Efficient full range floorstanders to match SET

Some more advice please, I am looking for a "last speaker", to match my "last amp" and yes I know everyone says this is my last purchase. This time I mean it, I think.. My problem, I have settled on 2 lowish power integrated amps, a Viva Solista 845 SET integrated that puts out 18 watts and a Lavardin integated at 50 watts, for warm weather duties. Neither are flea powered, but I can forget most of the offerings from mainstream speaker manufacturers, B and W etc. I recognise you also loose out on the deep base and full range dynamic sound of low efficiency speakers and powerfull SS power amps. I happen to like what you get from low power and efficient speakers. I have been using Living Voice Avatars for years and they are excellent, if a tad polite and laid back. I am looking for something more dynamic, perhaps with a wider, deeper soundstage.
My room is 20ft by 20ft, but certainly cluttered. I enjoy many types of music, Singer songwriters, Jazz, Classical and opera. The real challenge for my chosen path seems large scale classical and opera. We all know how magical SET's and 100db horns can be with the female voice or a jazz combo, but sorting out a complex symphonic piece, not so easy. So I need a compact floorstander, preferably that can be used near wall, that can produce a realistic opera chorus with 18 watts, a tall order? The 18 Watts mean I don't have to go for Avantagarde or Beauhorn at 103 dbs, 92 to 97 will do.
There is some information around, in fact an excellent series on SET amps on the 6moon site, but there are so many choices of matching speakers, often from small cottage industry manufacturers. I rather fancy horns, though my size requirements would mean compression horns or hybrids.
My thoughts included Zingali, the new High Efficiency line from Tyler, Reimer, Triangle, Devore, Cain and Cain, but there are so many others. Budget, up to $5000, preferably second hand, any thoughts? thanks
Zu Druids would fill your bill nicely at $2,800. Add a fast sub and you'd be in heaven. Near-wall is no problem with these, I had mine stuffed tight in corners for months. The 12-ohm load is very SET friendly too. And, they'll play any material at any volume. Separating complex passages is no problem and they scale volume incredibly well.

The Dedaelus DA-1 seems like it might be a good choice, and I've heard nothing but good about all the Devores.

Good luck!
Here's one that's not even close to $5000. I've read some great reports on it. It maybe atleast worth a try. The speaker uses a 15 inch coaxial driver in an open baffle configuration.Hawthorne Audio Mini Solo. I've been itching to buy a pair myself for a second system ,as they seem to be a good compromise between a single driver and a planar speaker. Cool part about the speaker, is when not using it you can just push it up against the wall.
Check out the Reimer line.
Hi David12,

Do you have any acoustic room treatents?

Sorry to mention this if you already know, but a perfectly square room(20'x20') is about the worst acoustic environment possible under any circumstances.

As great as the sound you've gotten used to seems to be, I bet you will be apalled by the actual in-room response you are getting. I know I was, check out my System listed here for some quick graphical freq. test results.

The traits that you find lacking in the Living Voice could be due to extreme room colorations, modal ringing, and time-decay. Before investing ~$5,000 on new speakers which will be subject to same overriding forces, take a some time and spend a few dollars to do proper frequency, time-delay, etc. types of acoustic tests.

There is a simple method for doing frequency tests by hand with a cheap $30 Radio Shack SPL meter, it is reasonable accurate, yet time consuming. The much more accurate and simple method is to use $150 software like ETF 5, which provide far more information than simple frequency response. You get 1/3 octave frequecy repsonse, unsmoothed Freq resp., and most importantly 3-D graphs which show resonances, ringing, and decay time.

I wish I had used ETF right off the bat because it would have saved me literally months of frustration arranging, then rearranging, my room trying to get optimal sound. At one point, I was very, very, close to selling some of Cain & Cain's best speakers before a friend from Audio Asylum came over and pointed out my severe room colorations.

Now, I realize that no matter speakers I placed in the room, those problems would have still existed and dominated reporduction. Since then, I've discovered the beauty, simplicity, and power of room treatments - especially bass traps which actually help high frequecies too.

Just soem food for thought.
Have you considered a tube preamp driving active speakers?

I am not sure if the high input impedance of active speakers will prevent your tube amp from being stressed enough to make its lovely tube-like sound.

Matching with actives might give you both the nice tube sound and the deep accurate base/SPL levels. Something that you fear to miss with high efficiency passive speakers coupled with a tube.

If this worked out then, it seems to me, you would have your cake and eat it too!

ATC or Dynaudio make active speakers in a variety of sizes to suit your room/bandwith/SPL requirements.

