What speakers do you use with your SET's?

I am considering buying an SET amp, but I'm not sure what speakers I would need to get anything from a low powered amp.

I listen to all kinds of music, some of it is even good.
Hi Nate.

You know which speakers I use.
It's the Lowther EX3 drivers in a pair of modified Voigt Pipe cabinets.

There is a "synergy" involved with SET amps and single-driver loudspeaker systems. They work very well together.

In most cases, there is a "race to the bottom" in SET amps, where enthusiasts move lower and lower in output power, in order to get better and better sound. As a general rule, the lower the power, the better the sound, but this can be taken too far, and I wouldn't recommend using less than a 2 watt per channel 45 amp like I have. Even that is getting on the ragged edge of being too low.

Single driver systems have no crossover in them, and are not subjected to the power losses(and other problems) associated with passive crossovers, so their efficiency levels remain high. They also have the advantage of being "direct driven" by the amp(with no intervening circuitry), just like an "active system" would be.

The disadvantages are that most single-driver systems are limited in bass response, compared to most "normal" multi-driver systems. Some people use powered subwoofers to fill in this lowest octave, and some just do without the bottom octave. You can go either way. Integrating most subs with a very fast and transparent mains speaker, generally will have a "seam" at best, and could be aggravating at worst. Depends on what is important to you, and where you can make your compromises.

Call me before you make a move in this direction, because it can be frought with peril, and there is little room for error. By all means, make sure that you get a SET amp with the best output transformers that money can buy, or else use a Berning ZOTL model(like the Siegfried). This is critical to not having the high-end rolloffs and bass bloat that many think of when talking about SET amps. If you get a good amp with a good output transformer, the "golden midrange" will not be limited to just the midrange, but will extend all the way out on both ends.

This is a type of system that is very simple, yet very complex at the same time. It is so simple, that every single facet of the system becomes highly critical to the overall sound. The individual judgment and selection of these things will play a huge role in the success or failure of the system. And since these systems are so incredibly detailed and ruthlessly revealing, there is very little room for error. But, if you get everything right, there are few systems that can match it for a lifelike quality of sound.
Wilson WP6s, with a 55wpc SET.

While there's many merits to TWLs approach, i find that single driver speakers have too many limitations to present a lifelike facsimile of live music. Too much missing information (bass & treble), or the ragged junction b/w your mains and a subwoofer.

I've taken the opposite approach: get the highest power SET you can, and drive conventional speakers with it. As a result, I get the benefits of SET glory in the mids (though not as glorious as w/ the 2A3s or 45s), but with real world slam and extention.

Well put, Twl.
I'd agree with Tom on his assessment of the care of selection of your
components here. The consequences are way less forgiving than say a
mismatch in more conventional topology's may reveal. I haven't tried the
single-driver route yet. I'm using heavily modified vintage LaScala's and love
the sound of those (see my system page "Set Reloaded"). I'd also
agree to select your amps carefully and that the output transformers do make
a big difference. I can concur at least on a lesser level with only the one
experience that Berning's products are a wonderful match with high-
effeciency speakers having run my LaScala's with his 1 watt Micro-ZOTL with
wonderful results that definitely make me want to pursue finding out how his
more powerful offerings sound to my ears. The Micro sounded
remarkably linear and crystaline clear with the blackest background I've ever
heard from a tube amp. I still prefer what occurs to me as perhaps a great
'fullness' in my 300B SET amps, but I could be very happy with that ZOTL
sound as well. Go for it Nate...I'll be curious to hear what you end up with
and how you feel about it. Good luck!

I use the Carolina Audio JSM speaker that uses a single driver (Jordan JX92's) in a transmission line design with a pair of Wright WPA1.75 mono blocs (type 45's giving 2w/ch). Since the JSM is a monitor, I use a REL sub with it. One could use the JTM without a sub. Works well for moderate level listening in a small listening room.
Galante Rhapsody used here; love them and the cabinets are solid wood..canadian maple and spruce
I pair the 10watt Siegfried with Merlin's VSM-M. Anybody with similar set-up?
Depending on your budget, these all work nicely.
Avantgarde Duos
Cain & Cain - Bens
Klipsch KLF-20's & 30's
Good luck!
Gallo Reference 3s. My 12 wpc SET monoblocks (845 outputs, EL-34 drivers) sound fantastic with these speakers -- in a large room. Other SET friendly speakers you wouldn't normally think of are the ProAc Response 2s and Response 3s. My old Response 2s are currently powered by 6 wpc SETs.
"I listen to all kinds of music, some of it is even good."
I like that man.
BTW check:


Talk to Wayne Parham and he'll suggest a pair for your needs. Also, ask Duke what he thinks about his Audiophile's 7's.

this is my next project..contact me if interested..
Klipsch Heritage speakers are a match made in heaven with SET amps in my opinion. I own 2 pair of Cornwalls. Over at the Klipsch Forum, Heritage owners love their tubes. Though you sometimes can have people fueding like the Hatfields & McCoys over which is better with Klipsch Heritage speakers-SET amps or Push Pull tube amps. I have never owned a push pull tube amp, only SET amps. Klipsch Heritage speakers sound very good to my ears and have dynamics up the ying yang. I have also run the Cornwalls with a solid state Mcintosh MC 7150 autoformer amp, Mcintosh C 38
preamp. And a Llano Phoenix CAS 300/VA2 mosfet/
tube(6SN7,6SL7,12SN7-voltage section) hybrid amp,
Mcintosh C 38 preamp & Dehavilland Verve preamp. Good sonic results to my ears with the Mcintosh
& Llano amps & Cornwalls-had headroom up the wazoo. The Cornwalls are 98.5 db efficient with one watt of input power. The Klipschorn, Lascala & Belle are 104 db efficient wth one watt of
input power. The woofers are horn loaded on these
three Heritage speakers. The ported woofer on the Cornwall drops the efficiency to 98.5 db.

Factory assembled Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondogs-3.5 watts x 2 with the ultimate parts upgrade-Jensen PIO caps, factory assembled Welborne Labs Reveille 6SN7 tube preamp with a pair of 1977 Klipsch Cornwalls with new upgraded Type B crossovers using Auricaps built by DeanG of the Klipsch Forum. The Auricaps sound much better to my ears than the PIO motor run capacitors that Klipsch used.

Dehavilland Aries 845 amps-25 watts x 2, Dehavilland Verve 6SN7 tube preamp with a pair of
1983 Klipsch Cornwalls. I would own a pair of Klipschorns if I had the proper corners. Don't have room for false corners that can be used with Klipschorns if you don't have the prerequisite proper corners.

Ttrhp, I downloaded the plans for the Hedlunds a while ago, but never made them(yet). I think they look like a really cool project.

Let me know how they work out for you.