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Medium Efficiency Speakers for Integrated Tube Amps
Medium Efficiency Speakers for Integrated Tube Amps
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Old 18th June 2011, 07:29 PM   #1
DrGregC is offline DrGregC
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Default Medium Efficiency Speakers for Integrated Tube Amps

I am in the process of downsizing from large Dunlavy speakers with Levinson amplification to smaller floorstanding or bookshelf speakers with moderate power (35 watt EL34 or 40 watt KT88) integrated tube amplification. I don't need super high efficiency speakers, just efficient enough to be a good match for a tube amp. I am hoping for full-range sound at more modest listening levels.

After years of status quo, I ventured out recently to audition some new equipment. I listened to a low-powered (15 watt) integrated Leben tube amp paired to Dynaudio Focus 220 speakers (86 dB efficient). This was a great match although I am concerned that the sound will compress and the imaging will collapse at higher volumes or in a bigger space than the demo room.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 19th June 2011, 03:20 AM   #2
twest820 is offline twest820
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Just put an oscope or RTA on the power amp output and do the math from there. Most listening is on the order of 10mW RMS---the workback from typical SPL based on speaker efficiency is trivial---so unless you want to crank it 15W is likely to be sufficient.
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Old 19th June 2011, 04:16 AM   #3
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Originally Posted by twest820 View Post
15W is likely to be sufficient.
Right, you'd be surprised how much power that actually is.

A friend of mine that owns an audio shop used to tell stories about goofballs who came into the store to buy speakers, who would ask "oh, well, how loud can those go?"

He would proceed to connect a meter to the speaker and a tone generator with white noise. It was very rare that a customer remained in the store when 1 watt of white noise was fed into the speakers.
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Old 19th June 2011, 09:40 AM   #4
motosapien is offline motosapien  United States
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Location: Lake Superior
I think it is important that the speakers work in your room more than what you push them with. After visiting a number of high end audio shops a couple years back I came to the conclusion that you could spend thousands on speakers and not get that engaging, involving sound.

I built a well regarded 2 way kit and it was not bad but still fell short. I started looking at full rangers and found the sound I'd been missing. I grew up listening to my Dad's McIntosh / Wharfdale system so I knew how good music could sound.

I'd find the speakers that sound good in your room and then decide what to push them with.
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