Best speakers for classic rock

Hello all,
Im looking for advice on purchasing speakers in the 2500.00 range for listening to classic rock.
Any suggestions  would be helpful.
What's the rest of your system comprised of? How big of a room? I'd say get yourself some Heritage Klipsch speakers or something from the KLF or CF line, but they're not for everyone. 
I know the size of the room and acoustics play a part in the sound but i figured i would start with the basic question.  The room is approximately 30×10. 
I will be listening from the long side. I dont have any music listening equiptment yet.
Thats for another discussion. I do like the sound of tube amps though but am open to anything that is within my budget ( 7500.00-9000.00 ).
Does owning a "classic rock " speaker mean everything else is subpar?

"Genre" speaker/gear is a ridiculous premise.

Good gear in a proper room setup and everything sounds good. 

Perhaps more a subjective call. Demo as many brands as you can and let your ears decide.
What about "Neo" Classic Rock? And where the hell did "roll" go? 
Yes- used job monitors !!! 4311’s or 12’s 

JBL L100’s ..... “vintage” (but with a big caveat highlighted below) or their new current reincarnation...the L100 CLASSIC

I had the original JBL L100’s back in my misspent youth university days way back in the Jurassic era in audio (.... the 70’s... ergo the CLASSIC ROCK era....) Sure.... they were touted as “studio monitors” of THAT era. But most rock music recordings of that era were engineered with a bloated top and bottom end spike that fed into these speakers design and resulting audio performance in lock step.

But let’s examine what was under the hood in that “vintage” era speaker.


(1) With reference to the audio engineering comment above, the L100s were studio monitors that were designed as a heavily-coloured " California" sound speaker ( Google the term ...) with a heavily coloured off-natural frequency curve. They performed with an exaggerated treble top-end and matched exaggerate bass frequencies boost to actually accentuate an audio performance to be best tailored to the popular pop and classic rock music general presentation of that era. (...There was a contrasting “Eastern Sound “ with AR, ADVENT and other similar offerings that were the midrange performers for the classical and jazz music genres played at moderate levels...)

(2) They were designed AND marketed as party speakers that you could play loud. I ran them with a MARANTZ 2245 receiver ( very minimalist when compared to today’s power supplies in a quality-build amp.

(3) Remember that all of these 70’s geezer-rock era speakers have significant warts via some ultra-cheap build components:

- (A) ultra-cheap basic spring-loaded speaker binding posts that limited speaker cables to uber-cheap that you can find and thus crummy 18-gauge zip cord speaker wires from Home Depot.
without prejudice to any performance limitations therein, their advanced age and cheap build predicate these these crappy speaker cable posts need replacement soon if not done already.

- (B) given their very advanced age, they will likely need speaker surround refoaming PDQ also (if not already) and likely even new caps in lockstep.

- (C) Google the want ads for replacement foam grills and the stupid prices being asked.

MY TAKEAWAY: - - If you favour nostalgia primarily and favour 60s- 70s hard rock / classic rock primarily played loud, then these JBLs will be your ideal boomy, highly -spiked top-end and wooly, bloated bass overhang party speaker... No problem. That does not favour them as preferred / optimal all the other alternate genre music performers.

- If you are actually looking for a non-coloured flat response balanced musical presentation with superior imaging, and tight, accurate and FAST bass (emphasis added) that contemporaneously excel with all music genres including classic rock, ..... look elsewhere. These include inter alia, HARBETH, REGA, B&W, Jean Marie Reynaud, PROAC, SPENDOR, and a vast plethora of similar Euro offerings that immediately come to mind.

Current era alternate speaker brands all have superior performance models with all the dynamic slam you can imagine even at normal listening levels; as long as they are properly paired with high-end build electronics (amp AND source).

Why: They all excel at what the vintage JBL’s do not : their midrange. Get the midrange right and everything else will fall into place. Get it wrong, and all the king’s horses.....

2019 REINCARNATION of the original JBL L100


The brand new 2018 model re-issue will eliminate the old speaker potential repair issues at a minimum, and current spec 2018 build quality will be be BIG BIG step up. Now, nostalgia buffs music can experience the illusory glory of what was once sold as a stand mount studio monitor speaker thanks to the introduction of the JBL L100 Classic at CES 2018.

