Reference 3a's might be the ticket.
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I have the Triangle Comete es with my Primaluna PL2 and have used it with both KT88's and EL34's. Got a very good deal for them new (under $500) and they sound great. I think the tubes tame the high end. I was very impress with the bass, deeper and fuller than the BW DM602's i had before.
If and when i upgrade its a toss up btw the De Capo's and a Single Driver like Cain and Abby.
I had some Triangle Comete ES and absolutely loved them. I sold them to a friend and each time I visit him, I am shocked at how good they sound for $500. Very tube friendly in many ways. They aren't bright at all if your electronics are of good quality. But they don't have much bass authority. The Triangle Altea ES is another very good choice with extra bass and yet still efficient because it is a 2.5 way.
Totem would be similar to your Quads in terms of power requirement. Some Dynaudios have a nice impedence curve but they can be a little thick in the lower mids which doesn't work with certain tube amps.
All the Reference 3A are great options.
Also Amphion from Finland, like the Argon 2. It doesn't dip below 7 ohms and has fantastic reviews. They also have efficient small floorstanders.
Another option is the Coincident Triumph UHS from Canada. It only needs a few Watts to sound good.
Ditto the Omega speakers from Conneticut. I have been very curious about the SuperHemps which only need like 5W and are inexpensive for the quality of finish and sound you are getting. One of the best high efficiency deals going IMO. I used to have a pair of Grande 8 and still regret having sold them.
Have a look at these http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1212013442 .
I have listened to them at the builders home and they sound absolutely superb. For the price they are an absolute steal.
They're super easy to drive and throw a huge soundstage due to the double mouth horns. And finished in veneer they are eye candy.
Triangles are nice. I have had both the Titus and Comete. However, do yourself a favor and talk to Louis at Omega.(www.omegaloudspeakers.com) I own several of his models and they excel with tubes - single drivers - no crossovers - means smooooth music! Beautiful cabinets,stunning finishes and sound to die for! Well worth your consideration especially if you listen to jazz. Take a look at the Super XRS and Super 5s.
thanks for the responces so far. would also be wanting to take a step up (so to speak) from the quad 22L's i am using.
would the triangle comete,Reference 3A and Omega's be considered an upgrade?
how does the Comete es compare to the newer triangle models?
Merlins i know sound great but new is a little out of my price range
I heard the 22L only briefly and it wasn't in my system. I didn't like their highs. I thought they had a "acidic" coloration. Not sure how else to say it other than they weren't smooth, nor clear. And I thought the bass was trying too hard to sound big. I didn't like them. The same store had some ProAc Studio 130 and they sounded much nicer for little more money.
So in my opinion, the Triangles will be a definite step up in terms of high fidelity.
Panu21, Jump all over the Omega's. I have the Compact Hemps with Deep Hemp subs, powered by an 8 watt 300b amp. These are a fast, dynamic and very tonal speaker. I've been around the block and this is were I've ended up. Check out the Omega site (Louis is a great guy to work with) and also look over at the Audio Circles site there are a couple of pair of used Max Hemps for sale in your price range. Good Luck
The Omegas are very revieling to what is given them. If a recording is hot it will sound hot if the recording is right the Omegas sound very right. The Deep Hemp sub mates perfectly well with the Compact Hemps. Each are 8" and made from the same material, the sub is very fast and keeps up with the Compact perfectly well. Check out the Omega site as well as the forum over on the Audio Circles. You will get some good insight into Omegas there.
Omegas are made for SET amps IMO.
They can sound bright with some components
so, system matching & synergy is crucial.
Bass is locking with smaller models and pairing them with
quality sub ( like their own or Rel or ML ) is a must.
Personally, I really like Omegas and they are not such a bad value ether.