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High efficiency loudspeaker options

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Posted on May 15, 2020 at 14:26:12
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
Is there a list of high efficiency speaker options? Also, not a lot of dealers carry them: are there dealers in the US who carry a selection or that carry specific brands that are worth researching?

For years I've had a Resolution Audio Cantata system - 50 watts - with Harbeth P3ESR speakers. It's good, but I've come to realize Harbeths need more power to come alive, even at lower volumes sometimes. I'm curious to experiment with a higher efficiency speaker with the RA Cantata. This is also driven by an interest in doing something different; change for change sake.

I'm particularly curious about single driver loudspeakers but I'm open to anything.

For now, I'd love to understand the landscape of higher efficiency speakers, but I would also appreciate specific recommendations. I listen to a lot of acoustic guitar music but I also listen to a lot of electronic space/ambient music. My room is about 12x15 feet and well dampened. I often listen at lower volumes while working, but at higher volumes at other times (rarely loud).

Thanks.

 

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Rather vague, posted on May 15, 2020 at 15:52:37
Jack G
Audiophile

Posts: 9333
Joined: September 24, 1999
There's lots of types of high efficiency speakers, depending on your definition of the term. Horns, single drivers, regular style speakers,etc. They all have their pluses and minuses. I have horns, and I listen to a lot of Space/Ambient music. Everything sounds better through them. Do some homework, listen if you can. There's lots out there.
Jack

 

RE: Rather vague, posted on May 15, 2020 at 17:00:06
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
I realize it's a broad question, but I was hoping to find a list of such speakers to research. I keep coming across obscure brands, some not available in the US, and thus I would love to know what's out there, perhaps beyond the well known brands. Yes, there's lots out there and I've done some research, and listening would be ideal in every case, but I'd love to do more research based on some directional guidance.

 

For example, posted on May 15, 2020 at 17:02:20
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
For example, I've never heard of the Volti Rivals. Now I'll do some homework on them : )

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 15, 2020 at 17:24:55
George S. Roland
Audiophile

Posts: 1265
Location: N W Pennsylvania
Joined: March 20, 2004
You would help yourself out here with a little more detail. What price range are you working with? How large a speaker can you tolerate? Are you interested/willing to buy used equipment or must you have new, current-production products? Obvious high-efficiency brands include DeVore, Altac-Lansing, JBL, Klipsch, Avantgarde. Perhaps others will list more examples.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 15, 2020 at 17:56:42
Paul Joppa
Industry Professional

Posts: 7006
Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: April 23, 2001
I don't have a list, but I'll offer an overview of the landscape, which I hope will help focus your research.

As I see it, there are two main branches - vintage mainstream speakers and modern boutique speakers.

Fifty to a hundred years ago, high efficiency speakers were the mainstream. Since then, the economics have changed - amplifier power has become much less expensive. It started late in the tube age, but the big change was the advent of transistors.

(You might reasonably add a third category of commercial sound - discos, concert halls, theaters, recording studios, etc. - intended for larger spaces than homes, so efficiency is again economical. These are big, often ugly, and expensive - things the limit their appeal.)

Klipsch is mainstream and still has a focus on efficiency - kind of the exception that proves the rule. It's noteworthy that they continue to develop updated versions of several of their classic designs, as well as more conventional speakers.

So, there are two notional lists - the currently-popular vintage (Altec/Electrovoice/JBL/Klipsch et. al.) and the esoteric boutique. It seems to me that most of the boutiques are either modern horn designs or a subset of the single-driver approach. I think that's because non-horn tweeters are rarely efficient.

It may be helpful to define "efficient". There is no real consensus, but to me high efficiency means 96dB/watt/meter, low means 89dB or less, and the middle ground of 90 to 96dB wanders among both camps, never quite at home in either.

 

RE: For example, posted on May 15, 2020 at 18:14:45
jeffjazzer
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: East Coast
Joined: August 28, 2011
I went the higher efficiency open baffle route. I love the sound of planar speakers but missed the dynamics. I went with Tri-Art Audio Open 5 speakers.
Other manufacturers that make open baffle high efficiency are Spatial Audio,
Emerald Physics and Pure Audio Project (PAP). You may want to look up the "Lil" and "Betsy" speaker which are single driver and are supposed to sound great on the cheap.
Decware.com speaker forum is a good place to check out those last two.

