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What's a good pair of bookshelf speakers for an Eico HF-81?

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Eafnb, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. GChief

    GChief Not well known, super member or other silliness Subscriber

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    My space is 53.325 sqft and I am running KG4's.
    IMG_3391.JPG
     
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  2. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

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  3. arts

    arts Super Member

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    Chief, every time I see that photo,I wonder if you're bunking in the Captains berth on a sub:rflmao:
     
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  4. FlaCharlie

    FlaCharlie Well-Known Member

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    Despite your post about your budget (under $300) and size requirements you'll likely continue to get responses suggesting speakers that are much larger and/or more expensive. Welcome to AK. I looked up the KEF Q100s and they measure 11.8 x 7.1 x 10.7 inches. I think all of the speakers mentioned so far are considerably larger so, not practical in your situation.

    I believe forum rules frown upon posting links to stuff for sale so I sent you a private message. Check your inbox.

    I pretty much gravitate to cheap vintage gear but I took a quick look at the KEFs and they seem to be well regarded. My suggestion would definitely be cheaper and should work fine in a small room using the HF-81, unless you like to listen really loud.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  5. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

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    Did you land that HF81 at a bargain price? I've seen those selling for $1200-$1500 in fully restored condition.
     
  6. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

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    For the longest time i used a pair of KEF, i don't even know the model, but it had a single 6 or 8 inch full range driver, as my test speaker in my shop. They were in awful in appearance but the rubber surround speaker was almost indesctructable. And i used them fairly close in just around 5 feet away. The sound quality was good so that i could easily tell if something was off. They were finally supplanted by some Yamaha NS10, mini monitors, which are more full range and slightly cleaner sounding. So, if you can find a pair of NS10 that would be also an excellent choice.
     

     

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  7. Eafnb

    Eafnb New Member

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    Okay,
    With all of the suggestions I got so far, I have 5 things I want to know:

    Does efficiency matter or does recommended amplifier power matter? I looked up some of the speakers that were suggested and noticed that some of the choices require higher amounts of amplifier power than an HF-81 could produce (as far as I'm aware). For example, the B&W 601 and 602 from Hi-FiGuy have a recommended amplifier power of 25w, but the 601 has an efficiency of 88dB while the 602 has 90db.

    Do speaker port position matter? I have also looked at other speakers that either have a front or rear port speaker like the KEF Q100 (front port) or the Elac B6 (rear port). I plan to put these speakers close to my wall because of my small room, so is there any difference when it comes to the speaker port position?

    Lastly, I have also looked into the Fluance SX6 as an option. Even though the recommended power is 30w - 100w, it does have an efficiency of 89±3db @ 2.83v / 1m. So would the Eico HF-81 be good enough to run these speakers?
     
  8. Hi-FiGuy

    Hi-FiGuy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The efficiency is the most important figure. I have used b&w speakers with my eico and they sound great!! The rear port speakers need to be placed away from a rear wall for best results, the front firing can be right up against a wall.
     
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  9. tubeactive

    tubeactive AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Efficiency is important, but so is your listening room and your loudness needs. Paperwork and specs can be deceiving, very deceiving. What frequency are they choosing as their reference and what distance from listener(reference mic) to the speaker ? Mids and highs do not eat up as much power as woofer needs. So, the manufacturers state a spec which is attractive, whenever possible. That is why the speaker specs are not as important as you trying them in your home.

    The posts with speaker suggestions already mentioned are more important then the spec sheets....If you like loud rock, efficiency can, of course matter with a 14 wpc amp. Speaker positioning is another critical criteria (punny). Every wall, floor or corner nearby causes the speaker box's resonance (as in low bass) frequency to increase. Acoustical studies show almost 2 db increase (at and near resonance) when coupling to each wall. That means an easy 3 to 4 db increase in bass if you can "couple" to wall corner junctions on each side. Choosing the ceiling or floor corner positions really can increase almost 6 db at and near bass resonance. Free effiiciency...when it's needed.

    Porting in front or rear of the box matters most to each listener in each listener's home arrangement. While one company says their rear box port should not be near a back wall, another says that can be beneficial. It is your enjoyment which matters most. I can tell you the small Frieds with the rear port sound great with the HF-81. One year at the Kutztown, PA antique radio show, these provided the best, on site, late night sound for sure. The owner uses the rear port to his advantage at his home. He "couples" to the side/rear walls, but not too close to the walls. He "tunes" the speakers in his home to enjoy his tunes; his system....

    My recommendation is full range drivers in ported or transmission line type boxes. No crossovers to smear or influence any mids/highs. Then again, I know some 3 way ADS/Braun fans who cherish these with their HF-81s. Likewise, 2 way Dynaco A25s can be a good match for some folks....To each their own...Another consideration is the pleasing sound of HF-81s. They usually do sound nice. In my home, my HF-81 with my 6 Ohm Philips 8 inchers usually sound better with the 4 Ohm tap, but the 8 Ohm tap might do the trick in a different space. My full range 8s in TL type cabs sound awesome, not just "pleasing."

