Do they make Speakers For Rap/Rock

It seems that from all the discussions and reveiws, I have read that 99% of the speakers that are reveiwed are done with Classical, opera, jazz or other like music. My question is; Do any of the high end speaker manufacturers make audiophile speakers that are designed for the Rap, Hip-hop, hard rock, loud volume listener???
Yes, they sell them at Best Buy.
Many high-end speakers will work at loud volumes for this type of music. You should probably look for ones that are full-range, that is, have the ability to put out a lot of bass. This generally means big and / or multiple woofers. Mini-mopnitors won't do it.

Acoustic music is used for evaluating loudspeakers because you can hear an acoustic concert live, and know what it should sound like. Music that is electronically amplified is usualy played through PA systems that aren't as good as most home systems (although much more powerful), so aren't really useful as a reference.

Many of us (myself included) listen to a variety of music that includes both acoustic and electronic. I would caution against playing too loudly too often, because hearing damage is a real threat, and all the best equipment in the world would be a waste if you're hearing goes too far bad.
Can you give us an example of audiophile quality rap recording? Sorry.

I am not sure which speaker line would be good for rap because I don't listen to any. For rock you might look at the Paradigm Studio 100's. They will play plenty loud with the right amplifier. Just be careful to match them with the right equipment. They can be fairly harsh if not matched properly.
Some audiophile speakers do rap and hard rock pretty well and other do not. Most will not do the ear splitting levels found in hot New York dance clubs with 1KW transistor gear powering big horns.

Like many at this site, I listen to all kinds of music. I admit I don't have much rap. A few albums by Eminem, The Streets, 50 Cent and the like. Hard rock? Yea, I have lots of that, from Jimi Hendrix to Queens Of The Stone Age, The Doors, Nirvana and the new Arctic Monkeys LP.

The answer depends a great deal on what you consider as loud when you say, "loud volume listener."

For me that's about 100 DB max, for VERY brief periods. For that my speakers do fine and exhibit no break down or distortion. For those that want a lot more, there are big horn systems that will "literally" damage your hearing (125 DB +).

Many years ago I was the tech rep for JBL. I assure you they manufacture sound reinforcement systems that will almost kill you.

The answer depends on how much volume and how much quality.
For RAP: Probably those wedge-shaped back-seat or trunk car speaker enclosures with two of those fat-surround 12-inch woofers crossed over to some piezio-electric horns. Should provide plenty of one-note bass centered around 85-100 hz. and lots of spitty highs.
Or those cheap "D-J" speakers with a couple of stacked 12 or 15 inch woofers with a row of 4 or more piezio-electric horn tweeters on top. That's all you need, right?
If however you are talking ROCK, go with JBL L-100, L-150, L-200, L-300, L-112 etc. from the 70's. Buy them on ebay. Restore the walnut veneer, replace the connectors and internal wiring, recone the woofers. then put on some Deep Purple and let 'er rip.
Get any pair of good speakers with good power handling that can fill up your room. Most audiophile grade speakers will be able to play until your ears are torn off. Then add the best subwoofer you can afford. Great bass performance will really help you enjoy Rap/Rock music. I personally use a Velodyne DD-15, and it's just fantastic for that type of music.
Albertporter-Xiekitchen, Thanks for your response.
Aporter- I would say for extended periods (During Partys or get togethers maybe 12 of them a year, the 110-115 range would be max, Quality is Easy, the best speaker I can find prior to hitting a point of diminishing return and given the limited instruments in Most Hip hop, that should be fairly reasonable, however coupling that with a speaker that will perform at the same Dbs will undoubtedly raise the bar a bit.

One note Bass & Spitty highs are not exactly what I had in mind when I said Audiophile speakers. The L Series JBL are difinately worth a try, considering the speakers I have gone through already clearly they will be the least expensive, which by the way I AM ALL FOR.
In case your wondering, Montana EPS, Von schweikert 4.0 & 4.5, POlk LSi 15.
Try some of the older VMPS models. They can sound very good and play loud and clean. Excellent bass and even the treble is very good.
110 to 115 DB is serious sound pressure levels. Lots of people think they know how loud that is, truth is most can't grasp the number.

In my opinion, you will have to go to commercial sound gear to achieve that level safely. By safely I don't mean for your ears :^). I mean for the equipment to operate year after year on your schedule.

