Line Magnetic LM-222 Speakers

ihmeyers

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Anyone familiar with these? I just got a pair imported from China, direct from LM. I pad more than I would have but dealing with the factory at least I know these are legit.

Problem is they don't sound very good straight from the box. First, I didn't get the stands from them because they are big heavy metal and would have cost a ton in freight (I paid a fortune in freight as it is). Second, I know they need some break-in but they're dull, muffled, no dynamic range right now. Third, they're rated at 102db and sound about half as loud as my 92 db open baffle or my Crites Klipschorns. I've never heard speakers becoming more efficient as they break in. Is that a thing?

Any ideas greatly appreciated. :confused:



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Ian
 

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Anyone familiar with these? I just got a pair imported from China, direct from LM. I pad more than I would have but dealing with the factory at least I know these are legit.

Problem is they don't sound very good straight from the box. First, I didn't get the stands from them because they are big heavy metal and would have cost a ton in freight (I paid a fortune in freight as it is). Second, I know they need some break-in but they're dull, muffled, no dynamic range right now. Third, they're rated at 102db and sound about half as loud as my 92 db open baffle or my Crites Klipschorns. I've never heard speakers becoming more efficient as they break in. Is that a thing?

Any ideas greatly appreciated. :confused:



Thanks,
Ian
Dear Ian,

Sensitivity on their page has no units so it can be anything.

They won't get more sensitive when burning in. However, those are paper drivers and they change a lot in this period. Maybe the problem is not the sensitivity, but a lack of bass? Bass carries most of the energy in sound, so when it's lacking, you might feel the whole sound quieter.

Those old (or contemporary "vintage") drivers aren't the best at reproducing the bass by themself. Have you tried placing those speakers close to the walls/corners of the room?
 
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ihmeyers

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Dear Ian,

Sensitivity on their page has no units so it can be anything.

They won't get more sensitive when burning in. However, those are paper drivers and they change a lot in this period. Maybe the problem is not the sensitivity, but a lack of bass? Bass carries most of the energy in sound, so when it's lacking, you might feel the whole sound quieter.

Those old (or contemporary "vintage") drivers aren't the best at reproducing the bass by themself. Have you tried placing those speakers close to the walls/corners of the room?


Thank you very much. They sound a little better today having played most of the night. I mostly listen to Jazz and Vocals on this system sound little output below 60hz I can live with. I've got a pair of Zu Undertone subs I can use with them if I want. I think ultimately they will sound good on stands with the right music. I'm pairing them with an SET (I've got 5 of them here, 211, 845, 300B) but given they're closer to 90db IMO, my choices are as wide as I thought they'd be. My Timbernation stands should probably arrive next week so I will get more serious with them then.
 
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ihmeyers

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Maybe the problem is not the sensitivity, but a lack of bass? Bass carries most of the energy in sound, so when it's lacking, you might feel the whole sound quieter.

Actually, the bass is pretty good. Not room shaking of course but full enough. The issue is they seem to have almost no top end. Part of that, of course, is the fact that the mid/tweeter driver is about 18" off of the ground. My stands should come next week which elevates 14 inches. I don't think they'll have an extended top end though with a 2-way "Jensen" driver. I'm thinking of adding a super tweeter. I have a pair of Townshend super tweeters on hand and it helped a little. Something like this plays a little lower and might do the trick:


Ian
 

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Thank you very much. They sound a little better today having played most of the night. I mostly listen to Jazz and Vocals on this system sound little output below 60hz I can live with. I've got a pair of Zu Undertone subs I can use with them if I want. I think ultimately they will sound good on stands with the right music. I'm pairing them with an SET (I've got 5 of them here, 211, 845, 300B) but given they're closer to 90db IMO, my choices are as wide as I thought they'd be. My Timbernation stands should probably arrive next week so I will get more serious with them then.
18" is really low, that might be the issue. Tweeter might be playing strongly off-axis losing most of its sensitivity. I'm super curious how it will change with the stands. Let us know, please!
 
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ihmeyers

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I'm hopeful stands will be here this week. Timbernation is finishing them now.

