High end speakers for heavy metal?

High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby Bloodflame666 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:05 pm

Okay so I’m not sure if many of you have any experience or input on this subject but I figured I’d throw it out there anyway. I listen to mostly heavy metal (black metal, death metal, thrash metal etc etc etc) and run a pair of KEF Q900’s. Now, I do enjoy these speakers for the most part but they can also be quite painful at loud volumes while playing certain records that favor the higher frequencies. I’ve also noticed that at high volumes the upper frequencies tend to mesh together and sound very rough. For instance, if the double bass is kicking and a guitarist starts to solo, I’ll not be able to make out the double bass hits anymore and the solo takes over completely. I’ve tried different speaker placements, toe in and out configurations, listening positions, room treatments etc and still get the same results. This happens during LP or digital playback. After owning these speakers for almost two years, I’m starting to convince myself that they might be too forward and harsh for the style of music I play. Do any of you have any suggestions on a really nice pair of speakers that I should look at? Maybe something that would suite my taste and tendency to listen loud a little better? Thanks!
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby spinblackcircle » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:55 pm

I'd check out Tekton Design or Spatial Audio. Both offer in home trials. Tekton has a few dealers as well, not sure about Spatial.
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby Ducky » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:41 pm

Heavy Metal? How 'bout these guys:


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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby JimTimP » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:33 pm

Just this:

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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby audiom3 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:52 pm

I listen to a lot of vintage 80s and early 90s Thrash and Speed Metal. I love Legacy Audio Focus speakers. Feed them lots of power and they won't even break a sweat! Never harsh and I listen waaay too often at 100dB+.
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby WntrMute » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:03 pm

I think part of the issue is inherent in the type of music you are choosing. On jazz recordings, for instance, the instruments do not drown each other out by design. The soloist is also given acoustical space to play while the other instruments back off to complement but not compete with the soloist. Part of this is built into the jazz "style" while some mastering gurus do their part in the mixing studio. Metal, by definition, is supposed to be harsh and jarring with a mash-up of instruments and voices-they don't call it thrash metal for no reason! No disrespect but I think you are looking for something metal is not. Those artists are thrashing their hearts out and the the guitar god comes in and crushes the rest. I am guessing the mastering guy is not thinking "lets preserve more of those cymbal hits and bass notes". Remember too that compression has to be applied in order to get all that music onto the recording media and that often sounds like what you describe. I might experiment with a good set of headphones and see if you can determine whether the issue is in the music or in the reproduction through your speakers.
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby husafreak » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:31 am

Hmm. I do crave/enjoy "the metal". I think WntrMute makes a good point. When I listen to my main home system I usually go for more acoustically rewarding fare. But I listen to plenty of loud abrasive music in my garage, or on the road, or on my portable system, where I am usually alone and not annoying anyone with this fantastic genre.
Anywhoo, tonight I'm home alone and went on a little Husker Du binge (I just got their Savage Young Du Vinyl Box, enthusiasts only). Loud and fast right? So your post got me digging out discs closer to what you are talking about. I'm blasting "The Violent Sleep Of Reason" now and I'll cue up "Dystopia" or "Emperer Of Sound" next. And I'm going to thoroughly enjoy all this music via Harbeth SHL5+ speakers, a speaker that anyone can tell you is not right for this type of music, bullsh t! Try it for yourself sometime.
So back to conventional wisdom. When I was traveling the Bay Area in search of something to replace my old Celestion SL600i mini monitors (beast in a bitty box bro!) a few years ago I heard a pair of really great speakers that I think you should check out, GoldenEar Tech Triton One towers. FWIW the Reference version made Stereophile's Feb 2018 cover. I auditioned them with a lot of different music, I included the Dillinger Escape Plan in my audition discs, and I think they might be perfect. Check them out.
I'll tell you I ended up with the Harbeth speakers because of their more natural (to me) sound with a great cross section of recordings. They are particularly easy on the ears. And blasting Megadeth's latest LP now that is a quality that I wouldn't underrate, don't be afraid to push "polite" speakers in your auditioning, you may be surprised. But those Tritons, even though they are a bit too technicolor for my tastes, may be just the thing and still perform admirable on "lighter fare".
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby dirmae » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:43 am

While I do agree that recording quality varies a lot, I do think that some speakers are just not up to the task. Pretty similar if you would like to play Wagner at +100dB. Wagner doubled and tripled up on the bass section to create the sound he wanted. I do own a large collection of Metal records (both vinyl and digital) and what brought things into perspective for me were a pair of Martin Logan Summit with active woofer sections. Jus a personal opinion so your milage may vary.

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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby Marc » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:55 am

I noticed that most of my heavier albums always sound more crowded and not as refined when I'm listening to them. Then again, that's normally how they sound through any other format I listen to them. I'd love to experience it differently where it actually singles out the double bass and displays a nice sound staging. I'll have to take a second listen to them once I get mount new cartridge and see if that makes a difference in the separation.
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Re: High end speakers for heavy metal?

Postby Dorian » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:34 pm

The latest Metallica album Hardwired to Self Destruct is well recorded and mastered. You can easily distinguish between the individual instruments. Rage Against the Machine's debut album mastered by Bob Ludwig is another. Slayer South of Heaven also sounds great. I think as long as its well recorded and mastered it should sounds good on most speakers, right? I can at least tell you that all these albums sound fantastic on my KEF LS-50s.
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