Speaker recommendations / live concert recordings

I have decided to look for speakers in the $900-$1100 price range. I have an old Akai receiver and an equally old Magnavox cd player, both of which will be upgraded soon after i purchase speakers.
I am looking for some advice on what to look for in speakers to listen to live rock/jazz concert recordings on. Most of the recordings i listen to are done with 2 (sometimes 4) microphones, a mic preamp, a/d converter, and a DAT deck. All components used are usually of the highest quality. The location of the microphones can be anywhere from on the stage lip to 100 feet from the stage. The performances are usually played in large venues such as the Spectrum in Philadelphia, small bars, and anything in between. Please look at this page to get a better idea of the types of recordings i listen to:


i want to reproduce the sound in the venue as it's heard when you're there as accurately as possible, however, some of the recordings have a lot of low end and can be quite "boomy." I will want to have the ability to remove some of this while listening. what would be the best way to do this? would the bass response knob on the preamp be enough, or would an EQ do a better job?
thanks in advance for you opinions.
Hi Kevin...

IMO, live reproduction is done nicely with panels.
You have to have the right speaker in the right room w/the right componants driving them, but when it all comes together some maggies or Martin Logans will immerse you in a 3D holographic soundscape that does a live event justice.
you probably know me through etree?
I listen to 90% live music and have been hooked on flat speakers for playback.

As for boomy...
find better tapes.
oh yeah, i know you :)
How's it going?

I listened to some paradigm studio 40s today, wich i had been meaning to do. As you advised, I also decided to check out some Martin Logans. I listened to the Mosaics. They did sound great, but are unfortunately out of my price range right now. They did do a better job of reproducing the "live" sound of the various audience recordings I brought with me than the Paradigms. I'll have to locate a Magnepan dealer around here and have a listen, but before I do, do you have any experience on how the Martin Logans compare to the lower priced Maggies, such as the MG12s? I see alot of older Maggies on ebay and audiogon which are substantially cheaper than the Martin Logans I heard today. Any idea how they would compare? I know this is a general question, but that's all I have for now :)
Older Maggies can be a good thing, especially if you can mate them with a good subwoofer. I prefer the sound of Martin Logans, but I also find the Maggies to be quite pleasing. I would also look into used Thiels. You should definitely be able to pick up a pair of CS3.5's, or maybe CS2.3's in your price range. The Thiels would have better accuracy and midrange detail than the Paradigms (which while I agree are a great speaker at their price point, I don't really think of as being exceptionally accurate).

The Klipsch Heritage series reproduces a live event very well. If you have the space, the LaScalla can be found used in your price range. Two very simple tweaks will bring this speaker to a higher level. 1 - Dynamat on the horn. 2 - Liquid nails on all the seams inside the cabinet. This really tightens up the bass and surprisingly broadens the soundstage. If you want to go with tubed amplification, the Klipsch is a great match. The Lascalla is very sensitive at 104db/watt so any weakness in the system will be easily noticed.
thanks for all the responses, guys.
i was about to start a new thread about what speakers are "true" to the source... or don't color the music... but i think thats what this might turn into if i'm lucky.
I quickly read a bit about the thiels that Tombowlus recommended and they seem to do that pretty good (here)


what other speakers are out there that are uncolored that i should look into? Buying used is fine, but if I do buy used I'de like to keep the cost below $900-1000 if possible. I'm starting to realize that I'm probably going to have to buy my whole system at once (less cd player) which is going to hurt :)

I own MLs, but I still consider myself a maggie guy. they are a little smoother sounding, IMO.
the MG12 is a fantastic speaker, and still in production. Mate that with a small sub, like an 8" model (dual drivers would be nice) and you'll be back in MSG in no time! Even the MMG will blow your mind (and is easily had for $400).
two subs is the way to go. You could get the MMGs and a pair of 8" subs and probalby stay in your price range. You needn't spend a fortune on the subs, just stick w/the smaller models as they are quicker than large ones, and this is important w/pannels (quick sub).

as far as clarity and transparency, the Maggies do this particularly well. the MLs are the king though. this can work both for and against you as it will bring out the best/worst of your componants and sources.
its a funny thing, you'll find a lot of your favorite AUD recording actualy suck, and many of the ones you thought were "eh" are actualy masterpieces.

One thing with panels, you need to have some breathing room. If you can't pull them out into the room at least 30" and several feet from the sides...then you might want to reconsider that direction.
Another downfall is that they only produce a sweet spot suitable for one person. so there is only one good seat in the house where the music comes into real focus. This spot though...you'd have to spend way more money to get that sort of quality from a box speaker w/a broad sweetspot.

you say you may be buying your whole system....sans CD player. the CD player is very important here...crap in, crap out. what is your deck? does it have a digital output?