I spent a lot of time working on them this weekend. Thoughts for anyone interested

1) The drivers are really nice and sound better every day though I'd rate the efficiency no higher than 90db. I probably would have gone a different direction if they had been honest with the specs. I've bought other Chinese drivers before. They rarely tell the truth IMO.

2) Internally, the cabinets leave A LOT to be desired, especially given that these speakers are $12k from the U.S. distributor. The cabinets have no bracing and are lined with the cheapest grade foam you can get that really can't be doing much of anything to break up standing waves. It's not even a clean job, cheap foam aside. There are spots in the cabinet uncovered and others where they clearly cut the foam too small and stuck a second piece next to it. I spent most of Saturday afternoon tuning the cabs using 5 layer foam I bought from Parts Express that worked wonders in my Crites Klipschorns (which had no dampening at all and was a mess until I worked on it). Cut a small strip, tack to inside of cabinet, listen. Move it somewhere else inside the cab, listen again. Maybe cut it a little smaller, listen again. Repeat ad naseum. Both cabinets were greatly improved by doing this judiciously. I would have replaced some of the cheap yellow foam in spots but didn't want to do anything that would be hard to undo.

3) I don't think the internal wiring is very good. Hard to tell for sure but it looks cheap. I didn't want to go down that road either.

The star of the show is the driver which has a really nice, sweet, vintage sounding midrange. It's only a 12" coax but it plays pretty low too. I haven't run any test tones but it sounds like there's real output at/below 40hz. I doubt there are many people considering purchasing one (I bought it from LM through Grant Fidelity and imported it) but ignore the specs. You can't drive this with 2A3 or 45 amps. 300Bs are OK, but think more along the lines of 211 or 845.

I imported an LM DHT preamp (AS-133) at the same time that was very good right out of the box (or should I say crate) that looks to be high build quality.

Ian
 
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I'm hopeful stands will be here this week. Timbernation is finishing them now.

I spent a lot of time working on them this weekend. Thoughts for anyone interested

1) The drivers are really nice and sound better every day though I'd rate the efficiency no higher than 90db. I probably would have gone a different direction if they had been honest with the specs. I've bought other Chinese drivers before. They rarely tell the truth IMO.

2) Internally, the cabinets leave A LOT to be desired, especially given that these speakers are $12k from the U.S. distributor. The cabinets have no bracing and are lined with the cheapest grade foam you can get that really can't be doing much of anything to break up standing waves. It's not even a clean job, cheap foam aside. There are spots in the cabinet uncovered and others where they clearly cut the foam too small and stuck a second piece next to it. I spent most of Saturday afternoon tuning the cabs using 5 layer foam I bought from Parts Express that worked wonders in my Crites Klipschorns (which had no dampening at all and was a mess until I worked on it). Cut a small strip, tack to inside of cabinet, listen. Move it somewhere else inside the cab, listen again. Maybe cut it a little smaller, listen again. Repeat ad naseum. Both cabinets were greatly improved by doing this judiciously. I would have replaced some of the cheap yellow foam in spots but didn't want to do anything that would be hard to undo.

3) I don't think the internal wiring is very good. Hard to tell for sure but it looks cheap. I didn't want to go down that road either.

The star of the show is the driver which has a really nice, sweet, vintage sounding midrange. It's only a 12" coax but it plays pretty low too. I haven't run any test tones but it sounds like there's real output at/below 40hz. I doubt there are many people considering purchasing one (I bought it from LM through Grant Fidelity and imported it) but ignore the specs. You can't drive this with 2A3 or 45 amps. 300Bs are OK, but think more along the lines of 211 or 845.

I imported an LM DHT preamp (AS-133) at the same time that was very good right out of the box (or should I say crate) that looks to be high build quality.

Ian
Thank you for your feedback! Besides damping the soundwaves with foam, you can also try using thick rubber damping mats for cars to dampen the cabinet resonances.

If you eventually decide to go after the internal wiring, I would recommend you to go after the Duelund wire. It has a beautiful tone that should match this speaker perfectly!
 
