High Efficiency Speakers for Flea Watt and low powered amps

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JoshMorr, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    Trying to put together a more comprehensive thread on speakers that can be used with SET, Tubes, experiments, lower powered solid state (Aegir, First Watt, JL Hood 1969). This thread certainly won't cover everything, but should be a ok starting point for those researching. Lets assume 94db / W @1m and higher. Lets also assume that manufacturers rate these as more efficient than in practise as well. Add you own thoughts for future researchers to help learn from our experiences

    Older SBAF Thread I blindly looked over, lots of good BLH info from Marv / JK47: LINK

    *Single driver wide band in a back loaded horn, possibly with super tweeter and L-pads
    DIY and Madisound kits w/ fostex drivers (link) 8" / 6.5" / 4" kits ~ about 96db/W
    SBAF Thread:
    Pro: cheap and easy to build, efficient, no crossovers - can build flat packs in a weekend, imaging, fine detail
    Con: Time alignment issues with BLH, lacks high end and air - many add supertweeters

    *DIY Efficient horns w/ big woofers
    DIY Soundgroup kits
    Titan or 99 series both 99 db/W

    *Omega Speakers
    Single driver or limited number of drivers
    Maybe something like Super Alnico monitor

    *JBL high efficiency
    Many new and vintage options
    Multiway design for wide frequency response
    Some older models hover around 94 db/W - might want more than 4-8 watts of most SET

    *Tekton Design
    Maybe Perfect SET 15 for BWC
    Lots of models in 95-99 db/W range

    *Zu Audio
    Probably avoid - look up measurements, reviews

    *Blumenstein Orcas
    Avoid - see JK47s thoughts on them (pt1, pt2, pt3)
    Small Fostex Speaker Comparison
    Pro - Small, imaging, fine detail
    Con - limited frequency response (no highs or lows), sound, baby dick drivers

    *Klipsch / Klipsch Heritage
    New and vintage options
    Klipsch Heritage is personal favorite - probably requires more than 4W that some SET provides
    Forte (98db/w), Cornwall (102db/W), Heresy (99db/W) all probably over rated sensitivity
    Lots of used and older model Klipsch Heritage - good modding community / parts availability
    DIY an old Craigslist pair into modern glory w/ Crites upgrades
    Pro - 2 and 3 way design covers wider frequency response
    Con - Horn sound, can be bright, less sensitive than advertised

    * Audio Note / ANK
    AN-E has lots of models and higher efficiency options
    SBAF Thread

    Bottlehead Jager
    94db/W kit
    From Bottlehead site: "A pair of 2.5 way, 94dB sensitive tower speakers with horn loaded planar tweeter and two 8″ wool/paper cone woofers in separate vented chambers. Biamp-able passive crossover boards with separate internal impedance/baffle step compensation network. Cabinet Q is designed for optimal bass response with the damping factor of low/zero global feedback tube amplifiers."

    Lots and lots of other options out there - This doesnt even cover Open Baffles, bi-amps etc. Feel free to add and comment on what you are using
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  3. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    My bad - yota just linked me that too - thought I looked carefully, I did not
     
  4. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    So this is something I actually have some honest curiosity about, and I was wondering if folks with some irl experience with Zu speakers could chime in. This seems to be one of the most divisive speaker companies and I can't tell if it's because of some kind of cult thing or if their quality across models is grossly inconsistent.

    What I've compiled a priori:
    • I can only find measurements on two models: Essence & Soul Supreme.
      • The Essence was clearly a garbage fire (noaudiophile, stereophile) and seems to have been discontinued. Measurements, while appalling, are of limited use with regards to characterizing the rest of Zu's lineup because none of the others use a ribbon tweeter.
      • Soul Supreme measurement (stereophile) is less of a disaster, but that's a low bar to clear. CSD is miserable, but all the sins committed wrt cabinet resonance are claimed to be inaudible?
      • Honorable mention to some guy on reddit who measured a Druid V, which looks... fine. It looks like a big widebander with a supertweeter, so if you like that kind of thing. But the measurement's smoothed out and I don't know who this is, so take it with a grain of salt.
    • I heard the Dirty Weekend at CAF, but it was setup in a stupid room and sounded like a speaker that was setup in a stupid room. Tells me nothing since all I heard were echoes.
    • Most reviewers seem to worship Zu. This tells me nothing.
      • A lot of them say it's good at rock music, which I think might be code for "it plays loud".
    • Zu owners love Zu. This tells me next to nothing, because of course they do... why else would they own the speakers?
      • But there sure seem to be a lot of Zu owners, so maybe there's no smoke without fire. I've even seen a few on this forum, which is a little different demographically than audiogon or steve hoffman.
    My questions, as someone genuinely interested:
    • When people say "Zu has a particular Zu sound" do they just mean that it's a widebander?
      • If no, what does this even mean?
    • Is there a huge amount of resonance? Does it matter to you & your ears?
    • Measurements of the Dirty Weekend?
    • What made you choose to buy (or not buy) Zu?
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've only heard Zu under show conditions, at this year's CAF, and another one 3 or 4 years ago, so obvious caveats.

    The models I recall hearing were (this year) the Dirty Weekends and prior I believe they were Omens of some sort. After this sentence, I'm just kinda bullshitting, but not really.

    They don't do finesse. They don't do planktons (I mean, highest frequency response is there, but it sounds tizzy). They don't do tone (mostly, they're too chesty). They don't do sub-bass. They do do punch. They do do snap and PRAT (sort of). They're "fun" kinda like Dave the potbellied 44 year-old still secretly yearning for his Natty Lite soaked frat days. (IT'LL BE A RAGER!!!). But now-a-days, Dave's at the Memorial Day Grill Out he's hosting in his too-small backyard. Dave's dragging Brett from marketing down to the basement to show him how great Pearl Jam Ten sounds through the flame-painted Zu's Dave's wife won't let him keep in the living room. Dave still (defiantly) has a soul patch. He's still kinda pissed management told him he shouldn't talk about his 2 tattoos with the clients.

    Zu is like a modern un-sarcastic high-five from Dave.

    Has anyone here listened to modern Cerwin Vega stuff?
     
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