The JBL 4894-90 will produce 100 DB with 1 watt in, 46 HZ to 18KH and will accept about 2400 watts peak before clipping. They are only about 105 pounds so easy to deal with (relatively) and will produce over 132 DB with no clipping and (relatively) low distortion.

There may be some high quality audiophile speakers capable of 132 DB but I don't think they would survive for long, playing what you intend feeding them. I don't know the current price for 4894-90 but it will be cheap compared to a lot of high end speakers, maybe cheap enough that you can score a pair of JBL's used and get some audiophile tower speakers for more relaxed listening.
Albert, clearly you have listened to your fair share of Music. We have a large room, we call the bar that has a 30x30 dance floor and off that is the pool table and of course the full bar, its kind of a remake of the first floor of studio 54 circa 1980. The entire room was built with acoustics in mind ( Except the dance floor, my wifes idea)and have had a couple good acts play in it prior to touring. My point is I do know how loud 110-115 is and that is precisely why I am in search of the least offensive speaker I can find. I will admit that I do not keep the DB's that loud for extended periods except for those times that warrant such raucous behavior, but I thought by padding the DB's a bit it would result in responses with the handful of top speakers that could reproduce music at these insane levels.
Is it idiotic to assume that if a speaker reproduces sound well at high levels it will also do the same at more moderate listening DB's or am I really looking for two separate beasts here?

Meyer Sound, ATC or Blue Sky make much more compact monitors than JBL that will easily play into the range you are looking for with the help of a subwoofer.

ATC SCM20 Actives with sub, will fill a 30x30 room pretty well, if you can afford SCM-50,100,150 etc. then the results are obviously better


Meyer HD-1 or UPM-1&2's with sub, UPM are PA speakers so if this is the priority then these might be the best choice.

a cheaper alternative but none the less just as usefull would be the Blue Sky Big Blue System, a little more economical but still better than any audiophile speaker in their price class. I think the Big blue Sat 12 Monitors are really inexpensive like $2500 each

Thes systems will take up little space play to the levels you want....survive the party then beat just about every audiophile speaker on the market in their price range.

As time passes "audiophile" speakers are losing ground as the audiophile standard slips and is hardly even competitive with the cutting edge studio systems.
Those are tough questions since I really don't know your preferences.

The JBL I mentioned is not exactly audiophile quality but it is a very well made speaker and many rock and jazz concerts have been performed through lesser gear.

The reason I mentioned a commercial speaker is that lots of high end speakers will do loud, only up to a point. They are at risk if anything goes wrong. Something as simple as a connector pulled out during a crazy night of dancing or someone decides to grab the knob and "crank it." When this happens it's much more difficult to blow up a sound reinforcement speaker (than say) a Dynaudio.

An audiophile speakers ability to recreate nuances is their strength and with the music your describing, along with a large room and all out party, your not looking for nuance. Nothing wrong with having both kinds of speakers if you have the space and budget.

In fact, there was this dance club in Manhattan we went to late one night after the Stereophile show. There was this little brunette dancing soooo perfect to the super loud dance mixes. Of course she was not much older than my teenage son, but HEY, I was just looking :^).

Anyway, you likely need to visit some commercial sound places and see if that suits you. I was not kidding, you could buy some nice dance floor speakers and have enough money left over for audiophile speakers that do justice to rock at reasonably loud levels.

My Dali Megalines will do well over 100 DB with the 3KW of VTL tube amps I have on them. I choose these amps not for volume, but for their "voice." That particular amp matched up with the speaker and gave me the balance and dynamics I wanted.

The Dali will NOT compete with the JBL 4894-90 in hanging around the dance floor and blowing away your friends. I occasionally crank mine but mostly they play at 72 to 88 DB.

I think the JBL or other good commercial speaker might surprise you with the right electronics. They would never be right for classical, but that's not what your looking for, right?
You might take a look at Meyer Sound products, the high end in sound reinforcement speakers these days as far as I know. I believe the Glacier Audio network sells them. It's also possible that the larger, powered ATC models will give you what you want, or get you close. And they should sound very very good.
If you're looking for a temp system that you can set up just for the party, how about something like a powered Mackie spkr?

If something more like a standard type system, I like the sound of EAW spkrs and Emilar horns. For power you can use a stack of QSC amps & to avoid somebody cranking the system to destruction, set some limiters for max SPL's. This is a "party system" and nobody will be doing any critical listening with this stuff.

