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Seeking affordable speaker recommendations for a low-powered amp (<10 watts RMS)


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Hi all

I'm throwing this one out to the gurus for guidance on some good-speakers-on-a-shoestring budget, please.


My wife has a vintage early 1970s Rotel RA-210 amp that she has owned for about three decades and loves dearly.  It is performing very nicely after a recent service but there is no escaping the fact that its output is very modest (well under 10W / channel RMS).   https://www.hifiengine.com/database/hifi_database.php?model_type=amp&make=Rotel&mdl=RA-210

 

It seems to have that Rotel characteristic of good current reserve, and I haven't observed any clipping on the DALI Concept 2 standmount speakers that it is currently feeding.  Nonetheless it would be nice to hear the Rotel show itself through some speakers with higher efficiency and can give a bit more volume without cranking the amp, and which have a nice balance for jazz, rock, blues and orchestral music, mostly from LP and CD.   

 

Our budget for the new-to-me set of speakers is <$500 if possible (maybe can scrape up to $750), and I'm open to suggestions of vintage, not-so-vintage and contemporary products.  My wife says she prefers some warmth in the sound, although she also likes the wide soundstage and clear placement of instruments from the current DALIs. 

 

The amp, sources and and speakers live in a high-ceilinged dining room about 4m*4.5m, and the dining furniture clutter means this is certainly less than ideal acoustically.  Oh, one more thing: happy to hear suggestions for both bookshelf/standmount and floorstanders, but floorstanders might be easier to place in the current room and tend to have higher efficiency.  And they'll have to be placed with the rear of the speakers close to the wall so I'm trying to avoid rear-ported designs.  (Yup, the brief is sounding a bit picky, isn't it...)

I'm keen to hear some suggestions so that I can tailor my search accordingly.  Perhaps I should try to track down something like some vintage Coral full-range speakers?  Any other left-field suggestions?

 

I'd love to pick up a set of used cared-for quality Australian speakers such as Richter or Legend Acoustics but I think my budget won't stretch to those, and perhaps most Richters to show their best will need more oomph than the little Rotel can supply, anyway.   (Happy to be educated on that by the Richter and Legend fans ...)

 

Thanks folks!

Cheers,
Rob

Edited by Robertoh
remeasured the room and it's a bit smaller than I thought
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1 hour ago, Robertoh said:

used cared-for quality Australian speakers

I have a used pair Notepefect Maxi (medium size black bookshelf) on stands $250 - Amazing speakers. Dynamic with deep bass.

Also sometime next month I will have a floor stander Peak/Coral Speakers from the late 60's or early 70's that I will have to get rid of. $200

Really old school sound.

 

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This site https://www.hilberink.nl/codehans/luxman69.htm is saying the amp is in fact about only 8w into 8 ohms so even less power than mentioned. Speaker choice will need to match more carefully. Perhaps speakers above 90dB+ efficiency easier load would be better depending how you want to go. If only moderate volume then more speakers would suit. You may need to try several to see which one matches best.

 

Kelly KT2 and 3 are high 95dB efficiency and sell around $600-700, there is/was one here or in Gumtree. Others may do so give them a try like Wharfedale E70 and 90.

 

 

Edited by Al.M
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  • Robertoh changed the title to Seeking affordable speaker recommendations for a low-powered amp (<10 watts RMS)
13 hours ago, Al.M said:

This site https://www.hilberink.nl/codehans/luxman69.htm is saying the amp is in fact about only 8w into 8 ohms so even less power than mentioned. Speaker choice will need to match more carefully. Perhaps speakers above 90dB+ efficiency easier load would be better depending how you want to go. If only moderate volume then more speakers would suit. You may need to try several to see which one matches best.

 

Kelly KT2 and 3 are high 95dB efficiency and sell around $600-700, there is/was one here or in Gumtree. Others may do so give them a try like Wharfedale E70 and 90.

 

 

Yes, indeed the little Rotel has puny output (but dare I say it, almost "perfectly formed"?  🙂 ).  I have added a link to the model spec on HiFiEngine in the original posting above and here is a link from Rotel's own website (how many manufacturers provide an owners manual for a model from 1975?) RA-210 | Rotel

 

Thanks very much for the link to that Dutch page that you provided.  It is a very interesting, and we did replace pretty much all the capacitors with new quality items in the recent service.  The goal in that service was simply to return the amp to good orginal performance and rid it of some extraneous noises, and I suspect my wife would regard the result of the Dutch fellow's interesting improvements as something of a "hot rod"... 

 

I will keep an eye out for the Kelly speakers that you suggest - thanks!  I've not heard of those before but I am rather ignorant and naive in this stuff ...

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On 25/01/2021 at 7:09 PM, misternavi said:

I have a used pair Notepefect Maxi (medium size black bookshelf) on stands $250 - Amazing speakers. Dynamic with deep bass.

Also sometime next month I will have a floor stander Peak/Coral Speakers from the late 60's or early 70's that I will have to get rid of. $200

Really old school sound.

 

Hi and thanks for your suggestions!  I will drop you a PM also.

I have not heard of the local NotePerfect speakers before (but I am new to this game/obsession) but what a timely thing to learn about on Australia Day! 

I found Mike Kontor's (archived?)  http://noteperfect.com.au/index.php/design-philosophy/ . Sounds interesting, but I couldn't find any mention of the Maxi bookshelf speakers there.  I have dropped an email to Mike Kontor's email address listed on the website so let's see if that gets through to the man himself.  cheers, Rob

 

Update: Mike responded very quickly same day with some helpful information confirming the high sensitivity of the Maxi and it's suitability for low-powered amps.

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