Invariably, most auditioners agree that the new model audio performance is comparatively better based on improved crossovers and much better build drivers and even the cabinets and the retread issue even has the bold foam grills appearance. ... l-included ... assic.html
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The idea that a speaker is the best for a certain genre of music is one of the biggest myths in audio. Is classic rock from the 50s, 60s, or 70s? Or, if one is a bit younger, does that mean 80s and some 90s?

I actually had someone ask me what the best speaker for downtempo 80s was. I *think* he was actually serious about it. (Downtempo 80s might be on the 4AD label and recorded by John Fryer)

Seriously, what makes a speaker good at playing an original pressing of Electric Ladyland will make it good at playing classical and ethnic folk music as well.

Audiokinesis has made very fairly priced loudspeakers that are easy to drive. If you want bass and the ability to play loud (things that are good for classical music) that would be a good way to go.
That's true but many manufactures made speakers with tiped up treble
and boomy base because that was what rock fans would buy in a store .
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Cerwin Vega if its all about the bass, bout the bass, not the treble (or midrange for that matter).

Look for used OHMs otherwise.  Model L, C2, Walsh, others   Those can even be upgraded at teh factory to modern specs if desired.
Atmasphere hit the nail on the head, which has been said before. BTW...…...Paul W. Klipsch did not listen to rock. When someone asks me what speaker is good for rock, I make an assumption that they are a headbanger ( listens loud ). I appreciate a system that can handle peaks, cleanly, at and above 100 db, which I feel few systems can do, which is a reason I like horns.
Look for brands that taught low distortion at high volumes . I think classic rock means high db's . From what I have owned I would list ,Axiom , Bryston (upgraded Axioms) , JBL , Cerwin Vega , Revel . There has to be dozens more brands that will work 
Also , Those speakers I listed played all genres of music equally well . The key was they played loud without distortion .
The JBL L100 classics are excellent.  On rock.  On non-rock.  On music.  I have them.  In a third system.  
Cerwin Vega on a flat bed truck.Add a few motorcycles and bikini dancers.
I had a pair of JBL 100's I won in a contest .It was soon gone because it was not at all good on classical .
Klipsch rf7lll's. Love mine, for everything. Paid $1900 for mine, delivered.
Jbl l-65, l-200, l-300. If you can find them in good condition and reasonable price. 
Forget l-100. Overrated and shrill 
Sealed box acoustic suspension to get that midbass punch.  This ported stuff is for tea parties.  😊
I had EPI 120s when I was a kid. Those things can rock! I am not an expert on the range available at that price level today, but for $2500 you can either get a pair of new in box ELAC UniFi UF-5 Towers, which I did own at one time. Excellent speakers for the money. Take the change and invest it back into your system. Another idea is to buy a pair of Magnepan .7i or 1.7i speakers. Depending on which you get you may have enough left over for a subwoofer. The Magnepans have an unbeatable soundstage for the money. I have the 1.7i pair and love them. Taking delivery of a pair of Magico A3 at the end of the month (I hope) and the battle will begin!!
McIntosh 252 Integrated Amp and a pair of B&W 804 D3's.  Listening to them now and they sound great no matter what I am playing.  The 252 is a tube amp.
I highly recommend to go to places like Magnolia inside the Best Buy and listen for yourself. Burn your favorite songs (I did 30-60 secs clips for 12 songs) and listen for yourself songs that you like to listen to. The more expensive speakers recommended by many others were not for me after listening songs I would like to listened to in the listening room. It's very subjective. Only you can tell.
Tekton.  Awesome speakers regardless of price but in the sub-$2000 range ine if the best buys in audio.  Especially if you like tube sound because they are so efficient, opens up alot of amplification options.
Cerwin Vega lol. They are heretics to the snobby hifi world but my first love. I have Klipsch KLF and Classe amps. Harder to evolve my selection far from here though (unless otherwise educated). Curious about B&W 801, 802, and 808’s and some Tannoy and ATC drivers. Not a fan of the multiple small driver, big drivers that efficiently operate have a presence that is hard to deny, big or small. Curious to hear about hat is a solid progression for these types of tastes?
Infinity Kappa 9 IF you can find them! Sounds great for rock!
Get yourself a Peachtree Nova 300, super clean 300WPC with a smooth tube sound and a DAC to make all your digital music sound right.
Look it up, you wont be sorry. Best $2,300 I ever spent
what about AR 9 or 90,s
Klipsch Cornwall is way under your budget and they can rock the house. 
Ohm walsh, klipsch, jbl. If I was was just naming brands that you could find something new or used in your budget.
GE Triton 3+.  With the powered woofers and 92 dB efficiency, they will rock the house. 
I listen to predominantly classic rock - Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, etc. I also listen to jazz. 

