Dynamic compression in speakers themselves?


The primary audio characteristics I want to achieve in my system is an open, uncompressed, unstrained, and highly dynamic presentation.  What I don't know much about is how much speakers can or do contribute to loss of dynamics and impact.  I have a very powerful amp, but it seems that when I increase the volume, yes, the speakers get louder, but perhaps not commensurate with the increase in the volume control.  I do think I understand that this type of presentation is more easily achieved with larger scale speakers, but even with my large speakers, I feel something is wanting. 

I guess my question is, what factors contribute to any compression occurring in the speakers themselves?  Also, can the age of a speaker cause a loss of dynamics?  Mine are ~20 years old.  I'm thinking to get new speakers in the foreseeable future, so I'd like to understand more about this.  This question is in regard to traditional dynamic speakers.
mtrot
Dynamic compression is very common above 90 dB SPL in traditional dynamic speakers. Voice coils get extremely hot and resistance rises. Also linear cone excursion can be quite limited. Soundstage won’t even test speakers above 95 dB SPL as most will fall apart. Even if it doesn’t blow apart you mostly get distortion above 95 dbSPL.

You are best to go for pro designs like ATC with 3 or 4 inch diameter voice coils in a very tight tolerance massive motor assembly. Large ATC can play continuously at 121 dB SPL with less than 0.3% THD - this is loud enough for totally realistic drums etc. - unfortunately this level of performance is expensive and often only justified in professional studios like this

https://www.blackbirdstudio.com/studio-c/

Thanks, very interesting!
If your source is CDs the odds are very good any particular CD is dynamically compressed, and not just a little bit as things have gotten a little bit out of control. If your source is LPs or even hi res downloads there has been some overly aggressive dynamic range compression going on there, too. There is also the other separate issue of Polarity. The polarity of many recordings is inverted inadvertently and sometimes the polarity of systems is inverted inadvertently. Whereas the overly aggressive dynamic range compression at the factory is not (rpt not) inadvertent.
Even if you hate classical music buy something from Swedish label BIS to hear what dynamic is .
Hi,

The only review site I know that measures this routinely is here:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=...

Like you, I am incredibly sensitive to this.

Best,

E
Your experiencing thermal compression 1 reason why so many audiophiles tend to use systems sparingly or for short sessions for with longer playing time VC heating and compression can cause listener fatigue. Its the price audiophiles pay for running undersized loudspeakers that require massive power to produce SPL 
The primary audio characteristics I want to achieve in my system is an open, uncompressed, unstrained, and highly dynamic presentation.           A horn does all this a more and can run off low power thus very little thermal compression.                                                                   Hoffman’s Iron Laws of Speaker Building

1) Bass Extension

2) Efficiency

3) Small Enclosure

The law is that you can only have two of these three attributes in speaker building.  Ideally we would want all three, we want speakers with good bass, can play really loud, and are small.  Unfortunately we cannot have all these.


@johnk

Interesting.  I generally am drawn to big speakers with big woofers, for the same reasons you articulate, lol.  My current, quite large, Legacy Audio Signature II speakers are from the 1990's, but still sound decent at moderate levels.  It's just that I wonder how good the capacitors and other components still are, or ever were in the first place, and how much limitation in dynamics these speakers may have.  I feel that understanding more about this issue will be of use to me when considering future speaker purchases. 
Oil caps can fail at about 20 years of age so you may have a wee bit of change in crossover values. Crossover parts have made advancements in materials  sound quality but not innovation. Honestly if your looking to upgrade it maybe time to do so. Or if skilled you could pull networks build a modern version and compare against originals to see and or measure any difference.  A improved network may offer a good level of improvement or it may not you only really know if you can compare to original many just mod stock networks say it sounds great now but never compare mods to stock thus you do not know if its confirmation bias that is in effect  or actual improvements.
Yes your speakers very much so have major liabilities being that old and not rebuilt most everything is limited 
capacitorsfor sure wear out ,and most likely  real crap 
electrolytics in there which should not even be there resistors also .  Which just  this alone would totally rob the system of fidelity and dynamics . If the amp too is old  rebuild it capacitors , resistors 
wiring ,all can be be drastically improved 20 years ,even 15 years capacitors are known to leak ,or dry out  . I have been through 
this in the past ? First decide do you want solid state ,or Vacuum Tube, that will determine  how efficient your Loudspeakers need to be ,and how Loudin SPL levels you need ,and room size how far away you sit.  How powerful the Bass , or maybe a great monitor 
with excellent subwoofer-s.  Many options , your $$ budget will 
determine this ,how about preamp, or integrated ?
Well, then this brings up the question as to which speaker manufacturers are known for employing the best quality electronic components such as capacitors, resisters, etc.?  Only interested in big, floor standing speakers here.  Yes, I want the big, open, dynamic sound, but I also want great vocal tonality and timbre of instruments.
Amp output goes to the speaker.  That portion which generates heat is lost to compression.  To one degree or another, it's always present.
@mtrot 

