What is your favorite High EFF speaker


Hello Everyone!


The most interesting item on my horizon lately are high efficiency speakers. 


Better said, speakers which can easily be driven by amps whose output is from 15 to 70wpc. And likely lower, ala 300B  amps, or a pr of Els or KTs, etc. there are a ton of 30 to 75wpc tube amps out there that perform at fascinating levels, and are very interesting. 


Having exactly no EXP in this realm other than a former interlude with Silverline Sonata IIIs (reputedly 93db, @ 8 ohms) some time back, I’m asking for members EXP on current or  recent production  speakers  still available you have used which check all the boxes IYO.


 imaging, resolution, bottom end accuracy, impact and honesty.


I listen to sensible  music. Nothing urban or inner city, rave, etc.., but I do enjoy twisting up the ‘fun’ knob on the preamp from time to time. 


Many thanks.


blindjim
well you asked a simple question really so i'll give you a simple answer.
my favourite high efficiency loudspeaker is the jbl synthesis 4367 :)

nothing wrong with simple. 

Thanks.
Post removed 
Altec Valencia's! A favorite of Art Dudley of Stereophile. I had a pair. Regret selling them!
i love my zu druid V's!  and good luck with your journey!
Zu Definition 4. But I also like Audio Note (esp ANE) and Living Voice.
Cost is no object: custom-made horn systems with vintage Western Electric drivers or G.I.P. reproductions of Western Electric drivers; or system built around Jensen/ERPI M-10 fieldcoil woofer and Western Electric 597a tweeter.

More reasonably priced and available speakers:  Charney Audio backloaded horn system with AER full range driver; Audio Note AN-E;  Voxativ Ampeggio; Avantgarde Duo.
When examining tube amps you'll want to pay attention to impedance as well. Almost any tube amp will make more power, have wider bandwidth and lower distortion when driving a 16 ohm load as opposed to 8.


I use Classic Audio Loudspeakers model T3.3s, which are 98dB 1 watt/1 meter, are 16 ohms, are flat to 20Hz with the first breakup at 35KHz. So they are very detailed, very relaxed and have plenty of punch all at the same time. The kind of music you play makes no difference- they play all genres very well and cast an excellent soundstage with plenty of depth. They are also remarkably easy to set up and can work well even in smaller rooms, although bigger rooms really help.
Living Voice out of the UK their line is 94db 6 ohm nominal. I push mine with 8wpc granted they probably be better with 20wpc. 

Klipsch heritage line are all very efficient. 

Most of the open baffle design are efficient, Spatial Audio, Pure Audio Project. Eminence. are a few I can think of off the top of my head. 

AudioNote UK AN series are fairly efficient. Require corner placement to sound their best though IMO (former ANE owner). 

Others have give more so i'll stop there. 

glen 

I recently bought a pair of standmount Super6 Alnico Monitors (93db) from Omega Speaker Systems, replacing Vandersteen 2Cis. Driving them with an 18wpc SE KT88 amp from Aric Audio, they deliver a level of detail, liveliness and speed that is simply exceptional. My initial impression was they didn’t deliver very low bass but now that I’ve had them for a couple of weeks and experienced with placement, I now feel their bass is accurately tight and low enough for the acoustic jazz music which I listen to most of the time. Anything else that could deliver this level of detail and speed with quality bass and could also extend down to something around 20Hz would require much larger footprint and cost significantly more. Daedalus speakers could be a great option if they meet your size, decor, and budget requirements.
As a side note, the more efficient speakers, in my case full range single driver, seem to sound a lot better even when you listen to only a single speaker and they seem to maintain that level of detail and aliveness even when you hear them two rooms away.   
Give the Volti Rival serious consideration.
Not efficient but easy load not huge or bulky and amazingly one of best of show last year off a low watt headphone amp: Fritz Carerra.
My New Klipsch RF7 III
My favorite is the Rethm Saadhana (101 dB)  I have owned the Maarga also.  My other speakers have all been in the 85 dB range.  I would say you will obviously have to listen for yourself, but I think you cant go wrong with a good horn.  I like the Rethm as they have built in powered bass for the lows, have a small footprint, are aesthetically nice (IMO) and the sound is heaven.  Currently driving with a First Watt SIT-3 and getting a AUDION Super Sterling KT120 SE to demo (for a tube experience).  
I've used klipsch heresy iii with a 12 watt set amp and I think they sound great.  Not enough bottom end for some people but you can add a subwoofer.  Currently using forte iii with a 22 watt set amp, and they rock.  Reviews on Devore orangutan 0/93 and 0/94 are excellent, but they're pricey.  I've ordered a pair of zu audio dirty weekend omen 2s and am looking forward to listening to those as well.  All of these speakers are 98db or higher, so they would be considered high efficiency.
I recently picked up a pair of absolutely cherry vintage 70s Klipsch La Scalas off Craig’s List of all places. They’re re the oldest ones with the metal capsules on the horns instead of Delrin and are all original including the crossovers. I really need to rebuild trhose crossovers, because 45’ish-year old paper in oil capacitors are sounding somewhat veiled.

