What's best in highly sensitive/efficient speakers.


Active Member
May 31, 2010
There is a pair of Odeon La Boheme for sale on Audiomarkt.de that will give you amazing sound...far better than I have heard from Zu or Voxativ. They are nearly 20 years old now but are about 98db and revealing but oh so smooth in the highs. Coherence is single driver level without the drawbacks. Serious punch and drive. The one "but" is the last octave of bass is not so strong.

This is what I run and I frequently get the "oh wow" from even experienced listeners with nice systems. Non-audiophiles are simply shocked by the realism they are capable of producing.
Hi Morricab,
What are the drawbacks single driver designs?



Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
Hi Morricab,
What are the drawbacks single driver designs?

Well, you have probably heard most of them already: lack of deep bass (or any bass at all in some cases), can be shouty because of elevated and usually somewhat ragged frequency response, tonally thin and/or skewed timbre (because of the combination of the two things above), can get a bit confused sounding with complex music (more expensive drivers seem to be less susceptible to this from what I have heard.

For conventional box speaker guys, most, if not all the flaws result in a sound that deviates too far from "neutral" for their tastes. What they fail to realize is that their speakers are just as flawed in the time/dynamics domain in the pursuit of getting the frequency domain correct. Very few speakers do a reasonable job in both domains. I think this is a main reason for the polarity in speaker preferences.

The HDTs I have are quite livable with these flaws audible but not terrible. The tendency to shout is less than I have heard from most (only the expensive Voxativ models are maybe better) and due to a very complex cabinet tuning there is usable bass to around 40hz with a full mid-bass so they don't sound (too) thin. I use them primarily as late night, low volume speakers, where they have superb resolution and musical qualities at levels that I think a lot of the WBFers would consider a whisper. Turn them up to rockin levels and they can start to pierce though.

I have owned one full-range, single driver speaker that was really truly great and that was a full-range electrostatic speaker. It had multiple flat panels but they all operated over the same full-range and that speaker covered <30Hz to 20Khz in a very smooth even FR and was also time correct...only large macro dynamics tripped it up a bit. The sensitivity also wasn't the greatest but its ability to resolve microdynamics made playing loud unnecessary.

It took me a long time to find a domestic friendly sized speaker that captured most of what those big electrostats have but also has big dynamic wallop. Of course my wife thinks it is still too big :). From what I heard years ago from a Horning, I think they could also be something that would really work well in a still doemestic friendly sized speaker.

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