Jump to content

Lenehan Audio

Lenehan LK1 Kit speakers Reviews

Recommended Posts

Sponsor

Hi Guys 

.               This is a new topic specifically for listening impressions of the new LK1 kit speakers ! Anyone offering a mini review here will have had the speakers in their own system for 3 days .

 

Kits will include all parts including fully built crossovers ,drivers,flat pack enclosures,precut internal foam,two pak and PVA glue and a detailed manual including a USB stick with loads of pics.

 

We should be ready to ship kits in approx 10days . As promised our first 10 kits will go out for $1000.  You can PM me or email [email protected] or ring 0418 765726.

 

Gremrock and Cafad have had them for a full week so I guess its Over to you guys to open  proceedings  .     Best Regards. Mike Lenehan

.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LenehanAudio                                           

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well,

 

Seeing I had them first it's only fair I pipe up to start us off.

First off I currently own ML3 Reference, did have ML2 Limited's and also had a set of ML1's somewhere between +R and Reference spec, so i've had a bit to do with the Lenehan gear over time.

 

These are pretty impressive little speakers and have a very similar sound to the ML1's. I'd say they're as open in the top as the ML1's were and very nearly as good in the midrange. They don't have big thunderous bass, but then neither do the ML1's. That said, depending on your musical preference and unless you are listening to heavy stuff for example Disturbed or Nickelback you don't really miss it. First cd I put in was the same i'd just listened to on the ML3s before connecting, Amy Dickson Dusk & Dawn with the intent to just listen to the first song Pavane to see how they handled saxophone, and ended up listening to the whole CD before finally getting up. If you've heard the magic mini monitor (ML1) and liked it, you'll love these for a fraction of the cost.

 

 

I had intended to just give them a quick listen for a couple hours and reconnect the ML3's the same day, but they ended up being so easy to listen to I left them there until about 10 minutes before Cafad came to collect them. Even with speakers costing 15times as much underneath them, I just didn't have a desire to switch back, they are just so easy to listen to. I can't think of another speaker at or below the price of an ML1 i'd have over these, but sadly I can't talk the other half into a "Garage System" for an excuse to build a pair.

 

Edit:

 

To summarise, think ML1 on a Budget, DIY but you get to pick your finish! $1000 certainly easier than $4600 (I think? for ML1?)

Edited by Gremrock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'll go second.  Things have been a bit disorganized lately as BRMSlash has had to head off to Tassie at short notice which messed up our pre-planning so I've had the little LK1s for a single night (Wednesday) and an afternoon (Thursday) and then sent them off with BRM, and then got them back again Saturday evening so I'm dividing my write up into 3 parts.  The first was the Wednesday/Thursday experience, the second was the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning amp swapping session and the Third, a direct comparison with my LS-50s, is not quite done yet so it will probably show up later this evening or tomorrow.  

 

Part 1.  Let's test these things out.

 

Very musical in the top end, nice sweet vocals and nicely defined bass.  The speakers have a presence to them that comes across as something of a fast rhythmic feel.  They go deeper in the bass than they probably should, I have to admit I was very surprised, but having said that there is only so much you can do with a small bass driver.  In small rooms or in a near field environment I think many people will be surprised, in larger rooms they are still pretty good but a sub would be a must for home theatre use.

 

They are very revealing of the gear in front of them, changing speaker cables made quite a difference to the LK1s when I was playing around with them.  I swapped from my standard 10AWG cables with jaycar banana plugs on them to the Redgum Audio Pipeline speaker cables and the difference was an enhanced clarity and removal of background hash that improved the listening experience so much that neither I nor BRMSlash was willing to change back again.

 

We started out with the Burson PI-160 on amplification duties and my Consonance cd120 on source duties.  The sound was very good but a little bit on the hard side and just a little bit, well, a bit more “digital” than I am used to (you know, that combination of a bit too crisp, a bit too sharp and a bit too stark to be enjoyable over the long term).   It wasn’t bad at all, quite enjoyable really, but it was noticeable, and what this actually means in the terms of this product test/review is that the LK1s when powered by the Burson sounded like they were being powered by a Burson. 

