Oh, should have mentioned that I would like to not go
above $4K, and that buying used is ok.
I run a pair of Quicksilver Horn Monos with my Klipsch la Scalas (104db) - at only 25w per side, I can still drive the room to unsafe levels without coming apart soundwise. Metal, prog, 70's hard rock, space rock, classic dub, avant garde electronica, in about that order. A tube amp is most definitely worth considering. With tube amps, one of the benefits is the ability to tweak the sound through your tube selection. In either case (tube or solid state), I would look for an amp with a neutral to soft presentation, which would be beneficial for the less-well recorded material, as an overly forward or crisp amp can sound harsh with sensitive speakers and the often compressed source material we listen to.
For solid state, perhaps one of the new Pass Labs amps (X.5 series, or the new Aleph J) might be of interest. I've only heard the older ones (Aleph 3 and Aleph 30), and liked them quite a bit with my setup.
I imagine you can produce a bit more bass with those speakers than with my setup - you should check the impedance curve of your speakers to see if they are a difficult load in any frequency range. If they aren't a difficult load, you could consider some smaller to intermediate wattage tube amps (but I wouldn't go below 25w), or some smaller wattage class A amps (Pass Aleph J comes to mind.) If they are a difficult load, or want more bass/slam, a higher-power push-pull tube amp would be a nice fit. My only experience with higher-powered tube amps is with the Rogue M120s (120w, 4 KT88 or similar per side) which produced enough power and slam to satisfy all my wildest metal listening sessions (at any volume, and then some). They're well below your pricerange, and there are more refined amps to be sure, but as far as power and suitability to the source material, it does go to answer your question (from my viewpoint) that "yes", a tube amp is well worth considering for this type of music and setup.
you asked,is a tube amp worth considering,NO they are not.
ive read your tastes in music but more important is your choice in speakers,im sitting here loking at your description & assuming that anybody who chooses speakers with 2 15 inch woofers plans to really get down & that you also like a good STRONG bass response,am i correct?
even though your speakers are 99db efficent your gonna need an amp with some serious balls to drive both them 15 inch woofers & a tube amp will get the life sucked right out of it,i have owned speakers that were 104 db efficent & tube amps did sound very good at lower listening levels but when i really wanted to mash on the volume the bass got very loose & squirley.
im sure there are guys who will dissagree but my belief is that tube amps are not well suited to heavy metal music at all,i listen to metal too & i have yet to find a tube amp that didnt turn to mush when i blast some tool or pantera,tube amps are not well suited at all to your music preferences & will sound very thin.
if you want to have the ability to really drive your speakers to their maximun potential then solid state high current high wattage amps are the way to go,everybody has their own idea of what loud is,my idea of loud music is when my neighbors windows rattle 3 houses down the street.
look into some of these amps.
krell, ksa 150 & ksa 250.
pass labs,x150 & x250 & x350
aragon, palladium monoblocks
mcintosh, mc2500 , mc2600 & mc500
parasound, halo monoblocks
bryston,way too many to list.
I have a pair of Klipsch Epics. They are 100dB efficient, yet can handle 250 watts continous with 1000 watt peaks.Even though yours are efficient as well, I am pretty sure they can handle some serious power. Hooked up to mine is a Rotel Rb991. It is 200 watts at 8 ohms and over 400 watts at 4ohms. They both rock together quite well. Just for fun look into the Rotel Rb1090. That will give you 350 watts per side and your speakers will rock.
I think Bigjoe said it best, I know what you're looking for, I have a pair of re-built/re-finished JBL-L200's circa 1973 and whereas with older 1960's jazz records, say Louis Armstrong with Duke Ellington, a tube amp is right, however with Robin Trower or Jeff Beck I think a good Krell, Bryston, or especially a Threshold 150 watter would do the trick.
Something about those 15" woof woofs! a certain visceral impact that smaller subs cannot emulate IMHO.
Bigjoe - yes, I do need to let 'er rip from time and
time, and I am a bass freak. I've been leaning towards
SS because of good potential syngery with my tubed pre,
and I want speed and solid authority of the 15" woofs
at higher volumes. On the other hand, perhaps I will try a
good tube amp, just to satisfy my curiosity if nothing
I am surprised to hear so many people suggesting beefy
high-powered SS. I was thinking such amps would be overkill
in my setup. Maybe not!
Stevecham - interesting point you raise about the 10"
mids, will have to ask Ty about it.
Thanks for all the responses so far!
gotvai,somthing that ive found out is that there is no such thing as overkill or having to much power,the key is to chose amps that produce lots of CLEAN undistorted power,its far easier to overdrive a speaker with a weak amp being driven to the max than it is with a powerfull amp because the powerfull amp is always loafing,i know the speakers that you are refering to from discussions ive had with another member who is also buying them & from what ive seen of them they should be one hell of a speaker for you.
stevecham is correct that a mid that size will not give you a true midrange but i would think that the designer chose a mid that large to compensate for the horn tweet & to tame the normal horn sound that so many people find hard to listen to,i wouldnt sweat it too much as the types of music you listen to are not highly dependant on having world class mids,im pretty sure that your speaker will also have the option of having either the horn tweet or a ribbon tweet.
what ever you end up choosing for amplification your gonna end up having a lot of fun with your new speakers :)
some PA systems by JBL contain 10" "mid" drivers... basically if the woofer is 18" or 15" then 10" sounds kinda small.. you want to be on-axis when listening. midrange in this respect is probably between 350 and 2200 Hz. Older two way designs of course used 10" woofers crossing over to a tweeter in the 2k range: Dynaco's, Advents, JBL's, AR's, EPI, etc.
You need one of the higher monster amps, not only because of power or the fact tubes won't drive those 15's to well but fact is any high efficiency speaker in order to drive rock bottom bass in my opinion and experiance Needs as Much Current as possible, this has nothing to do with the size or Wattage an amp can produce really in comparison, because you can buy a Coda amplifier running 100 watts and still have 100 amps of current per channel, most large amps have this without needing to go to such high priced pieces and that is why most of the suggestions have been of high wattage amps, not really because you need 300 watts to drive 99 db speakers, but you need it to control those woofers and that comes in the form of HIgh current capabilities per channel, and many times equates to needing dedicated power supplys and many switching devices(Transistors) to do it, so you could go mono blocks and achieve all this as well. I suggest for the money, 2700.00 will get you about the highest current possible with high efficiency mono blocks on top of it and they don't even create heat in the room, ant those would be Odyssey Extreme mono blocks. Take a look at audio review.com and you will find how stellar these monos rock if you are truly interested in bullet proof and 20 year warranty amps. Oh and they sound incredible, but I do not own them, many here do however.