Starting a second system, need efficient speaker suggestions.

Just picked up a Cary SLI80 HS and need some speakers.

The amp is 80 watts or 40 watts triode. Reviews say triode sounds best. Room is 12x26x7 dedicated listening room in the basement.

I have a couple subs, so if they don't have the deepest bass, I can live with that. 

Budget around 4k.


What sound characteristics are you looking for, and are you looking for new or used?

First: triode better?

Me, and everyone prefers Ultralinear to Triode here, You will find reviewers saying this and that. I think you can plan on your amp sounding great at 80wpc. You might find a particular type of recording that you prefer triode, but I am sure you will use Ultralinear primarily

at 7' high ceiling, I would not go for a big woofer,

these on ebay

B&W Nautilus 805

should sound great, and if you want more bass, sub's it is. I recommend self-powered, stereo pair, front firing, located adjacent to the mains. Bass directionality comes from the overtones, 40, 80, 160, 320 .... 

Sensitivity: 88. That is a bit low, you will be ok,

however, if you use subs, and you remove the low bass requirement from the amp, i.e. pre-out, crossover in sub, back to amp, amp now sending only upper bass, mids, highs to the b&w, the 80 wpc will be plenty.

Fyne Audio would work for you. I’ve not owned them but have auditioned them and they have all the attributes you are looking for. They are very efficient as well at something like 92db @8ohms. $4k might be difficult to find, maybe used, but they are outstanding. They are on my shortlist of speakers if I ever upgrade from my current speakers.  I’d also recommend Fritz speakers, which I do currently own.  They are easy to drive and have what you are looking for as well and are well within your price range.

+1 Reference 3a MM DE CAPO BE II MONITOR.  Fritz speakers would also be worth checking into. 

The amp is 80 watts or 40 watts triode

@traudio , my amp is the Cary V-12 (which I know is not the same as your integrated) but for the sake of comparisons it is switchable between 50 wpc triode and 100 wpc ultralinear (so it’s not way crazy different than yours in that respect). This is something you can easily play with and decide for yourself, but what I have found is that I much prefer the sound of my amp in the 50 wpc triode mode.

With that typed, I don’t have any problems at all using triode mode to drive an old pair of B&W 805s (by old, I mean from way back in the B&W Matrix series) with a sensitivity rating of 87. It is worth noting that a few years ago I moved my system from the living room to a smaller bedroom that is now my listening room and I listen quite near-field, but even when it was in my living room I listened mostly in triode and was happy with that. When I did feel the need to really rock the house down I simply flipped the switches over to ultralinear and it could make those speakers scream.

So I am not trying to sell you on B&Ws, but what I am getting at is that I don’t think that you have to restrict yourself to considering only real efficient speakers.

I, and everyone (not me and ..) The old fat woman with a moustache who taught me grammar would be looking for her slapping ruler.

I know you have subs, BUT, they need to take the low bass out of the line level, then back to amp, some do, some don't.

Some give the speaker's a break, but not the amp. Some give the amp a break which gives the speakers a break.

With borderline power for 'not too efficient' speakers, you want to give the amp a break, so it has plenty of power when not trying to create low bass.

Subs self powered?

front firing?

Fit next to where mains will go?

That will give you Stereo Bass, a wonderful thing, at any volume.

btw, did you see the level controls on those Infinity Kappa 9’s?


I am a big big fan of level controls, so a speaker, which had no idea of it’s intended space, can be adjusted to do a great job ’in that space’. move them, adjust for that space.

I use an inexpensive SPL meter from Amazon, on my tripod, and 29 single 1/3 octave test tones.

final, use your ears.

amazing bytes

$25. delivered is a historic low price, often low is $75. One came up for $9.99. I jumped on it! Gave it to a friend

a/an historic .... who knows which is correct?


Nice Subs, however:

Your Subs Manual does NOT specificity mention line in/filter remove low bass/line out without low bass to the preamp or integrated amp. AMP to speakers AFTER sub

They may have it, implied, but I am not sure.

"Control Settings for Stereo Receiver or Pre-Amplifier Most Stereo Receivers and Pre-Amplifiers do not have bass management. Instead you will use the Left and Right full-range outputs and make adjustments through the DSP amplifier on the subwoofer. Be sure to connect both Left and Right outputs to the Left and Right inputs on the subwoofer. Set the Low Pass Filter to “On” and adjust the Crossover Frequency and Slope to achieve a smooth blend and transition with the main speakers. Once blended, adjust the Subwoofer volume to match the volume level of your main speakers"


To speakers after sub gives the speakers a break, but does NOT give the amp, a break, thus the amp is always trying to produce low bass which gets filtered by sub to speakers.

This does not help a low powered amp do a better job (i.e. only powering upper bass/mids/highs with slightly inefficient speakers.

just listed

efficiency 90, good not great, 80 wpc should be fine.

over budget, seller says Or Best Offer. Shipping? Has factory boxes

new just opened factory box of Jbl classics 100 mk2

My first choice  for second system Omega. Speakers, Kliphs 600 rpm, Tekton monitor impact.

"Your Subs Manual does NOT specificity mention line in/filter remove low bass/line out without low bass to the preamp or integrated amp. AMP to speakers AFTER sub"

No they don't and I would never run my signal through a sub crossover. Anyway that's usually a feature on cheap mass market subs. If I did anything in that direction it would be a proper outboard crossover of good quality. 

Yes, I understand the concept of removing bass from the main speakers very well. 

OP:  what are your current speakers, and how is your Cary integrated doing with them?

"OP:  what are your current speakers, and how is your Cary integrated doing with them?"

I don't have the Cary yet, maybe Monday. Current speakers are Magnepan 3.7i with a Hegel H390 integrated. 

