View Full Version : Rogers LS 3/5a ID/questions
01-20-2011, 04:23 PM
I picked these up at a local pawn shop and have no idea if they are authentic Rogers. Looking at the etched S/N maybe the labels came off and the owner hand-scrawled them. Perhaps they were a DIY project or an unlicensed pair? The tweeters aren`t original as holes for the previous ones can be seen if looked closely enough. The mids sound good and the cabs are uber sturdy. There`s a 30-day return policy, so I bought them and would like some expert opinions. I looked at fifteen pages of google images and some of the Rogers site and didn`t see any like them.
01-20-2011, 04:47 PM
The woofer is almost certainly a very weathered Kef B110, the proper woofer for Ls3/5a. The tweeter looks like maybe the updated version of the Kef T27, but certainly not the original T27.
Nice cabinets. They seem like a diy project. Have you been inside? How are they damped?
01-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Listen to them...and look for magic? :music:
Could be rebuilt LS3/5A..... because of extremely damaged enclosures? The speaker terminals look original. Maybe changed the tweeters too...but still the original crossover inside?
Reason i think this is....why should anyone bother to put serial numbers at the back?
So..i would buy some original tweeters!
01-20-2011, 04:55 PM
They look like nice DIYs to me. Certainly not original LS3/5As or even proper clones what with the importance of the cabinet to the design and the sound.
Those tweeters appear to be damaged; pushed in domes.
That said they might be good sounding speakers even with the damaged tweets and well worth screwing around with, replacing the tweeters say, if the price is right.
01-20-2011, 05:16 PM
Thanks, I have a pair of JM Lab Micron Carats of similar design which I`m very fond of, so not sure I need to tackle a project right now. The pawn shop folks are really nice and I bought a pair of ADS L500s and found out one woofer was seized and they adjusted the price later. I prefer keeping it simple and I`m guessing the x/overs are okay, so where would I find a source for the T27? Also, could a Vifa or Philips tweeter be used as I might have a couple extra laying around? Guess I need to know the x/over frequency point.
01-20-2011, 05:37 PM
These aren't LS3/5As by Rogers or anyone else.
The enclosures aren't correct and neither are the tweeters.
As far as what you have, they could be pretty good in and of themselves, and the woofers are definitely KEF B110s, which would be correct for LS3/5As.
I'd suggest removing a woofer and trying to get us a shot of the crossover so we can further investigate.
01-20-2011, 05:45 PM
If those were $100, I believe I'd take them back. YMMV.
01-20-2011, 06:03 PM
Yep, definitely not LS3/5A cabinets, but they could sound just as good if built properly. Someone may have had a pair with damaged cabinets and built a new pair, transferring the guts over. A peek at the crossover will be very telling!
The tweeter is not correct, but it is a Kef - the successor to the T27 but I can't remember the model. The LS3/5a went through many revisions as the B110/T27 production changed, so it can be hard to match the correct T27 to the crossover.
If the woofers and crossovers are matching pairs, they're well worth at least $100 IMO.
01-20-2011, 06:17 PM
My guess is some sort of Vifa tweeter but the woofers are genuine KEF as already stated.
I agree that the tweeters look rather like Vifas, which, I think, were in the Linn Kan LS3/5a derivatives. You could probably kiss them out -- seal your lips around the dome and suck til it pops out.
What you should do depends entirely on how they sound -- if they are good, great. If they aren't as good as you hope, you could take them back, but the mid/woofers are probably worth more than the purchase price, and the enclosures look well made. I'd check to see what the crossover is like -- post a picture and someone can probably tell you if its an actual LS3/5a crossover.
And the woofers don't look weathered to me -- they look pretty good for their age. The surrounds get that greenish look, and the doping on the cones seems to get a dullish surface and peel slightly away from the cone/dustcap joint.
01-20-2011, 08:41 PM
For the surrounds. A q-tip with just a dab of silicone spray lubricant can do wonders. With some of my rubber surrounded speakers ive done that and it brings a glossy black to the surrounds.
01-21-2011, 12:31 AM
Make some pics of the crossovers.......i am pretty sure those are rebuilt ls3/5a speakers with new tweeters.
As i said...why would anyone bother to put the serial numbers on the back...for a joke? Come on.
The woofers are 100%...its just aging...clean them and they will be like new.
Next if they are LS3/5a crossovers.....fitt the original tweeters so they are technically 100% again.