    I think one of the best "ear openers" is finding an audio buddy whose ears you can trust, who hears things like you do. When you listen critically and agree on similar sonic descriptions, that can be fun. Consider auditioning at someone's place who has some speakers you might be interested in. Bring your amp and some of your reference discs. Maybe, some nearby AKer can bring their speakers to you for a listening session. We certainly do not have the stereo stores like we used to have nearby...Post your needs on this forum and there are friendly types who will help...Enjoy your HiFi journeys...
     
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  10. tubino

    tubino A guy with too many tubes Subscriber

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    True. I'm using Tannoy DMT15s as bookshelf speakers. So yeah, with luck or planning (we converted a porch to a four-season room and I put deep shelves and cabinets on one wall), you can have big speakers on shelves. I think they are about 96db/1w/1m, and they work pretty well with a PP 6BQ5 amp like an HF81 or Dyna SCA35.

    The limit in most cases is DEPTH. Bookshelves may be only 11 or 12" deep. High efficiency full range speakers of shallow depth are rare. The only one I can name is using a JBL 3677 cabinet with JBL 2226 plus compression driver and wave guide. I have a pair on shallow shelves and they work well, and are efficient, with great midbass. 99db efficiency, 11.5" deep.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  11. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

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    Seriously, look for some Yamaha NS10. They were the THE studio monitors for many years awhile back. They only cost several hundred bucks nowadays. They sound very good with my PP el84 amps. They are designed for near field listening.
     
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  12. GChief

    GChief Not well known, super member or other silliness Subscriber

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    I know a set of something Yamaha where moved into a closet at a friends studio last time I did some work there, I will investigate ;)
     
  13. ctjetta

    ctjetta AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I don't know the exact definition of a "bookshelf" speaker but it's pretty much anything not explicitly designed to be on the floor.
    A lot of large bookshelf speakers, Large Advents, Infinity Qb's, AR3's, almost any JBL, etc . . . should be on a stand, off .the floor. Even smaller bookshelf speakers should be on a stand, for the best stereo reproduction. If you like the way they sound on actual shelves, that's fine, too.
    That's another disadvantage of bookshelf speakers- your budget has to include stands.

    You should see some promotional literature from speaker manufacturers from the '60's and '70's; they have pictures of their speakers on bookshelves. Often stereos were set up for "hi-fi" sound back then, not to present an accurate reproduction of the recorded event, where you could point out with your eyes closed where each performer is.
     
  14. tubino

    tubino A guy with too many tubes Subscriber

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    If I wanted plug-and-play bookshelf speakers for under $300, I’d buy a pair of Tannoy Saturn S6 speakers. They are kind of deep but that’s how you get the volume while still a smallish width and height. Good balance, and point source coherence with dual concentric drivers. I’ve got a room with a pair and they work well with various amps. Several on eBay now for <$300.
     
  15. ctjetta

    ctjetta AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm a fan of Celestion speakers. The DL6's are a very nice speaker and are 89 db sensitive. Have a rubber surround for the woofer and nice metal tweeter. Not harsh at all.
    There's a pair "there", unfortunately from Canada. Only a little over a hunnerd bucks for this pair. Very reasonable. They are not real heavy speakers so shipping normally would not kill you.
    Maybe something to keep an eye out for.
     
  16. Eafnb

    Eafnb New Member

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    I see, thanks for the advice I think I have a better idea on what I should get or at least look for in a speaker. :)
    TBH, I've actually been looking into the Fluance SX6 speakers ever since I saw this review

    The SX6s have an efficiency rating of 89±3dB. They are also on sale for about $80 on amazon so I figure, why not? Worst case scenario I'll certainly hunt for the NS10s, or maybe even upgrade to them in the future :D.

    BTW, does the version of the NS10s matter (stupid question, I know)? I looked them up on ebay and I'm not sure if there is a difference between the 10M, 10T, 10MM, 10MX, etc.
     

     

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  17. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. Subscriber

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    You know marketing....always got to put out a new model. Just minor changes between models but the meat of the matter are the speakers which remain the same.
     
  18. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member Subscriber

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  19. Eafnb

    Eafnb New Member

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    http://ns-10m.com/buying.html
    Gotcha, I also found this site and it seems to give a good idea on what I should look for in an ns10 and it looks like the studio and mx versions seem to be the best versions out of the rest.

    I read the review and I'm kind of glad I didn't buy the speakers, and I'll most likely look for some ns10s or maybe even look into some b&ws.
     
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  20. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you can find a pair, the IMF SuperCompact II is superb with the HF-81 to my ears.
    ads L-710 is very nice, as well.
     

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