Am I crazy to buy speakers of 22K $ without auditioning.

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
59
Washington State, US
#1
LM-1440x720-LM3.jpg

After dropping in the vintage shop in Korea, I got fever of high efficiency vintage horn.

But the price of original Western horn system is a little bit on the high side (300K$).


I got some sweet offer of Line Magnetic LM3 at 22K$ including shipping and custom duty to US if I buy before the end of this year.

It is a replica of Western Electric woofer, horn and Jensen tweeter.

I had tried to listen to it by visiting Hong Kong or Main China, but I could not.



I am attracted to its high efficiency and big woofer and horn.


Specification:

Frequency range : 23Hz à 20KHz


Input sensitivity: 105dB


Load impedance for HP to connect: 8Ω


Screw terminals compatible with banana plugs



Treble driver: LM302


Bass driver: BA-18


Woofer diameter: 46 cm


3-way passive filter: TA-7376


Compression chamber: LM555W Alnico


Horn: 22A



I have two decent SET tube amplifier to drive it.

The first one is Silbatone 300B SET 8 W amp with original Western Electric tube made in 1930's.

The second one is Line Magnetic 508 SET 48 W amp refitted with NOS tubes (1944 Sylvania Sn7 and Mullard ECC35).



Since I got spoiled by pristine treble out of plasma tweeter of Lansche 4.1, I consider adding Acapella ion tweeter to LM3.

ion-tw-1s-01.jpg

Sensitivity (active Tweeter)1,5Volt / 0 dB Impedance600 Ohm
Sound pressure levelmax. 110 dB - 1 m / 1msSlope Input filterapprox. 12dB/octave
Frequency responsekHz - >50kHz (variable crossover frequencies)Mains voltage234 Volt / 50 Hz Standard
Optional 110 -, 117 -, 227 Volt / 50 - 60 HzDimensions H x W x D150 x 300 x 260 mm Weight15 kg

Even after adding ion tweeter, the total cost will be around 30k$.

Will it be crazy to buy this big horn speaker without listening?

I wish to get valuable opinion from forum members.
 
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the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
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#2
Thomask,
Fab amps... I also have the Line Magnetic Lm508ia, is very lovely but then absolutely great with a microzotl for pre and am also starting upgrading the valves soon... Acme 805 is the next step and I’ll work out where to head with the 300Bs once I have the 805s in.

On buying the horn, yes, given how fundamentally characteristic and individual horns seem to be I would definitely fly and try before you buy. Exciting journey tho. Enjoy.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
59
Washington State, US
#3
Thomask,
Fab amps... I also have the Line Magnetic Lm508ia, is very lovely but then absolutely great with a microzotl for pre and am also starting upgrading the valves soon... Acme 805 is the next step and I’ll work out where to head with the 300Bs once I have the 805s in.

On buying the horn, yes, given how fundamentally characteristic and individual horns seem to be I would definitely fly and try before you buy. Exciting journey tho. Enjoy.
I had enjoyed my Lm 508 amp very much after refitting with NOS.
As you suggested, it will be correct way to listen to it myself.

But most shops does not have it on display.

Also I need to be back to US soon to take care of some matter.


I had listened to it through you tube.


It seems to sound fine.

Thus I am inclined to blind shopping without auditioning.

I may be able to tame the sound as I want it with cables or even ion tweeters.
 
Oct 12, 2011
274
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Brooklyn
#4
Depends on your previous experience with similar speakers. If you have fallen hard for the WE vintage sound you may be a bit disappointed but if you like what horns, in general, bring to the table these might be a good option. $22K all in for these sounds almost too good to be true. Similar speakers (with DSP bass) retail for north of $50K. Opinions on the LM 555 replicas are all over the place but that's also probably heavily dependant on whether you also own WE originals. I've heard both and while I like the WEs better I could live with the LM, but opinions do vary a lot. Build construction of LM gear is pretty good from what I have seen. Haven't experienced their speaker cabinets, but at that price can't imagine you would lose too much if you decided to sell.
 
May 25, 2010
944
197
43
SF Bay Area
#6
Is $22K a lot of money for you? If not, then it sounds like your instincts say to buy. However, the special deal until the end of the year, may well be negotiable after the beginning of next year. Especially if they know that you want to listen before you purchase. If the deal is really so good because they are desperate for the money before the end of the year, then you may not want to be dealing with a company that is so poorly capitalized. If it is just a teaser to buy, then the offer could well be extended or extendable.

Larry
 
May 30, 2010
15,298
587
113
Portugal
#7
I will never purchase a speaker unheard. Anything else I am willing to take the chance, particularly used.
As far as I remember I got my Quad ESL63 and Wilson Watt Puppy System V unheard, but collected a lot of trusty information on them before ordering. Some of my best purchases.
 
Likes: Al M.

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,246
685
113
#8
I will never purchase a speaker unheard. Anything else I am willing to take the chance, particularly used.
I have only once bought a speaker without listening first and am lucky it worked out having just bought a Pureaudioproject horn.

