Young audiophile metal head looking to level up speaker choice

Hello Audiogon,

I'm a pretty new to the world of audio and looking to make a signifiant upgrade from my first self purchased speaker, the Q Acoustics 3030i.  I was encouraged by an audiophile friend to join Audiogon and post a question regarding what speaker would be best.

I decided to pick up a much nicer amplifier last year, upgrading from a Cambridge AXR85 to a Rogue Sphinx V3. This 2024 I am wanting to make a similar upgrade to my speakers.  I wanted a more dynamic amplifier and found the Cambridge to smooth when combined with my Q Acoustics.

I have my own listening room but it's rather small 11ft x13ft.  I listen to mostly heavy metal/rock music at 70-85 decibels.   I have looked at been cross shopping the Buchart S400 mkII, Dynaudio Evoke 20, Zu DWX, Arendale 1723 - but have also heard good things about vintage Usher speakers..

Thanks for your consideration and advice here.



Personally I would x Usher off the list for Metal, at least the one I had. Dynaudio are pretty goodish for metal but need some beefy amplification. Never heard the Evokes but the Focus series was really nice for that kind of music. There is a Focus 140 for sale pretty cheap on another site. older but really fun speaker.

I would absolutely recommend Tekton for metal. The newer Paradigm Monitor SE series are also fantastic for rock and metal, much better IMO than some of their higher end series for that kind of music. You don't want a straight up audiophile speaker that looks at everything under a microscope for that kind of music. 

I cannot voice my opinion on those speakers because I have not heard them. Elac makes some great speakers, but everyone will give you their opinion and my guess is that you will be overwhelmed with the responses.  No bookshelf speaker is going to fully give you the low-end frequencies in metal music (or any other).   You should really consider adding 2 subwoofers to your budget to whichever speakers you choose. You don't play your music loud, so you could get by with relatively inexpensive subs.  I would get sealed enclosures though, just my preference.  Best of luck.

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Look at Klipsch Forte III or Forte IV. Both can be found on the used market from time to time.

Thanks for the responses and engagement here everyone...


With speakers like the JBL 4429 and Klipsch Forte, should I be concerned that I'm in a 11 x13ft listening room?  

while they are a significant jump up in terms of quality, offer almost full range listening, and are dynamic horn speakers - my concern is that they might overload my room and also might not be synergistic with my Rogue hybrid tube/class D amp?

Get a nice set of Klipsch Quartets, very live sounding, can go very loud and good prices

@killingforcompany I encourage you to listen as many brands of speakers as you can.

I like a variety of music and Black Sabbath's War Pigs is a song I often use for auditioning speakers because it includes simple dynamic shifts and has areas with lots of music coming from a variety of instruments.  And the kicker is I have been listening to Sonus faber speakers for the last 15 years - and most people view them as ideal for classical music.

Your Rogue amp is a nice unit and how it works with speakers is something your opinion matters more than anyone  Good luck in your journey and enjoy the music!

Fellow metal head here, +1 on Tekton.  My room is just a little larger at 12x17. I had a pair Zu Omen DWs but once I heard a pair of Tekton Pendragon in  my room I got rid of the Zu's. The Pendragon have a huge sound stage, they won't overload your room, and they're very efficient if you decide to try tubes in the future.

Your music tastes are screaming for ATC speakers.  Check out their lineup and read the reviews.  What you're looking for with your music is dynamics, and ATC absolutely excels at dynamics.

Horns can actually work better in small rooms than direct radiating speakers. The horns control the dispersion a bit which will help reduce side wall reflections. All the speakers you mentioned are good speakers but they all sound pretty different. I would add wharedale as you get a lot more for your money. I think they are priced 30-50% of their market value (link below)


For rock it is tricky and I would focus on 2 things, dynamics and a smooth response. I listen to rock as my main music (all music too) but rock/metal is very demanding of a speaker. You need good bass for rock music. I would always add a sub, subs work fine in small rooms as they are adjustable and a mini dsp can be used to tame them. The other thing for rock is you want a downward slipping treble in room which is a good target anyway. Some hifi speakers are pretty bright and that does not blend well with poorly recorded metal.

anyway my #1 choice would be horn loaded JBLs but current models (4349) would be out of your budget even used (based on the speakers you listed) so you would need to shop older/used. Anyway too many good options to even list. I would get out and listen to stuff.

