Low watt system for rock,electronica?

Is it possible?
If you believe in Santa Claus...
Pass Aleph-3 with 90db or above,8ohm speakers.
Plays much louder with incredible clarity than 'most' would believe.Realistic bass and a huge and airy soundstage.
30wpc 8ohm,60wpc 4ohm,pure class A
Psychic,ewe dont believe in Santy Clause?
David: You're amp and Psychic's amp have a lot in common. Both are Class A, but Francisco's amp is rated at 50 wpc @ 8 ohms. His amp came out of the factory where Nelson used to operate out of before opening Pass Labs. In effect, you guys are on the same team and may not have known it. Sean
Art Audio Jota monos with 52BX or 52B tubes. ( just don't drive B&W and Wilson at high SPL ) :-D

Seriouly, if you use horns or single driver speakers, low watts, even a single digit amps go a long way. As long as you are realistic and choose a speakers sensibly, these single-ended beauty can pull off electronica convincingly. I listen to a lots of dance/electronica on my 30 watts tube amps.

OR, try a newer Naim amplifier. They are lower watts but more dynamic solid state out of bunch without sounding strident. ( meaning it's excellent for chill/ambient stuff, too )
Sean,I know YOU dont believe in Santa Clause.
1000 wpc 'aint enough! :~)
David, I have stereo subs driven by some mean 150W Kenwood monoblocks. It's not a low watt system by any standard.

Aow watt system is like the one Lak has, with two little 5W SET monoblocks driving a pair of Cain & Cain Abbys. The sound is really clean, articulate and extremely detailed but it lacks the impact if the music demads so. Small scale acoustic music is extremely realistic, nonetheless. The best I've heard to date...
I listen to rock, pop, and electronica alot on my system. It only has 2 watts from a SET 45 amp, and single driver speakers. Maybe it might not be loud enough for some people, but it is plenty loud enough for me, and most of my friends who hear it say it is plenty loud enough too. Alot of dynamic impact. Not alot of deep bass or slam, but rock and pop don't generally have much deep bass under 40Hz. Electronica can have some deep bass synthesizer notes that are below my speaker's capabilities. This is not real common, nor does it seem to bother my listening enjoyment. If you place a huge amount of importance on bass below 40Hz, perhaps that type of system is not for you.
Yes but only in clock radio.
I got your 'clock radio' Marakanetz.----You 'a mean guy.---- Back to the issue at hand.I have the Sophia 845 (7.5k,new) I think it chops off at 60.(joke) While it goes down to 35 or so, there is no slam at that point.---That means it don't rock. There is plenty of below 40 info that just needs slam to sound alive.

Any of the Klipsch Heritage series, Lowther-based speakers, Cain & Cain, Omega, Avantgardes, larger Coincidents... (disclaimer: I sell one of these lines)

Plenty of contenders. In fact, the Ron Welborne has put together a page of speakers that work well with low-powered amps (his as well as others). Here's the link:


Best of luck to you.

Marakanetz: That one had me laughing out loud : )

Ray: I guess it would depend on how loud and clean you want it and what you consider "loud" and "low power". My experience would tell me "NO", but i may have very different ideas as to what constitutes "loud" and "low power".

If you really want to do something like this, based on my experience and preferences, you'll need Ultra-High efficiency speakers i.e. well above 100 dB's @1w/1m* and the use of at least a "reasonably sized" ( 8 - 10 watt ) tube amp. You will be clipping, but at least the tubes will clip in such a fashion so as to "blend" with the rest of the distortion already on the recording. SS will produce tons of smearing, resulting in the listening fatigue and ear-bleeds associated with low grade electronics. Sean

* Don't let them confuse you with 2.83 volt stuff. Into any other "nominal" impedance other than 8 ohms, this doesn't equal a watt and skews your reference point.

If that were my primary musical interests I would probably go the SS route instead. If they are secondary interests, as has been pointed out, they can sound pretty darn good on a low-power tube system done right. Those systems make acoustic music and vocals SO much more betta' sounding than SS (IMHO), and virtually all music more holographic, that I'd highly recommend the compromise in that direction. But, I'd have to say, as good as I've heard that kind of music sound on the low watt systems that I prefer to listen to (and own two very different ones currently), it always seems much more satisfying on a higher powered, well put-together SS system. I think it is a matter of deciding where your priorities are.

