Currently produced bookshelf speakers suitable to pair with Leben cs300xs

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

AMITNOIDA

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One of my friend in Bangladesh is looking for high sensitivity bookshelf speakers. He wants to pair suitable bookshelf speaker with Leben cs300xs (15 watt per channel). What would be the probable options? Folks may please suggest. The speakers are to be currently under production. Speakers may be single driver, 2 way or even 3 way.

Although budget is definitely an issue for any purchase, but while suggesting the speakers please dont limit the choice based on budget.

His music preference is from western classical, symphony to soft rock, Sufi, Indian classical etc.
 

Asit

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Hi Amit,

I produced a list of speakers from an extensive search on the net that people claimed to be good matches with Leben CS300 and 300X/XS. I am quite busy today. Whenever I find some time, I'll try to post the list. Of hand, Harbeth SHL5 and some of the DeVore and Zu Druid speakers come to mind. Please wait for my list. Meanwhile, others will sure suggest some.

Regards.
 

unleash_me

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Amit, recommendations could be more focused if you could give an idea of how much your friend is prepared to spend :)

The SHL5 is not exactly your average bookshelf model plus the 86db is not very promising for a 15w amp, in spite of what 6moons and the likes say. Even the newly released P3ESR is having a very modest sensitivity of 83db. However with my limited experience with SHL5, they are a good match with tubes and ss alike. They can punch well above their weight and if given enough power, they will really sing! Never heard the BS model from DeVore but the 9 is an excellent speaker - the only DeVore I ever heard.

Cheers.
 

AMITNOIDA

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Amit, recommendations could be more focused if you could give an idea of how much your friend is prepared to spend :)

Yes I do agree. Although he has no fixed budget, but he will be happy to keep it within INR 1.5 L. I know lot of options e.g. Herbeth etc. will not be possible at the above budget. But if you guys could suggest options within the above.
 

rikhav

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Hi Amit
Why not the Usher BE-718 which you are using?
 

stevieboy

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omega makes bookshelf type single driver high sensitivity speakers. not sure bout the pricing. can check online they have a site.
 

AMITNOIDA

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Hi Amit
Why not the Usher BE-718 which you are using?

See, Usher BE-718 with Leben cs300xs is of some compromise, which I have accepted based on my room size and sound level requirement. Down the lane I have an aspiration to get a decent SS integrated (used) of 100 wpc or so and use the same,when the mood and situation demands to play Eric CLapton type of music. My younger son has liking to rock music, my aspiration for SS amp is to take care of that also.

My friend is interested for high sensitivity speakers or the speakers which can be jolly well driven by Leben cs 300xs. Usher BE718 is not that kind of speaker for Leben. It needs more current to sing.
 

rikhav

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omega makes bookshelf type single driver high sensitivity speakers. not sure bout the pricing. can check online they have a site.

Shaizada on the forum has Omega speakers. Amit, you can PM him and get more details. Only issue would be shipping it from US
 

Asit

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Hi Amit,

I truly apologise for being very late in responding.

BTW, as I read your later posts in this thread, I am a bit confused about your own pairing of the Leben CS 300XS amp with the BE-718's. If you are 'sure' the amp would not be able to drive those speakers properly, why are you buying this combo in the first place? There exist a lot of other amps that can drive those speakers or there also exist a lot of other speakers with higher sensitivity that can perhaps be driven far better by the Leben. Please clear my confusion and report the results of actual hearing when you receive this combo. Or have you received them already?

To start, I'll throw in two extreme suggestions (extreme from price points). How about Viren's Amities? You have listened to them, I think. Have you given a thought to that? On the other hand, can your friend extend the budget to consider the Emerald Physics CS3?

As a third suggestion, I would put forth Audire. Have you been in touch with them? Do they have anything appropriate? Gobble and Moktan in our forum own Audire Callisto single driver speakers. May be they would know about other Audire speakers in the range your friend is looking in.

