Looking for New Speakers - Suggestions

I am finally actively looking for a new speaker setup for use primarily as 2 channel but will also be used for HT. I prefer to build the system around my front to channels.

Here is my story. I have been in the AV biz for 12 years. I have heard 100's of speakers and never really fell in love with them. I have owned the following

B&W 805's
B&W CM4's
Paradigm Atoms
Paradigm Studio 60's
Energy Take 5 (college)
KEF KHT 6000
Monsooon FPF600's
Martin Logan Clarity's

I have actively sold Monitor Audio, Krell, McIntosh, Paradigm, B&W, Sonance, Def Tech, KEF, Vienna Acoustics, JBL Synthesis, Polk, Velodyne.

I really enjoy music loud. Like U2 360 concert loud. I just can't get enough of a dynamic system. I blew the drivers out of our floor model Krell LAT-2's one day demoing them when we first got them in. I listen to jazz, classical, etc. quite a bit but for the most part I listen to indie rock and electronic music.

I really have never found a home speaker that was dynamic and exciting but could also quiet down and let me enjoy some old jazz vinyl I picked up from my father.

I was thinking about going to line array based speakers or Maggies but wondering what other products might be out there.
Look into PMC and ATC speakers. Both brands are capable of high volume and low distortion, but also sound good at lower volumes.

Hmmm. 12 years selling audio gear and then this:

>> I blew the drivers out of our floor model Krell LAT-2's one day demoing them when we first got them in. <<

Well, I suppose they weren't your speakers.

I'd recommend whatever you get, if they're new, try breaking them in before launching them into orbit.

Sam Ash might have something you'd like. Check out the pro PA systems.

I see hearing aids too in your future.
I see hearing aids too in your future.

That was my initial reaction. :)
Get an old pair of Klipschorns and knock yourself out...
Forget the Maggies, you'll be behind the speakers changing fuses more than in front of them listining. I love the Maggies and own them, but they are not for your needs of very loud volume.
Go horn dude your ears will melt and then your eyes
Well I don't listen at those volumes often. I like the capability.

BTW we did break the LAT-2's in for 72 hours.

Not a fan at all of Klipsch or horn based speakers.
Look into PMC and ATC speakers. Both brands are capable of high volume and low distortion, but also sound good at lower volumes.

Indeed - if you are looking for dynamics and an adrenaline rush but with audiophile sound quality (rather than PA speakers) then set your sights on one of the large three ways made by ATC or PMC (make sure you go for the Active versions).

Larger ATC's will get you 120 db SPL with 10 db of headroom at less than 0.3% THD over the entire frequency range. They are equally good for HT or 2 channel or both. They will make Krell LAT-2's seem like mere toys yet they will probably come at a similar price tag to similar high end audiophile speakers (when you consider LAT-2's need a power amplifier and Active three way speakers have three amps built into each speaker). The only issue is aesthetics - neither of these big bad boxy three ways are much to look at.
Why don't you go to CES and see/hear what's out there? Since you are in the industry, you can easily get in and it's lots of fun drooling.
You might consider MBLs for loud volume.
I think if you heard ATCs they would knock you out of your chair -- the cleanest, most powerful and dynamic midrange I've ever heard yet still well balanced overall. Of course it always comes down to personal taste, especially with speakers, but I've heard most of the speakers you listed and you really need to hear ATCs before making a final decision. Make sure you audition one of the models with the dedicated dome midrange driver. Best of luck in your search.
Thanks for the ATC and PMC suggestions. I have heard PMC monitors in a friends studio. Really liked them. Never heard the ATC's.
Check out a pair of Cerwin Vega CLS-215. A very good review
in one of the mags. Dynamics out the wazoo and very easy to drive.

You may want to check out a speaker that uses a variation of the Altec 604 duplex driver. This driver has been used as monitors for recording studios as well as in PA systems. They have extreme dynamics and can go as loud as you may want without distortion. They also happen to be very musical. The down side is that they need rather large cabinets to have the proper bass reinforcement. There are several on the market and many DIY versions out there. I own a pair from Serious Stereo which are by far the best speakers I have owned. Shindo makes one although it is rather pricey.
These do not sound like typical horn speakers,they are very smooth in the treble range.They would be ideal for your "high volume" listening preference.Ty Lashbrook,the owner of the company,is one of the best folks in the business.Call him,he will make sure you are satisfied.Link to info below.Good Luck.

Tyler Acoustics
Sounds like it's time for some big DUNLAVYs!!
What's the rest of your system, particularly your amp? Budget? The answer to those may get you more specific responses.