The factors that influenced were there are zero opportunities to audition this locally, had a limited opportunity to buy this horn at a very good price and this horn is not in horn terms a particularly expensive one but is as it works out an exceptionally good value one. I have experienced a few horns including one quite similar and lived with horns enough to know what to possibly expect about the potentials and limitations of living with horns... and even still the divergent characteristics possible with each horn design made it a bit of a lottery. Lucky it paid off.

With the LM if the drivers and power supplies are upgradeable and ofcourse mostly if you can afford it I would think that might make the risk overall less of an issue.

It’s a boutique speaker so maybe that will work in your favour if you want to sell later.

That said, given the not inconsiderable price of this horn a quick flight to somewhere exotic for an audition finished by a quick tour of the city and a good meal might be a value added to the experience of buying... just ask Ked who has almost made a way of life out of it.
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,336
469
83
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#9
When it comes to sound/music reproduction from loudspeakers, yes it is smart to audition before purchasing. If you don't it doesn't mean you're crazy, it just means that you don't have the time to audition and that money is of absolute no importance to you, that's all.

The search to satisfaction has many roads; the ones we take they all lead to the same place.
It's the voyage itself that is worth to take and live for.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
59
Washington State, US
#10
Depends on your previous experience with similar speakers. If you have fallen hard for the WE vintage sound you may be a bit disappointed but if you like what horns, in general, bring to the table these might be a good option. $22K all in for these sounds almost too good to be true. Similar speakers (with DSP bass) retail for north of $50K. Opinions on the LM 555 replicas are all over the place but that's also probably heavily dependant on whether you also own WE originals. I've heard both and while I like the WEs better I could live with the LM, but opinions do vary a lot. Build construction of LM gear is pretty good from what I have seen. Haven't experienced their speaker cabinets, but at that price can't imagine you would lose too much if you decided to sell.
Thanks a lot for kind your input.

After I am happy with LM 508 amplifier, I have more faith in the products including speakers.

I am going to wait few more days before making final decision.
 
Last edited:

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
59
Washington State, US
#11
I have only once bought a speaker without listening first and am lucky it worked out having just bought a Pureaudioproject horn.

The factors that influenced were there are zero opportunities to audition this locally, had a limited opportunity to buy this horn at a very good price and this horn is not in horn terms a particularly expensive one but is as it works out an exceptionally good value one. I have experienced a few horns including one quite similar and lived with horns enough to know what to possibly expect about the potentials and limitations of living with horns... and even still the divergent characteristics possible with each horn design made it a bit of a lottery. Lucky it paid off.

With the LM if the drivers and power supplies are upgradeable and ofcourse mostly if you can afford it I would think that might make the risk overall less of an issue.

It’s a boutique speaker so maybe that will work in your favour if you want to sell later.

That said, given the not inconsiderable price of this horn a quick flight to somewhere exotic for an audition finished by a quick tour of the city and a good meal might be a value added to the experience of buying... just ask Ked who has almost made a way of life out of it.

I had done bling shopping of speaker just once in my 40 years of audio history.

I bought new Wilson Watt Puppy 6 at sweet offer 20 years ago.

It failed with too bright sound to my taste.

I ended up replacing it with B&W 801 in 6 months.

At that time my listening space was rather small, 15ftx 18 ft x 8ft height.

But now I have big space with high vault.



Also I did not have room correction equalizer when I got Wilson Watt.

Now I have Accuphase DG28 digital equalizer and Lyngdorf 2170 which I use pre and dac rather than integrated amplifier.


Thus I have more means to tame the sound.

It is still better to have chance to listen to it before buying it, but it is not easy.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
59
Washington State, US
#12
As far as I remember I got my Quad ESL63 and Wilson Watt Puppy System V unheard, but collected a lot of trusty information on them before ordering. Some of my best purchases.
I bought new Wilson Watt Puppy System 6 20 years ago and failed.
But I also had good result with some blind shopping like Line Magnetic 508 amplifier.
 
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Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#13
I bought my Reference 3A Reflector speakers unheard. Yet I was already acquainted with the Reference 3A sound from my previous speaker of that brand, and had a good idea what to expect from design aspects of the speaker that I had heard myself work out well in another brand, so it was a relatively risk-free purchase. It turned out to be my best speaker purchase so far.
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#14
That said, given the not inconsiderable price of this horn a quick flight to somewhere exotic for an audition finished by a quick tour of the city and a good meal might be a value added to the experience of buying... just ask Ked who has almost made a way of life out of it.
I think this is a good advice.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#16
I had listened to it through you tube.


It seems to sound fine.
Some of it sounds fine, other material not. But this may be just Youtube, or it may be the system. Through Youtube you never know. I would never base a judgment on Youtube sound. Ever.
 
Likes: Nascimento

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#18
At this price, wouldn't it be worthwhile to plan a trip around a possible audition?
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
366
266
63
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Washington State, US
#19
At this price, wouldn't it be worthwhile to plan a trip around a possible audition?
Actually I had considered visiting Hong Kong yesterday but I had some urgent matter to take care of in Korea.

Also there are very few places where you can audition LM3 so it may not be possible without pre appointment.
 

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