What speakers work well for low watt amps?

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-Richard-

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #120 on: 24 Dec 2018, 07:55 pm »
Hi FullRangeMan ~ It is equally nice to read all of your posts, always interesting insights and highly informative.

Yes, I was into audio beginning when I was 12 years old. My uncle put together a lovely system using Wharfedale co-axial drivers and of course a tube amp, this was many years before Solid Sate circuits were invented. I heard it and was transformed. 16-ohm drivers ruled the day and were a perfect match for low watt amplifiers.

The Lowther PM5 Alnico/Ticonal drivers are 16 ohm, a very important factor in their satisfying performance with my 2 watt Yamamoto flea amp. I had Shigeki Yamamoto replace his standard 8-ohm output transformers with 16-ohm transformers. I ordered the amp directly from him in Japan. Shigeki agreed that the larger transformers would be a much better match for the 16-ohm Lowthers. That is why I suggest that a little research is very helpful when putting together a small watt system. The payoff is the potential for a heightened 'you-are-there' ultra-dimensional musical experience.

Here are 3 interesting posts from the esteemed Nelson Pass that go back to 2009 on the DIY forum. He also uses, or at least used, the Lowther PM5A with his 5 watt amplifier in large open baffle panels:

"I have just finished a detailed subjective comparison between the
PM6A, PM5A, and PM4A, all 16 ohm and all Alnico, in my Big Open
Baffles (BOB).

You may recall that they are very similar except for magnet size,
with the PM4 having the most monstrous magnet (It requires a big
butt brace) and the PM6A having the smallest.

All the drivers have comparable response curves in this system, where
they are crossed to a 15 inch woofer at 150 Hz and 12 dB/oct. All have
a mild notch filter at 4.5 KHz, -3db.

The PM5A edges out the other two for upper midrange naturalness,
but the PM4A had the older whizzer design without the rolled edge,
and I speculate that it would have equaled or perhaps bested the
PM5A.

Nevertheless, the PM5A is the one that sits in the system day-to-day."
---
"Typically I don't need more than 25 watts for the low end, and I usually
use about 5 watts for the top end.

Two drivers, FR and woofer.

Filtering, simple 12 dB/oct and a simple notch - anyone can do it.

Small footprint.... You got me there, but the BLH's that I like tend to
be on the large side.

Anyways, I like the lack of internal box reflections and the way a dipole
"illuminates" the room."
---
"There are a lot of possibilities, but the ones that work out the best
all seem to have high efficiency, light cones and low resonant frequency
down around 20 to 30 Hz. The inexpensive Eminence 15" alpha
and beta are good candidates. Martin King likes the alpha; I have
tried and liked the beta.

I biamp with an active crossover, and I can also EQ the bass response
which helps a lot. Given that, there a large number of woofers that will
do the job, and I have been able to get satisfactory results from SEAS,
PHL, Polydax, Vifa, and Fostex, and OEM parts out of Taiwan."
---

I don't use a notch filter on the Lowthers. Also, not having the resources or space that Nelson has I used what I had on hand to combine with the Lowther and Yamamoto. I stayed with it continuing to research and experiment, and I am happy to say that I am now in love with what this system delivers in musical bliss.

Merry Christmas, Merry Solstice, Happy New Year to all our friends on audio circle ~ Richard


OzarkTom

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #121 on: 25 Dec 2018, 05:38 am »
I have found that most speakers with no crossovers work well with low powered amps. At the SPL I listen to, even the low efficiency Zellatons worked well with a 2 watt SET amp..

Folsom

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #122 on: 25 Dec 2018, 05:51 am »
They can't be low efficiency and work on 2 watts. They could be low sensitivity, but not efficiency.

Single drivers without crossovers tend to be more efficient because crossovers can eat some power.

FullRangeMan

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #123 on: 25 Dec 2018, 10:33 am »
Thanks Richard, you most kind as always.
I have noted at the DIY Audio forum the experts that wind his own OPTs are windy secondary in 15 ohms instead 16 as a tech reserve.
Merry Christmas to you and all your family :thumb:

OzarkTom

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #124 on: 25 Dec 2018, 12:35 pm »
They can't be low efficiency and work on 2 watts. They could be low sensitivity, but not efficiency.

Single drivers without crossovers tend to be more efficient because crossovers can eat some power.

