I really enjoy how my Reference 3A de Capos sound at low volumes. I'm using tubes and vinyl also.
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Well I have vinyl and tube gear and would urge you to try to listen to electrostatic speakers. The reQuests and my Summits are superb at low level resolution and retain the clarity and coherence at low volume. My friend's maggies were also nice at 80-90 db level. I think the dipoles help retain the "fill" at low volume.
I am historically a boom and tizz lad and upgraded and bought summits for higher volume and the better slam and headroom but they retain their strengths at low volume.
Try to audition some planars and stats and have fun.
I've learned that it's not your speakers that must sound good at low levels but your electronics.
If you don't have a first class "stiff" power supply,
your sound will turn to mush.
I used a first rate integrated amp that maintained it's sonic character all the way to number-1 on the volume control. It sounded exactly the same (as higher volume)
only "less loud".
I used a TAS amp/preamp of the year that sounded like crap unless the volume control read 20 or above (then it still didn't sound good -with my speakers).
I suspect this combo used global negative feedback where the integrated did not.
So it really isn't only the speakers that make the difference.
thanks folks.....i do have planars (Martin Logans) and I would also agree that in my system power source/supply makes what's good about my system even better. I will look at the Reference 3A de Cappos. Finally, I can't seem to search this topic although I was pretty sure it must have been covered somewhere.
I agree with Dweller and Zmanastronomy. At low listening levels, it has to do with the quality of the attenuator in your electronics (integrated or pre-amp) as to how much detail will be delivered to your amp section and speakers.
When it comes to speakers, the simpler the crossover (or even better, no crossover) such as the full range drivers in the De Capo's tend to reveal more.
I would also agree with the above responses but weight the speakers a little higher in their contribution to this. I have recently heard the Wilson Sophia 3 in Tampa at AV South being driven by Ayre integrated and DAC and Computer front end. Don't know how much each piece was contributing to the sound but it was amongst the best I ever heard at low levels while still having amazing detail, clarity and dynamics. I've heard Wilsons in many setups, but this was best I've heard them. all this at a level that would easily allow conversation with someone in the room. Also, the system as a whole-while not exactly chump change would not break the bank either for the quality it delivered. Just a thought....