Soundstage and explosive dynamics?

I’m looking high and low for speakers with the following attributes:

1. Wide and deep soundstage. Speakers can disappear from the soundstage.
2. Decent imaging.
3. Explosive dynamics with force and surprise.
4. Costs less than $10k.

JBL Synthesis horn speakers with large woofers will give you a wide stage and fast bass. With that being said the listening room plays an important role. Demo what you can before making any big decisions. 
Maybe build the system from the bottom up, with multiple really powerful subwoofers (plus room equalization).
Try to find a pair of used pro studio main monitors. These are the big speakers that are often mounted in walls - Westlake, ATC, Genelec. Meyer etc.
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What you are looking for may be a larger speaker rather than smaller.  

I am loving the dynamic shading I get from the Klipsch Cornwall speakers.  Very hard to beat for the money.
RCA shearer horn system you may have to do a bit of set up but you can buy the parts for about 10k
Focal Utopia should do it. There is one here for sale for about $12k, you could probably have it for $10k. It can sound a little bright with some solid state equipment and wrong cables.
A large room and a beefy (pro audio) power amp are other parts of the equation, of course.
A large room and a beefy (pro audio) power amp are other parts of the equation, of course.
I disagree. Professional amplifiers often rely on fans, which help lower cost, increase available power and pose no problem in most professional settings. But the noise of those same fans often intrudes in a quiet domestic environment. It's usually worth the cost to use an amplifier intended for home use, which would typically rely on heatsinks for cooling rather than a noisy fan.

Agree with Shadorne recommendations and also add PMC. For a couple of under the radar choices, consider the Volti Audio Rival and a couple of the offerings from Duke Lejune of Audiokinesis. They would include Prisma, Zephryn 46, and the newest model Azel. Duke’s speakers sound terrific and he is one of the good guys in audio. You could check out Seaton Sound as well. A word of caution, though. I approached them both 4 years ago and again 3 years ago at Axpona about how inadequate their website was in checking different models specs, etc.. They agreed and I was told both times it would be up to speed soon. Looking at their site today, I can see that it is still incomplete. It would be up to you if you would want to pursue them given that red flag, but they do check the boxes that you want checked. They are also active speakers with DSP. Very dynamic speakers. When looking for speakers with explosive dynamics and ease, there is no replacement for displacement IMO.
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Fans can indeed be a problem. However, there are also pro audio amplifiers with variable speed fans that do not come on in domestic situations. I recently bought a 2x250 watt rms Yamaha P2500s for my son for just 300 euro. It has a fan, but we have not yet heard it come on ever. Maybe one day, when he throws a wild party and plays his music so loud that the police will come.
It is a very well made and robust piece of gear, with Neutrik and XLR connectors and optional adjustable high pass filters. The larger 2x350 watt P3500s was recently tested and measured as well as many times more expensive audiophile gear. See here:
It also sounds fine (with nice speakers).

Read here for a summary of the results (in French):

. La puissance annoncée est largement obtenue (370W Rms sans remontée de distorsion, pour 350W Rms annoncé)
. Bande passante extra-large (ceux qui lui reprochent de manquer d'aigu, faudra m'expliquer...)
. Distorsion infime à bas niveau, très faible jusque la limite de l'écrêtage
. Pas de distorsion de croisement, toute petite remontée de distorsion dans la zone 0.5W - 8W Rms; pas mal vu le faible courant de repos de l'étage de sortie!
. Un ampli que l'on peut utiliser en utilisation domestique comme en sono de qualité
. Quant au prix... "honteusement bas" pour un appareil de ce niveau de perfs (400 euros chez Thomann...), de puissance et de protections.

Je suis content d'avoir acheté cet ampli et son grand frère P5000S pour mon système tri-amplifié, ce P3500S va donc rejoindre mon rack pour driver les médiums CMCD-JBL. Je suis convaincu, attachant une grande importance aux résultats de mesure.
(Je suis électronicien de passion et de métier)

Petite anecdote je n'ai pas entendu le ventilo se déclencher pendant les phases ou je le faisais travailler à puissance max le temps de la FFT..
La résistance de puissance, elle commençait à sentir le chaud!

Que reste-t-il aux "classe A" ésotériques et infiniment plus chers? je ne rentrerai pas dans ce débat...


For about five grand, I built custom Tannoy HPD 315 (12" Dual Concentric drivers, ca 1975), using enclosures that are nearly two inches thick, 150 liter bass-reflex, custom built crossovers with top-drawer components, and had the driver surrounds converted to hard edge.

They sound explosive and dynamic as hell, and I am able to drive them effectively with a 9 Wpc SET 300B amp, or 500 Wpc Class D. I honestly don't think they can be equaled by any commercially made speaker systems at this price.

In my experience, they are effective at producing music on a scale that sounds appropriate to whatever music you wish to play.

Just my two cents, but then my opinion is jaded by my daily enjoyment of great music listening.

Hope you find what works for you, with the budget you have to work with.


