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Chane L3c Review

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  • Chane L3c Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	E0981E7B-B1EE-47CB-8C44-816BF4711AA9.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	4.13 MB ID:	117445




    If I had to sum up the L3c with two phrases, they would be:

    1) Pleasant texture and 2) SS&I (sound stage and imaging)

    That’s what strikes you first. Going far past just having the speakers ‘disappear’, these bring the performance into your room. Etta James isn’t singing for you, she’s singing TO you. The sonic hologram becomes so involving, that you just waste time and stay up too late.

    Then there’s the texture detail. If you’ve been fortunate enough to be able to witness live music before all the lock downs, these bring strings and brass to life. You don’t get artificial detail; this isn’t a steel bodied guitar with stiff strings and a high nut/bridge, with a steel pick. These L3c’s are a Martin or Taylor Dreadnaught with a nylon pick.

    They bring the rich, resonant body of those guitar notes, and the natural pluck of the strings, to life. But they don’t do it by adding 3dB from 8khz and up, heh. That’s not detail, anymore than turning the sharpness setting on your old 36” CRT up to max made it into an HDTV.

    No, this is real resolution via real drivers, an overly braced cabinet, and real crossover tuning.


    So, into The Details:
    The L3c is a 6.5” MTM two way using SB Acoustics doped poly midwoofers and the SBA 29mm (really 37mm) ring radiator tweeter. 20.5” long, 13.5” deep, and 9” wide, it weighs over 30 pounds. Not sure on the exact weight, but (as with many Chane things) the density of it strikes you immediately. No marketing speak of magical HDF cabinets (with HDF being only 10% more dense than high grade MDF). Just full 3/4” high grade MDF for every panel and every interior brace. No exceptions. On every L Series model. Lots of interior braces, too. The L3c has at least 3 internal window braces; two dividing the cabinet along its width and one along its length. We’re far past meeting ‘the knuckle rap test’.

    Some may ask why *not* the use of an aluminum version of this SBA driver (or the “ceramic”, which is just aluminum with a ceramic coating on top; still mostly aluminum) for this two way design? Jon has touched on this in the past, but that driver has a relatively severe breakup mode above the passband. It doesn’t bring any other benefit to the table. So the logical choice that Jon made was to use the wider bandwidth driver.

    Listening Impressions:
    These play big. They create an effective illusion of the scale of a a much larger set of speakers. But not at the cost of intimacy. Much like the KEF LS50, the bass you get doesn’t plumb the depths for action movies, but it leaves you generally satisfied across musical genres. It’s a very expensive and nimble sound in the bass. You hear delineated notes and texture that were obscured in the A Series. The body of that upright acoustic bass or double kick drum is conveyed very convincingly. No, you won’t think you’ve got double 18” subs hooked up. But you could easily believe that you were listening to a 10” woofer in a much larger box. These two 6.5” midwoofers have slightly more radiating area than a true 8” woofer. They are tight and dynamic. They apparently feel like they have been shorted in life and endeavor to prove themselves larger than they are.

    The bass you do get hits with texture and authority. I reiterate that for music listening in most spaces, you won’t be thinking that you need a sub for anything but the bottom octave. Usable output into the low 30’s and occasionally high 20’s, in room. Down in level, but clean and audible.

    However, back to the experience. And I make this segue a a full voting AES member, retired Forensic Audio/Video engineer, former professional Audio/Video engineer, and an expert witness in courts of law in one of the largest states in the country in the field of Forensic Audio Analyses and Enhancement (also in Video). But there’s not a measurement for how much I enjoy these. How much they draw me into the music. It’s easy to get into the music that I have grown up on (classic rock, funk, soul, oldies, some metal, 2000’s hip hop, classic jazz, etc). But these speakers pulled me into a new genre of modern classical music.

    I gained a taste for Ludovico Einaudi with the 752’s, but these have pulled me into stuff like Caroline Shaw’s Attaca Quartet. They play IN MY ROOM, directly to me, with the L3c’s. I’ve heard these investments played live many times (usually by friends). I’m here telling you that these songs occurred in my room with the L3c’s. Throw in my tube amp and I swear I could tell the mood of the players as they used their bows and fingers.

    The tonal balance of their presentation is inherently neutral. Yes, the on axis and listening window responses are relatively “flat” (though that doesn’t mean much), but they also present without coloration. Slightly more forgiving than the 700’s of flaws in recordings, but still revealing of them, they are great speakers to live with. One can achieve a level of resolution that becomes clinical; these stop just short of that.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by BufordTJustice; 12-27-2020, 07:41 PM.

  • #2
    Equipment used for evaluation.