 

RE: For example, posted on May 15, 2020 at 19:16:41
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
Thanks, I ran across Spatial Audio. Do such open baffle speakers typically need "a lot" of room around them? I'll look into the other references.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 15, 2020 at 19:20:45
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
Right now I'm in the discovery phase, doing research, learning more. Then I'll likely narrow down the candidates. Budget is flexible, under $10k is optimum, lower is better if this ends up being an experiment. I'm here to learn.

 

RE: For example, posted on May 15, 2020 at 20:18:15
jeffjazzer
Audiophile

Posts: 8
Location: East Coast
Joined: August 28, 2011
Yes they need space. I'd say a minimum of 4 feet from walls. Any open baffle speaker needs space. Not so much on sides but behind. Also they don't interact in the room the way box speakers do. Plus they are much more open sounding. I'll have my Tri-Art speakers next week. Went with these over the others because of price and many preferred these over Spatial and PAP.

 

OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 16, 2020 at 05:01:20
Scott L
Audiophile

Posts: 340
Location: Knoxville
Joined: February 2, 2001
Due to the very nature of their operating principle, open baffle speakers are inherently low-efficiency. Some of the various attempts out there use high sensitivity drivers to compensate for this, but at the end of the day, there is no free lunch.

"High-Sensitivity" and Hi-Efficiency are somewhat related, but not exactly the same thing.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 05:14:48
Charlie8521
Audiophile

Posts: 794
Location: South East Michigan
Joined: October 2, 2004
You may want to look at Classic Audios speakers, which I believe are based on classic designs. see link below. I have no association with Classic.

 

RE: OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 16, 2020 at 07:03:54
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4971
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
True, but you'll fight a losing battle trying to convince open baffle fans of it.

 

Fair point :-), posted on May 16, 2020 at 07:11:30
Jack G
Audiophile

Posts: 9333
Joined: September 24, 1999
Hear is a quick list off the top of my head, and is by no mean complete.
Volti Audio
Klipsch
JBL
Zu Audio
Daedalus
Tekton

There are many others. I only mentioned the brands, not the models since you didn't mention price range. Some are available via retailers, other are direct from the manufacturer.
Good luck.
Jack

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 08:22:33
Mick Wolfe
Audiophile

Posts: 2547
Joined: October 10, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 4, 2000
I have a friend who went through the same dilemma with his Harbeth P3's. His LM 219ia came up short. Fortunately he also has a Luxman 507uX which ended up being an prefect match. His room is fairly small (10x13) so he's somewhat limited on speaker choices if he wants to retain the 219ia. That said, if your room is a little more generous in size, a lot of good choices out there. Klipsch Heritage line, Volti Rival and Razz, (around $5K for the latter) Zu, (Omen DW a steal at $999 when on sale) Tekton,( several options) Omega (if you have a small room) and maybe the Spatial X5 for open baffle. Just scratching surface on choices. I'm sure others here will chime in as well.

 

My journey, posted on May 16, 2020 at 09:11:23
triodesteve
Audiophile

Posts: 756
Location: Walla Walla Washington
Joined: September 4, 2001
I can't comment on everything only what I've heard and lived with.

I started with Lowthers in a backhorn..sure there were issues but I could kind of see the potential of high resolution and single driver.
Moved to Lowthers then AER drivers in a front horn. Great resolution (electrostatic like) but complicated set up and a listening spot the size of a nickel. Moved to fostex driver double backhorns that didn't love my room.

Then eventually vintage Altec Valencias.
The Valencias have the jump factor that I love but are actually on the mellow side...not bright like I would have thought (or I'm just getting old) They have enough resolution to make me happy and that will likely increase when I redo the crossovers.
I feel the same way about the Altec A7's I've heard. With a new and different crossover I could live with them happily....they just make music for days.
Two take aways:
It will be hard to hear things in shops...I'm lucky to have friends nearby who believe in wacky stuff.
and also
don't be afraid of vintage...I use to think all those guys were crazy....but turns out they are crazy smart.
Have fun on your journey.

 

RE: For example, posted on May 16, 2020 at 09:43:58
Cpwill
Audiophile

Posts: 750
Location: DC
Joined: December 22, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
October 24, 2008
Yes, especially from the wall behind them. This has stopped be every time I think about building some.


