How to Choose Speakers Appropriate for My Amp


Greetings,

I'm starting my journey into the better realms of audio gear and I'm looking for some help matching speakers to my newly acquired amps.

I've never had the budget for higher end audio, but some equipment has more or less falling into my lap. So, what I'm currently working work:

  • Bang & Olufsen Beogram RX2 Turntable w/ SMMC4 Cartridge
  • Deja Va Audio LTD 300B Pull Pull Monoblock Amplifier x2 (One needs some work, so I won't be immediately heading out and buying anything until this is fixed)
  • MOSCODE Super It Phono Stage (Picking up tomorrow)
As you can surely see, the list is missing speakers. Sure, I have some extra bookshelf speakers that I've used as surrounds in my home theater, but it seems kind of silly to use them when there's something much, MUCH better out there.

The amps are hand built and on the underside note the output as 30W/8Ω. You can see an image of that here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/180HQu90tLWnNFlIB_ugAGdoWTY1t6_YE or a folder w/ images of one of the amps here:  https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1bEqqi_-50ki9y8H8i81bwie7vVTbU99A if you're more curious.

So, what I'm seeking is help choosing some speakers that will provide reasonable to good performance at a price that won't break the bank. Like I said before, my budget isn't exactly large. The only reason I have the amps and the phono stage that I do is because they more or less fell into my lap. I obviously have no issue buying used, and I also would not be averse to building a kit. I have reasonable woodworking skills (at least enough to build/assemble a cabinet) and my soldering skills should be adequate.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks,
Andy
andymckay
I suggest buying amps for speakers, not speakers for amps (especially broken ones).
I appreciate the advice, but as I said, I have the amps, they pretty much fell into my lap. If I were to buy speakers for amps, I'd have to find some speakers, buy them and then buy amps to match. I'd love to be able to do that, but the budget wouldn't allow it.

I understand it may not be ideal, but it's the situation I'm in. Even with some repair needed, I'm likely to come out an order of magnitude cheaper than had I have bought them off another user's shelf. I'm literally $150 into the amps and phono stage at this point.

Thanks again,
Andy
I would look for higher efficiency speakers (90 dB Minimum) with a fairly flat inpedance 

Price point? Size of room?  Preferred sonic presentation?

You might start by looking at Devote O/93 and O/96.

Price point: Entry level. Think someone who's trying to dip their big toe into this world. I'm sure the Devores are wonderful, but they are well outside the realm of possibility.

Size of room: Roughly 18'x10'x9'

Sonic Presentation: I don't know that I have the knowledge and vocabulary to express that. As I said, I'm just beginning the journey. I'm still learning, and want to learn.
Hi, Go to the DECWARE site and look at the Betsy’s single driver speaker, sells for $500. a pair. If that’s too much, check with your local Craigs list, I found a great pair of Clements 107di for 50 bucks on there!Good Luck! Tish

Audio Note Speakers could be a nice option for your mono block amps.

You should also talk to Vu , at Deja Vu Audio , since you have his mono blocks. I am sure he could give you a few options for speakers.

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Agree with Elizabeth....A few choices that cone to mind would be Zu Dirty Weekend, used Triangles or something from Tekton like the Lore Ref.  
I can recommend the DCM Time Windows. I am now on my third pair (after acquiring pairs one and two in ’77 and ’78). Nearly perfect impulse and phase response. Floor-standers with superb horizontal dispersion (thanks to a prism-shaped cabinet). Sensitivity of 90db, bass down to at least 30hz. Easily driven by a 20 watt amp (tube or ss). A true classic design from the genius of Steve Eberbach. And a successful production run of 30,000 pairs. Sold new for $660/pr in ’76, ended at $1200/pr ten years later (when production started on Eberbach’s next-generation Time Frames). I paid $219 + shipping for my present pair! A true bargain and competitive with today’s expensive speakers!
I used the Bedini 25/25 class A amp with my second pair of Time Windows. My third (and present pair) is being driven by a GAS Son Of Ampzilla (as was my first pair in '77). My modded Dyna ST70 tube amp would also work well! 
At a price like that, the Time Windows sound like a tempting option. 
Sweet pair of amps you got there Andy. Not often I see "300B" and "entry level" together, not to mention B&O! Bit of an eclectic system for sure, but so what? From what I've been able to gather the MOSCODE is a bit of a question mark (some think killer deal, some say its dark) but sure looks like it could be a nice little piece  https://www.audiogon.com/listings/phono-nyal-new-york-audio-labs-moscode-super-it-phono-preamp-power...and anyway its hard to go wrong with a 300B and a turntable so unless the IT turns out bad you have the makings for a pretty damn fine starter system. 

