The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has long been synonymous with high-quality public broadcasting and has been a pioneer in audio production. The BBC’s stringent acoustic and quality standards have not only been a hallmark of its broadcast studios but have also set benchmarks for audio production. Over the years, various renowned manufacturers like Falcon, Harbeth, KEF, Linn, Rogers, and Spendor have produced BBC-licensed loudspeakers, many of which have found dedicated followers in the hi-fi sector.
Now, let’s shift our focus to the Rogers LS5/9 Classic, Two-way bass reflex compact Speaker, a product from the British manufacturer Rogers, which offers both the LS5/9 and the BBC monitor LS3/5A in its loudspeaker lineup. The LS5/9 Classic is a compact two-way ported bass reflex loudspeaker with a rich history dating back to 1981. The BBC recognized the need for a “medium power” monitor in locations where large monitors were impractical. Rogers played a significant role in the early development of this speaker and was initially the exclusive licensee for the LS5/9.
The Rogers LS5/9 Classic is crafted from nine-millimeter-thick birch plywood, providing durability and stability. The wooden connections are reinforced with beech wood strips for added strength. The housing panels and nine-millimeter-thick baffle are dampened with bitumen panels. This two-way system boasts a 21 cm bass-midrange driver with an inverted surround and a semi-transparent polypropylene membrane, alongside a 34-mm dome tweeter from Audax, modified by Rogers to optimize radiation behavior. The tweeter features a metal protective cap, known as the “Dispersion Loading Protective Plate,” safeguarding the dome and enhancing performance. The drivers are selected in pairs, ensuring consistency. Quality control and assembly take place in the UK, adhering to BBC standards.
· System type: Two way bass reflex
· Tweeter: Audax 34mm with phase correction
· Mid/Bass: Rogers 210 mm polypropylene cone vinyl surround
· Crossover: 3KHz 27 precision element 18dB per Octave
· Sensitivity: 87dB for 1W at 1M
· Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
· Power handling: 100 Watts unclipped
· Maximum SPL: 106 dBA typical in room
· Cabinet: 9mm Birch plywood hardwood battens
· Grille: Black Tygan
· Finish: Walnut, Rosewood and Olive
· Connections: Stereo pair 4mm banana sockets
· Dimensions: 460mm x 275mm x 285mm (HxWxD)
· Weight: 12Kg (each speaker)
One of the standout features of the Rogers LS5/9 Classic speakers is the treble level adjustment option discreetly concealed on the speaker’s baffle. Unlike conventional external controls or switches, Rogers takes a unique approach by requiring users to solder the speaker’s cable to one of three available soldering points to adjust the treble level. While this may appear unconventional and less user-friendly at first glance, it reflects Rogers’ commitment to maintaining optimal signal flow. By avoiding additional components and contact resistance associated with traditional controls, Rogers ensures that the treble adjustment is executed with a near-negligible impact on the audio signal’s integrity. This level of detail underscores the brand’s dedication to preserving audio purity.
The Rogers LS5/9 Classic speakers are designed with an unwavering focus on delivering high-resolution audio. This commitment is evident in the choice of components and internal wiring. The use of silver-plated single-wiring connection sockets not only enhances connectivity but also contributes to better signal transmission. Furthermore, the hand-soldered circuit board employs silver solder, further minimizing signal degradation. Solid-core copper internal wiring is another unique feature, ensuring that the electrical pathways maintain a consistent and uninterrupted signal flow. These design choices collectively translate to a speaker system that is highly responsive to audio nuances and capable of delivering an exceptional level of resolution.
Additionally, the LS5/9 Classic speakers incorporate an element of user customization with their treble level adjustment. While this feature may require soldering expertise to modify, it allows audiophiles to fine-tune their listening experience according to their preferences. By offering three levels of treble adjustment (neutral, +1 dB, and -1 dB), users can tailor the speakers’ sound signature to match their room acoustics, music genres, and personal tastes. This degree of flexibility sets the LS5/9 Classic apart and demonstrates Rogers’ commitment to catering to discerning audiophiles who value precise control over their audio experience.