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ihmeyers

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I've got a bunch of Dynamat and I have used that very sparingly on the drivers which has helped.

About ten years ago I bought a pair of Aurum Cantus (made in China) bookshelf speakers for a small bedroom system. The cabinets were beautiful walnut burl and the drivers were Aurum's own which are pretty high quality. They sounded good, not great, but good and I decided to open them up to see if there was anything I could do to modify them. Oh my, what a mess inside; crossover installed on a 39 cent piece of pegboard, wire and caps soldered randomly tied off with electrical tape. The two speakers weren't even identical inside. Internally it looked like a bad science experiment gone wrong. It was obviously the goal was to make them look beautiful and sound pretty good but there was zero consideration to building a crossover and wiring them cleanly and consistently. Wow.

I'm not equating the internal quality of the Line Magnetic to my Aurum's but they sure aren't putting any money into the inside of the cabinet. As I said, it's lined with the cheapest foam I've ever seen, maybe 1/2 inch in depth and it's not applied consistently in the two cabinets. The internal wiring looks cheap, but it may not be. The speaker terminals are pretty nice. The driver is very, very good and they must have the math down because it produces output below 40 hz and it's not a huge box and only 1/2" plywood. Still $12k U.S. a pair seems really high to me given everything I just said. I guarantee I could get my local speaker builder to do better for less than that if I could get the drivers which to the best of my knowledge aren't sold.

On the other hand, the LM preamp looks and feels very solid and has made beautiful music from day one.
 

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I've got a bunch of Dynamat and I have used that very sparingly on the drivers which has helped.

About ten years ago I bought a pair of Aurum Cantus (made in China) bookshelf speakers for a small bedroom system. The cabinets were beautiful walnut burl and the drivers were Aurum's own which are pretty high quality. They sounded good, not great, but good and I decided to open them up to see if there was anything I could do to modify them. Oh my, what a mess inside; crossover installed on a 39 cent piece of pegboard, wire and caps soldered randomly tied off with electrical tape. The two speakers weren't even identical inside. Internally it looked like a bad science experiment gone wrong. It was obviously the goal was to make them look beautiful and sound pretty good but there was zero consideration to building a crossover and wiring them cleanly and consistently. Wow.

I'm not equating the internal quality of the Line Magnetic to my Aurum's but they sure aren't putting any money into the inside of the cabinet. As I said, it's lined with the cheapest foam I've ever seen, maybe 1/2 inch in depth and it's not applied consistently in the two cabinets. The internal wiring looks cheap, but it may not be. The speaker terminals are pretty nice. The driver is very, very good and they must have the math down because it produces output below 40 hz and it's not a huge box and only 1/2" plywood. Still $12k U.S. a pair seems really high to me given everything I just said. I guarantee I could get my local speaker builder to do better for less than that if I could get the drivers which to the best of my knowledge aren't sold.

On the other hand, the LM preamp looks and feels very solid and has made beautiful music from day one.
Consistency is an issue with smaller Chinese brands. They will often focus their attention on the exterior to make the product appeal to the customers. Aurum Cantus has improved a lot since that time, as far as my friends told me.

You can try the input terminals on your speakers with a magnet. If they are magnetic, then you might want to exchange them for something nicer :)
 

ihmeyers

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I got the speaker stands today and while the height is better, the overall tonality is worse when using them. The stands are maple and sit directing on a tile floor (with speakers on top of them) and it colors the mid/low registers a decent amount. Definitely noticeable. The stands are ready made for spikes which I might try. Maybe Dynamat somewhere on the top platform that the bottom of the speakers rest on? I tried Herbies decoupling dots, under the speakers (on the top platform) and they made everything significantly worse. Clearly there's something with the maple being directly on tile floor, or the distance itself from bottom of speaker to floor (14") that is creating an unwanted resonance in the upper bass/lower mid. The speaker IS made to sit on a stand. I just didn't buy them from China because they're pretty heavy (steel) and would have been crazy expensive to ship. Any ideas greatly appreciated.

I find it's often one step forward , two steps back with audio...
 

