High Efficiency Dynamic Speaker Suggestions Please

I currently have Von Schweikert VR4jr's driven by Rawson class D monoblocks. These amps have really opened the dynamics openness of the speakers. Recently I heard Opera M12 horn speakers and I loved the presentation, they were even more open and "real" sounding. My thinking is to get them or something similar that offer that dynamic presence that the vr4's don't. I am totally unversed in this type of speaker but would love to learn more. After a lot of research I have come up with some possible speakers including Emerald Physics CS2, Audiokinesis Jazz Modules, Pi speakers, Tyler PD15 or PD30 or the Consonance. Several questions come up. Will my amps be OK with the Opera? My speaker positioning is limited. Placement is 18" off of back wall and 7' apart. Listening position is 10' away. Room size is 17' x 22' x 8'. I have a large LCD TV between the speakers. Are these types of speakers room dependant as much as the VR? Do the have better image depth as the VR? Any and all help is appreciated.
I'm not sure about your price point or the room size but you might want to add Daedalus Audio to your short list. 97-98db efficient. Dynamic, natural and real sounding. You can check their website and also a review I posted recently on the DA-1.1's, which are my second pair of speakers from Lou.
the 3 things that horn loaded speakers will do are the following: dynamics, low distoration (esp IM), and efficiency. there is no dynamic speaker, no tweeter, no electrostat, no ribbon, or any other type that will give you the dynamics a horn will. i personally use jbl 4430 and 4435 studio monitors for my home stereo 2 channel system for 20 years. tremendous dynamics, a "you are there" presentation, very low distoration. the 4430 will get down in bass to 35 htz and the 4435 will get down to 25 htz with, again very low distoration. as it is with any good loudspeaker, they need to be set up properly in a good room.(my room is smaller then yours so they should sound even better then in my room!) however, i wouldnt run them with a class d amp, class a, ab solid state, or tube would be best. both these speakers can be biamped, true biamp with an external crossover. smaller would be the jbl 4425 studio monitor, also horn loaded! check out jbl vintage site! good luck! mike
I agree with Ditusa nothing will compete with horns for efficiecny. ATC, however are very much like horns in terms of "you are there" presentation but they are less efficient and require big big amps to sing...
The Emerald Physics speakers would probably be quite happy with Class D amplification, but the PiSpeakers and mine would probably perform their best with low damping factor tube amps. I can't speak for the Tylers or Opera Consonance speakers, but you can ask Ty directly and we can hope the Trelja, who is the Opera Consonance importer, will join in.

By the way, I second the suggestions of Dodgealum and Ditusa. Daedelus speakers are very lively and musical, and while I haven't heard the JBL 4435, in my opinion the 4430 is a genuine classic (and the big 4435 is probably even better). The Altec Model 14 and Model 19 are very nice also, if you can find a pair.

Can you tell us a little bit about the room the speakers will be going in? With some boundary reinforcement and/or room gain to warm up the bottom end a bit, I think more of these speakers would work well with your amp.

Best of luck in your quest,

Sounds like a job for Zu! Zu Druids do not need to be far from the front wall (in fact boundary reinforcement gives them a bit more bass), are very efficient (101db/w/m) and can tolerate having a TV between them (I used to have them set up like that in my old house). I currently run them with a tube preamp (Supratek Chenin) and a class D amp (Gilmore Raven) and I think they sound excellent, with TONS of punch. Zu has a 60-day money-back guarantee so trying them out is relatively risk-free.
While the Druids do have decent bass, I use a sub to get that last octave - I'm a bass junkie, so to speak.
Depending upon your budget, you could also check out the other Zu offerings - Presence or Definitions - no subs needed with those!
Ait, thanks for the response however I am not interested in a sub(s). I also am a bass junkie. Phil Brady.
Duke, my profile has a photo of the room. What it doesn't show is the side walls. The right side has a 6 foot glass french door and the left side has a leather couch with 6 feet of windows 3 foot tall. The windows have wood blinds. The rear wall has a six foot sliding glass door located on the right side. The glass slider has heavy drapes that are usually drawn. What type of amp would you recommend for your speakers? Phil Brady.
Ditusa, thanks for the response and the JBL recommendation. I am curious, what do you recommend for ideal placement? Also, what amp are you using? Phil Brady.
Second the Zu... Or depending on your actual price range many decent models from klipsch available.. Otherwise you will need a bunch of amps, cables and tuning devices(electrical) crossovers and play time if your looking to tweak away for the others mostly listed here.
Horns just have a colored sound that trick you in believing they sound real.

