Try Omega out of Connecticut. Louis will make you a beautiful pair. Great guy, great service, wonderful product. Check the Enjoy the Music website.
I run mine on 1.5 watts per side.
I run mine on 1.5 watts per side.
The absolute best speaker you can buy in that price range for the low-power SET application is Lowther. The model I use with my 2 watt rig is the EX3 in Voigt Pipe cabinets. The plans for these cabinets are on the web, and if you can't find them, I can email the dimensions to you. If you can't make them, you can have a professional cabinetmaker make them for you. They are very simple cabinets. The EX3 drivers are $895/pr and are single driver fullrange design with no crossover. The efficiency in a Voigt Pipe cabinet is 100db with 1 watt input. Even having a pro cabinet man do your cabinets would only cost several hundred dollars, so that would put you way under the $2k budget. If you wanted fancy wood and were willing to pay more for it, then you could have whatever kind of appearance you want. All you would have to do is pop the drivers into the holes, and wire on the binding posts. I made these speakers myself, and I can tell you that they are astounding with low-power SET's. This would easily provide you with the BEST sound at the LOWEST cost for your SET application. If you want to see what these look like, then click on my "system" link below, next to my name. There is a photo available for the Voigt Pipe speakers in my system. The photo is not my speaker, but a duplicate design made by someone else, and I used his photo. These are not fancy ones, but you can make them with exotic wood and they would look very upscale. I used oak for mine and they look great. And the sound will floor you. You cannot prepare yourself for how good they will sound. No matter what you think they will sound like, they will be better than you imagine. I cannot even think of using any other type of speaker now.
The Thor is rated at 89db sensitivity, nominal impedance 4 Ohms, in the May issue of AudioXpress (very good article by the maker, about 10 pages, if you have not already read it T-man). Very nice speakers but not really well suited for a "small" SET. I take small to mean under 8 watts?
You owe it to yourself to check out the Moth Audio Cicada speaker. Sensitivity is 94db, Nominal impedance is 12ohms. Features a Full range 7 1/2" custom driver. Has a beautiful cabinet, incredible midrange clarity (no crossover!) great soundstage and currently on sale for $595 (regular $695). Check it out at: http://www.mothaudio.com/
I"ll second the comment on the Audio Note speakers. I picked up my ANj/L speakers used with boxes for a grand; they are as new and sound wonderful. I have really started using my turntable again and buying records. Good speakers although I think the more expensive versions of the ANj are grossly overpriced new (20 grand but sound lovely).
A relatively flat impedance curve is a Wonderful Thing when driving a speaker with a low powered SET amp. The Audio Note speakers are specified to operate between 6 and 8 ohms; ie, not below 6 ohms. Most tube amps love that sort of impedance range. That is probably more important that a very high sensitivity rating. The Audio Note speakers are 94 to 95 db, too; the ANe speakers are the most efficient but rather large and pedestrian looking. The ANj is a nice compromise; not too large and 94db sensitivity. Pretty good bass for a two way with 8"woofer, too. I don't miss the sub much when listening to records.