In light of what unleash has said about Harbeths, let me just say I did not mention them just on reading reviews on the net. I am long enough in this passion to know that at times(or is it most times? :) ) professionsal reviews can be biased or written in a particular way to favor a product or a combination. I tend to depend more on actual users' impressions, and if the actual user is experienced, there is nothing like it, even though everybody has a bias. In principle I fully agree with unleash's concern regarding the sensitivity. It is true that none of the Harbeths have a high sensitivity, and some are rather lowish. However, if you take a look at the Harbeth users' forum, you would find interesting information there about these speakers (like the SHL5 and the compact es-2 having average sensitivities)) being driven by a lot of low powered amps very happily and in particular by tube amps (like Lebens). In fact there exists a thread where the designer and the owner of the Harbeth speakers himself is discouraging use of high powered amps with his speakers.

Just google Leben cs300 +Harbeth and you would come to know about many happy users of this combo. But any way, unless your friend extends the budget even the cheaper pair (current version is the compact es-3's) would be outside consideration.

On the other hand, Leben CS300 and 300X/XS are such amps (according to reports by actual users and reviewers) that despite their lower wattage they can drive usual speakers well quite unlike usual SET amps.

I will quote part of my own post #392 from my amp thread in the following:

[\QUOTE]
Here goes an incomplete list (because there are actually more) of not-too-efficient speakers as reported on the net (most cases I have also included the source on the net) that have been driven very well by the Leben CS300 (12 wpc) / CS300X (15 wpc) / CS300XS (15 wpc):


1) Dynaudio Contour 1.1 (86 db, 4 Ohm)
(in the Czeck review www.hifinazory.cz:forum:viewtopic.php?f=10&t=866)

2) Harbeth Compact 7e-2 (86db)
To quote:
"I'm not sure i'd call myself an audiophile, i only have mid priced stuff. I use a Leben 12-watt vacuum tube amp (cs-300), and an Arcam cd-33t with my Harbeth compact 7-es2's. I sit close - about 1 and a half metres away. I can't turn the amp up past 11 o clock, or the police will visit (This is Japan!) . Anyway, It sounds superb. I previously had an older (Quad), more powerful amp, but it sounds feeble in comparison. I imagine this power would be quite sufficient in any small/mid sized room, though i guess things might start to deteriorate at a certain point in a largish room. I can't imagine why much more power would be needed in a relatively small space. The whole set up sounds very convincing and bold to me. I've got repetitive strain injury in my feet from too much tapping." by member "holden" in thread "How little power do I need for my Harbeths?" in a Harbeth user forum.

3) Harbeth Super HL5 (86 db, 8 Ohm)

4) Totem Arro (87 db, 4 Ohm)
(Look at the post by "Jasonics" in ClubSNAP Audiophiles thread - ClubSNAP Photography Forums )
(See also Singapore International Sound & Sight Exhibition 2007 Electronic Show Report and Audiophile Coverage by Enjoy the Music.com )

5) Sonus Faber EA-2 (86 db)
(see post #8 at Enough Valve power 10w into 86db Speakers - 2 Channel Debate - All things HiFI and AV - HiFi WigWam - HiFi Forum)

6) DIY Breitbander (85 db) in the LP magazine review

7) Harpia Acoustics (84 db) (in the High Fidelity Polish review)

8) Roksan FR5 (87db, 4 Ohm)

9) Proac Tablette (86 db, 8 Ohms) (in Italian videohifi.com) (for the 300X version)

10) Quad ESL 988 (86 db, 8 Ohm) (used in the swedish review of bildochljud.se)

11) Quad ESL 989 (86 db, 8 Ohm)
(Swedish forum Leben CS300 - Euphonia Audioforum )

12) Totem Model 1 Signature (87 db, 4 Ohm) (found in the same euphonia-audioforum above)

13) Totem Dreamcatcher (87.5 db, 4 Ohm)
(see posts 22 - 26 in Leben cs300 vs Audio Note oto se? - Page 2 - pink fish media )