Build and Design:
The Rogers LS5/9 Classic loudspeakers showcase an impeccable build quality and timeless design. The cabinet construction is a testament to precision, utilizing nine-millimeter thick birch plywood veneered to perfection. To enhance structural integrity, the wooden panels are reinforced with beech wood strips, ensuring the utmost stability. This meticulous craftsmanship results in a speaker housing that not only looks stunning but also minimizes resonance and vibrations.
The attention to detail extends to the speaker’s aesthetic appeal. The choice of wood veneer finishes, including options like olive, rosewood, walnut, and “Amazaque,” provides a touch of elegance and allows users to match the speakers to their decor. Moreover, for those seeking a more customized look, the option to order a paint finish in any RAL color adds another layer of personalization. The front grille, constructed from tightly woven nylon threads, exudes a sense of sophistication while effectively concealing the drivers. Overall, the Rogers LS5/9 Classic speakers blend seamlessly into any living space, combining both auditory excellence and visual refinement.
Beyond the aesthetics, the LS5/9 Classic incorporates thoughtful design features that enhance the listening experience. The speakers boast silver-plated single-wiring connection sockets, which, while limited to banana connectors, prioritize signal purity. The attention to signal flow continues with a hand-soldered circuit board using silver solder and solid-core copper internal wiring. These design choices reflect an unwavering commitment to audio quality, ensuring that every element of the speaker contributes to its exceptional performance.
Sound Test and Comparisons:
After a 120-hour break-in period, the LS5/9 Classic impresses with its dynamics, showcasing remarkable speed and punch. It delivers a level of dynamism more akin to horn concepts optimized for dynamics, making it stand out among BBC monitors. This dynamic agility is particularly evident in tracks with abrupt transitions from quiet to loud passages, such as “Up on the Catwalk” by Simple Minds.
The LS5/9’s resolution is noteworthy, revealing intricate details across the frequency spectrum. It excels in reproducing fine details and capturing the essence of recordings. This meticulous resolution makes it ideal for discerning listeners who appreciate nuances in music.
In the midrange, the LS5/9 shines, offering exceptional clarity and lifelike timbres. Voices and acoustic instruments are rendered with realism and precision. Its portrayal of mono voices is particularly impressive, contributing to fatigue-free listening over extended periods.
In terms of bass, while the LS5/9 may not deliver deep, thunderous bass, it offers a controlled and accurate low-frequency reproduction. The bass is agile and fast, maintaining clarity even during complex passages. It handles transitions from quiet to loud bass segments flawlessly.
The LS5/9’s presentation of the soundstage strikes a balanced middle ground. While it offers accurate localization of sound sources, it does not create an artificial or exaggerated soundstage. This results in an authentic listening experience, especially with recordings using pure stereo miking techniques.
let’s dive deeper into the sound test of the Rogers LS5/9 Classic:
Dynamics and Speed: One of the most striking aspects of the LS5/9 Classic’s sound profile is its remarkable dynamics and speed. This quality becomes evident when listening to tracks with sudden and impactful transitions. For instance, in the song “Up on the Catwalk” by Simple Minds, the LS5/9 impresses with its agility and rapid response. The drum beats, especially the snare hits, are delivered with a startling immediacy and power that defies the expectations one might have for a BBC monitor. This dynamic prowess adds an exciting dimension to the listening experience, making music feel lively and engaging.
Detail and Resolution: The LS5/9 Classic excels in revealing intricate details within the music. It meticulously captures the subtleties of recordings, allowing listeners to uncover nuances they might have missed with other speakers. This attention to detail extends across the frequency spectrum, providing a comprehensive and well-defined soundstage. Whether it’s the delicate nuances of a vocalist’s phrasing or the subtle harmonic overtones of a musical instrument, the LS5/9 ensures that every sonic element is presented with precision.
