Graham Audio launches the legendary BBC LS5/9 Loudspeaker

1st October, 2013

Over many decades, the BBC's Research and Development department has been responsible for countless innovations - continuously creating concepts and products with levels of excellence that demanding programme makers simply couldn't find commercially.

Loudspeaker design is perhaps their most widely-known area of work, and of course many will be familiar with the diminutive LS3/5A. But fewer will have encountered the LS5/9, which was produced in smaller numbers over a shorter time frame. Demand for surviving second-hand examples remains strong, but sadly, failures of these old loudspeakers are not uncommon and no spares parts are available. As long-term admirers of the LS5/9, Graham Audio concluded that the only viable option was to re-engineer the original design, taking advantage of the greater reliability and consistency of modern components. Working closely with Derek Hughes, they have developed a new version of the LS5/9 that matches the original R&D specification and meets with the full approval of the BBC.

The Graham LS5/9 is manufactured in the United Kingdom at their South Devon facility. The tweeter is the latest version of the Audax 34mm soft dome unit that was originally specified by the BBC - all examples of which are tested and characterised before being matched to the crossover. The premium bass/midrange driver was developed by the highly respected UK drive unit manufacturer Volt Loudspeakers, who also assemble the bespoke crossover and equalisation network. The thin-wall cabinets are constructed using high quality birch plywood throughout, and are damped internally using Rockwool slabs which are retained by a cloth lining applied by their upholsterer to the original BBC specification.

True to the original concept with some carefully considered aesthetic and practical enhancements, the new LS5/9 loudspeakers will greatly enhance any professional installation or high fidelity system, combining accurate, transparent reproduction with exceptional build quality. The loudspeakers have just been installed at The Royal Opera House in London and in Steve Winwood's studio, Wincraft, where resident sound engineer James Towler affirms that the LS5/9s have "an amazing stereo image".

This is the first of a number of legacy products that Graham Audio will produce, drawing from the heritage and excellence of the BBC's many years in furthering the standards of broadcasting.

With over 20 years experience of working in the pro audio arena, Graham Audio are proud to be producing the new LS5/9 under license from the BBC to their exacting specification and testing criteria.

The new LS5/9. Hear the difference.