If you dont want to go through all the burden...bring em back.
01-27-2011, 07:50 AM
After a busy week I got a chance to take them back and explain to the manager what the issues were with these; basically relaying the info some of you had posted about legit Rogers LS3/5a models. So I wound up paying $20 for them, to which I had expected to pay maybe half the original price. I guess they knew they couldn`t sell them again as is and just wanted them gone.
Btw, on the way home after stopping at the bakery with my 2YO son and sampling some goods before buying (one of his fave errand things) we were leaving the parking lot and I saw some speakers next to the dumpster. They turned out to be a pair of McIntosh ML-10C and a early M&K Volkswoofer sub. I was able to fit them in the old Subie even with the recyclig stuff to drop off. The little guy was excited as I was and said "speaker" several times as we drove away inconspicuously. Sorry, no MQ-101 or 102 was seen.
Later on at home, I pulled the tweeters and both were dead; then pulled the mids to have a look inside. The boxes were stuffed with several pieces of egg-carton foam, so I removed that and viewed the x-overs and got pics. I`m sure some of you will be able to identify whether these are correct Rogers x-overs. Everything looked okay, so I put the mids back in and decided to try out some spare tweeters I had designated for my DCM TW project. I remember the x-over point on the TW1 being around 2 kHz and they were rated down to 1 kHz.
I got them in and decided to give these a real test right away playing Medeski, Martin, and Wood`s "Uninvisible" on the CD player. Those familiar with the experimental nature of MMW know those guys play music which represents a full, rich dynamic range through a myriad of instruments. I was quite impressed right away, though the bass seemed lighter than what my similar Micron Carats can replicate. The only vocals tested were of course the narrative style of MMW, but they were clear and strong. Next, I played Joe Sample`s "Rainbow Seeker" on vinyl to get an idea of their jazz presentation and they sounded excellent, but again no real singing vocals were presented, so I`ll have to test that later. The sax was clear w/o being bright.
Now what to do with them? I`ll probably place them in the garage along with the ADS L500s and bring the Microns inside again. Remeber those McIntosh speakers previously mentioned? I`ll likely part them out as they`re kinda rough and not worth my time fixing. The inner metal grills which cover the hi/mid drivers actually fit almost exactly to these faux Rogers, which didn`t have grills. I guess me finding those on dumb luck will save me from trying to come up with grills. Also, by leaving the emblem badges on, I`ll now have a set of bootleg McIntosh Rogers LS3/5a! :D
01-27-2011, 09:24 AM
well the tweeters and crossover are both well off the proper spec. the woofers could be the correct B110, but even if they are the wrong version they are worth 150USD on eBay for the pair so if all else goes wrong sell the parts
01-27-2011, 09:29 AM
Definitely not LS3/5a...crossovers are nowhere near as sophisticated as they should be, and those tweeters are Philips AD0140. Not bad tweeters but they're not as refined as the T27...and that's saying something!
The B110 needs a lot of acoustic shaping around your xover point, and in the lower midbass region to sound nice. As SGD said, you'll make a tidy penny selling the B110s if they're an LS3/5a spec matched pair.
01-27-2011, 12:50 PM
It would be a real interesting dream / fantasy if the drivers (at least the woofer) were truly from a clapped out set of LS3/5a's (I know of at least 3 pairs of speakers rebuilt into different cabinets from that circumstance). But the mere writing doesn't establish that well enough and certainly the crossover is completely DIY and all wrong on surface. I have never seen the Linn Kan crossover so can't comment there but the B110's do not look like Linn modified (they added black silicone "spackle" additional damping to the cone and frame).
Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if the B110 drivers are LS3/5a spec unless they have some type of Rogers sticker indicating that selection or they were later versions from KEF with some identifying info on their labels (some listed as passing a test sequence) or have some frequency sweeps run on them if one knows the BBC selection criteria. However, just based on appearance, they do look vintage enough (discoloration of cone, surrounds and frame), my guess is 1978 or earlier (to 1975), a picture of the back of the driver and its date code sticker could help in production dates but not actual specification and selection for use in an LS3/5a. Before 1975 IIRC, the cones had the tinsel leads showing beyond the dustcap and entering the voice coil on opposite sides as compared to same side and below the dustcap. The pre 75 also had unpainted chassis frames as opposed to the black painted frames.
