Buying used and or a single sub should allow you to hit your $2500 budget target. Good luck in your search.
If you are open to brands other than Tekton and Omega, Silverline Prelude Plus speakers meet many of your criteria: Silk dome tweeter: 92 db sensitivity (I'm driving a pair very satisfactorily with a 20 wpc First Watt amp); 40" height (40"x5:x8"). They are a good looking slender column with a rosewood veneer. They won't "embarrass" your living room. Available from Underwood HiFi and possibly for under $2k delivered. Worth calling or, at least, reading the StereoTimes review (see link). I doubt I've got "hyperacusis" but I can tell you harshness in the high end makes me crazy. The reason I got the Prelude Pluses in the first place was to find something a little more mellow than the Totem Forests I have. The Prelude Pluses did take a good long while to break in. They were purchased unheard, so a gamble. Initially, they had a LOT of treble energy and were NOT the solution I had hoped for. However, with break in time, the right amp (the F7 is a wonderful match; Hegel H200 works well too; Class D Taranis...not so much), attention to positioning and cabling, they have settled in and deliver smooth, enjoyable music across a range of types (classical, jazz, rock, electronica) - no high frequency induced ear-bleed. They produce bass but for LedZep, you might want a sub. I got a pair of very compact, sealed SB1000s from SVS. My total expenditure (all new) was right around $2700. Depending on room placement a single sub could suffice. Some listeners might not think any sub is needed. In the interest of full disclosure, however, and based on my experience....
Buying used and or a single sub should allow you to hit your $2500 budget target. Good luck in your search.
I haven’t heard the Tektons but in my opinion the single driver Omega speakers, have not heard their two way models, are not well suited for orchestral classical music in general They are fast but the peak transients and the range of instruments in orchestral music requires multiple drivers, in my opinion. They are however excellent for low volume listening of jazz or smaller chamber music with controlled transients.
I personally don't listen to a lot of western classical orchestral music but have friends that do and that's one type of music that I think size really matters. Same with hard rock.
I have the Omega Super Alnico Monitors (SAMs) going on 3 years now, being driven by an older Unison Unico hybrid integrated amp (uses two 12au7 tubes), in a room of 18 x 25 x 9. The SAMs are wonderful playing all sorts of music, small and large ensembles, orchestral, rock, chamber, jazz, etc. I listen about 50-50 classical vs non-classical (Americana, folk, jazz, rock, World, soundtracks) and these speakers do well with them all. Mahler's 1st sounds magnificent on them, as does Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Also, my SAMs are not the newest 'improved' version.
Your comment about wanting a laid back system makes me wonder if you'd like either brand. I've heard them both and while I'd say the Tekton might be a little more laid back than Omega, neither would be considered a laid back speaker.
I've heard the Spatial Audios in direct comparison with Omega and Tekton and those were more the most laid back of the 3.
ihor, just out of curiosity, do you have any subwoofers paired with your SAM? And/or, are you placing them near room boundaries to load the bass? I heard them in a smaller room than yours, placed about 3’ into the room, and the bass was tight but quite thin and the driver sounded confused an could not resolve complex passages particularly at louder listening levels. We switched them with a pair of Revel F206s in the same exact set up and the same passages were incredibly more coherent and simply excellent. Not exactly apples to apples but just as FYI.
Doesn't a concentric driver actually consist of two separate drivers sort of in the same frame with a crossover too? The Omega is just one driver covering the whole range with no crossover.Right you are. It's a two-way speaker system with a driver and a horn in the center of the cone. This is the design used by KEF and Tannoy.
Here's what I don't understand about the Omega design. From their website...
- Full-range 6.5" driver with felt diffraction ring and 25mm voice coil
- One-piece whizzer / dustcap assembly
- Dual cone with twin rolled edge surround
Is this simply a different design that accomplishes the same result as a concentric?
I guess I would say a concentric is a design that attempts to do what a Single Driver speaker does. The 6.5" Omega speaker is just a single speaker providing everything that a tweeter and woofer do. The Whizzer cone (which is just part of that single speaker) is used in an attempt to direct the higher frequencies.