Those would be:

1.  Linkwitz Audio Orion's or LX521's
2.  Legacy Audio Aeris (pre-owned for about $15,000)
3.  Audiokinesis Dream Maker, Zeprhin, Prisma, Jazz Module...

Or, if you don't mind a monitor, which sounds like a floor standing speaker - a real "giant killer"...

4.  WaveTouch Audio Grand Tetons / Anteros
To give the most sound advise  it would be good to know first Budget,
what you have amp type,wpc, preamp ,how big is your room,
room treatment  how far away are you sitting .  
Nothing I have heard combines the best dynamic range with a disappearing act. That said, I would look at omnis like Ohm, German Physiks, and MBL for the disappearing part. Subwoofers will help the dynamics on these. Dynamic range can be very good on some omnis, because they have a lot of radiating surface relative to driver size. For the best dynamics, high efficiency models like horn speakers excel, but few that I have heard can disappear. One exception to that which I have heard is the Volti Audio speakers. These are horn hybrids that offer the advantages of horns in terms of dynamics, but without many of the downsides of horns, such as beaming, the "cupped hands" effect, or sound that seems anchored to the cabinets.

+1 Good observation. This is why large studio main monitors are all built into walls so they behave like an infinite baffle. Studio main monitors are exactly what "explosive dynamics" is about - they are designed to impress the hell out of a bunch of musicians and producers - a pretty tough audience to impress as these folks are in and around music daily.

My speakers have a gently curved wide front baffle and definitely disappear completely despite their massive size - incrementally more than the big box versions of my speaker that I have owned in the past and which like to be mounted in a wall.

Audio Physics disappear and so do most narrow baffle speakers but it is rare to find a design that houses 15 inch or larger woofers in a massive box (design requirements which are absolutely necessary for "explosive dynamics".) Audio physics sound great but get tuckered out and sound flat and strained at quite modest volumes. Soundstage tests some speakers to 95 db SPL (which is hardly explosve) but Soundstage readily admit that most speakers can't even handle even 95 DB SPL and many would self destruct at these modest levels (hardly high fidelity but nobody seems to mind as long as the speakers look cool)
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Soundstage and explosive dynamics?

I’m looking high and low for speakers with the following attributes:

1. Wide and deep soundstage. Speakers can disappear from the soundstage.
2. Decent imaging.
3. Explosive dynamics with force and surprise.
4. Costs less than $10k.


I had so many great ideas until I got to your 4th attribute.
Although they don't get much press, Lowther speakers set up well do everything you're looking for. They are a very dynamic speaker that absolutely disappear & through a wide deep stage. 
Spatial Audio’s new reference speaker would certainly be worth a look if you are interested in open baffles. I heard the prototype at RMAF this year and they are pretty special. Right around 10k I think... 
kosst_amojan, you are correct. In a 2 channel setup, you don’t want to call attention to any subwoofer, if you can hear them, you don’t have them setup correctly. They should blend in.
For more on subwoofer setup, check out Jim Smith’s articles on this subject. 
How about the GoldenEar Triton ones for $5k (or $8k if you want to spring for the new Triton reference).

I have them in my living room, with the built in subs they have dynamic range, and they certainly seem to disappear from the soundstage to me.

+1 for ATC's specially their actives, but all ATC's "can" sound a bit cold for some.
Or for something a bit warmer yet still very dynamic with great depyh and sound stage most Wilson Watt/Puppy's, series 7 are my favourites.

Cheers George 
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There is a used pair of PMC IB2 is speakers on audiogon currently asking $9,250. 

Problem solved...Full stop!  
Great choice for PMC IB2,
but seems gone now!
is well round sound speaker, tight and fast bass will surprise You.
the sound disappeared even in smaller room and that midrange,man.....kind a miss it!!!

Damn hard to find used at a reasonable price. I’ve posted a few ads over the years looking for a pair of IB2 and MB2 with no luck. Awesome speakers with the right gear!
Kosst  I guess I should've said you need big drivers and efficiency. If you have both of those attributes it will deliver in spades. 
 If you don't have the size you need much more than one driver and then generally you lose out in the imaging, staging and coherency department. 
 I say generally because I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. I just haven't heard them.
  If I were the OP I would look at Tannoy's or Altec 604 Based speakers. 
 Or a pair of altec model 19, voice of the theatres or Valencias. 
 In fact if you look at vintage stuff those attributes are very common. It's only when they started designing speakers with solid-state in mind that we lost our way.  Efficiency was down, they started trying to make smaller boxes  with wife acceptance factor in mind  and then we ended up with more polite sounding speakers.  
You can't cheat physics...
madavid0 --

I’d be looking for used and active ATC speakers, like the SCM50, 100 or, if within economical reach and space permits, the SCM150(ASL). Or, how about Volti Audio’s Rival (recently very favorably reviewed in Stereophile), or a used pair of its sibling, the all-horn Volti Audio Vittora’s (may be too expensive)? From the same company is also the Alura model, which should also be had within your budgetary requirements as a used pair.

