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
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.
@phusis, yes, my set up is fully active but you could never use SET amps in my system. I really require big amps. I was talking in the context of very efficient speakers. SET amps are very romantic and if that is what you like then by all means but a class A SS amp particularly a Pass or Curl design is going to be more accurate, have more control over the woofer and still have a little of the romance. I would also rather buy records than $1000 tubes.
Costs for high-eff drivers are greater, Size high- eff designs are larger can cost more to build ship take up more room at dealers and distributors. And I will also add that buyers don't want changes. And they have been told for decades that all horns are problematic and they bought the line that small is better. Face it would you buy a toaster that was better than others but was larger and looked not like a toaster? We are simple tools and want to blend in and conform with others not to stand out.