Large pro studio (not PA) versions of ATC, PMC, Westlake, JBL, Genelec, Quested and Tannoy are all worth checking out if you seek big open dynamic sound and good vocal and timbre. Any of these makes with at least one 15” woofer would be a good start. 
Check out Von Schweikert Audio speakers, particularly VR 55 and above -  one of their primary goals is to create great dynamics . I play moine in large room for long periods at classical concert volume and can play for hours without fatigue

"Yes, I want the big, open, dynamic sound, but I also want great vocal tonality and timbre of instruments."

So does everybody and their brother on this site. Set a budget, pick a few brands/models within that budget, and ask for input specific to those models. Unless this is just a technical discussion about how loudspeaker drivers operate under stress.

"Unless this is just a technical discussion about how loudspeaker drivers operate under stress."

Well, yes, that is mostly what this thread is about.  And not just with regard to the drivers themselves, but how they work in concert with the other components and from whence any dynamic compression might arise.  And to what degree the age of components within a speaker contributes to compression.  As I posted above, "I feel that understanding more about this issue will be of use to me when considering future speaker purchases."  Also, you might refer to my original post.  Thanks to all for sharing their technical knowledge and expertise.
@mtrot - Magico has all their crossovers made by Mundorf. Quality commensurate with speakers grade.

Focal - Seems to OEM Solen/SCR mid-grade stuff for the most part. Horrible sounding caps IMHO.

B&W - Also a Mundorf user (but AFAIK build their own crossovers). They sometimes use the crossover grades to distinguish between speaker grades.

Monitor Audio - Uses OEM film caps, not sure who actually is the source.

Lawrence - Mid-grade Mundorf. Good sounding stuff appropriate for speaker prices.

Selah Audio - Uses top grade Clarity (my faves) among some models.

DeVore - Clarity

My list is what I remember and have observed, it should not be taken as gospel or exhaustive. If this sounds like I am promoting Mundorf, I like some of their products, but I like Clarity more, this is just what I happen to have seen or remembered. Buy and listen to whatever you like to. Just trying to answer with information I know about.


While on the subject of woofers: There is no substitute for size when it comes to dynamics, extension and low distortion. Properly integrated into a speaker system and room, they are magical, and a rare thing indeed.

The idea that big woofers are "slow" is a myth born of bad speaker to room matching.

Best,

E

Dynamic compression in speakers can be minimized but not entirely eliminated, there are classical record labels that are currently offering orchestral recordings on their SACD’s with no compression at all, BIS is one such label, the normal garden variety speakers simply choke with uncompressed recordings, but there are a number of speakers that handle uncompressed recordings with their own minimal compression.

For a speaker system to deal with uncompressed recordings the following is required:

Very high sensitivity starting at 96 dB and higher.

Very large speaker components, such as dual 15” woofers for the low end to ensure that individual drivers do not reach their limits while reproducing the loud passages.

Bi-amplified speakers, this is to by-pass the passive crossovers where distortion and compression starts at high volume levels. Another advantage of bi amplification is direct amplifier connection to drivers, no passive crossover to cause problems.

And finally, to practically minimize speaker induced compression a simple solution is to consider a speaker that is much too large and because of that it never reaches its upper limits in overall volume.

erik, vahes,

Thanks for the specific info!  Very interesting.
Classic Audio Loudspeakers also uses Mundorf capacitors in their crossovers.