At 105 dB per 1-watt, these things run very happily off a pair of the Amp Camp Class A amps bridged into monoblocks and running off a balanced differential input. Each puts out roughly 18-Watts of power when bridged and a whole heckuva lot of heat!
I currently have a pair of Heco Direkt  Dreiklang (98db, 19-30,000 Hz) that replaced my B&W 800D2 and very happy with the sound of my system.

If cost no object, I would go for Living Voice horn system with Kondo amplification. I heard it once at an audio show and never forget the sound of that system. I hope that someday I can afford that system.

@kalali
Anything else that could deliver this level of detail and speed with quality bass and could also extend down to something around 20Hz would require much larger footprint and cost significantly more.

blindjim>
Regrettably yes.

@kalali

Daedalus speakers could be a great option if they meet your size, decor, and budget requirements.

blindjim>
These are on the ‘we’ll see list. Logistics separate me from them ordinarily.

@kalali
As a side note, the more efficient speakers, in my case full range single driver, seem to sound a lot better even when you listen to only a single speaker and they seem to maintain that level of detail and aliveness   .. from greater distances.

blindjim>
Curiously enough…
Alluring items IMO currently are the Cube Audio 10 inch single driver model from Poland, ala Lampasader Electronics GG and Pacific DACs among other contestants things are happening over there. At $14K these seem very interesting as they are usually presented with what I believe is a 2A3 Tektron amp. They rate at 92/93db @ 8 ohms.
= = =

On another note, I will add from personal EXP Classic audio, and Volte Audio were two instances which I heard earlier this year.

Also heard were AG Uno latest ver., and one other horn offering in a more ‘antique’ or classic arrangement. Briefly I heard the UK Audio Note towers though it was too brief an EXP to note which units though it was an all AN outfit using their 300b amps.


@atmasphere>
Agreed completely on the presentation.

If there was a turn key setup I’d buy if/when possible, that setup at the Fla Audio Expo was it…. Apart from the analog TT & Phono aspect.

As I have posted here previously, in my reviews/threads the Classic audio t1s & your amps proved the most fascinating of that show with only one other room close to that encounter, albeit the cA spkrs were beyond $40K. CA offers a down sized ver T3 @ $20 to 25K. According to John Wolfe who I spoke with for a moment or three and he said the biggest diff was in the bottom end, and of course the overall physical dims as the lower cost units were smaller yet still had the options list the T1s speakers possess. Eg., coils w/tube power sups. . FWIW I never got back to hear the 3s regrettably.

Cone driver slam with panel aplomb.

LP caveat was to have ten ft at least from the spkrs.

And I never delved into what or how the adjustments on the driver’s power supplies or other controls accomplished or why?
= = =


The Volte Audio units were the more affordable models as I recall. (Rivals?) At about $9k base price. The listening was near non existent as I was more interested in speaking with Volte designer/fabricator Greg Roberts about his products designs, setup, and options.

