Country of Origin
Reviewer: Glen Wagenknecht
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: Wyred4Sound Music Server/Streamer and Auralic Altair Music Server/Streamer
DACs: Wyred4Sound DAC-2, Ideon Ayazi, Auralic Altair
Preamplifier: Audio Space Reference 2S, Tortuga Audio LDR6 Passive, Auralic Altair
Amplifier: Bel Canto 200.4, Audio Zone D-2
Main Speakers: Audio Space AS-3/5A, Mark Daniel Maximus Mini Monitor, Mark and Daniel Maximus Monitor Mk2, SVS SB3000 subwoofer
Rack: Codia Acoustic Design Stage 3000 BAB
Stands: Charisma Audio Function stands, Target stands
AV Speakers: JohnBlue M3s
Desktop Audio Speakers: Swans M200 MkIII
Desktop DAC/Pre Headphone Amp: DA&T U-2
Cables: Arkana Physical Research Loom, Audio Art SE and Classic cable looms, JPS Labs Ultraconductor 2 speaker cables, Madison Audio Lab E3 Extreme 1 Interconnects/Extreme 2 speaker cables, Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects, optical and coax digital cables, Audio Sensibility Impact SE balanced interconnects, Statement S/PDIF and Impact USB digital cables, DH Lab Power Plus AC cable
Resonance control: KAT Audio Terminator 1 Feet, Solid Tech Feet, EquaRack Footers, Weizhi Precision Gold Glory footers, Boston Audio TuneBlock2 footers, Audio Exklusiv Silent Plugs, Audio Exklusiv d.C.d. Footers, Superspikes, CA Electronics Standard Cones, Feet, Cable Clamps, Isoacoustics L8R130, Aperta and L8R200 SUB speaker stands
Powerline conditioning: Exact Power EP15A, GutWire Ultimate Ground cable
USB conditioners: Ideon 3R Renaissance
Listening room 1: 12' x 17'
Listening room 2: 10.5' x 16.5'
Review component retail (Canadian currency): Ebony $7'440/pr, Rosewood $6'960/pr, Cherry $6'490/pr, custom Charisma Audio stands $1'995/pr
Publisher's comment: Audio Space are a Hong Kong company but with this model, the design and engineering were done in the UK and assembly happens in Japan. Hence we show the latter as the country of origin.
In 1975 the BBC stipulated the design parameters for a compact monitor suitable for studio and location use named the LS 3/5 (later the LS 3/5A). Whilst it proved highly successful in its professional capacity as small reference monitor, its introduction into the consumer universe took the fledgling audiophile community by storm. Thus legends are born. By 1983 the High End audio landscape had changed. Monitor speakers crowded the landscape overabundant and zealous hordes of audiophiles and publications chased endless flavours of the month. When the BBC research department laid out the specifications for its new LS 5/9 studio monitor, the world took less notice. Flash forward to the present day and that same design is seeing a quiet resurgence and generating a growing groundswell of praise these 36 years later. Let's take a closer look at why the LS 5/9 has become a hot item.
The BBC LS 3/5A enjoyed unceasing popularity over the years. That passionate audiophile base represented a strong potential audience for a new model which could deliver the same studio reference quality with greater bass extension and wider dynamics. Add to that core number those who were shifting their high-end notions from bigger-is-better to kompakt-is-king and the time seemed ideal for the introduction of the LS 5/9. Here's where Audio Space enter the picture.
Hong Kong-based. they're no stranger to the realm of BBC-based designs. Besides garnering recognition and A-list awards for their top-flight tube electronics over the last 20 years, the company invested heavily into the development and revitalization of raw drivers for the LS 3/5A as well as LS 5/9 and upcoming LS 5/8. This takes advantage of the latest materials from the BBC's research and in the process acquires full-fledged bona fide BBC certification.
In the pantheon of BBC R&D, the LS 5/9 was intended as a smaller alternative to the LS 5/8. Contrasted to the older LS 3/5A, the new design doubled the volume to about a cubic foot and offered both greater bandwidth and higher SPL to 100dB whilst remaining compact enough for easy portability to recording locations. Methodology of materials and construction remained true to established protocol and the speaker was likewise voiced for low coloration referenced against the human voice. When introduced, it marked a logical progression to fit a required professional niche.