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Beolab 5 reliability?

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly posted on Wed, May 13 2020 2:05 PM

Hi Beoworlders,

I hope that you are all keeping well.  I have had a pair of Beolab 5s on my wishlist for many years now, to replace the much loved Penta 3s in my study.  However, I have always been put off by the rumours of reliability issues, including shortages of spare parts and the risk of needing to replace the speaker chassis after a certain period of use.

Could I please ask for any input from members who use Beolab 5s, or who are involved in repairing them?

Are the earlier models more risky, or can any age of Beolab 5 potentially have issues?  Is it purely dependent on age, bad luck, or a history of misuse?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

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Dennis
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Answered (Verified) Dennis replied on Wed, May 20 2020 9:52 PM
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Bang & Olufsen have the huge advantage of having the schematics, so they are able to diagnose the fault much easier and find out which components turned into smoke and what to replace them with. They haven't published any schematics in the 21st century as far as I'm aware - only service manuals on how to diagnose which board to replace and how to dismantle the product in order to do so. 

It's pretty sad that they won't publish the schematics even after the products went out of production. Makes life much harder for the enthusiast wanting to keep the products alive in the future when Bang & Olufsen stop refurbishing the old chassis. 

/Dennis

Mikipidia
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So a but of a longer story, really technically there was never a mk2 either as the the type number didn’t change, but the pincode change got called mk2 to differentiate by the public and it stuck basically.

The following is EU only/mostly.

Post serial nr: 17772145 is mk2 with pincode

Post serial nr: 19375256 got a new powercord connection.

Post serial nr: 21770424 got updated to meat new EU energy requierments when switched off(0.5watt or less)

Software doesn’t matter too much as that can be updated obviously by your favourite local dealer(would highly recommend).

The boards probably have a few different parts on them here and there, not fully sure, but the main point is that post 17772145 can all still be fixed with a new chassis. Sonically they all sound the same and have been tuned to sound the same way, so that doesn’t matter either in what you choose.

I still highly recommend getting a pair if you love them and can afford them. And if you’re that concerned by the very low failure rates, once again, get them from your favourite local dealer with a warrantyBig Smile

Hope this helps?

New: Beovision Harmony, Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beolab 3's, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound Stage & LG, Beosound 2, Beoplay M3, Beoplay A1, Beoplay H4 gen 2, Beoplay E8 3.0

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Old: Beovision Eclipse, Beolab 1's, Beolab 2, Beovision 10-46, Overture 2300, beolab 8000's, Beolab 4000's, Beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

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Mikipidia
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Obviously it’s not a foolproof manner, but it makes the mic think the room is bigger as not all the bass comes back Stick out tongue it’s one of those roundabout way of doing it if you either don’t want to fully clear the filters or take them to a bigger room or outside. It works but outcomes may vary Stick out tongue

New: Beovision Harmony, Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beolab 3's, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound Stage & LG, Beosound 2, Beoplay M3, Beoplay A1, Beoplay H4 gen 2, Beoplay E8 3.0

Mikipedia on YouTube (finally Stick out tongue )

https://www.youtube.com/c/Mikipedia

Old: Beovision Eclipse, Beolab 1's, Beolab 2, Beovision 10-46, Overture 2300, beolab 8000's, Beolab 4000's, Beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

9 LEE
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9 LEE replied on Mon, May 18 2020 5:41 PM

I always used to calibrate mine outside in the LifeStyle AV car park, or if I took some home - on the patio outside.

I always used to chuckle to myself wondering if the poor BeoLab 5 was thinking "OMG - how big is this room?!!!" Laughing

Without fail, as soon as the new owner recalibrated them in his or her lounge... they sounded crap in comparison. 

Lee

RichardIII
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Hello Steve, thanks for asking this question. I'm going trough the same process I guess. I'd like to buy Beolab 5's second hand. The more reasonable priced ones (6.000 - 8.000 euro range) are mostly models from 2003-2007. So over 10 years old now.

I guess the Beoworld forum made me a bit cautious about the Beolab 5's as well. I've read quite a few posts about 'changing the chassis' or other problems. On the other hand, people often post about this only when they experience problems themselves. I mean, these posts are not necessarily a benchmark.

But I too would like to hear things to check when buying a pair of Beolab 5's second hand.

Cheers!

Richard

Fansastic
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In Mikepedia’s Beotalk podcast from last Sunday there are some good comments made regarding the BL5’s.

Negative experiences seem to echo more intensively than positive feedback.

See for yourself on youtube. In short, everything can and will break eventually. Gentle use will help extending life span and chassis are in stock by B&O but are refurbished instead of newly manufactured (which has been stopped).

BV Eclipse 55 Brass - BL 18 Brass - BL 19 Brass - BL 3 White - BS Moment - BS 2 Brass - BV Horizon 48 - BS3000 - BS 3200 - BS Essence - BL 4000 - V1 40 Black - V1 40 White - BLC NL/ML - H6 -  H4 - E8 Motion - A8 Earphone - Beolit 12 - Beolit 15 - Beoplay A1 Green - Beoplay A3 White

Mikipidia
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Thank you Fansastic!Big Smile

New: Beovision Harmony, Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beolab 3's, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound Stage & LG, Beosound 2, Beoplay M3, Beoplay A1, Beoplay H4 gen 2, Beoplay E8 3.0

Mikipedia on YouTube (finally Stick out tongue )

https://www.youtube.com/c/Mikipedia

Old: Beovision Eclipse, Beolab 1's, Beolab 2, Beovision 10-46, Overture 2300, beolab 8000's, Beolab 4000's, Beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

Barry Santini
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So if B&O can refurbish a BL5 chassis, why can’t a service center?
Dennis
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Answered (Verified) Dennis replied on Wed, May 20 2020 9:52 PM
Verified by Jeff

Bang & Olufsen have the huge advantage of having the schematics, so they are able to diagnose the fault much easier and find out which components turned into smoke and what to replace them with. They haven't published any schematics in the 21st century as far as I'm aware - only service manuals on how to diagnose which board to replace and how to dismantle the product in order to do so. 

