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Offline Martin Colloms  
#21 Posted : 23 November 2015 17:20:18(UTC)
Martin Colloms


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There is going to be a recreation of the Chartwell LS3/5a

the original was guided by ex BBC engineer Dave Stebbings , the new by Derek Hughes for Graham Audio who hold the license for this type .

Derek seeks to recreate the sound and specification of the best original 15 Ohm LS3/5a

before the mid range peak , and before the over-damped (in my opinion) low Q roll surround of the 8ohm redesign.

His LS 5/9 recreation for Graham Audio has a really strong BBC monitor quality

Martin Colloms
thanks 1 user thanked Martin Colloms for this useful post.
Simon Briggs on 27/11/2015(UTC)
Offline paskinn  
#22 Posted : 23 November 2015 22:07:02(UTC)
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The key point not mentioned is that the BBC speakers were not very accurate at all. I spent years walking in and out of live studios and into the control room. The 'monitor' speakers added a very obvious 'chest' coloration to the sound; and that was comparing the actual voice with it's reproduction ten feet away in the control room. They weren't neutral or truly transparent, no-where near. No-one working in the studios expected anything else!
But they were consistent and reliable...that's what mattered. Not 'truth' in an absolute sense. To me, the whole 'BBC' thing is a bit naïve. It was just working kit, bought for reliability; the idea that cables had a sound (for instance) would have been greeted with derision. In fact most of the beliefs of 'audiophiles' would have brought cynical laughter.
Offline Martin Colloms  
#23 Posted : 27 November 2015 08:19:24(UTC)
Martin Colloms


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How BBC monitors are used is one thing but their fundamental sound is another

When introduced they were orders of magnitude better balanced and less coloured than the entire output of the pa, monitor and hi fi speaker industry put together, and were also orders of magnitude more consistent. Whether they did rock is a different issue

In free space on a high stand they passably imitated well recorded live speech ( without proximity boost) and many other sounds, leaving the speaker industry (aside from the Quad ) for dust, and for some years.

The BBC research on response flatness, coloration, driver integration, directivity and consistency was seminal.

Auditioned 'blind', even the baby BBC 3/5a still murders many modern speakers for naturalness 40 years from its conception.

So many designers still fail to join the mid to the HF unit correctly, leaving a sour and often fatiguing overlap.

Rock performance is also important and they do not quite do that , but that is for other reasons. I have spent most of my career attempting to design speakers which are somewhat BBC accurate but also do a mix of dynamic material.

When I choose to own a speaker, BBC standards for sound quality and naturalness figure highly. I owe that design team and the government funding a great debt.

Martin Colloms



thanks 1 user thanked Martin Colloms for this useful post.
Simon Briggs on 27/11/2015(UTC)
Offline kengale  
#24 Posted : 27 November 2015 12:48:45(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
How BBC monitors are used is one thing but their fundamental sound is another

When introduced they were orders of magnitude better balanced and less coloured than the entire output of the pa, monitor and hi fi speaker industry put together, and were also orders of magnitude more consistent. Whether they did rock is a different issue

In free space on a high stand they passably imitated well recorded live speech ( without proximity boost) and many other sounds, leaving the speaker industry (aside from the Quad ) for dust, and for some years.

The BBC research on response flatness, coloration, driver integration, directivity and consistency was seminal.

Auditioned 'blind', even the baby BBC 3/5a still murders many modern speakers for naturalness 40 years from its conception.

So many designers still fail to join the mid to the HF unit correctly, leaving a sour and often fatiguing overlap.

Rock performance is also important and they do not quite do that , but that is for other reasons. I have spent most of my career attempting to design speakers which are somewhat BBC accurate but also do a mix of dynamic material.

When I choose to own a speaker, BBC standards for sound quality and naturalness figure highly. I owe that design team and the government funding a great debt.

Martin Colloms





Yes, great range of speakers. It's interesting that the first time I came across them (before I was regularly at the Maida Vale studios) was at an IEE lecture by Dolby all about Dolby A, where they chose to use BC1's as their speakers for their demonstrations. I was instantly impressed.