Those mosiacs you listened to....
go back and listen to a pannel (as the mosiac isnt'). for shits and giggles...listen to the Ascent. I'm sure they'll have one. I assume you went to a tweeter?
Then you'll know what your after.
Don't listen to Nick, every time he leaves my house I shake my head. I'm not a panel guy, plain & simple. Box speakers have the slam he can't experience unless he comes to my house. If you want the real thing you need slam. We both used to tape alot & have sold some gear to invest in our home systems. Trust me once you start listening to live tapes through a really good system you'll be surprised to find some of those "boomy" tapes are killer. If you have the room for big speakers I would say Vandersteen 2c's will work, I never got them to work in my room due to placement issues but they can sound sweet & they are under $1,000 used. I had a pair of Meadowlark hot rod Kestrals & they weren't exactly suited to our music so I sold them. Now I have a pair of Tyler Reference monitors with matching sub that can rock with the best of them. Most of the time when you ask people on this forum for rock speakers they will mention JBL's & the like but we don't listen to typical rock music so I would recommend staying away from some of those speakers mentioned.
Find a really nice sounding speaker that can reproduce decent bass & improve the rest of your system around them. It will be the best thing you ever did for your music enjoyment, trust me.
PS- you need some WSP on your list ;)
outdone again by Capt. Carl.
If you want good slam with a fairly cheap speaker see if you can find a pair of Sony SS M9's. There US designed and made, and the Sony label will let you buy them cheap. They cost around $6000 but I've seen 'em for as little as $1000, and they will rock, or jazz, or whatever you want 'em to do.

...an' dats da name a dat tune!
ohhh... maggies, ML, sony, thiel, vandies, klipsch, Tyler Reference... ahhh!
what's going on? you guys were all suposed to recommend the same speaker, not give a million options!
i would like to find something that will make me relatively happy without a sub, though. That would be nice.

Fishwater, have you ever tried a tube preamp while listening to AUD tapes (cds)? what do you think about that? I wouldn't mind trying that with a solid state amp.
also, another AUD question. do you have tone controls in your system? if so, do you ever use them? i just keep thinking that i will want to use them a lot, and if i dont have any i'll be sorry. i listen to alot of shows on crappy systems in my car, at my girlfriends house, and at home. i have to play with the bass & trebble whenever i put a new show in. i just don't know if it will be necessary with my new speakers and with the decent pre and power amps i plan on getting (~$1200 on used amps). any input?
and yes, i sure do need some wsp. let me know if anything i have looks interesting and maybe we can set up a trade!
I had a tube pre amp for a year or so with my set-up. I have recently moved away from one due to a deal gone bad & I am actually enjoying the fact that I don't have tubes in my system. As far as tone controls are concerned, skip them & tune your system to sound good at your home. There have been a few threads around here on tone controls, do a search. I prefer the purist signal path but would not be opposed to some tone control if there was a piece of gear that sounded really good to me on it's own.
Nick & I are very good friends but we have different opinions on speakers, you have to listen to a bunch of speakers to have an idea of what your looking for. I was against monitors until I heard a REALLY good pair, now I have a set. Go out & listen, bring your own tunes & crank it! There is plenty of ways to reproduce the live sound in your living room, you just have to find it! Now the fun begins.
PS- If you want some WSP & can download semi-high speed drop me an e-mail for a log-in
I tell ya...you want a real minimalist approach?
buy the benchmark DAC-1 and some "active" monitors.
no pre
no poweramp
no speaker cable
no interconnects
save a TON of money

have a kick ass system!!
In your price range nothing but Maggies would give you what you are looking for. The key to Maggies is of course proper setup, you must let the speakers "breath" in its surroundings.

The best you can do is to audition them! I have heard many speakers but only Maggies came close to reproducing the "live" sound. This is of course based on the budget you have.

Good Luck!
I like the maggies too...
but, as i'm learning with (com)plannars, the room acoustics play a much larger role with these types of speakers than traditional ones.

case in piont, my room.
I've got a nice Martin Logan setup. Dream system. Plenty of breathing room. sounds like complete ASS !
Speakers are setup properly..and then some. But my room acoustics kill their performance.

You'd never know until you got them home, but IMO...worth the effort to try as the maggies will give you the most quality sound for your money...but you'd need a sub for your musical requirements.
I am a Maggie fan myself, but I am surprised that they have been recommended by so many people for Pop/Rock type music. I don't do Pop/Rock myself, but if I did I would seek out big (15") ProSound drivers in a big vented box, because that is exactly what you hear at a live concert.

My subwoofer systems, which are crossed over relatively high (90Hz) include JBL LE15A drivers which, while originally used as woofers (up to 800 Hz) in JBL home systems, resemble current ProSound drivers. For certain kinds of music, these JBL drivers furnish the "Punch" which many people find lacking in Maggies.
Maggies for this guy? C'mon. He wants an efficient, big-bottomed boxy 3-way that's affordable. Who makes these? Maybe old Vandersteens, used big Paradigms, et al. Remember what he's listening to. Midrange honesty and coherence have to take a back seat at $1k if he wants explosive dynamics, no?