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I got the speaker stands today and while the height is better, the overall tonality is worse when using them. The stands are maple and sit directing on a tile floor (with speakers on top of them) and it colors the mid/low registers a decent amount. Definitely noticeable. The stands are ready made for spikes which I might try. Maybe Dynamat somewhere on the top platform that the bottom of the speakers rest on? I tried Herbies decoupling dots, under the speakers (on the top platform) and they made everything significantly worse. Clearly there's something with the maple being directly on tile floor, or the distance itself from bottom of speaker to floor (14") that is creating an unwanted resonance in the upper bass/lower mid. The speaker IS made to sit on a stand. I just didn't buy them from China because they're pretty heavy (steel) and would have been crazy expensive to ship. Any ideas greatly appreciated.

I find it's often one step forward , two steps back with audio...
I would try spikes. That should be a noticeable improvement. Between the stand and a speaker, you can try cork, vibration isolation rubber, or another set of spikes. For me, spikes are mandatory with any speakers.
 
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ihmeyers

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I would try spikes. That should be a noticeable improvement. Between the stand and a speaker, you can try cork, vibration isolation rubber, or another set of spikes. For me, spikes are mandatory with any speakers.
Thank you, I will.

When the speakers were sitting directly on the floor (before stands arrived) on their 30 cent nailed in feet. i had them sounding really nice, albeit way too low. On stands I'm getting this discoloration / fuzziness. I assume it's some sort of interaction of the stand and the tile floor which didn't exist when the speaker was directly on the floor.

Not a great photo and speakers are very tight fit in this room but will have to do for now until we buy a bigger house.

Any thoughts on the IsoAcoustics Isolation feet instead of spikes? Not cheap at $400 for two pair but what's cheap in audio these days? :D

20220810_085059.jpg
 
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Thank you, I will.

When the speakers were sitting directly on the floor (before stands arrived) on their 30 cent nailed in feet. i had them sounding really nice, albeit way too low. On stands I'm getting this discoloration / fuzziness. I assume it's some sort of interaction of the stand and the tile floor which didn't exist when the speaker was directly on the floor.

Not a great photo and speakers are very tight fit in this room but will have to do for now until we buy a bigger house. View attachment 96678
Do the stands touch your equipment rack on the right? If so, I would move them apart—very bad idea.
 
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Do the stands touch your equipment rack on the right? If so, I would move them apart—very bad idea.

In this photo they just touch the amp stand on the floor. That's only because we hastily put them back on stand this morning. I need my son to help me wrangle these. When I was listening last night before I took them off the stands they didn't touch the amp stand. They never touched the equipment rack though it's a tight fit.

I know, less than an optimum set-up. I've bought so much equipment lately because I have the SET bug and it's way too much for a house this size. Once I buy a new house I will have to decide which amps/preamps/speakers stay and which I sell. I almost have for five full systems though I had to but a couple of more streamers and DACs. I just rotate amps/speakers in and out now.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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In this photo they just touch the amp stand on the floor. That's only because we hastily put them back on stand this morning. I need my son to help me wrangle these. When I was listening last night before I took them off the stands they didn't touch the amp stand. They never touched the equipment rack though it's a tight fit.

I know, less than an optimum set-up. I've bought so much equipment lately because I have the SET bug and it's way too much for a house this size. Once I buy a new house I will have to decide which amps/preamps/speakers stay and which I sell. I almost have for five full systems though I had to but a couple of more streamers and DACs. I just rotate amps/speakers in and out now.

Thanks for all the help!
You are welcome! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Please, let us know how it went with spikes!
 

ihmeyers

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I'm hoping someone much smarter than me can figure this out.

I got GAIA Acoustic Isolators today that screw into the base of the speakers. They helped a little. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say 3-4 but that's all.

So here we are:

1) Speakers on maple stands sitting on tile. No good, Resonances sound like they're upper bass-very low mid, male voices in particular sound ragged.

2) Speakers on maple stands with GAIA feet (1/4" thread). A little better. Still sound like vocalists are singing into a megaphone but not as bad as stands directly on tile.

