As part of the recent retro-revival trend sweeping the world of hi-fi, Musical Fidelity has announced the release of two new speakers modelled on classic BBC original specs. The new Musical Fidelity LS3/5A is a two-way standmount loudspeaker built according to a BBC R&D design from 1976, while the weightier LS5/9 loudspeaker is made to replicate a similar speaker from 1983.
The shorter, squatter LS3/5A closed-box loudspeaker comes equipped with a 19mm tweeter dome and an 11cm woofer, with a claimed frequency response of 80Hz - 20KHz. The taller, slimmer LS5/9, meanwhile, features a 34mm tweeter, a 21cm mid/bass cone and a reported frequency response of 50Hz - 20KHz. It’s also much heftier than its retro sibling, weighing 12kg (per speaker) compared to the LS3/5A’s 4.9kg.
The LS3/5A cabinet is constructed from birch plywood with a Palisander veneer finish, while the LS5/9 also features birch plywood but with a light, cherry veneer instead.
The two designs are the result of different intended functions. The original BBC model on which the LS3/5A is based was initially made for being placed in smaller, space-restricted areas such as TV mobile control rooms, but became more popular broadly for music studios and within wider audiophile circles.
The LS5/9, based on another BBC R&D design, was developed to be a more versatile speaker that could, according to Musical Fidelity, “Fulfil the complete range of music genres from classical to pop music.”
This isn't the first time a pair of BBC-licensed speakers have been remade for a modern audience. A few years back, we spoke to Andy Whittle from Rogers Hi-Fi about his recent reinvigoration of the Beeb's products to their original specifications in the UK.
Musical Fidelity LS3/5A speaker is priced at £2,349 / €2,499 per pair. The LS5/9, meanwhile, is priced at £4,099 / €4,500 per pair. Both speakers will launch this summer.
Both new speaker models will also be showcased at this week’s High End Munich show. There’s also a mystery third model teased to be unveiled at the show, which Musical Fidelity promises “draws inspiration from the past and is fully prepped for today’s audio consumer… a high-voltage device that is the perfect partner for… a pair of Musical Fidelity LS3/5A”.
We’ve already got a few guesses as to what it could be, but we’re excited to see everything that Musical Fidelity, and the rest of the brands attending, have in store when we swing by High End Munich 2023 this week.
How to choose the right speakers and get the best sound
Best speakers: budget to premium stereo speakers
These are the best songs to test your speakers