Narrowing Down the Speaker Search

I'm developing a short list of potential speakers and would greatly value any input from those that might have heard these.
I had to jump on an integrated Pass Labs INT-30A so now I'm left looking for the right speaker.

I generally do this the other way around but couldn't pass up the 30A. 30 watts to be clear.

My room is 13x26 with 9' ceilings. My sources are Clearaudio Concept table, K&K phono pre, CDP to be determined. Cabling so far is Acoustic Revive power cord (for the Pass), no interconnects or speaker cables yet.

I listen mainly to instrumental rock like Neil Young, JJ Cale, Lucinda Williams, classic rock, blues, some jazz, and intimate acoustic material with female vocals.

My budget is 3K used tops. I am open to floor standing (with a small footprint) or monitor.

On the list:
Zu Essence
ProAc D18, Response 1.5, or 2.5
Living Voice Avatars
Reference 3A mm De Capo i

These are all speakers I have found used in my price range that seem to fit the power requirements of the 30A. I'm open to opinions about these and also suggestions if there are others I should be looking at.

A nice amplifier, I used the Aleph 3 for some years. That was the nicest SS amp I have used. I use the K&K too, just a wonderful phono stage is'nt it. I don'nt know how long you have had it, but the latest upgrade from Kevin, made a very big difference indeed.

Back to the subject, I have only used the Avatars and they were a good match with the Aleph 3, though that is a very different amp of course. In the end, I found them a bit lacking for me. I have heard Proac at length and Zu at a show. Both were good, the Proacs more neutral I think. I found Zu a bit bright for my taste. None were a match for the Daedalus DA-RMa's I use now, but above yoor price range and they never appear second hand. Good luck in your search.
David thanks for the response. The K&K is new to me and I actually have not heard it yet, still waiting to rebuild my system and awaiting a speaker choice. Nevertheless, very good to hear it comes recommended. I stumbled upon it awhile ago and finally took the plunge. Just the Standard set-up for now but that's also the beauty of it to is it is fully upgradeable!

As far as speakers, thanks for the opinions on sound. Not being able to hear these first, it's certainly a gamble so any thing I can garner about how these speakers sound is great.

I do like neutral so the Proacs seem like a good bet. I'm reluctant about Zu, so many swings, people either like them or hate them it seems, not a lot of neutral ground.

Read to many posts from respected ears that the Zu is over the top(fake). Never heard a Living Voice but they could be a better match with a tube amp. Listened to a De Capo almost 10 years ago, it was pleasent but overly warm/colored. The Proacs are the best choice of what you have listed. If you decide on a monitor have you considered a Coincident Triumph Extreme 2? Music Direct has a Focal 1027s for $3295 that fits your taste in music and has a modest footprint for a floorstander.
I agree that Zu Essence is too bright. I did however pair a Zu Omen Def with a Pass XA 30.5 ( the amp upon which the INT-30 is based I think!) with great Synergy. For the music you listen to it is a good fit. I do understand that some people don't like Zu just as I don't like what many other people like, so what? Zu shines in the vocal region and with guitars.....

Tekton Pendragons would also be a good match if your room is large enough for them.

If you are in the Bay Area drop me a line......
The latest generation is beyond your budget, but older Quad ESLs should work wonderfully with your Pass amp. They are placement sensitive and they are volume limited. These factors may or may not be an issue for you.
In that room -- or any room -- you're going to want an efficient speaker. Despite the "higher than rated" talk about the low watt Pass amps, the INT-30A does not have a ton of grunt.

Zu would be one obvious place to look at your pricepoint. I heard they are having a sale, they do b-stick, and the used market is active. If your worried about them running a little hot in the highs, Sean may be able to do a cap upgrade that softens things.

The Triangle Antal 30th anniversary floorstander could be a consideration. At an 8 ohm load and 92 sensitivity it is an easy drive and Triangles love tubes. It has a new tweeter from the Magellan line. On sale ay for $2670. I have the Celius ES which the Antal replaces.
Don't let the implied 30 Watt rating of the Pass Int 30A dissuade you from considering speakers that might otherwise seem to need more power or have a lower impedance load.
Don't let the implied 30 Watt rating of the Pass Int 30A dissuade you from considering speakers that might otherwise seem to need more power or have a lower impedance load.

My experience with my INT-30A (which I love), is that the comparatively low power output *is* an important constraint on speaker choices, esp. if one is partial to authoritative lows.

If you are anywhere in the Los Angeles area, check out Tonian Labs. I believe they still make the TL-D1, which I have, and they now have a similar version that uses the German AER widebander (which took a long time to get).

They are very efficient and are masters of tone and detail and love vocals as much as I do. :-)

All the best,
John, the Pass INT-30A is capable of much more total power than it's very conservative rating might imply.
Unsound, I don't doubt it. I'm just speaking from my experience of comparing the INT-30A to more powerful amps driving the same speakers. The difference in the lows is not hard to miss. Based on my experience, I'd say that you'd be wasting both amp and speakers if you paired the INT-30A with less efficient designs. YMMV.

Try listening to PSB Synchrony One. You should be able to find a pair used for your budget. An excellent, musical speaker, small footprint and doesnt need too much power to sound great.