14) Sonus Faber Guarneri (86.5 db. 6 Ohm)
(see post #53 in Best Valve Amp Between 2000 - 5000? - Page 4 - pink fish media)

15) ProAc Response 1 SC (86 db, 8 Ohm)
(see post#24 in Best Valve Amp Between 2000 - 5000? - Page 2 - pink fish media)

16) Devore Gibbon 3S (86 db,8 Ohm)
(see Devore Fidelity Gibbon 3s Loudspeaker Review at On Speakers)

17) Spendor S5e (87db, 8 Ohm, Min 4.4 Ohm)
(see 6moons.com - letters & feedback)
[\QUOTE]

However, at the end, I must warn you. I did the above research to convince myself that the Leben would drive my Cantons well. Use this information as you like. Of course there is no denying that more sensitivity is always better, but sensitivity is not the last word on the speaker-amp matching. Impedance vs. frequency curve of the speakers especially at lower frequencies is also a very important parameter. Of course I knew that my Cantons had very high sensitivity, but I could not locate any Impedance curve for these old speakers, and hence I wanted to be as cautious as I could and informed myself the best possible way. For example, if my Cantons had a sudden dip of impedance at a certain frequency, it sure would create problems, depsite it being very sensitive.

Most of the above have been discussed in my amp thread, but I have reproduced it here again, because the length of that thread makes it difficult for anybody to find the relevant stuff.

Regards.
 
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venkatcr

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As a third suggestion, I would put forth Audire. Have you been in touch with them? Do they have anything appropriate? Gobble and Moktan in our forum own Audire Callisto single driver speakers. May be they would know about other Audire speakers in the range your friend is looking in.

+1 to that. I am currently doing a lengthy audition of Audire's IO2 speakers. They beat the hell of most speakers I have heard. The speed and tightness of the speakers are unbelievable. They are very very good for air instruments, in particular. To be fair to myself, I have forced a number of my non-audiophile relations and friends to listen, and they have been shaking their heads (we Indians shake our heads in a strange manner in appreciation) in wonder and listening to music for much longer times than I estimated.

The IO2s are large floor standing speakers, BTW. They use single drivers from Fostex. I also think Sharath has priced them attractively. Please ask him, not me as I have no idea of the price.

Cheers
 

square_wave

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Sensitivity is only half the story. I would agree with Asit here.

If the Leben is a popular combination with Harbeths, please go for it. I have heard the Leben 300. It is quite powerful for its 15 watts.
 

square_wave

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+1 to that. I am currently doing a lengthy audition of Audire's IO2 speakers. They beat the hell of most speakers I have heard. The speed and tightness of the speakers are unbelievable. They are very very good for air instruments, in particular. To be fair to myself, I have forced a number of my non-audiophile relations and friends to listen, and they have been shaking their heads (we Indians shake our heads in a strange manner in appreciation) in wonder and listening to music for much longer times than I estimated.

The IO2s are large floor standing speakers, BTW. They use single drivers from Fostex. I also think Sharath has priced them attractively. Please ask him, not me as I have no idea of the price.

Cheers

Hi Venkat,
Can you please post a picture of the speakers?

I am greeted by a "COMING SOON " on their website ! :)
 

AMITNOIDA

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Hi Amit,

BTW, as I read your later posts in this thread, I am a bit confused about your own pairing of the Leben CS 300XS amp with the BE-718's. If you are 'sure' the amp would not be able to drive those speakers properly, why are you buying this combo in the first place? There exist a lot of other amps that can drive those speakers or there also exist a lot of other speakers with higher sensitivity that can perhaps be driven far better by the Leben. Please clear my confusion and report the results of actual hearing when you receive this combo. Or have you received them already?

Asit, I am yet to receive the speaker. The Leben has already been received. The Servo Stabiliser is expected next week end. Then I will be able to listen the combo. I am in hurry now, so I will post the balance tonight.
Thanks
 

venkatcr

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Can you please post a picture of the speakers? I am greeted by a "COMING SOON " on their website ! :)

Here are a couple of photos as I was unpacking them. The photos are not very good, but will you give you a fair idea of the speakers. The first is a close up of the single driver, and the other two are the full speakers just removed from a carton.

