Seeking recommendations for sanely-priced full-range speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Benzion, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    For those of you who have read my recent post about my new Coincident Dynamo SET amplifier with 300B's, you're aware of a controversial situation where the pairing of this amp with Zu Omen Dirty Weekend speakers sounds great with acoustic music, and not so great with electric.

    It isn't a problem for me, as I'm more than happy to play only acoustic music on that bedroom system. However, I'd be interested, and even curious to figure out if this is due more to the amp's or the speakers' character. The only way to find out, I guess, is to hear the amp with different speakers.

    Now, the Zu's are full-range + super-tweeter. I would like to try another pair of full-range single-driver speakers that have NO super-tweeter. They need to be at least 94 dB efficient, and have bass extension to at least 40 Hz, preferably to about 35-36 Hz (I hate sub-woofers, and will not use one). Also, they need to be front- or bottom-ported (or sealed, if those are even made). No rear porting - they are for a small 11 x 11 bedroom. No horns - horns need a bigger room. Obviously, they also need to be fairly compact, given the size of my room, so no Cornwall suggestions, please. And last, but not least - they need to be sanely priced, so - no $12,000 DeVore suggestions, please. I paid $1,200 for my Zu's ($200 for better finish), so, ideally, I'd like to stay within the same range, plus or minus a few (hundred) bucks. Preferably new, but I can consider used, if they come from an audiophile home and are well-kept.

    I know AN UK makes some "affordable" models, but there are no prices published, so I'm not sure what their definition of affordable is. I am aware of Omega, but they won't do because of rear porting - my bedroom is rather small, and I cannot bring the speakers out from the wall. I also know of Blumenstein - the only model of theirs I would consider also has the super-tweeter, so it's a no go.

    So, I'm looking for your suggestions for something I don't already know, given the parameters described above. First-hand opinions of people who run low-power SET amps are especially sought.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    displayname likes this.
  2. Silverwolf

    Silverwolf Forum Resident

    Hi, these may or may not be efficient enough for you (at 90db - although I did quickly look up your amp on a review, and they were tested with 90db speakers), but they are rated at 8 ohms, are ‘full range’ and are ported at the bottom. They are £1200 in the UK, no idea of availability in the US. They are a new ish company, and have designers that have previously worked for Tannoy. They are getting rave reviews across their range at the moment.
    If they are available to you might be worth at least checking out.
    https://premiumsound.co.uk/product/...MIobTwlsf44wIVB7LtCh3y3wdzEAQYCCABEgImA_D_BwE
     
  3. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Can't offer any firsthand experience (aside from Zu Soul Superflys, which are pretty close to your dirty weekends), but I have been fascinated by the look of these Heco Direct speakers. I think they meet your range requirements. Pricing would require pre-owned, I imagine. [edit] Meh. Never mind. I just realized that I linked to the wrong review. This one is not so good.
     
  4. vinylkid58

    vinylkid58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    I think you're going to find it very difficult to satisfy all you requirements with a full range driver in a small box. Definitely low bass extension is just not going to happen with most drivers. Some have trouble reaching 40Hz in a big box. About the only driver that comes to mind (and that I've heard) is the Fostex FF165WK, but it's not going to give you low bass in a small ported box, and lacks top end extension. It does have the efficiency you're looking for, and doesn't exhibit any nasty behavior. Also, this would be a fairly simple custom build for someone with woodworking skills.

    jeff

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    These are 2 1/2 way. I'm looking for single-driver full-range.
     
  6. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    If I possessed the requisite vocabulary - this review pretty much sums up what I'm hearing in my Coincident SET amp thread, which makes me think more and more that perhaps what I'm hearing is attributable more to my Zu speakers, perhaps, than to my SET amp.

    Coincident Dynamo SE-34: SET amp with 300B's - initial impressions
     
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  7. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    Before I gave up on single driver speakers the best I had heard were Made by Omega.

    Super 8 XRS

    That’s his latest. Ports in the back but he makes lots of models and some have hemp drivers. He builds some interesting stuff. His old Super 8 Monitor sounded much better than anything I had heard from Zu or Tekton IMO. Though I don’t know if Tekton is making any single drivers anymore.
     
