Steve Guttenberg finally reviews the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeaker.


Over the past few years I and a number of other owners of the Eminent Technology LFT-8b have on this site extolled the virtues of this under-acknowledged loudspeaker. I myself have encouraged those interested in Magnepans to try and hear the LFT-8 before buying. That is not easy, as ET has only five U.S.A. dealers.

I am a long-time fan of Maggies, having bought my first pair (Tympani T-I) in 1973, my last (Tympani T-IVa) a few years ago. But the Tympani’s need a LOT of room (each 3-panel speaker is slightly over 4’ wide!), which I currently don’t have. So I gave a listen to the MG 1.7i, and didn’t much care for it. As I recounted in a thread here awhile back, I found the 1.7 to sound rather "wispy", lacking in body and tonal density (thank you Art Dudley ;-).

Brooks Berdan was (RIP) a longtime ET dealer, installing a lot the company’s linear-tracking air-bearing arm on Oracle, VPI, and SOTA tables. After Brooks’ passing his wife Sheila took over management of the shop, continuing on as an ET dealer. I knew Brooks was a fan of the LFT-8, and he had very high standards in loudspeakers (his main lines were Vandersteen, Wilson, and Quad). The shop had a used pair of LFT-8’s, so I gave them a listen. They sounded good enough to me to warrant investigate further, so I had Sheila order me a pair, along with the optional (though nearly mandatory) Sound Anchor bases.

I wouldn’t waste your time if I didn’t consider the ET LFT-8b to be just as I have on numerous occasions (too many times for some here) described it: the current best value in all of hi-fi. Hyperbole? Well, you no longer have to take it from just me and the other owners here: Steve Guttenberg finally got around to getting in for review a pair (the LFT-8 has been in production for 33 years!), and here is what he has to say about it. After watching the video, you can read other reviews (in a number of UK mags, and in TAS by Robert E. Greene) on the ET website.




Manley 440 (monoblocks) with Genuine Gold Lion KT77’s set to triode mode 275 watts into the panels.

Manley 440 with 6550’s set to tetrode mode 440 watts into the woofers.

The whole room is a sweet spot. Move around and the musicians remain in position completely stationary. With 1/2 inch Studer A80, it is the sound of live.

People say you cannot reproduce the experience of an orchestra. This system says otherwise. The side and back walls disappear. You are in the Musikverein listening to Der Phil.  

Loud enough for Mayberry’s finest to pay a visit at 4 in the AM.

Richter conducting Bach’s Mass in B Minor: ethereal.

Mehta conducting Holst’s Planets on Mars: invasion.

Weather Report Boogie Woogie Waltz. Boogie ON!

* Benz Gullwing in ET 2 arm mounted in Oracle 6. Super Lumi phono stage.

Point of clarification on woofer replacement:

Since I’m using subs, I don’t need the low bass extension of the LFT’s woofer which is obtained by mass loading.

Bruce did a superb job with original Usher, lowering the free air -6dB to 15.3Hz

See Measuring Loudspeaker Driver Parameters ( for more info on measuring driver parameters

The Dayton RS225-8 functions more like a upper-bass / low mid driver in my system.

Nothing above a transistor amplifier and for maggies is this the most important thing. How is it possible that people are using subwoofers for the mg20 and the 3.7 totally nuts. The most clear instrumental bass is with the maggies also the 1.7i. the amp is the most important thing with magnepan. I used first conrad johnson and later i changed it for the cello performance. And a friend of mine the cello duet and that was the moment no more tubes.


@mirolab, that single file seating sounds like the Sanders electrostatic speaker set up.  I've seen it at multiple audio shows.  It doesn't appeal to me either.

Now I don't remember ever seeing ET speakers at an audio show.  But all the photos or videos, including in this post, that I've seen show regular rows of seating with ET speaker demos.

To the imbecile above who commented they are Made in China on the fact that  they’re cheap, and without doing any research whatsoever, I hate to burst your bubble.

Thigpen builds them in Florida. I have a pair of LFT-8b’s and they say ‘Made in the United States’ right on the label.