LSA Signature 60 Speaker by Terry London
When I wrote my Stereo Times review on the LSA Signature 50 speakers a few months back, I shared that if you are a passionate music lover on a limited budget, your best friend is Walter Liederman, owner of Underwood Hi-fi, Inc. For over twenty years, because of a direct sales model and a humane profit margin, Walter has provided smartly designed, well-built, and high-performing gear that competes with equipment double or triple the price of his pieces. A while back, he purchased the Living Sound Audio speaker company. He and his team started to design and manufacture a stable of stand-mount and floor-standing models. I had the pleasure of reviewing three of them and was always amazed at their performance, build quality, and visual appearance. All of them were remarkably affordable and would typically cost thousands more if other companies had brought them to market.
Walter contacted me recently to inform me that he and his team of designers had just developed a new model called the Signature 60; it retails for $799 and costs $200 more than the Signature 50 model. What upgrades and changes were made to develop the Signature 60, and would it keep the magic of the Signature 50 but improve its performance? The Signature 60 uses the same enclosure as its less expensive brother. The beautiful appearance of the Signature 60 is a clone of the Sonus Faber Electa Amator with its walnut wood sides and slanted leather-clad front baffle, top, and bottom. It measures 10 inches in width, 13 inches in depth, and 15 inches in height. Each speaker weighs a robust 23 pounds. The frequency response is 34.5Hz to 22kHz. The sensitivity is 87dB (2.83v @ 1m). The impedance is 8 Ohms nominal. An easy speaker to drive, but just like the Signature 50, I still recommend at least a 50-watt amplifier for optimum performance. The Signature 60 retains the same woofer as the Signature 50, a high-quality 6.5-inch-treated paper cone driver that delivers a tuneful extended bass and a powerful foundation to the music in the lower midrange and upper bass frequencies. The Signature 60 speakers come with a five-year warranty.
The $200 increase in price gets you the following changes. First, there are major upgrades in the core components of the crossover design. Secondly, all internal wiring is taken to a higher grade level than the wiring used in the Signature 50. Thirdly, the speaker wire terminals used are built of higher quality materials. Fourthly, the Signature 50’s 1.1-inch silk dome has been replaced with a 1.4-inch pleated AMT (air motion transformer) driver seated in a custom, developed in-house aluminum waveguide, finished with a satin/anodized surface.
I placed the review pair of Signature 60 speakers in the system I used to evaluate the Signature 50s. They were placed on the same stands, using the IsoAcoustics isolation pucks. For the specifics on the upstream equipment and room acoustics, look at the review on the Signature 50 speakers. I also used the same musical selections to get my take on different aspects of the Signature 60s abilities in certain areas. Tenor saxophonist John Ellis and his group Double Wide would give me the take on how the Signature 60 speakers would deal with deep low bass, extreme macro-dynamics, and sound-staging attributes. Singer Rickie Lee Jones’s vocals would reveal how the speaker would replicate the timbres/tonality of her unique voice and could it give the micro-details of nuances of her idiosyncratic phrasing of the lyrics. Finally, I cued up Bill Holman’s big band rendition of Thelonious Monk’s compositions. This would test the height, depth, and width of the sound-staging ability of the Signature 60 speakers. Also, this recording has a precise placement of band members spread across the soundstage. The Signature 50 speakers, as detailed in the review, came through with excellent and superlative performance in the above-stated areas (sound staging, color/tonality, bass extension, micro-details, macro-dynamics). Remember, the Signature 50 only costs $599!
What are the changes in overall performance with the upgrades in crossover components, all internal wiring, speaker wire terminals, and going from a silk dome tweeter to a waveguide-loaded AMT driver in the new Signature 60 model?
I heard the following changes, all positive, easily and immediately in the Signature 60s compared to the Signature 50s.
- The noise floor was significantly lower, which allowed the smallest details to be heard more clearly. Another way of describing this would be a higher level of transparency and clarity.
- Both the Signature 60s and 50s, like most well-designed two-way stand-mounted monitors, completely disappear in a large three-dimensional enveloping soundstage. What the Signature 60s improve on is the precision of the location of individual players and the layering of that soundstage.
- The new AMT tweeter gives the Signature 60 speaker a more high-end extension, a more open and airy sense regarding this frequency range. The tonality is touch “sweeter” and natural sounding compared to the Soft dome tweeter used in the Signature 50s.
The LSA Signature 60 speakers keep the beautiful musicality of their less expensive sibling and add on the above-stated improvements. Does the upcharge of $200 dollars get you a more refined, improved performance? Unequivocally, yes. Walter and his team have produced another great speaker for a price that makes the Signature 60s another excellent bargain for the music lover.
Frequency Response in room: 38Hz to 25kHz (-6dB)
Power rating: 20-150 watts
Impedance: 8 ohms nominal
The thin film AMT 1.4″ tweeter is what you typically find in $2,000.00-$3000.00 speakers.
6.5″ treated paper cone woofer
Crossover point is 3600Hz
Vented bass reflex design with rear-facing port
Dimensions: 15″ high and 13″ deep x 10″ wide
5-way Binding Posts on back
Foam Rubber Feet
They ship in a 49-pound box that is 23″w x 17″d x18″h box
Terry’s Associated Equipment
Pass Labs DAC-1
Audio Note (UK) Signature Balanced 4.1 DAC
Reimyo Tuko DAC
Mark Levinson 31.5 transport
Pro-Ject Reference transport & LTA power supply
CEC-3 belt-driven transport
Coda 07x preamplifier
SPL Elector preamplifier
SPL s1200 amplifier
Threshold 550e amplifier
AricAudio Motherload MKII preamplifier
NSMT Loudspeakers Model 100
NSMT active bandpass subwoofers (pair)
Tekton Design Ulfberth & Perfect Set
Musician Audio Knight one
Black Cat Cables- Digit 110 AES/EBU-3202 XLR interconnects
Kirmuss Audio Adrenaline speaker wire
Krolo Audio reference rack & footers
Puritan Audio conditioner & circuit grounding system
Audio Archon power cords
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