Good Speakers for Rock, <= $1500

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by MikeNagy, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. MikeNagy

    MikeNagy Stunt Coordinator

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    I've done a lot of reading and a fair amount of auditioning, then rinsed and repeated, and ended up roughly back where I started in my quest for "the best speakers" for me, but knowing more about speakers in general.

    What I'm looking for are speakers that are capable of reproducing the heavier pulse of rock, bass guitars, etc without being muddled, and while still having smooth and sweet highs. For example, Axiom's are out, they sound too shrill and fatiguing. Paradigm's (at least, the monitors) are out because they sound like a whole lot of "blah". I listened to Acoustic Energy and liked their sweetness, but they couldn't do bass too well. I liked Totem Arro's wide sound stage, but they didn't quite cut it in the mids. They did sound terrific for everything else though.

    I would probably be pairing whatever speakers I buy with an SVS sub, so I don't need TOO much bass extension, what I am looking for mostly is presence and definition in the mids. Well I'd really like good definition throughout, but I'd trade some of that for a little more presence in the mids.

    The speakers will be going into a fairly large room (24'x 20'x 10') but I only listen at what I call moderately high volumes. I'm looking to spend $1500 for 5 channels, but I'm willing to wait on surround sound and just get mains and a center for $1500. Any recommendations out there?
     
  2. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    if you want blaring speakers that play rock very well and can put out the db's like a rock concert, look at horned speakers like Klipsch.
     
  3. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    The PSB Image Series is one to check out. A pair of 6T's will run about $800, 5T's about $650. The 9C center runs about $250-300.

    These are B&M prices; if you bought online, I'd bet the whole package could be had for $1500.

    Oh, and did I mention, they sound great too!
     
  4. JamesF

    JamesF Extra

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    have you tried " Bedrock hi-fi " ive heard there good for heavy " rock " speakers,the only bad thing about them is they are heavy as a boulder

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    You might add the speaker MFG. that was @ Woodstock 2 concerts, JBL.

    Editorial Reviews Amazon.com Review JBL S412P (MSRP US: $849.99 each)

    [​IMG]

     
  6. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Here is a few suggestions to broaden your search:

    Dynaudio Audience Series
    ProAc Response 1SC (used)
    Triangle Loudspeakers
     
  7. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    If you like PSB checkout www.upscaleaudio.com they carry PSB blems at a great price and have the 7T in "A" stock for $899($1449 MSRP) with free shipping.
     
  8. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mike:

    I second the recommendation for the Klipsch line. The Reference series in particular is very nice for rock. They are a horn speaker (which is the sound I like) so YMMV but they are worth checking out.

    Parker
     
  9. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Dali speakers have smooth highs and clear mids and great bass. A used pair of Revel F30's would be a nice choice also.
     
  10. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Another thought is for you to check out NHT's M5 or M6 they have crossovers that you can change between two settings for adjusting to room placement issues for upper bass and low midrange.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Mike, shoulda been at my place last night (I'm in West Los Angeles)! I was A/B'ing the MB Quart QLS-1030 with three friends, comparing it to my old Energy Connoisseurs (C6, from the previous well-respected Energy line, not the current Connoisseur line which I have not heard). Had some good old fashioned rock, with the Led Zep DVD, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, etc. A full comparison review in a separate thread is forthcoming (maybe today/tomorrow) but I think you'd like the mids and highs that the MBQ's titanium tweeter produces (surprisingly besting the aluminum domes of the Energy) and the separation was great too. It didn't have pure SPL output at the low-low bass levels, but it had pure, tight bass (whereas I actually managed to bottom out the C6s the MBQs kept chugging, and accurately!).

    And if you want the pure, true low bass, you're going to need a sub anyway, I haven't heard towers (granted I haven't listened to speakers costing $3000+ a pair) that can replace what a dedicated sub, especially one of quality like the SVS, can do.

