The Klipsch Palldium series would be a good fit for your needs. I have no affiliation with the listing. I heard the bookshelf model in this range and they are *clear*.
Source Loudspeaker Technologies an American company in South Windsor CT is worth checking out. John Sollecito will take the time to talk to you about your needs and recommend the best sound for your budget. Source Loudspeaker Technologies, 701 Nutmeg Road N. South Windsor CT. 06074. (860) 918 3088 I have the 7211's and have been very pleased.
I agree with Bigshutterbug.
The Legacy Focus' are outstanding speakers and can be bought on the used market for under 3k. Highly efficient too. Be sure to get the older 20/20's and not the "SE's." The older ones sound better.
If your room is too small to handle the Focus' then look for a nice pair of Legacy Signature III's. This is what I use. I have a 75 watt per channel tube amp and it just coasts at lease breaking levels. And by the way, they will keep up with any and all improvements made to other areas of the system.
Neither of these speakers can be bought new as Legacy discontinued the models. And as a final caution ... these speakers LOVE tube electronics. People sell them because they tried to drive them with solid state electronics, and they just don't sound right with SS. With tubes, they come alive.
I love my Ohm Walsh 2000s ($2800/pr). Depending on the cubic footage of your room, you may need a larger model (see the Ohm web site), but the 3000s are $4000/pr, and are appropriate for rooms up to 5400 cubic feet.
I enjoy my 2000s with all types of music, including rock. And by rock, I mean everything from David Bowie to Porcupine Tree to Castlebed and KMFDM. Extended, well-controlled bass, an upper-midrange/lower-treble response that does not get etched or overly bright, and no congestion at pretty loud levels. And then there’s their dissappearing act and wide, yet defined, soundstage. You can read my full review in the review section. I have owned these for seven years, and I have no desire to upgrade.
IMO, you are wasting your time and money with high-end speaker systems. They will not give you what you want. Here’s something closer to what you need and the cost is very reasonable.
JBL 3722N specs say over 100db efficiency.
Its a lot of speaker for the money compared to most home audio choices that's for sure.
Now that I have a pretty optimized system at home, testing/trying out good quality pro gear like this would be very interesting. You tend to get a lot more for the money with pro gear in general if you can deal with the aesthetics.
I had some tekton 6.5t monitors on rigid stands with good punch and sound. I also tried some Tekton mini lores, not for me as they were too refined with no punch.
I still stand by my ProAc studio 148 recommendation, which I am using in my main setup now with soundocity sev9 outriggers (another strong recommendation). After 9 months of use (ProAcs take a while to break in) I believe my 148s sounded like the used ProAc studio 125s I had in my room for a while but the 148s have much better bottom end with the 2.5 way design. The 125 / 148 sound just gets rock and many other musical components like single and double reeds, drums and cymbals, etc so very right, plus the classic rock midrange while listening to floyd and similar bands has been mentioned in many reviews.
When I read the title of this post and see "kick ass" and "high volumes", I'm thinking only a higher sensitivity speaker will be suitable for the poster. A 3db increase in loudness requires a double of the power or a 3db increase in speaker sensitivity. The sensitivity of speaker recommendations here range from 87db to 104db, both spec'd at 2.83v @ 1m, however both are 4 ohm speakers, so the 2.83v is 2 watts. A 1 watt rating will be 3db lower, 84db and 101db. It's been noted in another thread that while listening at an average of 75db, peaks were measured at over 100db on classical music. With rock/fusion jazz at high volume I have no doubts that peaks will be over 100db. Now listening at 3m and using that speaker with the lowest sensitivity would require over 200w for 100db and over 700w for 105db. Obviously that speaker is a poor choice. The speaker with the highest sensitivity would only require about 5w for 100db and about 15w for 105db. These power estimates come from an online calculator that factors in use of 2 speakers and in a room, not anechoic chamber. IMHO, the poster should use speakers with a sensitivity of mid 90's and above.
FWIW, the Zu Omen Def is a home speaker with the same sensitivity of those JBL's.
I was listening to my NHT 2.3’s tonight and they just lack so much at high volumes....they sound like mid rangy and honky ...sometimes feel like they are crapping out depending on artist....they do sound good at low volumes...
