Speakers for heavy metal?

Bobby Bass

Bobby Bass

Audioholic Chief
In addition Polk and Arendal will ship for free in the US and pay return shipping After a trial period it you’re not satisfied. Best Buy will give you 15 days at least but you need to return items to the store. Agree the only way you’ll know if you’re getting the sound you want is to try it in your listening room.
 
C

charlesmilo

Audiophyte
For death and black metal, consider speakers like Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 or ELAC Uni-fi UB5. They offer crisp sound and pair well with your amp.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
For death and black metal, consider speakers like Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 or ELAC Uni-fi UB5. They offer crisp sound and pair well with your amp.
Any speakers will do, and the more distortion the better!
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
Non-audiophile, 8" and above 3-ways with good sensitivity say between 87-92db/2.83v/1m, and double the headroom than one's typical loudest listening session calls for. Pay attention to where the amp and speakers THD ratings are measured at. The closer you get to the least amount of THD at your listening level, the better, at least with more neutral measuring gear, which so much of it is these days.

There are so many low sensitivity 50 watt speakers now, coupled with just enough power to keep the uninitiated from destroying them, that many people end up living in the worst possible distortion levels with both speakers and amp. Add in some high distortion rock/metal and it's almost guaranteed to sound horrible.

The Japanese figured this out in the '70s. Neutral speakers tended to sound horrible with noisy electric mainstream music so they ended up building some EQ into the speaker design itself, and adding as much EQ as could be afforded via tone controls to fix the music, more than the equipment. The speakers that did the best with these genres, tend not to measure so well by today's standards.

Big Cerwin Vega work, as do any of the other large monkey coffins from the '70s-'90s, audiophilia be damned. If reviewers try and tell different, look what they listen to the most and at what levels, and if they argue, quiz them in depth on the music of your interest to see what they actually know about it. Anybody that knows what rock speakers should sound like, should be well versed in it's history down to the most minute detail.

I once had an audiophile tell me my 15" Fisher speakers were horrible, but could not tell me what made Randy Rhoads or Angus Young so great. He tended to listen to some really far out eclectic music I had never heard of, nor would ever listen to, and that was certainly recorded a whole lot purer and recent than anything I was interested in. Those Fishers kicked ass for classic rock and metal, and better recorded music was just cleaner from there.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
Non-audiophile, 8" and above 3-ways with good sensitivity say between 87-92db/2.83v/1m, and double the headroom than one's typical loudest listening session calls for. Pay attention to where the amp and speakers THD ratings are measured at. The closer you get to the least amount of THD at your listening level, the better, at least with more neutral measuring gear, which so much of it is these days.

There are so many low sensitivity 50 watt speakers now, coupled with just enough power to keep the uninitiated from destroying them, that many people end up living in the worst possible distortion levels with both speakers and amp. Add in some high distortion rock/metal and it's almost guaranteed to sound horrible.

The Japanese figured this out in the '70s. Neutral speakers tended to sound horrible with noisy electric mainstream music so they ended up building some EQ into the speaker design itself, and adding as much EQ as could be afforded via tone controls to fix the music, more than the equipment. The speakers that did the best with these genres, tend not to measure so well by today's standards.

Big Cerwin Vega work, as do any of the other large monkey coffins from the '70s-'90s, audiophilia be damned. If reviewers try and tell different, look what they listen to the most and at what levels, and if they argue, quiz them in depth on the music of your interest to see what they actually know about it. Anybody that knows what rock speakers should sound like, should be well versed in it's history down to the most minute detail.

I once had an audiophile tell me my 15" Fisher speakers were horrible, but could not tell me what made Randy Rhoads or Angus Young so great. He tended to listen to some really far out eclectic music I had never heard of, nor would ever listen to, and that was certainly recorded a whole lot purer and recent than anything I was interested in. Those Fishers kicked ass for classic rock and metal, and better recorded music was just cleaner from there.
This post will be a side road but you reminded me of a couple things. First, the nod to CV’s is accurate. I have a pair of D-9’s up in my studio. They need new foams but can go loud AF and bass for days lol. Also, speaking of Randy rhoads, he was such an amazing talent. Gone way too soon. IMO, his unfortunate reality was that one of ozzy’s most famous albums, diary of a madman sounds like it was recorded with first act Walmart instruments. I can only listen to those songs on the Randy rhoads tribute album.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
This post will be a side road but you reminded me of a couple things. First, the nod to CV’s is accurate. I have a pair of D-9’s up in my studio. They need new foams but can go loud AF and bass for days lol. Also, speaking of Randy rhoads, he was such an amazing talent. Gone way too soon. IMO, his unfortunate reality was that one of ozzy’s most famous albums, diary of a madman sounds like it was recorded with first act Walmart instruments. I can only listen to those songs on the Randy rhoads tribute album.
In this realm of music, terms like "euphonic quality" come into play, which tends to fit a myriad of speakers that do not measure well, technically. Speakers that have this quality (or lack of, depending who you ask) is something like the 8" budget, all-in-one shelf systems made by Sony, Phillips, Pioneer, RCA etc. They have actually perfected this quality that tends to satisfy the bulk of the mainstream market. They tend to have the same far out styling as many modern sneakers by Nike and the likes do now.

