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  Best high-efficiency speaker under 10K
I have never played in the high-eff speaker / low-powered amp space, but I've read so many things that I would like to give it a try. I own an EAR 859 integrated amplifier, De Paravicini's interpretation of SET. It's pretty incredible, especially if you consider its price tag. I am now in the business of choosing the right speaker. I listen to a lot of jazz and vocals and opera. So, I can do without the sub-40HZ frequency range. I would like to stay between $3K to $7K, certainly below $10K. Here are the options i am considering:

1) Zu Audio Essence.
2) Beauhorn Virtuoso (single driver)
3) KCS louspeakers (the model that uses the SEAS exotic driver)
4) Devore Gibbons 8
5) Living voice Avatar

If I had to choose right now, I'd go with the Beauhorn, but I know their limitations.

Any thoughts/personal experiences with the above or any other speakers in this range? Thanks.
Ggavetti  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-54 of 54)
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07-14-10   Tannoy glenair. prat like the zu with single source imaging.   4est

07-14-10   Omega loudspeakers are another good choice at the lower end ...   4musica44107

07-14-10   Consider silverline bolero's. 92db and easy to drive (impeda ...   Newbee

07-14-10   Attend rmaf or ces and listen to your choices. forget trying ...   Tvad

07-14-10   Tvad, you put way more weight to half-hour listening session ...   Ggavetti

07-14-10   i give hearing speakers significantly more weight than anyon ...   Tvad

07-15-10   Zu essence blows goat. cheap ribbon, poor integration. de ...   Bjesien

07-15-10   Also consider coincident speaker technology in canada. if yo ...   Metralla

07-15-10   Tvad, don't get me wrong. i do listen to a lot of speakers, ...   Ggavetti

07-15-10   I think you should use the search function---this subject ha ...   Keithr

07-15-10   The "you need to audition" advice is doubtless rig ...   Jdoris

07-15-10   Here are two of the recent threads in which high efficiency ...   Almarg

07-15-10   Ggavetti, i agree that collecting info and recommendations i ...   Tvad

07-15-10: Dpatrick
Far superior to the Beauhorns are the Horning Hybrid speakers from Denmark which also use the Lowther drivers. The Hornings are some of the best commercial speakers out there at present, especially for ensemble jazz and vocals. If you want your favorite mezzo-soprano to bring you to your knees, you want a Lowther, but you will also want a tweeter and some credible bass...Get down to NYC and visit High Water Sound. If you have a huge room, get the huge Hornings, for small rooms the Aristotle model is within your stated budget and will blow away the other speakers you mentioned in the presence and "passion" departments...
Dpatrick  (Answers | This Thread)

07-15-10   I was on a similar quest and went to rmaf to listen to some ...   David12

07-15-10: Glide3
I have owned the following (love the high sensitivity speakers)
Beauhorn, Lamhorn, Exemplar horn, Tonian TLM (original model), KCS Seas Exotic, and currently use the Tonian Classic 12.1s.
I have listened extensively to several Horning models (Alkabiades, Agathon Ultimates) as well as the Gibbon 9's and silverbacks and the Living Voice Avatar OBX

All these speakers, and several of the other mentioned, have great qualities.
I love the Hornings but find they like to be played a bit louder than some of the others to really gel but boy are they nice.
I prefered the lamhorn with the AER driver to the Beauhorn with the Lowther in my systems (used severl different amp preamp combos...mostly all SET 45,2A3, 300b, 845 based) but both are very good

The KCS are great and definately a value winner....I had the ones with the original single SEAS driver but see that John now has a version using the RAAL ribbon...I bet these are great

For me, I love the Tonian's with the modified Raven ribbon and Phy drivers....just a great, musical take your mind off anything high-fi speaker...seem to me, in my system, to be less overall compromised than any other I have had or heard.

I run mine with a Berning ZH230 (the new one) and have what I think is the best sound I have gotten in my room.

I think you would do well with any of these speakers if you really pay attention to your own preferences, put them into the right system and then just enjoy the effortless, musical sound such transducers are able to convey.

