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?


It all depends how you want your personal system to sound to you.

Each of us has their own specific criteria and system.

Took me 25 years to appreciate 4 ohm, 92 dB sensitivity speakers with an all vacuum tube preamp and vacuum tube amp (70 watts output).  If you want/like 8 ohm 86 dB sensitivity speakers you will most likely have to go with a high watt output solid state amp (>150 watts).  Which is fine!  I've had both type of systems but prefer the vacuum tube amps and efficient speakers.... The main problem is it takes so long and so much money to finally figure out what you really like.

@kennyc  Well if you think that, there is no further need for you to post on this thread.

@quincy  There is another factor, a high powered good sounding ss amp, particularly one that can push current into very low impedances, is also going to cost a lot more ( on average) than a good sounding medium ( maybe even high powered) powered tube amp.

@mazian   Class D amps are certainly a lower priced option, but most folks still are not that impressed with the SQ. 

Very high efficiency means one can swim in the calm, warm 300B waters, which I love.  Low efficiency means one can swim and surf with the wide variety SS offer, which I also love.  Why choose when you can have both?