Best I have heard to date is the new GR Research open baffle kit that they showed at RMAF.
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Some very good recommendations and I thank all of you.The only thing on the list so far that is close to me is a pair of JBL 4411 studios and would give them a listen but I do not like that they are properly used by laying them on their side.The Klipsch KLF 20's look interesting and so do the PSB Stratus gold i.As you an probably tell I am also looking for a very big set of speakers.The VMPS and PSB are on my list and hope to find a pair in my area to audition and know it will take time as the are not readily available.
Many Altecs perform better than Klipsch wonder why so many suggest klipsch foregoing the better performing better built with hi-quality drivers altec models. Also the Altecs cost less than the poorer performing klipsch models. Maybe I should keep my mouth shut on altecs or the price goes up. So buy klipsch forget what I said about altecs. You guys dont want them.
JBL L100 or 4311. Same speaker, L100 was consumer version of 4311 studio monitor that was used to mix many of the rock hits of the 60's and 70's. Dead nuts reliable because the woofers were constructed with paper surrounds which don't deteriorate like foam surrounds. Because they are so rugged, many are still available on the used market. Check Ebay from time to time.
They play loud without a lot of power. They play much louder without breaking up than most audiophile speakers. They were designed to work either vertically or horizontally. Doesn't matter which way as they are not time-aligned.
Being a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal fan myself, and having tried many loudspeakers myself, only two options left:
or if you budget is limited
Canton Karat 790 DC or 770 DC, excellent sound (value) for the money.
I also recommend to take Pink Floyd The Wall CD with you and listen to CD one at the very loud volumes. This will quickly show any shortcomings
UREI 813 speakers (A B or C lettered). Big dynamics, time aligned and used on plenty of mixing consoles. Of course they need to be played LOUD to sound best. Not everyone's cup of tea, with the right electronics they are the most dynamic speakers I've ever heard.
Excellent suggestion - these were legendary in their day. Many of these famous horn studio speakers have been or are being replaced by modern speakers like ATC SCM 150 or 300's (Pink Floyd used Urei 813's until they switched to ATC around 1990) - hence for $2K you can often find some used 80's studio speakers at a very good price (some are just sitting in storage waiting for someone willing to restore them). Also try to look for used JBL 4435's or even Westlakes (although Westlakes are rare and rather expensive even used)
Whenever these "Speakers for Rock Music" threads pop up, I always wonder how many of the contributors actually critically listen to rock music? Rock isn't just about "Turn it up, man! Freeeeeebird!" and bangin' yer head. There can be far more nuance within the genre than one may think.
While these noted necessities are not that different from what is required to properly reproduce other genres, IMHO a good rock speaker should be:
1. Very articulate
2. Dynamic (i.e. little compression / distortion at peaks)
3. Capable of moving an appreciable volume of air
However, the ability to express these qualities are probably just as attributable to the amplifier as to the speakers.
Do you like your B&Ws? What qualities do you think your current setup is missing? Are you just lacking bass? Is your budget based on selling your B&Ws?
Perhaps you should consider a pair of powered subs. $2k will buy you a pair of used REL Storm III subs.
No the 683's are not lacking in bass but they are defiantly not the most suitable for rock.I agree that rock does not always mean TURN IT UP LOUD.There are many different styles of rock.Unbelievable to me ....I auditioned some B&W 804's yesterday and they are what I am looking for.They did just about everything right with many types of rock from the Scorpions to OZZIE to Pink Floyd.Just a tad light in the bottom end but they only had 20 hours on them.
Even the N804's are generally more than $2k used. However, if you're now considering that price range (and you want to stay in the B&W family), you may want to think about the N805's + a REL sub (or 2). I used to own this combo and always liked it better than the N804's. Better imaging and better bass for about the same price.
Before you totally discount the 683s, my room is actually larger than yours and do have a pair of 683s. With 2 powered B&W subs spaced strategically in the room and Rotel 5 channel amp/AVR at 120 watts/ch all driven, the sound ROCKS for sure. Of course the reproduced sound has so much to do with the quality of the recorded CD. (I was thinking of starting a thread on that btw).
When I play Peter Frampton's Live CD or Toto IV-SACD, all I can say is WOW !! Between the bass produced by the subs and the detail produced by the 683s along with their own LFEs produced, I ask myself how much more could I ever want?
Actually I have decided to go with the B&W 804s.It is not that the 683's are bad in anyway as they are a wonderful speaker.I have found that after selling my Rotel cdp that the cdp was 90% of my problem combined with revealing interconnects.Just not a good combo and the 683s now do sound very.very good but on this journey I auditioned the 804s and just was amazed.I know I said 2000.00 and used but am now going above that and buying new as I am getting a pretty good deal and am making payments on them.I appreciate all the suggestions as there are many fine speakers suggested here.When I auditioned the 804s I took along some Ozzie Osborn and Scorpions and Led Zepplin cd's.The 804s really made the music shine.Also listened to jazz on them and was amazed.Thanks everyone.
Cerwin-Vega CLS-215. These are not just your dad's frat-boy speakers. The high end press has taken serious notice of these monsters:
Soundstage measurements. Notice how uniform the response is at various levels of amplitude.
TAS review. Yes, a favorable review of a 2x15 Cerwin-Vega speaker from TAS!
Yet they are also around 93 dB efficient, are bi-ampable, can handle something like 500 watts, and easily reproduce strong bass down into the 20's. If that isn't a rock speaker, I dunno what is.
I sold the rcd 1072 and really did not upgrade as I am using a old Denon cdp that just is much better sounding to me.It was really just hard for me to enjoy the Rotel rcd 1072.To me it just sounded to cold and forward.The Denon on the other hand just lets the music flow.Of course there are better players out there but if its not broken why replace it.
I listen to most rock. The best speaker I've heard play rock music was the PMC TB2i, which I got to take home for a couple of days earlier this year. No harshness in the treble frequencies, a very rich sounding midrange, and nice full bass. A little closed in sounding. Not what I would have thought would be the best speaker for rock, but many rock CDs are bright and I don't need a speaker that exacerbates that. Everything sounded great coming out of the PMC. One day I will probably buy a pair.
I'm likely to buy a pair of Monitor Audio RS5 speakers soon, which will tide me over. I expect the same kind of performance out of those, perhaps a bit drier and detailed than the PMC however. I guess it all depends on what you want. Harsh treble is a big no-no for me, especially for rock music.
If you want to rock, nothing is better than a pair of GALE GS401A.
Bass frequencies are full with great body and pace, in the middle you can get electrostatic type of clarity with bloom, while the highs are so extended, clear and transparent that you can feel to approach the K2 summit. These clues are good enough for a rock buff, in addition as a bonus their image is so wide and deep that can satisfy most if not all the High End guys.
They need a good amplifier for sure but not an extremely energetic or neurotic one. Very good match with Musical Fidelity A370, Chord SPM800, DPA 100S, Michell Alecto, even a pair of masterly modified Quad 405 can transport you in the Rock Heaven.
I'll push these speakers for any thread wanting a rock, or jaz speaker. Amazing speakers if you can swing the $2800 used price for them.
They will play louder then you can take cleanly, and have that great low end that gets low, but NEVER boomy, and not muddy in the upper bass.
I love these speakers.