    1st stack:
    Bluesound Node2 steamer->
    Proceed AVP2 (by Madrigal Audio Labs; they also make Mark Levinson) as DAC and preamp ->
    Benchmark AHB2 single amp and then dual bridged monoblocks/Adcom GFA-5500 with the Musical Concepts LX Elite Mini-Platinum modifications package

    2nd stack:
    Bluesound Node2 streamer->
    RME ADI-2 FS v2 DAC->
    Plinius Kaitaki preamplifier->
    Benchmark AHB2 amps in a pair of bridged monoblocks

    3rd stack:
    Bluesound Node2 streamer->
    RME ADI-2 FS v2 DAC->
    Benchmark LA-4 linestage preamplifier->
    Benchmark AHB2 amps in a pair of bridged monoblocks

    4th stack:
    Bluesound Node2i streamer->
    RME ADI-2 FS v2 DAC->
    Line Magnetic LM805ia Integrated SET tube amp


    Ancillary equipment:
    Pangea DS400 4-post 28” speaker stands (sand filled; 60+lbs each)
    Pangea steel hard floor spike pucks
    Furman Elite 15 PFi
    Panamax Max5100
    Topaz Ultra Isolator 2.4kva isolation transformer (.001pf)
    Various Wireworld, Cardas, Mogami, Gotham, Canare, Belsen, and Slinky Links cables throughout the system.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by BufordTJustice; 12-26-2020, 02:29 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Awesome write up BTJ.

      Merry Christmas 🎄🎁

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ehill View Post
        Awesome write up BTJ.

        Merry Christmas 🎄🎁
        Still working on it. Worked late last night to stop some Christmas Fraud. Lol.

        Merry Christmas to you, sir! 😊

        Comment


        • #5
          BTJ...as always, thank you so much for taking the time to write up your extensive reviews. Merry Christmas!

          Comment


          • #6
            So were you using 3x L3cs? what did you pair it with?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ddubya View Post
              So were you using 3x L3cs? what did you pair it with?
              Just two.

              Paired with nothing. Running them full range.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pictures added to the first post. I can only attach size per post. LAME.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My favorite images are on the second post.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nice review! Sounds like another wonderful set of speakers from Chane.

                    Comparing center speaker designs, I can't tell if it's an optical illusion but are the L3C woofers spaced slightly more distant in proportion to the A2.4's size? Heck looking at my 752 woofers they appear slightly wider in proportion to my A2.4's. I can only imagine there's no shortage of parameters to consider for optimal gain/loss but some HT/audiophile types say there's an increased risk of off-horizontal lobing as the woofers are more widely separated in MTM configurations. I would guess a center speaker would exhibit worst case lobing but If so I haven't sensed it on my 752.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kabin View Post
                      Nice review! Sounds like another wonderful set of speakers from Chane.

                      Comparing center speaker designs, I can't tell if it's an optical illusion but are the L3C woofers spaced slightly more distant in proportion to the A2.4's size? Heck looking at my 752 woofers they appear slightly wider in proportion to my A2.4's. I can only imagine there's no shortage of parameters to consider for optimal gain/loss but some HT/audiophile types say there's an increased risk of off-horizontal lobing as the woofers are more widely separated in MTM configurations. I would guess a center speaker would exhibit worst case lobing but If so I haven't sensed it on my 752.
                      Well, all non-coincident multi-way speakers lobe. Period. No exceptions. The acoustic center-to-center spacing is based on a variety of factors, not the least of which is crossover point. The L’s cross lower than the A’s from tweeter to midwoofers. So this, alone, fully mitigates the additional spacing you see. The 752’s crossover is lower still. Both the 752 and L3c have equal or better center-to-center spacing compared to the Ascend CMT-340SE.

                      As far as lobing, that’s something that nobody can explain the sound of. Because all it means is a reduction in volume for the passband of a few dB’s, at a certain location in physical space. So, 30 degrees off axis, the L3c will likely sound note V-shaped by a few dB reduction in the crossover region. Mind you, this same sound signature is intentionally tuned into many center and L/R speakers even when they are 3-ways. Lol. So it’s not an awful thing. I can think of an Emotiva 3-way center that is tuned to be V-shaped with boosted lower and highs compared to the mids on axis. Owners seem to like them very much. So it’s a straw man.

                      In vertical orientation, the lobes are aimed at the floor and ceiling. Even better.

