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Beolab 5 purchase or not?

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Michael
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Michael posted on Wed, Jul 1 2020 1:38 PM
Looking to buy a pair of bl5 in Sweden for 85 000 sek.

They are from 2012 and never serviced. Bad or good idea?

I have a pair of Beolab 20 now and have been considering going to 50 or 5. A friend of mine with 50 said his older 5 had more bass but that the 50 are more defined.

I do consider 50 but think they are a bit too big perhaps.

What’s your take on this?

The Beolab 5s are available locally and in good shape it seems.

I have the thin powerlink cables now and they are hidden in the floor. So I guess it would mean I have to pull new cables as well if I change my setup.

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Jaffrey2230
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I am assuming the BL 5 are a lot less expensive than the BL 50. If it were me, I'd pick a newer BL 50 over the BL 5 only because it will be under warranty and supported by B&O. Also, newer DSP technology probably will probably give the sound quality edge to the BL 50 as well. The BL 5's are iconic B&O speaker designs. Many people I know recognize B&O mainly from the BL5s. Either way, lucky you 🙂

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home  (iOS/Mac, with Google Wi-fi (3x mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K]; Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core w/ Essence Remote [LG UST Projector directly to wall (appox. 75 inches), Apple TV 4K]; Guest Rooms: Apple HomePods Dining: Beoplay M5 [previously BS Stage] ; Portable in-house: Beosound 1 with dock; Travel/bluetooth: Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen), Apple AirPod Pro. 

 

Michael
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Jaffrey2230:

I am assuming the BL 5 are a lot less expensive than the BL 50. If it were me, I'd pick a newer BL 50 over the BL 5 only because it will be under warranty and supported by B&O. Also, newer DSP technology probably will probably give the sound quality edge to the BL 50 as well. The BL 5's are iconic B&O speaker designs. Many people I know recognize B&O mainly from the BL5s. Either way, lucky you 🙂

B&O products I use by zones in my home:

Platform: Apple Home (iOS/Mac, with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV /Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K]; Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector directly to wall, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay, Guest Rooms: Apple HomePods ; Dining: Beoplay M5 [previously BS Stage] ; Portable in-house: Beosound 1 with dock; Travel/bluetooth: Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen), AirPod Pro .

Many thanks! Yes the BL50 are more defined in every way except design wise visually I think. I believe they are a bit to chubby. The 5 has a certain elegance to them and 50 looks more elephant like.

There is a warranty on the 50 used but less than a year. The price is 225 000 sek so it’s much more expensive. Hopefully though my 20 are still holding a price but much less of course.

I am very happy with the 20 but can feel the lack of some more punch at high levels. At the same time I do live in an apartment with people below and above me, and on my sides.

Fansastic
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Hi, how do the BL20’s lack on bass on higher levels? I have Bl18/19 combo and due to the BL19 I can crank up the volume to almost max (75-80) without loss of bass. The BL20 is holding same sub as 19 and you have 2!

Do you have a BV connected to the BL’s?

Regarding BL5 or 50, design wise the 5’s are out of this world and non comparable with any speaker. 50’s are huge, in prise, in design and in sound.

Cannot advise you, it is what you are looking for. BL5’s are bass heavy and very very good. BL50’s outperform them easily and are very very balanced.

Take into account your room acoustics, what you use to drive them (to get best sound you need an BV with their top dsp and sound settings options) and what sounds best for your ears.

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

Michael
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Fansastic:

Hi, how do the BL20’s lack on bass on higher levels? I have Bl18/19 combo and due to the BL19 I can crank up the volume to almost max (75-80) without loss of bass. The BL20 is holding same sub as 19 and you have 2!

Do you have a BV connected to the BL’s?

Regarding BL5 or 50, design wise the 5’s are out of this world and non comparable with any speaker. 50’s are huge, in prise, in design and in sound.

Cannot advise you, it is what you are looking for. BL5’s are bass heavy and very very good. BL50’s outperform them easily and are very very balanced.

Take into account your room acoustics, what you use to drive them (to get best sound you need an BV with their top dsp and sound settings options) and what sounds best for your ears. 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

Thank you for your very insightful comments. It does not make the choice easier :).

I do like that my 20s are subtle and barely noticeable. Friends usually think they are small statues!