Offline Martin Colloms  
#25 Posted : 13 December 2015 09:35:07(UTC)
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I just revisited one of my HiFi Choice paperback reviews on the Spendor BC1, 1981, pre CD days.
While the mid and treble was astonishingly flat in response and also highly uncoloured,
there was a noticeable lift at lower frequencies to 4dB by 60 Hz which suited lower volume level listening in free space on high stands.
LPs were also cut with some bass attenuation to better pack the grooves, which you realised the moment you compared the LP with a copy of the master tape.
The BC1 bass overloaded quickly at higher volume levels which then attenuated the otherwise excessive bass. Sensitivity was noted at 83.5dB/watt.
Dynamically this did not suit the rock boys who depended on an iron beat, with a solid dynamically uncompressed and tuneful bass line.
Thus here is one component of the split between the rhythm guys and those who still valued transparency and beauty in sound reproduction.
I have spent decades searching for a speaker with Quad ESL transparency and transients,BC1 mid and treble and Yamaha NS1000m bass and timing.
All three of these loudspeakers were in that 1981 HIFI Choice issue.

Martin Colloms

Offline Togil  
#26 Posted : 13 December 2015 12:43:24(UTC)
Togil


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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
I just revisited one of my HiFi Choice paperback reviews on the Spendor BC1, 1981, pre CD days.
While the mid and treble was astonishingly flat in response and also highly uncoloured,
there was a noticeable lift at lower frequencies to 4dB by 60 Hz which suited lower volume level listening in free space on high stands.
LPs were also cut with some bass attenuation to better pack the grooves, which you realised the moment you compared the LP with a copy of the master tape.
The BC1 bass overloaded quickly at higher volume levels which then attenuated the otherwise excessive bass. Sensitivity was noted at 83.5dB/watt.
Dynamically this did not suit the rock boys who depended on an iron beat, with a solid dynamically uncompressed and tuneful bass line.
Thus here is one component of the split between the rhythm guys and those who still valued transparency and beauty in sound reproduction.
I have spent decades searching for a speaker with Quad ESL transparency and transients,BC1 mid and treble and Yamaha NS1000m bass and timing.
All three of these loudspeakers were in that 1981 HIFI Choice issue.

Martin Colloms


I have at last found this in the ATC 100 SE with its new ATC-built very low distortion tweeter ( as an unexpected bonus causing the midrange to be even better ), its new curved cabinet and discrete electronics. One year on, I'm still astonished about its immaculate rhythm and transparency.

Hans
Offline darkmatter  
#27 Posted : 13 December 2015 18:24:55(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
I just revisited one of my HiFi Choice paperback reviews on the Spendor BC1, 1981, pre CD days.
While the mid and treble was astonishingly flat in response and also highly uncoloured,
there was a noticeable lift at lower frequencies to 4dB by 60 Hz which suited lower volume level listening in free space on high stands.
LPs were also cut with some bass attenuation to better pack the grooves, which you realised the moment you compared the LP with a copy of the master tape.
The BC1 bass overloaded quickly at higher volume levels which then attenuated the otherwise excessive bass. Sensitivity was noted at 83.5dB/watt.
Dynamically this did not suit the rock boys who depended on an iron beat, with a solid dynamically uncompressed and tuneful bass line.
Thus here is one component of the split between the rhythm guys and those who still valued transparency and beauty in sound reproduction.
I have spent decades searching for a speaker with Quad ESL transparency and transients,BC1 mid and treble and Yamaha NS1000m bass and timing.
All three of these loudspeakers were in that 1981 HIFI Choice issue.

Martin Colloms



Hi Fi can be so cruel

Been searching for this myself, having heard all three, Love the NS1000 bass.

I can closest with my big beast but they are too big for where I love now Sad

Which version of the BC1 did you prefer?

Simon
Offline Viggen  
#28 Posted : 13 December 2015 19:33:01(UTC)
Viggen


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Martin, do you consider that you have yet come close to finding the balance of virtues you seek in a loudspeaker?

I suspect many of us are embarked upon a similar quest.

For me, I have found nothing to better the Spendor SP100 for its balance of virtues during the past twenty years.

Although the Audiostatic beats it (and the Quad 63) for transparency and the BC1 still has the edge for midrange 'beauty', neither of these alternatives offer the scale & overall balance of strengths (or should that be 'an absence of serious weaknesses'?) of the SP100, in my opinion.

