see if you can find a pair of used JBL's from the late 70's here or on ebay: models L-166,L-110, L150, or the big boys the L-200B L-220 or L-300. Rebuild them yourself (internal wiring, connectors)and get them re-coned. Forget about nuances, imaging, soundstage, Focus instead on high level, clean bright sound, powerful tight bass but not super low freg. bass. These are the speakers of choice when you want to crank up old Robin Trower,Eagles, joe walsh deep purple etc.
kitchen is right on with the L-300's. Power those boys with a Mac 2300 and look out!
If you'd prefer something more modern try KEF speakers. I had a pair of Q90's that really liked to be driven hard. KEF called that model a no-compromise design. I regularly blasted mine and never found their upper limits. KEF used to make a big deal of the physical strength of their drivers. Maybe the fancier KEF Reference Two or Three would fit your playbill.
Playing music at high levels with minimal distortion, I have learned is going to take some careful planning and some real dollars spent. If you truly wish to build a "system" that will reliably "rock" and sound clean, you will need to start with a top quality front end and work your way down the chain to the speakers and don't skimp on the wire.
Your speakers may be cleaner than you think. I would start with making sure the cd player or tt is the best you can afford. I have found that even not so great speakers can sound great with high quality amps, cables, and front end.
I blew a driver on one of my 801s2's and had to put my $300 dcm floorstanders in their place. I noticed the speakers sounded better than ever thought they could and better than anyone might have thought. Start with the source.
Not sure what your budget is. I have Meadowlark Shearwater Hotrods and these boys really rock with only 50wpc. I listen to bands like Rob Zombie, Judas Priest, Metallica, System of a Down, Sabbath, etc. and all of my hifi buddies turn green with envy when they come listen. The Shearwaters have very good bass extension and pack plenty slam. Downside is they need a bit of space between them and the walls otherwise the bass gets overpowering.
IN my experience, the best choice is what studios use as playback (not mixing) monitors. The old JBLs from the 1970s, when refurbished, will indeed fit the bill.
Tannoy and Altec coaxials offer similar clarity and dynamics, but superior soundstaging and imaging. The Tannoy DMT series are used in many audiophile and other recording studios where price is no object even though by audiophile standards they're cheap.
You can pick up, for example, a pair of used Tannoy System 15 DMT for under $2K and I'd rate them superb for all types of music.
Just my two cents. . .
I still want a pair of my L200's back!!!! You cannot top a classic JBL with rock in my opinion. Insanely good for the money. Just try finding a pair or ask the Japanese home market.
I'd skip the JBL and get some Vandersteen 2CI's or 3A's if you can swing it. I loved my 2CI's when I had them and I love rock!
JBL S800 but I've never seen them sold here in US. Probably only erope made ones. Is there any equivalent in US for this model?
Keep the Def Techs and only upgrade your processor/amps. I don't think anything recommended above will work any better than what you've already got in your system.
I can't remember a speaker that can ROCK like Klipsch Cornwalls, especially for the price that you can get them for these days!
Take a look at the Klipch line.
Klipsch Forte II, Chorus, or Chorus II, without a doubt. There was a pair of Chorus listed today if I can remember that far back.
Cornwall is another good recommendation. Heresy, eh... a little small. La Scala... ummm, a little big, and not the same slam on bass (but great mid + high). Skip anything made by Klipsch say 1996 or later... they took a turn for the mass market, with quality and sonics suffering.
BTW, I'm a huge metal-head (collection of about 1000 CDs and 300 lps, 60-70% metal), but I don't do "nu-metal", which it seems you've hitched your wagon onto to a non-trivial degree. You're making me feel young!
Klipsch is your best bet. JBL is along the same lines in sound, but many of these units are older, and you'd be looking at more age problems going with classics there. The Klipsch Forte's and Choruses at least have rubber surrounds, not foam, so if the cones aren't ripped, chances are they will still work GREAT and sound fast as a shark (metal joke, you won't get it).
I agree with you on the Klipsch's for choices, except for the Forte 11's. I have those and while they are a good speaker, they sound better with low power tube amps. I recommend the KLF-30 ( if one can still find them at a good price) as I have those as well. I have hooked up both pairs and the KLF-30 can take whatever you give them. Something to think about as well is that the 30's can be bi-amped while the Fortes can't be.
Just my thoughts.
My vote is to Klipsch as well. (as far as new stuff anyway)
But what Avnut said couldnt be more true. A good clean front end (and back end as well) is always better.
Ohh, and dont forget to bring a healthy plateful-o-watts to the table as well.
Rather, I should have said "You're making me feel old". Or better yet, "You're making me feel stupid!" ; )
Riley - I've heard that recommendation for KLF-30 for rock many times. Never even seen a pair. Must have really rocked, with that sort of legacy.
With so many mentions for older speakers, where are the new breed of rock-ready speakers, or are we just looking back in time too much? I was interested to hear about Pauly's experience with the Meadowlarks, for example.
4 modified Klipsch Heresy's with four additional sealed, stuffed and downloaded 12" subwoofers. Cross them over at about 50 - 60 Hz with a sharp slope ( preferably 24 dB's / octave, but 18 dB's will get you by ). Crank it up and bring plenty of power with you : )
As a side note, ported speakers tend to sound like crap when you really start driving them hard. That is, unless they are VERY well designed and / or optimally tuned for best operation in the high spl range.
