New Falcon ls3/5a Silvers in the house

I picked up a pair of new b-stock Falcon silver badge ls3/5a’s last week and have been getting used to them since then. I work in the city and have an apartment where I stay 4 days a week and my real home is a couple hours north where my main stereo system resides. So the Falcons are essentially in a 2nd system setup that is mostly near field. Streaming only right now which is an Ifi Zen Stream powered by a 12V LHY linear supply feeding a 30 year old California Audio Labs Sigma ii tubed dac (16/44.1 only).

My amp at home is usually the Van Alstine SET 120 paired with a Van Alstine RB10 tubed preamp. (And my speakers with that set up are Fritz Carbon 7 se mk2).

So I’m currently using my beloved old 1977 Yamaha CA-2010 to drive the Falcons.

and it’s actually a pretty surprising and sweet pairing. The Yamaha has a Class A setting which outputs 30wpc vs its normal 120. (Into 8ohms).

The imaging , the floating center voices , the textures and the superb bass in this near field set up are truly impressive. I’m so glad I made the impulsive purchase to pick up these speakers. And I’m really happy I have an amp that is driving them well… but… I do wonder if I’m leaving anything on the table by not using a different amp that is known to pair exquisitely with ls3/5a’s?

I’m not really in the market for a new expensive amplifier purchase but I am poking around at some used solid state amps (power or integrated) like Exposure, Sugden, Belles and also some vintage el34 or el84 tube amps .

Curious if anyone has any suggestions for something that would raise the bar from the vintage Yamaha that isn’t going to break the bank. I’m thinking in the less than $1500 zone … used market.


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@mlsstl very interesting.  I was considering the VT-70 as well..but thought the absence of 16 ohm taps on the transformers may be an issue.  Were you happy with the LSA until you tried the Schiit?  Are you running two Gjallarhorns in mono or just one?

The VT-70 is a very nice tube amp, though like many more modern tube amps, more neutral sounding than many of the vintage designs. It worked very nicely with the speakers. I do slightly prefer the Gjallarhorn (I only use one) as it has slightly better bass control than the VT-70 and is smooth through the midrange which extends into the highs with no sense of stridency or grit.  Note that the Vali 2++ preamp I use does have a tube in the driver circuit (6N3P) so I still have some tube function.  One of the other reasons I moved on is, as I get older, I'm tired of the weight and size of tube power amps even though I've been a tube gear fan for decades. 

Just wrote a review on newly acquired ATC 7 V3.  I have always believed that small monitors benefit greatly from Class A amplification and rarely are given that chance.

I've owned original Rogers LS 3/5 A monitors and ran them with the Sugden.  It worked well, they thrived.

I own the Falcon LS3/5A Silver Badge as well (in a second system...) and mine sound absolutely wonderful paired with my Audio Research VSi60. I have KT120s in the ARC and I'm just using a Node as a source sending the signal to a Border Patrol DAC before getting to the amp. The sound is natural, organic, holographic, timbral, and voices sound eerily real. It's a great set up for most genres, but really shines with jazz, bluegrass, female vocals....Today, I was listening to the phenomenal new album by Abdullah Ibrahim called 3 and I was quite taken by the long decay on delicately played notes on piano and flute in particular...I'd be interested in trying a class A integrated on this system just to see what it sounds like, but I'm real happy using my (50wpc) ARC Integrated.....You can find them used sometimes for around $2k and you'd be hard pressed to find a better value at that price.

Your pairing of 30W class A Yamaha is synergistic…why mess with success?  Oops!  I said a bad thing….