"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." ― Thelonious Sphere Monk

Cpwill

 

I can recommend Tekton Design highly., posted on May 16, 2020 at 11:04:15
Opus 33 1/3
Audiophile

Posts: 4083
Location: D.C. Area
Joined: February 19, 2014
Contributor
  Since:
February 19, 2015



I have the entry level Mini Lores, 95 dB/W/M. My 4 wpc SET EL34 amp drives them nicely. Even higher efficiency are the $2,100 a pair Perfect SET 15s (above) at 98 dB/w/m.

Give Eric a call. He's a pleasure to do business with.



Opus 33 1/3

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 12:38:39
Cpwill
Audiophile

Posts: 750
Location: DC
Joined: December 22, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
October 24, 2008
Since you say you want to learn and experiment, for a lot less than your $10,000, you can truly experiment for a bit of time to see if single drivers suit your taste. May suggestion: buy a couple sheets of Baltic birch plywood and some lumber to prop them us at a 5-degree or less angle. Buy some hi-eff drivers, new or used, spendy or cheep. Cut holes in ply to fit the drivers and screw them it. Connect your speaker cables directly to the driver terminals. Listen, Listen and listen some more. And, don't forget to wash your hands.

Drivers:

206 series Fostex, new or used, low cost.
Beta 8 or 10 Corals, used only, more costly.
Tang Bang, dirt cheap.
PHY various, used only, costly
A series Lowthers, new or used, costly
DX series Lowthers, new or used, less costly.
AER, very costly.
Fertin Model 7, Excellent, used, very costly.
Trusonic, used, medium cost

You can also try larger co-axial drivers by Altec, EV, Jensen, Tru-sonic, Tannoy and others. You could listen for some time to 8 or 10 inch single drivers, then, enlarge the holes for 12" or 15" co-axials.

Now these will be butt-ugly so might not work for long if you have a live-in SO. There will be NO bass, but the point is to experiment and see if you like the basic sound of single drivers. Also, w/o the larger added woofers, you can place these closer to the wall behind if that is an issue. Eventually, you may want to add a helper tweeter or super-tweeter with a single cap, 1st order x-over. But, the magic is in the mid-range, so IMNHO, it is a valid experiment.

Lastly, If you like the result you have many options. Keep the drivers and build (or have built) a nicer open baffle. Add woofers and crossover if you want more bass. Add a super-tweeter if you want more top end extension. You could keep the drivers and build (or have built) other cabinets suitable for hi-eff, full or wide range drivers including folded TQWT, back-loaded horns, double BVRs, etc. Or go ahead and spend your $10K or more on some of the boutique brands that some others have mentioned. Don't get me wrong, some sound very good, but you should make sure it's the sound you are looking for before you empty your wallet.

Me? Fertin Model 7 field coils in a DIY folded TQWT and Coral Beta 8s in someone else's BLH cabs.

Enjoy the journey, have fun, listen, and wash your hands again.



"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." ― Thelonious Sphere Monk

Cpwill

 

well, I've been compiling a list myself over the last few month., posted on May 16, 2020 at 13:24:14
The Killer Piglet
Audiophile

Posts: 4314
Location: FL
Joined: January 2, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
February 5, 2002
Some link to mfg. sites, articles, threads.

I have, of course, added this thread to my notes creating a circular loop and possibly some sort of stack overflow in the universe.


http://charneyaudio.com/index.html

https://omegaloudspeakers.com/

http://bacheaudio.com/products/

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/cube-audio-or-charney

https://db.audioasylum.com/mhtml/m.html?forum=hug&n=180674&highlight=charney&search_url=%2Fcgi%2Fsearch.mpl

XLH Audio 1812

https://stevefolberg.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/the-speakers-of-planet-set-part-iii/http://rethm.com/

https://stevefolberg.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/the-speakers-of-planet-set-part-ii/

https://www.bastanis.com/

http://www.caintuckaudio.com/

https://www.commonsenseaudio.com/

https://www.specimenaudio.com/product/specimen-luxury-calla-horn-speakers/

Lowther Alerion

http://voltiaudio.com/rival/

Cain & Cain Nearfield Abbys
https://www.highfidelityreview.com/cain-cain-abby.html

https://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/t.mpl?f=hug&m=185227

KP

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 13:47:18
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
I've read a number of times that Luxman integrates are good with Harbeths. That might be an option later, but for now I'm researching the speaker route paired with the RA 50 watt amp. That said, I'll always keep the Harbeths.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 13:50:09
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
I love that idea!

 

RE: well, I've been compiling a list myself over the last few month., posted on May 16, 2020 at 13:52:45
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
I remember the Cain & Cain Abbys. Looks like they are no more. I was reminded of Teresonic too.

