Celestion A3 Floorstanding Speakers

Celestion A3 Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

8" Woofer, 7" Mid and 1" Tweeter

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 31  
[Nov 12, 2020]
ajm057


Strength:

I bought a pair of A3s, and a matching centre channel speakers in the late 1980s/early 1990s together with a AV processor, DVD player and 5 channel mono-block amp by TAG McLaren - I have the speakers today and they are better than anything else I tried. They will I believe last the remainder of my lifetime. Mine were finished in Dark Cherry and the A3's stand on granite isolation plinths. OK - I have a large listening room (7.5m x 5m) with 4.5m high ceilings, sound proof floors and windows AND I bi-amp the mains (A3s) and I can let them breath - my preferred listening volume for most of the music I play is between 70-80db where I am sitting. The sound stage is huge and warm. I added a matching Subwoofer and side and rear speakers + further amps later. While I change out the DVD & AV processor as we moved from s-video -> 1080i -> 1080p -> 4k and now ++ and 2 channels on the power amp failed -- but the speakers never did. Currently -- because I like TV/Movies as well -- my system is centred around an OPPO205 and Yamaha CX-A5200 and matching power amp MX-A5200, whose 11 channels drive my whole output. I run music from both vinyl and Tidal (via the OPPO it is far better) and has no problems with even the highest resolutions. If you remember these had the same tweeter as the top end B&W speakers at that time.

Weakness:

The following is NOT remotely a weakness -- these speakers are big and heavy See them for sale very occasionally at very low prices -- simply because they are large and need space to breath

Price Paid:
6000 for all spk/cables
Purchased:
New  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Mar 09, 2018]
Hens


Strength:

I've owned the A3's for around 5 years and they really are wonderful speakers. Clean from top to bottom and massively dynamic with an emphasis on tuneful and tight bass rather than trying to go too low at the expense of boominess. They do need some space (at least a metre from the front wall) or the dual rear ports will lead to a bass dominance. In a very 'live' room, they can sound forward when the volume is pushed. I found the best results with adding a bit of floor and first reflection points absorption which allowed them to shine without any fatiguing forwardness. I've driven them with tube and solid state amps from 50W/ch to 250W/ch and the A3's allow you to easily discern the differences in the components in front of it. I've settled on a 175W/ch Bladelius Thor II which combines to produce a beautiful balance of accuracy and dynamics. I occasionally think about 'upgrading' them until I listen to them again and realise it will take serious money to get a better sound.

Weakness:

They do need adequate space behind them and work best in a room that is somewhat damped. If the room is all hard, reflective surfaces, they get a bit forward when volume is increased.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[May 11, 2017]
nigel
Audio Enthusiast

In one word........................................Fantastic.... No two!............awesome, well that is all they need to describe them, nothing more!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 02, 2015]
Bryan McKinlay
AudioPhile

I even bought a pair of A2's (the worst of the 3 A series) to get my hands on spare drivers just in case. I now drive the A3's with a Krell KSA-250 as my previous amp didn't do them justice. Looked at lots of speakers under 4k and haven't replaced them yet

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 21, 2013]
phud
AudioPhile

i have had these speakers almost 20 years now. i have had almost every other speaker worth mentioning under 10k on my 2-channel side and these are still among the best speakers i have ever owned. they just don't do anything wrong. I think i read that they were under priced when they came out AND THEY ARE STILL BETTER THAT MOST $3K - $4K- speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 25, 2013]
nincoman132
Audio Enthusiast


just wanted to add this....
i have had just about all the celestion speakers that are worth mentioning. sl600's ditton 44's 66's 551's A compacts A1's A3's celestion 100's 300's ditton 10's etc on and on.
just to clear some thing up here the clestion a3's are great period!! you guys keep going on about this amp that amp they need a good amp. well i have just a simple 70 wpc pioneer a9 amplifier and to my ears apart from ditton 66's the A3's are the best speakers i have owned.
i use them most days and never get tired of listening to them.
dont get me wrong guys, i am not moaning about you who have got money to spend on massive quallity amplifiers. i just think some times this puts perspective buyers off when they hear "needs a good amp" .all speakers benifit from a "good amp". all amps benifit from "good speakers". sorry to moan but i love celestions! just got a pair of ul10's awesome speakers!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 18, 2012]
RonRoyce
AudioPhile

Pro's - Astounding extended bass. Fast, fluid midrange. Crisp, detailed top end.

Con's - Siting is critical. Large/non box shaped room required. Very fussy about amplification. Because they are a 4 ohm design you need current and lots of it. They will be ruthless with anything that is not up to scratch.

Current set up:- Linn LP12/Lingo/Ekos/AT-OC9, Musical Fidelity TriVista 300, Celestion A3, Musical Fidelity A3 CD player. Chord Chorus interconnects. Kimber 8TC speaker cables.