Likely the crossover is a homebrew version of perhaps one of the KEF CS1 or 1A crossovers that are many times used to DIY mimic the LS3/5a response in a less complicated crossover. If there was T27's there originally (as the mounting rebate may suggest), then these could have been modeled after either the LS3/5a in a more modern cabinet (heavier, thicker, undamped (?!), with rounded non-diffraction edges. A fairly common and potentially (sometimes) upgrade option but the speakers don't always come out better sounding. Also, the cabinet reminds me of the original speakers that Sigfried Linkwitz built when he originally came up with the Linkwitz-Riley style active crossover design for satellite - sub combos.
Looks not nearly as deep however, but likely more typical LS3/5a type dimensions. Dig the single string free air mounting of the satellites, some suggest this is the ultimate in free standing speakers (shades of some BOSE 901's I'd seen at Pacific Stereo in the day - gads, did I just mention Bose and LS3/5a's in the same thread :nono::nono::nono:)
BTW, Falcon Acoustics still makes a crossover applicable for this type of DIY project and could make this yet into a LS3/5a type speaker if OP is interested and can source the T27's. Falcon also advocated making the LS3/5a speaker deeper (from 7 inches to 9 inches) to improve bass response without changing the midrange much if at all.
For whatever originally paid, and now for just the $20 bucks, the drivers alone are worth much more than that, and the speaker does have some potential - cabinets look decent and building maybe with an outboard crossover, internal wall damping and some good acoustic foam and new T27's and you might have the basis for a decent approximation of a DIY LS3/5a type speaker. At least they have the lineage in the right direction.
I'd be all over these if I'd spotted them in the store if just for the interest and novelty. Nice score and hope you will maybe invest some time into some nice possibilities. I've built a number of DIY version of the LS3/5a and have a number of real LS3/5a's to compare them to. Done right, you can get many of the nice qualities LS3/5a's are known for in a DIY package.
Moderator, Yahoo! LS3/5a newsgroup (as mentioned above)
01-27-2011, 12:59 PM
BTW, I'll check my private database to see if the Rogers serial numbers match any LS3/5a sales or transaction from the last 10 years or so that I became aware of. Pity little else was saved it seems save the woofers, but who know what may have happened to the original cabinet, crossovers and T27's.
Authentic LS3/5a grilles in original Tygan material are still available from Sid Chaplin in Great Britain and velcro mount but are designed for a rebated cabinet style so would defeat the purpose of the rounded baffle design of this particular cabinet unless the original design felt squares surrounding the tweeter were fitted. (those available from Falcon Acoustics also)
43 Lime Avenue Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, ss9 3PA
Telephone - 01702 473740
E mail Sidney@tradradgrilles.freeserve.co.uk
http://www.vintage-radio.com/trg/ I have a number of these as spares and they are dead on in comparison to the OEM fitted grilles. I've always wondered if he wasn't actually a direct supplier for Rogers and Spendor.
See also www.ls35a.com, Paul Whatton's site on the LS3/5a for additional DIY construction ideas and hints.
01-27-2011, 01:04 PM
Remeber those McIntosh speakers previously mentioned? I`ll likely part them out as they`re kinda rough and not worth my time fixing. The inner metal grills which cover the hi/mid drivers actually fit almost exactly to these faux Rogers, which didn`t have grills. I guess me finding those on dumb luck will save me from trying to come up with grills. Also, by leaving the emblem badges on, I`ll now have a set of bootleg McIntosh Rogers LS3/5a! :D
I love it! Serendipity rules! Who'd a thunk it. In some respects, people might think this speaker may be better than some Mc's were. No offense to you Mc lovers out there.
01-27-2011, 05:26 PM
Bart, thanks for your detailed response and quick tutorial on various LS3/5A incarnations. I had a chance to p/u a pair of originals 1.5 yrs ago while buying a Denon TT, but passed. The guy had purchased them in the mid-80s while working at a hi-fi store and they were about a third of the current going rate. I don`t regret not getting them as they didn`t sound as nice as my JM Labs to me, plus I nearly bought his Maggies, but alas didn`t have the space at the time for those.
Maybe I`ll track down a set of T27 tweets for comparison someday, but likely won`t get into any x-over mods. I`ll likely keep them as is for now; relegated to duty as McRogers Garage Monitors. :D
11-15-2011, 03:31 PM
any update to what you've done with your ersatz LS3/5a's? There are a few LS3/5a DIY threads now running, might pique your interest.