 

Abby "Normal" Best speaker name... ever. -t, posted on May 16, 2020 at 14:00:41
The Killer Piglet
Audiophile

Posts: 4314
Location: FL
Joined: January 2, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
February 5, 2002
KP

 

RE: well, I've been compiling a list myself over the last few month., posted on May 16, 2020 at 14:12:53
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
Thanks, that was a great list! Some interesting stuff there that I've never heard of.

If I recall correctly, Jeff Kalt the Resolution Audio designer used Rethm loudspeakers years ago when I visited his place.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 15:26:58
Mick Wolfe
Audiophile

Posts: 2547
Joined: October 10, 1999
Contributor
  Since:
September 4, 2000
FWIW, he says the the P3/Luxman combo is pure magic.

 

Guilty as charged, your honor..., posted on May 16, 2020 at 16:27:28
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41413
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Goodmans 201's in JE Labs floor loaded open baffles w/EV-T35B on top was my main system speaker for years, until I went to EdgarHorn Titans.

Driven with 300B monoblocks, surprisingly good. But the Goodmans of England driver was 15 Ohms and guessing a really easy load to drive.







 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 17:42:58
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
I've heard similar. Hegel is said to be another good match.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 16, 2020 at 19:15:55
claudej1@aol.com
Audiophile

Posts: 464
Location: Detroit
Joined: August 17, 2007
Danley, KLipsch, or JBL.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 17, 2020 at 06:20:54
GEO
Audiophile

Posts: 4251
Joined: April 7, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
September 9, 2000
I used a full range PHY-HP supplemented with a super tweeter. It's magic. I also have a pair of coincident monitors that I bought last year but have not hooked them up to a second system. They are nice also.

 

RE: Abby "Normal" Best speaker name... ever., posted on May 17, 2020 at 09:21:24
M3 lover
Audiophile

Posts: 5879
Location: SW Mich
Joined: May 29, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
July 4, 2007
Yes, thanks to Mel Brooks!

"The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things I never heard myself." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 19, 2020 at 06:28:06
HiOnFi
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Florida
Joined: January 11, 2004
Not true

Emerald Physics open baffle are anywhere from 93-97dB efficient

oh and on sale due to factory moving

 

RE: OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 19, 2020 at 06:34:04
HiOnFi
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Florida
Joined: January 11, 2004
Oh yes they are efficient, or can be

https://www.emeraldphysics.com/categories/panel-speakers

I love my KCIIs

 

RE: OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 19, 2020 at 09:29:48
Bill Fitzmaurice
Industry Professional

Posts: 4971
Location: New England
Joined: October 20, 2002
That would be confirmed or refuted by seeing SPL charts. It's easy to claim high sensitivity, another to prove it.

 

RE: OPEN BAFFLE ARE NOT HIGH EFFICIENCY, posted on May 19, 2020 at 11:52:38
Scott L
Audiophile

Posts: 340
Location: Knoxville
Joined: February 2, 2001



"High-Sensitivity" and Hi-Efficiency are somewhat related, but not exactly the same thing.

All the slick marketing and wild claims in the world, can not circumvent physics.

 

I rave about my 92db Reference3A DeCapo I, posted on May 20, 2020 at 11:18:33
LtMandella
Audiophile

Posts: 950
Location: CA
Joined: May 27, 2019
not sure if 92db is high enough efficiency for your needs?

I drive them with a 25wpc OTL Tube Amp (Transcendent Sound T8-LN) and the sound is mesmerizing, musical, plenty of deep bass when called for, and I regularly listen for 10 hours straight with ZERO listening fatigue.

The DeCapos I's are a 2 way and have no crossover, just a cap to block lows from the tweeter.

So no energy lost to heat as with a passive crossover.

And given that the OTL tube amp has no output transformer, there is nothing coloring the sound between the electrons and the speaker drivers
(unless you believe in the sound of cables and connectors, which I do not).

The mid-bass driver rolls off naturally...

Talk about breathtaking immediacy... It almost seems there are no electronics anywhere in the signal path!



If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

 

Lii Audio Crystal 10 speakers!, posted on May 20, 2020 at 11:51:22
thetubeguy1954
Audiophile

Posts: 5868
Location: Orlando, Fla
Joined: January 7, 2001



Hi Budrew!