If you don't want dynamic compression, really the only way to minimize it is to run high efficiency loudspeakers. Hopefully what this means is that the voice coils run a little cooler, which is one of the ways that speakers can have dynamic compression.
Clarity Mundorf Solen Fostex a good num more all make
 hi-quality capacitors 
Try Altec Santana 1's, Altec Stonehenge 1's, JBL 4312's and JBL 166's. No problem with high SPL playback! I own all of these!
I don’t know about VR55 in particular but VR uses mostly small Voice coils - great speakers but they compress dynamically. Best stick to pro gear if you really want dynamics.

+1 roberjerman
I guess I should clarify that I'm not looking for high SPL playback.  I'm just looking for that big, relaxed, open, uncompressed sound.  I want dynamic crescendos in classical music to get my attention, but with a sense of ease, if that makes any sense.  Should I gather that I should be looking for high quality floor standing speakers with ~12 inch woofers and at least 96dB sensitivity? 
@mtrot

No. Extreme high sensitivity is no guarantee of unrestrained dynamics. 91 dB to 94 dB is already plenty of sensitivity. It is the driver design that is important - large voice coil, massive magnet, short coil in long magnetic gap.

12 inch woofers are a minimum but make sure they are pro woofers. Only these designs will give you dynamic crescendos with ease. 
A lot of sensible things have been said thus far. Do not forget the amplifier part: for great dynamics you need a beefy (solid state) amplifier. A few hundred (pro audio) watts will do no harm.
Full range horns ( I listen to Klipsch Lascalas, modified, with subs ). Some excellent hybrids available.
Do not forget the amplifier part: for great dynamics you need a beefy (solid state) amplifier.
This statement isn't true. What you need is a competent amp and it does not matter if its tube or solid state.

The match between the amp and speaker is pretty important.

Perhaps a conversation about 'dynamics' is in order.

In most audiophile conversations, the word 'dynamics' usually indicates 'distortion' and you can usually substitute the latter for the former without changing the conversation.

SETs, the least powered tube amps around, also tend to be the most 'dynamic'. This is due to the fact that when you push the otherwise very low distortion SET hard, the higher ordered harmonics used by the ear to sense sound pressure start to show up. On transients.

This causes the amp to sound 'dynamic' and if you look at the reviews, its common to see that SETs sound far more dynamic than they should for their low power. Its distortion interacts with our physiology to create the illusion of 'dynamics' but if you place a sound pressure level meter in the room, it will show what is really happening.

But the truth of the matter is, tube or transistor, if the amp is *not* making distortion, its dynamic contrast will be the same.

So if we are talking about an undistorted signal, then the fact that the system can play to higher volume levels without strain is a big deal. You can do that with tubes or transistors. My system can easily play to 110db and I have only 50 watts/channel. But if you have really inefficient speakers you will need a lot more than that.


@mtrot --

I guess I should clarify that I’m not looking for high SPL playback. I’m just looking for that big, relaxed, open, uncompressed sound. I want dynamic crescendos in classical music to get my attention, but with a sense of ease, if that makes any sense. Should I gather that I should be looking for high quality floor standing speakers with ~12 inch woofers and at least 96dB sensitivity?

I’d look for horn designs mainly (hybrids or all-horns), with large radiation areas. Or as is suggested by posters @mrdecibel, @atmasphere and others.

@shadorne --

No. Extreme high sensitivity is no guarantee of unrestrained dynamics. 91 dB to 94 dB is already plenty of sensitivity. It is the driver design that is important - large voice coil, massive magnet, short coil in long magnetic gap.

12 inch woofers are a minimum but make sure they are pro woofers. Only these designs will give you dynamic crescendos with ease.

