Any suggestions in response to your post would have to be predicated on your budget. But, generally speaking, if very high volume is a major criteria, your best bet is to get horn speakers -- Klipsch K-horns would be an obvious choice, since they are very efficient and will play at ear-bleed levels.
Personally, I have yet to hear any horn speaker that delivers what I regard as "great sound". I concede I have not heard some of the latest horn models, so perhaps others can comment.
NHT 3.3's or 2.9's will play very loud.
The KAS (Kick Ass Speaker) from Montana Loudspeakers can deliver all the volume you will ever need with amazing clarity.
It can handle 900 watts continuous and 4000 watt peaks.
Known as the "Home Wrecker" The Montana KAS produces a three dimensional highly detailed sound-stage.
ALL Active ATC's. Lazarus28 is not BS'ing you.
The active 20's are bookshelf speakers and play
at 108 dB CONTINUOUS. The Active 100's will play
115 dB continuous and the Active 150's will play 118 dB
continous! I'm not talking peak here...
The 200's and 300's were made becuase of the rock
and roll bands used to blow the tweeters in the
recording studios. Now, they are indestructible
at a sound level below the pain threshold without
distortion. Truly a pro recording monitor now!
I dont know what your budget is but I run Sonus Faber extremas with dual classe audio ca 400's and they are crystal cleal almost all the way up.
What are we talking about here? What's the budget? What do you consider very high volume? Very high volume only or does quality of sound have anything to do with things also? Seriously.
Not to mention what amp you would need. Some to many amplifiers will compress and/or constipate at higher volumes and/or when reproducing complex music.
Dunlavy V's. Search for thread"rock and roll system"
The ability to play accurately and LOUD (without distortion) requires, obviously very high quality components; more specifically, the issue is the ratio between sensitivity and power handling. In general, this is what professional studio monitors are engineered to do. Price, of course, is a major issue. Have to $1K to spend? $5K? $10K? $20K?
I myself would recommend the Tannoy System 215 DMT or DMT II. 101-104 dB sensitivity (depending on whether measured in an anechoic chamber or half-space) with continuous power handling of over 200 wrms. Do the math: that's continuous acoustic output of over 120 dB with under 70 watts continuous input. But then you've got to put up with 300 Litre cabinets that weigh 187 lbs. each. Saw a pair on eBay recently for as low as $2K, but no one would buy them.
A final word: you need massive power for such high volume levels, not to produce the SPLs but to keep the sound clean. A clipping amp sends hundreds of times more power to your tweeters (especially); it's distorting amps that usually blow speakers, not powerful amps.
Good luck and happy listening!
If I wanted rock n roll loud, I'd go with an old pair of JBL L-200's or L-300's, Altec 19's or VOT's and a big ol' Threshold power amp.
As a brand, the cleanest audiophile-grade sound I have heard at ridiculous volume levels has come from Wilson speakers - expensive, though. I'm not gonna comment on their other sonic qualities, but will add that, in general, fidelity to absolute volume is an area we willfully ignore to a great degree, probably because it comes at such expense and trouble, not to mention too often compromised sound in other, more frequently relevant aspects.
Several factors to consider:
Sensitivity: The more sensitive the speakers ( higher spl with one watt ), the more likely they are to play loudly while still sounding relatively clean. Sensitivity is something that you should put a LOT of importance on though, as you will otherwise have to DRASTICALLY increase amplifier capacity.
Power handling: In order to do "ear bleed" levels with anything but a highly efficient speaker, you'll need something that can take high amounts of power over a long term. For this reason, DIN ratings are FAR, FAR, FAR superior to any other method of rating power handling.
Power output: You will need an amp that is capable of tremendous power output while running relatively cool. The hotter an amp gets, the "nastier" it will sound. I am talking about temperatures above what one would consider "normal". This is true of any audio amp and one of the reasons that many larger and Class A amps have a LOT of heatsink area. For reasons regarding heat and physical size, high quality digital amps tend to gain favor with the high spl crowd. Otherwise, forced fan cooling almost becomes a necessity.
Dispersion / loading characteristics: output levels at nearfield measurements are useless unless you listen at 1 meter. I would consider spl measurements at 8' - 12' or so MUCH more meaningful. As such, you'll have to take into account the size of the room, how well the speakers will load into that room, etc... the bottom line is that horns will produce the most sound at the greatest distance.
