Need speaker advice


I'm looking for a new pair of speakers. The reason for this is that I find my Tannoy Legacy Eaton a little too difficult to drive for my 2x12w Audion Audio Sterling. I also feel that the Tannoys are a little too relaxed and a little rolled off.

One problem with brands like Tekton and nsmt is that I live in Sweden and I do not have the opportunity to listen to them (which I assume is the same problem in the US) and to send them back if I don't like them is not financially defensible. To take a chance on one of these brands I really have to be sure that they are what I’m looking for. I don’t think this will happend.

I heard Klipsch Heresey III which I didn't like. To my taste, they were too much on my face and too harsh. Could have been the room and/or the amplifier and/or ...?

I listen to all kinds of music, from progressive rock to classical music.
My listening position is 6.6 feet from the speakers.
My budget is aprox $ 7,200.

Any suggestions?

You are in somewhat of a difficult position, as listening to rock with a 12 wpc amp requires very efficient speakers, combined with the fact that you are listening very close to the speakers, so the room with soften nothing. Plus, all the brands like Devore and Tekton are cost-prohibitive to ship.  Honestly, with what you said, I would consider another amplifier with more power.  The Tannoys are good speakers and an amp with a bit more bite might be just what you're looking for. 

Not the answer I hoped for :(

I usually listen to low volumes and if I want to play louder I have a Moonriver 404 that really takes a grip on the Tannoys.
But I have just become a sucker for SET tubes amps and have just bought the Audion Audio Sterling, so your suggestion is no solution. Thanks anyway.

What brands of high-sensitivity speaker are available in Sweden that fall into your budget?  Have you called a few audio stores? 
@simna - as you are 'set" on keeping your amp, perhaps you should listen to something from Trenner & Friedl.  I owned the Pharoahs for several years, driven with an 18 wpc set amp and I thought they were great.  They are fairly efficient and work well in small rooms.  
I really like the persona line for how dynamic they play with low power amps. You could get a good used pair of 3f for your budget.
Trenner and Friedl is an interesting suggestion.  Although none of their models is extremely efficient, I've heard them with lower powered amps and they sound very good--very lively sounding even at modest volume levels.

I would also look at Audio Note (uk) speakers.  They are also not extremely efficient, but, they are meant to play with the quite low-powered amps offered by Audio Note.  I've heard AN-E and AN-J speaker powered by their 6.5 watt amps and never thought they need more power.
@simna  My listening position is ~ 7 feet from my speakers. Your Audion Sterling amplifier is a good pairing for Cube Audio speakers.

Cube Audio distributor in Sweden:

Cube has representation in Norway, Denmark, Finland and you could also visit them in Poznań, Poland. 

I have the Nenuphars. Cube's Magus and Bliss fit your budget. Low volume performance is a strength.

Just so you know, I came very close to moving forward with Audion's Golden Dream 300B Parallel monos and the Black Shadow 2 MkII 845 SET amp. You have a solid amp!

Yes, I checked some dealers in Sweden. Not all.

Trenner & Friedl; above my budget

Paradigm Persona 3F; can't find them in Sweden

Genelec? I have heard Genelec many years ago and I think they were overhyped and "loudness sounding". Sorry.

Anyone heard Living Voice Auditorium R25A?

Well, your neighbors in Sweden, Seas, and Denmark, Scanspeak, make great speaker components. Would you consider a kit?

Here's a highly regarded Danish kit designer:
Problem is, I have all five thumbs in the middle of the hand ;)

I doubt that anyone have their speakers in Sweden. Have to check.

Anyone compared Klipsch Heresey III with any Tekton model?
I heard klipsch many years ago and wouldn't assume they sound the same now. Genelec many years ago isn't genelec now but if you aren't looking for one of the most accurate reproductions of your source I agree you probably won't like them. 
There’s, Buchardt, ATC, Dynaudio, Gradient, Dutch and Dutch, GGNTKT, Proac, Wharfedale, jeez Europe has a lot of speaker companies this is just a small sample. Adam, Q Acoustics, Kef, Devaliet... I haven’t listed one yet that isn’t better than Tekton.

I would say Revel but they are overpriced in Europe.

Edit : Sorry completely forgot JBL you might find  those to give a try.
I have not done anything close to a direct comparison between a Klipsch Heresey and Tekton speakers, but, I have heard the Klipsch and two of the Tekton models--the MOAB and the Double Impacts.  I prefer the Tekton speakers because they are not as rough or harsh sounding.  The Tektons sound quite good for the money and work well with low-powered amps.

