The beauty of good electronics is that they are suited for whatever one wants to play or listen to. As for speakers, tell him to look for something that is both efficient and handles a lot of power with multiple woofers. Sean
Under 5K Klipsch. Over 5K Shahinian Diapasons (12K). These babies can play louder than your body can stand. The bass is unreal and extends to 23 cycles or so. The speakers were designed with the intent of reproducing the full range of a symphony orchestra. It just so happens that rock and roll places similar demands on a loudspeaker. This is likely the last loudspeaker I'll ever own.
P.S. There is a thread with several good suggestions called "Speakers for Rock"
P.S.S. I agree with Sean. The Krells should be great for rock.
Talon Khorus Xs: some of the best bass you'll ever hear 17 cycles and a high efficiency 91 db. Plus they reach 120 db easily but really the reason i am reccomending them is because they are simply some of the best sounding speakers on earth. I mainly (90%) listen to rock and roll and my talons never sound harsh and are always clear as a bell. Bass is truly state of the art.
Honestly the best speaker for rock and roll that I can think of would be the new McIntosh XRT30 which we have here on the floor. They are $25,000 per pair, so just out of your posted range. However...
The speakers are flat to 16 Hz., and will play 120 dB at 9 ft. in a moderately large room. This is about as loud as you can get without going to horns. And they are actually extremely efficient. We have run them on as little as 8 wpc. (300B monoblocks) quite successfully although so far all of the customers who have ordered them from us are using the MC1201 monoblocks (1200 wpc.) One customer will be using two pairs because he listens extremely loud in a very large room. McIntosh says it is perfectly safe to run three pairs of 1201's into the speakers: one into the bass cabinets, one into the mids, and one into the tweeters of the panels. Apparently the tweeters can take a _lot_ of power. You'd probably deafen yourself before you blow them.
They sound great too - honestly they are a really excellent, truly full range, dynamic speaker system that works well with a wide variety of equipment. Awesome on classical and choral, killer for serious rock and roll.
(Note: I normally discourage putting a TV in between speakers - a couple of customers who came to hear this setup wanted to hear it for both stereo and home theater, so we brought a TV in from another room)
The natural comparison is to the Pipedreams, which some of our customers have been considering. I feel these guys outperform the Pipedreams, and for less money. Also the Pipedreams are not really single ended tube friendly. The woofers don't present a benign enough load, and the panels are somewhat capacitant because of the multi-driver array. I am not entirely sure how McIntosh has gotten around the capacitance issue in their panels but the panels love single ended tubes and the woofers love them even MORE. The woofer cabinets have an incredibly flat impedance and are super single ended friendly.
But if you're going to rock and roll, a big amp on these speakers would do the trick. Krell will certainly work just fine!
$5K-20K is quite a range. There are a lot of speakers in this range that will rock. In fact, I can't imagine a $20K speaker that couldn't rock. I have never heard a Bugtussel but I would be hesitant to take the recommendations of the Rolling Stones. It would be hard to believe that 50+ year old rockers haven't suffered some ear damage.
If you want to rock, then I agree with the Sean. A lot of drivers with multiple woofers to generate high SPL. Montana makes some speakers that will play as loud as you can stand and they will really rock.
B&W800's. .. I have the FPB300/KRC-HR driving them. These are the original 800's not the N version. They were actually designed for just your reason. The 801's were not capable of producing the sound pressure levels needed.
The 800's will easily produce 120db at 3 meters!
I listen to primarily classical and feel that they are the most realisticly sounding speaker ever made (especially when one actively bi-amps them).
Also, FYI: The Krells will be greatly improved by using the Pure Note Sigma power cords. (www.purenote.com)
Hackmaster brings up a good point. When trying to generate high levels of sustained SPL's, one needs to actually consider the dispersion pattern of the speaker into the distance and not just how loud the speaker will play at one meter. In this case, line arrays, large multiple driver MTM ( Mid - Tweeter - Mid ) type designs ( Dunlavy, Montana, Legacy, etc.. ) or horns are what will hold up best. In order to achieve the same type of SPL into the farfield with drivers arrayed in a more conventional 3 or 4 design, you would literally have to push the hell out of the amp and speakers. The further that you backed away from the speakers, the more noticeable this would become. This has to do with how the sound coming out of the multiple drivers "focus" or "blend together". This is not to say that speakers using a more standard design are not capable of playing loud into the distance, only that the designs previously mentioned are more suited to such requirements. Obviously, one would need a good sized room with adequate listening distance to take advantage of such designs, otherwise one with a smaller room and / or closer seated listening position would be better off with a more conventional design. Sean
Thank you everyone, I love this web-site, all you guys are great, I learn something everyday off audiogon site. My brother is now looking at the Talon x and the Lemniscus. He is very lucky as the Las Vegas show is just around the corner and he can go and see some of this great speakers. I myself have the MTS Prelude with the RABOS , with full Krell," sounds great", for now!
For rock...there is no need for 5k speakers...let alone 20k...but if you want to spend that kind of money...Snell or Dunlavy would come to mind...Klipsch are very efficient...but for critical listening ...they are very "boxy"...Axiom makes a very highly reviewed top of the line tower with multiple drivers that is very affordable....
Well I surely do not agree with Phasecorrect. With all due respect, I think it's ridiculous to assert that rock and roll does not deserve superior speakers or warrant spending $5k.
Are you trying to tell me that Pink Floyd's The Wall sounds just as good on speakers costing less than $5k as it does on speakers costing more than $5k? There are plenty of wonderful recordings of rock and roll that deserve good equipment. I personally listen to mostly classical and jazz but I love to crank a good rock album and a good system makes it all the more enjoyable.