 

We had limited time available for this first test and while I was trying to decide what amp to try next BRM made the decision for me, since the Burson was sitting on top of Simon’s Zeus Integrated (partly because I was using it prior to the arrival of the LK1 speakers and also partly because it is too heavy to move around unnecessarily).  The difference was quite large, more power down low, more soundstage width and depth and that slight steelishness of the Burson was no longer present.  BRM is something of a fan of Simon’s amp, as am I.

I think the conclusion to come out of this first listening session was that the little LK1 speakers are good enough that they are likely to survive several amp upgrades during their lifetime. 

 

I have yet to determine how they sound with a less than powerful amp, but I will.  I’m also warming up the LS50s for their direct comparison later in the weekend. 

 

Part 2.

I’ve got the LK1s back and decided to do some amp evaluating.  I’ve already given the Burson and the Zeus a run and confirmed that they work rather well but they are on the expensive side, what about amps that are more likely to be used with these little speakers?  Better give a few of the cheaper amps a try.  After all it is one thing to say that you can get good bass out of these little speakers if you feed them 400 watts but it seems unlikely that too many people are going to feed them 400 watts, so let’s take this testing back into the real world shall we (no matter how much fun the 400 watts was, and it was, oh yes, it most certainly was!).

 

So, in order of testing I present:

NuForce Icon:                    The original model.  I was a bit surprised that the Icon gave quite a good vocal performance from the LK1s, it gives fair impact in the bass region too but it doesn’t have the current to follow through with real bass so it left me feeling a bit hollow.  The top end was quite nice but a bit too much glare, in the end I decided I would not like to listen to the Icon long term.

 

Shanling Tempo eA3:     Not bad at all, better bass than the Icon and vocals a touch sweeter.  Still some glare on display in the treble but only about a third as much as the Icon.   Fairly listenable in general but on pop songs that glare really amps up.

 

O-Point OP-150:               Very nice top end and mid range, probably better than the Burson actually.  Quite similar to the Burson tonally, but without the steel.  Bass is also excellent with the O-point.  At this point my old faithful Consonance cd120 started to act up, the front display died and it refused to accept remote control commands.  Bugger!  So I have been forced to move on to my Sansui 917XR.  This player is a slightly better fit for the LK1s as it is just a little warmer than the Consonance.  The difference isn’t huge but it is noticeable. 

 

Indiana Line Puro 800:    Also an excellent listen, maybe 90% as good as the O-Point but it has the bonus of a built in DAC (not quite up to the quality of the Sansui but pretty good none-the-less, less bass and more of an airy quality to the top end on the built in DAC) and a remote.  Pity they don’t make these anymore.

 

JAS Audio Green Power 120:  Nice top end and a decent bottom one, nice clean mid-range too.  A decent listen but not really up to the standards of the Indiana or the O-Point.

 

NAD 3120:           Very nice, I can see why these amps have such a great rep.  Nice clean top end with just a little warmth thrown in.  Vocals almost as sweet as the O-Point.  It also has a bit of an addictive sense of rhythm to it.  Just a bit more fun to listen to than any of the other amps so far, it’s almost hypnotic.

 

Rotel RA820BX:                 Sounds similar to the NAD but a bit warmer and not as much love given to the vocals.  Still a good listen but a slight let down after hearing the NAD.  Still as the very first amp I ever bought the nostalgia value makes up for most of that.

 

(I hope everyone understands that if I didn’t include this last one I would have been kicked out of the club.   And I couldn’t have that.)

 

Sansui Alpha 907:             Nice, all the warmth of the Rotel with the addictive rhythm of the NAD and bass almost as good as the Zeus.  Not a real appropriate test as there aren’t exactly a lot of these Sansui Alphas around.   Vocals maybe not quite as sweet as the O-point but they seem to have a nicer resonance to them.  Yeah, I could definitely recommend a Sansui of pretty much any time period with the LK1s.

