Al M.

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I know Reference 3A speakers stand out for me in lower volume use, with their low-to-mid 90's efficiency and no crossover on the mid/bass drivers.

Agreed. I have tested my Reference 3A at someone's-sleeping-in-the-house levels, and they still sound alive and articulate.
 
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wisnon

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The TAD's are not efficient speakers, but I agree that they possess this trait of still sounding good at lower volumes, more "complete" than many. Maybe that is because of that concentric coherence. I know Reference 3A speakers stand out for me in lower volume use, with their low-to-mid 90's efficiency and no crossover on the mid/bass drivers.
That is what I feel about my Syrinx, perfect for low to medium levels and at very high levels they tend to fall apart sonically. To solve this I run parallel with the bigger Kitahras. The Syrinx is colourfully called the LOWspeaker. LoL
 

hopkins

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I use 102db speakers and they play great (to my ears, obviously) at low volume, contrary to some less efficient speakers I have used in the past that "collapsed" at low volume. But I have found that the entire system has a role to play, not just the speakers.

Here is an illustration around 70db measured in front of my listening position. This is the typical volume I would play them at night, but enjoy it also lower.


The phone recording masks the detail a little but it should provide a sense of the sound.
 
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Solypsa

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Which drivers do you use ( if I may ask )?
 

hopkins

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How do you get 102db with the crossover?

There is no crossover. Each speaker has 4 drivers in parallel, directly wired to the amp's outputs. This configuration has some obvious limitations (ex: bass rolloff below 40hz - active subwoofers could be added).
 

Folsom

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Oh, so you have massive comb filtering and basically missing frequencies... I guess some of them would come through at 102db that are within the right wavelength between the distance from top to bottom. I'd guess around 120-600hz can do 102db.This explains the thinner sound with no kind of BSC and why it sounds like weird phase drop outs.
 
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hopkins

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Oh, so you have massive comb filtering and basically missing frequencies... I guess some of them would come through at 102db that are within the right wavelength between the distance from top to bottom. I'd guess around 120-600hz can do 102db.This explains the thinner sound with no kind of BSC and why it sounds like weird phase drop outs.

Define "massive"?

The speakers ate quite sensitive to speaker placement and you do get comb filtering, as you do with any speaker. I did not say "this is the best speaker", it was an illustration, and with the speakers in a slightly different placement than usual. You can check out the frequency response graphs here: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/open-baffle-system.35850/post-841983

Perhaps some day I will add subs, but for the time being I am happy without.
 

Yeti

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When I went to buy my current turntable I heard a pair of Eclipse TD212mk2, they don’t really do loud, particularly as they were being driven by a couple of Watts of Thomas Mayer valve amp and aren’t that efficient but did they did have a certain appeal. Might be rather challenging of WAF but that would depend on the wife, mine rather liked them.
 

hopkins

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A little "piqued" by the previous comment (from Folsom), here is another video taken with my phone and this time an average volume of only 60db:


And the same track, same volume, recorded with my Tascam DR100 and Superlux microphones:


It is always interesting to hear how phone recordings sound compared to better recording equipment...

Listening to that track on Qobuz (https://open.qobuz.com/track/21452011) with my HD400 Pro headphones which go down to 20hz, it is obvious that my speakers lack that deep bass. Adding subs has not been a priority and it is whole other can of worms.

Anyway, the better recording gives a better picture of the actual sound in the room, and you can better evaluate the level of detail at low volume. The sound is very similar at higher volumes, which is not something I experienced with some other less efficient speakers.
 
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morricab

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I'm not sure I agree that efficiency is not a positive factor when a focus is performance at lower listening levels. The Fletcher Munson curve certainly comes into play but is likely not much of a factor at, say, 60db. In my experience, the more coherent a speaker is the more realistic it sounds at lower levels. TAD with its concentric driver, is such a speaker. Devore may also be good in this regard, although I have yet to hear them.

Two speakers outside the mainstream may fit the bill nicely are both field coils, one from Wolf Von Langa, the "Son" and the other from Songer Audio. The field coil power supply in the Son allows you to control the magnetic field of the woofer and therefore modify the level of woofer damping to get the bass dialed in to suit your room and may be useful for tuning at lower listening levels. Both speakers I referenced are efficient, 92 and 93 dB, respectively.

Ricco, good luck!
Sons are spec'ed at 96dB according to the website, which is rather sensitive. I haven't heard Singer yet.
 

gleeds

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Modern JBL's from the UK. Very fun and interesting design!

My theory on why Quads sound engaging at low levels is its amazing coherence and the relative ease at which the diaphragm moves air down to its rather high cut-off point.

Keith Rochelli has Fyne F-12 which I have listened to several times and are both very efficient (96db) and phase coherent thanks to its coaxial driver. A real sleeper for low-level and high level listening, offering both efficiency and full-range performance that also plays nice with both tube and solid state amplifiers.
 

Folsom

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Define "massive"?

The speakers ate quite sensitive to speaker placement and you do get comb filtering, as you do with any speaker. I did not say "this is the best speaker", it was an illustration, and with the speakers in a slightly different placement than usual. You can check out the frequency response graphs here: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/open-baffle-system.35850/post-841983

Perhaps some day I will add subs, but for the time being I am happy without.

What is the distance of that measurement and is it one speaker?
 

hopkins

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morricab

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Modern JBL's from the UK. Very fun and interesting design!

My theory on why Quads sound engaging at low levels is its amazing coherence and the relative ease at which the diaphragm moves air down to its rather high cut-off point.

Keith Rochelli has Fyne F-12 which I have listened to several times and are both very efficient (96db) and phase coherent thanks to its coaxial driver. A real sleeper for low-level and high level listening, offering both efficiency and full-range performance that also plays nice with both tube and solid state amplifiers.
If the Fynes don’t use a 1st order crossover then they are not phase coherent. They probably sound pretty coherent but technically they would not be.
 

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