I'm using a pair of 8" Lowther PM5A single, full-range, drivers loaded in a pair of Beauhorn Virtuoso cabinets (as pictured above) with a 40W/ch, Mastersound Reference 845, integrated, SET amp and I love what I hear! I listen mainly to Jazz (90%) and Progressive rock (8%) and the remaining music is folk, soft rock, etc.

But for you, I'd recommend what I'd be looking at myself if I was going to try something new and that's these Lii Audio Crystal 10 speakers! They're 47" H x 24" W x 19.5" D and use a 10" single, full-range, driver. The best part is they're just under/over $3,000 delivered to your door.

You can get an idea of what they sound like at the link below. Decware is also who's selling them so if you're interested, go to https://www.decware.com/newsite/Liiaudio.html and check them out. I like the darker version at the bottom of the page. I think these are perhaps the best, if not one of the best entries into the world of single, full-range, driver speakers today! Happy hunting...




Thetubeguy1954 (Tom)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

Reference 3A Speakers!, posted on May 20, 2020 at 13:03:40
thetubeguy1954
Audiophile

Posts: 5868
Location: Orlando, Fla
Joined: January 7, 2001
Reference 3A definitely makes some very fine-sounding speakers that's for darn sure. One of my friends Bill M. just traded up from the earlier model De Capos to their new De Capo BE monitors. Another one of my friends Bob P. has a pair of Grand Veena speakers and still another one of my friends Steve B. has a pair of Taksim speakers. So I'm quite familiar with a few of their speakers. I noticed there's definitely a sonic characteristic that carries in the Reference 3A line up of speakers. I was even lucky enough to have a 15-minute audition of the newest Reference 3A speaker their new reference monitor, the Reflector, and boy were they every a nice sounding speaker.

I've never been blessed with the opportunity to hear your 25W/ch, OTL Transcendent Sound T8-LN, tube amp before, but it sounds like it would be a marriage made in heaven when used with your De Capos monitors. I'm sure you'll be looking forward to many years of enjoyment from that combination of amp and speakers. Out of curiosity what wires are you using in your system?


Thetubeguy1954 (Tom)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

You Forgot..., posted on May 20, 2020 at 14:05:10
thetubeguy1954
Audiophile

Posts: 5868
Location: Orlando, Fla
Joined: January 7, 2001
Hey Cpwill! For the single, full-range, drivers you forgot:

1) Audio Nirvana https://www.commonsenseaudio.com/nirvana.html
2) Voxativ https://voxativ.berlin/drivers
3) Cube Audio https://www.cubeaudio.eu/
4) Mark Audio https://www.markaudio.com/#
5) Lii Audio https://www.lii-audio.com/shop/
6) Sonido https://www.sonido.hu/termekek.php?lang=en
7) SEAS http://www.seas.no/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=93&Itemid=499


Thetubeguy1954 (Tom)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

RE: DeCapos, posted on May 20, 2020 at 14:32:43
LtMandella
Audiophile

Posts: 950
Location: CA
Joined: May 27, 2019
hi Tom,
just 14 gauge conventional speaker wire. I actually did buy a ridiculously expensive ($300) set of speaker wires and used them for a while but damned if I could hear any difference, so those are sitting in some closet somewhere since they are thick and inflexible and therefore a pain to for me to use.

Going on over 20 years with the T8 (bought new in early 2000s) and 10 years with the Ref3A. The combo is just as stunning and mesmerizing as from day one. Even after 10 hours I often have to tear myself away and call it a night.

I had to do some minor work on the T8 - replaced 4 caps, a fuse, and all the power tubes. But that was all probably a consequence of relocating and giving the amp some pretty good bumps during transit.

Prior to the DeCapos I had Proac D15s - also a musical and "zero listener fatigue" experience for me, but the Proacs really needed more than 25wpc amp.



If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

 

RE: DeCapos, posted on May 20, 2020 at 17:08:52
thetubeguy1954
Audiophile

Posts: 5868
Location: Orlando, Fla
Joined: January 7, 2001
Hi LT! I have to honestly admit to being shocked that a fellow who owns such fine gear as the Transcendent Sound T8-LN OTL amp and pair of Reference 3A De Capo speakers, tells me he cannot hear the difference between 14 gauge conventional speaker wire and a set of $300 speaker wires! Some audiophiles would berate you for saying that ---{especially after you said what a stunning and mesmerizing sound that's musical with "zero listener fatigue"}--- wondering how you can possibly notice the wonderful musical traits your system produces, yet still state you cannot hear the difference between 14 gauge conventional speaker wire and a set of $300 speaker wires. But that's not me. I won't do that.

