Consider Quicksilver M90 used if you can find it used.
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Assuming the S8e (which I owned for a few years) has an impedance curve similar to the S5e (quite likely), using a tube amp will be less than optimal.
See the impedance peak between 1 kHz and 6 kHz?
As a result, if a tube amplifier with a typically high source impedance is used with the Spendor, the speaker's frequency balance will suffer tilted-up high frequencies.
Unfortunately or not, it seems that the majority of speakers today are designed for low output impedance amps, i.e., typical solid state. As examples of the minority, look at the impedance curve of Vandersteen and Thiel speakers.
Assuming the S8e (which I owned for a few years) has an impedance curve similar to the S5e (quite likely), using a tube amp will be less than optimal.Interestingly, I would say otherwise. Tube amps maintain a greater constant power output over a wider impedance range. This is why they are more often mated with Electrostatic speakers like Sound Labs which have a high impedance down in the lower frequency range.
From the experience as reported by Grimace, tube amps seem to work quite well here.
Hi Grimace -
I have the SPendor S6e (understanding they do not go as low as the S8e).
I auditioned two all Tube Amps/Integrated Amps.
The Cary SLI-80 - Great Midrange, voice, and acoustic music - addictive. However, Bass was a bit light, slow - and I found that there was no snap or dynamics as compared to my Quicksilver pre and Classe Amp. So it was a no go for me as I do not listed to Krall, Ottmar Liebert and Holly Cole on every sitting.
Cayin A88T - smaller soundstage, sounded thinner then the Cary and Bass was light as well. I tried it as an Amp only being driven by my Quicksilver and I found it to be a slight improvement. But I quickly went back to my own set up. Still did not have the snap/dynamics that I needed and had some other shortcomings.
I have wanted to go to tubes - but for all the dealers I called/spoke with that carry Spendor (including the one I bought them from) say the same. Spendors need some drive and snap to sound their best and the vintage tube sound though will sound great at first may prove to be limited if you are listening to "harder" music. If you listen to "soft" music, acoustic, female vocals, chamber music then this is probably not an issue.
I called VTL (spoke with Bee) when I was asking about the ST-85 (60 Watts) to use with my S6e = 87db, 6.5 ohms. She told me that the ST-85 would not be enough to drive my Spendors very well. That she would recommend the ST-150.
I told her I do not listen at head banging levels - though I do listen to Incubus, KOL, Radiohead, as well as Jazz - Di meola, Stanley jordan, Krall, some Flamenco....
She said she still would not recommend ST-85 or the Integrated IT-85 either. Now your SP 2/3 may be an easier load to drive then the S series. I am not sure the 30 Watt tiny Triode would be a good match for the OP's S8e.
I can say when I put the Cayin A88T in Triode mode (22 Watts) it was noticeably not enough to drive mine. The Cary I believe was 40 Watts and though it did not seem underpowered had no bass punch or dynamics at all.
Please understand - I am not critisizing your statements or what you are hearing in any way at all.
I can only speak for the S series and my experience.
The interaction between the output impedance of an amp and the impedance of a speaker is determined by Ohm's Law. There's no getting around it. That's not to say you won't like the interaction, you may.
In this case the frequency response will tend to follow the impedance curve of the speaker. The effect will be more pronounced the higher the output impedance of the amp. This isn't a matter of opinion. You can use an SPL meter to check it out.
In a very absorptive room you may not notice the SPL peak in the treble.
Lougiants: No criticism at all seen in your comments. There are many reports of Spendor Classic series working well with moderate to low powered VTLs. An audio engineer over in Audio Asylum reports good results with Spendor SP1/2, a larger speaker. So perhaps it is a matter of the Classic Series presenting a more benign load than the S series. I thought any somewhat related info might help the OP.
I have paired the spendors s8e with an LFD integrated amp and am in heaven. I have the lfd ncse but from what i hear the delight is similar with the lfd III or IV. lfd is a British design that seems to be optimized for british speakers like Spendor and Harbeth. Since i use the lfd, my spendors seem to completely disappear when I play music. amazing sound with great yet tight bass (important to spendor who may be a little loose on the bass side)
Another good choice would be the plinius or exposure 2010s.
The LFD will probably sound the most tube-like, despite being a SS amp.
FYI, my dac is the w4s dac