Speaker sensitivity vs SQ


My first thread at AG.

Millercarbon continues to bleat on about the benefits of high sensitivity speakers in not requiring big amplifier watts.
After all, it's true big amplifiers cost big money.  If there were no other factors, he would of course be quite right.

So there must be other factors.  Why don't all speaker manufacturers build exclusively high sensitivity speakers?
In a simple world it ought to be a no-brainer for them to maximise their sales revenue by appealing to a wider market.

But many don't.  And in their specs most are prepared to over-estimate the sensitivity of their speakers, by up to 3-4dB in many cases, in order to encourage purchasers.  Why do they do it?

There must be a problem.  The one that comes to mind is sound quality.  It may be that high sensitivity speakers have inherently poorer sound quality than low sensitivity speakers.  It may be they are more difficult to engineer for high SQ.  There may be aspects of SQ they don't do well.

So what is it please?

C85b9041 52a0 4fa7 ac78 d902149a2d82clearthinker
How would you compare them to the likes of JBL Everest’s (DD67000, or one of the other two variants), if you heard them?
I have. The Classic Audio Loudspeakers are **easily** in the same league. If I had to compare, the CAL is a bit smoother, owing to a better interface between the throat and horn, resulting in far less artifact. The field coil compression driver is also a higher performance bit of kit.
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They are also a lot nicer looking!!
Phusis, I would bet there are a host of SS amps that would handily out perform any SET amp. Any small class A Pass amp for sure. JC1's definitely and most probably all of Atma-Sphere's amps. Like trying to race a 911 in a VW Bug.
@atmasphere --

I have. The Classic Audio Loudspeakers are **easily** in the same league. If I had to compare, the CAL is a bit smoother, owing to a better interface between the throat and horn, resulting in far less artifact. The field coil compression driver is also a higher performance bit of kit.

I would expect no less of the T3’s, or CAL speakers overall. The DD67000’s are great speakers, and somewhat better than their smaller K2 S9900 sibling than I initially thought, but there’s a shred of "splashy-ness" to their midrange than when not there lends a smoother imprinting, as you point to with the CAL’s. What are the T3’s sold for - close to $100k? Re: mentioned "better interface" it reminds of what Simon Mears told me of the importance of the coupling between the compression driver exit and the throat of the horn it’s mounted to; transition, transition, transition - as he put it.

@mijostyn --

Phusis, I would bet there are a host of SS amps that would handily out perform any SET amp. Any small class A Pass amp for sure. JC1’s definitely and most probably all of Atma-Sphere’s amps. Like trying to race a 911 in a VW Bug.

"Outperform;" per your ears or more from a theoretical perspective? And in what context of speakers? SET’s, great ones at that, are dependent on very high efficiency speakers (and not too heavy an overall load) to perform their best, at least from my chair. Paired properly as such I find the combo is magical, or just rather natural and uninhibited sounding. I suspect most haven’t really auditioned them in the context I refer to, and if they have the speakers here (typically all-horns) may been so far from their usual sonic menu that an assessment would veer closer to their imprinting, and not the amp(s). Myself I certainly can’t complain using a variety of SS-based amps in my set-up, but I wager a substantial aspect of this rests in it being a fully active configuration.