Any of the old Polk Audio speakers that have the multiple 6.5 inch woofers and the passive bass radiator. They are the best bang for the buck and can handle all the power that you can throw at them. Just ask anyone that has ever owned them and they will agree that these speakers can rock.
128 responses Add your response
As some one who has been into this hobby for 20 years and started out listening to metal (still go some times) you need to stay away from razor flat speakers, Revel and Thiel are good examples. They sound good when the music has bass recorded in but button up quick when the recording sucks.
I have always liked Wilson Audio and B&W for metal. Their flaws of over done bass thumb (upper bass 80-100hz) lends itself well to hard rock heavy metal. Older models of both brands can be bright so stick with newer ones (sophia 3,sasha or later, 802diamonds).
You can always add subs and a good digital highpass but that is not cheap if done right.
It really depends on your amp the JBL 43XX series is great for sheer output and composure, as is the older JBL Olympus.
The Altec 19 is fantastic and can use a smaller amp, ditto the Klipschorns, but you need to have corners for those. IMHO, the 19s are the pick of the litter for sheer sound quality and practicality alike.
I do not know your Budget, however, you asked what speaker would do what you ask the best, first off, the sensativity needs to be good, and you need alot of air movement for woofer size, here is a speaker that has fast woofers and a 96 sensativity rating, you like double bass, well then here you go, The JBL DD-Everest 67000 speakers, they have 2 15" woofers, do 28hz to 50 khz, they are horn speakers, so you get the the impact of metal music the way it was meant to sound like, ever seen dynamic speakers on stage at a live concert?, of course not!, the metal bands use horn speakers for many reasons, the 2 15" woofers here will provide the seperation of 2 bass drums quite well, this JBL speaker should take you where you want to go, A royal Flush so to speak of, Enjoy fellow metal head, long live Rock-n-Roll!
you cn do this in 1 of 2 ways;
older speakers - Infinity Crescendo Series (early 1990's).
new speakers - Thiel CS 2.7 or 3.7 depending on your room/space size.
I,too, enjoy Hard Rock/Metal and you are correct, most is very poorly produced/mixed- a real challenge for today's electronics and loudspeakers. Keep me posted & happy headbanging!
For a larger room, any of the bigger Legacy speakers will work well (Focus SE and up). Though the Legacys have fairly high efficiency ratings, they like a lot of power. For a small to medium sized room, the Vapor Audio Arcus paired with a good sub would be very tough to beat. I own a pair of Arcus and they will play down to the mid 40's at any volume I can withstand in my room and not fall apart. The subwoofer will give that low frequency lock that metal music requires. Arcus have some of the best midbass of any speaker I've ever heard and will play it to extreme levels. These recommendations are based on if they fall within your budget, obviously.
Legacy are alright, but not as good as Klipsch Heritage and JBL Synthesis, imo. I heard those old Polks back in '86 playing Deep Purple, I was not impressed. AS far as B&W, I would go with an old pair of 801 Matrixes series 2 or 3. Or the ever elusive 801Ds. There's a guy on you tube called audiophilemetallian with the 801Ds. Check out his videos, the 801Ds really rock!
I'd stay away from horn, electrostats and planners.
IMHO, metal needs critically-damped, very articulate dynamic (cone) speakers driven by solid-state that can really control the speakers. You can lessen the requirements of the amp if you high-pass the speakers and use a set of servo-subs.
A good track to test a "metal-worthy" system is Tool's "The Grudge". Listen to the accelerating kick drums. Each impact should be well defined (and not a muddy mess). Vocals should sound distinctly layered on top of the sonic fury. The engineering / production isn't perfect, but if you can get this song to sound "right" you're moving in the right direction.
Wow thanks for the suggestions, there is a lot of good advice in this posting. My budget is 3000$ and I have already tried the Klipsch rf7, Energy Veritas 2.4i, and grew up with JBLs on a Phase Linear system. Picked up some JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speakers for a seperate system and I am really impressed with horn tweeter in this series of speakers. Really be interested in hearing what the 590 towers would sound like, I know they would be better than the Klipsh. Find myself curious with Dali Evendence 870 with the soft tweeter design and two 8" woofers also. Someone here in Seattle has some for sale for less than a thousand bucks. What about NHT? 3.3 maybe?
since you are obviously in the Seattle area, I would invite you to hear MY Evolution Acoustics MM7's in North Bend which would be right up there with anything for heavy metal.