 

 

So after all that amp swapping what sort of conclusion can we come to?  I would say that while these new speakers of Mikes react well to some serious power they don’t need more than about 20 watts to sound good.  If prospective buyers already have an amp that that is all well and good but if they don’t (or if for some reason that amp just doesn’t work well with the LK1s) then they don’t have to look any further than a second hand NAD, Indiana Line, Rotel or O-Point to make their new DIY speakers sound very good indeed.

IMG_0595.thumb.JPG.3d18dc6c6da2fd8189abc2ee6909bb3f.JPG

Because without a picture it might not have happened.

Edited by Cafad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey what happened to  @twwen2, is he on the list to listen to these?  He is our resident SNA stand mount addict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor
2 hours ago, niss_man said:

Nice to hear we are getting more fans of the Zeus Amplifier. ;)

 

Hi Simon          Cafad says the amp sounds excellent and is a neutral performer ! maybe when we have the KIT speaker GTG we could all have a listen ?        Regards Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lenehan Audio said:

Hi Simon          Cafad says the amp sounds excellent and is a neutral performer ! maybe when we have the KIT speaker GTG we could all have a listen ?        Regards Mike

Hi Mike

When the date is set then if I am not working, it could be arranged.Mine is the power amp version using a diy LDR attenuator preamp(separate) or if @Cafad is free to bring his integrated version along with the ldr as part of the input circuit ? 

 

Cheers

 

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor

Ok we are moving right along now ! here's a few pics of the Crossover ! Fully ground planed with double side tracks for the bass circuit . They weigh 1.5kg's and are serious units . They will actually come attached to the back panel in the full kit . There will also be an option to purchase the Kit as a more basic package.

For instance you can purchase just the four drivers and two crossover PCB boards including separate inductors and a bag of crossover parts. Or perhaps drivers plus 2 front baffles and 2 fully built crossovers.  We are still building these options up .

Beware of going to far from the formula though , I would recommend using our baffles as they are critical to the crossover design .

 

      Regards Mike Lenehan

025.JPG

030.JPG

024.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The little speakers arrived yesterday in perfect order. Thanks @Cafad. I just plugged them into my main rig which was well & truly warmed up. Have been running them since. They seemed to take quite a while to settle in. Maybe I'm just getting used to them. Will post some impressions later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor
5 hours ago, mikey d said:

The little speakers arrived yesterday in perfect order. Thanks @Cafad. I just plugged them into my main rig which was well & truly warmed up. Have been running them since. They seemed to take quite a while to settle in. Maybe I'm just getting used to them. Will post some impressions later.

Hi  mikey D .  How have you got them set up ?  Can you post a pic of your system ?

 

Regards  Mike Lenehan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Lenehan Audio said:

Hi  mikey D .  How have you got them set up ?  Can you post a pic of your system ?

 

Regards  Mike Lenehan

 

 

DSC_3557.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a Franken-Rega table sporting an Origin Live Silver arm & Micro Benz Glider cart going through an Eastern Electric Minimax phono pre (NOS valves). Rega Saturn cdp as a transport for Line Magnetic LM-502 CA dac (with very special NOS Telefunken AU7's) plus a vintage Philips CD210 cdp (a balltearer). The amp is a Unison Research Unico Secondo hybrid valve & mosfet affair, 100wpc into 8 ohms. A California Audio Labs conditioner with various Voodoo cables & Kubala-Sosna power cords. The digital wire loom is Antipodes Audio & Antipodes Audio speaker cables. Have a pr of Ribbontek & a pr of Silnote Audio ic's in there as well. The LK1's are sitting on some solid tallowood stands I knocked up for a previous set of bookshelf speakers I had. Those stands are 10kg each. My home speakers are bespoke red cedar cabinets with 8' Tang Band full range drivers. The stand is a bespoke solid blue gum rack.

Edited by mikey d
addit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, mikey d said:

The stand is a bespoke solid blue gum rack.

 

Love the stand...any clues as to where I could get my hands on one...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Rob181 said:

 

Love the stand...any clues as to where I could get my hands on one...

