Tool fan needs help with speakers (and electronics)

Just like the title says. I mainly listen to Progressive Metal, Grunge and Classic Rock.

I'm looking to build a system with an emphasis on speakers. My all in budget is $5K. Will consider used. My listening room is 4,368 cubic feet. 21' (L) x 16' (W) x 13' (H). Tile floor. No acoustic treatments. Not currently interested in vinyl or tube amps.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


My buddy who likes Tool, Massive Attack, Rebel Moto Club, etc uses Triad speakers

have fun

Big (used) Golden Ear towers with the built-in POWERED subs. Drive with a decent used HT receiver (lots of bang for buck) or used integrated.
ACDC's Stiff Upper Lip CD sounded great on my OHM Sound Cylinders! A good recommendation for an affordable pair of speakers that can "rock out"!
If I were looking for a loud rock n roll speaker I'd probably go active.  I actually did go active a few years back when I bought a pair of used ATC 110s for 5k.  That was a rare find but those things will really rock.  Music Direct sells a JBL line that would be great for hard rock I'm sure.  A 12" woofer is great for rocking.
Will you add room treatment (including a nice rug and pad underneath?

If keeping the way it is, something from Ohm Walsh may be of interest.


* Outlaw RR2160: ~$900
* NHT C4: $2000 or Polk LSiM 707: $2100
* 2x Rythmik F12-300: $1400 (your cubic space is huge, which needs large subs, and you need dual subs to combat room modes, or get room treatment, but bass corner traps are expensive).
* Maybe, a Topping D50 (in silver to match) if you feel the DAC on the Outlaw isnt great, though this can be bought after the fact.

Use the bass management on the Outlaw to crossover at around 60Hz.
If you want as are somewhat tech-savvy, $300 for a MiniDSP 2x4HD and mic to do DSP for the subwoofers (and the speakers if you also want to).

Get some nice cables: 
* speaker cables 
* subwoofer cables 
* Toslink cable
Thanks for suggestions, everyone. I appreciate it.
Tool sounds incredible on both my Golden Ear Triton References And Triton One speakers.  Clean, clear and very powerful bass. 
Tannoy or JBL. Will give you big soundstage and dynamics. 
If you get models with 10” drivers you’ll hear drums that don’t sound compressed the way they ca do on slimline tower speakers. 

Right up my alley.

Given that your room doesn't have much in the way of acoustic treatment, OHM Walsh speakers might be a great fit.  They are meant to use reflections to their advantage.  Huge soundstage, deep bass.  

You can go new, or buy some used and have John upgrade them.

Or, look at there "deals" on used, demo, or refurbs they have.

Then I would look for a nice integrated amp, probably class D as Ohm's like power and you might get more bang for your buck.

Possibly the powered golden ears (new or used) Tool sounds good when the speakers can thump, the powered bass section will allow you to have less power with your amp selection.

Golden Ears and OHM's both tend to be fairly smooth on the top end, which would also be nice with a room like yours where the tile floor etc may end up being a bit brighter.

I might consider budgeting for a decent area rug in front of your speakers though.
Huge Tool fan and lifetime Tool Army member here. I'm listening to Focal 936's with a Pass F5. I listened to the Golden Ears before the 936's and passed for a couple of reasons. First, the Focals beat them in imaging. Second, Danny's cymbals had an unnatural, forward shine to them which made them stick out in proportion the the toms, which as you know, also have a resonant, metallic ring. Tool isn't bass heavy stuff. Performance below 40Hz isn't that important with their music. I also like Massive Attack and digging down to 32Hz is important there, and the 936's would do that in your room with no problem. My room is only slightly smaller than yours. 
Tool are perfectionists about their mix. If you're not hearing Adam's guitar distinctly coming from some dark hole, then leaping out and coming at you from every angle beyond the boundaries of the speakers, you're not hearing what it should sound like. 46&2, Schism, Jambi, and The Grudge are my test tracks of choice. Jambi, in particular, will challenge any system well. Adam's guitar voice box solo should be up front, crisp, and dead center, no drifting around, with Danny and Justin clearly set back and clear. That passage will reveal failings in imaging and smoothness. Finally, Maynard layers his vocals with various depth. Good speakers should give a sense of that layering. 
Tool is currently mastering their new album on EgglestonWorks for what that's worth. 
B&W 700 might be worth a look too. 
As for power, I love my F5 with my 936's. 
If you have no intention of treatment that room I don't think you're going to get the best results with anything, especially Focal. 
@kisst_amojan - If he decides to go with Focal I think the SM9 deserves consideration.  Full warranty refurbs are available for $2100 each.  They're best played fairly loudly but I have to think that's the intention.  Performance for the money is going to be outstanding.  I don't know how important aesthetics are in this case but they don't look bad, just a little bit unusual.  
JBL, Klipsch, Paradigm.

I just remembered a Lou Reed speaker shootout many years ago. He panned Martin Logan, and raved about Klipsch.  He was a guy who really understood the importance of tone in amplified music.
Tool does play on horns. Barresi doesn’t mix on horns. And their music isn’t mastered on horns. Or JBL.
They use nothing but dynamic speakers except at their live shows where they use horn loaded line arrays. The WORST I ever heard Tool was on JBL line arrays and horns.