You might get away with a small tower speaker like the Revel 206 used (the 226be is outstanding but $$$$) It measures very well and has good tech despite looking kind of simple.


I have been listening to Evoke 20s for 2 years. Happy with them but they aren't for heavy metal imho

Legacy Audio Studio HD for your smallish space. They don’t have ports, so easy to place. Big woofer for metal, very easy to drive. And you can trim both bass and treble depending on room size and listening area. 



Speaker selection is extremely subjective, and room dependent.  Every room is different. Don’t be impressed with any brand or model or review at any price before listening to it. It’s easy to get swayed, but only your ears and heart can tell you for sure if its the right speaker for you. Listen to as many as you can, preferably on your system in your room. Good luck!

@james633 Wrote:

Horns can actually work better in small rooms than direct radiating speakers. The horns control the dispersion a bit which will help reduce side wall reflections.

I agree!


Speaking of JBLs, the 4319 monitors are around the same size as the L100s and are a good, if not great used speaker buy. Not on the radar as much as the L100s and very popular in the Asian (mainly Japanese) market. 

I still have a pair and when the L100s came out in their newer form, I asked the guys at Music Direct if they were better speaker and two of them told me it'd be more of a sideways move and one preferred the 4319s. 

So many options out there so take your time. 

All the best,

Try a pair of Vivid audio Kaya S12 for about 7k and get a subwoofer to pair with it like a KEF KC62. The other choices are not very dynamic speakers and Buchard is using cheap cheap cheap drivers. Dynaudio is not what it used to be and went downhill the past 10 years. This is a real killer hifi system for under 10k that is going to get you out of midfi land and last you 25 years.

Metalhead here too! If I were starting out I’d scrape together $2.5 or so and buy used heresy lll or IV and an SVS sub, 1000 or 2000 ported. Also paradigm founder series (not easy to find used at good prices) Goldenear.. already some great suggestions here. I wish I had more experience with JBL and Tecktron fellow members seem thrilled with them.

Your Rogue has 100 wpc 8 Ohm, 200 @ 4 Ohm. I would look for speakers that are 90 Db + efficiency. Metal requires a lot of energy as it’s a "Wall of sound" and it’s complex due to all of the instrumentation all at once. It also requires a good bass response, bookshelves may leave you wanting more bass. My Son is a metal head and when he visits some times and I hand the iPad to him so I get quite a dose of that genre of music. His last visit he commented how intense that the music is when played over a great revealing and dynamic system. It was previously mentioned to try Legacy Audio Speakers. I you can swing it I would recommend the Signature or the Calibre. They are very efficient and thrive on heavy metal, hard rock music. they are very dynamic speakers and at 4 ohm your amp will drive them easily. My son is amazed with my Focus XD’s bi amped with a tube amp on top. I see some here mentioned the Klipsch speakers and the JBL’s. Klipsch can be fatiguing after a while with certain electronics, the JBL 100’s would play a little nicer with your amp IMHO. Upscale Audio had the JBL’s on sale, not sure if they still do. Steven Covey says "Begin with the end in Mind" so buy the most speakers you can so you save more in the long run upgrading. Good luck on your project.

I listen to primarily hardcore, punk and grind and my room is smaller than yours at 9x13. I’d recommend any room this small to load up on bass traps and at treat first reflections with anything you can afford. Bass bloat was a problem in my smaller room and after the $500 to fix it with bass traps the depth and detail of music really comes alive. Really, don’t skimp on this section. I made the same mistake as others and it’s definitely not the coolest or most fun upgrade, but the gains are worth it.


