Speakers for low wattage 2A3 amp.

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Hi guys,
Ive been lurking around the last week or so trying to learn as much as possible about full rangers - so much information! I don't have a huge background in DIY and this is my first (audio casing) build.

I bought the Stereomour II + Eros Phono Preamp kits from Bottlehead because I just love electronic kits and thought id try my hand at speakers. Recently sold off a few headphone amps I put together and have a little bit of money lying around. I've been checking out the Frugal Horn XL + Dallas II cabinets but would love some recommendations on cabinets / drivers / everything.

I won't be using a sub or super tweeter if possible. Happy to use either 6" or 8" drivers and have slowly been checking out Audio Nirvana, Mark Audio, Planet10 in general etc etc. I have a medium sized room with big windows, a corner is available but not ideal.

I initially was looking at the FHXL + Alpair10P combo but it looks to be only 90db efficient and at least 93 is recommended for the Stereomour II which is only 3.5 WPC. Now I'm thinking about the Dallas II + an 8" driver but I'm a bit lost.

I listen to everything from classical to pop, blues and electronica. Currently running off an old Linn turntable that i found in my parents garage.

Apologies ahead of time for my terrible terminology.

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Jimbro's questions should be considered mandatory in your calculus- no point getting recommendations for something like a pair of Klipsch La Scalas or JBL300 if your listening salon is 250 sq ft and your seat is 10ft away.
As little wisp notes, unless totally trashed, an LP12, or even Axis could be a great front end - just don't start looking at upgrades there until you've got the rest all sorted out. You could easily spend several times over the cost of the whole system once you climb aboard the Linn upgrade carousel. Ivor and clan perfected the chasing of the brass ring decades ago. I was recently quoted $80 Cdn for a drive belt.
I´m using a 45 DHT amp (JE Labs Simple 45, about 1.5W) and just finished my Frugel-Horn XL "clones" yesterday (build them straight for simplicity but the inside measurements are identical).

Before the new enclosures, I was using Saba Greencones (97db/w/m) in resonant enclosures for the last 10 years and loved them, sadly my daughter ruined one of the drivers so I thought I´ll explore more modern alternatives.

I was contemplating to get the MA 10P drivers but settled for Sonido SFR-175 Alnico drivers with about 93db (Products - sonido.hu). I ´m glad I got the more efficient speaker because my first impression is that the Sabas were much easier to drive, more agile sounding than the little 93db Sonidos, cannot imagine how 90db would work for me..

The drivers have about 50hrs on them so I guess / hope they still need much more run in time. Also damping is not final so there is room for improvement. Low frequencies are much better with the Sonidos in Frugels than anything Saba or Old-school Fullrange I have heard on my Amp but they still sound forced and uneasy (HIFI?!) in comparison, except when volume is really low.

IMO you should do yourself a favour and get some old 8"-10" Fullrange units like Saba/Telefunken/Altec/Coral and run them Open Baffle, just to get a benchmark what the 2A3/45 Magic is all about. If you insist on a modern driver than please use the biggest enclosure/driver size and highest efficiency possible for 2A3.


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Sorry folks I was away for a bit. Room is around 4m x 6m. I'll be listening from 2-5 metres away and I don't play super loud, I'd prefer a dull/lush sound to be possible at low volumes. Current frontrunner is FHXL and Alpair 10P from planet10. Listen to lots of rock and electronica, blues and jazz.
Not at all a bad candidate - if either of my own rooms could accommodate the XLs on a permanent basis, they'd probably be in residence.

The Pensil designs are no slouch sonically for either the 7.3 or 10.3 /10P, definitely have a smaller footprint if that's an issue, and are a simpler build.

Then of course there's the A12P in SuperPensil - but they make the FHXLs look like a kiddie bar-fridge.
L Cao F6 is pretty sensitive, its higher than my Eminence Delta Pro8A rated 97.8dB. It will work in a little Karlsonator 6 but somewhat larger might be better as the 2A3's output impedance will modify driver qes - I've not run the Karlsonator 6 prototype from a SE tube amp - sometimes they sound better in the bass than solid state as with my Klipschorns

F6 has very good on-axis extension - FE166EN should play nice in this cabinet as FE164 sans whizzer did well


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