    In a nutshell, five years ago when I bought my C6s I compared them with some half-dozen well known brands (NHT, B&W, Polk) and found the mids and highs more accurate, yet not fatiguing to my ears (I also listen to folk, classical, new age, jazz and alt-rock). Now I've surprisingly found a pair of speakers which I prefer to the Energys (which are now in the bedroom awaiting a new receiver to power them) for music. "Presence and definition in the mids" - well the three guys last night who A/B'd the speakers all agree that is what the MBQ has in spades. I did a single blind test with them, where only I knew the speakers and had level-matched them with an SPL meter so as to reduce the "louder is better" phenomenon, and they all preferred the MBQ to the Energy in that regard. Later, after about 2 hours of critical listening and comparing I showed them the literature for the MBQs and we all remarked that there is something about that titanium tweeter (which they did NOT know about while testing) that is more than marketing - it yielded real-world results!

    I hope to post my comparison/review thread soon.

    Happy hunting! Oh and if you want to hear the MBQs you can PM me, or I can direct you to my dealer in Walnut (which I linked to above) if you want to audition. Cheers!
     
  12. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I would have suggested Totems as well, but I guess that their midrange is somewhat laid back. Gream sepeakers altogether, though.

    If you already have a great sub, then I would suggest looking into a really good set of bookshelves. Since everything below 40-50 Hz will probably be handled by the SVS, then you would want the speaker that best reproduces 40-50Hz and above at your price point. I would suggest:

    Triangle
    Dynaudio
    ProAc
    PSB
    Von Schweikert
    Amphion
    Onix Reference
    Soliloquy
    Totem Model 1

    All of the above speaker manufacturers have very good tonal balance from top to bottom, and their bookshelves tend to go down to about 40-50hz, which is about what you need. Depending on your budget elcasticity, you could go for new or used pairs of speakers. I think that the $1000-2000 MSRP range for bookshelves is the point before diminishing returns, so it looks like you are going in at the right point. On the other hand, I think that $2000-3000 is the point for floor-standing speakers. JMHO, though. Good luck
     
  13. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I'd be looking at PSB and JBL, as already suggested. The JBL S312IIs are decent if you're looking for a BAFS (Big-Ass Floor Stander).

    Good luck.
     
  14. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Have you considered the ACI Sapphire? Not fatiguing at all and enough detail to make rock sound like rock. They can also hit very low for a bookshelf.
     
  15. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    My PSB Stratus Silveri 's rock! .. I think they excel with all types of music but especially rock 'N roll.. [​IMG]

    They can be had for $1500.00 a pair if you look hard enough. That's what i paid locally after researching on the internet (couple years ago).
     
  16. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Try the Klipsch speakers, but be careful since they may sound unpleasant. I'm pretty sure they have the best dynamics (read: "kick ass" sound) at this price... except maybe a few DIY type speakers.
     
  17. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I think he's looking for 5 speakers for $1500 (i.e. $300 a speaker)... not a pair of $1500 mains!
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oops! Well re-reading his post, he did say he was willing to get his center and mains for $1500 and the MB Quarts I recommended (1030s + 330 center channel) come up to just a hair over $1500. And if he wants to back off to the 830 towers he can shave $250 off the price and apply that to the matching surrounds.
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    That's actually a pretty good response for the S-Center. What did you expect for under $170, something that went out to 20kHz? If you prefer to look at matters +/-4.7 or +4.7/-0 that's entirely up to you but that's a pretty normal convention for specifiying FR and it's been done that way for god knows how many years. Yes, I'd imagine it tails off above 10kHz but then one of the important jobs for a center is to provide spatial cues as well as localization and as I'm sure you're aware, the amount of musical energy is roughly proportional to 1/f.
    If you've got it in for JBL, well that's fine, but it works for a lot of people and the company has quite a long history in the business and a rather impressive testing facility not to mention some fairly bright individuals who've forgotten more about acoustics than others can hope to remember.

    All that said, auditoning speakers is supremely difficult in show rooms and recommending speakers is pretty difficult without understanding what the poster's intentions are regarding amplification, both present and any future plans.
     

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