A 20W SET on Thiels won't work at any volume higher than a murmur.
I think you need to check out Vandersteen. All their higher-end models fit your criteria - even #2.
I'm really not sure about this, but, Meadowlarks might. First order cross-overs while usually offering fairly flat impedances still have the reputation for being a bit challenging for amplifiers. SET's might not be the first choice for such speaker designs.
I have a K.C.S. 96db hi-eff ribbon, 2 way with fostex 12in woofers, 1st order with hovland caps alpha core copper foil inductors.Baltic birch cabinet 1 1/2in T ,Solid cherry ribbon mounts,28hz-40khz $1900 shipped.I have used on 300b set 9 watts with great results,built 6 pair this is the 1st prototype and uses better crossover than production model.Price incs frieght system is lightly used.
Ummm, I believe the Gallo Reference 3s match your criteria. Avaialable for WAY under $10k...
I'm sure you've looked at Green Mountain. Impedance does dip a bit below at some frequencies, but you can definitely drive them with your 20 watt SET. I would not rule them out (or others mentioned here) just because the spec sheet doesn't line up perfectly with your rigid criteria.
Thanks for the replies.
1) The Green Mountain speakers are absolutely killer. The C3 is quite a stretch for me at $17K and the Calypso is 88dB sensitive and 4ohms. Likely marginal with SET.
2) I used to have Gallo Ref 3s. They are 88dB and just don't cut it with 20W SETs in my experience.
3) I should have said no ribbons. Dynamic speakers only. No ribbons, no horns. I'd never heard an example of either that sounds SOTA for me.
I believe that the Silverline Sonata and Sonatina both fit your requirements.
I have an older pair of Sonatinas that I still use. Terrific looking, modestly priced, fullish range, high sensitivity and impedence, first order x-overs. Mine are very good, not great, sounding loudspeakers IMHO. I haven't heard the last few generations, so I can't comment on their quality.
What about the GMA Pico models?
You might look at the line of speakers from Coincident.
Why are you even looking at 90db with an SET? Also, most amps don't have 6ohm taps??? Very few will be 4ohms and above 90db. You can not expect any type of performance out of a 20 watt amp with 88db. Stay away from thiels. They are amazing speakers but very hard on an amp.
Finally, a first order crossover put into this mix makes it tougher yet. If you can bend on the crossover, try Coincident Speakers. You will get 94db to 102db with a very flat 8ohms or higher and friendly to as low as 3 watt amps.
The other route you may want to look at is brand new Klipshorns. You will get flat to 25-30hz, over 100db, 3 way, 8ohms...
No ribbon or horns well hope you have listened to the new transducers but if you dont like nothing wrong with that. Have you considered a PHY 12in coaxil in a OB? Very good with SET amps. You could DIY a pair or have probuilt. I do custom work and would suggest a accuton c13-6 tweeter, accuton c90-t6 mid.Aura 12in woofers with built in 500watt power amps. system would be 6ohms 92db 1 watt and since self powered your SET wouldnt be clipping on deep bass notes.Depending on cabinet finish retail shipped arround $5000 I could offer a 90db version that wouldnt need a bass amplifier for $4250.Just a thought dont mean to give you a hard sell just thought you might like the option of a custom built system.JK-K.C.S.
If you think 90dB speakers can't work well with higher power, 845 and up SETs, your experience isn't broad enough.
What you note about Thiels is apparantly NOT true of the new 3.7. They are supposed to be a much easier load. I don't know for sure.
I had always thought 1st order xovers were the EASIEST load for an amp. They are the simplest crossover - fewest parts - least loss of energy. I have read this many times, but perhaps it is wrong.
Silverline is 1st order? That surprises me.
Here's a thought: the floorstanders from Reference 3A. They are not as strictly time and phase aligned as GMA or Thiel or Vandersteen, but otherwise I think they meet the requirements.
Hmmmmm... in my opinion, it makes more sense to choose speakers first and then get the amplifier to drive them. You may not be able to find a speaker that meets all your requirements including amplifier compatibility, but I'm pretty sure you can find an amp that will work with the speakers you want.