Lot's of good sources for this type of gear other than on-line. You might check the local music stores & bulletin boards there, as bands are always selling gear & local ads in trading post & local paper.
As Albert notes, 115 db spl is VERY loud: placing spkrs @ the "dance" area, you'll still have to shout rather than talk to people at the other end of your space (the full bar) UNLESS you hide behind a wall -- or other serious obstruction. As an example, ~120db spl is a jet taking off at yr back yard, so to speak.
ALSO, the "better" the spkr the more you (and yr guests) will be able to stand that spl and enjoy...

SO: you still need spkrs capable of ~120db spl continuous.

This long introduction serves only to confirm and ratify the easy choices mentioned above:

a) professional speakers rather than "audiophile". Most of the latter will disintegrate @ 120db spl continuous.

b) don't go far, check out JBL, Meyer Sounds, ATC active (200 come to mind). The ATC can't quite reach 120db but come close enough.

c) Meyer & ATC are expensive: ATC will do large orchestral (if there's interest) better than the Meyer. Well set up Meyers could very well play you Black-eyed peas better than the Black-eyed peas themselves expected...:)

d) As Albert implies, JBL are good: VERY experienced in driver, spkr design and production. Don't let their commercial aspect fool you into thinking they produce crap.

e) another brand you may wish to consider is Klipsh (the Klipshorn). It can flirt with 120db -- BUT they need TWO room corners for placement and they are passive. This is a possible "audiophile" speaker choice -- but again, nowhere near the spl capability of the others (for example, the quietest of the bunch, the ATC, are rated @~118db spl CONTINUOUS).
In fact, there was this dance club in Manhattan we went to late one night after the Stereophile show. There was this little brunette dancing soooo perfect to the super loud dance mixes. Of course she was not much older than my teenage son, but HEY, I was just looking :^)

Glad I'm not the only one just looking... =P
"Can you give us an example of audiophile quality rap recording? Sorry."

Eldarado you assume that the production quality is low on this type of music and if you bothered to listen to some of the music you would find that the producers of this music stretch the bandwidth capture crystal clear vocals and effects, some tracks on 50cents album, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Public Enemy, Run DMc, Colors Soundtrack, add lots of Soundtracks are startlingly clear and well defined.

I am always surprised by how good some of the hip hop tracks are produced and make the most of what my system can handle. I usually get a sampling through the Now! pop compilation series and usually the Hip hop selections are the stand out tracks from a production standpoint.
I reccommend a pair of Klipsch Epic CF3's or CF4's. I use CF3's and they can handle 250 watts continous with 1000 watt peaks. They are pro sound voiced, 100dB efficient and hit like a concert monitor when cranked. They will pound you with rap and rock all day long. They are a fantastic speaker for any type of music and for movies as well. There is a pair for sale here on Audiogon right now for around $700 or so.
a long time back a dealer really cranked up a pair of B&W 802 matrix speakers proclaiming that you "couldn't blow them".
i'm glad he was willing to take a chance like that with the store's inventory rather than my stereo... anyway, they didn't display any strain that i could hear, and this was definitely at "rock party" levels. RAP music however is so percussive that i can't render an opinion. if you can get a pair of 801/802 with the apoc protection circuit in the crossover which will save the tweeter under studio-monitor conditions, and you can still get driver replacements, they are tough to beat, and they do mozart too. so imho get two pairs of 801's and pretend you're at a concert...
I would look at the bose professional series speakers. If the dance floor is 30 x 30 what is the size of the room? Again, take a look at the bose professional series. They have some premade packages that include amps, subs and the main speaks. Good luck.
Commercial speakers (JBL, EV, Klipsch). Most of these will have circuit breakers to avoid damage, they put out loads of bass and are fairly efficient (110db with 100 watts).

Keep in mind that a nice crest or qsc amp would help tremendously. Even though a nice Onkyo receiver may be rated at 110db/THX, it won't keep up that pace with nearly the ease of a nice QSC amp.

Email me if you need a contact for commercial gear.
I can confirm what others on this thread have said about ATC actives with regard to rock music. David Gilmour, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz and many rock artists use these speakers. However, the bass might be a little too tight and accurate for what rappers might prefer...

As for loudness levels, you can get night club music levels with an SCM 300 ASL without the harshness or compression you get from lesser quality "club" speakers....but you will also need a night club venue; an acoustically treated room and a large lot, far away from any neighbours.