The sound is good but whenever I’ve been at my friends house I notice the lack of feeling of the bass as I get at his place. It literally feels like the bass is punching you. My speakers sound well and deep but perhaps not as punchy.

My date has the 18/19 combo as well and setup with a BV and thinks my 20 sound way better actually than that combo setup. So I probably don’t lack so much bass. My 20 are connected to an bv Avant 55.

I think the Bl5 visually are cool but most people think they stick out a bit much, perhaps the 50 is easier to live with but at the same time I do like their pointyness as well as the black and silver color theme.

50 has as you say more refined technology and balance and I want that too. I only believe the tweeeter to look a bit more silly and cheap on 50 than on 5. Maybe I am wrong?
mr_anders_son
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If the money does not matter go for BL50.

If they do...go for BL5!!

I love mine.

They are soooo cool.

BTW the seller never get 85’sek for them.

I paid 55’ sek for mineSmile

Beoxperten has a pair for 69’sek with 3 month warranties!

BeoVision Eclipse 55"...BeoLab 5 FRONT....BeoLab 4000 as REAR....BV5 HD....Beoplay V1-40....BV10-32....BC6-26....Beosound 9000....Beosound 1 New York edt....Beosound Stage....Beoplay S3....BeoRemote One BT....Beo6....Beo4....Beo4 Cinema....BeoLink 7000....Serene....H9i Rimowa....6 x H6....Form 1....U70...

Michael
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mr_anders_son:

If the money does not matter go for BL50.

If they do...go for BL5!!

I love mine.

They are soooo cool.

BTW the seller never get 85’sek for them.

I paid 55’ sek for mine

Beoxperten has a pair for 69’sek with 3 month warranties! BeoVision Eclipse 55"...BeoLab 5 FRONT....BeoLab 4000 as REAR....BV5 HD....Beoplay V1-40....BV10-32....BC6-26....Beosound 9000....Beosound 1 New York edt....Beosound Stage....Beoplay S3....BeoRemote One BT....Beo6....Beo4....Beo4 Cinema....BeoLink 7000....Serene....H9i Rimowa....6 x H6....Form 1....U70...

Glad to hear! I saw them in your photos and it looks beautiful.

I did see that bl50 is available in all black cloth too and I actually like that configuration more than with wood. A bit more subtle.

85 is a lot for 8 year old speakers but 55 sounds awesome. Where did you get that price? I would pay that in a heartbeat and then also keep my bl20 as surrounds. (Would Benedict as my areas are in opposite directions so sound would be good in more places than the couch).

Money is always a question but it’s more a question of how much I’m willing to spend and invest. I think the risk is bigger with older devices but as the price increases the risk for myself does as well. Buying used 50s for the price of a small car and risking them breaking down quickly is a nightmare thought :).
politician
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Michael:
There is a warranty on the 50 used but less than a year. The price is 225 000 sek so it’s much more expensive. Hopefully though my 20 are still holding a price but much less of course.

That seems very expensive to me. I was able to buy a pair of ex-demo Lab 50s with the full three-year guarantee for the equivalent of around 175 000 SEK. I have seen a number of other pairs sell for a similar price as ex-demo examples and one that went for even less due to the retailer closing its B&O department. Try asking around a number of dealers. If they have a demo pair that's been sitting around for a while, you may get a much better deal.

Michael
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politician:

That seems very expensive to me. I was able to buy a pair of ex-demo Lab 50s with the full three-year guarantee for the equivalent of around 175 000 SEK. I have seen a number of other pairs sell for a similar price as ex-demo examples and one that went for even less due to the retailer closing its B&O department. Try asking around a number of dealers. If they have a demo pair that's been sitting around for a while, you may get a much better deal.

That’s a big difference. It’s easy to get blind when the sums goes up. But every coin counts.

I will look a bit closer. I managed to get the price down a little and a Beosound core included. But I think I’ll continue looking. 175ksek seems much better.