Just in general, nothing is as fast and dynamic as horns that I've heard. Maggies certainly wouldn't be my choice. I've listened extensively to 20.1's and 3.6's and neither would be my idea of dynamic powerhouse speakers. When you say you don't like Klipsch, have you heard the Heritage stuff like Khorns, properly set up, or are you talking about their current AV offerings? Plenty of other horn options out there though the good ones are pretty large and expensive - Oregon's suggestion to attend one of the shows is a great idea. I was hooked on the dynamics of horns for a long time. Eventually I went to a smaller listening room in my home where horns didn't pass the WAF so I spent a long time trying to find something as fast and dynamic. Everything else was a compromise, but I have ended up with a pair of Coincident speakers that satisfy me in that way (Super Eclipse III's). I also like listening relatively loud, though not to the same music you mentioned. These speakers do a fine job and are lightening fast and dynamic (though, again, horns are in a different league there, though these come close). Of what you mentioned, the only ones I've liked and would have thought fit your criteria very well are offerings by Vienna Acoustics (their Beethoven's and Motzarts come to mind as very good choices).

Good luck!

I have a lot of equipment.

Amps - Bryston SST, Lexicon LX-7, Anthem MCA-20, Krell KAV-300i

Receivers - B&K AVR507S2, Denon AVR2807

Processors - Lexicon MC-1 V4, Krell Showcase (not working)

Budget is around $2k for the front speakers.

I have heard Khorns and La Scala's. There were quite dynamic but something about the horns just did not sit right with me. Hard to explain.

I have been to CEDIA and CES over 10 times each but unfortunately just don't have time to listen much as I am usually working the entire time.
Waste no more time. Go Directly to JBL Everest speakers. They were in the RMAF Kimber room, hope you took a listen. If not, take a leap of faith. Visually they will take your breath away. You may think of these as HT stuff, but in the right room, two channel will never be better. Yes, they are horn's plus. So, stop fooling around and just get the best.
Amps - Bryston SST, Lexicon LX-7, Anthem MCA-20, Krell KAV-300i

You may have lots of gear, but it's all solid state, all muscle amps. I would definitely not pair any of those with Khorns or Lascalas so if your impressions were with those kinds of amps I can understand your reaction. Even if not, I do get that horns are not everyone's cup-o-joe. No need to explain the preference further. There are very few SS amps I've heard making music I'd like to listen to with Khorns (McIntosh does a fine job though for some reason, and I'm sure there are some others, but in general it is a challenging match-up IMO, and more often than not tends to sound harsh or shouty to my ears).

Have you thought of putting tubes in the mix somewhere? Perhaps a tube pre with HT bypass? Or perhaps using SS amps known more for their finesse with music than for their muscle (Pass, Ayre, Plinius, etc)? It may be something worth considering if you want to put any kind of stress on 2-channel music listening. That's not to harsh your amp selection...but I could certainly think of better choices for music. That said, I've heard some older Krell amps sounding really great with Martin Logan speakers. I can't recall the combination as this was many years ago. The only amp I have any exposure to that you own is the Bryston (I think I've heard their 3 and 7). It's fine, but not something that particularly would float my boat for music.
go 'ohm' and don't come back.

Funny enough I have heard the Klipsch speakers on McIntosh amps. I believe they were the Heresy's or Cornwalls. Can't remember. Sounded better but to be honest that was a long time ago and was pretty green in the biz. I might end up going to listen to some again just to confirm.

Buconero117, Heard about the JBL Everest but I believe those start at $30k per pair. $2k for the pair is my budget.
I have a pair of Monitor Audio Studio 6 Loudspeakers with a matching Monitor Audio Studio Centre speaker for sale on Audiogon, that has very little use.Less then 300 hours and I am the original owner.
I am selling because I don't have room for a home theatre. Do a search on the Monitor Audio Studio series.

How about Dynaudio Audience 82? There is (was?) a brand new black pair here for 1500. I picked up a pair on Craigslist locally for 1 K and they have dynamics out the wazoo but also sound nice at lower volume levels with any kind of music. I think quite non fatiguing sound and close to full range as most of us need. They'll take the power and I like to listen loud too. I think they'd go great with your Bryston amp. I run them with Bel Canto Ref 1000 mk ii amps and Adcom GFP 750 pre in active mode. I can listen to rock, jazz, bluegrass/acoustic, classical and it all sounds good.

Very familiar with Monitor Audio. Used to work at a shop that replaced B&W with Monitor. Liked the GR20's somewhat but in general not what I am looking for.

Swanny, I had Dynaudio on my list to demo.
What's your buget? I've heard Marten Design Birds at concert levels as well as the older Dunlavy IV's... both will blow your doors off. Pair the birds with big VTL mono blocks and you will never look back. Who knows you might even start enjoyong low sound levels due to all the details.

Truth be told I like haviing a Martini and cranking it up from time to time.

Budget is $2k for me so nowhere near Marten Design or Dunlavy.
Budget is $2k for me so nowhere near Marten Design or Dunlavy.

I really have never found a home speaker that was dynamic and exciting but could also quiet down and let me enjoy some old jazz vinyl I picked up from my father.

Well at $2K budget you are still gong to struggle - my suggestion (at this price) is a well cared for but rather old pair of JBL 4435's.

If you think that you can find what you are looking for in small cute looking monitors - you can forget it.
Let me rephrase. Since I work for a customer retailer in the business $2k is probably more like $4k to $5k retail pricing.
For loud, I like the Legacy Whisper with Tube gear. I own Maggie 3.6 which will not go quite as loud, but has all its own attributes. I would not be using maggies for bombs and gunshots, but for music DVD's they would be great. I like mine, have no wants for others. They are great with Bryston 4BSST or 14BSST. Biamp with 7BST in the bass and the 4BSST in the mid treble and a sub.....very nice. jallen

Let me rephrase. Since I work for a customer retailer in the business $2k is probably more like $4k to $5k retail pricing.

Well then, you have your answer. Get whatever your money will get you through those people respective of the lines they can acquire... get the highest sensitivity and input impedance rating you can find with the esthetic you like.

However, the issue, then, now and always is going to be matching. Like nearly everyone here has pointed out. Matching, amps to speakers, speakers to rooms, and to your preffs.

This is no slam dunk simplistic matter. It's doubtful too as Shateren said, if you'll achieve your goal... even on the $4K MSRP - $2K reality level, if that's doable in fact.

I’d suggest other things too like cabling, power line conditioning and isolation, as well as running in speakers for more than a couple days, or even three. I know that’s a long time, 3 whole days but new good speakers usually take a wee bit more than that to run in completely. Try thinking in terms of hundreds of hours, like 3 or 400…. And at least, 250.

I doubt you’ve blown out or up any speakers you’ve personally owned though, right?

Shows are ok I presume for getting some idea… but hearing thoroughly run in speakers set up well can and will change your mind about speakers you may have already heard.

I’ve never been in a mid fi box store like Tweeters, Sound Advice, etc, not actual high end salons, and found much if anything they had on display besides their TVs to be run in completely or properly, for that matter and the Setup? Their setups frankly stink the biggest percentage of the time.

A good idea might be to start a bit lower than you wanted and go with really nice two ways, if bought well/smart you can keep saving up… keep listening… and keep on checking out other ones… then flip these for the ‘intended’ ones or at least the closer ‘ones’… then like shampoo, wash, ship, and repeat, until you get what you’re after.

You’ve got to admit if you have been around audio gear as long as you say, putting a thing into your own system is the best way to find out what will work for you. I wonder how much of that you actually do. Why have all those amps? Sell a couple and add that to your speaker budget for a start.

For HT having several dissimilar amps is not conducive to a cohesive or coherent sound field… neither are different speaker brands… or widely dissimilar models within that same brand. Then there’s wires too…. Etc. etc.

$2K of real money ain’t chump change anywhere these days, but to achieve your goals you should reassess things some IMO. The speakers on your list have some very good contestants in there. Not knowing them all, I get the impression all are two way units. Monitors. Start there.

ASk for units that can play loud for two grand and that isn’t hard. Ask for units that play loud in HT and that’s not much more trouble. Ask for units that play loud, good for HT, and as well for low level music, it get’s tuffer…. Ask for all that for two grand and you’ve a job ahead of you. Many great suggestions here already…. But your power trains on hand are possibly not the best suited for the types of speakers you seek.

PSB got a great review from stereophile recently on some that go for $4.5K new. Zu’s new line up also has some great press. AP’s Scorpio II also reportedly is great too but at $3700 via a dealer here. Silverline Sonata IIIs as I have also will do much of if not all of what you desire, yet again, they go upwards of 3500 - 4000 used.

Room size will aid you too if it’s not big… so will having a great sub.

Good luck…. More importantly, good luck to your neighbors too.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I guess I came here because I am looking to get outside my the box with regard to the people I normally talk to. I have already found a couple of speaker brands from this thread I never thought of. I have that many amps because I just kind of inherited them for very cheap over the years. I really do need to get some speakers in my system and try them out. I am moving to a new home in the next couple of weeks hence the start of building a new system.

With respect to cables, power line conditions, etc I have more of that than I do amps.

Just looking for suggestions so I can start the process. I have already found alot of the speakers suggested on this thread for well under my budget so I will probably start at the top, purchase them, sell them if I don't like them and move on to the next.
I second Legacy speakers, even the smaller models can play loud, nice at lower volumns also. They are easy to drive and a good value.

Just looking for suggestions so I can start the process. I have already found alot of the speakers suggested on this thread for well under my budget so I will probably start at the top, purchase them, sell them if I don't like them and move on to the next.

Excellent idea. As I was reading through the suggestions and your responses I was waiting to get to the end before suggesting that very thing.
That's how I found all the equipment in my system. Everything I own now has been purchased used and thoroughly compared against competitors. What's in my system has proved most favorable to my ears. The only ears that matter in my room.

I'll add one more speaker you should explore. The Eminent Technology LFT 8B in a "stacked" configuration. I wish I had first hand knowledge of these but alas I don't live near anyone who owns these. But don't let that stop you. Do your research and you will find that these may just be your ticket.

Start with this article about the "Poor Man's Infinity IRS V" and then read Doug Schroeder's (a frequent contributer to Audiogon and now a reviewer for Dagogo) review and see if this might be the way to go.

Someone is selling a set of these here with the Sound Anchor base for around $1500 plus shipping.

I own Maggies myself, but finding these and other articles has started me rethinking my system.