes.
Thanks for asking, and I hope you make the switch, you won't regret it.
Best,
Larry
When I got the Statement back after Mr. Tucker upgraded it, I rolled the 6922's out and replaced them with Amperex 7308 gold pins ($109/tube) from Upscale Audio. It definitely widened the sound and gave it more presence. I wonder if the 6DJ8's would be an upgrade (even though they cost less ($90/tube)?
Ah yes tube rolling. I have the Statement amp but have never used it as an integrated amp other than a brief comparison versus the Exemplar XP-2 and using the amp section only. The combination was, of course, much more expensive but it also was just out standing. I only used John's tube selection in the XP-2.
Simao,
This is a puzzle within a puzzle. You are looking at not only tube types, but brands as well. In other words, all 6dj8's are not created equally. I would suggest that you talk to Brent Jesse about your tastes and he can steer you to the best choice.
As I said, mine are Amprex dating back to 1964. For whatever reason, the nos tubes of that era seem (to me) to sound better than contemporary.
Brent's knows his stuff.
Good luck.
Larry