-4- 7 foot tall, 750 pound each, towers. -3db @ 7hz, -6db @ 3hz. lots of headroom. basically bass extension and dynamics without limits, and a room large enough for scale and musical energy to do big boy rock music justice.
is there better for heavy metal? who knows?
come on over and listen, then see if you can find better.
i cannot say i have all the 70's and 80's heavy metal music on hand, but i have quite a bit of it.
you can see pics and a gear list by clicking on my 'system' next to my name.
In your price range, consider the offerings from Tekton Design. They have multiple speakers in your price range that would handle heavy metal well. I have only heard the Pendragon which is very good for the price. Keep in mind that it is a large speaker and should be placed in a large room. Their smaller offerings (Seas Pendragon, Enzo, Enzo xl, Lore) should work well in a smaller room. Check them out.
Bless you for starting this thread. The hifi world has been discouraging of late because the lack "balls out" rock talk and fans. I never want to hear another Patricia Barber reference ever again on this site or from critics.
I wish more manufactures would make gear towards rock/soul/hip-hop fans that just want to have fun. I am retooling and getting rid of my "esteemed hi-fi gear" because I just want to have fun and rock out; I don't care if I match a 50 dollar cartridge with $2000 speaker or vise-versa.
It's all about the synergy that gives you the most fun.
I would throw a vote in for old Snell J's, Revel M20's or vintage studio JBL's of some sort.
P.S. I have very bad hi-fi taste ;)
Embenetto... I know I am so tired of the hifi world being so critical and frankly I think mainstream music lovers out there are too. Hifi is suffering from lack of sales and poor economy and a lot of the products are either way out of reach or complete sh*t. Where are the working mans sound systems of the 70s and 80s? Does it really take 100,000$ for a rockin system that is clear, powerful and without serious limitations? We live in a new world dominated in techonolgy and yet have to suffer through crap sound? Are we not going backwards in the audio world when a AVR is judge more on its internet connectivity rather than the sound it produces? WTF. LOL
I think its lame that my post was censored even though it was not offensive, no bad language, and just expressed an opinion that is the minority on this site. Truly lame and keeps the fantasy of hi-fi alive.
To paraphrase my previous post that died before it had its' day was that it is I am glad someone started a thread looking for heavy metal speakers. It's refreshing to hear talk about speakers for rock in the "fun" sense, and not in the "female vocalist" hifi sense. No offense to lovers of the latter but that and jazz and classical get so much more wordpress, that I get the sense that they don't make gear for fun rock anymore.
That's all good luck and enjoy whatever you decide.
of course; it's not the 7hz at -3db that has the value, it's the headroom implications from that rare spec for how easy the speakers do the 10hz to 20hz frequency range and how that capability allows the music to be completely effortless and powerful. and then how that allows HEAVY METAL music to come fully alive.
it's a damn fun speaker system to listen to.
I absolutely second Csmgolf's recommendation of Tekton as your primary "Heavy Metal" choice! Possibly the best bang for the buck Uber rock speaker offered in many years. Yet, they can do double duty as a very respectable audiophile speaker as well. Nothing really like them in terms of refinement for their price point. Not even close IMHO. The fact that their top model that can be had for a little over $2K new can play darn near as loud as the $100K plus monster Wilson Alexandria is really the proof of design in my opinion. Possibly the most overlooked "uber dynamic" audiophile speaker today. (Although you won't have any problems finding gushing professional reviews on them mind you ;-)
I'm 47 my self, april, I will be 48, their is some new metal to go around these days, check out pop evil, and Lucuna Coil, also Hale Storm, not bad for these days, talking about a good kick it with heavy metal amp, get a Krell 700 cx stereo or krell 750cx mono blocks, I gurantee bass impact slam factor here for heavy metal, ha, he, ha.
I remember my first rock alblum, it was the first Kiss alblum, then led zepplin, Heart, etc.., I never looked back after that, Damn, then I turned into a heavy metal and Rock singer for the most of my life after those alblums, scorpion's, motley crue, pantera,Dream Theatre, Rush was my first concert, man was I ruined!, when I seen Neil peart play the drums, I was like, he's the man!, I noticed everyone was useing JBL stack stage speakers then, now many years later, the top JBL speakers and many others are what kick's for metal to me.
If you have a sub, you can try budget PA speakers. The Behringer B212XL and B215XL, Mackie C200 and c300z are models that seem liked for home use. These are high efficiency compression horn speakers so can play loud without strain and are very dynamic. Low powered tube amps are enough to drive them. I have the B212XL and with a sub and bass EQ they sound impressive for around $300.00 a pair.
To me, pretty sounding expensive high-end speakers seem a waste for heavy metal music.