  8. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    When I said "fairly compact" I did not mean "small". The Zu's are 38" x 13" towers, they do go to 35 Hz, and they fit in my room just fine, being bottom-ported. What I meant, literally, is nothing the size of Cornwalls or Klipschorns, as those will be too big.

    Photo of the room:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  9. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    No, no more single drivers from Tekton, and his current models look hideous. Omega is, by proxy (never heard one), my favorite, but they're all rear-ported.
     
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  10. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    After you gave up on single-drivers, if you're still running low-power SET amps - what speakers are you using?

    EDIT: Oh, I see - the Cornwalls. Well, you can see from the photo those are not an option for me.
     
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  11. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Tannoy Stirling or Kensington sound very good. Not cheap though. |KENSINGTON GR-OW|Tannoy|P0DES
    They also have the new contemporary series with the Cheviot at 91db/w/m. Maybe a little large though. These all sound vastly better than single driver speakers IME.
    -Bill
     
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  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Out of curiosity, I suggest you try unscrewing the super tweeter on the Zu's and disconnecting it and see what you think.

    Or, maybe placing a washcloth over it and holding it in place with blue painter's tape.

    I found that my Zu's sound infinitely better without the super tweeter, my ears like my Zu's better too.
     
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  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    They look somewhat like grandfather clocks. And the description says "for medium to large rooms", mine is definitely small. But I have no doubt that, being Tannoy, they must sound great.
     
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  14. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Perhaps, if I don't find what I'm looking for, the Zu's will also be my first and last experiment with single-driver speakers, just like @russk
     
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  15. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
    Can you rearrange the room to allow Cornwalls to fit? I ask because for years I had a pair in the corners of a 10x11 office in my home, driven by a 45 SET amp with 2 WPC. They were fantastic with a beautiful full and detailed sound driven by that amp, and plenty loud with 2 watts in that smaller space. They can literally be pushed against the wall in the corners so they didn't use more floor space than thinner floor standers or monitors on stands out from the wall.
     
  16. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
  17. Neil S. Cohen

    Neil S. Cohen You Enjoy Myself

    Location:
    Valley Stream, NY
    They’re not going to check all of your many boxes, but the klipsch heresy III will sound great with your amps, and street price is right in your ballpark (~$1,299).
     
  18. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    You should contact Louis at Omega to find out if he would build a front ported version of one of his speakers.
    A while back I had a pair of his Super 3i speakers which I ran with a Bottlehead S.E.X. amp. Other than a lack of bass, which was expected, they sounded very good.
     
  19. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I see they also offer an alnico magnet version for an additional $220. That's a pair of alnico driver speakers for $620!
     
  20. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Another interesting model:
    Lii_15
     
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  21. Subagent

    Subagent All I know is What I Read in the Liner Notes

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    There's a pair of AN-J LXs w/stands on Agon for $2500 right now. That's what I would do with a low power SET amp and a small-ish room. Of course they're $1K over budget-- sorry about that part. This audio stuff is hard. ;)
     
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  22. JMAC

    JMAC Forum Resident

    Location:
    PDX, OR, USA
    Single full range speakers in cabinets for under $2k is a tall order. Well, if you want audiophile sound, at least.

    If you can figure out the cabinet construction, you can spend most of your budget on the drivers and come away pretty happy. AER, EMS, Fostex, vintage Coral, and Radian (with upgrades) come to mind.

    Would you consider something like full range monitors with a closely integrated sub? A Blumenstein setup fits your budget and combines the pinpoint single driver sound with better extension than most full range speakers.
     
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  23. JMAC

    JMAC Forum Resident

    Location:
    PDX, OR, USA
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  24. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Maybe get Taylor Speakers to build you some cabinets for a Fostex driver or something similar.

    Here's a link to some two-way cabinets for which he charges ~$1K.

    ZAPH 2WAY

    I realize you want single driver speakers but that provides a good indication of cost.

    You'd have ~$1K left for some awesome drivers. I bet you could also have some flat-pack cabinets shipped to him for assembly and veneer work.
     
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  25. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Maybe if I throw away my wardrobe, but then I'd have to throw away the clothes, too...
     
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