I have found Spendors to work very well with low powered tube amps.
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the guarneris are lovely...warm,open,transparent and non-fatiguing sound with excellent midrange. they won't give you deep bass though. they sound great with tubes amps like ARC,Graaf etc. they are not that difficult to drive ...about 87db although with more powerful amps you will get the sense of ease with the way the sound is produced.
I got mine from someone who had been driving them with a 50 wpc tube amp in a room about 12 x 15. He had been very happy with that combination. ( Sold because of low WAF for multiple systems. ) Other sources have also been happy with the Shearwaters ( 88-89 dB/W sensitivity ) combined with tube amps in that power range.
I myself am using a ss Celeste W-4070se ( about 70 wpc ) with my Shearwaters There is gobs of power for my 15 by 22 room.
Another possibility might be Reference 3a. The DeCapos are rated at 92 dB/W. I heard them do very well with Antique Sound Lab 10w tube monoblocs at the 2001 Montreal show.
You might want to consider Revel Performa F30s; I am running them in a 12.5x19.5x8 room with a Jolida SJ502a which puts out ~60Watts/ch (I am using Ei KT90 power tubes; I'm not sure if that increases the power at all, but the amp is rated to deliver 60/ch).
I wanted a speaker that did deep bass as well as a really nice midrange and good detail/air etc. Having auditioned several in the 3-5k price range I settled on the Revels and am very happy I did. I was a little concerned that the amp would not be able to drive them well, but it has no trouble at all (I rarely take the volume past 25%; beyond this the SPLs become quite uncomfortable, though not at all distorted- I just can't listen that loud for any length of time :).
As always, audition before you buy :).
I think the new Von Schweikert db 99 sets a new standard in efficient speakers, at $5995 or $6995. They were one of the best-of-show at CES, with the benefit of the $50K Wavac amp. The speakers have active amps for woofer 'boost', so require AC plug in. My other favorite is the Roman Audio speakers, floorstander or monitor, with the diaural crossover. We're finally hearing what the diaural circuit really can do with both space and music! Again, fantastically good speakers at reasonable prices.
I second the new DB99's from Von Schweikert. They can be had within the constraints of your budget. Georgeous to view, they are articulate, lush, with plenty of low-end response (12lb 10" woofer, driven by a class AB internal amp.)Best sound at CES in my opinion. www.vonschweikert.com
The Merlins are a 2 way speaker design. Tho the tweeter is a good one (they image quite nicely) the mid/low-end response really needs dedicated drivers. Midrange voicing is terrible with a distinct blur. Look at the Mid/bass driver,,,,, the paper cone is packed with heavy tar
to lesson vibration, but their is a delayed resonance, vibration,, ringing affect. Hovland no longer uses the Merlins to highlight their superb electronics for good reason.
The Quads produced great sounds at the show. Off axis listening remains a challenge though, and if you tastes require slam and punch when called upon,, they fall just short.
Oh yeah, read the www.enjoythemusic.com review of the DB100's, the 99's big brother. The 99's are the 100's in a smaller much more attractive package.