I have the active SCM 100's at home with a 0.1/15 sub. I supect they would be ample enough for your described need. I don't do big dance parties, but after 25 years of collecting speakers, for the first time, I can enjoy music continuously and accurately at levels similar to live music with very little compression (heaps of headroom and dynamic range). I don't even need to drive them hard as it quickly gets too loud for my 25' by 20' room.

I have found the SCM 20's, as some have suggested, can get close to rock party/live loudness levels when driven hard in a small room. However, there is noticeably less dynamic range than the 100's; I think this setup would be flirting with driver damage in the passive version and I suspect the soft clipping circuit on the actives would often kick in, protecting the drivers but adding distortion. You would definitely need a sub as the lack of extreme LF bass is obvious at higher levels on some material.

SPL's on different tracks can vary widely, particularly with digital sources, what may be rock party optimum on one track might blow a driver or distort on another track. With an SCM 20 you probably would not enjoy the party, my guess is that you would be fretting over volume levels all the time just to keep it at the desired loudness without distortion/damage!

Thanks for the suggestions. Although I don't listen to rap I will probably go pick up 50 Cent out of curiosity. One of the main things that drives me crazy about a lot of rap and electronica is that they use drum machines which to me don't sound strange and I can't get past it. But I guess that is a trait of the two. Sorry to get off subject. Thanks again Cinematic_systems.
I had a pair of Hales Revelation 3's that could rock really hard. My current Aerial 9's do as well.

I have a REL Storm III sub that I turn on when I want to pressurize the room.

A pair of Soliloquy 5.0's and a small sub worked wonders for me a few years back.

How big is your room? How loud is loud? Club loud? Or just "can't have a conversation without shouting" loud? The club stuff is cheap to buy -- a powered pair of EV's can be had for a few hundred bucks. Check out the website for Platinum Records to see the brands. The latter can be achieved with any number of dynamic speakers, especially if augmented by a sub, but then the quality comes with a stiffer pricetag.

And there are some excellent recordings of hip hop and rap. Not much excellent music (some, for sure) but the recording technology isn't worse than any other recording technology.



As one commentator noted, the better the gear, the less likely you are to notice it's loud. Crappy systems add distortion and that leads to higher perceived loudness.
Time to intereject some controversy...

Shouldn't a speaker be able to reproduce all types of music equally well?
a friend of mine who is a member on agon is currently developing a speaker system specificaly for rapp music,the speaker system is going to be called "the pimp daddy" & it will feature ten 18 inch woofers & one horn tweeter in each cabinet,the speaker will also have different finishes for the waf factor,the finishes will be purple velvet,red vinyl & chrome.
Yeah. They're called headphones.
I think it's interesting to think about how loud our systems play at their loudest - do we really know the db level? I know I don't - every once in a while, my house empties on a weekend night and I watch a rock concert DVD at (what feels like) rock concert levels. If I was the whole disc, my ears are ringing afterwards - a sure sign that I'm treating myself right. I have no idea what the db reading would be.

At one point, I was researching ATC active speakers and was talking to somebody (a dealer) who was saying that the 150's would do 120db, continuous, and that 120db was what a jet engine sounds like at close range. I've often wanted to walk around outside with my stereo up "loud" and see what, if anything, you could hear outside. The notion of going outside to see if you could hear the jet engine in my basement sounded good - I have to believe if I really had a jet engine going in my basement, that I'd be getting calls from my neighbors.
Hmm, I was making a delivery at the back of Cherry Point MCAS and they were conducting jet engine tests with the engine off the jet & on a stand. That was the loudest damn thing I ever heard & I had 29 dB earplugs in.

My system could play just over 110 dB at the listening spot & a jet engine is way beyond that-I'd say more like 150 dB's.

Just thought I'd mention that.

Do you have corners? If so, my first recommendation would be the Classic Audio Reproductions Hartsfields. They're about 107 dB efficient I believe, and can handle a couple hundred watts. They aren't the ultimate in low coloration or pinpoint imaging, but if you can keep your toes from tapping or your butt from shakin' while they're playing then you must have earplugs in. Good ones. Super-glued in. Seriously, the C.A.R. Hartsfields are an extremely enjoyable speaker to listen to, even if they don't do all the audiophile tricks. They are very hard to tear yourself away from.

Now in a less expensive alternative, once again if you have corners, Klipschorns are a possibility. They top out around 120 dB.

If you don't have corners, Classic Audio Reproductions still is a great place to look with their T-1 and T-3, and from time to time they have a special going on with something that ought to work in your situation. Edgarhorn is another possibility, again they can go into the mid-120's pretty easily.

