Ezmerelda and Ohlala, i was waiting for someone to bring up Cerwin Vega / Klipsch, etc... type systems.
Outside of some esoteric horn based systems, i stand by my statements. the MASS majority of systems won't come close to supporting 120 db's in a reasonable sized room at the listening position on an average basis. Believe me, i have made MANY, MANY measurements running both MEGA watts ( multiple hundreds ) and HIGH efficiency speakers ( 100+ db's ).
When i discussed the subject of MAX SPL with Richard Vandersteen, he stated that his $10,000 model 5's could easily cope with most forms of music with no stress. I asked him what SPL levels he was talking about. He considered momentary peaks of 115 db's ( at what distance i don't know ) to be more than adequate. I then responded that i thought that this was inadequate and that i was looking for data based on AVERAGE listening levels and not momentary peaks. He basically told me that i was a nut and that listening levels that high were basically unobtainable with consumer grade equipment.
If you don't believe this, look at what are considered to be some of the finest woofers / subwoofers available. Most have a REAL hard time doing 115 db's at 1 meter. We are talking about drivers that are built like TANKS, measurements based on a 3' distance and HUNDREDS of watts. How well do you think a fragile tweeter or midrange is going to hold up with power levels in that range at a distance of 8' - 12' ???
Believe me, most speakers, even those that are considered "efficient", run into a brick wall at about 106 - 110 db's on average at 8' - 10' distances. Running a much lower average and "pulsing" the system can get you relatively high peaks for VERY short term. To me, that is neither "real world" or how most "high volume" or "intense blasts" occur. I know of no natural or man made high intensity sound / music that lasts a matter of microseconds. Sean