Best SET Compatible Speakers, $4k-6k used

Hi folks,

Starting the second system and will be building it around the speakers. I'm using a sonic frontiers line 3 preamp, with a rega p3/RB300 or CDP. Amps are TBD, targeting the low end of wattage - potentially 45 tubes, so figure less than 10 watts. The room is 12x15, 9' ceilings. I don't plan on deafing the neighbors - I want truly emotional playback with little to no horn coloration and great spatiality. The type of playback that makes your friends jealous!!! Will go with monitors or full range speakers.

Any suggestions?
check out Refernece 3A Royal Virtuoso.

Heard 'em with 6 watts and 10 watts SET.
clean and coherent and pretty darn precise.
I got the feeling that hey *lie less*.
Legacy Focus 20/20 or the VMPS RM 40.
Hi Ljgj
Don't mean to be disagreeable but
Be careful with less than 10 watts (much less 45s) with Legacy and VMPS IMHO.

Both multidriver likely less than or around 4ohms nominal and sensitivty can't be over 95 tops.

I remain,
get a push pull amp of comparible sound quality (such as the quad-ll/40 and free yourself to choose from an infinitly wider variety of speakers with full range capability....set's are great with some music(the key word is 'some').
Lowther or AER or Fostex drivers in appropriate cabinets are the standard choices for low power SET users. If you are getting a 45 amp, then high efficiency is a must. This narrows the choices to Lowther or AER. For $6k, there are numerous very good possibilities, and even a new set of Hedlund back-horns, for around that figure.

I use a 45 amp, and have Lowther EX3 drivers in modified Voigt Pipes, and like the sound very much. Remember, with back loaded horns 90% of the music is direct-radiated, with the horn only coming into play under about 300Hz, to augment the bass response. This makes the driver the key ingredient, and the enclosure only secondary, to suit your taste in bass response. If you're handy, you can make a set of Voigt Pipes in a weekend for very low cost. Not a complicated project. The drivers are only $925/pr. I have a total of $1500 in mine, and they are made of nice oak.

An alternative, would be a set of Lammhorn 1.8 with Lowther drivers that would be well under $6k used, if you can find a pair. These speakers would challenge the best of anything, as long as it remained over about 50Hz. All SET based systems will be challenged under 50Hz, due to the need of higher power to drive deep bass with authority. I don't find this any problem, and enjoy the better coherence that is provided in the more prevalent frequencies.

If you like front-loaded horns, then the Oris 150 with a powered subwoofer, may take you where you want to go. They use Lowther drivers behind circular horns, and have a separate bass driver, cabinet, and amp, to handle the bass stuff. Sort of like a budget Avant Garde system. Sound is good from the reports I've heard, but I prefer back horn systems over front horns.

If you have some particular questions about this, I will accept emails on the subject. I live with a system like you describe every day, and am well informed on this subject.
Twl is correct, the Lamhorns would be an excellent choice and can be had new for less than $6K with a choice of drivers. I have DX3 in mine. I would have gone with AER but they are 16 ohm only and my amp is 8. I think they come in 8 ohm now but I'm not sure. You will need a good sub to go full range, but most convential multi driver speakers need one too.

You won't get more than a few watts from a 45 amp so speaker choice is critical. I must respectfully disagree with the notion that SET systems limit your choices in music. I can only guess that these folks have never heard a fully realized system. If you can get back issues of Listener magazine there are many reviews of SET amps and compatible speakers.
TWL's recommendations are excellent, as usual. He is experienced and competent. I haven't heard the Lamhorns, but in this price range I like Rethm speakers, from India.

If you're willing to do a little custom cabinetry, then PHY of France makes some excellent high-efficiency 16-ohm drivers. I chose to become a dealer for PHY because their drivers deliver a bit warmer tonal balance and more satisfying bottom end (in my opinion) than other high-efficiency full-range drivers. The PHY's are actually crossoverless two-ways, with a high-quality coaxial piezo tweeter filling in the top octave. The recommended cabinets are quite simple, and even a large open baffle can be used.

If you want a multi-way speaker with a crossover, and if your heart is set on a 45 SET, then I'd suggest you try to find speakers with a rated impedance of 12 ohms or higher. The Classic Audio Reproductions T-5 is a possibility, though I've never seen a pair show up used.

Best of luck in your quest!

Both are rare finds these days, but the ESP Bodhran or the Brentworth Type III are each over 100 db and are world class loudspeakers in the right system/room.
Yes, I forgot about the Brentworth. I have heard them and they are very good. I assume they are still in business as their website is still active. Worth checking out.
If you don't want a horn/lowther colored sound, I would recommend Spendor SP100. Presents a very stable 8ohm load and has relatively high sensitivity (over 90db). Very musical and emotionally satisfying especially when driven by SET amps. And last I checked, $3300 brand new.
Sorry my friend was on my site and typed in the Legacy and VMPS response. I do own both of these and have used them with tube amps but not SET. I apologize for the miscue.