I thought I would get back to that room the next day but did not. There is a real lesson in there somewhere.

The aG Unos did nothing for me at all. They had Viva power and I think a MSB stack feeding them thru an all Shunyata loom.

Maybe the most eye opening demos were with the KEF Blade Its. With a Carver PP 75wpc amp and Bel canto pre/DAC the blades were exceptionally resolving and dynamic and the music list was with real world songs… nothing way out there on the esoteric limb tune wise, thankfully.

… and the Doshi plus Joseph Audio pulsars with all Cardas clear cabling. In a word? Exceptional given the size of the spkrs.


Its one thing to show systems with adept, well heeled records and tracks aimed squarely as IMO, ‘show pony’ fare. Sure they will sound good. They are supposed to for Pete’s sake.

Real world musical fare however goes much further in one’s home. Classic Audio was playing a Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double trouble LP. Kudos CA, Purist Audio Design, & Atmas. Likewise for the Doshi & JA exhibition.
Cornscala,  Zingali Twenty Evo 1.2
Sorry, I believe in real bounce,  tricked out cerwin vega DX-9 103 sensitivity doing 30htz with 15" woofer 3 way 4ohms speaker's,  nominal power 450 watts hooked to modified krell 700cx amplifier,   of course this is 1,400 watts per channel of pure class A power  using these speaker's ,with tube pre-amplifier by vincent audio with nos tubes, all cable's Tara Lab's,  with dedicated line's and furutech gtx-Rhodium d NCF receptacle's , I have an enormous amount of equipment to play with, I  got a kick out of this set literally , no, its not my main stay system,  but I keep it around to listen to hair band metal bands,  since that is who and what I was, lol!
Emerald Physics open baffle full range speakers are 93dB+ I love my KCIIs
My own Klipsch Epic CF 4. I also loved the K-Horns that I owned in the 70's, and I'm sure that I would love the Volti speakers and Oswald Mills, but I've never heard them. I also Like Altec Model 19's.  
correct me if wrong, I'm getting the impression from these posts horns last a pretty long time.

a friend out of state has a pair of klipshorns that I think he said were 30 years old. maybe 20. large units though. quite wide perhaps 30 inches? only 40 inches tall... I think.

using Bryston amps and shitte upstream gear, I was fairly impressed with how they sounded overall, given the setup. nothing to speak of wire wise. Shitte DAC was mid level. the sound was clean, clear quite resolving in a very musical manner.  using his latest additon, a shitte tube preamp, the demo was very very nice.
Hi Blindjim
Like everything else in life, it’s always more complicated than it seems. High efficiency is only half of the equation when it comes to selecting an amp in terms of wattage for a speaker. The speaker impedance might fall rather low (3 ohms or lower) in some cases for several octaves. These speakers are not necessarily bad, just difficult to drive although the efficiency might be high. So as much as you can, listen to the pair with your own music in your own environment before making a final decision. Hope that helps. 

@spenav4

Naturally. Been there and done that already.

Thanks.
From my experience and my preference for best in high eff is an upgraded Shearer horn design or a full custom built horn system from an expert. But these are large horns small in horns in a major compromise. 

LP caveat was to have ten ft at least from the spkrs.

And I never delved into what or how the adjustments on the driver’s power supplies or other controls accomplished or why?
@blindjim I sit closer than 10 feet; they work fine if you're sitting down (this is all about the tweeter blending properly). You need to be 10 feet or more only if standing up. The power supplies are simply set to a particular current to energize the field coils and then left alone.

My speakers are the T-3s and IMO/IME they have bass very similar to that of the T-1s; the T-3 cuts off at 22Hz instead of 20Hz, but I had John make my T-3s a bit taller so they would cut off at 20Hz :)  the mids and highs are nearly identical.

@atmasphere
The power supplies are simply set to a particular current to energize the field coils and then left alone.

blindjim>
thanks.

22Hz, I could live with that.

You mentioned with a 16 ohm IMP speaker system, amp consideration is important.

In what respect?