I'm not too proud to admit to prefer slumming it for that kind of music. Audiophile grade tends to be too finicky and revealing for it for my taste. Matching the hatch works here, but you just have to 'not' care what the audiophiles think. This is one area where I don't mind being wrong.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
I still have these. If I could get the exact foam I might would redo them, but if I didn't use them full time, they would just rot again. These things kept me hooked in all the music as it occurred and I liked them better for rock (and SRV) and heavy metal than just about anything else I was listening to back then.

These things do Molly Hatchet, Def Leppard, Boston, AC/DC, Nugent, Judas Priest and SRV justice. I'm not that picky, though. I can EQ it to be how I like it, right or wrong as it may be and swear it's audiophile quality (whatever that is) in some sense. These types of speakers taught me how to listen to the things I could not hear elsewhere without a lot of extra expense. Never even considered an upgrade for 20 years. They even kept me rather ignorant to subwoofers because these things thumped.

 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I still have these. If I could get the exact foam I might would redo them, but if I didn't use them full time, they would just rot again. These things kept me hooked in all the music as it occurred and I liked them better for rock (and SRV) and heavy metal than just about anything else I was listening to back then.

These things do Molly Hatchet, Def Leppard, Boston, AC/DC, Nugent, Judas Priest and SRV justice. I'm not that picky, though. I can EQ it to be how I like it, right or wrong as it may be and swear it's audiophile quality (whatever that is) in some sense. These types of speakers taught me how to listen to the things I could not hear elsewhere without a lot of extra expense. Never even considered an upgrade for 20 years. They even kept me rather ignorant to subwoofers because these things thumped.

lol, those crossover frequencies! I don't doubt those speakers gave you some good times though. The problem with this hobby is that too many people end up just listening to their gear instead of the music itself. As a kid, I fell in love with music using a boombox that was laughable by audiophile standards. Subsequent upgrades weren't that much better. Nowadays, I frequently listen on systems that are technically excellent by almost any standard - but do I actually enjoy the experience of listening to music more? Compared to when I was a kid discovering great music on a cheapo system, absolutely not. I still enjoy music, and I am still discovering new artists and genres, and having good audio gear does not hurt at all. But I am not so sure how much better it would have been to have a really good system back in the day that I was getting into music. The artistry of the music is what matters. The system only really needs to be good enough to convey the artistry.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
lol, those crossover frequencies! I don't doubt those speakers gave you some good times though. The problem with this hobby is that too many people end up just listening to their gear instead of the music itself. As a kid, I fell in love with music using a boombox that was laughable by audiophile standards. Subsequent upgrades weren't that much better. Nowadays, I frequently listen on systems that are technically excellent by almost any standard - but do I actually enjoy the experience of listening to music more? Compared to when I was a kid discovering great music on a cheapo system, absolutely not. I still enjoy music, and I am still discovering new artists and genres, and having good audio gear does not hurt at all. But I am not so sure how much better it would have been to have a really good system back in the day that I was getting into music. The artistry of the music is what matters. The system only really needs to be good enough to convey the artistry.
I agree. Having had better speakers since, has made the differences more obvious but what made those big Fisher speakers shine was how forgiving they are to classic pop/heavy metal music and how they sounded in room, with the accompanying tone controls and graphic EQ, which is a horror to most trending audiophiles.

Yes, at the end of the day, for rock and metal I prefer my fun speakers, but also really enjoy what my better ones do for well recorded music too. I just find that with how recording quality is so (more so from the 'classic' eras) variable, that it's good to have some different types of speakers on hand. The critics of such a notion who, tend to be much more genre/recording quality specific than I.

This is one area where I toss my audiophile card aside. After 50 years at this, having had a life of following classic rock and metal, I'd rather take the hit for prescribing a lesser quality design that does good and better for those genres, than an expensive and neutral boutique design that absolutely sucks at it. The poor bastards that end up with the latter, will be seen claiming to wait for them and everything else to "burn-in," which it never actually does, or then chasing something like tube amps and colorful DACs after the fact.

I believe classic rock, pop and metal is one area where people really need to audition in house, starting from the bottom up based on their exposure and experience in that realm. I grew up in that era so my take may be a lot different than someone just getting into it. Also, I am predominately a near field listener, even with the largest speakers. This tends to be a different challenge than for those trying to reason with an entire room for more than one person.

One can luck into some designs that do metal and other genres equally well too, such as the JBL S38ii I got from William. To be honest, I likely would have stopped there had I got those first. I mean, it prompted me to get a backup pair to play with too, and here I am amongst a bunch of pedigreed audiophiles not afraid to admit it. :D

I do have a lot of fun at this music thing. I've been hooked since I was a teen, after my eldest brother turned me on to Led Zeppelin 1, on some large floor standing speakers in the '70s.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
Hey boat, you’ll get a kick out of this, lol.

Gotta run.
 

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