Unfortunatly all of the speaker brands you suggest doesn't have any speaker that is sensitive enought. Mostly they are worse than my Tannoys. The exeption is JBL but they seems to have problems with their quality.
@simna here is the website for a Swedish retailer of Audio Note speakers.
I own and love the AN-J with a 17 watt tube amp.
I have an 87 year old friend that bought a beautiful set of Kliscph Heritage (the original model), and they were too bright for him. He did some checking, and found with some simple wiring changes, he was able to make them sound extremely good.

I went over to his home and listened to them (including with my new 3C24 amp), and found them to be one the best sounding speakers I've heard in fifty years. Our listening distance was about 7-8 feet. I feel it's something you might consider as you go forward.

Best regards,
I'm sorry  I noticed,  finally , you're using a flea watt amp. You'll want something like the Audio Note or similar.
It’s not all about efficiency.  A high and relatively stable impedance is also very important.  Proacs are not rated that high in efficiency but play well with low power amps.  The Cary 300 SEI always sounded great with 1SC’s.  Your near field listening position also works in your favor.  I’ve also heard the D20R sound great with a 12 wpc Leben and a Shindo amp, which I don’t recall the model designation.  So, I think Proac is worth your consideration.
Have you considered a more beefy amp? Classical and rock are both pretty demanding IMO.
Tektons are Really good rock speakers and are easy to drive but with 12 watts? Would probably sound fine at lower levels.
Yeah you are correct... big gamble and you are probably not going to be able to hear these smaller brands. On the other hand Tekton has made a huge splash at least in the US and if they didn’t work out I would think there are some other audio dudes in your country that would be happy to take them off your hands at a smaller loss than shipping them back.

Being in Sweden, you should totally order Tekton Moabs. First because they are fabulous. Absolutely unbeatable for anywhere near their asking price. Second because they are soon to undergo a price hike. They tried it once, even at $5k they are a stone bargain (nothing twice the price comes even close) and so you can count on them being priced higher, probably not long after you get yours. 

Then when you and your friends hear how much better they are than anything else you ever heard anywhere, you will realize not only are they not going back, but you can sell them for at least what you paid, including shipping, and be in the enviable position of being able to think about would you rather keep your Moabs or sell them and upgrade to Ulfberht?  

The idea of wanting to send them back, this simply is not within the realm of possibility. It just won't happen. Wife and I were listening last night, just gaping at the power and majesty of full orchestra Tchaikovsky 1812 with cannon. Freaking insane! Beyond good.  

Super easy to drive, anything from SET watts up is plenty, my 50 isn't even breaking a sweat while the room explodes with full-on symphony power. And I am talking LOUD! At the volume levels you enjoy, even 4 watts will be plenty.  

The imaging is to die for. Strings full and warm and extended. Just the right bite, never dry and absolutely never stressed. Unless you have a thing for natural wood finish and desire a Faberge Egg more than a speaker, if what you crave is music on a level that is to die for I honestly cannot imagine why anyone would not love these to death.   

But hey don't take my word for it. Read the comments from people on my system page. These are just the ones from the few who bothered to post comments. Got some even better ones from those who heard in person. Like one said best he ever heard. He gets around. Does everything you want in a speaker, on hardly any watts, and all for a bargain price. Eric has experience shipping overseas so that will not be a problem. Check it out. Thank me later. 

I got a pair of Dynaudio Evoke and they produce the most beautiful sound.Not the best fit for hard rock, but Van Morrison and Regine Spektor never sounded better.

And it's just across the Pond in Copenhagen.
If I could listen to something though, it's the Marten from Sweden. 
It's funny how in the US we want the European stuff and Europe, the American brands look better, 
I had a several iterations of Living Voice Auditoriums, eventually purchasing the OBX-RWs, over a period of 20 years, and used them with a variety of SET amps, including a 300B amp and a push pull 2A3.  They were outstanding speakers that were very liquid, detailed and threw a nice big soundstage.  I also used them with some higher power pentode amps from Audio Research and VTL.  I only sold them when I switched to solid state.   A wonderful match with SET Amos- Kevin Scott uses Kondo amps to voice them. 
If you can get an an older pair of of klipsch or audio note set of speakers, you’ll be way ahead than a pair of Tektons. I don’t like the newer klipsch sound, too tipped up for my liking but the older klipsch sound very good. I have had friends with klipschorn speakers and I thought they sounded very good, not sure what amp they used. I’ve heard audio note speakers at shows being driven by SET amps and sounded good.
I just went out and there are many pairs of klipschorn’s for sale anywhere from $4000 to $5500. Another plus for say the klipsch or audio notes, they are good looking too, whereas the tektons: not
Check out the Decware speakers, they are made for tube amps and can be driven with as little as 2watts. DECWARE Radial Hybrid Loudspeaker model HR-1 this model can be driven with as little as 6 watts. DECWARE High Efficiency Reference Loudspeaker from Lii Audio or these speakers shipped to your door
Sensitivity: 100 dB minimum power to drive these 1watt. $3,000.00