Just curious, what price ballpark would be realistic?
Hey Bigjoe,
That's too funny -- the Pimp Daddy! How about if those 18" woofs somehow rotate, like "spinner" rims? Do a search on Ricky Smiley and "spinners". Put some of that "rope" lighting around the mounting bracket of the woofers.
Rwwear, dont give up your day job or your night one either.
One would think so.
To all the people who took the time to give informative answers, thank you very much for your time and effort, you have made some great suggestions and I thank each and every one of you.

To the people who wasted their time writing Rhetoric for what must be their own amusement, you have truly peaked my curiosity, please stay tuned for the next thread which will give you all a chance to be heard, it will be something like this:
(Heading)What the Flock is your daily life like?
Your wild nights we know include responding on forums with mind numbing attempts at humor mostly unanswered but once in a while you hit the jackpot and your evening climaxes with some other poor slob chiming in to take your reply to all new lows.
So tell us what are your fun filled days like? I mean you get up at 10 or 11 crack that first cold beer, make it out of the trailer at about noon, then what?
Down to feed the ducks at the park, pick up a couple dirty water dogs; pass out under a tree full of birds returning from a full lunch, wake up and wonder what the hell gets on your face every time you pass out at the park, then its back home just before the little, Scratch that, BIG Woman gets home, Kick back in the recliner until its time once again to head back to The FORUMS posing as an aficionado of music only to prove that not only was Pavarotti right on the mark but also sadly you are not a student of history,. What a surprise... What a shame.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"
Wow, after writing that, I’m convinced that although your attempts at humor are clearly a waste of menial effort, your days are not so bad at all.

You don't need any brains to listen to music.
~ Luciano Pavarotti
Tacmc5 - A lot of the responses here are from people who are clearly close-minded about music, and really don't know what they're talking about.

To answer your question - Yes, definitely, many high-end speakers and other components are GREAT for rap and rock. Wilson definitely comes to mind. Recently, I spent some time with the Alexandrias at my favorite high-end dealer. I played Snoop Dogg, Guns n Roses, Yo La Tengo, Radiohead, and lots of other stuff. My dealer was in the room when I was playing the Snoop. He loved it, as I don't think he had heard this type of music on these speakers before. It was incredible!

For all of you playa-haters who claim "no rap is decently recorded, blah blah" or "anyone who likes rap should be shopping at best buy" sorry, but you are just plain wrong. Listen to Tupac's "all eyez on me," anything produced by Dre, Nas Illmatic, anything by Tribe called Quest, De la Sol, Biggie "Ready to Die," the list goes on. All sound great, and these are original, masterful pieces of art.

The better the system, the more fun the listening.

Von Schweikiert would probably also be good

Just for the record I do own some rap music and I enjoy it too. I started collecting about 15 years ago with RunDMC. I just loved their version of "Walk this Way" done together with Aerosmith...even the video was awesome!

My daughter and her friends love Rap/Hip/Hop stuff...perhaps those that don't like it are simply betraying their age!
Xiekitchen,darn good ideas !

rotating woofers,maybe with a swirling design on the woofers & adjustable speed,i think that would be a million seller,i do know that as an option the "pimp daddy" will have multi colored neon lights placed inside its 12 tuned bass ports that blink along with the beat,there will also be a cigarette lighter built in the horn lens so the buyer dont have to search for a light should they need to stoke a blunt.

my heads starting to spin just thinking about all the blinking lights & spinning woofers :)
Gee Shadorne I thought it was good taste.
Klipsch corner horns may fulfill your wants if you have suitable corners.
I suggest Aerials (used 10ts or others in the new line). They are not ruthlessly revealing and sound nice on all sorts of recordings. With rap, dance, etc., you do not want edgy midranges (which can make vocals artificial or hard) or hot tweeters, nor do you want lumpy or loose bass. You want a bass than can keep up.
Try to find something with a soft dome tweeter (most Aerials, again) or Dynaudio.
Rap and dance benefits as much as any music from high end equipment and makes many of the same demands, too.
quick answer- good speakers rock out. any high end full range speare will rap/rock. Bad speakers are rock only. Good speakers with limited bass are classical speakers, only because with alimited budget you must pick accuracy without bass or a cheap pressboard 3-way with loads of bloated bass and muddled mid-range. The cost-no-object speakers can play ANYTHING.