Surface area: In order to play loud, you have to move a LOT of air. Since all speakers distort quite a bit as excursion ( how far the driver moves in and out ) is increased, you really need to use a lot of drivers or drivers with a lot of surface area. Sharing the load minimizes excursion, reduces distortion, increases dynamic range, increase power handling, widens dispersion, etc... You can also run into problems with what is called "comb filtering", so there are trade-offs involved in multiple driver arrays.
All of this costs money. If you are expecting to raise the roof, do it consistently and have it hold up while sounding good, you better have a pretty deep pocket. Sean
Not knowing your budget or musical preference? I'd say look at Legacy models from the Focus on up. They can play very loud with good authority, heard them personally and was impressed with high SPL with 100 watts. I've also heard that VMPS speakers, not sure of the models, can also play at high SPL's.
I'd have to agree with SdCampbell on the Klipsch K-Horns! "What'd you say?" was the only thing out of my mouth for a week after hearing(?)them demo'd at a party. My ears didn't even ring like that after a concert.
if you want to crank it up and do not care how much they cost . jm lab utopias and grands. if you are on a budjet try some jbl studio moniters.sr jbls as well. i run the sr 4732s and a 4719 sub in my theater. if you want it louder than that then you will need earplugs.
Dear Cserick, Great sound is I what love, GARRET! Volume is too die for. Most towers speaker with multi-drivers 12" inch or more will fit fine. One pair ... will make you wanting for two pairs..... 'as for three pairs ????' I'm afraid you'll overdose on the music. Two bookshelf can give,subpurb transparency, detail, picture, etc.sound.....'with no doubt'.....possible as real as is can get. But.... for folk Iike you and I it's just not enough. Focus on a powerful Class-A solid state amp. Concentrate on setup, speaker positioning and proper cable wiring. Buying better and expensive speaker may not give you want you want. Keep in mind, the law of psychic for AC power....if you want power and picture sound coming out your speaker, you must have power from the wall. Alone, with power in your wall and in your amp's will make tower speaker, SPEAKING. Keeping at 8 ohm or more is a must. You'll have a smoother sound even at unbelievably high dB's. After all is sad and done, the only problem you might face is not wanting to leave the room.
REC amps:krell, Mark Levinson, best dollar for every watts
Speakers- Does really matter.
I once inadvertently sent Richard Strauss with the full force of a Belles 350A into my Utopias. A jerk house guest had been twisting knobs and turned the volume all the way up while the system was off. I turned on the power conditioner which activated the preamp and the tuner (from whence emanated the Feierlicher Einzug). Twenty seconds later, while I was in the kitchen, the amp kicked in.
The sound was so loud that I had to hold my hands over my ears while I ran to the rack to shut it down. My neighbor came running out thinking (he said) that there had been an explosion or a plane crash.
The speakers were not damaged at all but my nerves sure were. So.....if you want a fine system that can play loud, I can testify to JMLabs.
That being said, at extreme volume the human hearing mechanism overloads and introduces its own distortion so when you get past a certain point, it matters little how the speaker sounds. Just grab some JBLs or Cerwin Vegas and save your money for concert tickets.
Besides, it won't take much of that kind of listening to damage your ears, anyway, and then you won't have to bother with upgrades.
Check out the Zu Druid www.zucable.com . These speakers play loud and clear!
I have some Infinity Prelude MTS speakers and in addition to excellent imaging, incredible detail and realism, they can almost make your ears bleed. Not something that I want to try very often but that's the way that Nine Inch Nails sounds best.
If your hearing isn't already damaged, it probably will be if you keep on this course. This said, just go out to the local musician's store and buy a big honkin' 1000 watt sound reinforcement amp and some giant horn loaded concert speakers. Better yet, buy six 1000 watt amps and triamp with huge "sugar scoop" bass bins and two sets of mains on each side. Set this all up in your bathroom for maximum boundary reinforcement, with all the speakers pointing at your head( head prefarably inside the largest mid horns for the golden midrange effect). Turn the volume up full, and enjoy. Soon you won't need audio anymore as you won't be able to hear anyway.