What I would do first and as soon as you can is hook up the speakers you have with whatever you can scrounge up and just see how (if!) everything works. 

The real strength of a 300B system is midrange magic and holographic imaging. Inner detail, in other words. If everything works you'll probably be surprised how good it sounds even with cheap little bookshelf speakers, lamp cord wire and patch cords. 

Most important thing with any stereo is speaker placement. You'll never have anything easier to experiment with speaker placement than your cheap little bookshelf speakers. So move em around. Have some fun. Cobble together some kind of stands and then after you hear how hugely placement affects tonal balance, bass support, etc, how nearby walls change the sound, then use a tape measure to line them up with precise symmetry, sit back and experience the wonders of imaging.

That's it. I've seen far too many systems of expensive name brand components that sound bad, and also enough no-name rigs that sound wonderful, to think that components have all that much to do with it. Much more has to do with your ability to listen, understand, set up, and tweak. 
millercarbon,

The funny thing is that before the amp appeared I’d been upgrading and modifying my home theater system with an eye towards simplifying it, at least operationally. That was how I ended with with the B&O turntable. There certainly are better tables out there, but it still is of reasonable quality and it’s as simple as it got. It needed a little bit of mechanical adjustment and a new belt, but setup consisted solely of installing the cartridge, balancing the tonearm and setting the tracking force. No alignment issues, etc. These amps have greatly changed all of that, but not in a bad way. My backup turntable will make it’s way to my receiver, where it was before and the B&O will make the move. Who knows, once I get the amps and speakers sorted, further turntable upgrades will be in my future. But that’s another discussion entirely.

That’s all definitely great advice above. I found a nearby shop that works on vintage tube stuff that can give them a once over and I’m bringing them by tomorrow. I haven’t hooked them up yet due to the fact that I didn’t have an external phono stage with an adjustable output, just a fixed output POS Pyle mini phono stage. I didn’t want to hook anything up w/o a way to start low and work it’s way up. The MOSCODE will give me that, and I pick it up tomorrow morning.

I’ve also read similar reviews of it. Some like it, some don’t, but for the price there’s as close to zero risk financially as could be possible. There amps and the MOSCODE came from the same seller and I’m willing to bet there was a deal on speakers that I missed.

Once I verify the suspected good amp and repair the other I have a pair of bookshelf speakers I’ll start messing around with. They’re 8ohm, though the sensitivity could definitely be better (89dB). That will at least allow me to play with my new toys until something more permanent arrives.

Thanks,
Andy
Buy some vintage klipsch speakers from the heritage line. All are very efficient, can be had at different price points and sound great with tubes. 


Second the Klipsch suggestion, and I’d suggest the RP600M’s at around $500.  Efficient, and great sounding.
I am with the Efficient Speaker camp.  Not much to add but (1):  It is generally easier to buy efficient floorstanders than bookshelves.  (2) I reckon 90 db speakers should be ok.  I say this because I have this amp where the front meter does not move until it outputs approximately 13 watts.  I had Triangle speakers of 91 db efficiency and music above 13 watts was enough to annoy the neighbours!
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Since you mention cost, HT and woodworking/DIY-

The easiest way to keep costs low and still have great sound is ignore all the conventional HT advice and stick with stereo. I worked at it very hard for a long time before finally reluctantly coming around to realize there is nothing you can do but trade sound quality for surround sound. 

That one I know for certain. Speakers are more of a judgment call. Here's a thread with a lot of ideas. https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/speaker-suggestions-for-300b-set-amp
The one with the greatest/most dedicated following may be Lowther. https://www.commonsenseaudio.com/lowther.html
But honestly, in terms of budget, practicality, and availability your best bet especially at a good price is probably gonna be the good old Heresy.
The system built around the tube amps will be completely separate from the home theater. It will be in a completely different room that will likely be set up primarily for listening to records through this specific system. My main living space, where the ht is, would be terrible to add this system to.