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?


I just posted this elsewhere

I advise working very hard to find efficient speakers you love, they are out there. Don't even listen to inefficient ones.

That will keep the needed power down: less: cost/size/weight/heat and it will increase placement options of amps, especially integrated with a need to receive signal from a remote.

Importantly, low power needs allows a much easier way to try tubes.

More competition exists at lower power needs, thus more competitive prices, and more used choices.


I have main-system speakers of 89bd/4ohms, 91db/4ohms, and 102db/8ohms. They match up with main amps of 100w Class A SS, 65w PP tube Class A, 8w SET, respectively. Each time I swap in a new combo, it’s my favorite. Many roads to Dublin.

My point of view is that it is a challenge to find speakers that perfectly match your specific sound quality values. It gets much harder by restricting yourself to a subset of speakers. 

@ghdprentice   I agree with this. Not only do you restrict yourself to a subset of speakers, but in the worst case examples, you also restrict yourself to a subset of amps. Like many of us, i know of a few a'philes who bought their dream speaker, only to find that the amp(s) required were a deal breaker, not only from a budget perspective, but also in many cases, from a placement/heat/aesthetics/weight perspective as well.