There’s more than one way to skin your cat. Bear in mind that ATC speakers are not particularly efficient, so they need large voice coils, massive magnets, a lot of power, etc. to deliver with ease in the entire SPL-range within their specific design limits. Their active iterations is a big plus as well, with the drive units being coupled directly to their respective and dedicated amps. All active ATC speakers are dynamically very capable and can be pushed hard before beginning to lose their composure, but it’s with the bigger models from SCM100 and upwards that ones ears is likely to give up before the speakers begin to show any signs of stress. To my needs in a stereo setup the capability to reproduce with ease at even the highest SPL’s is one of the major factors of importance, and the reason why I seriously considered purchasing the SCM150 ASL Pros’s (before choosing horns instead) - which are close siblings to your speakers, @shadorne .

That being said very high efficiency speakers at +100dB’s don’t necessarily need large voice coils or massive magnets (though they’re mostly pro units anyway, and therefore more rugged than your typical hifi dittos), the former of which can even be counter productive used in conjunction with horns in the effort to maintain their traits here in regards to transient response, "snap," etc. A 10dB advantage in efficiency equates into 1/10 the amount of wattage needed, and with many if not most conventional hifi-designs there’s even a 15-20dB shortage in efficiency compared to high efficiency speakers at 105dB’s - which is up to 100 times more watts required for the former to deliver the same SPL. Most any 105dB efficiency speaker design IS guaranteed to provide ample dynamic capabilities in any situation, giving you 105dB’s (at 2 meters/6-7 feet distance) with just a single watt - think about that; 105dB’s is way loud (enough in most situations, I’d say), and with a single watt required will keep distortion levels and thermal issues at bay.

From my chair high efficiency is paramount here. This also provides the freedom to explore smaller-watts tube amps, the SET’s of which in particular are extremely capable within their first couple of watts in delivering dynamics and aliveness that to my ears leaves most SS amps in the dust.
@phusis 

We agree. My point is mainly about the woofers - big motors and large diameter voice coils tend to stay cool and run more linearly.

I agree horns can be great for mid range dynamics. Both horns and dynamic speakers will likely have dynamic woofers especially big studio type monitors.

I'll put my 2 cents in. Get an amp that has super high current. Ignores the varience in impedance. Has mega wattage. Then if you can't afford the amp go with horn loaded speakers. Transients are what you are looking for. Super start up and stop of the cone. Only a fine amp will do this. Mega power and damping factor. My amp is stable down to a short circuit. Mega current and 350 watts. My speakers are ruler flat BUT ineffecient. Impeadance varies as low as 2 ohms.  89 db at 1 watt. If you really want the total control get as much power as you can afford. The peaks can be 1000 watts and have to rise quick and no stress on current.

I am using an Anthem P5 Statement. It is 5 channel but my preamp can do 2 channel as well. Stable down to a short circuit and beefy.

Good luck in your search. Get more power!!!!!!!!!!!!

@ alkaloid

Makes sense.  Here is the info on my amp, which is Krell FPB 400cx.  Specifications are on page 22 of the document.  I think I'm good for most any speaker, which is why I'm now moving on to researching speakers and what factors of speaker design have an effect on great dynamics.

http://www.krellonline.com/assets/support/0162_020_MAN.pdf


Enter your text ...Yes you have the amplification covered quite well.

 Just get busy auditioning different brand speakers and that's it. Yes 20 yrs does make a difference. Especially if driven hard. I did a lot of research a while back and bumped int a company that makes a machine to measure cone breakup using laser dopplar. I also bumped into a company called Accuton. They make the kind of quality I think you are looking for. I didn't look any further because the speakers are out of my league. Your amp has the power, now you have to get a no compromise speaker that can handle the signal. Get the checkbook ready.Can't wait to see what you end up with.


Thanks.  Lol, my wife and I took in the Doobie Brothers concert here tonight.  It was great, but.....  well, as soon as they started playing, I immediately developed a severe inferiority complex with regard to my speakers!  The power and immediacy of the guitars and drums shots was amazing.  Yeah, I understand that a home system is not going to match that, and I wouldn't want to listen for much time at those levels.  But, it sort of informs you of what "good" is, with respect to dynamic sound.
Yeah, I understand that a home system is not going to match that
Sure it can.
@mtrot 
Lots of options here... I'd warn against taking most of them too seriously as they don't withstand scrutiny too well. Some of them don't even make sense on their face if you think about it.
Atmasphere is spot on with what he says, as usual. You definitely can have that level of sound in your own home. And you don't need big honky horns to get it either. 
A home system based on pro studio main monitors (mentioned above) is going to be very much the same level of immediacy of guitars and drum shots. It is quite easily done. Of course you won’t listen loud like that all day long.
Thanks much for all the great input here!  I think, partly because of the expense and partly from an aesthetic standpoint, I'll probably not seek to acquire the speakers mentioned here along the lines of ATC, PMC, Westlake, JBL, etc.  The system for which I am investigating speakers is in our family room.