                      The fact that you are markedly insensitive to this reduction of a few dB’s in the crossover region, 30 degrees off axis, proves my point. It’s a non issue that remains nearly exclusively academic in quality designs. Chane being among those quality designs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kabin View Post
                        I can't tell if it's an optical illusion but are the L3C woofers spaced slightly more distant in proportion to the A2.4's size? Heck looking at my 752 woofers they appear slightly wider in proportion to my A2.4's. I can only imagine there's no shortage of parameters to consider for optimal gain/loss
                        Very true - there's a lot to optimize.

                        Originally posted by kabin View Post
                        ...but some HT/audiophile types say there's an increased risk of off-horizontal lobing as the woofers are more widely separated in MTM configurations.
                        MTM's work along these lines (from a post I made a week or so ago elsewhere):

                        First, two drivers reproducing the same content from two slightly different distances to the ear creates cancellations that vary as functions of wavelength (frequency) and driver spacing where the two drivers are operating high enough to create distinct multiple sources. At low frequencies they operate in tandem as far as this directivity goes - the wavelengths are too long to make this distinction.

                        With a sufficiently low crossover vs driver spacing this cancellation is mitigated or even eliminated from issue.

                        Second, since all multiway speakers produce a null on the long axis at crossover at some point(s) in the forward polar pattern, adding a second lower frequency driver to mirror the first overlaps a second null at the opposite angle from the array center. Adjusting these is an option and if done with a goal, can improve the pattern. Extreme cases built just for the purpose reduce it to almost nothing, the original MTM aim.

                        The L6 and L7 use both a low crossover to the big, capable 29mm ringdome - its size is one reason we chose it - and the tight driver spacing solves the rest. Our usual crossover work gives the array good behaviors in the other domains and the whole effect is that the speakers acoustically disappear quite nicely...


                        Originally posted by kabin View Post
                        I would guess a center speaker would exhibit worst case lobing but If so I haven't sensed it on my 752.
                        ...PS: The 752's big, wide-open acoustical image suggests that even a big MTM speaker can be optimized to work surprisingly well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys for providing great info. I figured lower crossovers were part of the answers for the L's. I thought the 700 series crossover was higher than the L's.

                          Admittedly not the same thing as 2 drivers but I recall in the digital domain, FFT windowing/filter type tradeoffs between mainbeam widths and sidelobe peaks. Is the goal to push those sidelobes out beyond or at least at the edge of listening positions or does fatter mainbeams disrupt imaging?

                          Looking forward to the next production phase rollout of the 740s.
                          Last edited by kabin; 12-28-2020, 02:48 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kabin View Post
                            Thanks guys for providing great info. I figured lower crossovers were part of the answers for the L's. I thought the 700 series crossover was higher than the L's.

                            The 752 is lower than the L3c, although not enormously. Both get their points more because of on-axis or design center targets than the MTM issue, such as it may be, but as it turns out, both are low enough to make the feared lobing thing a secondary or even tertiary problem. I have consistently found that the MTM thing, like a few other diehard considerations, is much more theory and much less real-life, in-room audibility. It goes back to the center-to-center being reasonable and the design type minimizing the second of the two considerations.

                            Admittedly not the same thing as 2 drivers but I recall in the digital domain, FFT windowing/filter type tradeoffs between mainbeam widths and sidelobe peaks. Is the goal to push those sidelobes out beyond or at least at the edge of listening positions or does fatter mainbeams disrupt imaging?
                            If by digital you mean brickwall filters, then only the second consideration above matters (although with reasonable centers and low enough transfer function frequencies, it's still minimized to the point of irrelevance.) Regardless, the goal of a good MTM design should be to fatten the mainbeams and overlap them well enough to deliver, in the first consideration I mentioned above, a theoretical few dB of deviation. In other words, flip the two virtual speakers, sharing the single treble section, such that the opposing nulls and beams cancel one another as well as possible.

                            Design not having the ability to get to theoretical goals, the practical option is to blend as many virtues with as many mitigated problems as you can, so that the whole does the sorts of things BJT reports hearing, while not having an issue somewhere else to ruin them. The 752 uses a design type that relies on the horn's aspects and the L3c uses a similar one that uses others, while the L7 is tightly enough spaced that the issue more or less disappears. Or, hook 'em up and see what they sound like making real sounds and if they please, mission accomplished.

                            Granted, what they sound like is relative. I like stuff that appeals to the MLP and the hours of relaxation a system like BJT's gives, rather than the more acrobatic things like seeing what a speaker does at severe angles. Although I think he once told me that the ringdome-tweetered L3c does things at extreme angles the horn 752 can't quite get to. Horses for courses.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Very disappointed to learn that the L series doesn't use ribbons. I wasn't following the development but since I learned about them being in the works a few years ago I was a little excited to see what was going to come out. Oh well!

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