Speaker wise I ran Kef’s and was super happy with them. Detailed and fast. I guess it depends on the type of metal you listen to , but if it’s fast you want something that can keep up. I run focal now and am also really happy with the detail and speed. From personal experience you should be fine with any recommendations here. Good luck!

Heavy metal is a difficult genre to get speakers for. You need speakers that can slam like a mtfr, have significant sound power levels in the upper bass, lower mids, mids, no phase shift between the bass drivers to midrange driver...and so on.

For example, a Schweikert 55 works good for heavy metal, dense orchestra with electronic elements, etc, in larger rooms. It can be a wallet abuser without good deal on used, too big for your room..

As you come lower in price, the Borresen X3 at 11k/pair would work good for your genre. It may/may not work/could be pushing it on room size depending on how many other things you have in the room.

As you go lower in price for your small room...well...just bring the speakers real close in nearfield, about 4ft from you and get a pair of Yamaha HS8 powered monitors with the 8 inch bass driver (only 800 dollars/pair, very affordable!). Add a KEF KC62 microsub, 1500 dollars.

(P.S. The motherload of metal albums/music you listen to got done on Yamaha monitors over the ages. The HS8 is the newer "special" version after their hifi speaker guys and proaudio guys started talking to each other a bit. You should be in good hands.)

Metal Head here (and Jazz, and Indie Folk, and Blues, and Ambient...) Tons of great recommendations here.  Out of -your- choices, the Dyna are best, accurate and detailed but have more of a powerful sound than the others you are looking at.

Like others mentioned and depending on your budget: ATC would kill it. I ALMOST got a pair of the 19s, but they were just too large for my space (a few feet smaller than your room).

My vote is for the LEGACY STUDIO HD MONITORS.  Others suggested them too.  I have driven them with either a Rega Elex~R, or an Adcom GFA555 and honestly when paired with a decent enough sub (REL T5 or T7) these things really do rock, AND they are very detailed and accurate with great staging.  Legacy is used a lot by engineers and mixers in their studios as the Reference speaker and sound for what they mix. 
Personally what I love about these speakers is that they make me want to listen to ALL music---though they can rock, they aren't a one trick pony, meaning they don't fall on their face or are deficient in other areas with different music.

You can also customize/tweak them a little with the external cross over switches for the woofer and tweeter.   

wow - everyone here rules and for someone just getting into this hobby a very much appreciate the community and direction here ...

Room treatment is inevitable.  Part of the audiophile journey and will probably accompany upgrades in my system/speakers...

Thanks for the Legacy recommendation.  Looking into a pair right now.  Very much appreciated.  I think those brands also give me room to grow over the years.  Doing lots of research as we speak.  I think the ATC would be another brand to look into as I get older and my disposable income increases (crosses fingers).

For your money and impact. As well as Great quality value 

Clayton Shaws new Speaker for $3k a No 🧠 Brainer 

it’s a open baffle speaker Pretty efficient and superb bass Speed and impact 

new record day did a Excellent review on them for $3k you will not get anything 

close ,he builds direct avoiding the Huge 50% markup.

being an ex dealer and having bought 2 of Clayton’s speakers , Audio circle is another place to check out forums  well worth your time !!

+!! on the JBL 100s, great all around speaker and definitely a rock speaker....check around on price though, Music Direct and Sound & Vision have them for $3,300 per pair

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That's true, that's another $300......though I usually assume the stands are not included for any speaker

Great job @deep_333 on the performance characteristics of the speaker required for metal. Also, nice suggestions by others and for @fthompson251 for going into detail on Legacy Audio. I am an authorized installer for Legacy and prior to becoming a dealer by trade, I owned Legacy Focus SE and Legacy Aeris speakers. They are higher up the line than what you might start at, but now having smaller Legacy speakers on my floor, I can attest that even the Legacy Studio HD can do a great job in filling a medium sized space and still deliver the clarity and speed for metal. 

I’d be happy to discuss options on the Legacy line if you’d like. They deliver great price to performance ratio. 

