Amplifier suggestions for Falcon LS3/5A

So I’m out on travel and I made a spur of the moment buy of a pair of Falcon mini monitors, the LS3/5A’s. I try to never spend this much money without hours of research but these were soooo cool and I absolutely fell in love with the sound a few songs into them. I knew I was in trouble when I kept listening and changing genres of music and enjoying every damned song I threw at them. So now I’m the dumb ass on the plane carrying a friggin big old box w/ speakers back home.
Anyway, 15ohm w/ 60watt Little itty bitty 4” or so in a sealed enclosure. At the store we were throwing 150watts at them out of an amp that cost more than a new SUV. I know a few of you are “Hi-end” folks, I have my own ideas of what I’m gonna throw at these the next few months BUT, since these are endgame quality to me and 15 ohm I would be interested in your ideas. Solid state or tube design and any class is fine. They will be used nearfield on a desktop for now, but I may eventually set them up in a small 12x13 room, maybe. They will also be paired with a subwoofer, my music tastes demand that, and even though they sound MUCH bigger than what they actually are I’m a die hard bass head and I need my synthesized bass every now and then which although these are lovely they really don’t have much going on below 70hz or so.
If possible keep ideas below $3K so I can keep some semblance of or at least pretend to have a budget.
I’m happy to pair them with a Pro-ject DAC, running files and tidal thru a MacBook Pro, I’m not upgrading my front end stuff any time soon.
Thanks in advance for your opinions.

I would say you would want something that would emphasize the sweetness of the speakers that wouldn’t make them too harsh.
If you wanted a complete package, the Parasound HINT 6 is awesome, and would honestly fulfill all of your needs and more. That is pretty pricey though, so something cheaper is always an option. I was lucky enough to demo a friends pair of the falcon’s and I brought over a parasound a21+ amp and they sounded excellent. He had a nad C 388 which was nice albeit a bit harsher then I would like. He also had bryston power amps and they sounded really good on those too.

If you want a cheaper option, you could consider the NewClassic 275 v.2 (although it is more balanced sounding compared to the halo hint 6), a preamp or volume control

Something else would be a ps audio sprout100, a great amp and would work well with these speakers

Also congrats on joining the LS3/5A life lol. Those speakers have a very devoted following

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I knew I could depend on you @M0N to set me in the right direction. That’s a unit that has a ton of features and is almost wasted on a desktop but made to be integrated in a bigger overall system. I really like the way you think! The tinkerer in me is dying to try tubes with these speakers, and I will, I just don’t currently have the power requirement I would prefer. I can’t wait to get home and hook these fuckers up to every single amp I have to see what I can make them do. I’m gonna be busy playing around for weeks if not months before I decide what to drop more $$$$ on. Thank you much, and I’m not surprised you had first hand experience with them. I’m really curious to see what others come up with. I love this stuff.

I would also be pretty curious what these would sound like on a tube :thinking:

Actually the peachtree nova 300 would also fit the bill as a warmer high end amp.

Tube amps can very from amp to amp, and unfortunately I don’t have experience with reasonably priced speaker tube amps. I’ve only heard stuff like mcintosch, audio research, luxman, manley, more obscure brands, etc

Actually the PrimaLuna ProLogue would fit your budget and is a tube amp that I have heard. It’s pretty nice

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So I got to listen to some really beautiful high end units today, several Japanese and German brands. I was surprised at what i could get my hands on if only i were to touch that $3k mark and a bit beyond. Mark-up is incredible on the high end stuff and cash brings in substantial discounts off MSRP at some dealers. I really like all your ideas and I’m surprised to see you recommending the some of the class D stuff. I thought it would be all class A and A/B with a smidge of tubbiness. There was a gorgeous Luxman that i could have gotten for a “steal” if I would have been willing to walk out with it today. I found my new candy dealer, i’m just sad he is all the way in Phoenix, AZ.

Ha, yeah I don’t have any high end dealers or showrooms around me either. Class D amps can be just as good or better then class a/b if designed properly. You can still achieve excellent sound out of a class d. My preference tends to be class a/b, but I do use a class d amp in one of my setups, so it all depends.

