Soliloquy SM2A3. Same as the 5.0, but designed for SET's. Super efficient...
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I bought some Omega TS1 that are very very impressive for the price. You probably can afford more expensive ones if you bought Cary but I would give these a listen if you have a chance. They are not too common but sound darn good with tubes. Super SET friendly 96dB efficient with good impedance single driver fostex cones. Mids are very clear and detailed, highs are crystalline, and bass is present enough to make the mids wonderful. www.omegaloudspeakers.com. I tried a couple ASL SET amps with them and am looking to buy some very soon. I wanted to listen to the SM2A3 but never got to. Good luck as there are not a ton of speakers like this (I looked for a long time before getting Omegas).
I use Lowthers with my Voigt Pipe cabinets, and they are well known to be one of the preferred speakers for SET gear. It is one of the classic combinations. If you don't make your own cabinets, buying pre-made ones can be expensive. Some Lowther models can be 100db efficient, when loaded into a cabinet. This gives over 105db peaks with a 2A3 amp. They will play pretty darn loud and clean with a 2A3. Bookshelf speakers are not really an option with Lowthers, or other real efficient speakers because of the cabinet designs that are required to achieve useable bass response. However, the Omega speakers mentioned above, or the Loth-X bookshelf series will do reasonably well in the bass, for a small sized cabinet that doesn't use a back loaded horn.
Hi ED, I bet you dont have kids!!!! At one time, I ranged over entire territories. My influence and range were unbounded. Then, with marriage, compromise after compromise traded territory after territory. I am still holding on to a little patch on the attic floor of my house, but even that is under siege......
Nothing (I am familiar with) comes to mind that would sound good on a bookshelf.
Unless you find an efficient speaker designed for such an application I would not suggest putting much money into it (you would probably end up with an otherwise good speaker that does not perform well close to walls/boundaries).
An odd thought is to check out the Gallo DUE's which are designed for close to the wall placement (they can also be wall mounted). The online spec's do not state the ohm load, just efficiency @ 93 dB (which should be OK as they do not go that low).
Definitively try to hear some Triangle speakers! They work extremely well with tube amps and some models especially with high quality 2A3 tubed amps as you have.
You owe it to yourself to hear this speakers(with your setup)! One other thing: don't underestimate them for their reasonable price(especially the smaller bookshelf models you're after, they're able to compete and "outrun" many much higher priced speakers)!
Best regards and best of luck in your quest,
The Cain and Cain speakers did sound very good at THE Show. And the Abby, I think, is only $1500, a steal. the Galante monitors are 95-96 db, made expressly for low-watt tubes. The Galante Rhapsody is $2295, and sounded very good with Sophia tube amps. The Galante Symphony is a really excellent, BIG, kick-butt, take-no-prisoners monitor! Then there are Loth-X high-sensitivity speakers. with two models under $1000, and some expensive floorstanders.
Yes, you are right - I dont' have kids (yet!). But, they are in the plans within the next few years, and I hopefully won't need to change my system or set up much. perhaps some kidproofing of the rooms...(or some rooms completely off limits) but still. I think with some good training I can have both...kids and whatever stereo setup is needed. At least that's the plan... for now.