I really enjoy my Omegas, ( I have both their Alnico and RS5 models), but I'd be hesitant in recommending them to people who play a lot of loud complex music unless they have subs. Omega also offers the High Output models to address these limitations, but I have very limited experience with them so I can't attest to their success.
These speakers are very direct and immediate sounding and don't hide anything. For me, they sound significantly better with tubes (haven't heard First Watt designs but hear that's a good match) and can really demonstrate differences in amplifiers and upstream components.
Thank you @seikosha , you've provided me with a complete explanation.
And thanks to @ihor and
@jmolsberg for your listening impressions.
From the website...
The new 8" driver is an improvement over the very popular 8" driver of the past. The sound is like the RS5 on steroids. Very fast and dynamic, and able to handle complex music.
I really liked my Tekton 6.5t monitors. Great midrange with right amount of punch about 12" from wall. I tried their mini lores, too laid back for me. I upgraded to ProAc Studio 148s and have not looked back. There is a pair of the 148s for sale now. Unfortunately, both of these models are no longer made.
Buy these and use the savings to get new grill covers. They will do your rock proud and not be annoying on the top end.
Someone may have mentioned this earlier in the thread, but both manufacturers offer a trial period, and I would suggest you take advantage of that to see how you like them in your room, with your associated equipment and your musical taste. I have had Tektons on loan from a friend and they are very nice, especially for the price. I owned the Omega Super Alnico Monitor a few years ago. Full range or single driver speakers have a particular kind of sound. Some people really dig them, some people don’t. That’s why I recommend taking advantage of the trial.Also, for what it’s worth, although the Omega‘s and other “single driver“ speakers of similar design do not have an electronic crossover, they do have a mechanical crossover, i.e., the transition between the main cone and the smaller, whizzer cone. Let me also add that Louis of Omega is a wonderful guy and a pleasure to deal with. I was one of those people who couldn’t warm-up to the full range driver sound, but Louis was never less than a total gentleman – I really came to like the guy very much. I don’t have much experience with Eric over at Tekton, but I know a lot of people like him, as well.
Neither. Try these:
They’ll be far more similar to the KEF sound but have a smooth textile tweeter. Hands down one of the best brands for classical music.
Thanks, helomechanic, but I need higher efficiency than 86dB.
@rebbi , thanks,
Full range or single driver speakers have a particular kind of sound. Some people really dig them, some people don’t.
This why I'm here, for info such as this, and the plan is to take advantage of a trial period. Regarding your comments, I've read that the mid-highs on this type of driver can be less refined.
From the comments thus far, it seems that multiple drivers may be better for the range, texture, and dynamics of symphonic music. But I do listen to string quartets and chamber music as well.
So far, my favorite sound signature is from the KEFs (using a concentric driver plus low frequency woofers. But the Q series does not have wood veneer or bracing, the R series are not as efficient, and the reference models are out of my price range.
Consider these but the soft-dome tweeter version. I wouldn't recommend the ribbon upgrade as I find most ribbon tweeters to be fatiguing.
They are plenty efficient for a 30 watt tube amp.
While I've not heard any of the Tekton loudspeakers I have lived with my Omega Super 3i's for just over a year. They, of course, have the RS5 driver and while I could live with them without subs, they are far better with the 2 Ohm subs I have (I use an Outlaw Audio ICBM-1 for crossover duties). I can honestly say with this configuration I really dig the sound. I'm hard-pressed to find much to fault at $700/pair and yes, their strength is the mid-range.
As Rebbi mentioned, Louis is great .. don't hesitate to call and have a chat with him.
For reference I have Magnepan MMGs, Ohm MicroWalsh Talls, and Mark & Daniel Rubys in storage.
I recently bought a pair of new Klipsch Heresy IIIs which seemed to meet my efficiency needs, which they do. Having used various "tower" speakers for decades it's interesting to have these things on the floor with their slanted little "stand" (I have them on maybe 1.5" butcher blocks with vibrapods between the speakers and the blocks) and they do seem to like being there (tried 1 foot stands but the Heresys seem to prefer the floor)…I use these with a couple of REL subs as they only go down to around 58hz on their own…people sort of forget about these speakers as they've been around in various versions seemingly forever, but the newest version sounds amazingly clear and musical in a well sorted system…a perky and coherant speaker.
