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.


pics linked






yes , I hear you and am not determined to get something else.  As I said in my post I am just wondering if the speakers performance could be improved upon via a different amp.

I’m new to ls3/5a’s so don’t have a lot of experience with the classical pairings.

In the meantime I have no complaints 

"I was considering the VT-70 as well..but thought the absence of 16 ohm taps on the transformers may be an issue. "

That’s not an issue. I doubt that you would find any modern tube amp with 16 ohm taps. BTW, I’ve owned many LS3/5a type speakers ( including 15 ohm Falcons) and they are all oustanding with tube amplification!


also agree with you on the Abdullah Ibrahim recording.

I listened to it last week when it was released and am listening again now.

It’s a lovely record and perfect for the ls3/5a’s

You have a nice used Yamaha with well-known provenance and which plays a 83dB BBC monitor speaker well, and it had a selectable class-A setting, rare at any price. If you are happy with the Yamaha (which are excellent amplifiers, especially for the money) why not stick with that for a while. If you find something about it you want to change then look around. I doubt you are missing anything. BTW, have you put a sub in your system?

I have the silver badge near field in my office, and they are amazing in that application. I run a small sub with the mains high passed at 80hz. I've upgraded DAC and pre with good results but I haven't felt the need to switch out my amp (Creek Evolution 100a). I don't have an good response to your query, but I will say congrats on the purchase. You're in for a treat.