Midrange Excellence: In the midrange, the LS5/9 Classic truly shines. It delivers vocals and acoustic instruments with exceptional clarity and natural timbre. Voices sound true to life, with a physical presence and palpability that draws the listener in. This quality makes it a compelling choice for enthusiasts who appreciate vocal-centric music genres like jazz, classical, or folk. The midrange presentation is characterized by its ability to convey the emotional nuances of a performance, immersing the listener in the music.
Bass Quality and Control: While the LS5/9 Classic may not emphasize deep, thunderous bass, it exhibits precise and controlled low-frequency reproduction. The bass is agile and nimble, maintaining clarity even during complex and demanding bass passages. It doesn’t overwhelm the listener with excessive bass, but it ensures that all musically relevant low-frequency information is conveyed accurately and coherently. This level of control in the bass region contributes to the overall balance and neutrality of the speaker’s sound signature.
Soundstage and Imaging: The LS5/9 Classic’s approach to the soundstage strikes a delicate balance. It offers accurate localization of sound sources, allowing listeners to pinpoint instruments and vocals within the mix. However, it avoids creating an artificial or exaggerated sense of space. Instead, it provides a faithful reproduction of the recording environment. This quality is particularly evident in classical recordings with pure stereo miking techniques, where the LS5/9 faithfully recreates the original spatial characteristics.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the Rogers LS5/9 Classic stands as a versatile and impressive loudspeaker with a unique sonic character. While its initial tonal balance leans toward the high frequencies, it gradually matures into a well-balanced performer over time. What sets the LS5/9 apart is its exceptional dynamics, remarkable resolution, and a midrange that captures the essence of voices and instruments with lifelike accuracy.
The LS5/9’s bass, although not reaching the deepest depths, offers precision and agility that contribute to the overall musicality. Its soundstage and imaging capabilities create an authentic and engaging listening experience, allowing the listener to appreciate the spatial nuances of recordings.
Ultimately, the LS5/9 Classic appeals to those who appreciate a neutral and detailed sound signature, accompanied by outstanding dynamics.
The Rogers LS5/9 Classic upholds the BBC legacy while offering a fresh perspective. It combines realistic voice and instrument reproduction with a neutral and airy high-frequency presentation, deviating slightly from traditional BBC sound characteristics. The speaker’s dynamics are striking, providing an exhilarating listening experience.
However, its tonal neutrality and detailed resolution may not be suited to listeners who prefer a warmer, more euphonic sound signature. Nevertheless, the LS5/9 Classic stands as a timeless piece of craftsmanship with impeccable build quality. Its exceptional resolution and natural midrange reproduction make it a compelling choice for audiophiles and enthusiasts who appreciate the nuances of music. The speaker’s classic design and durable construction ensure its place in the world of high-end audio.
Rogers LS5/9 Classic profile
- From 80 Hertz upwards (felt) tonally neutral, completely committed to the studio monitor genre.
- Excellent resolution over all frequency ranges. Not much more is offered here, even in significantly higher price ranges.
- Tonally neutral mids, with timbres that are not lush or voluptuous but appear very realistic.
- On the treble side, there is neither tipping into the “bright silver” nor the “dimmed-golden” tone; the highly transparent upper registers promote an incorruptible, “non-interfering” transmission of the qualities of a recording.
- Considering the size and the price, the draft is below average. On the other hand, the grip, the “speed” and precision of the bass range are impressive – even when swinging out. Correspondingly surprisingly good coarse dynamics, especially for this loudspeaker genre.
- Impeccable fine dynamics.
- According to pure theory, the stage appears to be balanced: “Right” and harmonious size, good location, excellent center manifestation; The Rogers LS5/9 are in their element, not least when playing voice recordings/audio books/podcasts.
- Extremely good workmanship, the speaker looks like a piece of sound furniture built to last.
- Model: Rogers LS5/9 Classic
- Concept: Passive two-way loudspeaker with bass reflex system
- Price: from 6,900 euros
- Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
- Sensitivity: 89dB/W/m
- Dimensions & Weight: 46 x 27.5 x 28.5 cm (HxWxD) | 12 kilograms
- Versions/colors: Amazque, walnut, olive (test model), rosewood, RAL painting as desired for an additional charge
- Warranty: 2 years