In continuation of poster @analogluvr’s views and his fine recommendations, I’d stress: If you want to experience the full(er) envelope and macro-dynamic wallop be sure not to buy speakers too small or too inefficient; there’s really no replacement for displacement, as a saying goes, and all the named (and very efficient) Volti models should fit the bill here with their 15" bass units and powerful BMS mids compression driver, as should the larger ATC models already mentioned. Excellent micro-dynamics are especially to be found, I believe, with horn-loaded speakers, but even though the ATC’s are not horn-loaded I’m sure they’ll perform admirably in this regard as well (the 3" midrange "super" dome used here is a true powerhouse).

The Volti Rival falls within his budget and was recommended earlier. I agree that the Volti speakers are very nice.
Huge soundstage and explosive dynamics? -The Proac Response D48r defently have it big time .
The Absolute Sound just came out with their recommended components. Why not get some professional advice. 

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The bar is set very low if Focal 936’s (a speaker I know better than most) are your reference in a conversation like this. I suggest getting out and listening to more speakers. Maybe you can find a fellow member in your area that has gear like most have mentioned in the thread. If you could find anything Shadorne has recommended to demo it would fit the bill.
 I don't know the ESS  and have never heard that particular model of the focal.  In my experience paper cone, large diameter,  efficient drivers offer some of the best tone and impact in the business.  
 Again you can't cheat physics. 
How about the GoldenEar Triton ones for $5k (or $8k if you want to spring for the new Triton reference).

I have them in my living room, with the built in subs they have dynamic range, and they certainly seem to disappear from the soundstage to me.

Some of the best speakers I have heard or that I would own have smaller woofers. For example, your Magico S5, Raidho d5, revel salon 2, and others have 8” and 9” woofers, and they have the cleanest and sufficient bass that you would want. Most of these speakers use 3 or more smaller woofers instead of 1 larger woofer.
There is no doubt all of the fantastic speakers you listed have very good bass. The thing is the OP is asking for "explosive" dynamics with force and surprise. Even my 200lb 6ft tall floorstanding speakers with 4 x 8 inch woofers are not capable of startling or surprising me, if anything the bass response is expected and balanced. My recommendation of large used JBL synthesis has no personal bias or ownership experience behind it, they just happen to make a speaker that could tick every box for the OP. Any speakers that have shocked or downright intimidated me have been speakers with large, usually high efficiency paper woofers. Spatial M3 Turbo S in a large room and a powerful amp are capable of hitting you in the chest bass but IMO fall short with the refinement the OP might be looking for. I don’t feel there is much depth to the soundstage compared to a something like an ATC. Clayton’s higher end models may very well be the full package. With a less than 10k budget options are limited.
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Rbstenho  I agree speakers with multiple smaller woofers can go very low and clean in the bass.  However these speakers almost always are less efficient  so they do not have the best dynamics. The op asked for explosive dynamics and that is where you need efficiency.  
 People are confusing deep bass and dynamics in this thread 
Explosive and dynamic sound has a lot to do with the room acoustics and how loud your amplifier can drive the speakers without distortion. I know this may sound heresy but any speaker costing more than $2000 should sound real good if paired with a great amplifier.
Hi, I’m looking forward to your findings. Wish #4 , certainly throws a huge curve ball ! Anyway , I heard a friends system, Westlake BBSM-15’s bi amped with a pair of Bryston 4BSST’s . He picked up an almost dead pair from a studio that had shut down . They were flat black . He refinished the cabinets and had the ( JBL ) drivers rebuilt at Orange County speaker . To me the older big JBL studios sound better than the new stuff. You will need a lot of power and some room treatment too . I saw Supertramp play at a restored theatre in Fresno when they first toured . They played “ Crime of the Century “ just like the album . I’ve been trying to capture that sound ever since! There is a guy named “ Chip “, he is on EBay as “ Rumdog”. He’s an old school JBL fanatic. He runs the 44XX series bi amped . Last year he was selling some Everest . He offered me a pair of JBL L 300’s restored for $5k. I’m at 559 392-5209. Text me for his number . He loves to talk and he is a wealth of knowledge . As far as trying you meet all your criteria, I started like you, and now my JBL’s are in the closet ( not for sale ). But to get it all and have the beautiful audiophile smoothness , Big System and Big Bucks . So on a budget , restored JBL , bi amped with a tube mid/ upper and SS in class A/B or class D. Run an active crossover and use room correction . And please share your results . Thanks , and Happy Listening , Mike B.
Phased array powered concert speakers can sound better than ever if they're good ones…they vary, as does the ability of professional sound mixers (like me). Bad live sound is inexcusable but common. I think any good system can be "explosive and dynamic" in the proper space, and about 12,000 examples exist. I like relatively small main drivers for their specificity (?) paired with powered subs to help with the grunt for either home or live stuff, and although the live stuff I do is uncompressed (I hate compressors) and smaller venue, it still requires way more wattage than home gear (thousands of watts actually) for clarity.