The markup is pretty large because it can take so much effort to get some of these high end designs for amps right, it might even take years of experimentation and design before the product is produced, and you pay for that.

Luxman stuff is pretty nice, but idk how good of a price you can get. I should really stop recommending these expensive amps because you should always have more value put into your speakers then amps, but if you want the best out of a speaker, a good amp can bring that out

I agree with you 100%.
No, please don’t hold back in this instance, these speakers are magical little boxes and deserve better and then a few tears more beyond that. I’m usually all about maximizing budget and I fully understand there is a point of diminishing returns, but these things are different. At 15 ohms they crave power despite their miniscule, dimunitive size. They are sealed and yet manage to pump out sound well beyond the depth you would expect them to and you are absolutely right in that once you power them correctly they will sing so so sweetly. We were using solid state in the showroom but both me and my new crack dealer have a fondness for tube warmth. That will color these speakers tho and is to my mind a second source not primary.

That’s kinda why I like the parasound halo series, as it’s tuned to be a bit warmer and more pleasing amp rather then shoot for perfect numbers and a transparent output. Really have never had any tube products (besides studio gear though lol) since I don’t want to go crazy with swapping the tubes lol

Ha, yes, avoid the tubes especially since you also like to tinker. I badly want to reply to a recent thread about tubes for the darkvoice amp especially since i recently found tubes that make it sing exceptionally well. I just need to get back home so i can give my recommendations to the fellow, i can’t remember much off the top of my head anymore and want to make sure i give him the correct info.
We spent an hour today going thru boxes looking for 6688 or similar tubes so i can swap on a $50 nobsound hybrid headphone amp. Tubes will suck you in and make sure you spend countless hours trying to figure out what the hell you just made your gear do​:crazy_face::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

At $3K there’s a lot of good stuff out there. Those are very inefficient speakers (83db) so you want something with balls on it. There’s the Parasound amps, the PS Audio S300 stereo or M700 monoblocks, Rogue amps (tubes on the input side)…and a bunch of other stuff I can’t think of at 8 in the morning. Are you in the UK by chance? If so, I’m not sure how/if the price of gear changes. May want to look at British / Euro brands.

The PS Audio S300 is great, didn’t even think about it until now

I’m in the states, so access to really good stuff is not an issue. I appreciate your input, that’s exactly what I want, different names of high end and boutique brands especially stuff out of the mainstream I can search out and research. Thank you and keep the ideas coming.

The Musical Fidelity M5si, meridian g57, and RB-Rotel 1582 MKII could also be something to consider

Also buying used could really get you some nice stuff. You might be able to find used pass labs, luxman, bryston, krell (maybe)

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You could look at audio research tube amps used and might find one in your budget

A couple more things:

PS Audio has a great return program. If you buy an amp from them you can audition for 30 (maybe 60?) days and if you don’t like it, send it back. I believe they will even pay for return shipping - so you’ll have an amp to play with and if you don’t like it, you’re out exactly $0.00. They also have a really nice trade in program - they will give you full original MSRP on any audio equipment towards the purchase of any of their products. There is a limit though - I think it’s $450 on the S300.

A note on your speakers - all LS5/3 designs are based on the original BBC speaker. The BBC speaker is characterized by the “BBC hump”. This is a bump in the upper bass frequencies. So to some degree it’s an inverted V frequency response. Just something to keep in mind.

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Yes, I did this with my stellar gain cell preamp, and I liked it so I kept it

Here is the Stereophile review of your speakers (unless there is a newer model that you bought). Might give you some ideas about what to look for in an amp.

Huh, I was expecting them to be using unreasonably expensive amps with the speakers lol. Typically I see something where they are reviewing like a 2k pair of speakers driving them with 20k monoblocks lol.

On one hand it’s annoying when they do that. On the other, I think it’s good to have high end stuff so they can give you a better idea of what the speakers are actually capable of. In other words, if there are weaknesses with uber expensive stuff, it’s pretty much a given those weaknesses will be there no matter what.