For the Zellatons, they are somewhat low. About 86db. But I listen in the 65-80 db range most of the time. That helps save my hearing and my marriage.

Slam

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #125 on: 8 Jan 2019, 03:26 am »
https://nsmt-loudspeakers.com/content/model-50jamaica-speaker

Anyone try these yet? They claim 101 sensitivity

planet10

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #126 on: 16 Jan 2019, 01:35 am »
The words that accompany that speaker, Jamaica, leaves a lot of questions.

For instance, where do you find an 8” driver of that hi-efficiency (101> 98 dB efficiency for the pair or 93 dB each), that at the same time gets below 40 Hz and fits into such a small TL. And where do you find a dome tweeter efficient enuff. Phase coherence up to the XO is certainly possible (althou such a large centre-to-centre is going to cause combing issues in the top part of its band), but above that a tweeter on a 2nd order XO is likely 180° out of phase with the woofers..

dave

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #127 on: 16 Jan 2019, 11:18 am »
If 98 - 101dB they must be 16 ohms to parallel for nominal 8 ohms.

planet10

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #128 on: 16 Jan 2019, 04:31 pm »
8Ω would make the task of finding drivers, fitting them in such a small “TL”, and getting any bass of them is a set of contradictory requirements. I am sceptical, but until they have actually been heard — who knows.

This is the same approach as the ZUs… bigAss midWoofers that naturally roll off with a (horn) tweeter to help out.

dave


Slam

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #129 on: 16 Jan 2019, 08:34 pm »
Yeah it seems too good to be true, but I’m no speaker designer...

Just wondering if anyone had any first hand experience with them.

FullRangeMan

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #130 on: 16 Jan 2019, 08:35 pm »
The Zu remind me the wonderful coaxial PHY-HP 12'' Alcicos...

planet10

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #131 on: 16 Jan 2019, 08:42 pm »
Quote
the wonderful coaxial PHY-HP 12''

In my experience, not all that great.

dave

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #132 on: 16 Jan 2019, 09:24 pm »
It dont have the vintage Alnico kind of sound?

planet10

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #133 on: 16 Jan 2019, 11:20 pm »
Not that i am familiar with… and with so many other parts in a speaker contributing to the sonics, it would be hard to say what “alnico sound” is.

dave

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #134 on: 17 Jan 2019, 02:54 pm »
It is great, much better than Ferrite and better than Neo, they have wonderful over tones.

-Richard-

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #135 on: 2 Mar 2019, 09:46 pm »
It is an interesting question whether or not speaker magnets have their own intrinsic sound. As dave points out 'so many other parts in a speaker (are) contributing to the sonics'. Admittedly, I don't have enough experience with various drivers to have a helpful overview. However, I am currently using the Lowther PM5A Alnico drivers and there is a 'sound' that I think I can identify with these drivers that seems to fit FullRangeMan's perception that 'they have wonderful overtones.' Namely that the sound of instruments reproduce as deep, rich, resonate and present, voices sound very human and as FullRangeMan suggests, there is a noticeable lingering of diminishing played or sung tones that in their transparency can be thrilling. The all-over effect is noticeably un-mechanical; the entire complex of electronic equipment used to deliver the sound seems to disappear.

Before I ordered the PM5A's from the then Lowther American dealer Jon ver halen, I had several lengthy conversations with him about each of the Lowther line of drivers. I was interested in trying to match what I was looking for in terms of 'sound' to which drivers offered by Lowther. He unequivocally felt that the magnets do in fact affect the sound of drivers and having heard many of the Lowther offerings which used essentially the same parts but with different magnets, felt that the Alnico magnets offered a special 'sound' that he found irreplaceable. He characterized the Alnico magnets used in Lowther drivers allowed for a deeper immersion into the musical space, a more relaxed, less edgy perspective.

So does the application of Alnico magnets actually contribute to the 'softening' of the sound, what some audio writers describe as a 'rounder' presentation, meaning the leading edge of transients are less strident, less mechanical? Definitely less mechanical sounding in my application.

I think it is not too much of a stretch to say that generally younger music/audio lovers may lean more into wanting every sound on a recording highlighted, and they are not all that bothered by the sound being etched somewhat if it means being able to hear every detail. And it could be also said that older music/audio lovers like myself are much more comfortable with a more 'musical' presentation, forgoing ultimate detail in favor of an all-over less-clinical and more emotionally involving musical experience. OK, having said this I expect that many people will be quite unhappy with my 'opinion'.