Disclaimer: I have not tried this - so I don't know for sure if you still get the tube sound you are obviously looking for whilst driving such a high impedance load. I expect others may have tried this....
Silverline Audio Sonata III.
Look into Coincident...email the owner/designer off their website & see which model(s) best match your amps. Made for tubes.
Can go wrong with the Silverline Sonata III, I just sold they sound great with SET amps. I was using Cardinal X-1, 12.5 watts to drive the Sonata. The reason I sold the Sonata was just got a pair Edgarhorn Titan II from Dr. Bruce Edgar.
I am driving Meadowlark Blue Heron 2's with a 20 watt Art Audio SET. The Meadowlark are confident and very detailed. 18 SET watts should drive them. 6k+ maybe on the used market.
Thanks for all the ideas, in fact I had a chance to listen to the Zingali overture 3's last night. Just as I feared, wonderful on solo voice and jazz, but the soundstage collapsed and the sound became harsh and congested with an opera chorus or orchestra crescendo. Thanks for the thought about room correction, I was aware of the problems of a square room, so worth some serious thought. I had actively thought about Coincident, but they are quite deep and need to be placed away from walls, I simply can't fit them in. I had checked out the Reimer line, they look very good value.
your answear is Horning Hybrids, Perikles, Agathon etc.
They are placed near corners.
I heard the 18watt Lamm with Horning Agathon and it was amazing combination. I guess the smaller Perikles will do.

There is a review on the current stereophile.
I have the Reimer Teton's and they are ported in the front which seems to make it easier to place near the rear wall. I am not currently using an SET with them but have thought about doing so. Rick Reimer says that they will work well with a little as 8 watts.
your avatars are too polite because of your amps. they are the 'keepers' in your system. a push-pull tube or mosfet ss will make them lively and you will hear articulate bass, something you won't get (other than a corner horn) by spending 5k on high eff. speakers
Since space is at a premium for you, I'd give Miklorsmith's suggest of Zu Druids serious consideration. They are the most compact floorstander (depthwise) I have ever seen - ~8" deep. And the company allows 60 day in-home trials with a full money-back guarantee.

I know from personal experience that the Druids do rock & roll extremely well at high volume without breaking up, perhaps they do equally with orchestral and choral. The only drawback, with all "single-driver's" including mine, are that I feel suwoofers are absolutely necessary to get proper tonal fullness. But, they do allow greater fredom of placement within a busy room.

Sadly, the only systems that I have ever heard to recreate full orchestra and choral with a true sense of scale and realism are 3-way or 4-way true compression horn speakers, properly configured. And these systems are BIG.

Mainly, I'm talking about the ability to go from the softest passages to the fullest in one swirling, dynamicly fantastic, sweep without loosing focus of the individual instruments/voices within the massed music.

Dr. Bruce Edgar's Edgarhorn shop is 10 mintes from my house - his stuff does scale. Of course, the Edgarhorns + Seismic sub are like putting 3 refrigerators in your living room. The Seismic is actually closer to a Sub-Zero double-door frig/freezer.

Eso on AA has a home-built 4-way system that does dynamic swings of full orchestra that are so real I got goosebumps. But, his bass horn alone is built into the room with a horn throat/length of 16-18 feet(?). I think he used hundreds and hundreds of pound of plaster or concrete to build it.

Cogents new field coil system does an amazing job of scale with unbelievable ease, but that's not even available yet and will cost ya' ~$20-30k when it's done.
after some thought, i think you want horns/hybrids no matter what. go forth into the land of midrange....just know that most return someday, and those who don't are forced to listen to chamber music and whispy female vocalists and nothing else.
Thanks for all the advise. I would love to go for horns, but can't fit a decent pair in. My thoughts then are:
Silverline Sonata
Reimer Wind River or the GS version, I am not sure about the difference
Tyler Acoustics new line of high Sensitivty speakers with a compression horn tweeter(but very new, no review or feedback yet)
Daedalus DA1/2
Any thoughts guys?
JM LAbs all the way,especially the new Be line.
VSA-DB 99's
check out my add for fostex fe206esr horns 98db, better driver and cabs the cain uses.I inc shipping and my new price is lower than the others used prices.
David, where are you? I could try to arrange an audition of the DA-1.
I own Zingali floorstanders, purchased for use w/Cary 300B monos. The combo works very nicely (and looks great). Note that as SPL increases, things get a bit messy and discontinuity between the woofers and horns becomes evident.

Oddly enough, the combo that has really worked well for me is the Cary monos with the Merlin VSM SE. Again, max SPL is limited, but this one is terrific right up 'til it runs out of gas. The Zingalis will go louder and deeper, but the Melins produce real magic - pun intended.

Of course, the VSM (now MX?) will cost significantly more $, unless you move up the Zingali line to models featuring compression drivers. That comparison would feature a more level playing field, but I've not had the chance to experience it.
It might pay to consider some of the ESS speakers.I have an old pair of PS5Cs which are one of the few speakers that do really good bass with a 23 watt tube amp.If you like ribbon sound you should check out their latest offerings-and you can buy direct and avoid retail mark ups.
I have been down the full range driver/back loaded horn road and cannot really recommend it.These all need subwoofers but the worst aspect of them is that they sound very cold and coloured.Good speakers should emote and apart from Goodmans Axiom 80s these don't.
The other option is to biamp any good mainstream 3 ways-using your SET on the mids and tweeters and SS or digital on the woofers.This is best done in speakers that have midrange drivers working down to 250-300 hz.If your preamp does not have two pre outs you can use 1 into 2 RCA adaptor plugs.Output levels can be adjusted using either gain controls on your amps or attenuators on your speakers.Biamping may add complexity but it also widens your choices of speakers immensely.