I have the Omega SAM HOs in my main system, and also the 3i, and I previously had the regular SAMs for a while, and I have heard the Tekton Impact Monitors.
The key to get the most out of the single driver Omegas so that they can handle complex music easily is to take the low bass off of them altogether, and yes, use a subwoofer or two. This frees up the drivers from trying to replicate the bass notes, which in turn keeps the single drivers from distorting, and utilizes your amplifier (an 8wpc SET amp in my case) much more efficiently and keeping them out of the >25% of available power range where distortion may start.
Many ways to accomplish this, like using passive filters, but my latest is to use a left and right channel convolution filter .wav that I generated using room correction from REW software, and using that filter within HQPlayer. Sounds complicated but its really not. Very effective.
Living Voice Auditoriums are a very nice speaker and used in NA is hard to find, 94db, revelator tweeter so silk dome and very detailed but musical. I moved to these from AudioNote ANE Lux and never looked back. Also I have to say Living Voice is a wonderful company to deal with.
The Living Voice (LV) and Audio Note E (ANE ) is a very interesting comparison of two very well regarded UK speakers of similar sensitivity. Would it be fair to say that the ANE is an easier speaker load to drive (and providing deeper bass/weight ) and the LV is perhaps more refine (and open) sounding? Granted there are numerous versions (options) of the AN available. It seems that either would work well with modest power but high quality amplifiers. The LV is certainly less known than the AN brand in the USA.
If you are looking for single driver speakers with tube amps you must have the Rethm speakers in your list. They have wide range of products starting from the cheapest bhaava to their flagship saadhanas. I own their top model. They are just coherent with full spectrum sound.The unique thing about them is their powered bass module.
Had an Omega SAM paired w a line magnetic amp and found them to be very good. The bigger cabinet helped the low end greatly. It uses the omega alnico driver. A lot will depend on the type of music u listen to. Vocals are outstanding. Upgrading to a devore, msg me if u have any interest. Wish u the best.
Charlsdad, I find the living voice easier to drive then the AudioNote. but the ANE’s are rated higher then actual as testing shows. Also the Living Voice has a better overall load characteristics 6ohm nominal and they don’t swing much lower. they do not play as low as the ANE’s however but I found the lower end ANE’s to be sort of a one note bass speaker anyway. the LV’s are much faster and better detail then the AN’s and in my house more musical. I find I can get satisfying levels and control with my 8wch 300b amp on the LV’s not so much on the ANE’s they like double that at least.
Also that link is in Canada so Canadian Dollars so take 30% off for US$
Worth it if you can swing that much better speaker then the two you are looking at by far.
@lowrider57 Not wanting horns is your choice...to each his/her own. You might not be familiar with, nor have heard, the Klipsch models Wolf, and I, mentioned. But fyi, the Klipsch Cornwall and Lascala designs are floor standers, and the Heresy design work well on the floor with their angled risers. All 3 are very efficient. Happy shopping.
Thanks for providing the very interesting comparison of the Living Voice and Audio Note speakers as heard in your own system. I find it intriguing that the LV is voiced using the esteemed Kondo components. That’s quite a litmus test for a speaker in such a reasonable price range.
Glenn I’ve heard the Tekton Double Impact and it is a very good sounding speaker. I have not heard the LV but it universally receives high praise. I’m very enthusiastic regarding high quality easy to drive efficient speakers and good low power amplifiers. It good to know that the LV Avatar is easily driven by your 8 watt 300b SET amplifier.
Another quite interesting candidate in this category is the Canadian made (Toronto) Coherent Audio speakers. These are reputed to be excellent sounding and very easy to drive with lower power amplifiers. This particular niche in High End audio offers much in the way of exceptional musicality and very natural sound quality.
I'd second the Rethm recommendation. I picked up a pair of used Trishnas for $2,750 on Audiogon, running them on 3.5 watts (2A3 Triode Labs). And, I'm doing the most taboo of things, using the high pass crossover on my JL E112 sub (so, pre-out to E112 to 2A3 amp). I'm using these in a 20x30 room and they don't get lost. I got them for my office, moved and the new office doesn't accomodate them, so they're in the living room. Shockingly good speakers.
