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Need speakers that can rock with just one watt? You found da place.

RE: What others to research...Devore, Tannoy, ATC....

Above my new AN E/Spx Alnico Hemp speakers


The Audio Note E is fairly obvious - I run the Line Magnetic 219IA on my E.

You've listed Klipsch which are horns.

You have to be really careful with some speakers that are seemingly SET friendly and those that are not. The AN E only needs 7 watts but the Sensitivity is only 94-98dB depending on which version you get and whether you put them in the corners. But they're very easy to drive. ATC is typically not and neither is Harbeth or Dynaudio or B&W etc

OTOH you may see a speaker that has 103dB sensitivity but has an impedance characteristic that is very difficult for SET amplifiers so while the speaker may ultimately play "louder" with the same watts the bass may sound like crap because the impedance dips to 2 ohms or something and the amp will run out of gas and it will sound flabby. Tannoy for instance isn't the easiest speaker brand to drive.

Further with may horns they tend to shout - the treble is sensitive the bass unit is not and it sounds out of whack. You gotta spend a lot on Horns and you need a lot of space - if you have both they to me are the ultimate.

For normal environments the likes of the AN E to me are best in this class - with Tannoy and a few others but they also tend to cost a lot more and have few finish options to keep the wife happy.

You can read my review of the AN E/Lx at dagogo and I compare them to some of the brands on your list.

You will be hard pressed to find a better loudspeaker for $5k that has the sound, the build fit and finish, the ease of drive, the resale value.

I bought my AN J/Spe in 2003 and sold them in 2016 for more more than I paid. Not bad - and the J isn't as popular as the E.

Now I did recently sell my AN E/Lx and went up the chain to buy Audio Note's top of the line (non external crossover) AN E/Spx Alnico Hemp

It's the same speaker that Mastering Engineer Steve Hoffman is using. But the near entry level E/Lx is really nice and not too crazy on the pocket book.

Remember also that down the road your taste could change and you may like lower powered 300B or 2a3 amps better than the 845. If that happens then you have may have painted yourself into a corner with an ATC or Tannoy. 24 watts of SET and great LM iron can probably drive those but 7 watts of 300b won't.

The Devore is nice too but at more than double the price IMO it's not worth it.

If you have big bucks - also try the Trenner and Freidl RA and the Teresonic Ingenium - these two are both utterly fantastic sounding loudspeakers. Oh and Voxativ. If bass isn't critical - single drivers can be magic in the midrange. But it's difficult to live without bass, dynamics and treble extension. So the trade here for a touch better midrange coherence of the single drivers for a giant gain in bass depth and dynamic drive for the E or other big fat two ways previously mentioned. So you can play AC/DC at high levels and enjoy - not so much on single driver loudspeakers. Everything in speakers is accepting this or that weakness for this or that gain. A big horn is more sensitive and will have greater dynamic ease over the E or the Devore etc but they lack refinement and often bass and often cohesiveness from driver to driver. The single driver gives you the coherence but it at the expense of bass and dynamic drive. The E and speakers like it are kind of in the middle - they are better balanced but not attaining the ultimate at any one thing.

Here is my E/Lx review. There is a HE version which adds a few dB more sensitivity so you can run 3 watt amps. Assuming the room is not too big. Big rooms still need a 10ish+ watter.




Edits: 03/09/17 03/09/17

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