Thanks for your suggestions!
mr_anders_son
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Michael...search Beolab 50 on Tradera and you will find a pair for 189’ sek

BeoVision Eclipse 55"...BeoLab 5 FRONT....BeoLab 4000 as REAR....BV5 HD....Beoplay V1-40....BV10-32....BC6-26....Beosound 9000....Beosound 1 New York edt....Beosound Stage....Beoplay S3....BeoRemote One BT....Beo6....Beo4....Beo4 Cinema....BeoLink 7000....Serene....H9i Rimowa....6 x H6....Form 1....U70...

Michael
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mr_anders_son:

Michael...search Beolab 50 on Tradera and you will find a pair for 189’ sek BeoVision Eclipse 55"...BeoLab 5 FRONT....BeoLab 4000 as REAR....BV5 HD....Beoplay V1-40....BV10-32....BC6-26....Beosound 9000....Beosound 1 New York edt....Beosound Stage....Beoplay S3....BeoRemote One BT....Beo6....Beo4....Beo4 Cinema....BeoLink 7000....Serene....H9i Rimowa....6 x H6....Form 1....U70...

I actually saw that ad on Blocket. I contacted the seller a few weeks ago and he said he didn’t believe I could afford them and then seemingly didn’t want to sell to me. Very odd to say the very least.
kawo
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kawo replied on Fri, Jul 3 2020 2:23 AM

My local shop offered me 25% off on a demo unit they just took out of the box und just fired up the first time but I decided to keep my BL5 and put the money on a Harmony :-)

I guess the BL50 is one of the items on the current line up from B&O with the biggest price drop form the suggested list price in a short time, or on other words, the MSRP does not reflect the value the market is willing to pay. I think B&O stretched it a little bit to far for this (with no doubt) excellent speaker 

 

 

 

 

Hubbe
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Hubbe replied on Fri, Jul 3 2020 11:07 AM

For what’s it worth. I bought a set if Beolab 5 a few years ago. The Beolab 90 was released and the Beolab 50 was about to be released. I very happy with the BL 5. Would make the same choice again. Sounds great still. The pyramid shape makes their footprint smaller in the room. I would happily buy a second set if needed in the future. I payed more for mine a few years ago for a late manufactured pair in as new condition knowing that I could probably wait and buy a set cheeper later. Still think it was worth it. If they need to be repaired in the future. I just repair them. I will keep them forever. 

kawo
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kawo replied on Fri, Jul 3 2020 4:57 PM

Just imagine if you would put up to date tech in the BL5! This is such an iconic design the BL50 (sorry to say) does not come close. the 90's are an other story of their own, again iconic design.

I am considering to give this little unit a try to see how much the sound could be improved

https://www.minidsp.com/products/dirac-series/ddrc-24

trackbeo
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The BL5 was iconic, but if you grab the midrange platter you feel that it vibrates while playing at moderately loud volumes!  Although vibration is at a lower level than the main signal, it still cannot be good.  Other points on the container vibrate too, which resonance I believe accounts for people's perception of the bass being "heavy".  I feel "sloppy" would be a better adjective for what is in essence multiple ringing.  I don't believe modern tech such as the MiniDSP DDRC-24 can correct a BL5 to give you a BL50.  Agreed the BL50 does not look nearly as cool, but truly it sounds *much* much better!  That said,...

The DDRC-24 works as advertised, and I tried one on a BeoSystem 6500 Preamp In/Out connector, replacing the shorting plug.  It wasn't for BL5's, rather some soffit-mounted traditional speakers.  Alas, I did not like the automatic results from the Dirac Live software.  I could not prevent it from adjusting the impulse response as well as frequency response, which result made it sound "far away".  I wanted it only to fix room modes and one uneven frequency response -- but the adjustments were apparently a package deal.  Admittedly it was a horrible speaker location, and my characterization of "far away" might be from some frequency limitation and not strictly from impulse response correction -- nevertheless it sounded better *without* the DDRC-24!  Might have been user (microphone operator) error, and the new 2019 version of Dirac's software may have improved their algorithms.  

Despite my failure, because the DDRC-24 is so inexpensive, by comparison even to used BL5's, I *definitely recommend* buying one and see if you like the results!  Buy the $5 optional remote, so you can switch the correction on/off from your listening position.  Also drag out a second target response curve, somewhere closer to what is measured than the "perfect" suggested curve, and flip back and forth with the remote.  Finally, be prepared to spend more time than my one-shot, to ensure actual improvement and not merely different.

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