Check out the Gallo Reference 3.1's. They do rock very well.
32 responses Add your response
Speakers that rock? I presume you mean "speakers that rock other than powered speakers and horns".
Many speakers have headroom and don't compress, for example, my old Revel Salons and Vienna Acoustics Mahlers, but in order for a speaker to really go loud and still sound good, it also has to be efficient so it doesn't have to be run with high-wattage amps that use feedback. Examples are some of the bigger Wilsons and the Escalante Fremonts. I regret parting with my Fremonts (I did so for aesthetic reasons). It took me awhile to get them dialed in, but once I did, they were fantastic - good God they're explosive and go loud cleanly. Unfortunately, none of these speakers fits your budget.
Of course, if you really want to rock, big horn systems and powered speakers like ATC's are the easy answer. Perhaps you could find mid-level ATC's at near your budget.
Cerwin-Vega CLS-215. 93 dB sensitive, bass into the 20's powered by two
15" woofers, well reviewed even by audiophile magazines, and way
under your budget thanks to vertical integration and economy of scale.
They are bi-ampable and can absorb something like 450 watts. Their ability
to play loud and uncompressed is legendary. Their frequency response curve
is remarkably uniform at different amplitude levels.
Take the money you save on speakers to get enough amplification to
complete the equation to rock.
With your amp - Klipsch Cornwall or K-horns. You will be surprised.
I own the Cornwall with a hot rod dynaco and its the real deal
I owned the VR4 you need more power and I didnt like them. I owned and would have recomended B&W 801 III but you dont have enough power.
I own and would recomend Revel F32 or F52 used
Klipsch Chorus II are superb speakers that rock out. You get incredible dynamics and clarity like a live performance. They're extremely efficient (101db), so it doesn't take a big amp to drive a pair, and they are very forgiving with less than stellar gear. Klipsch Forte II are also superb speakers that rock (99db), and both of these floor standing models can be found on Audiogon used at very affordable prices (under $800)...
People love to recommend Klipschs for rock, which makes a ton of sense on paper, but I don't like them very much. They're a bit too bright and forward for my tastes. And yes, I listen to rock almost exclusively - classic, alternative, metal, etc.
If I had a larger room, I'd be all over Revel Concerta F12. Great bass, speed, and tone. I don't know your room layout or anything else, but just by judging dimentions, it should be big enough for the Revels. When I first heard them, they sounded a bit too distant for me. If you hear them and feel the same way, have the salesman reverse the polarity of the speaker wires. That brought them a good bit closer and tightened everything up when I heard them.
The Paradigm Studio 60 and 100 are also excellent.
I have a small room and run Audio Physic Yara Evolution Bookshelves. They sound perfect in my room with my Brsyton B60 and Rega Apollo. Your room may or may not work well with them. If you're looking for a floor stander, theirs are excellent as well. Huge soundstage, dynamics, and very tight, tuneful, and fast bass.
Forgot to mention...
Just because ATCs are powered doesn't mean they rock out like a CV or Klipsch.
Another great speaker to consider is PMC. Can't say enough good things about them, especially when paired up with Bryston and stuff that has a similar signature.
All recommendations are made without knowing what your gear sounds like. System synergy obviously plays a huge role; I'm just throwing out suggestions for auditions.
If your budget somehow grows to 6k used, the Wilson Sophia are awesome for rock.
With a 3k budget, I really don't think you can do much better than the Gallo 3.1. You can pick these up for around 2k on the 'gon. I am an owner, yes, but I bought them because they pack in so much dynamic punch and sound awesome on rock (and other) music. The replacements (the 3.5) have seemingly minor changes, but will be selling for 6k.