I think the SM9 is pretty small for what the OP is needing. Those are specifically near field monitors made to sound their best at 4 or 5 feet away. 
Vintage jbl l series or klipsch Cornwall’s. Both dynamic as heck. I’ve had them all and now I’m older and listen to musical a much lower volume. 
When I was younger I used to blow up the house with some jbl l-200. They were fantastic. 
jpaz, I hate to be the barer of bad news but that is a very big room. It is unlikely that you are going to do Tool justice with $5000. If you could find an old pair of K horns and slap something like the Benchmark AHB2 on them you would get the volume and great upper midrange and treble detail but the bass will be muddy. Kick drums will not hit you like they should and also imaging will be non existent. Even if you were to isolate one corner of the room for listening with a smaller system you will not get there with todays prices for $5K. My best advice is not to waste your money and keep saving! 
+10000000 on the goldenear technologies tritons. I have 2 different CD  changers and they both have a minimum of 2 tool cd's in them at any given time. I  have triton 2's in my main room powered by a yaqin mc50L chinese tube amp with some nos mullard 12at7 preamp tubes and jj's in the other six slots. I know you said you're not a tube guy but, if you're in NE Wisconsin you are welcome to come have a listen. Triton 2's were $2700 amp was $880 upgraded tubes were approximately $240 and my sony sacd changer was $25(at a pawn shop). It sounds fan freakin tastic. Cheers!!!!
Look into JTR. They will surely do the job, and there are models in your budget range.
You can easily do what you need to do for 5K. I agree with all the Triton call outs as that'll save you from getting a sub. I'm a deadhead, but my neighbor is all 90's/00's hard/metal and he has the Triton 1's and his setup sounds killer.  He has no subs.  He rocks a Manhattan DAC from a PC, and uses a Anthem integrated amp into Tritons with a rocking soundstage.  He's pretty cheap, so I bet he spent less than 5K.  Good luck.
Aerial Acoustics 10t. My room is as big as yours but only 9ft ceilings and my AA 7B’s have no problem filling my space - none at all but they demand a big amp to do the heavy lifting. Find an original Pass Labs X250 and some 7Bs or 10Ts and you’re up and running.

jpaz, I hate to be the barer of bad news but that is a very big room. It is unlikely that you are going to do Tool justice with $5000. If you could find an old pair of K horns and slap something like the Benchmark AHB2 on them you would get the volume and great upper midrange and treble detail but the bass will be muddy. Kick drums will not hit you like they should and also imaging will be non existent. Even if you were to isolate one corner of the room for listening with a smaller system you will not get there with todays prices for $5K. My best advice is not to waste your money and keep saving!
Mijostyn, Setting aside the $5K price limit for the sake of discussion, I'm curious what solid state amp and speakers you would recommend for a room of this size?  
I'd suggest putting more $$ away until the next album, then you can go wild on a much more expense system.  Ahem!!

But seriously...I have a pair of NHT 2.9 from 1999 that I got a great deal on for $1500/pair (didn't need the 3's), just changing the electronics over the years because I just loved the 2.9 for rock/metal/trance/psytrance etc...So the above that mentioned the NHT's gets my thumbs up considering your budget.

I'd also recommend a great headphone DAC/AMP + headphones...Tool in the cans is another dimension for listening and the way the industry is going, the quality of that sector of gear is amazing for the $$.
I'm not sure 3 or 4 month more of saving will make a big difference. 
Tool, Alice in Chains, and Clutch are what I play most often. I also like some old country, some Hank 3 and some more extreme metal.
I will get flamed for bringing up Tekton but especially for the kind of music you like..... Tekton DI used and maybe something like a Parasound hint used would give you a kick ass system around 4kish. 
Also agree with some other posters in that room at minimum you will want to get a big area rug and some mild wall treatments. 
Another brand I've always been curious about but that makes huge speakers that will fill a big room is Tyler.  I assume they're not the last word in refinement but I don't have direct experience.  They sure look fun.

Look at these. Very good.

NHT or Paradigm. NHT will be sealed, Paradigm will be ported. Would definitely pick up used and save a ton of $$$. Two pairs of NHT 3.3 on here and eBay for around $1500. It's a large speaker, but was very highly regarded. 
Tool is my favorite band ever. I listen on Goldenear T1s with an Oppo BDP-95, and a Rogue Audio Stereo 100. Sorry jpaz, you need to give tubes a try, they rock!
I think the Focal and GE are both better choices than Paradigm or NHT. 

My biggest complaint with the GE's is the weird dispersion of air-motion transformers. It makes for some obvious deficiencies when it comes to how Adam's guitar is mixed in several tracks. I wrestles with that crap with my AMT1's and didn't feel like doing it again with another pair of speakers. 

Honestly, if you're curious what Tool sounds like through an air-motion transformer, listen to the giant SOBs ESS makes. Giant dipole air-motion transformers are something special. And in a room you don't feel like treating much they'd do well. They do well in a carpeted bedroom I've done nothing to and ESS is alive and well and banging out some modern products. 
I give a nod to NHT’s.
i ran both 2.9 and 3.3 in a room 15x 22 ( not simultaneously).
I preferred the 2.9 actually , they didn’t jut out as far into the room so the soundstage worked better yet still had the bottom in spades even with a 10” woofer.
i squeezed more ELP juice out of those speakers .....