Another speaker line that I carry that would do a great job with metal is Perlisten. I just picked them up a few months ago, and they are very punchy, and very detailed.

Look at JBL speakers,  they have something for everyone and something in every price range.

All the best.

@newfzx7  , this is an interesting thread I stumbled upon.  In light of our previous conversation, I meant to ask you how efficient your speakers have to be to get what you want out of metal with 4 wpc of SET?

@amtprod ,

"Personally what I love about these speakers is that they make me want to listen to ALL music---though they can rock, they aren’t a one trick pony, meaning they don’t fall on their face or are deficient in other areas with different music."

That is the key right there - Legacies play well with everything. I have the Signature SE’s and I drove them with a 15 wpc SE tube amp just for kicks, and they can sing with that little power.

Many great brands have been mentioned here but not all play nice with all genres, or with little power. My foray into audiophile world was with Dynaudio.....they are a great brand, but they just do not make speakers for low wattage amps, nor do they play well at low volumes. They are typically a heavy and complex load. I would stay away from Dyns for small spaces, and if you are "starting out". I learned the hard way.

I really appreciate @deep_333 ​​​​@james633 comments about what the heavy metal needs. so few audio reviews give the genre the time of day when talking about audio gear...

For those who may have missed my earlier post - I am driving these speakers with a Rogue Sphinx V3 (tube/class D hybrid) 100wpc into 8 ohms..

@curiousjim @vthokie83 @jolywins

JBL- the classic line, L52,82,100 are classic rock speakers but I am curious about control and clarity? Heavy metal is so complex and dynamic...instruments with their individual distortion textural differences - all blazing at over 200+bpm at times - having a well sorted speaker that won’t blur or smear is something that I am hoping to find. Does anyone have experience with the 4309? That’s in my price range...

Klipsch - do would these speakers pair well synergistically with my hybrid Rogue amp? Is it BEST to have class A and/or pure tube amplification to tame treble/mid horn speakers?

Thanks again for all your advice and knowledge


@nitewulf My stepfather turned me onto Legacy with his same-as-your Signature SE speakers, which OH MY GOD!  He's had Vandersteen and Heron floor standing speakers both very very good and great accuracy, sound stage, etc.  But the Legacy line truly are incredible. They are efficient, flexible, and just electrify music unlike others.  I've heard some that are more 'real', warmer, fuller, powerful, better sound stage, smoother, resolving, etc.  But they all also LACK other things.  The Legacy, seems to have a really even balance of all things.  Though some may not like their style (the older ones were really....meh) like the much higher end priced ones are just...interesting.  For the money, for me, at the time $1100 for the Studio HD was money VERY well spent.



I'd suggest you find a JBL dealer, bring your music, and try them for yourself, my guess is that they would have several models available and there are several hundred JBL dealers out there

Golden Ear floor standers have a built in powered sub that you can adjust to integrate with the mids and highs in your room. For metal you do not want anything super revealing as majority of the bands are less than perfectly recorded. So you need to strike that balance. Look into Golden Ear. But whatever you do, make your best effort to audition with your choice of music before you buy. 


I'm using a pair of Tekton Pendragon, that I recommended for the OP earlier in this thread. They are 8 ohm with 98db sensitivity. I'd say they would be fine with 2 watts, let alone the 6 watts that my amp puts out.

@audphile1 you'd be surprised at how well recorded and pressed metal bands are. I highly encourage you to pick a few LP's up. I'd always heard that saying and I have a ton of metal and punk records that sound fantastic and are recorded, mastered and pressed very well. 

