Any truly great high efficiency speakers? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
I've got two pairs of really nice 8w/ch 300b SET monoblocks. Separate power supplies, transformer coupled, etc. They were built for bespoke super high efficiency speakers that never materialized.

My question -- are there any truly extremely high-end high-efficiency speakers out there that would be more than fully powered with 8w/channel?

I've got a pair of very nice monster subs from Mark Seaton, so the SETs don't have to handle the very low end.

My room is 18' x 14' x12' and I like pretty high but not concert level volumes.

I heard the Avantgarde Unos a long time back, and while they were not bad they didn't float my boat either.

My alternative is to commision a custom set of some sort.
Brucemck2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:03 PM
 
oneobgyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

I've got two pairs of really nice 8w/ch 300b SET monoblocks. Separate power supplies, transformer coupled, etc. They were built for bespoke super high efficiency speakers that never materialized.

My question -- are there any truly extremely high-end high-efficiency speakers out there that would be more than fully powered with 8w/channel?

I've got a pair of very nice monster subs from Mark Seaton, so the SETs don't have to handle the very low end.

My room is 18' x 14' x12' and I like pretty high but not concert level volumes.

I heard the Avantgarde Unos a long time back, and while they were not bad they didn't float my boat either.

My alternative is to commision a custom set of some sort.

I was at a Tape Project audio meeting this past Saturday and our host was running Avant Garde Duos with Cary 3.5 watt SET monos. Speakers are rated at 103 Db and played effortlessly but like you the speakers didn't float my sonic boat as well. FWIW the minimum load to drive my speakers is 7 watts. They are rated at 95 Db and I use 18 watt SET Lamm monos with no problems
oneobgyn is offline  
post #3 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:15 PM
Advanced Member
 
owl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 842
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I've had the Duos and would recommend a custom set of Trios over them with modded xover's. The Duos have problems integrating the upper bass to the midrange horns transition and even with Lamm ML2's they were very aggressive and forward sounding as well. They need a lot more power than most think or they can sound shrill. The Trios are simply awesome but setup is critical in that you know what you are doing.

What about the Shindo Latour? I know where there may be a pair overseas (HK) coming available. If you are interested PM me and I'll look into it.
owl1 is offline  
post #4 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:19 PM
 
DougWinsor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Brucemck2, you could try some pro audio/cinema speakers.
DougWinsor is offline  
post #5 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougWinsor View Post

Brucemck2, you could try some pro audio/cinema speakers.

I'm not averse (I use QSC gear for my sub PEQ) ... where would I look first?
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #6 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneobgyn View Post

FWIW the minimum load to drive my speakers is 7 watts. They are rated at 95 Db and I use 18 watt SET Lamm monos with no problems

I really like the big Wilsons ... but am more than a bit worried that 8w SETs just won't cut it.
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #7 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 03:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NIN74's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Skoghall, va, Sweden
Posts: 3,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

I've got two pairs of really nice 8w/ch 300b SET monoblocks. Separate power supplies, transformer coupled, etc. They were built for bespoke super high efficiency speakers that never materialized.

My question -- are there any truly extremely high-end high-efficiency speakers out there that would be more than fully powered with 8w/channel?

I've got a pair of very nice monster subs from Mark Seaton, so the SETs don't have to handle the very low end.

My room is 18' x 14' x12' and I like pretty high but not concert level volumes.

I heard the Avantgarde Unos a long time back, and while they were not bad they didn't float my boat either.

My alternative is to commision a custom set of some sort.


Are there any reason why you don't sell them?
I would rather find a speaker I like and then buy a amp that could drive them than the other way around.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
NIN74 is offline  
post #8 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 04:05 PM
 
oneobgyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Are there any reason why you don't sell them?
I would rather find a speaker I like and then buy a amp that could drive them than the other way around.


I must be getting old because for the first time I am in complete agreement with you.
oneobgyn is offline  
post #9 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Are there any reason why you don't sell them?
I would rather find a speaker I like and then buy a amp that could drive them than the other way around.

Well, yes ....

The amps were custom built, so the resale would be lousy. I'm optimistic that I can find or commission some truly terrific high efficiency speakers. In part I want to experiment for awhile with higher efficiency speakers and SET amps, if only to understand the pros and cons.

And, I've got another setup where I have speakers and amps I like. The amps are BAT75SEs (that I will likely upgrade to 150w monoblocks) and the speakers are custom line arrays. I'm commissioning some new speakers for this setup too.
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #10 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 04:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sfogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ma, USA
Posts: 5,614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
"My question -- are there any truly extremely high-end high-efficiency speakers out there that would be more than fully powered with 8w/channel?"

Pair of Klipsch Jubilees perhaps?

