What's best in highly sensitive/efficient speakers.

Exlibris

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If you can swing the 33, go for it.
The mid horn in the 33 does play a lot deeper than the one in the 28/3 what makes the 33 more coherent.
The 33 also goes deeper in the bass region what makes them sound more grown up.
In Addition, they are 1 dB more efficient that the 28/3.
The only "downside" is that the 33 are a little bigger and heavier than the 28/3. But that is not really a problem because the eclosures are modular. I moved the 32 and the 38 several times in regular smallish station wagons (Volvo V60 and BMW 3)
Thank you. I'll take your advice and go for the 33. I don't know how my 45 SET amp will do on this 94 dB speaker. I see that the specifications show 8 ohms and I'm imagining that is an average rather than the minimum(?) I've never found a published review of any of the Odeon horns and have not seen any of their impedance curves.
I love the modularity -- we uncrated the 28s and the set-up, including the lifting, was very easy.
 
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christoph

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Thank you. I'll take your advice and go for the 33. I don't know how my 45 SET amp will do on this 94 dB speaker. I see that the specifications show 8 ohms and I'm imagining that is an average rather than the minimum(?) I've never found a published review of any of the Odeon horns and have not seen any of their impedance curves.
I love the modularity -- we uncrated the 28s and the set-up, including the lifting, was very easy.
The 32, 33 and 38/2 worked excellent with 30 SET Watts per channel.
Is a 45 SET around 1 Watt? What Speakers do you drive with that amp atm?
 

Exlibris

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My 45/2A3 SET is somewhere between 1.5 and 2 watts when using 45s and between 3.5 and 4 watts when using 2A3s. I much prefer the sound of the 45 however.
On the weekend I demoed the 28 with a 30 watt integrated that used EL34s.
I could just take my amp up and try it with the 28 there; it just wouldn't say everything about how the amp/speaker combination would perform in my room.
I currently use my amp with Audio Note AN-Es (AN-E, Spe-HE).
 
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morricab

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Thank you. I'll take your advice and go for the 33. I don't know how my 45 SET amp will do on this 94 dB speaker. I see that the specifications show 8 ohms and I'm imagining that is an average rather than the minimum(?) I've never found a published review of any of the Odeon horns and have not seen any of their impedance curves.
I love the modularity -- we uncrated the 28s and the set-up, including the lifting, was very easy.
A 45 amp will likely not be enough. I would say you need around 20 watts of robust SET (Think Aries Cerat, KR Audio, NAT, New Audio Frontiers, Ayon etc.).
 
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Exlibris

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A 45 amp will likely not be enough. I would say you need around 20 watts of robust SET (Think Aries Cerat, KR Audio, NAT, New Audio Frontiers, Ayon etc.).
My amplification chain is all Thomas Mayer so I imagine I'd be looking at his 845s or 211s. In my limited experience with other manufacturer's 845s and 211s, I can't say that I've had much enjoyment. I've really enjoyed most 45s, 300Bs, and EL34s that I've heard in the past.
 

Exlibris

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My 45/2A3 SET is somewhere between 1.5 and 2 watts when using 45s and between 3.5 and 4 watts when using 2A3s. I much prefer the sound of the 45 however.
On the weekend I demoed the 28 with a 30 watt integrated that used EL34s.
I could just take my amp up and try it with the 28 there; it just wouldn't say everything about how the amp/speaker combination would perform in my room.
I currently use my amp with Audio Note AN-Es (AN-E, Spe-HE).
This is relevant but I forgot to mention it: I recently added a high-pass filter at 60hz between my preamp and the SET 45. This takes a lot of perceived strain off my 45 amplifier. 60Hz and below is now largely covered by an array of 4 subwoofers (Audiokinesis) driven by a pair of SS monoblocks.
I could do the same with the Odeons I suppose.
Also, since the Odeons have a separate set of speaker connections on each of the woofer and horn modules, I'm imagining I could bi-amp using my 45 amp on the horn module (frequencies above 320Hz) and another amp for the 12" woofer(?)
 

morricab

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This is relevant but I forgot to mention it: I recently added a high-pass filter at 60hz between my preamp and the SET 45. This takes a lot of perceived strain off my 45 amplifier. 60Hz and below is now largely covered by an array of 4 subwoofers (Audiokinesis) driven by a pair of SS monoblocks.
I could do the same with the Odeons I suppose.
Also, since the Odeons have a separate set of speaker connections on each of the woofer and horn modules, I'm imagining I could bi-amp using my 45 amp on the horn module (frequencies above 320Hz) and another amp for the 12" woofer(?)
Possible but usually difficult to get convincing results. What higher powered SETs have you tried and on what speakers? I think this would work better than 1.5 watts on the mid high and 20-30 or more on the bass...just a feeling. I only got biamping to work well with two identical amps. 2x1.5 watts is still not really going to be enough, IMO. Not sure how you got it to really work with AN-Es ...
 