Add JBL and Polk (both were very popular with my Hard Rock friends in the 70's and 80's) to your list to audition. JBL is reviving some of their classic models, with upgrades, from the 70's, and if they sound like I remember.....a can't miss. You might want to audition the Monitor line, both tower and "book shelf" from England. My main system is built around vintage KRIX Euphonix (I auditioned with Tommy Bolin's Wild Dogs) floor standing tower speakers, but in a MUCH larger space than your room. My upstairs systems are in a similar sized room to yours, with a dedicated mono and dedicated stereo. One uses a new to me, pair of Totem Arros (rear port and not thumping bass), that is the mono, mostly jazz and classical. I've been aware of the Totems for a number of years, and the stars (and bank balance) finally aligned. The 2 channel system, mostly rock, big band, jazz,experimental, avant-garde, and fusion uses a pair of stand mounted ELAC Debut 2.0 (front ported, and a nice bass delivery for their size, but they are in a market segment that has exploded with excellent new speakers--- check out A British Audiophile on you tube, similar listening room, and he does a bunch of physically smaller high quality speaker reviews, and unlike some, he reviews instead of shills). BTW I listen to CD, tape and vinyl play back, and that's what I use to audition.

Auditioning is the only real indicator.... please yourself first!

I think that a floor standing full range speaker will be better with 7in woofer at least for good bass. Maybe take the rogue to a good dealer with a proper listening room and see a few options. You will most likely hear a speaker that really sings to you. The advice from a good audiophile shop can often be priceless and very helpful. 


that's true j-wall ! I just picked up the Fear Factory (soul of a new machine 3LP) and its a very fine sounding record. Run Out Groove

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If you can, try listening to a pair of vintage, "Polk Audio", (SDA or SRS-type) Polk speakers.

 While the SDA-SRS line of their speakers were primarily designed for hard-rock and metal, they are good for all types of music.

If you are near me, you could come listen to both the SDA-1c and also the SDA-2b models. Just make sure that wherever you find (SDA,SRS) systems, that they have the "Interconnect" cables hooked up, "Without that factory interconnect they sound horrible"! It was part of Polk Audio's proprietary tech. that they invented.

By the way, when Polk split up years ago one part of the company became "Golden Ear".

These speakers also worked well when you had limited space. And there was a need to place them close to the walls behind them! "Instead of (4+) feet in front of the wall"!

Also, especially for metal music. To get the most out of your system you will need to have a good subwoofer system. And this is key! The best I have found, "Especially when looking for (Bang for Buck). I use the "Descent" subwoofers from "Martin Logan". With (3) of "Martin Logans" - ten-inch aluminum subwoofers, in a "Sealed, triangular" configuration and a max output (3,000Wpc) of class D power in the built-in amp! (The amps RMS power "I believe", was 1800 watts).  And it also has excellent manual controls for the installed "room correction"! One of these sub's is more than enough!

And it is a very, very accurate sub! As it is also a "Laser- Accelerometer/Mirror" - corrected, servo-controlled subwoofer system! This type of correction works off of the "actual" measurements, taken in real-time. "NOT" just a feedback loop running a given "algorithm". Which is what most companies run now (Like REL & Rythmic), because of the high cost of the parts used,

 Having a sub like this takes the load off of your primary amplification which will help it too not be "over-driven". When your amp is reproducing the transient, "hi's and lows" so prevalent in metal recordings. It's all in the details!

The MSRP on the subs was ($4800) but you can find them for about ($600) if you are patient! The Polk (SDA) speakers I mentioned? You can find "Usually" for about ($1000) a pair.

And if you find that you don't like them? Just sell them!

As for amplifiers, if you even run across a "Nakamichi Pa-7" amp? You might want to give one of those a shot! (Nelson Pass) designed these amplifiers with the "Stasis" technology that he invented!

Regardless, Good Luck!



Excellent suggestions as above. I will second, older Infinity or Polk Audio SDA models. Sonus Faber is a natural sonic match with Rogue Audio.  Keep me posted on your Audio journey.


Happy Listening!

i'd look seriously at the goldenear w/powered subs (which have polk lineage)--they extend low, have a small footprint + you can get good deals on the triton models.

Excellent suggestions on the Goldenear’s ! I’ve heard them more than a few times and always come away impressed with their open and airy feel, super musical too.

Ive only heard the paradigm founder 80’s and really liked them a lot. I understand further up the line the have powered low end too. May be worth a consideration.