Lets get one thing straight. Anybody that talks about bass rolling off at 50Hz has either not using powerful enough amplification or has sited them incorrectly. I can tell you these speakers produce bass to 25Hz easily - BUT siting and partnering equipment is absolutely critical. First, siting. Too close to any flat walls and the bass wipes out everything. Across any room (unless it is at least 4m) you can forget extended bass, it just doesn't happen. Bay windowed rooms (not square) are actually ideal - if you can site them so they sit within the vertical boundary of the bay window you can achieve a very good sound balance, but experimentation is vital. Second, amplification. Any amp that is not designed to drive into 4 ohms or less - and that is an awful lot of kit - is useless. Amps that lack ability to deliver current can't control the bass units of a 4 ohm design and any sense of detail or extension will be lost - and if fact will damage your speakers - usually the tweeters will overheat because of amp clipping issues. The absolute minimum I would consider for these speakers is 100WPC RMS into 8 ohms with the ability to pretty much double that into 4 - any less than a 75% increase of power into 4 ohms and the amp isn't designed with a 4 ohm load in mind. This may give you clues into what you need to do to get the best out of the A3's. If you don't pay attention to these two items particularly prepare to be disappointed.

With my current setup the bass is staggeringly powerful, extended and detailed. They reproduce dynamics and transients I simply haven't heard until the MF amp replaced my old NAD 2600. The NAD could go deep as NAD's deliver quite happily into 4 ohms, but it was not exactly detailed. The midrange is sweet, full and gives shape and timbre to instruments and vocals to a level that still surprises me to this day. And the top end...you can almost reach out and touch the cymbals of a drumkit they sound so real. The sheer ability to extract realism from good recordings is uncanny. But the real icing on the cake is how effortless they sound when you push them. Nothing changes - they just get louder. And with recordings with serious bass - such as Madonna's Ray Of Light - you will FEEL it too!

If you can find a pair of A3's and you can afford to give them the kit they deserve plus the space they need, you will be rewarded with a sound that is very hard to beat unless you are prepared to spend serious money. I am going to struggle to replace these when that time eventually comes. Homework is mandatory, investment in decent amplification is highly probable. But its worth every penny.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 01, 2011]
kevin
Audio Enthusiast

If you can find a pair second hand you will be in for a treat. Of all the speakers i have owned only a few come close to the A3's. In the right room with the right components these will really sing. All of the A series are great. I have the A1's and have had the A compacts, never had the chance to own a pair of A2's. I enjoy the sound of the speakers greatly.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 03, 2011]
Musiclover2
AudioPhile

I've used these speakers for a number of years, and agree with a lot of the comments already posted.

The speakers were well undervalued when marketed and are now hard to replace with out spending 10K +, anything I've heard below that price point can be described as different rather than better.

The tweeter sound is clear and bright, which is to be expected due to the titanium used in the tweeter construction. It's not an over bright sound though, it just reproduces musical instruments that are up in that frequency range.

The mids are equally as good as the highs too, which is where the largest proportion of musical instruments and the human voice sit. If a speaker can't reproduce well here it's not really a speaker is it.

The bass frequency range is what most people criticise, wrongly, in my opinion. The bass is there if your partnering equipment is up to it, and if the bass is on the recording. It's a bass that is precise and not flabby, so if you want a speaker that adds anything down in this frequency range this isn't going to please you.

When you look at partnering electronics it's obvious that the better the equipment, the better the control on the speaker. I started out with a solid state100w integrated, then added a matching power amp, which gave improved speed, control, dynamics etc. I then added a valve pre and used the integrated as a power amp along with the second power amp. For me this gave a better sound, although it got no more performance from the speakers it did progress my system. I then moved on to 150w valve mono blocks and a matching valve pre. This gave better control again, I then added a second pair of mono blocks, and each time I progressed through the upgrade path I feel that the speakers gave more and the overall sound got better and better.

So, I have a brilliant set of speakers that are now probably giving me everything they can possibly achieve, and to get any better than this it's going to cost some serious cash. I'd now be looking at Revel Ultima Salon 2, B&W 802, KEF Reference 207/2 or something similar, maybe Eggleston Works Andra 111.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 11, 2010]
AnalogueLover
Audio Enthusiast

Hi there and thanks for dropping by. I have owned a pair of Celestion A3's for over 10 years now and if there is one thing I truly fear..... and that is having to replace them. Let's face it, we've all been guilty of wanting to upgrade or better our system and the musical experience we gain from it all, agreed? However, just out of curiosity, I recently approached a BADA approved dealer whom i have had many years of both solid service and advice, to ask what would I have to spend to BETTER the Celestion A3's. The advisor said the Celestion A series were REFERENCE quality speakers at BELOW Reference type prices. He said that to keep the qualities of the A3's and better them, would mean something along the lines of the KEF 207/2's and they cost a whopping £12,000! In comparison, the A3's at their price peak were about £2,500 and I got a new pair when they were being discontinued for just £1,500.
The A3's benefit greatly from a powerful amp with plenty of drive. They are very power and current hungry, but with beautiful, full and open results. They need plenty of room and are NOT suitable for flats, square rooms or where there is likely to be a complain to the Noise Abatement Society ;-) I think it's a crime what the new owners have done to Celestion as they had the history and heritage going back MANY generations and built their reputation in music studios where only the best survive.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 31  

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