How important is the efficiency of a speaker to you?

I went to an audio meeting recently and heard a couple of good sounding speakers. These speakers were not inexpensive and were well built. Problem is that they also require a very large ss amp upstream to drive them. Something that can push a lot of current, which pretty much rules out most low-mid ( maybe even high) powered tube amps. When I mentioned this to the person doing the demo, i was basically belittled, as he felt that the efficiency of a speaker is pretty much irrelevant ( well he would, as he is trying to sell these speakers). The speaker line is fairly well known to drop down to a very low impedance level in the bass regions. This requires an amp that is going to be $$$, as it has to not be bothered by the lowest impedances.

Personally, if I cannot make a speaker work with most tube amps on the market, or am forced to dig deeply into the pocketbook to own a huge ss amp upstream, this is a MAJOR negative to me with regards to the speaker in question ( whichever speaker that may be). So much so, that I will not entertain this design, regardless of SQ.

Your thoughts?


A little off subject, but still might pertain. I drive big ss monos and noticed when the speakers were pretty close they seemed to start to cancel each other out. Maybe think spacing and sort of a sound hall, like the opposite of a bass trap. Can’t remember but bose may hsve had engineering that semi included something similar, not positve. Hard to remeber 25 years ago. Lol you might also be able to compromise and look for a/b systems.

I'll admit I'm old and my ability to hear high frequencies has diminished but from the listening position high efficient speakers when driven by a well grounded and well designed amp solid state or tube are dead silent. By pressing your ear against the front of the speaker it is possible that a faint hiss may or not  be heard that's not really an issue as I don't listen that way. 

Flea watt amps are anything but dumb. Low watt amps and high efficiency speakers are about transient speed.


I use high efficiency speakers with high power. Amps have come a long way and high power does not mean bad/noisy anymore.

there is something about dynamics of high efficiency speaker but a lot of things are at play here too. Dispersion of the speaker and load (ohms) also come into play.

Usually low efficiency means complex crossovers. The issues of cross interference, phase coherence and latency resulting from multiple transducers compaerd to a two way, ideally point source in my mind are too complex to solve. That’s why flea amps with high efficiency speakers have such a strong following among true audiophiles

I'm happy with my bi-amped system which combines an efficient dipole line array (98db/w) driven by a DHT SET, and a dipole servo woofer tower handling the lower few octaves and driven by an 800w class D amp. This is the best of both worlds for me. Fast, tight, powerful bass and gorgeous, spacious mids and highs.