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.




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.






@dynamiclinearity ​​@bdp24 - as @mijostyn pointed out, the SPL dropoff with distance has nothing to do with the speakers being planars or dipoles.  

Line source speakers produce a cylindrical wavefront (whether they are dipoles or not), which has an SPL falloff of 3db with each doubling of distance. A point source speaker (most conventional speakers) produces a spherical wavefront which reduces SPL by 6db with doubling distance. 

This is why you'll see a stack of speakers on stage for large rock concerts, creating an effective line array so that the audience sitting close to the stage doesn't get totally blasted out when the sound is loud enough for the audience in the rear. 

Using a dipole sub vs a conventional sub isn't going to affect the SPL falloff in the bass, but since the wavelengths are so long, the sound pressure at any point in the room is affected as much by room modes as anything else. 

That said, I do prefer the sound quality from dipole subs (for music). I think they sound more natural and integrate more seamlessly with dipole main speakers. 

Okay Albert (@ledoux1238), two pics sent---Eric.

For others interested, the Mye LFT-8 stand looks just like the Sound Anchor bases (including the two front "legs" which extend out from the bass enclosure), with the addition of support arms (I believe Grant Mye calls them "struts") that are attached to the back corners of the stand and reach up to the side rails, right at the middle of the tweeter’s length. The two arms clamp onto the side rails just as seen in the Mye stands for Maggies.

I suppose one could just add support arms to the Sound Anchor bases, but it would take some fabricating ability and tools.