Shawn
sfogg is offline  
post #11 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 04:41 PM
Advanced Member
 
owl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 842
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
If not Latours, why not these: http://www.goodsoundclub.com/MacondoAcousticSystem.aspx

I've heard this system, it's real nice
owl1 is offline  
post #12 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 04:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
FrantzM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southeast FL, USA
Posts: 2,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
8 watts is really low you need speakers at least 93 dB, there are a few out there but the real great non-horn are high priced affairs.. FWIW the Von Scweikert VR-5 Anniversary a superlative speaker rarely if ever discussed here, is 94 dB efficient.. 8 watts will play it relatively loud in your room... MSRP is over $25K..

Frantz
FrantzM is offline  
post #13 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Owl1, those Macondos are insane. They provide food for thought, but my fairly tolerant spouse would vomit and make me clean it up. Still, the web site behind them provided some ideas for a more reasonable bespoke system.

Sfogg, two decades ago I had a series of Klipsh speakers, starting with Heresys, moving up to La Scalas, and ending with the big Cornerhorns. Really nice, but I don't think I can go back to them and still feel like I'm moving forward.

FrantzM, that's a nice suggestion. I'll search out a dealer. The 9SEs look fantastic, and have much better efficiency. I'd love to find a used set. (The guy that built the amps was targeting 96 or 97db efficient speakers.)
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #14 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 06:30 PM
Advanced Member
 
owl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 842
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
100+ dB is even better! Otherwise you will face dynamic compression even at moderate volumes. I think 100+ db efficient horns with easy impedances are the way to go with 8 watt 300b's.
owl1 is offline  
post #15 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 06:52 PM
 
oneobgyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Danville, California
Posts: 8,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Please find the right speakers for the SET I wouldn't sell them. This however is where NIN and I differ. I will never go back to SS and will always have an SET amp
oneobgyn is offline  
post #16 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 07:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sfogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ma, USA
Posts: 5,614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
"Really nice, but I don't think I can go back to them and still feel like I'm moving forward."

Jubilee is a very different speaker then a LaScala or K'Horn.

Shawn
sfogg is offline  
post #17 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

Jubilee is a very different speaker then a LaScala or K'Horn.

They look interesting. Love the efficiency. I can't imagine them working in a room only 18' long. Seem like they'd need quite a bit more space than I've got.
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #18 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 07:48 PM
AVS Special Member
 
FrantzM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southeast FL, USA
Posts: 2,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneobgyn View Post

Please find the right speakers for the SET I wouldn't sell them. This however is where NIN and I differ. I will never go back to SS and will always have an SET amp

Hi

OB !!!I was surprised that you only found ONE area of disagreement with NIN... .. Seriously there is a true magic to SET something I alluded many years ago in this forum and I can understand the attraction... There is a whole school of thought about low wattage amplifiers and high efficiency speakers. The Magico Ultimate is built on these premises.. I personally do not have any prejudice against horn speakers, some of these sounds extremely good to me... For realistic life-like SPL with such a low power SET 95 dB is the minimum but 94 dB will do it in a pinch when one consider that in most instances even in big room most amps are basically idling.. Bruce try to audition the VS with your amps, it is the only way, SET amps are quite load sensitive and I don't known the impedance curve of the VS.. They have been said to be easy loads but you are on the edge with 8 watts..., then you'll know..
On the Avant-Garde.. They are much better than most people think. They require a lot of care to sound good but when they are properly set up they do sound very good... They have a new model , DUo Primo, that incorporate a sold state amplifier for the basshorn.. The rest of the speaker has an impedance of 18 Ohms that a SET would likely love and an efficiency of 107dB. The biggest problem with showing of these speakers is the tendency to play them loud and THEY CAN and too often they overload the room and the ears... They are much better than that , much , much better

Frantz
FrantzM is offline  
post #19 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 08:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sfogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ma, USA
Posts: 5,614
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
"I can't imagine them working in a room only 18' long."

The Jubilee people are using in home is 2 way, special order. That big horn (K402) is a tractrix with constant directivity with good pattern control all the way down to the crossover point (500hz). So you can use it to shadow your walls in room to reduce reflections.

Shawn
sfogg is offline  
post #20 of 56 Old 03-18-2009, 09:52 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Nasty N8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lake in the hills IL
Posts: 1,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Why not talk to Mark Seaton about building you some high efficiency speakers he has some very nice ones for theater he could easily build a set to work. High efficiency is his specialty.

Nate

www.NastyPerformance.com

10,000 Watts, custom built speakers, 10' CIH screen = Holy Crap
Nasty N8 is offline  
post #21 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 12:32 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
noah katz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Mountain View, CA USA
Posts: 20,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 176 Post(s)
Liked: 149
Geddes' Summa's could be a contender http://gedlee.com/

Noah
noah katz is offline  
post #22 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 02:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
NIN74's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Skoghall, va, Sweden
Posts: 3,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by owl1 View Post

100+ dB is even better! Otherwise you will face dynamic compression even at moderate volumes. I think 100+ db efficient horns with easy impedances are the way to go with 8 watt 300b's.


