Efficient speakers with high powered ss amp?

Relative newbie here, so forgive me for the stupid question. I'm wondering if, in general, it's a mistake to mix 100 watt+ per channel amplifiers with efficient speakers. I know that low powered tube amps need efficient speakers, but do efficient speakers then necessarily perform better with less watts?

I'm looking for speakers that would be a good match for my Odyssey Khartago, and have always been under the impression that higher efficiency speakers are better than inefficient speakers. Would a 98db, 200 watt speaker be ok with the 110 watts per channel Khartago, or should I look for something less efficient.

Apologies, I tried using the search function to look this topic up, but didn't get any results, so I appreciate your thoughts and advice.
Some speakers are designed to mate with low powered tube amps that have low damping factor and/or specific impedance requirements. This is a small minority of speakers out there and most speakers will work just fine. Manufacturers usually will let you know if they want you to use a specific type of amplification.
Depends on how much gain your preamp has,often with high eff speakers you can not go farther than the very smallest
range of the volume knob mnaking it VERY hard to get an optimun volume level.
I have an odyssey amp too,the best it ever sounded is with a pair of Rega RS3 speaks that are 89dn eff.
IME, less efficient speakers tend to sound better than very high efficient speakers.
Both efficient and low efficient speakers have the ability to sound excellent if set up correctly. It is likely that your amplifier will perform better with low to average efficiency speakers. The 98 dB speaker will only demand the first few watts of power from your amp which may not sound as good. The designer may have optimized that amp to perform better at much greater outputs levels. If you like the sound of HE speakers you can check them out, but be aware that there could be a chance that they would sound better with lower power (SET, low output SS Class A, etc). Dont think of it as a bad thing! Having a powerful amp increases the variety of speakers that will work for you!
Actually to directly answer your first question, it also depends on the amplifiers. Some high powered amps have nice sounding first watts where else some need to be driven harder. Best way to know is to hook-em up!
Yet another way to look at it is, if you have moderately efficient speakers, (93db or more)you then have the ability to use a broader range of amplifiers, from low-power SET, to high-power SS amps. I used to have a very fine pair of Dynaudio Contour 5.4's, and though they were rated at 90db, they loved lots of power to perform their best. I finally sold them, and went to the 93db speakers I'm currently using. I can drive them with as little as 10Wpc, or as much as you want to use with them.

For me, this is the way to go for more options regarding power. I like tubes now, better than any of the SS amps I have had. YMMV

Good Luck enjoy,
I have run 106db horns on 1000 watt SS gear it comes down to synergy sometimes it works well sometimes you may hear equipment noise. Or have a bit of hardness do to amplifier loudspeaker interactions but in general high power on hi eff is just fine.
If you had lets say $1000 to spend on an amp, a ten watt $1000 amp would likely sound better than a $1000 hundred watt amp. Other than that it's really a matter of synergy.
In general you do not need a lot of watts with more efficient speakers.

I have not heard any high efficiency speakers that I could afford or even want to yet that equals the best I have heard in general. For me, the key is find the right speakers that meet your tastes and integrate well into your room and then get the right amp to drive them properly. I would not worry too much about efficiency as a prime determining factor. Even the least efficient speakers out there today can be driven well by newer high efficiency amp designs like Class D/Icepower. The results if done right can be on par with the best I have heard out there.
You might want to look at this link:


The issue of the intention of the designer will play a huge role in this matter. In fact, if the amplifier technology does not match what the speaker designer had in mind, the crossover will not even work right!
I would also talk to Klaus at Odyssey to get his view as well;are you leaning toward a certain speaker right now or just starting to look?
Hi all, thanks for your responses. What originally spurred this question was all the talk here on Audiogon about the great sound and quality of Tekton Lores. I'm in the market for some new speakers and thought about giving these a shot since they are made in USA and well within my budget. But I thought about my amp, and started to reconsider as I thought they might not be a great match (I want to be able to turn my volume knob past 9 o'clock).

I have also recently auditioned some B&W cm8's, and Paradigm Studio 60's. These seem like a better match for my Khartago, but it's hard to say as I haven't heard anything as efficient as the Lores on my system.

My current speakers are vintage Avid 103's, which I adore. That said, I'd like to upgrade to something better in this system and use the Avids in a secondary system (I'll never let the Avids go; best $80 I ever spent).

My speaker budget is 2-3k, depending on how long I wait to pull the trigger. I mostly listen to Jazz and some Classical.
I'd suggest buying amplification for speakers, not speakers for amplification.
+1 to Unsound. A good starting point is what the speaker manufacturer or owners/reviewers of the speaker have found to work.
Hmm... So are you guys saying you get a new amp everytime you switch speakers?
"So are you guys saying you get a new amp everytime you switch speakers? "

Not necessarily each time but something to always perhaps at least consider for best results if the new speakers are not performing as well as they should.
Rischa, go look at the link I posted earlier. It relates directly to your question.
I think you need to keep in the back of your mind once the speakers are changed you might have to replace the amp(s) to get the best sound as this relationship is the key in obtaining the best sound/performance from the speakers.
Hi all ! Get the Lore's and be done with it . I have run my Lore's with A 4 wpc tube amp up to a 200 wpc ss amp .A little different flavor from each amp , but great either way . If you are determined to spend $2000 - $3000 ...get the Pendragons instead (but only if your room is big)
If the speakers aren't very similar in their design and requirements, then yes I would change amps when I get new speakers, eventually. At first I will see how they sound with what I have on hand. Then if I decide they are keepers I start looking into better amplification matches.

On my last speakers I went through 5 or so amps before settling on an Atma-sphere ap.
Rischa, obviously Audiogon offers audiophiles a great opportunity to buy and sell gear in their quest for optimal sound.
I have a pair of Pendragons on the way, and Eric loves them with solid state amps. I also had a Pass XA30.5 with my Zu Omen Defs and I wish I had it now. It was a great amp!
Hi all ! One thing I have learned , you never know what it will sound like until you try it . I was driving a pair of Thiel 1.6's with a Cary V12 and it sounded nice ...especially in triode mode . Many folks were convinced it would never work , bad drop to 3 ohms ,etc. Moral is.. try it ya never know .
"you never know what it will sound like until you try it "

That is undeniably true.

After a while, with some experience, there should be fewer surprises though.
Like Bradluke0, I have run my Lores with a 4-watt SET, a 150 watt SS and now a 20/40 watt Manley Stingray. Different flavors but sounds good with all those amps. I believe that it's mostly due to the Lores being such an easy load that amps loaf along and sound their best.
Thanks for the thoughts on the Lores. With his feedback in mind, I think I'll give them a shot. I'd like to move into tubes next time I revamp my system, so the Lores give this option. Sounds like they're pretty flexible speakers.

Thanks all for the education and advice.

I think Zu or Tekton would be a good choice for solid state amps and both designs tend to really shine with some serious watts.
Tekton has a new model, the Lore-s, which Eric Alexander tells me has a sensitivity of 93-94 db. This sounds like a better speaker for my system, since they are not quite as efficient as the original lores, but still efficient enough that I can use them with tubes at some point. Eric also said they are more resolving than the original Lores with a more hi-fi sound to them. I'm glad I waited to place my order, as he just came out with these within the last couple of weeks.

Thanks again for your advice, all.