Although not my taste, the BIG Klipschorn.
I realize that was maybe a twisted question ,but I had to ask,My taste in music go from one extreme to the other,I loved the sound of the one SE low watt system Ive heard,Wavelength,Rethm ,Cary CD,and Alon sub.but did not get to listen for long,just wanted to hear the thoughts of more experenced audiophiles than myself,Thanks for your responses,also I like to listen at moderate volume, sometimes abit louder
I bet the system described above sounded pretty good!
Rethm is extremaly fast and dynamic.

I think in order to play convincing electronica/ pop/ rock, you need both a good dynamic and flow and preferably with enough headroom to be able to go loud without a strain.

Personally, I prefer SET or even pushpull amps playing electronica than most solid state based systems.
Ray, as Audiokin, above implies, the system you described and liked answers your own question -- doesn't it :)!
Single driver main speaker, no crossover if possible / subwoofer for say 200Hz, down. This driver (a Lowther in Rethm's case) has a very strong magnetic field and can/should be able to reproduce dynamics and details in an excellent way. Simplifying a bit, having a very strong magnet and low mms, the driver is usually very efficient; a front-loaded horn also increasing its efficiency even further. Efficiency + dynamics means, that speaker system driven by a lower watt, low distortion amp can produce realistic sound levels AND good/excellent sound and detail. An SET is low distortion within its optimum operating range (remember, we've left the low frequencies out of the set's range).

Indeed some such systems I've heard are more than good, they're spectacular!
depends on the speaker's sensitvity, doesn't it?
Coincident, Audio Note, Avante-Gard, Von Schweikert dB 100's.
I have heard the first 2 and they do a good job on a couple of watts. Coincident / Atma-sphere (20 watt??) was awesome combo but it WAS NOT cheap.
Avant-gard has powered woofers 150wpc so this one is out of list.
Vons like some current to give out bass.
Coincident arn't rock speakers at all.
Ooh Marakanetz, when you come up to the Philadelphia area, look me up and I will show you a pair of Coincidents that definitely rock.
Exlude Eagles and REM from the list:-).
I offer a second vote for Klipsh, older cornwalls would do quite nicely. the 15 can generate huge bass and they are efficient as all get out.
My Hendrix, Mothers of Invention, and Van Halen albums sound damn good with the 7 watt 300b amp and the galante rhapsody speakers w/rel strata II sub. The thing plays plenty loud with great bass. A good system can play anything.
thanks again for all the responses,im considering selling my home theater system to make room for a SET system
Ray: Great idea to sell HT. Here's why: There is simply much more media available for a well-put-together 2 channel system, especially a SET one.

I have gone from solid state to push/pull tube to SET setups, and I haven't looked back. (You can check in with my system on systems page.) What's more, I think that I have not only achieved the sound I want, I have also gotten the performance I want for a lot cheaper than I could have done ss.

Indeed, My ASL Fox Ki22 with NOS Sylvania 6sn7wgt's up front, right now, is playing all of my CDs and records as good as I've ever hear in my living room. I am a happy camper, and I daresay you will be, too.

My listening today included the Modern Jazz Quartet, White Zombie (it's Holloween, after all), Slipknot, Oingo Boingo (gotta hear Dead Man's Party tonight!), and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Everything sounded great.

My advice: go for it!
I'm not sure what is your budget. But if you are on very small budget Zu druids & Trends digital amp is a good eco. match. And if your budget permits sonos wireless system connected to dac & your preamp. In my opinion the best budget friendly system I can think off.
Another combo would be: Zu Tone ( Pricing per pair $1795

Stock Colors: Silver Frost & Black Satin

Custom Options: Get your speaker in a custom color with two different finish options.

High Gloss - Add $600.00
Frost Iridescent - Add $200.00


H W D 16" x 11" x 9.6" (41 x 28 x 24 cm)
Weight 33 pounds (15 kgs)
Driver Compliment Zu260FR/G2-T 10.3" full-range driver. Zu-T1 super-tweeter
Efficiency 97 dB @ 1 watt / meter
Impedance 12 (nominal full bandwidth)
Max Music Input Power 200 Watt
Max sustained RMS Power 150 Watt
Bandwidth 45 Hz - 30 kHz

5 years on materials and workmanship ). Trands Audio NEW integrated amp. aboute $300 ( i am not sure if it is out yet ) or new Music Hall integrated amp/cd player "Trio" $999.
Why are you guys responding to a thread from 3 years ago?
The same reason you are here. People are always looking for answers & ideas. What can you bring to the table?