Reference 3A MM de Capo I or later, you will also need a good pair of stands.
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I'd recommend taking a look at Tekton. These are high efficiency and an easy load to drive and I have heard the designer prefers SS amplification for his speakers as well.
I have also heard several accountings of good results with Ref 3A DeCapo and low wattage tube and SS amps, at least for moderate volume listening.
In general, if you want to listen louder and clear, you'll want higher efficiency speakers. Some common candidates for moderate cost would be tekton, Zu, Klipsch some Tannoy, and Coincident and maybe some Triangle or even Focal.
Then there are aplethora of more specialized expensive larger horn based hi efficiency designs. Of those, the ones I have heard that seemed to repesent the best value was Cathedral Speakears in Virginia.
I have a friend with the First Watt M2 amp driving a pair of Ref 3a reference L'integral with excellent results in a 20'X14' room. 25 watts which I believe is similar or the same as the J2. I second the above recommendation. He is bringing over his M2 to my place in the next week or two for evaluation. I expect very good results based on what I heard at his place although the J2 and M2 are a bit different in their output devices Jfets vs mosfets in the output stages. The Decapo BEs are just superb music makers but I AM prejudiced so take my words with a grain of salt or if for no other reason than to have you listen to them with that J2 if you get the chance. I do believe you will be pleasantly suprised.
Btw, I think you purchased a really excellent amplifier. Now just to find the right speaker. Read, research and listen to everything you can and be patient!
A note of caution in regard to pairing the J2 with the de Capo BE: While the M2 and the J2 amplifiers are both rated at 25 watts into 8 ohms (or 30 watts in the case of the J2 depending on what document is looked at), their performance into 4 ohms is quite different. Specifically a substantial increase to 40 watts for the M2, and a substantial decrease to 13 (or 15) watts for the J2. Also, in the case of the J2, at high power levels distortion performance is significantly worse into 4 ohms than into 8 ohms, as shown in the graphs in the manual.
While the de Capo BE is nominally rated as being an 8 ohm speaker, its impedance in most of the mid-bass region, where lots of energy is typically required, is around 6 ohms (see the graph near the bottom of this page). Presumably the power capability and distortion performance of the J2 into 6 ohms will be somewhere in the middle ground between its 8 ohm and 4 ohm performance, meaning it won't be as good as is specified for 8 ohms. Also, per the measurements shown on that page the sensitivity of the de Capo BE is not nearly as high as specified, at most frequencies.
In general, to get the best possible performance from your J2 I would expect that speakers which are truly 8 ohms or more at most frequencies would be the best choices. Your Revels are most definitely not in that category, BTW, in addition to having low sensitivity.
Good luck. Regards,
Thanks you all for the great responses. As it turned out I have demoed both the Decapo's and the triangles and I found them both not to my liking. I can confirm that the efficiency of the Decapo's is below what is commonly known and it is not a good pairing for the exact reason stated above of the power rating drop at 4 ohms. While the Revels are not a good match at all, ironically the Decapo's are not that much better unless your source or preamp have a ton of gain.
I have been looking into the JBL 4425 because it is 91db and doesn't fall below 6 ohms. I generally like monitors but the 4425 output to only 16khz concerns me.
I would go fullrange diy, but I would hate to waste the engineering mastery and potential of the J2 matched to a novice diy creation for the sake of efficiency.
Any other suggestions welcome, or balanced amp suggestions is still appreciated.
If you are a DIYer OR if you hire someone like
you can clone Gary Dahl's hybrid horn speakers. The J2 should have no trouble driving the Azurahorn 425/Radian Research 745NeoBe driver combo and GPA's Altec 416-8B alnico midwoofers.
Gary demoed his system at a local Seattle audio club last month
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/100392-beyond-ariel-1356.html to a quite enthused and pleased audience.
Those mono blocks are Gary's clones of Lynn Olson's Amity amps http://www.nutshellhifi.com/triode1.html I think they are 25 wpc into 8 ohms. If so, then the J2 should have no problems driving everything above the subs.
The passive two way crossover use Dave Slagle's
autoformers, rather than resistive pots to balance levels between the horns and the Altecs
Gary's subs are 15" Acoustic Elegance drivers with passive radiators, driven by Class AB plate amps. Or you might want to have Jim Salk build you a pair of his own versions of Brian Ding's 12" sealed servo subs
Here's Gary's report on his final system tweaks (save for those on the RAA: Lazy ribbon tweeters, which his still wringing out the last bit of coloration. Finally, here’s Gary recent summary of the last of his basic system tweaks, and where he becomes more pleased than he ever thought possible with the sound
So if you want to play rock music with a low power amp like the J2-and if you work with builders like Lee or Jim and Martin and Dave and GPA's Bill Hanuschak, I'd think about cloning Gary Dahl's speakers, or at least his mains.
I have owned 3 pairs of Maggie's last being 1.7, Apogees, Acoustic Zens, Teckton, Kef's DQ 10's. I love a huge soundstage with 3D front to back layering. The Spatials have it all. They sound like planers on steroids with dynamic and bass that will knock you off your chair. This is the best speaker I have owned for the money. Since. .. the purchase two off my friends who were over for a listen sold their speakers. Guess what they purchased?