I agree. Otherwise they will compress the sound on dynamic recordings.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
NIN74 is offline  
post #23 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 05:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
audioguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Not far from Atlanta - but far enough!
Posts: 3,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post

I personally do not have any prejudice against horn speakers, some of these sounds extremely good to me...

I have heard Duos and Trios at both CES and at friends homes (Jim Smith, the previous Avant Guard rep lives in the Atlanta area and I heard his system). While I have NEVER heard more realistic vocals (particularly female) on any system (including Maggies), I never thought much of their scale/soundstaging (depth or width), certainly for larger vocal/orhcestral works. I have yet to hear a horn-based system (I use to several of the original largest Klipsh speakers) including the many that show at CES, that did enough things right to get me to move in that area.
audioguy is offline  
post #24 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasty N8 View Post

Why not talk to Mark Seaton about building you some high efficiency speakers he has some very nice ones for theater he could easily build a set to work. High efficiency is his specialty.

Nate

Mark does very nice work. I've got two of his Submersive subs, and I've had him out to professionally adjust my active crossovers. If/when I ever get a chance to build a real home theater from scratch I'll have his Catalyst speakers on a short list for behind the screen.
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #25 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

I never thought much of their scale/soundstaging (depth or width), certainly for larger vocal/orhcestral works.

Imaging and soundstaging are two aspects that I rate highly. Some call them artifacts, but I call them engaging.
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #26 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 07:42 AM
Senior Member
 
InPhase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I'm surprised no one has mentioned these yet: Danley SH-50s. Some people with very high end horns have given them up after hearing these.

http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/syner...?model=SH%2050
InPhase is offline  
post #27 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 02:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
FrantzM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Southeast FL, USA
Posts: 2,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi

I have often posted here with out much echo that there is something quite special about High Efficiency speakers... Not horn necessarily. I have heard that kind of "magic" at OB's . heard it recently at a friend's with Von Shweikert and some years ago with a high efficiency speaker from Germany which was not horn loaded... I would like to see people chiming on this... it could be that this is due to a lack of power compression the high efficiency speakers delivering the required SPL before thermal loading problems build up There is a verisimilitude to the reproduction through High Efficiency speakers that is unmistakable... The voicing of the speakers could be different: VS does not sound like Wilson nor like horns but tall these high-effiiciency share that immediacy , that sense of unlimited dynamics and ease of reproduction. The old speakers had that, The Old Tannoy, Empire, Bozarks would do that, not as refined as the new speakers but on micro dynamics they were stunning. I understand the fascination and almost cult-like following of ultra-high efficiency horns especially coupled with SETs .. I am not totally sold on horn or SET per se but their qualities are very appealing to me...

Frantz
FrantzM is offline  
post #28 of 56 Old 03-19-2009, 02:11 PM
Member
 
Philip Tan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Then I would consider these. I've not heard them, but parts quality looks excellent.

BD Design Oris Swing MKII.
http://www.bd-design.nl/index1.html


GIP Laboratory - Very big very expensive $90,000 Western Electric clone drivers and woofers.
http://www.amtrans.co.jp/audio/gip/lineup.shtml


Yamamoto YS-604
http://www2.117.ne.jp/~y-s/fea2007-e.html


And I second the Shindo Latours
http://www.toneimports.com/shindo/latour.html
Philip Tan is offline  
post #29 of 56 Old 03-20-2009, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Brucemck2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Philip, what is that speaker adjacent to the PS Audio 300 PowerPlant ... the unit that is a horn mounted above a box woofer?
Brucemck2 is offline  
post #30 of 56 Old 03-20-2009, 12:39 PM
Member
 
Philip Tan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: USA
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Philip, what is that speaker adjacent to the PS Audio 300 PowerPlant ... the unit that is a horn mounted above a box woofer?

Hi Brucemck2,

http://www.azurahorn.com/azurahorn_horns.html

It is the Azura Horns. The Azura is the underground hobbyist answer to the commercial horns like Avant Garde. Mine is the Le Cléac'h flare rate of 204Hz at 0.8 T factor calculated from a 170mm throat size with the Lowther PM4 copper. The bass bins are the clone of the BD Design compact BD15. I use the Altec 515E low pass crossed at 218hz 1st order 6 db Bessel.

There are also commercial versions of the Azura Fornt Horns, like the 160hz Azura with Onken bins from Experience Music. I believe the designers name is Jeffrey Jackson who posts on the Asylum.



Or, you could go with Azzolina Audio with their version of the Azura. Very pretty. http://www.azzolinaaudio.com/


All in all, I prefer the Azura to the Unos and Duos regardless of price that I've heard many times, but ymmv.
Philip Tan is offline  
Reply Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off