I use an Italian, Mastersound Reference 845, Integrated, SET amp with 105dB sensitive Beauhorn Virtuoso speakers. Like you, I've owned my amp for a long time now --some 19+ years now and in many ways, I would describe my system just as you have described yours! But where we differ is I can hear from subtle to huge differences in wires, depending on the wires of course! Presently I use 1/2 of a pair of Teo Audio GC Ultra ICs as the digital wire that connects my YBA Genesis CD-4 (used strictly as a transport) to my Musical Paradise Tubed DAC. I also have a Snake River Audio Cottonmouth Signature power cord on the YBA and a Sablon Gran Corona power cord on the DAC. From the DAC to the Mastersound I'm running a pair of NBS Professional IV ICs and the Mastersound uses a Hi-Diamond D3.5 power cord. Finally, I'm using Snake River Audio Cottonmouth Signature speaker wires to connect the Mastersound amp to the Beauhorn speakers. Now since you felt your $300 speaker wires were "ridiculously expensive" I won't even begin to say what any of those wires cost.

LT I am amazed that a man can own such nice sounding audio gear and not hear differences in wires. But you say you cannot hear any differences and I believe you. After all, what would you gain by lying? Nothing as far as I can tell. When people tell me they don't hear differences in wires I don't know whether to feel happy for them and all the money they'll save or whether I should feel bad for them for not being able to easily improve the sound of their various components by changing the wires they use ---{for the longest time I just couldn't believe power cords could make a difference in a system's sound and boy was I ever wrong about that}--- but in the end, I definitely feel bad for them because every wire I listed made a significant sonic improvement in the sound of my audio system and sadly folks like yourself cannot obtain these same sonic improvements by simply changing a wire. In the end LT, I hope you understand this post was not meant to berate you or criticize you in any way. Maybe you are the lucky one. To this day I still don't understand how people cannot hear differences in wires, but I think it's one of those little things in life we aren't meant to necessarily understand, but rather simply accept and chalk it up to being one of those things that makes us all different and makes life more interesting. LT I hope you continue to get many, many more years of listening enjoyment from that fine system of yours...





Thetubeguy1954 (Tom)

Central Florida Audio Society -- SETriodes Group -- Space Coast Audio Society
Full-range/Wide-range Drivers --- Front & Back-Loaded Horns --- High Sensitivity Speakers


 

RE: tubes and speakers, posted on May 20, 2020 at 18:12:51
LtMandella
Audiophile

Posts: 950
Location: CA
Joined: May 27, 2019
I think there is a great deal of subjective listening experience indicating that our approach of using very well engineered tube equipment and speakers does great things for satisfying sound reproduction.

And I not surprised - and happy for you - that you experience similiar benefits as I have described from using such equipment for your listening.

However regarding the speaker wires:
"I can hear from subtle to huge differences in wires, depending on the wires of course!"

I think even the most science based engineers would admit that wire length can have an impact on electrical transmission characteristics (assuming normally competent wiring materials and construction). My wire is short (music system that is!).

Assuming that basic electrical competency - and with all due respect - I personally believe that such listening comparisons must be performed double-blind for reliable analysis, and I would bet a paycheck that the outcome of such testing would not match your expectation.

best,
LT

If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 21, 2020 at 06:00:26
Larry I
Audiophile

Posts: 2168
Location: No. Va.
Joined: June 28, 2000
I really like the liveliness, immediacy and lower volume dynamics of high efficiency horn and single driver systems. But, particularly with single driver systems, this comes with a ragged frequency response, peaks somewhere in the upper midrange/treble and a tonal balance which is not natural. Still, there are some that successfully minimize these problems and overall, I like them.

Voxativ makes decent sounding full-range systems, and other manufacturers have used their drivers in good systems as well.

Cube Audio makes the Nenuphar that sounds decent too. I've heard the model with the 10" full range driver. It does have a pronounced peak and not much in the way of deep bass, but, it sounds pretty good with most music except large-scale classical orchestral works.

The single driver systems I really like are made by Charney Audio. These have no big faults at all, except if you insist on very deep and tight bass. These speakers are smooth, tonally balanced, rich, dynamic and deliver the music in a very enjoyable fashion. They offer a variety of full-range drivers in their various models; I've heard their "Companion" model with Voxativ and AER drivers (both sound good, I like the AER a little bit more).

