HiFi Review – Test Report
When Monitor Speakers Meet an Addictive Tube Amp –
Rogers LS3/5a Bookshelf Speakers
Audio Note Cobra Integrated Amplifier

DATE : 9 Aug, 2021
CATEGORY : High-end Audio

“For my generation of Hong Kong middle-aged audiophiles, Rogers LS3/5a is not only a classic and sacred legend, but also a current product that is within reach… When the classic Rogers LS3/5a was reissued in the UK with its original, unaltered materials and specifications in its full glory a while ago, it gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, I am delighted I can finally play with a pair of brand-new, original Rogers LS3/5a that have not been worn by time or been repaired or modified. On the flip side, the weight of my expectations and its iconic status also gave me some pressure.”

“A month ago, the opportunity finally came! I borrowed both the LS3/5a and the Cobra, and at long last, I can try them outside of my imagination. I am excited that I finally have the chance to hear with my own ears original and newly produced Rogers LS3/5a speakers that have not had years of wear and tear. As soon as the Cobra amplified with its two EL34 tubes per channel on a push-pull, driving the Rogers LS3/5a with 24W Class A output, I could hear its detailed monitoring and analytical prowess. I fully perceived its delicate interpretation, clear vocals, and its vivid and infectious musical appeal, enough to make me unwilling to stop, hearing one CD after another, and one song after another.”

“The Cobra, which comes with two EL34 push-pulls per channel to amplify with 24 watts of Class A power… In our small room of about 150 square feet, it definitely made enough vigorous noise. Testing in-situ showed that 24 watts of Class A power was more than enough, but the most important thing was that it brings with it an earnest appeal and an unaltered sound quality.”

“On the track Rolling In The Deep, the intonations in singer Melissa Reese’s performance, the uninhibited provocation in her playful interpretation of the blues showed a kind of youthfulness. I heard these qualities – each and every one.”

“On my go-to recording of Isabelle Faust on the violin in JS Bach–Sonatas & Partitas, it sounded as though the violin was right in front of me, in the middle behind the two speakers. It smoothly and dynamically emitted energy, and filled the airwaves with harmonies, exuding a fresh and original flavor of pure and elegant violin… A powerful musical immersion that came with ease.”

“Also on the violin was Anne-Sophie Mutter playing Meditation from Massenet’s opera Thaïs. The color, layers, and textures in her interpretation were constantly changing and tightly-knit. The combination of Rogers LS3/5a with Audio Note Cobra fully responded to the energy building up in the complex changes in sound, which was full of vitality. A truly thrilling musical enjoyment!”

“In a room of appropriate size and listening distance, you may think it would be difficult for a pair of bookshelf speakers to emit the sound of a piano properly, but when Rogers LS3/5a is paired with Audio Note Cobra, it was hardly a challenge. Don’t believe it? Go listen with your own ears!”

– River Chan
HiFi Review 2021.09

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