Exlibris

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Possible but usually difficult to get convincing results. What higher powered SETs have you tried and on what speakers? I think this would work better than 1.5 watts on the mid high and 20-30 or more on the bass...just a feeling. I only got biamping to work well with two identical amps. 2x1.5 watts is still not really going to be enough, IMO. Not sure how you got it to really work with AN-Es ...
In my limited experience, I've tried: 845 Mastersound on MBL101Es; Viva 211s on SoundLab A1s; and most recently the Audio Note Jinro with 211s on my AN-Es. That last experience was really eye-opening. Having tried my AN-Es with 211s, a couple of different 300B amps, 2A3s and 45s, for me it isn't even close -- the 45s are it (regardless of their power/drivability drawbacks). And, I suspect I would like Thomas' 46s even more.
I should note that I think of the subwoofer array as more of a "room treatment" than part of my system. The 4 subs are nowhere near my main speakers and I have set the cutoff frequency at 30hz. It took me about a month to find the positions for the 4 subs and the frequency cutoff. I've never had any luck integrating subs like a pair of RELs in any system so I know what you mean in that regard.
As for the bi-amping, I agree, 2 x 1.5 watts isn't going to bring much benefit.
 
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My amplification chain is all Thomas Mayer so I imagine I'd be looking at his 845s or 211s. In my limited experience with other manufacturer's 845s and 211s, I can't say that I've had much enjoyment. I've really enjoyed most 45s, 300Bs, and EL34s that I've heard in the past.
You should be able to tube roll 845s to dial in your exact sound. Less 211s out there.
 

morricab

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In my limited experience, I've tried: 845 Mastersound on MBL101Es; Viva 211s on SoundLab A1s; and most recently the Audio Note Jinro with 211s on my AN-Es. That last experience was really eye-opening. Having tried my AN-Es with 211s, a couple of different 300B amps, 2A3s and 45s, for me it isn't even close -- the 45s are it (regardless of their power/drivability drawbacks). And, I suspect I would like Thomas' 46s even more.
I should note that I think of the subwoofer array as more of a "room treatment" than part of my system. The 4 subs are nowhere near my main speakers and I have set the cutoff frequency at 30hz. It took me about a month to find the positions for the 4 subs and the frequency cutoff. I've never had any luck integrating subs like a pair of RELs in any system so I know what you mean in that regard.
As for the bi-amping, I agree, 2 x 1.5 watts isn't going to bring much benefit.
Yes, you will be integrating right in the midrange...tricky if the amps don't sound very similar. Based on what you told me you have asked tough things from the SETs, the MBLs are notoriously difficult to drive as are Soundlabs...doesn't mean it can't work though as I had great results with KR Audio on Acoustats (which although low sensitivity were not that tough of a load surprisingly). A bit surprised about the Jinro, although I have never really warmed to the AN amp sound of any tube type. Suffice to say, I think a 45 will probably not cut it on the 33s. Maybe for low/moderate levels but not beyond for sure. I think you find the added dynamics worth a bit of tradeoff in whatever the 45 brings (I personally have never heard a 45 based amp). Going Push/Pull, IMO, is not the way forward with Odeons.
 
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Exlibris

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Yes, you will be integrating right in the midrange...tricky if the amps don't sound very similar. Based on what you told me you have asked tough things from the SETs, the MBLs are notoriously difficult to drive as are Soundlabs...doesn't mean it can't work though as I had great results with KR Audio on Acoustats (which although low sensitivity were not that tough of a load surprisingly). A bit surprised about the Jinro, although I have never really warmed to the AN amp sound of any tube type. Suffice to say, I think a 45 will probably not cut it on the 33s. Maybe for low/moderate levels but not beyond for sure. I think you find the added dynamics worth a bit of tradeoff in whatever the 45 brings (I personally have never heard a 45 based amp). Going Push/Pull, IMO, is not the way forward with Odeons.
To take some of the guess work out of this, I will try the 28s with my 45 amp and compare it with the 30 watt amp.
Yes, the MBLs and SoundLabs were very hard to drive. I fell for SET amplification during the period when I owned the MBLs and I eventually replaced them with the "high efficiency" AN-Es about 7 years ago. In that period I switched from 300Bs to 45s. Now I'm looking for an even higher-efficiency speaker and it's just my luck that I finally find a horn speaker that I love... and it may not meet that criteria :confused:
 