 

A mate near Bellingen made that & my cd rack for me. Both out of blue gum. Both racks take 4 blokes to shift them.

Edited by mikey d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I'm not a fanboi or anything - but are these things coming to Perth????

 

DSC_8635.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And known for his subtlety...

Though an ex Duc rider can be that bad...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ducati red those ML1's - pity I've been demoted to a Vespa in the motorbike department

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, supposed to be heading over to my place. Send Mike a pm and let him know.

 

 Cheers Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor
On 8/26/2017 at 5:32 PM, A J said:

Hey I'm not a fanboi or anything - but are these things coming to Perth????

 

DSC_8635.JPG

Hi AJ       definately ! and your welcome to take them home for a listen ! pops110 will be getting them straight after rantan,    I'll be in touch          Regards Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good - can't wait


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must be excited...replied in stereo...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Must be excited...replied in stereo...


there must be an echo in here ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sponsor

Hi. Guys .    Just an update ! Little bit of a wait to get the Kit speakers moving to our next listener , stay tuned .

i've made a slight crossover circuit improvement also  that will be included in all loudspeakers shipped . 

The assembly bible and accompanying build reference pics are also just about ready. I've been working on this assembly guide now for 13 days ! Assembly will be straight forward .       Regards Mike Lenehan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reply has taken way too long but unfortunately a sequence of events conspired to keep me away from my music & my laptop.

First of all, thanks Mike for the opportunity to audition in house. Everyone who lives in the bush & away from large centres, sniggers ironically when you see purchasing advice stating to always listen to components in your own room. We wish :)

So, my room is approx 6X8m, a little on the brighter side but I hate a dead room. I didn't change anything except to add the LK1's to the set up. The only stands I had were a very heavy pr of solid tallowwood diy's. Probably nothing like Mike would recommend. The rear ports were approx 1.2m from the back wall & about 2.2m from the side walls.

Started playing music & my first impression was that I had lost a lot of scale, so I turned the volume up. I left them in their original position & played a variety of styles on wax & cd. The vinyl always sounded bigger, (always does) but perhaps it was because it was mostly reggae/dub & small band jazz/. On cd I played a bunch of electronica & jazz. I don't have much rock so I couldn't push them with a bit of metal etc.

After a few sides I forgot that I had made the speaker change & just stated listening to the music. Without any testing, the sound to me was very linear. The top end was clear & well defined. I'm a soft dome tweeter fan so that suited me. The mid range was the LK1's strength for me, carrying good weight & presence. Female vocals sounded natural & projected into mid room without being too forward. I was surprised how low the LK1's could go but in my less than ideal room, the bass wasn't authoritative. I think that these little monitors would perform best with some real grunt. I couldn't get a real room filling sound even at quite loud levels. . My room is too big & I didn't experiment with placement, so I'm not saying they can't do it but I never really gave them the best chance.

I use a pr of Ribbontek rca's from phono pre to amp, so I took the opportunity to swap in the Curious cables. I couldn't really detect much change in the sound. I didn't lose any of that phat but detailed ribbontek quality that goes so well with an analogue signal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So just for interest sake I thought that I would give the LK1's a real but unfair challenge. My second rig is my stereo AV set up. Sources are a satellite digital tv decoder & a CA bluray player. I take coax S/PDIF out off the Cambridge & an optical signal out of the 4K tv & use a Metrum Octave dac before the amp. The amp is the curiosity. A SE pentode ECL86 that outputs maybe 6-8w into 8ohm. Single input with volume knob only. A fabulous little amp. Lightening fast, pin point accuracy, huge sound stage & deep dexterous bass with the right speakers. I crossed my fingers that I wouldn't strain anything when I plugged the LK1's into this system.

I watched a bit of tv to start with. TV & movies really show how accurate your system is. I also went through a few blurays that have good soundtracks. All I can say is that the 4ohm LK1`'s seemed to be a very benign load to a flea powered amp. Not a great combo for a home cinema but just an experiment into how little was needed to drive the speakers. I was very surprised.

 

DSC_3565.jpg

DSC_3570.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×