SET friendly speakers w/ slam?

i do love the wilson punch & dynamics and find them execptional at reproducing a drum kit, but their impedance curve is not necessarily SET-friendly.

any suggestions for a speaker that has higher sensitivity, higher impedance that can kick your face in w/ rock & roll? i'm not talking volume, i'm talking impact. music is visceral when its live, and thats what i'm looking for.

check out my gear, db99 has slam in spades..
ever evolving, "welcome to the pond."
The DB99 would be active I believe, so this is a solid state amp doing the bottom end... There are some other speakers that are passive and will work well with just as good of bass as actives, but need to find them.
I use Cary 805C with a pair of watt/puppy 7's. People who I have talked too who actually use watt/puppies with low powered tube amps use the amps 8 ohm tap. For some reason this creates a magical combination. I know this is contrary to what the experts say (including stereophile) but you have to trust your ears.
How about Zu Audio Presence or Definition II?

I like the VS DB99 idea, too.

Seems to me to get slam, you need some powered subwoofers (either separate or built-in as offered in the speakers mentioned above).
coincident, klipsch
Seems to me to get slam, you need some powered subwoofers (either separate or built-in as offered in the speakers mentioned above).

Hmmm, I wouldn't associate subwoofers with "slam" necessarily. Visceral, absolutely yes! But I'd put "slam" into a region just above where subs do their deep, dark, rumble'yer'roots thing. I'd associate it more with detailed tight, fast bass that's moving lots of air fast. Subs are more about the bass you feel in your bones and in your guts. Maybe its a matter of semantics and my (mis)understanding the terms. Regardless, I'd check out Coincident's offerings as well. Silverline's full-range offerings hover around 92 db so are just at the low end of set-friendly, and they're superb speakers IMO.

I know I would love to hear the Emerald physics speaker. 100dB efficient. 2 15" bass drivers. They have to have some slam.
I have been through several amps with my Silverline Sonata III including Atma-Sphere M-60, VAC Standard 160 Musicbloc, and presently Belles 150A Reference monoblocks. Thus far, the Belles 150A produce by far the most "slam", and I am dubious that a SET amp cold produce slam on these speakers...but I'm open to hearing it, and anyone in Southern California that believes they have the SET amps to do it has an open invitation to come over and give them a try.

The best "slam" I ever had in my system was with a combo of Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III HSE/Moscode 401HR/Lamm LL2 Deluxe.

The Sonata III, while possessing many qualities superior to the VR4 Gen III HSE have yet to equal the slam of the Von Schweikerts.

I do believe subwoofers add bottom to music that somehow gives the perception of filling in the music and giving it more weight throughout, but I also agree that the subwoofer is not responsible for the frequency range that reproduces things that contribute to a crisp, deep bass drum whomp.

I recall the Zu Audio Definition having great slam, and they can be driven by low powered tubes because they also have built-in subwoofers. These speakers are what made me associate the helpfulness of a subwoofer with a speaker that can be driven with SET amps.
Hey Grant - I'm guessing from his current choice of speakers, that the poster might be considering the more substantially endowed Silveline offerings (Grandeur II, LaFolia II). On my Sonatina's, though I'd give the nod to SS amps I've tried (Odyssey dual mono, BelCanto Ref1000) as far as "slam" is concerned. I'd agree with you that I would not necessarily associate SET as a "slam optimizer". If you're really way into "slam" I'd pick a different delivery of power (push/pull, OTL or SS all would likely be a better choice). But if you are looking for ways to optimize slam with SET (assuming you consider the strengths of that form of amplification as more of a priority) there are certainly some speakers that are better than others at doing just that.

Regarding the Emerald Physics suggestion; I was impressed with those speakers at RMAF, but I thought they required substantial current in spite of their high efficiency. I seem to recall reading from several sources that tubes were not suggested, and if they were used that lateral biamping was recommended. The tube amps they were using at the show were push/pull and pretty punchy. I heard them with the Bel Canto Ref1000 and they sounded great. This is the first I've ever heard anyone suggesting to use SET amps with them.
Oh yes...I also recently tried NuForce Ref9SE V2 and Bel Canto Ref1000 on the Sonata III. The Bel Canto had more "slam", but the NuForce were more refined in the mids and highs.

Looking forward to reading the final SET slamming speaker list.

Research these:
Classic Audio Reproductions. I do know they have a very tube friendly impedance curve, and they are very sensitive (over 100dB).

Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere owns a pair.
Research these:
Classic Audio Reproductions. I do know they have a very tube friendly impedance curve, and they are very sensitive (over 100dB).

I think those are the horns Ralph shared the room with at RMAF... If so, very impressive large-scale, huge soundstage with his amps. They certainly have a 'large' physical presence in the room yet they disappear as the source of the sounds.
Horns, my friend.
Good call on the Classic Audio Reproductions speakers, Tvad. Not cheap, but Oooo baby they got slam.

Atma-Sphere showed in two rooms at RMAF '07; they shared one of the big ground-floor ballrooms with Classic Audio Reproductions, and a regular-sized room in the tower with yours truly.

Look at www.decware .com You will need speakers that can do around 101db minimun with the watts you have available. for instance a speaker rarted at 95db@1watt@1meter will need 4 watts to produce 101db at 1meter, while a speaker rated at 92db@1watt@1meter will require 8watts to do the 101db.
Of course room size comes in to play as does the crossover in the speakers(the more complex the Xover the more watts are used up getting through it) Matching up speakers to SET's takes a little research but is worth it!
Does'nt the question depend on output too? In simple terms, a 20+watt SET will give you more slam than an 8watt one. Tube choice is a factor too. Having had both, it is my impression that 845's are more even across the spectrum than 300B's say.
My Viva Solista, 22 watt 845 SET, really drives the 89db Acoustic Zen Adagios I use in a 20 by 20ft room. There is real, deep, tight base there. In fact, it sounds louder, with better grip, than a 180 watt SS amp I also use
Consider a custom loudspeaker you can have one designed for your budget room system and music tastes. So many new hi-eff transducers availible one can build hi-eff loudspeakers in so many ways. You could even DIY your own.
Emerald Physics mentioned many times will need more power due to the open baffle and are also an active bi-amped system meaning needs processors and 4 channels or more of amplification, so just using them on an outright S.E.T amp is probably more trouble than its worth in my opinion to recommend them realistically..

I do however agree with all the Zu recommendations if you want to keep it very simple..
Also the New Zu Definition as stated above is a great choice and now comes in a 30 ohm version and 101 db efficient which can be driven by anything.
I get pretty good slamm out of the Reimer Teton's using my Lamm 18 watt SET's. The speakers are 95db and a flat 4 ohms. Reimer says you can go down to 8 watts with these speakers not sure how that may effect slamm though.
A moderately to high sensitivity driver (fostex, lowther) in a well designed back loaded horn. Since going single driver all other speakers put me to sleep – and I mean that literally.

Duke, I suspect your Jazz Module and Dream Maker speakers also have excellent slam. I'd like to hear them one day.

Have you tried any SET amps on them?
Edgarhorn Titan IIs. And I agree with those who say that slam comes from the mid-bass.
My Zu Def. II subs are run up to 120 hz and they slam, oh baby do they slam. The Def. Pros I had didn't, I could only run the subs up to 65 hz.

SET friendly? Yep, completely. However, the SET amp isn't responsible for the slammage. I wouldn't expect nearly any SET amp on nearly any speaker to produce deep, impactful bass on its own. I have a Crown pro amp running the subs in mine.
Try a Pair of Avantgarde unos or duos with an art audio amp, SET magic with all the slam you whould ever want.
03-10-08: Tvad
Oh yes...I also recently tried NuForce Ref9SE V2 and Bel Canto Ref1000 on the Sonata III. The Bel Canto had more "slam", but the NuForce were more refined in the mids and highs.


In my application, the Nuforce had more slam down low with greater punch, impact and visceral bass than the Bel Canto Ref 1K it replaced. More transparent, almost invisible and undetectable sonic signature. I had mine burned in for a good week or two before making such observation. Not sure if you had your Nuforce optimized and properly burned in when you made your above observation
Kenk168, I'm glad you found the amp that's right for you.

I suspect the NuForce's performance on my speakers had more to do with the fact that they do not double power output as impedance is halved, than it has to do with amp break in. Here are the specs from the NuForce website:

Ref 9 V2 / Ref 9 V2SE
Power/Load 8 ohm 4 ohm 2 ohm
RMS Power 190W 300W 300W

On the other hand, the Bel Canto Ref1000 do double their power output as impedance is halved, so it makes sense they produced a more balanced sound on my speakers.

As always speaker/amp match is critical for optimal performance. Pass Labs XA-60.5 have proven to be an ideal match for my speakers.

Continued good listening to you.