There’s something common to those companies that are keeping the BBC loudspeaker tradition alive. Many of them are based in surprisingly small premises, dotted around the English countryside. So it is with Graham Audio. The company itself is small, friendly, and operates out of a small farmhouse just outside of the historic ‘English Riviera’ town of Newton Abbot in Devon.
Graham Audio has perhaps the smallest of ‘footprints’ in audio, with a workforce so small they could all drive to work in the same car and currently a portfolio of just one domestically-available product – the BBC-derived LS5/9. But, as can be seen below, with a prototype cabinet of the LS5/8, more products are planned.
Regardless of the size of the company, the approach is all business. Order books are filling up from around the world, especially in places where the virtues of the BBC’s famous (and now, sadly, defunct) Research & Development team are still cherished.
Paul Graham of Graham Audio works closely both with loudspeaker designer Derek Hughes, and with the father/daughter team of David and Cat Lyth of Volt Loudspeakers to recreate the sound and style of the long-lost drive units available to BBC designers of the 1970s. Based on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, Volt builds studio and PA drive units in the time-honoured, hand-built manner, and this resonates strongly in the ethos of Graham Audio.
The Graham Audio ethos is one of producing a hand-built loudspeaker, using specialists rather than a production line.
The process is painstaking and thorough, and not the kind of build-up process that can be rushed.
The ‘first-fit’ cabinet is carefully inspected for even the smallest blemish before final build commences.