For instance, there are quite a few 845-based SET amps that will drive 4 ohm speakers no problem. Shoot me an e-mail if you'd like a couple of suggestions. That would put the Green Mountain Audio Calypso back on the table, which I think would be an excellent choice given your priorities.
Duke, you're absolutely right! Except that I already have a pair of Consonance Cyber 845 monos that I really, really like and just don't want to part with.
I really am into SET... I have been through zillions of amps and want to stick with SET. There are more powerful sets than these 845 monos but they are either much more expensive or don't sound as good or both.
You are quiet right that they may well drive a 4Ohm load with no problems. You may be right. All the GM speakers are VERY flat impedance, too. It was the 88dB sensitivity that is of more concern... requiring nearly double power for same SPL. My room is completely open.. the numbers are marginal there.
Also, I've not heard the. The C3s "blew me away". If they weren't $17K... not that I need any new speakers at all.. this is perhaps only a long-term planning thing. Would you believe I bought new (demo) Hyperion 938s less than 6 months ago? Am I pathetic, or what?!
We really do need an audioholics anonymous.. for real. :-}
The Vandersteens are just a bit off on the sensitivity. 87 is not high enough. Not in an open room. I'll have to try to hear these speakers, though. Never heard them.
Is the question stupid? Forget about 845 SETs if you want speakers like this? Yes, well, maybe at least one of these "requirements" has to give. That may be the way it is. That's why I asked.
A bit more on single-drivers: in my experience they can sound quite good but, again, just not "SOTA". The GM C3s blew me away and meet all the criteria *except* price. The Thiel 3.7s did too but not to quite the same extent. And it may be true that those will not do well with 20-30W either.
Am I pathetic, or what?!
Are you kidding? You held steady with one pair of speakers for 6 whole months...C'mon, get with the program here.
The C3s "blew me away". If they weren't $17K
The last two pair in the classifieds were both listed for under $5K. It could be worth the wait. The GMA's are outstanding speakers, as you already know.
A recent review linked from the Silverline website noted that the Sonatina 3 uses 1st order x-overs. Another portion of the Silverline site implies that common crossover topology is used throughout the line. FWIW
$5K? For the current version? Hard to believe.
Roy is such a great guy to deal with, such an asset to the industry, and has taken so much time to answer questions, I'd honestly feel a bit guilty about buying them used. Maybe that's stupid. I suppose that's better than buying something else or not buying anything! Actually that latter idea is the best one...
$5K? For the current version? Hard to believe.
Believe it. I nearly bought a pair, but they were sold within hours.
$5K? For the current version?
A few GMA owners I've spoken with is that they did not pay retail even when buying new. Discounts may or may not be standard...not sure about that.
"Roy is such a great guy to deal with, such an asset to the industry, and has taken so much time to answer questions, I'd honestly feel a bit guilty about buying them used."
Wow. Paul, I take my hat off to you, that you would want to support Roy even though it's not the most cost-effective route.
Now I don't mean anything against those who do buy used - you make the audio world go 'round! For instance, most of the time my customers have to sell something before they can buy what I'm peddling. Were it not for Audiogon, I'd make very few big-ticket sales.
Very best wishes to you, Paul. I hope you and a nice new pair of Green Mountain Audio speakers somehow end up together.
Take a look at the VMPS RM30. If purchased full boat - outboard crossover and bass amp installed in XO, the sensitivity is 93db with a flat 8 ohm impedance. Retail price is around 8.5K and is heavily discounted.
I had forgotten all about VPRS. A lot of people sure love them. Never heard those either. Geneally I have to either drive for hours or go to a show to hear stuff. They are sensitive, too.
I went thru the archives here including a loooong thread about t&P dominated by Roy of GM. Boy, that man is a genius.
I've been reading the GMA website the past couple of days. I highly recommend it to everyone. Thoughtful, well-written, detailed explanations of the goals for each model, the approach taken to solve different problems...he describes just about everything. I would be surprised if there are more than a handful or two of speaker designers who know as much as Roy does or who are as disciplined and methodical about building their products.
Yeah, agree on that. Find that old thread circa '02-'03 and you'll be even more impressed. He has an answer for everything... not a marketing/BS/subjective/questionable answer but a real, thorough, detailed answer backed-up with physics and acoustics in layman's terms.