I’m looking for something I can turn up loud that doesn’t need "hyping up" with EQ ....the clarity remains at high volumes ....
music : UFO, MSG, Gamma , Rush , Billy Cobham, Return to Forever, Jeff Beck etc....
Be nice to audition all these lovely speakers at my house to make a choice.! The high end audio places are so unpredictable with whatever hifi gear is connected or room treatment ....
Marantz PM-11S1 integrated amp -
thanks guys for all the response!
tommy - Ohm offers a 120 in-home trial. While you will lose the round-trip shipping, it’s still a good way to audition speakers. My taste in rock music differs a lot from yours, but I can crank my Ohms up really loudly, and they do not lose their grip on the music, or allow the upper-mid/lower-treble range to blare and dominate the sound. That’s one reason I kept them after my own in-home trial. I have heard many speakers over the years (I am active in my local audio club), but nothing that I would dump my Ohms for that were not much more expensive. The closest I have heard would be the Golden Ears. While they are sold only through dealers, you might be able to arrange an in-home trial with a dealer.
I had the 14s2 which has 10 less watts but pretty much the same and It was at its best when played high, very distortion free at all levels but if you find a speaker with less efficient drivers and it doesn't give you that bass slam, use it as a pre amp and tie a 300 watt monster to it and that should make most speakers come alive.As for speakers the ones Chayro recommended look like they are ready for business.
Second the mentions of Klipsch and JBL. I have L100's and I can best describe them as "danceable." Prices seem to have taken a dip in recent months. Given that so many old rock tunes from the 70s were mastered on them, they make it sound so true.
i find my Druids to be more detailed, and the JBL's to be more fun. Iove my Zu's and their offerings so really well with all kinds of amps and components. The little brother to the Druid, the Soul series with identical drivers, was a setup I heard at a show. It was running off a Peachtree Nova and MacBook, it left more of a joyous impression on me than the 60k two part Van Der Steens across the hall that were hooked up to all kinds of Audio Research components.
Of course "rocking" and "lively" are just other words for nonlinear coloration and distortion, but my brain told me what it liked.
also, Klipsch and Zu's aren't afraid of corners if the room is treated properly.
I'm currently listening to the Transiberian Orchestra at concert levels on my Zu Definition IIIs. Zu, Tekton, Tyler Pro Dynamic series and Legacy Focus -- I have owned them all and they will all meet your criteria. The Zu are the most dynamic (also the best for vocals and guitar), the Tylers are smooth, slightly warm sounding, and the Tektons are somewhere in the middle (the Zus and Tylers are the most efficient). I still own the Tekton Lore (had the Pendragons) - they are amazing for the price. On your budget I would probably go for the Zu Omen Def Mk II. Don't hesitate to call and talk to the owners -- Sean and the gang at Zu are awesome, and there is not a better person in all of audio than Ty Lashbrook. Eric Alexander has always answered my calls and been extremely helpful as well.
BTW, just be aware, the Legacy Focus and Tyler Pro Dynamic speakers are huge -- a real pain to move around by yourself!
There are so many choices...the old B&W 808 monitors are by all accounts great for rock (as I understand, it's what they were made for).
I've owned both the old and new Legacy Audio FOCUS loudspeakers and agree with many here that they are a solid choice and generally a great value used. Not sure that I agree with statements suggesting that the older model sounds better...although it might depend on the room and electronics. I've found that the SE version is significantly better than the older model in every audio category (bass impact, extension, smoothness, midrange clarity, micro-dynamics, soundstage, etc.), even though it has one fewer 12" woofer per channel. I had both the old and new models in my listening room for a month before parting with the old ones with no regrets:
I have since had the midbass drivers and tweeters updated, and they are even better as a result. One of the great loudspeaker values.
At a lower price-point, the Tekton stuff looks really cool. I'd also love to hear the JBL Studio 590: http://www.jblsynthesis.com/productdetail/studio_590.html
Check out Brystom. Model T's if you have the room or Middle T's if you don't require that much speaker. Both very highly regarded and an excellent value. I own the Middle T and love them. Superb bass and coherent sound through out the audio band.
They are killer with Rock and high SPL's !!! You will not be disappointed!!!
I listen to 90% 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's rock at volumss that sometimes disturbs my neighbors through a set of Tekton Design Pendragon's powered by a parasound integrated amp. To me the sound is exactly as I want. http://www.tektondesign.com/pendragon.html