As I would think an amp with 20wpc > should be enough to push them. Albeit the caveat as usual would be any amp’s voice/performance falling in line with one’s own preffs.

IMO I’d visualize a setup of T3s with 30 or better glass monos, or something akin to one of the Pass labs similar but SS monos.

I forget exactly what JW said when he mentioned they enjoyed power in the ranges of 30 to 60wpc.

Perhaps for the lower end 15 in. Driver to perform best/better?

Only hearing his T1s with your 60wpc monos was impressive. Especially in that immense room, standing well back and far off center as we spoke.

Many, many thanks.
You don’t mention price point, room size or what amp you intend to use but I would put Daedalus up there with the best dynamic driver, high efficiency designs. Bottom end impact and honesty very high with the Apollo series 10” woofer, very good resolution without fatigue and very good imaging as well.

@dodgealum
… very high with the Apollo series 10” woofer, very good resolution without fatigue and very good imaging

blindjim>
Thanks much.

I did not want to interject price, room size or amps as I wanted to see what other’s have used, enjoyed, demo’d, etc. in various settings etc., so to ascertain a broader spectrum of user EXP.

It is why I asked for available production models rather than an all time sort of love fest with the genre.

Perhaps a consensus would formulate, perhaps not.

It always helps to update such a list of user EXP from time to time as speaker tech and tech in general, is not static, ever matriculating the ‘ball’ forward.
as well

Klipschorn and Daedalus have received some voices here already, among others.

I’m only sure of the way I want to go, how I get there and with what, is another story entirely.

… and there are countless other speaker systems which as yet have not been named here.

As they say, “More will be revealed”.
You mentioned with a 16 ohm IMP speaker system, amp consideration is important.

In what respect?

As I would think an amp with 20wpc > should be enough to push them. Albeit the caveat as usual would be any amp’s voice/performance falling in line with one’s own preffs.

IMO I’d visualize a setup of T3s with 30 or better glass monos, or something akin to one of the Pass labs similar but SS monos.

I forget exactly what JW said when he mentioned they enjoyed power in the ranges of 30 to 60wpc.

Perhaps for the lower end 15 in. Driver to perform best/better?

Only hearing his T1s with your 60wpc monos was impressive. Especially in that immense room, standing well back and far off center as we spoke.
@blindjim  16 ohms reduces distortion in all amps. If **high quality** audio is your goal, your amplifier investment is better served by a higher impedance speaker, if that is the only variable.

20 watts does work, but a lot depends on the size of your room, how lively it is and your personal listening habits. I found that 20 watts simply wasn't enough- I could run that out of gas. In my old space I used our S-30 amplifier which makes 45 watts into 16 ohms and still felt like the additional power or our M-60s was helpful. If you are running the amp out of gas or even coming close, the distortion will be higher. Its best to have the amp working at a 'moderate loaf', no matter what amp it is.



@atmasphere>
best to have the amp working at a 'moderate loaf', no matter what amp it is.

blindjim>
Got it. THX

That must have been what John was talking about when he said in general , his speakers enjoyed most amps whose output was 30 - 60wpc. User preffs and room being additional factors.
Classic Audio Florida Audio Expo 2019
AVS YouTube t 1.5 demo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LohOV-ilstI

the room and gear are described.

if in fact your fav High Eff speaker is in a videeo then by all means post that link.


The ones I built using a Klipsch K-402 horn with 1132 driver and a variation of the Klipsch MCM 1900 MWM bass bin designed to go down to an honest 27hz. It will raise goose bumps on your arms. Horns rule the audio world.
" correct me if wrong, I'm getting the impression from these posts horns last a pretty long time. "
  Horns are very efficient when designed right and you get great gobs of volume out of them with minimal speaker excursion compared to direct radiators. Small excursion means less distortion and greater life  and far less wattage demands. Best to use accordian style surrounds too and avoid those rubber things. I have had my hands on plenty of up to 40 year old Eminence woofers from Klipsch speakers that look like they could go another 40 years. I have seen some destroyed but never any that wore out.