I shall make the girls put on some powder over the next few days and photograph them in all their glory. :)







Cheers
 
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square_wave

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Interesting. Thanks Venkat.
Do sandeep have all these setup in a listening room if we travel to coimbatore. I may be doing a bit of travel that part of town during the year end break.
Can you PM me some details about this Venkat ? Address, phone numbers if any. What models are available for a listen ?
 

unleash_me

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In light of what unleash has said about Harbeths, let me just say I did not mention them just on reading reviews on the net. I am long enough in this passion to know that at times(or is it most times? :) ) professionsal reviews can be biased or written in a particular way to favor a product or a combination. I tend to depend more on actual users' impressions, and if the actual user is experienced, there is nothing like it, even though everybody has a bias. In principle I fully agree with unleash's concern regarding the sensitivity. It is true that none of the Harbeths have a high sensitivity, and some are rather lowish. However, if you take a look at the Harbeth users' forum, you would find interesting information there about these speakers (like the SHL5 and the compact es-2 having average sensitivities)) being driven by a lot of low powered amps very happily and in particular by tube amps (like Lebens). In fact there exists a thread where the designer and the owner of the Harbeth speakers himself is discouraging use of high powered amps with his speakers.

Asit, I was not questioning your advice or its credibility. Merely stating how I felt about the pairing. I havent heard any harbeth with the lebons. But imo there is only so much a 15w can do to a rather large 86db BS but as it turns out, I might've been wrong with the assumption.

FWIW, I personally never had an amp more than 100w SS (diff. Marantz and Primare) or a FS less than 91db (ProAc & Dali) Being new to tubes, when I was picking up mine sometime back, I was very worried about pairing the SHL5 with a 75w amp. After hours of reading and researching including harbeth forums and with help from our own Sq.Wave, Dinyaar & Stevie (thanks guys!) I finally decided to speak with Alan himself. He assured me that the amp is more than capable; especially being a tube amp it will be a gorgeous combination. But he did mention that even though 50w SS is a bare minimum one should provide the HL5, it is however ideal to give at least 100w for it to sing well. So I carried my 35kg amp 400km on road for an audition. What I heard was beyond definition. My new found respect for tubes and the smile that audition gave me resulted in the purchase!

I have never been a fan of high power amps. My idea of listening to music is during quite nights with low-mid volume levels. But to achieve that kind of punch and clarity on low volume, unfortunately I had to spend a lot! As cliched as it may sound, nothing can beat ones own experience when it comes to pairing components.

Best regards.
 

Asit

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Hi unleash,

I understood your first post in the right spirit and even before your second post. I am fully with you. I should have written more in detail in my first post, but because of lack of time at that point I could not. So you covered up the shortcomings of my first post. In my second post, after giving some data about compatibility, I said basically the same things you said. Only extra was the bits on Leben+Harbeth combinations and on speaker impedance curves.

I do not have the expertise of advising people. All I can do is to bring up some of the relevant points. I just wanted Amit to know the process I went through when I purchased the Leben (even though I have speakers with 93.4 db sensitivity).

As is apparent from above, I did not dislike your post at all. But on the net, especially because we write when we are actually in the middle of doing something else, there is a chance of miscommunication to less experienced people. That's why I decided to write the long second post where I agreed with your point and added some more which I am sure you would also agree with.

All these months, I had the impression that you owned a Primare amp and some ProAcs as speakers. Now it looks like you have a tube amp and Harbeth speakers. If you do not want to discuss about your current set-up on the net, could you kindly send me a PM letting me know more about your current set-up? :)

Regards.
 

unleash_me

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Sure, will do. I had updated my bio long time back for that matter.

You are right, ideas expressed in words can only do so much! Most of the time its misinterpreted. But luckily here we were on the same page :)

Cheers.
 
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