What about Pure Audio Project Trio15 line?  They are 96db sensitive and offer a return policy.  Some assembly required.
Horning Eufrodite speakers were fantastic with my 300b set amps and my Audio Tekne IT-2 11w tube amp. 
When and if MC changes will be a Tektonic Shift.

OP...there have to be speakers in Europe that will work for you. Have you tried asking a Euro audio forum for help? 
@cfarrow  +1 regarding Horning Eufrodite speakers. However outside of OP's stated budget (esp. current models, new).
Omega High Output Alnico Towers. Excellent tone, great efficiency and gorgeous holographic mid-range. Contact the owner Louis and he'll set you straight. 
I would go for a true high impedance vintage speaker with a twelve watt amplifier like an electro voice or an altec lansing you will not find many new ones that will be anywhere near efficient enough or that will sound like a good 16 ohm vintage model from the tube era.
@  simna
Apologies for mentioning this product outside your price limit, but if you can stretch to $8,900, the highly efficient 100dB/W/m "Volti Audio Rival" may be a good fit for you:

From Stereophile Ken Micallef review:
the Rivals had no "sound" of their own...immaculate transparency...
bass was "riveting, powerful, and forceful, and as full of tone, texture, and energy, as I've ever heard," and that the high frequencies were "smooth, wide open, and grain-free."

other reviews also very favorable.
If you are finding that the Tannoy's are a little to "relaxed" and a little too "rolled off" I suggest you look at the components that get you to that point. Your whole system must be "in sync"?. Do research. It took me 50 years but I am there.  
Thanks for all input and suggestions. I've found some of the suggested brands and speakers here in Sweden. I'm gonna check them out now in spring.

But, still; I will not buy a more powerfull amp, I have already a Moonriver 404 that have all the power my Tannoys need. I have just discovered how wonderful a single ended tube amp sounds and I will stick to my new SET amp.

And when it comes to me finding the Tannoy's too laidback and a little rolled off I really think that's the way this speaker sounds (or how they sound in my room).
I've tried moving them around in the room to find where they sound the best. And I think I have found the best location for them.
I have also tried with different amps;
Line Magnetic LM 34AI, Tube Technology Unisis Signature, Audion Audio Sterling Plus with Audion Audio Premier 0.5 Line Level, Musical Fidelity M6i and Moonriver 404.
And different DAC:s; RME ADI-2 DAC and LAB12 DAC1 SE.
Also different transports; Cambridge CXC and Audiolab 6000CDT.
I tried many different cables; speaker cables, analog interconnects, digital rca between transport and DAC.
So, I mean, I have really tried :)

Thanks again guys:)

3,523 posts
02-10-2021 10:10am
Yes, glad you found it. LoL Findland? I plead fast fingers on a tablet.

IF OP encounters something there he/she loves, Finland will indeed be Findland!
Simna, you have discovered how hard it is to change the basic nature of loudspeakers. Everything else except perhaps amplifiers has minimal effect on the sound. Think of all the effort and money spent on trying! 
Good luck in finding a set you like. Unfortunately, I can not think of any high efficiency speakers you might like. Many of them are horn loaded and you did not like the Klipsch which are representative of the breed. I do think your SET amp will calm them down a bit. You might try taking your amp into the store and hooking it up. Couldn't hurt:-)
They are going to sound like crap with just 12 watts! I own the Tannoy Eatons, they are great sounding speakers and far from "rolled off"!. They respond well to class A amplification or high powered tubed amps/integrated. They are only 89 db efficient. They are not Devores or klipsh @ high 90’s db. Have you tried the variable treble adjustments provided on the front of speaker? They are there to adjust the speaker to your room and your taste. Same goes for the two provided foam plugs for the bass ports. These speakers provide more adjustments than most, but I find mine sound just fine as is, no adjustments. I run mine with 30 watt pure class A single ended Sugden Signature A21se, the Tannoys sound fantastic with this amp. Get rid of your amp Pronto!!!
Can your amp be used as Mono Blocks? Get another, thus keep your preferred sound, double your power?