It's pretty sad that they won't publish the schematics even after the products went out of production. Makes life much harder for the enthusiast wanting to keep the products alive in the future when Bang & Olufsen stop refurbishing the old chassis. 

/Dennis

GuyHUI
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GuyHUI replied on Sun, Jun 7 2020 11:40 PM

Hi Mr anders,

Which year are your BL5 MK2 ?

Cheers,

 

BV10 46" - BL5 to come... BS Ouverture, BC6000, BT1100

Old sold : BV Avant 28", BL8000 - BL4000 - BL2

Evan
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Evan replied on Thu, Jun 11 2020 1:41 AM

I have been thinking about this specific topic for a long time, maybe now is the right time to bring it up... I'm curious if anyone else has considered the same thing.

As a person who also wants a pair of BeoLab 5s eventually, I also have the fear of buying something that will have a huge, costly repair ahead. 

At any rate, the idea popped into my head that it could be possible to break this cycle by building/procuring a set of amps and a DSP to use externally from the speaker itself. This is an ambitious project and I know its much more difficult (and possibly more expensive) than an official chassis replacement but it could also add to the flexibility and maybe even ease of use to the system.

I know this method would compromise many parts of the speaker (performance and features) without expert implementation but it is technically an alternative. Who's interested in an open source BeoLab 5?? Big Smile 

Beo4 'til I die!

Beobuddy
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I've build speakers myself for about roughly 30 years ago.
My experience was that you when you start such a project, you will always have the question on how to improve the sound during listening sessions. 

So, I ended up buying a set of Beovox S45-2's at that time. What a revelation it was. Proper designed, build and tuned at the Cube.

Just my thought.

mr_anders_son
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GuyHUI:

Hi Mr anders,

Which year are your BL5 MK2 ?

Cheers,

BV10 46" - BL8000 - BL4000 - BL2 - BS Ouverture

Hi!

MK2

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stefan
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stefan replied on Thu, Jun 11 2020 2:07 PM

My BL5s are from 2003. I bought them as demo models from my dealer in 2005.

One of them had two repairs since then - first in 2008 - this was 250 euros for the chassis - I had to pay nothing for the work....

Next exchange was in 2018 - this time I had to pay 1500 euros :(

So, all in all, repair costs were 1750 euros - this is less than 10% of the prize new in 17 years.

If my car had repairs less than 10% of the prize in 17 years I would call it reliable.

And so are my BL5s.

No, they are not for sale:)

Stefan

 

GuyHUI
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GuyHUI replied on Sun, Jun 14 2020 12:40 PM

Mikipidia:
Obviously it’s not a foolproof manner, but it makes the mic think the room is bigger as not all the bass comes back Stick out tongue it’s one of those roundabout way of doing it if you either don’t want to fully clear the filters or take them to a bigger room or outside. It works but outcomes may vary Stick out tongue

Hello Mikipedia,

I have seen many of your videos on your Youtube Channel.

May be you can help me to get these answers regarding the BL5 Year of production and its MK version.

  • MK1 : From 2003 to 20xx ?
  • MK2 : From 20xx to 20xx ?
  • MK3 : From 20xx to 20xx ?
  • MK4 : From 20xx to 2017 ?

I am considering to buy a pre-owned BL5 from year 2012 minimum (MK3?).

Thanks for your help.

P.S : Mr Anders, thanks, your BL5 are MK2 version, but which year of production ?

 

 

BV10 46" - BL5 to come... BS Ouverture, BC6000, BT1100

Old sold : BV Avant 28", BL8000 - BL4000 - BL2

Mikipidia
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Iam getting help finding out.

The answer so far is that there are only mk1 and mk2

Mk1 went to ~2006

Mk2 started with pin code from ~2006

This is preliminairy and i’ll post it when i know more info. Later sw versions don’t count as “mk’s” as the hardware stayed (mostly?) the same.

Hope that helps for now?

New: Beovision Harmony, Beolab 50's, Beolab 18's, Beolab 17's, Beolab 3's, Beosound 9000 mk3, Beosound Stage & LG, Beosound 2, Beoplay M3, Beoplay A1, Beoplay H4 gen 2, Beoplay E8 3.0

Mikipedia on YouTube (finally Stick out tongue )

https://www.youtube.com/c/Mikipedia

Old: Beovision Eclipse, Beolab 1's, Beolab 2, Beovision 10-46, Overture 2300, beolab 8000's, Beolab 4000's, Beovision avant 32" etc. etc.

GuyHUI
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GuyHUI replied on Sun, Jun 14 2020 8:04 PM

Thanks for your help.

That's a good start to understand how MK version rules are made.

It seems B&0 retaielrs spoke abut MK3 and MK4.

 

BV10 46" - BL5 to come... BS Ouverture, BC6000, BT1100

Old sold : BV Avant 28", BL8000 - BL4000 - BL2

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