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RE: General speaker design characteristics for a 2A3 amp

Most of the comments so far have been fairly detailed. So I will attempt to take a broader (and more technical) tack.

First, a SE 2A3 amp will give you no more than 4 watts (and that with a tailwind). That would normally call for 96dB/watt efficiency, which is fairly rare - your choice of speakers is quite limited. Without going into excruciating detail, this is what I call satisfactory to most audiophiles, most of the time. Many will be satisfied with 1/4 the efficiency (90dB/watt efficiency), especially if you don't need full symphonic or big band loudness. Since efficiency and bass extension both require large cabinet volumes, you probably need big cabinets unless you are listening only to sopranos with acoustic guitars. :^)

Second, an SET amp usually has no feedback and thus a damping factor in the range of 2-4. Few speaker systems are designed for that; most assume a high damping factor in the range of 10 to infinity. Therefor most SETs will produce more or less uneven deep bass, and many speakers will also have uneven response in the crossover region. This is an interesting technical point, but the marketplace offers little or no relevant data - the best approach in my mind is to listen to them yourself, preferably at home with the amp you are interested in, or at least a similar one.

Everything I have said above is of course grossly simplified. I expect there will be many expansions/corrections/etc, and that's fine with me.


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