I like certain horn systems a lot. Many such systems sound good in small rooms, but, unfortunately, the better ones are extremely large in size. Many of the good sounding commercial horn systems are crazy expensive, and likewise, custom-built systems are also expensive. To me, most of the commercial horn systems, like the Volti speakers, are okay, but not outstanding.

While not extremely efficient, Audio Note speakers present an easy load that makes them suitable for use with low-powered amps. The price range is pretty wide, which means that there is a good chance one of these two-way systems would fit the budget. They all simply play music in an enjoyable fashion. There are enough dealers around to make this a must-audition line.

At a somewhat sane price level, I like what I heard at a show form the Tekton Double Impacts. For $3,000 a pair, these really deliver good sound and work with low-powered amps. At the same price point, the Rethm Bhaava is another speaker that sounds really good (high efficiency midrange/tweeter with a self-powered woofer).

Good luck in your search.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 21, 2020 at 17:04:51
Budrew
Audiophile

Posts: 2025
Joined: April 4, 2002
Some years ago I had a pair of Audio Note E speakers. Stick them in the corners and they are amazing! They really brought the music to life and filled the room.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on May 22, 2020 at 05:21:06
Larry I
Audiophile

Posts: 2168
Location: No. Va.
Joined: June 28, 2000
In a room larger than yours, I've heard the AN-E play quite loud with Audio Note Kageki amplifiers (a model I own) which are rated to only output 6.5 watts/channel. They may not measure as extremely efficient, but, they certainly are efficient enough for almost all practical uses.

I own a horn-based system where the midrange driver/horn are difficult to obtain items. But, if I were looking for a commercial product, I would certainly start with AN-E's in mind at whatever level of improved parts I can afford. My other starting point would be the Charney Audio Companion speaker with whatever level of AER driver I could afford.

 

Vintage is good!, posted on May 22, 2020 at 20:03:37
BillWojo
Audiophile

Posts: 137
Location: NJ
Joined: July 7, 2017
I'll second the Altec Valencias. Very dynamic and realistic sounding. Direct descendants from Western Electric, All Tech (Altec) was a spin off and knew how to get great sound out of the low powered tube amps back than. Altec was standard issue in almost every movie theater for decades. You can get the same dynamic realistic natural sound in your listening room. There is a reason for the cult like following of vintage Altec gear. And just look at one of their drivers, be it a woofer or compression driver, build quality is impressive.

BillWojo

 

Tannoy nt, posted on June 5, 2020 at 08:02:01
Bill Way
Audiophile

Posts: 1656
Location: Toms River NJ
Joined: May 28, 2012
Contributor
  Since:
December 14, 2012
nt
"They were running on fumes, dazed and confused, in a high-powered automobile."

 

Avantgarde and DeVore, posted on June 7, 2020 at 13:02:01
triode
Audiophile

Posts: 436
Location: south Florida
Joined: January 18, 2001
Depending on your price range and room size, you may want to research these. I have Avantgarde Duo Omegas (18 ohm/107 dB) in my big rig, singing with 3.5wpc 2A3 power, and DeVore O/96s (10 ohm/96 dB) in my second rig, with 8wpc of SE EL34 power.
"Your liver suffers dearly now for youthful magic moments...so rock on completely with some brand new components"

 

Rethm speakers, posted on June 9, 2020 at 03:47:02
Bill the K
Audiophile

Posts: 7828
Joined: June 3, 2006
I feel you ought to check out Rethm. At low and medium volumes they are very good. I haven't played them at loud volumes.

Bill

 

RE: Rethm speakers, posted on June 11, 2020 at 08:40:42
HiOnFi
Audiophile

Posts: 1498
Location: Florida
Joined: January 11, 2004
Underwood HiFi has some Rethms on sale right now

 

Your Valencias, posted on June 11, 2020 at 18:33:26
Jim D.
Audiophile

Posts: 831
Location: FL
Joined: October 26, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 6, 2002
Do you use the stock Valencia crossovers?

Jim

 

RE: Your Valencias, posted on June 11, 2020 at 19:01:26
triodesteve
Audiophile

Posts: 756
Location: Walla Walla Washington
Joined: September 4, 2001
So far....eventually I'll get around to it. Mine are the later 'B' version so from the 70's not late 50's...I'm not too worried about them being out of spec. But...I have no doubt they can get better. Probably!
Do you have a pair?

