Have you considered American designed and made NSMT?
Legacy XD series for tube amplifier thoughts
When I look at the landscape of full-range speakers, there are many options of course, especially in the $10K to $15K range. But the vast majority of those speakers demand SS amplification, mainly due to the idea of driving woofers efficiently. Yes, there are speakers that are efficient and can be driven full range with tube gear but it often seems a compromise, especially when it comes to room size and the ability to tune a room for best bass response. Then it seems it becomes a bit of a crap shoot finding a speaker that is dynamic, resolving, bass that is not shy about reaching depths that much of our music explores and doesn't cost north of $25K. Oh, and is tube friendly.
I do have a thread opened on Harbeth 40.3 speaker but ultimately felt it was not a match for our room and some of our music. We want to play it all.
Which leads me to the Legacy XD line. Highly efficient it seems. Built-in woofers that go really low cleanly and have SOTA flexibility for in-room response. What's wrong with these speakers?
@desalvo55 Legacy makes some of the best speakers considering performance to the dollar. The XD offerings are a great way of enabling the speakers to work well with tube amplification. I am now an official installer/reseller of Legacy products, but prior to that I owned both the Focus SE and Aeris. I moved onto the Aeris to take advantage of the powered bass section and used Cary 805 Anniversary Edition mono blocks for the mids and highs. The performance was excellent.
One thing I’ve found, and this is personal preference, is that I’d rather land on a slightly smaller Legacy AND integrate a pair of subs vs try to get a much bigger speaker in their lineup unless the room really calls for it. Even with the Aeris, which goes down to 18Hz at -2dB, was placed many feet from the front wall and as a result did not charge the room in the same way that later on a pair of Signature SE did with a pair of SVS SB4000 did. I now have a custom pair of the Signature SE coming for my floor as, paired with the subs, it is more than enough to fill my medium/large room.
The XD would still be beneficial for any system that uses tube-driven amplification as it will provide more grip, speed and control in the audible bass and will result in a cleaner image throughout the frequency spectrum. But keep in mind it may not negate the value subs can play in the room with regards to sub-bass frequencies, cleaning up room modes, and widening/deepening the soundstage as a result.
Feel free to PM me to chat, or happy to keep it on this thread.
Thanks for your insight.
I cannot use subs. My integrated has no pre-outs. That's why the Legacy product is on my radar.
I wish for a truly full-range speaker that is transparent and can perform with a variety of music. It would be nice if the quality of the speaker is commensurate with the quality of the Allnic gear, but then I'd be looking at Wilson, YG, Estelon, and the like.
Lots of great suggestions here. The Volti Rival is seriously cool but I fear the fact it can't reach the 20's might irritate us.
You can use subs if they have binding posts on the back(high level input).No matter which speakers you choose, if the placement isn't flexible to keep them out of a null spot good bass is not possible. The room,your seating position, plus speaker position have to be considered. Even subs can't help if it's not possible to place them optimally. Balancing aesthetics with best sound isn't always easy unfortunately.
@desalvo55 You can definitely get great bass from Legacy, easily into the 20s without subs. But there’s just a difference in the way subs charge a room vs when the lows come from the 2ch speaker due to the distance from the walls. Legacy will perform well with the most audible of lows.
I have a pair of Focus XD and their bass is outstanding. Two 12" each side is a lot of bass. And the bass is well defined, tight and deep. Subs would be nice but they take up too much bass. And you also need to spend time to integrate the subs with the main speakers. I don't need subs with the XD. They are outstanding speakers at their current asking price. I used to own Revel Salon 2 and Thiel CS7.2. The XD blows them away in the bass department. You can try XD for a month as Legacy Audio is happy to accommodate that. That is what I did.
I have owned Legacy since the late '90s. A few years ago I was looking for a change in sound. But during the height of Covid, it was nearly impossible to listen to a few contenders that I had picked out because stores were basically abandoned at the time. Some would take appointments but I didn't want to drag them all the way in and not like what I heard. Anyway, I really wanted to hear the Sopra 3s and Magico A5s which were brand new at that time. After a futile effort of trying to track these two down, I just picked up the phone and called Legacy. I asked them about powering a new pair of Focus SEs with my Ayre VX-5 Twenty and if it would provide enough juice to them (350w/channel @ 4ohms). They said, absolutely, so I I bought a pair that day. And I'm so happy that I did. They saved me quite a sum of money that I had already earmarked for speakers too.
The Focus OGs that I was running had (3) 12" woofers each but produced significantly less deep and overall bass than the SEs. And imaging is no comparison. The new AMTs are simply awesome. So I can imagine just about any quality tube amp would suffice for the mids/highs on a pair of XDs.