One sign of a more advanced ported design would be the use of what is called an "aero-port" or some such similar device. This is a port that uses a horn-like flare on both the exit and entrance of the port. Think of it as a port with "Mi-Horns" on each end : )
Passive radiators will almost always sound noticeably slow compared to an optimized sealed design, but are capable of great bass weight in the bottom octaves if really done right. Sean
In my college days,,, a guy had a pair of Cerwin Vega D-9 Rockers that were,, scarey loud and really ,, rocked?
Give them an open ear if you ever get the chance.
I own a pair of KLF-30 which I use with SS and my 5 watt 2A3 Cary monoblocks (at times), they are versatile and good sounding. 103 db.
VMPS RM 40's and the Legacy Focus 20/20.
You want really loud, bass powerful rock speakers..You also want speakers that won't distort when you play loud..You want full-range speakers..when you say these Legacy Focus comes to my mind..
the absolute best rock speaker made today is the jbl 4312 mkll....it comes in black or walnut veneer and is exclusively available in north america from hal cox who has permission from jbl to sell them....thy're even better than the ones i owned in the seventies..once you hear them you'll never want to listen to rock on any 'other' brand...you could hurt yourself playing air guitar with these babies and they are compatible with any tube or ss source....everything in life should be this easy and cool....hal's business phone is 415-388-5711....he was a buddy of james b. lansing himself ...
Tannoy saturn S10's. Boy can they rock. With the right equipment they sound powerful with no sense of strain or fatigue. Since they are not readily available only 50 North America dealers they are hard to find, but well worth the trouble. Saturn s8 are also very good.
It seems peculiar to me that everytime one of these threads gets started, and there have been many, everybody chimes in with suggestions for speakers I doubt any of you would have in your own two-channel systems. Why is that? Most of us love rock. If our high-end speakers are so freakin' great, why can't they deliver the goods on rock?
I think maybe because the speakers in most high end systems far surpass most rock recordings. maybe you just gotta get something cheap, heavy, and dirty.
I personally think rock sounds the greatest on full range dirty speakers. Nothing high class and foofoo!
I guess its kinda because hard rock was always a garage type thing. it was never exactly refined.
All high end speakers can play rock really well, a little too well, which makes to sound too.. sterile?.. if you will?
I think you just have to step down to the quality in order to get the speaker to preform good rock. well, heavy metal at least.
my DefTechs rock with all kinds of music but rock. there is just some filthy aspect that is left to be desired.
I own the following -the VMPs RM 40's, the Legacy Focus 20/20, the Martin Logan Odyssey , the Gershman Acoustic RX 20's. The 20/20 and 40's rock more than the other two. I am not just chimming in.
I went with the Shearwaters. In my opinion you will be floored when you listen to Tool, Metallica, AC/DC, etc. through the Shearwaters or Vandersteens. You will hear things for the first time, even though you heard the CD 100 times before.
I'm using a NAD 218 (250/ch), when I want to listen loud I just turn on the subs, and use a crossover at 120. Most CD's I could make my ears bleed w/ no distortion from the ML.
And when you turn it down and run full range it's hard to beat the detail and imaging.
JBL 4344 or the new JBL K2 Series speakers. Please see http://www.jbl.com/home/products/series.asp?SerId=K2 I heard them recently, and they are absolutely awesome with ROCK!!!! But don't play classical music on them, because you will be disappointed.......
Drubin: I've had multiple pairs of Hereys's and La Scala's and still have a pair of each of them. All of them have been modified to various extents and i would not be horribly upset if i was stuck with either set of speakers so long as i could build my system around them. Sean
I own the Legacy Signature III. one notch down from the Legacy focus and they can Rock ! I do agree with the above posters who are tellling you your Def Tech speakers may not be the problem. Its what your feeding your speakers. The Best speakers in the world will sound terible with a weak front end of if they are underpowered.
JBL L100's. Ebay has used ones for sale all the time. They are built like the Titanic and the woofers don't need reconing like the 110's, L200's...etc. Another plus is that the raw drivers are always for sale as well...A true testament to the build quality involved. To this day, the JBL midrange are one of the premier designs for reproducing vocals. I was just playing Black Sabbath's Heaven & Hell remastered cd and it sounds like I'm in the front row.
There is a reason that these speakers, in their consumer released version, were prefered by studios as monitors. And like I previously stated in another post, unless you are listening to Classical music (I personally detest it), and want to hear that last note on a harp or something, the L100's are the best of the breed.
I agree with sean, im using saturns now and love them. Ive been in this hobby for 30 years and have went through alot of systems. The really high end speakers sometimes are very very clinical and dont go good with rock. They are good for sitting around and saying "do you think that was a gerbil sneeze in the third movement or the fluttering of a hummingbird's wing." Goes back to thread on here about why there arent more audiophiles, to me its the equipment that sounds best within your budget with the type of music you like not the money spent or audiophile "snoot factor"
I am a rock, soul, funk ect fan and own a pair of JBL 4333AWX cabs. Basically the professional version of the L-300. Don't believe the hype, horns image well, although room treatment and placement is crucial. Sure they sound like crap for the classical, but hey...I love rock, small jazz combo (which they seem great on too), and some bluegrass/folk.