Glide3  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-15-10   Coincident!   Elevick

07-15-10   Legacy hd, or some used legacy whispers.   Sthomas12321

07-15-10   I see you've gone back to the tonians kurt they must sound ...   Musicfile

07-15-10   Don't buy anything without hearing the audio note an/e spe a ...   Paulfolbrecht

07-15-10   Folks thanks for the many suggestions. i notice a consensus ...   Ggavetti

07-16-10   Musicfile, yes, they are clearly some of my favorites i for ...   Glide3

07-16-10   Keep in mind that audionotes were designed to work in the co ...   F1a

07-16-10   Assuming that 96 db meets your definition of 'high efficienc ...   Curriemt11

07-16-10   that would depend on the size of the room and how loud the ...   Clio09

07-16-10   Along the lines of my earlier comment, imo the most importan ...   Almarg

07-16-10   I'm suprised more people don't try open baffle designs when ...   Sibelius

07-16-10   For those interested in listening to tonian labs i believe t ...   Sibelius

07-16-10: Paulfolbrecht
I was not unfortunately able to hear the more expensive Tonian models. I owned Beauhorns and they are very good, but pretty bandwidth-limited as you said. What they bring is smoothness missing from almost all Lowther speakers. Front-loading the drivers brings up the low-mids to eradicate the peaky mid-high mids.
Paulfolbrecht  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-17-10: Geoch

You better look for the real thing. Real HE no plastic cones.There is a certain minimum point of sensitivity to deliver the nuance & dynamics and it is far beyond the 92dB.

Just for inspiration:
DIY copy of Shindo Altec 604
Lowther America BIG OPEN BAFFLE/Lowther Field Coil/Altec 416 B
Carfrae LBH copy (by creation audio)/Lowther PM7A/Goto SG116TT
Sachiko/Fostex 208 Sigma/T 90 A
Cardersound MADISON/Fostex 206E/BMS 4540

The above mentioned tweeters are a subject of an added upgrade if you feel the need for. (I do)


Geoch  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-17-10   Used avantgarde unos should be available in the $10k range. ...   Triode

07-17-10   I would also look at the tannoy dual concentrics (with the p ...   Aronsss

07-17-10   Hello fellows, i just had a chance to listen to a pair of be ...   Ggavetti

07-17-10   When i made my journey to rmaf listen to speakers, the prima ...   Tvad

07-18-10   If it were my money i would move kcs up to top position in y ...   Gawdbless

07-18-10   Gawdbless thanks for your suggestion. i haven't heard a sing ...   Ggavetti

07-18-10   I would suggest building your own, i just did it and could n ...   Acurus

07-19-10   Ggavetti, i can understand where you are coming from, but fo ...   Gawdbless

09-27-10   You can never go wrong with coincident technologies. the gal ...   Allchemie

09-27-10   Ggavetti, i think it would be important if you first stated ...   Darkmoebius

11-09-10   I just received a pair of beauhorn virtuoso cabs and install ...   Isochronism

11-09-10   'i am invited to listen to musical affairs grand crescendo's ...   Phaelon

11-09-10   I for one like the essence. it took me three weeks of playin ...   Pmburnett

11-14-10   I have heard the devore gibbon 8s and they are excellent. at ...   Latinsamba1

11-17-10   Thought sam returned the klipsch   Johnk

11-27-10   Please take a look my has crossowerless bache audio spea ...   Bache

01-13-11   Phalen, (others) musical affairs grand crescendo's. we lis ...   Isochronism

01-17-11   Vaughn loudspeakers zinfandel or the cabernet. absolutely fa ...   Nakolawala

01-18-11   Thank you isochrnism. i know that there is no substitution ...   Phaelon

01-19-11   One of my friend's favorite references is stravinsky rite of ...   Isochronism

01-20-11   The vaughn cabernet and the coincident technologies referenc ...   Phaelon

01-20-11   I heard the vaughn cabernet and a featured coincident model ...   Tvad

01-21-11   The coincident pure reference and the vaughn cabernet are in ...   Montejay

01-24-11   Legacy focus 20/20's. for me, as good as it gets. i miss min ...   Sthomas12321

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