3) Just for sh*ts and grins. I take speakers off stands. Nail in little plastic feet to bottom of speakers again that were removed so they could sit on stands. Put them back in place. Much, much better. Of course now the coax horn is about 18" off the floor but they sound 'right' again.

One would think the issue is the stands, no? What could it be with the stands? Maple coloration? Fact that the speaker bottom is in fact a riser (about 1.25" high and 2" thick all along the 4 sides so a gap between the bottom of the cabinet and the floor? LM makes stands for these. They look like steel but they wanted $1000 for the stands and the dealer I worked with, Grant Fidelity, felt the cost of air shipping the stands could be as much as the stands themselves. Given that shipping for the two speakers and the LM preamp alone was $3,400 by DHL I was obviously reluctant to buy the stands. In fact, Rachel recommended I didn't. Two pictures of the speakers on the stands below.

I am at a complete loss for ideas. I've had few speakers that ever needed stands. The last ones were a pair of Wilson Duettes that has a stand made just for them. I'm thinking, most likely culprit is coupling between the bottom of the speaker riser and the top plate of the stand causing profound colorations. Does that make sense?
 

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AMR / iFi audio

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I'm hoping someone much smarter than me can figure this out.

I got GAIA Acoustic Isolators today that screw into the base of the speakers. They helped a little. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say 3-4 but that's all.

So here we are:

1) Speakers on maple stands sitting on tile. No good, Resonances sound like they're upper bass-very low mid, male voices in particular sound ragged.

2) Speakers on maple stands with GAIA feet (1/4" thread). A little better. Still sound like vocalists are singing into a megaphone but not as bad as stands directly on tile.

3) Just for sh*ts and grins. I take speakers off stands. Nail in little plastic feet to bottom of speakers again that were removed so they could sit on stands. Put them back in place. Much, much better. Of course now the coax horn is about 18" off the floor but they sound 'right' again.

One would think the issue is the stands, no? What could it be with the stands? Maple coloration? Fact that the speaker bottom is in fact a riser (about 1.25" high and 2" thick all along the 4 sides so a gap between the bottom of the cabinet and the floor? LM makes stands for these. They look like steel but they wanted $1000 for the stands and the dealer I worked with, Grant Fidelity, felt the cost of air shipping the stands could be as much as the stands themselves. Given that shipping for the two speakers and the LM preamp alone was $3,400 by DHL I was obviously reluctant to buy the stands. In fact, Rachel recommended I didn't. Two pictures of the speakers on the stands below.

I am at a complete loss for ideas. I've had few speakers that ever needed stands. The last ones were a pair of Wilson Duettes that has a stand made just for them. I'm thinking, most likely culprit is coupling between the bottom of the speaker riser and the top plate of the stand causing profound colorations. Does that make sense?
It might be how high the driver is relative to your ears.

Speakers on stands - around your ear level
Speakers on stands with GAIA feet - a slight difference in height
Speakers on the floor - big off-angle axis
Speakers on stands and on plastic feet - off-axis, higher than just on stands.

Speakers off-axis usually experience a roll-off in high frequency. This might negate some peaking in the speakers' response explaining, why sitting in front of it sounds bad.
 
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ihmeyers

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1 month update. Speakers are sounding much better. It's all the driver which I guess is pretty nice. The build quality is shockingly bad, I mean off the charts bad. The 35 cent insulation lining cut into pieces, you can see in the photos above. The driver has a combination of wood screws and lag bolts holding it to the baffle. No rhyme or reason. One speaker had more lag bolts. The other more wood screws. Clearly they used whatever they had sitting around. All of them loose. One of the screws couldn't even be reset without using wood fill. Cosmetic only, but the brass name plate on the front of the speaker has the speaker model # engraved backwards. The characters are what you would see if you held it up to a mirror. I can't believe these speakers are imported into the U.S. and sell for more than $12k no less. The workmanship is pure junk. There's a pair of a higher level model on US Audiomart now for $35k. o_O

I bought a LM preamp from the factory (through Grant Fidelity as well) when I bought the speakers. It sounds really nice but I can only imagine what it looks like internally and what it would be like to have to repair.

Anyone with any LM experience have anything to add?
 

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