 

Stage Accompany? Eminence?, posted on July 7, 2020 at 13:26:26
bassbinotoko
Audiophile

Posts: 469
Location: Vancouver Island
Joined: January 27, 2009
Stage Accompany studio monitors. The M57 does 35 Hz to 30 kHz +/- 3dB, 97 dB sensitivity, two 12" drivers and a proprietary neo ribbon tweeter; 800 watts RMS, 80 kg. Perhaps you'd prefer the M59 which adds two 15" woofers and weighs a mere 157 kg.

There's probably some listenable speakers using Eminence drivers. I threw something together using the 99 dB sensitive cast-frame 15" and the PSD2002 titanium compression driver, JBL horn with lens, and Altec crossover. I suspect something really good could be made using their line source drivers.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on August 12, 2020 at 15:23:51
rodge827
Audiophile

Posts: 204
Location: South Jersey
Joined: October 1, 2004





Here's a new offering from Charney Audio the Lumacha a true tractrix design with AER BD3 drivers...




Philippians 2:9-11

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on August 13, 2020 at 07:38:24
mnawaz3@aol.com
Audiophile

Posts: 370
Joined: March 28, 2002
in my experience, any horn system with mutiple drivers needs space to integrate. so i think this rules out volti and altec valencia and anything similar. for your room, tannoy dual concentric should work ( i would recommend 10" size) . alternatively, a 8" to 10" full range driver (full-range drivers tend to be efficient). b&c has a suitable driver that favors bass; tangband favors bass; typically, you will have to choose your preference.... you cant get both.

i am building a basement system in a room similar in size to yours. i am experimenting with jbl la-50. its a small line array (20" high) that uses (8) 2" full range drivers. supposedly 80hz to 20k.

by the way, i have a pair of harbeths compact 7. comparing a 50watt tube amp and 200watt tube amp on this speaker is night and day. so getting a more powerful amp might be another option. especially considering that harbeths tend to outperform most other speakers on tonal accuracy.

 

WWII splitted Western Electric into two companies.., posted on August 16, 2020 at 22:15:18
iodemus
Audiophile

Posts: 167
Joined: October 21, 2010
In the beginning of WWII, Western Electric was divided into two companies. Western Electric should make only items related to military use, while the new division, ALL TECHNICAL SERVICES (ALTEC); should make products for the home and entertainment business only.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on August 26, 2020 at 22:11:14
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 1800
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
I recently had an extended listening session of the Klipsch Cornwall IV (it's important IMHO to stick with that number, previous versions while fun were not as good as this) at some dealer's home, driven by a lovely tube integrated, and I found the sound to be very much to my taste: organic, dynamic, warm, lifelike - MUSICAL instead of just "audiophile".

They are not cheap, but in my not so humble opinion they are quite the bargain if you look at their size, build quality, efficiency, and musicality.

EDIT: Cory Harrison @ Paducah Home Theater often has very good deals on B-stock klipsches (not trying to promote a company here, rather trying to help the OP!)

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on August 30, 2020 at 01:57:12
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 1800
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Yes and no. Horn geometry and dispersion vary a lot, and some of them integrate quite good in a small room.
I sit about 12 feet from mine and while it COULD be better in a larger room, it still sounds great, enveloping like some giant headphones but with a very decent center image.
When I listened to the new Cornwall IV it was in one of the bedrooms in a villa. And it was quite a small room as well. Worked fine.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on September 16, 2020 at 17:47:47
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 2141
Joined: June 23, 2009
Your Cantata was developed on vintage Rehdeko speakers I believe. You may want to listen to Tocaro models. Otherwise I'd recommend any Audio Note model you can afford and your room can accommodate. They are not all that efficient but certainly can be driven by good 50 watts.

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on September 18, 2020 at 11:50:59
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 13246
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
Klipsch Heritage dealer for a listen to the 'upper' end of Klipsch speakers......
I want to hear the Forte which means a trip of maybe 80 miles.....each way......up to LA......
Too much is never enough

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on September 18, 2020 at 12:08:35
rivervalley817
Audiophile

Posts: 2825
Joined: June 15, 2020
you'd go to LA on a dare and you'd go it alone?

 

RE: High efficiency loudspeaker options, posted on September 18, 2020 at 12:37:48
pictureguy
Audiophile

Posts: 13246
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
I'm waiting for better days.....Paul Butterfield
Too much is never enough

 

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