looking for a more efficient speaker.....

some thing with a higher then my current rated 86 alon IV.  something more easier to drive.  i love the way the sound but i have to drive them at 1-2 oclock to get the best sound and then you start to hear the strain.   let me know, i dont have big pockets so keep that in mind, plus i like floor standing types.


What are the other components in your system? A system is the sum of all components  it might be better to swap the amp… your speakers are generally thought to sound very good. But that will depend on the space you have them in.  There is a place to put photos of your system and   venue. This is really helpful for us to understand how to help. 

I had a pair of Usher speakers.  Sounded pretty good but I had to drive at moderate  levels for them to sound good.    I now have Tekton Lore which is a small floor stander.    The big difference is these speakers provide full sound even at low volume

Highly Efficient speakers:


REFERENCE 3a (>92db) 

- Google them to pick the model that stirs your drink,

- then look for them (preowned) on AGON, CAM, USAM 


The Alon IVs are very good and compared to new prices or even used prices of more recent options, you'll be hard pressed to match them without spending fairly big bucks. The big woofer and deep low end of the IVs is a strength. With most speaker brands a common compromise to hit various price levels is first get good performance in mids & highs, then in higher prices, get larger cabinets and more low end performance. So keep that in mind as many of your choices may play louder and more efficienctly with your amp, lesser impactful and quality bass may be a risk. 

@ghdprentice 's suggestion to post your system and room details on a system page is the best advice. 

FWIW, once you share that, amp change suggestions may make more sense. 

One other question is there any chance that the cones need refoaming? Millersound is the industry standard for that...it's quite reasonable and considering the age of the Alons may be worth researching before placing a large bet.

PS: I'm a former Alon II, Alon V and Nola Viper Signature owner. Cheers,


Ok, let me second (third?) the advice above: please give more info, as above. The Alon 4 are very good speakers and, arguably, hold their own today.

From what I can see about the Alon's, they're excellent. Information about your amplification is critical.

If you are hearing the Alons strain, you are probably under powering them.

I you like the Alon sound and want something easier to drive check out the Alon Lotus SE MKII should be pretty affordable used if you can find a pair. Higher efficiency and impedance plus they use an Alnico midrange driver and an outboard crossover. I used them, and loved them, with a variety of tube amps. We moved to a smaller apartment and I had to let them go. Here's an old review on them:




sorry about that, 

mccormack dna 500

oppo 203

herron vtsp 1a

acoustic zen wow II for the amp to pre and pre to cd player everything else is audio ar interconnects


pdspec never heard of them, will look into them.

akg have heard the tonnoy's a while back, did like them

sbank, thanks for that tip, karl got me on that one.  had me send my woofers to hm and he sent them to miller sound.  never forgive him for that. 

jond which ones used the alinco magnet.  karl called hisself selling me some but i think he got me again.  what do they look like.  

ozzy 500watts

2left will do, got in my fav now.......

how do the speakers like focal, triangle, b&w, paradigm compare and hold up in the latest markets

hilde posted it....

@kennesawjet The speaker I was talking about is the Alon Lotus SE MkII if you click the link in my post you'll see a review and photos. However you're using a 500 watt SS amp I'm pretty sure speaker efficiency isn't your issue.

Generally, 500wpc should be plenty to power for a 86 dB sensitivity speaker.  Are you listening at loud levels and/or your room is relatively large and/or compensating for hearing loss?

kennyc   hell yeah, small to avg size room in the basement, hearing loss what did you say

oddiofyl   you would think.  have talked with steve mc, jeff at cj and other chief designer/owners i could about this.  i know when you start turning it up you lose a certain amount of clarity.  but i like to hear everything.


MC is a great amp. Perhaps due to age, some caps need replacement, especially since you already refoamed the drivers. Or same in the preamp. 

Can you borrow a friend's decently powered amp or preamp for an hour or two and try to narrow down where in the chain the issue is arising?  This would be way smarter than overreacting. 