I owned the OBX-RW (mkll) and drove it with a 8 WPC Border Patrol amplifier. It was very nice but Kevin Scott the inventor of the 25 year old plus design recommends 20 WPC at a minimum. Gary Dews of BP, the US Distributor, drives them with either an 18 WPC SET or 20 WPC PP amplifier he designs. Speaker load ratings are deceiving depending on many factors.
Later I drove them with a 45 WPC Jadis SET amplifier and it literally woke the speaker up with much better control and extension.
They are a wonderfully refined musical speaker......a listen to for hours-years speaker but doubt they are for rock and roll but I never tried it.
Set up out into the room they also image wonderfully. Small to medium sized rooms work best for them. My room was 15 X 20 and they breathed fine.
I only sold mine because I desired a fuller range speaker since they were limited in bass to 35 HZ. Otherwise, with proper amplification, and I don't think 8 WPC is doing them justice, they are voiced beautifully. If I were a two speaker in the house lover this one would have been it.
The OBX-RW is now in Mk. lll revision with some cabinet and crossover modifications. No idea on them but Gary Dews knows the speaker well and would be able to confirm the sound and changes if this is the model you desire but understand the auditorium line has several models.
I wanted to clear the air by reiterating you CAN drive these speakers with 8 WPC 300B SET but these are voiced so nicely that 20 WPC + goes way further in enhancing the speakers capabilities especially in the bass. I did not play them at high volumes to find this out. Certainly Charles comments above in his last sentence applies.
I think Kevin Scott likes them with AN amplification because he considers LV to sing there and he simply has the resources to do so as he is a dealer for AN. Would love to hear his fully dressed LV horn but doubt that will ever happen.
Lowrider - do you have the Gallo CL-3 like me? I used to drive them with a 50w tube amp that was switchable to 25W triode - that was nowhere near enough to drive them properly and 50w was right on the edge. It wasn’t until I replaced the EL34 with Gold Lion KT77 that I felt like the amp was a good match, but even then I found myself wanting more headroom and bass grip so I moved on to a hybrid integrated and rolled some NOS Mullards in the preamp section. The Gallos are singing like crazy now - not even a trace of hardness, glare or harshness and the bass is absolutely ridiculously good - deep, full and tight.
Anyways, to your question, I don’t think going to Tekton will be a great move for you if you love Kef, which are pretty laid back and rolled off a little at the top end (which makes sense that you like them even with the metal tweets). I can’t speak to the Omegas as I have never heard them but they do look beautiful. Based on your sound preferences I would throw a curve ball in there and recommend one of the Goldenear speakers - perhaps the 3+ new or 2+ used. They are voiced on the warm side and don’t require current for low freq control because of the built in subs.
I am using Gallo CL-3’s with KT77s. My amp is switchable ultra-linear/triode, but I much prefer to listen in 30W triode. The bass the Gallo’s produce is astounding; I’m using short tip-toes underneath. My Audio Note preamp and DAC dig deep with tight bass. It’s possible that my amp lacks the power to fully drive the Gallos.
But since buying the AN multibit DAC, the highs are sounding much more natural.
I like the idea of a speaker with a powered subwoofer, but I’m not sure about the ribbon tweeter. I demoed Dali’s and didn’t like their ribbons.
The air motion tweets in the goldenear sound much different than the Dali ribbons, much warmer and more forgiving speakers overall. Smoother than most domes as well. I'm glad the dac has helped. For me it was a combination of mullards plus a new usb cable that ended up giving me a great balance with natural highs.
The Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower may be worth exploring further. Sounds like it might work with your amp, and it seems equally at home with both rock and classical music. One of the main reasons I'm mentioning it is that it's available with a Raal ribbon tweeter that I think your ears will really like (completely different design than what Dali uses). I heard it during an extended audition of a Selah speaker, and it is very sweet and detailed but never even approaching harsh in any way -- buttery smooth is the way I'd describe it. The stock silk dome tweeter seems pretty refined as well, but if I'm you I go with the ribbon hands down. Seems like this speaker may push all your buttons. Here's a review just FYI...
Best of luck in your search.