morricab

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To take some of the guess work out of this, I will try the 28s with my 45 amp and compare it with the 30 watt amp.
Yes, the MBLs and SoundLabs were very hard to drive. I fell for SET amplification during the period when I owned the MBLs and I eventually replaced them with the "high efficiency" AN-Es about 7 years ago. In that period I switched from 300Bs to 45s. Now I'm looking for an even higher-efficiency speaker and it's just my luck that I finally find a horn speaker that I love... and it may not meet that criteria :confused:
The limitation I think in the 33 is the bass driver, it is simply not as sensitive as the rest and that brings the system sensitivity down to 94db or so. My La Bohemes are closer to 97db but I still don't think less than 10 watts would work really well. The lowest I have tried is an 11 watt MasterSound SE(pentode) with EL34 output tubes and this worked pretty well but not nearly as well as the Aries Cerat Genus, Ayon Crossfire or Wall Audio Opus M50 monos. My JJ322 works well also but not quite as good as these other three.
 

Exlibris

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The limitation I think in the 33 is the bass driver, it is simply not as sensitive as the rest and that brings the system sensitivity down to 94db or so. My La Bohemes are closer to 97db but I still don't think less than 10 watts would work really well. The lowest I have tried is an 11 watt MasterSound SE(pentode) with EL34 output tubes and this worked pretty well but not nearly as well as the Aries Cerat Genus, Ayon Crossfire or Wall Audio Opus M50 monos. My JJ322 works well also but not quite as good as these other three.
Interesting. I'm not sure how my amp would do on that 12" woofer but I'd be very surprised if it wasn't able to drive just the pair of horns (frequencies above 320 Hz) in the top section of the 33.
 

morricab

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Interesting. I'm not sure how my amp would do on that 12" woofer but I'd be very surprised if it wasn't able to drive just the pair of horns (frequencies above 320 Hz) in the top section of the 33.
Worth a try...I never say never (I actually drove 83db Boenicke W5s in one of my rooms last year at our regional show with the 25 watt Genus and Kassandra DAC and jaws hit the floor).
 

Duke LeJeune

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One possible issue with bi-amping a speaker that was designed with a passive crossover is this: Often passive crossovers include response-shaping circuitry in addition to the lowpass and highpass filters, and imo you'd want to either leave that circuitry in place (assuming your amps are happy with the resulting loads) OR replicate its effects in the bi-amp crossover.

Chances are someone who knows the specifics of the Odeon speakers can advise how it should be done.

Edit: Just saw that the Odeons are already set up for biamplifying. Oops.
 
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Jul 18, 2014
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Tough call, to be so invested in two great bits of gear... an amp and a speaker that just may not prove an ideal pairing.

I remember that you have already tried quite a few more efficient horns and had not found any you liked enough to go with. Are there any that you might have missed. I would have thought Tune Animas with Thomas Mayer 45s would be a fantastic pairing to hear.

I’m happy with my horns also because the SET I have does them justice and drives them with a sense of unstrained freedom. I could also easily live with the Mayer 211s tho (he says rather wishfully). Maybe the other option of going simpler with the Odeon speakers that you love and then compromising on the output tube might be less of a end result issue than going for a more complex route on the speaker amp setup with biamping (which could mean forgoing the SET 45 purity that you value anyway) just to stay with the 45s.

Either way I feel your pain and hope the solution comes to light. Definitely a struggle worth persisting with for sure.
 
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Oct 7, 2015
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Tough call, to be so invested in two great bits of gear... an amp and a speaker that just may not prove an ideal pairing.

I remember that you have already tried quite a few more efficient horns and had not found any you liked enough to go with. Are there any that you might have missed. I would have thought Tune Animas with Thomas Mayer 45s would be very lovely pairing to hear.

I’m happy with my horns because the SET I have does them justice. I could also easily live with the Mayer 211s tho (he says rather wishfully). Maybe the other option of going simpler with the Odeon speakers that you love and then compromising on the output tube might be less of a end result issue than going for a more complex route on the speaker amp setup with biamping (which could mean forgoing the SET 45 purity that you value anyway) just to stay with the 45s.

Either way I feel your pain and hope the solution comes to light. Definitely a struggle worth persisting with for sure.
I'm willing to compromise on amplification with the Odeon. I can't afford the Mayer 211 or 845 (or similar from others), however, so it would likely be a bunch of el34s in triode.
The same distributor that has the Odeon and Cube, also does Tune Audio. For me, however, the Anima has 3 strikes against it before even hearing it: 1) I demoed the Marvel and really didn't like it, 2) I hesitate to go with anything that is down-firing because I have neighbours below in my building 3) I'm told the Anima is more "horny" sounding than the Odeon.
 
Jul 18, 2014
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Yes, the Anima might not be the best choice then. Very much looking forward to how it all goes with the Odeons.
 

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