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.




@harpo75 I concur that placement is super important with the 8b's. I never got to your level of perfection in terms of placement. I had them out 76 in. from front wall with quite a lot of toe in. And I was never quite satisfied with the soundstage. But I believe if I had persisted, I'd get there as there are many of you who have achieved it. 

I now use the 8c's and with slight toe-in the speakers disappear. The recording venue is palpable. Mind you, I am still fiddling with it, but I  can now appreciate what you mean. 

@rotarius If the panels were visibly rattling, then you would hear dullness. The panels handle the mid-range and the ribbon tweeters the high frequencies only. They do not receive low frequency signals.  If they rattle with bass heavy music, then it must be the physical connection with the woofer enclosure that is the problem. If you read earlier posts by @harpo75 , he has installed stiffeners to reinforce the swaying of the panels not to correct a mistake but to enhance the stability of the sound field, a project that is on my bucket list.

Here is my latest thinking on a diy super duper speaker using planars and woofs

Bi-amped, eqed, flat to 30hz...Super transparent and inexpensive.

Great plans Ric. Let me add the suggestion of using ASC WallDamp in place of Green Glue when making the 3-layer open baffles. WallDamp is very effective at killing panel resonances, and is not expensive: $43.75 for a bundle of twenty-five 4" x 4" squares, enough for the treatment of twenty-five square feet.

Interesting thread...having had most of the speakers mentioned here...but currently running a set of Quad ESL-2805 with HYPEX amps.....

Anyway, considering selling my ET LFT-6 (yes, the IV)....anyone in the Chicago area interested let me know.

@john65b: Eminent Technology made both a model LFT-4 (also sometimes referred to as LFT-IV) and a model LFT-6 (or -VI). The LFT-4 stands 56" tall, the LFT-6 78", and both are 18" wide. Which do you have? Less than 1,000 pair of each were made.