I've tried 96db's and 87db's and even one with 85.5 db efficiency and couldn't really comment on any differences
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The 97db at 16ohm spec will be a great match for the ML2's and likely a better fit than 89db at 8 ohm. Of course all depends on the speaker and listening volume you require. With my ML2's I am using Reimer Teton's at 95db and 4 ohm and the amps control the drivers very will with all the volume I could possibly want.
From my experience with ML2.1 and some speakers there is a big difference between "very well" and *ahem* very well.
It is true, that they can drive lots of speakers, more than most imagine, but only with High Efficiency Speakers - I think 8 ohms and 96++dB - you can hear all subtle details (breathing from the Artist, moved Air etc.).
In such a combination you will hear, how good they really are.
Then they are more than very well .....