To help give a balanced sense of this, the designer of the German line of speakers, Voxative, a kind of copy-cat version of the Lowther drivers, Ines Adler, does not think using Alnico magnets 'adds anything to the sound' of her Lowther-like drivers. No doubt Ines, with whom I have corresponded with several times in the past, feels her drivers are more refined than the essentially older designs of the Lowther. I could not afford her comparable drivers when I purchased the Lowther PM5A, but I am extremely happy with the Lowthers given my current set-up.

It is raining in Ojai, California today which is a blessing beyond words, a benediction after the horrifying yet hauntingly mysterious fire of last year.

With Warmest Friendship ~ Richard


FullRangeMan

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #136 on: 3 Mar 2019, 10:05 pm »
Hi Richard,
Nice to know you are with Lowthers, you will find Alnico magnets especially musical with Triodes or EL34/KT88 SE as Decware SE34 Rachel or Inspire amps.

How you are in the sunny state of CA I fell you not need to go so far to German drivers, I have a small room so I choose the AN Classic10Alnico but I regret not have to go the Super15Alnico now.

Other interesting great option are the vintage Zenith 49CZ852 for an OB.
http://glowinthedarkaudio.com/zenith-49cz852.html
However you may wish add an Bass Reflex woofer as Beyma 15P80Nd in a 150L ducted box under 200 or 300Hz.

I think field coils dont worth the price(hi) and the extra power supply expense, since Alnico already this good, there is many secrets in windy a FR audio coil that are unknow today by speakers makers that made buy a field coil FR a risk.
Hope this help.

-Richard-

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #137 on: 9 Mar 2019, 09:55 pm »
Hi FullRangeMan ~

What kind of cabinet or panel are you using for your AN Classic10Alnico's? Also what is your amplifier?

After deciding to not purchase the French Supravox field coil drivers for several years, I finally purchased a pair from a nice gentleman in England who allowed me to return them. I was very disappointed in the sound. And what is worse I hated having to use an electrical device to shape the current in order to 'charge' its electro-magnets. The 'invention' of using stand-alone autonomous magnets was an important development in speaker design and a blessing.

There is no comparison between the Supravox sound and the rich and spacious performance of the Lowther PM5A, at least in my experience. Perhaps my other components were incompatible at that time.

Also, what do you feel you are missing using the AN Classic10Alnico's that the larger Super15Alnico will deliver?

Have a lovely day ~ Richard

FullRangeMan

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Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #138 on: 10 Mar 2019, 12:42 am »
Iam using a 180L Bass Reflex I designed myself and a cheap local made 6C33 SE, I can send the box plans to you for free if you want build.

I never listened the 15'' but I suppose the bass and mid bass is much more rich due the huge cone.

Bemopti123

Re: What speakers work well for low watt amps?
« Reply #139 on: 10 Mar 2019, 03:16 am »
Hi FullRangeMan ~

What kind of cabinet or panel are you using for your AN Classic10Alnico's? Also what is your amplifier?

After deciding to not purchase the French Supravox field coil drivers for several years, I finally purchased a pair from a nice gentleman in England who allowed me to return them. I was very disappointed in the sound. And what is worse I hated having to use an electrical device to shape the current in order to 'charge' its electro-magnets. The 'invention' of using stand-alone autonomous magnets was an important development in speaker design and a blessing.

There is no comparison between the Supravox sound and the rich and spacious performance of the Lowther PM5A, at least in my experience. Perhaps my other components were incompatible at that time.

Also, what do you feel you are missing using the AN Classic10Alnico's that the larger Super15Alnico will deliver?

Have a lovely day ~ Richard

Almost about 14 years ago, I went to NJ to listen to a pair of Supravox fieldcoils loaded into a pair of huge Brooks audio wooden horns that were made in some country in Asia.  I just don't know but I felt that the entire soundscape was compromised due to the lack of highs.  It just does not deliver the upper high frequencies as regular 8" Fostex or Lowthers do in spades.  Therefore, I felt that at least in the system I heard, it was a big disappointment.  Even the PHY-HP fullrange Alnico drivers, they usually tend to have a high frequency driver.....because they want to sell you a pair of expensive tweeters....perhaps the previous designer, RIP, felt that an 8" fullrange driver does have its compromises. 

The Supravox was the only driver I felt as missing the highs.   :thumb: