Need a speaker for the blues lover...

Hey 'Goners. Currently shopping speakers and am in a quandry of sorts. My listening taste leans towards electric blues followed by classic rock (Tull, Moody Blues etc.), guitar oriented jazz then a smattering of country (Johhny Cash, Willie)or easy listening stuff. I am considering Klipsch RF-52 II, Magnepan MMG or perhaps the new ZU Omen. My budget is up to 1k, but less is ok too as is used. I know the Klipsch and MMG's are 2 different animals but I like the sound of both for different reasons. I have a studio apartment approx. 25'x30'. Amp is a McIntosh MA6200 with a Marantz universal player. Listening area is about 11' feet from the speaker plane. Ideas and thoughts most appreciated.
Check out Tannoy speakers, they were/are used to monitor a huge percentage of recording sessions the world over. They do ALL music well. I think the DMT 12's would suit your needs. Google Hans Hilberink's Tannoy site, tons of info there.

Best of luck,
Thanks Islandman. Never thought of them...
If you can stretch the budget look into Omega speakers. I had the Compact Hemp, Super Six Alnico Monitors and Super 8 Alnico XRS. Omegas are best known for how they portay the guitar. The best I have ever experienced! I've been in this hobby off and on since the late 70's and the Omegas are the best at guitar. Call Louis and see what he can do for you 203-847-2800. 30 day return policy.
I second the Tannoy's...
If you get a chance, check out Fritz' Carbon 7s. I listen to classical, blues, and classic rock. The Carbon 7s do a wonderful job. They run a bit more than $1K, but you might be able to get a demo set from Fritz. He's worth calling.
Thanks for the ideas, many of which I hadn't thought of.
I listen to the same music. Try out some Verity speakers like the Parsifal Ovations you will be very happy.
I listen to a lot electric blues music and my speakers are Zu Druid. They portrait the electric guitars in a marvelous way.

I have heard many positives about the Druid. I had my eye on the new Omen selling for $999.00 if you order today, hmm..

One piece of advise I would have is find something you like with softdome tweeter. I might get jumped on for this but I listen to very similar music and went from Klipsch Heresy to the metal Paradigm Signature S4 tweeter and ultimately to the Proac D Two. I loved the snappiness of the Klipsch and the midrange of the Paradigm but eventually the tweeters got to me. I have had the Proacs now for a couple years and I just love them. Than being said I am in a small room and horns tend to do very well in larger rooms. I had the chance to listen to a pair of Cornwalls last week in a bigger room and loved em. If you stick with Klipsch I would consider the Heresy. It's really a heck of a speaker and a person can pick up a pair used, in mint shape for under a grand. Add a small tube amp and it might tame the horns down nicely. It sure worked on the Cornwalls.

Good Luck,

I strongly agree with Islandmandan's recommendation of the Tannoy System 12 DMT or System 12 DMT II or System 1200 (all very similar). Relatively compact cabinets (50 to 70 litres), the exceptional coherence of the dual concentric speaker topology, high sensitivity (93-96 dB), high power handling (200 Wrms), superb dynamics and, with used prices typically under $1K, outstanding price/performance ratio.

I own or have owned the System 12 DMT and System 12 DMT II, the System 15 DMT II, and the System 215 DMT II. They have the same family sound except as the driver and cabinet size increases, the sensitivity rises and bass extension deepens. They all perform well with both low powered tube amps and high powered solid state amps (though my personal preference is for the latter).

Horseface's recommendation of the Klipsch Heresy is also a good suggestion, although I find the Tannoys are smoother without sacrificing detail and dynamics.

I've auditioned speakers up to $30K retail, but haven't found anything to tempt me away from the System 215 DMT II, which retailed for around $9K and which I bought used for about one-third of that. And the System 215 is just a System 12 on steroids. . .

Happy listening!
Consider the used market and find a pair of Klipsch Forte's/Forte II's or Chorus/Chorus II's. Either model will provide great blues/jazz/rock listening especially with your McIntosh/Marantz combo. $300.00 to $700.00 is the norm these days used in good condition.

If you had a more powerful amp than the McIntosh and had a sub, I would go with the MMG's. I think that for Blues, planars and especially electrostatics really sound great.

However, for your associated components, I don't think the MMG's would be as good of a fit, and from your list I would choose the Klipsch (though I've never heard the Zu's).

Other considerations would be a PSB Stratus Bronze or Silver (you don't have the amp power for the Gold's) or some of the larger NHT offerings.

According to the Klipsch forums, you have a classic match for the Forte or Chorus Willland recommended. I might try for the II versions with the Tractrix mid horn. From what I understand, the Tractrix addresses the coloration caused at the mouth where the horn opens to the baffle. I have not compared the the two, but I just acquired a set of Forte IIs. It will be a few days before I can set them up, but I got them for a song(PI)and cant wait to hear them. I was actually looking for the Quartet model that is a bit smaller and uses the same horns, you should consider this less known model as well. Few speakers capture the live sound of rock or blues like these do, you don't need monster power, and they play crazy loud if needed.
I definitely 2nd the Omega suggestion. I have the Super 8 Alnico XRS in one system and they are terrific for blues, small ensemble jazz and classical, solo instrumental, and solo vocals. Tremendous musical value for the $.
Thanks guys for the great ideas, I will ponder them seriously.
I'd say this is basically a list of personal favorites, none of which are more than the others to blues music.

Any excellent, full range speaker, should fill the requirements.

I would be more concerned about your neighbors complaining about the loud music considering you're in a studio apartment.
Tvad. I live on a secluded private road so the neighbors aren't an issue :). I seldom listen very loud though my girlfriend like to "jam" when she visits on weekends. I have been having trouble finding a speakers that adds that "edge" that blues music needs without overkill on other types. I have tried Quad 22L's which were nice but sanded everything smooth. Klipsch's do great on blues but are edgey on other stuff. And so it goes...
You have a studio apartment on a secluded private road?

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Anyhow, good luck.
I agree with Tim that Fritz is worth calling; he's a good guy, and the Carbon 7 is very nice indeed, if a bit over your stated price range. As Tvad points out, not clear that any of the speakers mentioned are esp. well suited to blues -- but I'm not sure a "blues specific" speaker is required (or if one exists). From what you've said, a more important issue might be what speaker does well at moderate volumes -- not all do.

Actually, an above garage studio type on a scenic river in the woods...

11-01-10: Beernut
Actually, an above garage studio type on a scenic river in the woods...
Nice. Have fun!
Excellent -- we've sorted out the "oxymoron question."
Jdoris, maybe the oxymoron has been resolved for you but I still don't understand it.

Beernut, let me get this straight: You have a place in on a scenic river in the woods with no nearby neighbors that consists of a garage and only a studio apartment above it. Is this like your river cabin or something? If so, I'd like to see pictures!

You got it nailed, didn't know it was that interesting. I call it "the condo". I guess the initial point was bothering my neighbors isn't an issue. Not sure how I would post a pic to this thread.

Maybe there is an air of paradox: To my ear, "studio" suggests any apartment without a a separate bedroom (though I might have some hesitation about calling a really large bedroom-less loft a "studio"). To my ear, "apartment" suggests a home co-joined with other units; which I take prompted Tvad's question about listening levels.

Beernut's place apparently meets the "studio" criterion, but one might have hesitation about "apartment," given that his place is not cojoined with other units. Yet it seems to me that "garage apartment" is a familiar locution. Indeed, a google image search for "garage apartment" will reveal many pictures. I'll therefore continue to hold my "not an oxymoron" position, pending further argument.

Doubtless, this is not very interesting. But you maay be interested to know that some people get paid to do this sort of thing; it's called "analytic philosophy." Odd, I agree.

For blues or any live music being recorded with mics
I cant think of a better speaker than a Vandersteen 2CE Sig2
Try Muddy Waters Folk singer.
The speakers open baffle phase and time design handles his voice textures,persona and beat that can have you tappen your foot,and at the same time capture the room in the room with him feeling better than any box i have heard.

When you experience any of Buddy Guys live recordings his Raw guitar solos,drive and unique tone reproduction comes off natural and true to life.
I think you will find no box speaker can do this.
Many times at Consumer electronics shows Richard Vandersteen booked Buddy Guy to play for his dealers so we could experience and have it under our cap as a reference.
Whats most noteworthy is Vandersteens reference has been Live music all along and enjoys it himself.
Cheers Johnnyr
How about something from Zu Audio in the "Maserati Blue Nettuno" finish?
I have been listening to my Forte IIs, they are not forward or harsh as the word "Klipsch" might suggest. They do need a little breathing room, and admittedly, they are not that attractive being big plain boxes. I would recommend one of the 3way Klipschs or high efficiency "fullrange" single driver offerings from others.
Zu speakers are capable of huge dynamics which is essential for live music reproduction. The Eminance based drivers they use are also found in Marshall, Fender etc...... Which IS what you're listening to when your front row.

Buddy guys guitar bounces out from these speakers like no other that I've heard. ..... Goosebumps everytime
Thanks for all the great advice! I did end up opting for a pair of Klipsch RF-52's as a fender-bender ate into my speaker $$. I hate the new Zu Omen's in mind...
Oh Well.
Beernut, sorry if this is too late. I was waiting for a specific model number from a friend. But if your deal does not go through or you are not satisfied, this could be a fall-back.

A year or two ago this friend built a pair of speakers with components from Parts Express. I would not say they were the cleanest or most refined speakers I've ever heard but what they did was to sound like electric guitar, bass, and organ in a blues club. Whatever limitations or deviations they possessed might show up on symphonic music but for down and dirty blues, it was "you are there". Here is the link -

They were also great with rock and the little jazz I heard on them.
Beernut- the RF-52 was the room friendly newer model I was considering. Listen for a while and give your impressions if you get a chance. Would love to know what you think of them. My Fortes are fun to have, but boy are they big and fugly. I wanted something that I could use with my T-amp. The cheapest "full range" going, 12wpc and "Speaking in Tongues" sounds absolutely awesome. Also, they were much less than any newer models I could find, effectively an old cartridge and a cable from my closet!
I have had the RF-52's on order for 3 weeks now and still don't have them. I strongly considered the new ZU Omen as well but just couldn't stretch the budget that far at this time.. They too are very efficient..