IMHO Alon IVs beat most of the options in that list you posted. If the issue is the amp or pre needing service, and you find out by trading speakers, you will feel terrible. Cheers,


I think you’re making up an amp problem where there is none.  The McCormack DNA-500 is a beast, and your amp almost doubles power to 900Wpc into 4 Ohms.  You’ve gotta be kidding me if you think that’s not enough power.  Look elsewhere for whatever issue you think you have.  This is absolutely silly. 

soix the issue is clarity not power, i went thru this with my wifes cj mf2500a and jeff told me to have it svcd.  its still not broken in yet due to my wife dont play it much and health concerns. it just might be this tube though. i notice i have good days and bad days with these stock 6922's

s bank you might be on to something,  but i talked to steve mc and he said he doesnt think it needs svc yet and i dont have problems with my ears so....


You’re going about it bass awards. Choose a speaker, then the amp to drive it.

soix  also i talked with dr lee at acoustic zenn, ask if there could be a problem with the wow II's since i got rid of the tara labs for the same reason.  he told me not to tighten the interconnects to tight this will alter the headroom and clarity and he was right, just fyi.......


soix the issue is clarity not power

Obviously you are hearing the effects of your amp clipping from being over loaded.  It only has 500 watts at 8 Ohms and 900 at 4 Ohms.  Ha!



Similar type of design would be the GR Research NX-Otica Kit at a rated 93db.(Not really cheap). The Alon designer (which used to be Nola... same name only backwards) Worked on the Dahlquist DQ-20 and DQ-12. A sealed base box with a boxless midrange and tweeter.

If you like sound the sound of the Alon have you considered bi amping them? Or looking for a pair on Dahlquist DQ20i and bi-amping them. From my experience it’s hard to to listen to a box speaker after listening to the boxless design.

You're other choice would move to a horn speaker but they will have a completely different presentation


 a more efficient speaker is were i may have to go.

Just a thought:

Even though they are different from your Alon IV maybe try a pair of JBLs like the ones below:  Sensitivity 93dB @ 1watt 8 Ohm's 2 meters efficiency is 1.7%. If you can find an early pair (1981-1984) they have ALNICO midrange Compression drivers model #2421A. FWIW: I previously owned JBL 4430's, I currently own JBL 4435's. 




ditusa  i loved jbl back in the day,  the l or t100's were great. and i do remember the alinico magnets days 

rodge827 dont know right now but it will have to be used.  looking at sonus fabre, vienna acoustics, dali, aerial......

Since you are itching to try a more sensitive speaker, I'll recommend the Klipsch Cornwall IV. But likely as not, you'd want to change the amp too.

But that DNA must be at least 25 years (or more) old. Although I love Steve's amps, that is a little long in the tooth. And a very sensitive speaker will be happier with a lower powered amp, preferably tubes.



Thanks for sharing your system. After giving it a little thought. The speakers are the most important choice in your system and largely determine the sound quality of a well balanced system (that is cost effective). Typically the speakers are the first choice and then all the supporting electronics are chosen. I recommend this approach.

Do you speakers sound ideal? If so, swap our your electronics to get the best sound out of them. They are pretty old. Perhaps auditioning speakers makes more sense. You want to find speakers that sound right to you… that you have an emotional connection to. Then, if necessary, swap out the electronics to get the perfect sound out of them. This is the shortest route to having a system that perfectly reflects your sonic values.


I would spend time auditioning speakers, until you find some that really connect with your emotional center. If tears come to your eyes… buy them… then optimize your electronics.


I had a similar experience: Decades ago I had Genesis Vs, designed by Arnie Nudell, which combined a triangular shaped head (open baffle midrange + front and back circular ribbon tweeters) below were externally powered woofers. I went through many highly regarded amps trying to get a happy marriage. Nothing made magic until I bought a Kinergetics KBA 75 (Class A) only then did they come to life. You might check with the factory, or ask on the boards, or here specifically what amp works best with...


Speakers are like car motors, the start working there best when they start making power and speakers work better when they hit 90db are louder. Most high sensitivity speakers give up a performance at low levels and the bass performance is not great.  I have own JBL’s and Klipsch and would never go back. These types of speakers were designed to be loud speaker, for theaters where you need volume  . Back in the 60s and 70s they were the best. Good luck


What are you talking about? A light weight vehicle with a big horsepower motor will blow the doors off a heavy vehicle with the same motor.