Perhaps Britney Spears or highly compressed top 40 crap will not show off a high end system as well as a dynamic Mahler symphony, but I refuse to accept the idea that audiophile grade equipment is only worthwhile for a small percentage of recordings on the market. Virtually every piece of music I've ever A/B'd has sounded vastly superior on a good system. Of course, the better the recording the more noticeable the improvement... no argument there.
Like it or not...the majority of hi-end equipment...especially in the 5k range... is not geared for rock....more often than not...the system is of a very unforgiving nature with lean bass...and unlike Floyd...most rock is frankly recorded poorly...so really...you are doing yourself a disfavor both financially and acoustically...save some cash...dont blow a huge wad...get something decent...like the Paradigms...which are around 1-2k...and call it a day...chances are ...you will be pleasantly surprised...their transparency,imaging,and bass is quite good..read the reviews...they will give alot of more esoteric,pricier models a stiff challenge...
I agree with Phase Correct about the recording of rock. I have Dunlavy athenas fed by VTL at home and i have to admit a lot of my rock cds sound a lot better in the car. You might want to look at EV pro gear. Tons of thump, decent transparency when you take some time to set them up...generally very good speakers but not as revealing as high end audio. as an added benifit the next greatest band in the world that just ran out of time probably has them for sale pretty cheap. S-15s are a good 3 way that you should be able to find for less than a grand in very good shape. They have a higher end version that sounds great but is more money..still not 5k though. WAF for either of them, however, is non existant.
Rock deserves the best to reproduce it, just as other kinds of music. There are plenty of excellent sound engineers working in the business.
Excuse me, but I like Jimi, Janis, and "the Boys" to sound just as life-like as Callas, Tebaldi, and di Stefano. Eric's guitar should sound different from Buchanan's and Beck's (Jeff, for chrissakes). Fidelity is fidelity...no matter what you're listening to. If it's poorly recorded, turn it down. If you buy a colored system, you're penalizing yourself from enjoying the best recordings of the best artists. I don't detect a whiff of...snobbery here, do I?
Specific types of "rock" music are FAR more demanding to reproduce than any other type of music. The amps are required to generate a far higher average power level and the speakers are required to dissipate that power. Obviously, using more efficient speakers can help reduce the strain on the amps, which also lessens the power that the speakers have to absorb.
One of the owner's manual for some speakers that i own talks about this stating something to the effect of most music requiring less than 5 watts rms to attain "realistic" listening levels with reasonably efficient speakers being used. They also go on to state that rock music may easily require 10 times that amount of power on an average basis. As such, they caution you to be careful when "jamming" for extended periods of time and start talking about such things as "duty cycle", thermal overload, etc... For the record, the manuals that come with these speakers are 48 pages long !!!
Besides power output and handling requirements, there are no other types of music that cover as wide of a frequency range. Due to electronic keyboards and computer sound generation, some recordings contain MASSIVE amounts of very deep bass while at the same time, include quite a bit of extreme treble. All of this can be taking place at the same time at very great amplitude and intensity. While it is true that some jazz and a bit of blues makes use of "keyboard wizardry", none of that music is played with the same intensity or volume that one typically associates with "live" rock reproduction.
Having said all of that, i think that the most important factors when building a "rock" based music reproduction system boils down to the ability to generate sustained SPL levels and cover the entire audible frequency range without going into compression at any point in time. If you can do that and throw in a good amount of detail, clarity and some form of soundstage with good left to right separation, most "rockers" would be overjoyed. Then again, what my idea of what is "rock" and what you consider to be "rock" might be very different things. Same goes for what is considered "loud". Obviously, there are a LOT of variables involved in different perspectives and what one likes / dislikes and desires out of a music reproduction system. Sean
Again Sean another brilliant post. You hit the nail on the head. "Sustained SPL's without compression".
I heard Rush at the United Center in Chicago about a month ago. Damn they rock!!!!
The only way to really reproduce that experience is to generate the SPL's I experienced at that time. For me, that involves driving my speakers with my 380 watt/channel amp almost clipping.
I disagree with phasecorrect. Technically speaking, it is possible to be killed by the pressure of a sound wave. If someone were to be really jamming down to some serious SPL's they could be at risk of death. Therefore since life is short and one never knows when they might die, it makes sense to spend 50 or a hundred thousand dollars on a pair of speakers.
PS On a more serious note. In my case, I like many different types of music. Last night before jamming to Rush "The Spirit of Radio", I listened to all of Coplands Third Symphony. For me, it makes sense to have a $12K pair of speakers.
Holz...good point...some have misinterpreted my posts...I am by no means "anti-rock"...c'mon Im from Detroit...but if your primary goal is to simply "rock"...and rock well...I think spending an absurd amount of money is somewhat foolish...that being said...those who do...end up "widening" their musical tastes to incorporated jazz,classical,etc...since upgrading myself...nowhere near your level...but very good Brit monitors...I have found myself expanding my tastes...fusion jazz,etc...by the way...I am a huge rush fan...go figure...those Canadians kickass...
You know there are alot of factors which the answer depends on.Like what size room and your taste in speaker's.One man or womans taste might be really different than another's.
In my limited experience you really have to go after these things by yourself.Some people are happy with Bose or Boston Acoustics.That is extreme,but true.
Klipschorns seem like a good choice if Rock is what you are after with Bass,but you could get a SET amp to drive them.
If Bass is a real priority get Dual Subs and Speaker's that are great for the upper ranges.There are many to choose from.
Try some new design horns ,like an oris or avantgarde system ,blows everything I have owned or heard away ,including many of the speaker systems listed here, avalon ,martin logans ,B&WS, thiels, etc.not the cheap models ether.great for all types of music but rock or punk sounds like the real thing even if the recordings are not so hot .