Hi Chuck; you don't say what your budget is, but the Vandersteen 2Cesigs are $1500. new, have bass to about 30 HZ, and a sensitivity of about 88. For $3500. the Vandersteen 3Asig. has bass to about 26 HZ, and a sensitivity also of about 88. Both of these are warm, rich speakers with excellent bass (I own them both). The Vands. sensitivity does not quite reach your 90 dB criteria, and the Vandersteen manual doesn't recommend playing them for long periods above about 92 dB, but otherwise they would seem to fit your criteria. Want to spend more? The Vand. 5s are $10K, have built in 400 wpc subwoffers, and reportedly retain much of the rich, warm Vand. character. Bass of the 5s is supposed to be world class (read TAS review), and I have them on my own "short list". Good Hunting. Craig.
Soliloquy 6.3, Bass down to 25Hz. Great speaker,tube friendly, and an easy load. Also 90db.
Hi Chuck, I agree with Garfish, Vandersteen fits the warm rich sound you describe. Also the Coincident Super Eclipse, at 92db Sen. with bass down around 28hz. The Proac 2.5 with tube gear is also very nice. If you like the sound of lower powered OTLs or SET amps the Total eclipse work great with these. Good luck.
I would agree with what has been said about the Vandersteen 3A and 5, but would add, regarding the Vandersteen 5, that although the bass may be more tuneful and as deep or deeper than the 3A's, the most startling thing about the 5's is their midrange and highs. They highs are open and airy and natural without being sharp. The mids are transparent. As good as the 3A is, the 5 is another animal. I heard the 5 with Nordost SPM interconnects/speaker cables and Ayre K1 and V1 preamp and amp. I believe due to the Nordost, which I have always found to lack bass, the audition did suffer from lack of deep earthmoving bass, to some degree. I am sure this was not the fault of the speaker. Otherwise, I found the Vandersteens to be perfectly balanced, including the bass typically found in music, not sound effects, natural with wide and deep soundstage. I would characterize the 5 as being not "warm" but neutral. I would characterize the 3a as "warm".
Chuck, I agree with anyone mentioning Vanderstein 2CE's. Make sure you get SoundAnchor Stands with them. Another speaker you would probabaly like would be a pair of used B&W802 Matrix 3s with SoundAnchor Stands as well. You can get these speakers at a bargain price from someone who thinks they have to have the latest and greatest and they must trade up to the Nautilus even if they don't warrent the price.
If you can, try and audition Reynaud speakers. I have not listened to their larger floor standers, but the Twin and Trente models are what I would consider to be on the warm side of neutral and they are extremely musical (like Vandersteens) and do not lack detail in the HF's. I am currently using a pair of Twins with a 7 watt/channell 300b amp and though the Twin's are rated @ 4 ohms, I am not experiencing any difficulty driving them. I would also suggest that you audition both Spendor and Harbeth speakers as well before laying your money down. The last two speakers mentioned do not champ in the imaging department, IMO, but they are exceedingly musical and worth a listen. If you want it all then you may want to check out Silverline speakers, the best that I have heard being the Sonata's. The other suggestions are great as well, these are just a few more to add to yor list.
Meadowlark Heron i. Full range, 91db, great bass,warm sounding with sweet highs.
Chalk up another vote for Vandy's. Since you didn't mention price range but did note the associated equipment, i'll leave you with the following comments. While the 2's basically fit your description ( except as noted in terms of efficiency ), i would think that the 3's would be more suitable to the level of gear that your currently using. As to Craig's comments about the Vandy manual talking about sustained volume levels, those speakers will deal with well above those levels for a LONG time. In my discussions with Mr. Vandersteen, he was VERY clear about his feelings about sustained volume levels and hearing damage. I think that this was his way of reminding you about that and he simply went a little overboard in terms of SPL's to try and highlight his point. Brulee's suggestion of various Coincident models is also probably worth checking out. A very reliable friend with good ears had a set of the Eclipse's that he spoke EXTREMELY highly of although i never had a chance to hear them. He lives a few states away in case your wondering. Sean >
i'd check out the meadowlarks. warm, like the vandy's, but much more involving, at least to these ears.
Chuck, Sean; Actually I mentioned Vand. 2Ces as not playing at loud SPLs for two reasons: (1) because of what it says in the Vand. manual, and (2) I actually played the the 2Ces at an average SPL level of 94-95 dB at 14 ft. and could consistently get the 2Ces red warning lights to come on. However, I was driving the speakers with an inexpensive Sony 100 wpc receiver, and my dealer thought that may have been the reason, ie over driving the amp rather than the speakers. In any event, I don't listen at that level anyway-- but maybe you do? Craig.
.....Sean, I was glad to hear your perspective re: over driving the 2Ces and 3As. I'll try this test w/ my 3A sigs and big DNA-2DX amp and see what happens. Craig