Happily for music lovers, the LS5/9 is more forgiving of ancillary components,
takes more power and plays louder than the diminutive ten-litre capacity LS3/5A. Yes, its ever so perceptively rosy-coloured view of the music isn't as neutral as the LS3/5A. And yes, if you don't spend time with positioning in a room, they may or may not sound the tiniest bit boxy. But move them out about ½ to a metre from both side and rear walls and I guarantee that even with their slight colouration, they'll disappear in small to mid-sized rooms. Compared to the LS3/5A which can sound formal, the LS5/9 has one of the most joyful of personalities. I always had a smile on my face hearing them boogie with albums and tracks that live or die musically on the subtle and dramatic shifts in rhythm and timing. The LS 5/9 does micro and macro dynamics to a level above the ability of the LS3/5A. Heresy? Hardly. I adore the LS3/5A. I've owned as many pairs as I've owned second-hand cars. And just like some of my old cars, some LS3/5As have been sonic lemons. So I'm not blind to this audio classic's limitations.


Reincarnation
. Enter Hong Kong's Wo Kee Hong Holdings Ltd, a company with enough business savvy to realize there was money to be made—and kudos to be earned—by resurrecting the famous Rogers name. The LS3/5A and LS5/9 would be the range leaders, providing credibility for less endowed Rogers models down the range. We should be grateful for this investment in Rogers. Not only have Wo Kee Hong Holdings Ltd spent piles of money reengineering the LS3/5A, they also ploughed significant amounts of lucre in the delightful Rogers LS5/9. Importantly, and especially given the lack of information about the genesis of the revised LS5/9, it should be noted that both 65th Anniversary models are packaged with certificates of BBC compliance. While this review's main focus is the LS3/5A, time spent with the larger LS5/9 left the impression of a honey of a model, suited to a wider potential audience than its much more demanding smaller sibling. A pile of European research and design have gone into the latest incarnation of the BBC's inspired giant-killing LS3/5A speakers by two designers, John Bell and Andy Whittle, who were closer than you or I to the original source.


Whittle was the managing and technical director of Rogers for ten years. Bell was the owner of the company next door to the old Rogers Swisstone factory, from 1981 until well past Roger's demise in the late 90's. During that time, Whittle's company provided engineering services to Rogers. For these reasons, I like to think of the 65th Anniversary LS3/5A more as a revision of and homage to the original rather than a clone. Whilst I don't know the history of the current version of the LS5/9, it's so beautifully made and sounds so sublime, I approach it with the same degree of respect I reserve for the LS3/5A.


A piece of history. Since its release some 36 years ago, the LS3/5A mythology continues to unfold, mostly without any regard to the historical truth. Two of the more enduring myths are: "it ain't a kosher LS3/5A unless it's got the original KEF drivers"; and, "15Ω versions shame all the 11Ω models." My own experience over three decades tells me that there are/were great-sounding samples of both versions and equally, some bitter lemons. Poor samples of the 11Ω versions I've heard were sterile and boring. My impressions of inferior 15Ω models were of an incurable brash treble from 7Hz upwards and an unconvincing bass performance. There were also interpretations of the BBC's original spec. Chartwell for example are said to have wired the KEF T27 tweeters out of phase. And, there's a pile of anecdotal evidence which says that KEF didn't always get their B110 woofer's QC in order.