I remain very grateful to you for your valuable analysis of the original S100 (1989, HFNRR) and SP9/1 (1995, HFNRR).

Offline darkmatter  
#29 Posted : 13 December 2015 19:38:22(UTC)
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Welcome to the forums Viggen

I indeed owned a pair of S100s for a number of years, regretted selling them

Simon
Offline frank23  
#30 Posted : 13 December 2015 21:41:34(UTC)
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Dare I say it? I bought a pair of Harbeth M30 because of the reviews on the internet. I really did not like the sound, way too much uncontrolled bass, chesty voices, in any position, traded them for silver cables and some money. Those did not make me 'discover' the BBC sound, I don't consider them high resolution speakers, what they should have been given the price. I did 'rescue' a pair of of original Kef Cresta speakers with the B110 and T27 from someones garbage, and they played nicely the one time I hooked them up.

Edited by user 13 December 2015 21:42:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Martin Colloms  
#31 Posted : 14 December 2015 08:46:25(UTC)
Martin Colloms


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Which version of the BC1 did you prefer?

Simon


Ironically, the original, before the super tweeter addition, and especially with the white PVC surround suspension for the bass mid cone. That particular standard from, 200Hz to 9kHz, has never been matched specifically for low coloration, transparency and inner tonal balance. This version had the fragile 8 watt Kraft paper voice coil former which at the time was perfectly matched to the cone assembly.

The super tweeter was a myth in hi fi terms, as available programme had little above 12kHz, if not the mics , then the recorders and the FM bandwidth limitation.

The super tweeter addition tortured the otherwise benign impedance loading, impairing the output of the driving amplifier; it also introduced phase errors above 10kHz and the inherent sweetness of the best HF1300 main tweeter was also mildly prejudiced.

It was introduced to make sure that line frequency whistle breakthrough from TV feeds could be heard during programme monitoring, and then sold as a virtue to Hi Fi customers as response extension.

That original BC1 could be compared with the Quad Electrostatic for comparably good tonal balance, articulation, transparency and low colouration.

Martin Colloms
Offline darkmatter  
#32 Posted : 14 December 2015 09:21:53(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
Which version of the BC1 did you prefer?

Simon


Ironically, the original, before the super tweeter addition, and especially with the white PVC surround suspension for the bass mid cone. That particular standard from, 200Hz to 9kHz, has never been matched specifically for low coloration, transparency and inner tonal balance. This version had the fragile 8 watt Kraft paper voice coil former which at the time was perfectly matched to the cone assembly.

The super tweeter was a myth in hi fi terms, as available programme had little above 12kHz, if not the mics , then the recorders and the FM bandwidth limitation.

The super tweeter addition tortured the otherwise benign impedance loading, impairing the output of the driving amplifier; it also introduced phase errors above 10kHz and the inherent sweetness of the best HF1300 main tweeter was also mildly prejudiced.

It was introduced to make sure that line frequency whistle breakthrough from TV feeds could be heard during programme monitoring, and then sold as a virtue to Hi Fi customers as response extension.

That original BC1 could be compared with the Quad Electrostatic for comparably good tonal balance, articulation, transparency and low colouration.

Martin Colloms



Martin

The first version I heard was the original with two drivers; as I recall seeing behind the grills at the protest with the owner, pesky kids!! I was 12.
I remember them having an amazing vocal quality and the choral reproduction not played back too loud of Faure's Requiem really started my HiFi adventures.

At the time not realising about the addition of the supertweeter, I was disappointed when I heard the BCI again at a different location, aged about 17 or 18 and never thought about it again.

Simon

Offline darkmatter  
#33 Posted : 14 December 2015 09:25:36(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frank23 Go to Quoted Post
Dare I say it? I bought a pair of Harbeth M30 because of the reviews on the internet. I really did not like the sound, way too much uncontrolled bass, chesty voices, in any position, traded them for silver cables and some money. Those did not make me 'discover' the BBC sound, I don't consider them high resolution speakers, what they should have been given the price. I did 'rescue' a pair of of original Kef Cresta speakers with the B110 and T27 from someones garbage, and they played nicely the one time I hooked them up.