Last year I got a pair of Klipsch RP-600M bookshelf speakers paired with a Cronus Magnum II tube amp, and it’s a great sounding combo for the rock and the jazz. I listen to mostly vinyl with this setup, haven’t picked up a DAC to venture into digital audio besides my Chrome Cast Audio. 

This is well below your budget but thought I’d chime in. Good luck! 
Klipschorns. They have a huge sound, even when driven by a 2 watt Miniwatt valve amp.

Ditto for most of the Zu range.

Enjoy the journey!
Double stacked Advent -  In the garden of Eden baby!  I mean In a gadda da vida, honey!

Happy Listening!


Best speakers for classic rock

Hello all,
Im looking for advice on purchasing speakers in the 2500.00 range for listening to classic rock.
Any suggestions would be helpful.

Best ever for rock, and you don’t need a $$$$$ amp, even a 20w tube drives them.

A really mint pair of Yamaha NS1000 1000M 1000X or their new successor the NS5000 if you got the cash

Cheers George

Ive had MANY JBL's and I can tell you DONT get the L100's for 70's/80's Classic Rock. I would also NEVER suggest HARBETH because they are far too polite for this Genre.

My favorite JBL's is actually a Combo that I use together...The L166 for the High's and the 4312A Monitors for their amazing midrange. Both lack what the other has in spades but combined they are sublime. If you need any work done on vintage speakers I would highly recommend MILLERSOUND in Pennsylvania. Bill does an incredible job and his prices are very reasonable. He installed NOS Tweeters on my JBL's, Refoamed the Woofers and they are basically brand spanking new.

bose 901 series 6, pull them in 2'x2' from each corner and hang them at 2' down and you'll find what you're looking for.
I mostly listen to "Classic" Rock" through my Focal Sopra 2's!
Bad to the bone...

I prefer to not listen to "classic rock" as it simply reminds me of songs I covered in club bands for years (although my later bands employed "veto powers" from members so nobody had to play something they hated) ...Steely Dan and Little Feat and a few others get a pass, but Jazz and classical stuff get most of my active listening these days. Note that my 12wpc power amp barely works up a sweat with 99db (Heresy IIIs aided with 2 RELs) speakers, and another nice thing is knowing those speakers are capable of dangerous levels so they're simply purring along with the dynamic capability evident in their effortlessness.
Monitor Audio

Rock and roll music is the sole reason Vandersteen speakers exist.  A new pair of IICs will be just over your target price.  A used pair will save you a bundle.
Peaks in classical music can be as loud as a rock concert. Whether you can hear that in a recording or not is a different matter- that depends on if any compression is done in the recording.

You need good bass response to do classical right- there can be a lot of wallop in a 6' diameter bass drum!

Don't forget electronia in all its guises from the 70s until now. One of Vangelis's best LPs is the 1492 Soundtrack- nice bass on that one. Mike Oldfield did a nice recording about the same time called Songs of Distant Earth, both were available on import vinyl in the early 90s. Why limit yourself to classic rock??
I’ve been upgrading my system for several years now and each pair I bring home excells at something. That said, I do think some speakers are natural matches for specific music genres. This is self promoting but still true, I have a pair of speakers for sale online that had me spinning all my old rock cd’s with each one better than the last, Black Sabbath, Ted nugent, VH, UFO, the list goes on. Vienna Acoustics Strauss fed by my Hegel h360 was amazing, The same drivers as the Mahler but a single 11” woofer! and I always said va’s didn’t rock. I was having so much fun with the older stuff that I didn’t dig out any hi Rez stuff for several days and that’s when I figured out why they were so complimentary to the old stuff. A pretty gentle tweeter that isn’t going to compete with the be’s or dmd tweeters making the headlines. I think about keeping them just for Friday night sessions but it’s not practical.