I have Emerald Physics 3.4s Open Baffle @ ~ 99dB. No flea amp here. My amp is a LSA Voyager 350 GaN amp (500w+ at 4ohms): they are very happy together!

soix  also i talked with dr lee at acoustic zenn, ask if there could be a problem with the wow II's since i got rid of the tara labs for the same reason.  he told me not to tighten the interconnects to tight this will alter the headroom and clarity and he was right, just fyi.......

That’s very interesting, especially as I too have AZ interconnects/cables and probably over-tightening myself.  Is this a recent issue or has it been present the whole time you’ve had this setup?  Only other thought I have is swapping tubes in your preamp.  Best of luck, and please keep us posted. 

sbank if you no longer use alon what do you have now....

curiosjim    rather low, i have enough equipment

ozzy, i talked to jeff at cj and steve at mccormack, said not yet

lanx dont like 2way speakers....

soix  glad i could help you....



The generality of stuff sounding better at or above 90db is certainly not true now. It might have been back in the 70’s with the relatively inexpensive equipment we were able to afford then. Certainly not true now as a generality.

speaker have compliance and the compliance in nonlinear there is resistance to motion is the surround and at low levels it restricts the cone.  A issue with older horn spreader that I know  has changed to these efficient speaker now is the quality of the crossovers.  Heck JBL Olympus speaker would blow the horn driver if you dropped the needle.  I don’t disk like horn and high efficiency speakers there are great threaders, concerts halls. Having said that I admit have not listened to modern designed ones. Just because I have own my share of them does mean you shouldn’t own them. Remember the older one crossover suck, Nelson Pass has a new crossover for his JBL

I agree with the suggestion to ask Carl at Nola what amps are good matches for the Alons. Then try to borrow one or something similar. Tell him the trouble and you're trying to narrow things down after the refoaming he arranged for you. He and his wife(Marilyn?) are both kind and helpful IMHE. Cheers,


Wow, a blast from the past, I had Alon IV's many, many years ago, purchased them from Arnie, founder of Audiogon. I modded those things to nth degree, went to the Alnico magnets, modded baffles and bass box. Later on went to the Lotus SE when I went to tube amps.


No way do you need 500wpc with the IV's, I ran them with NAD amps, then NEW (Nirvana Electronic Works) DCA 66, 60WPC Class A battery powered, then Conrad  Johnson MV55, at which point I changed to Lotus.


I have no idea of 'strain' you're hearing, certainly not lack of power! And going to more efficient speakers will likely exasperate issue. You've got to match speakers to amp, I've found Alons like tubes for mids and tweeter, however, need a modicum of amp damping factor to get bass right.


You're problem may be elsewhere in system as well, strain and lack of resolution can be result of many things.


As for future speakers, could never get used to box speakers after open baffle Alons. Now have modded Klipschorns, give me everything Alons did and so much more!

sbank, went thru that with Karl a while back and he like so many dont like to suggest gear....

had a long talk and science lesson from the guy at atma sphere, can remember his name.  we talked extensively about the need for a more efficient speaker and how beneficial it is....

to all, since ive untighten the screw on those type of interconnects the sound has been alot better.  i have one or two other that has that type of configuration ill change those as well....keep you posted.


soix    did you try that and how is it working for you.   that and moving the wires and interconnect away from each other works wonders.  made sure i dont have anything touching the carpets too.......

i’m getting caught up on this thread, been on a trip in the last week plus

i am solidly with those saying this is not an amp/power issue - the dna will play plenty loud without strain, drive the alon 4's just fine thank you, even for loud listening in a reasonable room

problem is elsewhere in the system, first place to look is preamp to amp input/output matching, second place is check the tubes in the herron, third would be to make sure the source output voltage isn’t too low

jjs49,  welcome back.  to get you up to speed.  talked with robt lee with acoustic zen, sd that if you tighten the locking screws on the interconnects to tight it will cause you to have headroom and clarity or sound issue as it were.  i tried it and it worked.  i do have a lot of locking interconnects.  loosen them all, also keeping them away from each other as well does wonders for the sound quality as well.  the sound now is what i thought i brought this system for.