Best speakers for looks & sound < 1000

I have a pair of New Zealand made images which sound great but......Played them 4 6hrs at 1/3 volume put mute on and off and both bass drivers blew (morel 8" hex tech). 2nd times its happened. what are some better speakers that look as great. ( for pic images 403)and sound really good but wont blow easily.
Fresh Prince I am not familiar with the images, but have a pair of PSB Stratus Bronze speakers I really enjoy. They look great and sound even better. They are great for a wide variety of music especially and can be had new for $800.
Fresh prince, I have a pair of the new B&W CDM1NT speakers. They sound great! With the tweeter on top and grilles removed to expose the yellow Kevlar cone, in cherrywood finish,they look great! List price is $1200,but my local dealer geave them to me for $975.00!
Would you consider replacing the Morel drivers? I think Morel is excellent. Many of their speakers are Dynaudio(designed by or exactly the same as - both via agreement), which offer that level of performance, at great savings. Eggleston(among others) uses Morel. You could do this for a FRACTION of the cost of new speakers. If you go this route, be sure to check the internals(wire and crossover), to make sure this doesn't happen again.
By the way, I checked out the image site. Your speakers are REALLY nice. There is NO way you should replace them, as opposed to repairing them. Then I found the 220 mm Morel woofers at Madisound. $88 each. The less than $200 you'd have to spend could never be matched in performance.
I may be trampling the convictions of some of the "true believers" in High End audio on this one but I have had a pair of Cambridge Soundworks Tower IIs for about 3 years and absolutely love them. Saw their advertizing and a few things caught my attention: 1. Designed from the ground up by H. Kloss. Same fellow whose name is stamped on the back of the Large Advents pair I have in the back room. Hmmm... 2. Has a 10 year warranty. Just about the best you'll ever get. Hmmm... 3. Available for free 30 day trial in your home. The High End Audio shops let you do that, too, but you'll get a pair from them for 3 days, not 30. Hmmm... Thought I'd give them a try before making a final decision. Had listened to some very reputable speakers at this price point and at prices up to $2500.00/pr. But after living with the Tower IIs for a week I could no longer convince myself that any of the others could please me more. Do they beat out the sound of those big Advents (recently nominated in another thread as being among the best speakers ever)? You bet they do! And they beat the sound of a lot of other speakers, too, at this point and beyond. The looks? I'd have to describe the looks as reserved and tasteful. But I must confess that when the music starts to "take me away" that I don't do much looking. I just close my eyes, listen, and go with it.
Morel drivers are high quality. Maybe you should investigate the cause of failure. I dont think the spreakers are at fault, better check out your amp before you have blow another set of speakers. Returning the signal that was not straining your speakers should not damage them.
Try the Legacy Studio monitors. Check the website for the finishes - great sound - great looks - excellent build quality.
I was thinking along the same lines as what Blkadr has to say. There may be something wrong with your amplification. I have never blown a cone LF driver and have used both the Phase Linear 400 and Hafler 500 amps and made spaced out errors with them as well. There are some drivers that are very fragile such as the ones that were used in the Spica line as this is their reputation. I do not know if this is the case with the Morel drivers. Repair sounds like the way to go unless you are bored with your current speakers and would like to start fresh. I would also have your amp checked out or at the very least contact the manufacturer and explain your experience. I was going to suggest blowing up another pair of throw away speakers, as a test, if you have any available, but this may damage or further damage the amplifier. There is a custom among American male youths to perform such tests on green plastic army men. It is probably advisable not to carry this form of testing on, into the world of hifi, though I have witnessed adult audiophiles doing this very same thing. The manufacturer of your speakers may also be able to shed some light on this tragedy. I do not know if British brands are readily available in you trade zone. But if they are and you would like new speakers you may want to check out Spendor, Harbeth, Castle Acoustics, Kelly Transducers, B & W and Linn (Scotland) also Coincident and Renaud.
Cant go wrong with Acoustat or Martin Logans or eros. Sound fantatsic,plus have a very high WAF appeal. But will need high current and wattage to drive properly. Just my opinion and thoughts.
Yo Fresh, I checked out the Image website and read some of the reviews of the Image speakers. Your Kiwi mates have a decidedly Aussie sense of humor. The Image speaker line looks great...I would like to hear a pair of the 403's or the 404's but alas no dealers locally. I don't think the problem is the speakers. I think that your amp/preamp is passing DC to your speakers when you turn off the mute feature. To check out this theory, have your amp/preamp checked on an oscilloscope. You might be covered under warranty on the 6 hour old speakers...if not the drivers are available from If you replace the drivers and want to protect them from future (inadvertant) mute button misadventures, try wiring a fuse in series with the speaker system. To calculate the size of the fuse, take the rated power handling capacity of the speakers (150 watts for the Morel MW265 or MW266) and use the power formula P= I^2 * R to get the fuse size. If your driver is 4 ohms then it would be 6.1 amps, if it is 8 ohms then it would be 4.3 amps. Use a fast blow 12 volt fuse in 1 amp lower size than calculations indicate and your Morels will be protected...and we all know how important it is to protect our Morels.