That will put you in a position to consider a wider range of speaker efficiencies, now and any future changes.

I would not want to be that close to physically large speakers. Smaller enclosures puts you in a situation: the small speakers that make the ’best’ (not most) bass tend to be less efficient.

That means perhaps you need excellent efficient satellites and one or two self-powered subs. That’s not always easy.

I have done that very successfully in my office with Vintage B&W bookshelf speakers, one self-powered sub for general extension. Similar spacing: speakers 5’ apart, I’m 5 ft back, my ears diagonally 6’ away. Sub volume adjusted to give extension without awareness, unless I turn it off. If main system, I would go for a pair of smaller subs located near the satellites for bass localization.

Preamp to self-powered sub, sub sends only upper bass, mids, highs to amp, thus both amp and satellites do not try/need to make low bass. That means a lower powered amp like yours will not need to produce low bass.

I’m not a fan of ports which are often used to get ’extra’ bass. If so, front firing ports only

As for low volume, especially if listening to music with distinctive bass players, i.e. Jazz, Pop, Rock Groups with great bass players: I highly recommend having a ’Loudness’ option (fletcher munson) to bring the bass up to an equal volume as you would hear at louder volumes. This is even more important for speakers that make decent, but not low bass. And even a nice sub, when balanced for normal volume, will need a boost at low volume to maintain distinction, involvement, and localization if imaging had been nicely recorded.

’Loudness’ filters, when set up properly (often not), are out of play at normal volumes, and begin a progressive proportional boost as volume decreases.

Use of tone controls at casual low volumes, can maintain involvement, but much current equipment lacks tone controls.

I use a Chase RLC-1 Remote Line Controller to give remote control of volume, balance, and it has an automatic fletcher-munson circuit as it enters low volume. It also has tone controls if desired.

this is an old listing, but it shows it well. S/N 120db. None of my golden eared friends can tell if it is in or not in the system, it just does it’s job.

1 main system; 1 office system; 1 spare.

I second MC’s decision. The sensitivity rating is like 94db. This would be perfect for you. If you don’t think so later on you can sell them after they go up in price and get 90% of the money back. The only other alternative is Klipsch book shelf with the right sub. The sub will add the bloom and weight while the Klipsch are high sensitivity. If you are worried about the Tekton speakers ask what the most popular color is and order it so it is more marketable later on. FYI red is going to be very popular but you might want to go with black. Red is good luck to some cultures. Don’t sell the tannoy speakers until you are sure. Tekton is perfect for you. 
"Get rid of your amplifier pronto!!!"
Why wound simna do that? He’s posted for the 3rd time how much he enjoys the Audion Audio Sterling SEP el34 12 watt amplifier. He stated
above he’s tried numerous amplifiers with his Tannoys. He has decided he rather keep the amplifier he prefers most. So it is very reasonable for him to seek speakers that are a better match for the Audion amplifier.

By all accounts it’s an excellent sounding amplifier. So his actions make plenty of sense. He has received some teriffic Europe based brands recommendations such as Cube Audio, Living Voice, Audio Note, and others. I’d definitely consider the Trenner -Friedl RA Box or Pharoah used. These two work very well with SET/SEP amplifiers. 

Fortunatly, some of the stuff I had myself, other I have borrowed, so it’s the time it cost me. But I have learned things along the way :)


”Get rid of your amp Pronto!!!”. Hmm… thats a little drastic, don’t you think? In fact there are speakers at 93-96 dB sensivity withoiut being horn loaded. Not many in Sweden, but still…
I have tried different settings with the Treble Energy and the Treble Roll Off screws.
But yes, they are a little bit laid back and rolled off. I have compared with ATC SCM 19 v2. Both speakers driven with Moonriver 404.


Maybe I can use the power amp as a mono block. I haven’t thought about that. But then comes two new problems; dubble sets of tubes and space. Problems, problems, problems ;)
I’m actually using a REL sub which I crank up just a little bit more when listening at low volumes.


Yes, I’m tempted when it comes to Tekton. But the one I’m looking at is The Perfect Set. One thing is for sure; they are not good looking. After all, you will be sitting there and staring at them all the time. Ough


Exactly, the Audion Audio stays. And those brands you are mentioning are amongst the ones (+ Tekton) I plan to check out.