I would think about it again if I was you.


i would experiment with other power, before you ditch the speakers.
Hi, Phil, haven't seen you at one of our meetings lately...

Your listening position being about 10' away is ideal, and having 7' between looks to be OK even if I try to spread them a little bit farther than that. In a good sized room such as yours, they will reveal their true, relaxed character, and will work best with a more open and engaging, yet full-bodied type amplifier.

In all honesty, I think there are better amplification matches for the Opera Audio Barque & Consonance M12 horns than a Class D amplifier. The reason being both tend to blunt low level transients a bit, and in tandem, there may be too much of that going on. However, I also feel the conventional wisdom of partnering them with lower power tube (2A3, 300B, 211, 845) amplification is even more wrong. To my ear, these loudspeakers mate best with moderate to higher power tube and Class A or Class AB solid state amplification.

Finally, as far as imaging goes, this is one of the weaker points of this line of loudspeakers. They don't image poorly, per se, but nor would I want to put them up against too many slim profile modern loudspeakers, either.

By the way, I want to personally thank Duke for the kindness and friendship he shown me in this thread.

DISCLAIMER: I am the importer/distributor for all Opera Audio and Consonance high-end audio components in the USA and Canada
Hi Phil, thanks for the additional room information.

To answer your question, I tried to design my speakers in anticipation of a wide variety of amps - but specifically, they work best with low damping factor tube amps (assuming the port tuning is adjusted accordingly). I used Atma-Sphere's 30-watt stereo OTL amplifier in the design stage. My speakers also work well with SET amps; the smallest amp I've heard of a customer getting good results with was a 3.5 watt SET. They'd work with push-pull tube amps as well, especially those with low global feedback (which implies a low damping factor). Actually they'll work with other amps (I use a Nuforce sometimes), but with high-damping-factor amps they like a bit of boundary reinforcement in most rooms, or else they like to be tuned a bit higher than normal to give more energy around 40 Hz. The only amp I've heard them not work well with was a First Watt by Nelson Pass, presumably because the extremely low damping factor of those amps was too low for my design (which frankly surprised and disappointed me a bit - I was hoping that would be a nice combination, as I like Nelson Pass's designs).

Jaybo, any amp suggestions? The hypex class d sound very good to me and I thought my speakers were voiced with them. Phil Brady
phil...i had a friend who was a VS nut, and had a shop in minnesota for a few years. his amps of choice for VS speakers were electrocompaniet, and naim. i am more old school with amps, but i've been awfully impressed with the new bel canto class D's....i also have found that reasonably powerful mosfet designs make the bigger box speakers sound more transparent, and don't necc sacrifice anything on the bottom. the VS should rise to the occasion
horns are ACTUALLY just that...they allow you to imagine you are at a live performance! i personally consider that accuracy not coloration...but yes, as with all loudspeakers, its interpretation. :)
Moscode 401HR on Von Schweikert speakers is an ideal combo, IMO.

I used the Moscode with VR4 Gen III HSE.
04-15-08: Philbrady
Ditusa, thanks for the response and the JBL recommendation. I am curious, what do you recommend for ideal placement? Also, what amp are you using? Phil Brady.

your welcome,i am using luxman b12 ss monoblock amps, which are about 30 yrs old!! as far as placement, i would suggest at least 18 inches off the floor, i use concrete blocks with felt. works well and its cheap!! 8 ft in between each speaker for a big soundstage and 3 ft off the back wall and about 1 1/2 ft off othe side walls. about 5 degree tow in.