Meadowlark Audio makes some nice efficient stuff that likes tubes.
13 responses Add your response
I second Dnight's recommendation of the Buggtussels with your triode amps. Disclaimer - I recently became a Buggtussel dealer, but I was recommending them here and at the Asylum long before I became a dealer.
The Buggs work extremely well with modestly powered tube amps. The impedance curves are very flat and smooth. Clarity is superb, bass very natural-sounding, and soundstaging excellent in the sweet spot and decent outside it. The Buggs do an excellent job with piano, which is an extremely difficult instrument to render convincingly. The lower registers are especially well rendered, as are the percussive leading edges of the notes. Human voice is also very well done.
The first time I heard the Buggtussels, it seemed like something was missing - the presentation was just a wee bit lean in comparison with some of the other rooms I'd been in at the CES. I walked around to other rooms at the CES, and then came back for another listen. And I had figured out what was missing - the midbass thickness or chestiness that is present in 95% of the speakers out there. After calibrating my ears to the uncolored sound of the Buggs, most of the other speakers sounded distractingly thick and boxy.
The Buggtussels don't sound like boxes, and that is a rare and precious quality which contributes to long-term listening enjoyment. The Buggtussels are aimed at very mature audiophiles - no boom and tizz, no forwardness, no artificial warmth. Just a stunningly natural sound. I've yet to hear a speaker in the price range of the Amygdala or Lemniscus give as convincing an overall rendition of piano or jazz. The Buggs excel at goosebump-factor. To my ears, the 8-grand Lemniscus outperformed some very well-respected speakers up to between two and three times their price. Frankly I was more interested in taking on a higher-priced speaker line because people are more likely to hop on a plane and fly to audition 18-grand speakers than 8-grand speakers, but the other speakers sounded more like boxes to me.
For many years I was an amateur speaker builder, and most of my designs were transmission lines. Transmission lines have potentially superb bass, and very natural sounding, non-resonant midrange. Kevin Blair is among the top two or three designers worldwide when it comes to transmission line design.
My vote goes for the Soliloquy product line. I have the 5.3's which fit nicely with my 20 watt Cary and the type of music I listen to.
My preference on music is acoustic guitar and jazz, but I do throw in some old rock & roll every weekend. The 5.3's soundstage and image well, but don't have the same bass extension as the 6.3's.
I had a couple thousand more in my budget for speakers but when I auditioned the Soliloquy products realized I could use that money elsewhere. They are very nice sounding!
Hope that helps.
Consider Proac response 2.5- I have heard them with Cary 805C with very good sound, I second the Soliloquy line, especially the flagship 6.5- list is 6+K but they show up used for 3-4K, and lastly the Coincident super or total eclipse- I haven't auditioned them myself but have heard good things about the sound-you can call the owner- he's very helpful and interesting to talk to.