I'd like to try the other side of the audio coin, tubes and higher sensitivity speakers.

I'll try the Cary, but I'm afraid it won't be up to the task.

Cary SLI80HS paired with Volti Razz at home for me. Awesome combination in my book. When I picked up my Razz from Greg at Volti he threw his Cary on my Razz as well as a pair of Rival and his new Vittora prototype. IT was a pretty fun experience. Plenty of power for all three pairings. (of course they are all high sensitivity). Open, sweet, musical and gobs of dynamics. IMO really hard to go wrong.

Also agree with @elliottbnewcombjr ultralinear is the way to go. I switched back and forth for the first couple of days. I just leave it now.

OP, the pair of Razz @mapman found for sale on The Music Room's site  look great !  Priced right I'd say, may even be able to bring them down a bit. 

I don’t have the Cary yet, maybe Monday. Current speakers are Magnepan 3.7i with a Hegel H390 integrated.

I'll try the Cary, but I'm afraid it won't be up to the task.

86db/4 ohms? Maybe not, but still, in push-pull 40 wpc triode, I do not think that you need as judicious with efficiency as you would need to be if you were buying speakers for a 15 wpc SET rig.

I've got my eye on the volti razz. I was hoping to hear them at axpona next week, but Greg says he's not going to be there this year 😥

@traudio if you are within a day drive of him I’d highly recommend making a visit. He’s a really good guy, fun to hang around with and shoot the crap. Great Mexican joint literally across the street too. I met up with him couple of months ago at the Fla. expo as he rolled out his new model, the Lucera. Best room for me, listening to some good music on the new model powered by Boarder Patrol, a show highlight for sure.

He's an 8hr drive from me. Maybe later this year when the wife is off for the summer.

. . . for more on the triode versus ultralinear subject, I did a search on this site (using that as a search engine). The results were like every other audio subject/debate here: no 100% consensus. As I typed previously, it’s easy to go back & forth and decide for yourself, but I can see your point--if you are selecting speakers based on which setting you’d like to use , I guess you’d probably like to have an idea what each setting will do for you (before you buy the speakers). Anyway, here are the search results I found in case you are interested in what others on the site had to say about the subject:


@traudio wrote:

... Current speakers are Magnepan 3.7i with a Hegel H390 integrated. 

I'd like to try the other side of the audio coin, tubes and higher sensitivity speakers.

Those are very capable main speakers that you currently have. If you want to try the combo of tubes and high efficiency speakers that's somehow a "from the other side of the fence"-equivalent, and one that emulates the sheer physical height of overall large air radiation area of your Magnepan's, I'd go for some large, "old school" and used horn speakers the likes of which could be a pair of older Klipsch Khorns (that also have upgrade kits for the mids and tweeter section by Greg Roberts) or other similar-ish. Disregard new speakers - with $4-5K perhaps at your disposal I'd squeeze out the most of that dough with used horn speakers that maximizes the physical wallop. We're not speaking blow-your-head-off SPL potential here, but one that takes a fuller advantage of horns in providing for a large, relaxed and dynamically realistic sphere of sound. Indeed, go big, and let that physical framework be a reference or foundation of sorts for further refinement. 

@elliottbnewcombjr , here is another pair of B&W 805Ns on ebay; the high bid is $980 right now & bidding ends in about 3 hours:


+1 Volti - clean, clear, highly efficient.  Heard the Razz at 2 major audio shows - sounded fantastic. I own the Rival.

For 40wpc triod, you’ll need an efficient to highly efficient speakers, and for the budget of 4K, very few choices.  Klipsch Heritage speakers are a common choice, but I believe Volti to be sonically superior 

over budget, but quite a pair, 93 db efficiency

Focal Electra 1037 Be

BUT, the beryllium tweeters cones are no good.

these people have focal tweeters

maybe not for OP, but other people follow along, so I thought I'd show them.



somebody got them for $1,550.

the others are in better condition, and is the warranty transferrable?

somebody got them for $1,550.

the others are in better condition, and is the warranty transferrable?

@elliottbnewcombjr  , yes, I was watching as the final bidding went down.  I went to stereophile on line to compare the Nautilus to the earlier Matrix . . . it looks as if the N only cost about 2k brand new, so I'd say they are holding their value okay.  That guy selling the ones you pasted the ebay link for says his are pristine . . . I would hope so, considering he wants more than they cost new.  As far as the warranty being transferrable with B&W?  I honesly don't know as I never thought about trying to sell mine, but the Nautilus series is so old that I would think that they were out of warranty for at least a while ago.

traudio OP


have you found something?

what has tempted you?

re: local pickup: where do you live?

These are amazing, wanted them, got em, loved em. My friend has them now.

JSE Model 2

I made a separate virtual system about them

JSE Model 2 Virtual System

or best offer, perhaps he will take $1,200, who knows. Near Pearland Texas? Otherwise $800. or less shipping. $2,000 to get them.

I would verify everything works; remove the drivers, have my woodworker cover them with a selected veneer, re-install the drivers.

I would be ready to install the SEAS Tweeters, even if the Dynaudio D21’s are good. That the D21’s have not burnt out means they were not driven much.

Seller says ’rosewood’. There are probably walnut or oak stained red.

It is very easy to change the fabric on the covers, just staples. I made mine White Irish Linen.

New veneer would mean they look good with the covers off.



I'm not doing anything until after I attend AXPONA next week. 
I'm in Southwest Michigan. 

You prefer new?

as you can tell, I have fun hopping around uses on hifishark, I sort by newly listed.

very efficient 98db

temporary while looking for a great deal?

buy, move to second system later or sell or give to a friend

Pioneer CS-705 near you

very cool resto/mod klipsch heresy’s in your price range at aural hifi (denver)….