I haven't heard the M30 or M40 under good conditions, but I have had experience of the HL series which I liked

Simon
Offline Togil  
#34 Posted : 14 December 2015 09:26:24(UTC)
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I had it reported in the late 70s that BBC engineers would go up to Skipton and listen to Castle speakers in a private listening room where there were also ESL63s and they preferred the Castle.
Hans
Offline darkmatter  
#35 Posted : 14 December 2015 09:35:04(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
There is going to be a recreation of the Chartwell LS3/5a

the original was guided by ex BBC engineer Dave Stebbings , the new by Derek Hughes for Graham Audio who hold the license for this type .

Derek seeks to recreate the sound and specification of the best original 15 Ohm LS3/5a

before the mid range peak , and before the over-damped (in my opinion) low Q roll surround of the 8ohm redesign.

His LS 5/9 recreation for Graham Audio has a really strong BBC monitor quality

Martin Colloms


I nearly gave in to tempation over the weekend over a pair of Rogers PM510s this is the passive verson of the LS5/8

I would really like to hear the new Graham LS5/8 however

Simon
Offline darkmatter  
#36 Posted : 14 December 2015 09:35:53(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Togil Go to Quoted Post


I had it reported in the late 70s that BBC engineers would go up to Skipton and listen to Castle speakers in a private listening room where there were also ESL63s and they preferred the Castle.


Can you recall the model?
Offline Martin Colloms  
#37 Posted : 14 December 2015 19:03:04(UTC)
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...probably the three way Castle Conway which was tolerably neutral , moderate cost and survived the increasing content of higher power rock program the BBC needed to monitor

Castle was founded by experienced ex-Wharfedale engineers
Offline darkmatter  
#38 Posted : 15 December 2015 10:19:12(UTC)
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I have heard them I think but can't recall.

I am currently enjoying my BCIIIs in my bedroom system, with Krell drive via an MF v90 DAC, much fun but soon to mute watching Tim Peak's launch

Simon

Edited by user 18 December 2015 13:52:21(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Togil  
#39 Posted : 15 December 2015 13:44:47(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: kengale Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
How BBC monitors are used is one thing but their fundamental sound is another

When introduced they were orders of magnitude better balanced and less coloured than the entire output of the pa, monitor and hi fi speaker industry put together, and were also orders of magnitude more consistent. Whether they did rock is a different issue

In free space on a high stand they passably imitated well recorded live speech ( without proximity boost) and many other sounds, leaving the speaker industry (aside from the Quad ) for dust, and for some years.

The BBC research on response flatness, coloration, driver integration, directivity and consistency was seminal.

Auditioned 'blind', even the baby BBC 3/5a still murders many modern speakers for naturalness 40 years from its conception.

So many designers still fail to join the mid to the HF unit correctly, leaving a sour and often fatiguing overlap.

Rock performance is also important and they do not quite do that , but that is for other reasons. I have spent most of my career attempting to design speakers which are somewhat BBC accurate but also do a mix of dynamic material.

When I choose to own a speaker, BBC standards for sound quality and naturalness figure highly. I owe that design team and the government funding a great debt.

Martin Colloms





Yes, great range of speakers. It's interesting that the first time I came across them (before I was regularly at the Maida Vale studios) was at an IEE lecture by Dolby all about Dolby A, where they chose to use BC1's as their speakers for their demonstrations. I was instantly impressed.



Just heard that Ray Dolby left £ 35 Million Pounds to Pembroke College Cambridge, the largest gift ever to a Cambridge college in modern times.

Hans
Offline darkmatter  
#40 Posted : 13 December 2017 16:22:25(UTC)
Simon Briggs


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Updating this thread

Now running the LS5/1AEs in my second system, they are an easier load than the BCIII system

Downstairs in the main system I am currently flitting between the Spendor SA3s and the KEF Carltons.

I must say I would like to hear a pair of LS5/8s and the passive equivalents the Rogers/Chartwell PM510/PM450P, another I would like to hear is the LS5/5

Wonder how the LS5/1s would compare to the Rogers/Chartwell PM510/PM450P? impossible to say about the LS5/8 as they are active.

Having these as references will be useful when I voice my latest large speaker build?

Simon Smile

LS5/5

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Edited by user 14 December 2017 13:46:53(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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