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Used Silverline Sonata III fit most of your criteria (except they are 4 way, and they
sell for closer to $3k) according to the
manufacturer's specs:93dB, 8 ohms, 12"x13" footprint.
I can't comment on how your SET amp would perform, as I've never heard a SET
amp paired with the speakers.
Mirage OMD-15. 91dB efficient and bi-wirable. They also have excellent bass and you may not need the sub for much of your music. I have a pair, and although I'm powering them with an 85 wpc integrated, the damping factor is just 25 and yet bass is very clear, extended, and articulate. My speakers are in a high-ceiling open architecture living area, and the Mirage's hemispherical dispersion pattern fills the listening area uniformly and effortlessly.
You might also look at other efficient floorstanders from Canada that were developed with research from Canada's National Research Foundation, such as the PSB Imagine T, Paradigm Reference Studio 100, or Energy RC-70 Tower. That model Energy lists at $2200/pair and has a claimed in-room sensitivity of 95 dB (92dB anechoic). They also make the Veritas v2.3i at $3K/pair. It's awesome, but not as sensitive as their RC-70.
I don't have any specific speaker recommendations to offer, but I would suggest that if your listening includes anything with wide dynamic range, such as well-recorded symphony orchestra, a 90db speaker in a "medium/big" room, with a 10W amplifier, will not be adequate.
I have 90db speakers in a room which is only 13x20, with a listening distance of 10 or 11 feet. Listening to classical symphonic music, I've clipped a 20W vintage tube amp to the point where visible arcing occurred in the power tubes. Currently I'm using an 80W tube amp, which is adequate, but without a lot of margin. A 200W solid state amp I've used in the past was fine.
If the crossover configuration for your sub keeps the deep bass out of the low-powered amps that will help, of course, but on the other hand your room sounds like it is significantly larger than mine. I'd look for 96db+ if I were planning on SET or similarly low-powered amps.
Many thanks for all the inspiring ideas. I appreciate the discussion by Almarg. I may have to rethink room size and power issues.
The Triangles are very attractively priced indeed, especially now. Silverline is perfect for me, but I will have to wait for a used sonata III. I agree that those Canadian speakers are a fantastic value...Mirage is really a good deal for what it offers. Is mirage better for home theatre? I am more into the 2-channel stereo, even though I do use a subwoofer with my current ERA D10s.
...and finally, the Proac Studio 140! I knew that it will not be easy to disregard the Proacs. If I can find a good used pair of 140s, I will go for it. There is a local Proac dealer in Portland, OR, Stereotypes Audio. They are great people. I will certainly take a look. I was mesmerized when I first heard a higher end Proac there.
BTW, anybody have any experience with BC Acoustique ACT line, like A2.5 or A3? They apparently have an interesting adjustable Fostex horn tweeter.
That's right. With SET amps, frequency extension drops like a stone when the impedance gets much below 6-8 ohms.
What you REALLY need if you keep your current amplification is a speaker made to work well with SETs such as the Zu Druid. They claim 101dB sensitivity (and even if they exaggerate, it's still at least 96 dB which is what you need) and a 12 ohm nominal impedance. The review linked below shows the impedance never dips below 8 ohms.
The list price is beyond your stated budget but you may be able to pick up some used ones. Be on the lookout for something like this. Here's a fairly recent review.
Johnnyb53, I have been looking at that ad. The reason I was hesitating was to be able to put my other amps (SS, hybrid, tube) to use with bi-amping, and play with the possibilities of the sound. As you guys all know, most high-sensitivity speakers like those from Fritz, Tekton, Zu, Sonist, Omega, etc. are single-drivers and naturally not bi-amped.
Tvad, I will certainly pay attention to the impedence curve, rather than the single impedence figure that I have been looking at...More food for thought for me. Thank you.