Alpha Audio: “The LS1be is in its own league”

On November 1st the Dutch online magazine Alpha Audio streamed a live review of speakers that are used both in professional studios as in hifi systems. The LS1be was compared to the Dutch & Dutch 8c and ATC SCM100a. This test premiered our renewed LS1be, of which you will soon hear more. A recording of the webcast can be viewed on Alpha Audio’s home page and Youtube channel.

On the listening panel were Rinus Hooning, mastering engineer at Artone Studio (part of Record Industry); Mark Otten, dance music producer and coach; Yung Lee, Alpha Audio; Jaap Veenstra, Alpha Audio. 

The four listened to various tracks, and chatted about their experience. It was very enjoyable to witness their intuitive responses and follow the discussion.

A high quality stereo microphone pair was placed in front of the speaker pair, so the viewer could also judge the sound quality at home. Listening to a recording like this seems to miss the point of high end completely, but perhaps contra-intuitively it does offer insight in the speaker-room interaction. In a recording of an acoustic playback, your hearing system can’t separate the direct sound and the room sound as much as when you’re live in the room. And this actually helps you to judge the way that the speaker interacts with the room, in other words how the speaker’s direct sound balances with its ‘room sound’ (the power response).

It turned out to be a very interesting test, especially when listening back after the session since you can do direct comparisons between the three speakers. Listen for example to John Mayor’s Vultures: on the Dutch & Dutch at 27’28”, the ATC at 1’27’28” and the LS1be at 1’48’33”. If possible for you, listen to the mono sum of the audio for an even better impression.

But let’s first share some responses of the panel after listening to the LS1be. The response to John Mayor, Vultures was like this:

Rinus: “What are you doing, you’re killing us! That detail!” 
Mark: “This is how the snare should sound”. “This is the system where you least hear the speakers, it’s just music. It gets all the breathing space that it needs.“

The listening panel. From left to right: Yung Lee, Jaap Veenstra, Mark Otten, Rinus Hooning.

At 1’55’45” the camera view was still on the couch with the listening panel while James Taylor, Fire and Rain, played for the first minute. Watch the expression of the listeners, and how they get the shivers…. 

“This is the most realistic speaker I ever heard.”

Mark Otten, Producer Coaching

Rinus: “Applause” (clapping). “This is the voice of James Taylor!”
Yung: ”The fills of the drums are just amazing.”
Jaap: “It actually really touched me, this song. The vocals are soo real.” 
Mark: ”I liked the realism of the vocal, but also the body of the acoustic guitar on the left… that was like the guitarist is here, which is always what I’m looking for.” 
Jaap: ”It was jaw dropping, crazy good”.

And here some responses to a few other tracks:

Mark “This is the most realistic speaker I ever heard”.
Rinus: “This is a system on which you can do balancing and mastering, I am sure about that.” “You can keep on listening to this system, it is so detailed.” 

Jaap: “You hear every nuance in the voice. I have never heard a system do it like this, it is just insane.” 
Yung: “The detail is just astonishing. 
Jaap: “It actually feels like the music is slowed down, because you hear everything. I get goose bumps again. You’re invited to just listen.”  

Mark: “From just listening to a few songs I can already trust that the system will give me honesty.”

Jaap: “I am touched again”
Mark: “It is in its own league”.
Jaap: “There are no speakers that are so accurate and still so nice to listen to”.

Read about LS1be >