The Audio Space version of the speaker updates its rough 'n' tumble location-monitor heritage to audiophile standards with a choice of upscale cherry, rosewood or ebony veneers (ebony for review) and sheds the primitive 1983 connectors for a lavish pair of house-brand carbon-fiber wrap binding posts suitable for single, bi-wire or full bi-amplification. Front-mounting hardware is stainless Allen. This modern incarnation is visually appealing and offers classic understated aesthetics with or without the Velcro-mounted covers.

The two-way design retains the specified 200mm polypropylene mid/woofer and perforated-metal shrouded 34mm soft-dome tweeter. There is a front-mounted hard-soldered jumper to make minor tweeter level adjustments for room matching. Since different versions of the original BBC monitor were configured with or without ports, Audio Space simplified the situation by providing ports and port plugs for best performance across a wider range of rooms. Basic specs give dimensions of 275 x 460 x 285mm WxHxD and weight of 13kg/ea. Cabinet material and construction match the original BBC spec. Impedance is a benign 8Ω with an efficiency of 87dB and recommended power of 15-100wpc. The Audio Space  response is shown as 50Hz to 16kHz ±3dB, bettering the original 1983 BBC R&D's lower spec by 6dB.

Bernard Li of Charisma Audio, North American distributor for Audio Space, dropped off the speakers along with a pair of his own matched demonstration stands. Mr. Li's new Charisma stands are serious heavyweights, each clocking in at 31.2lbs (14.15kg). They're custom designed and made to order. They take a functional note from his own Cabriolet series, employing modular segments of 1½" solid threaded aluminum rods to achieve the required height. The base is ¾" solid aluminum and employs four height-adjustable spikes with top-mounted knurled leveling caps for a clean appearance. The four pillars bolt from the underside of the base via recessed Allen hardware. Extensive testing on the Charisma Audio stand showed that the inclusion of a top plate was detrimental to the performance of the speaker so the design implements direct mounting to the rods via Blutack. The completed stand/speaker pairing proved intensely rigid and non resonant as well as visually congruent.

I assembled my system around the Auralic Altair streamer/DAC and Audio Zone D-2 amplifier with Arkana Physical Research cables plus a smattering of Audio Art power and Gutwire Ultimate grounding cables. For power filtration, the DR Acoustics Antigone saw some overlap with the Exact Power EP15A. In my room the LS 5/9 achieved superior responsiveness with port plugs inserted which stayed in place for the bulk of the review. Your environment may yield different results to validatr the usefulness of having this tuning option.