Best Amplifier for LS3/5a

Happy New Year All!  Seeking advice from LS3/5 enthusiasts!  I have tried a number of these speakers (Graham, Harbeth, Falcon and KEF LS50's (if that counts)) - and to me the Falcon Gold Badge really stood out. It's been a while now since I did the comparison, so I don't remember all the details - but I felt that the Falcons were the most musical, engaging, open and did NOT have bloated bass (important for a small room)!  I've held on to a pair for my bedroom system, but I don't think that my current bedroom amps (AGD Audions, which I love with my current Raidho XT-1 monitors) are the best match for them.  I get a bit too much sizzle on the top and some associated sibilance.

Herb Reichert (Stereophile) seems to love these speakers, and his review notes that the Parasound A21+ was too dry with these speakers, but he really liked the Line Magnetic LM-518 IA.  That's not going to work for me!  In this bedroom system I keep the amp(s) under the bed and generally leave them on 24/7.  If possible, I prefer a balanced design, as I want NO HUM in my bedroom and my DAC/Pre (Weiss 501) has both balanced and RCA outs.

Based on the intended setup, I think balanced solid state would make the most sense. Amp selection might be influenced by the speakers having 15 ohm input impedance.

Any suggestions?  Thanks, Peter


Don't know about bridging 306's, but on the cheap the "listed" 306 will get you going.

If you like the sound have it refurbished.

It's the last amp I tried with 15 ohm Roger's.

I liked it and I am not a SS fan.

Much better than the 303 I tried early on (late 1970's) and almost as enjoyable as my Dynaco and McIntosh tube amps.

Hell of a match with ESL 57's (per the system I borrowed it from).

In such a small room I doubt that more power and/or balanced cable will be "a thing".



@dekay in my experience, a balanced cable has been useful and eliminating or reducing hum that I get with a RCA cable. Because I want absolutely no hum in the bedroom, that’s why I would go with balanced. But these amps are inexpensive enough that I could try it out and see how it goes. 

I used a Tandberg 3012A integrated with a 15ohm set of Chartwells - it was fabulous.