So, among more conventional dynamic floor standing speaker brands, any suggestions as to which of them might use the best quality components that would allow for the best dynamics of this "genre" of speakers?   Which of them come closest to achieving my desired performance parameters?  You know, just for starters, I'll throw out names such as Sonus Faber, Paradigm, PSB, Monitor Audio, B&W, Legacy Audio, Daedalus Audio, Vandersteen, Goldenear, Revel, KEF, Dynaudio, Canton, etc. 
Agree with all the posters who stress high efficiency.

The day after hearing it, fourth row center, at Lincoln Center, I demo'd Tannoy Churchills with a Krell FPB600 and Stravinsky's Rights of Spring.

The dynamics were as good as the live event.  So ... it CAN be done.
If you want open sound , do as I did and try open baffle speakers . Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S in my case . High sensitivity, about 95 dB , Pro Audio drivers, 15" pair per side, compression horn from 300Hz on up & affordable factory-direct with a return policy you will not want to use . Better cooling of the voice coils not enclosed in a cabinet . Positioning is non-critical .
I have been experimenting with mechanical damping on both speakers and headphones using sorbothane glued to the front  speaker baffle or various locations on headphones. This can give an amazing increase in dynamics and improvement in timbre.  What is happening here is barely discussed among audiophiles but as best I can tell it is just Newton's third law in operation. For every action there is an opposite reaction which means that the vibrations coming out of the speakers create an opposite set of vibrations in the enclosure. Dampen these out and  you get a striking, almost amazing improvement in sound. About a half dozen headphone makers  are playing around with this, including Sennheiser, Grado and B&W. The last time I Googled "constrained damping" I came up with a similar number of speaker manufacturers. I discuss these issues in greater detail here.  https://www.head-fi.org/threads/damping-mechanical-energy-distortion-of-stax-and-other-phones-with-s...  This damping results in some loss of efficiency.
Other speakers: Legacy Focus is good value and great performance. Large Focal good also but expensive. Paradigm Persona 9H. B&W 800. Pretty much the top of the line in any of these brands will bring you quite close to pro main monitor - you will only miss a few dB dynamic range. Unfortunately, nothing really gets around the physics of a giant box with big woofers - you can’t have small aesthetics without taking a little hit in dynamics.
http://www.ajaudio.co.uk/Loudspeaker%20thermal%20compression.htm   Thermal compression is a term used to describe the effect on a loudspeaker of the voice coil heating up during use.

@johnk

Thermal compression is one problem - affecting small voice coils much more than large ones. Small voice coils are standard for the consumer market because they are so much cheaper and easy to build as tolerances can be as sloppy as you like.

The other form of compression is from non-linear magnetic field. Long small diameter voice coils are cheap and have good sensitivity but the coil is not immersed in an even magnetic field - so harmonic distortion is high and they run out of linearity almost immediately upon any excursion.

I am sure that most folks here dismiss this problem...so I will include a link to a $30,000 lauded speaker that suffers heavily from compression. This is not an attack on Magico as I can do this for almost ALL high end consumer brands...

Look at the Deviation from Linearity plots - oh dear a cavernous hole in tweeter response - this means lots of distortion too as the crossover won’t work effectively as the tweeter impedance changes dramatically. A terrible design but all too common and almost all major high end brands (20,000+) tested by Sounstage show this weakness!!!!

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1043:nrc-

If anyone challenges me I can post dozens more links all with top speaker brands - all with dismal performance in this area. No wonder live music sounds so much more real and “live” compared to most high end consumer systems. These systems with these deficiencies just sound strained, dull and boomy when asked to produce live dynamic sound.

There is a very small following of folks with giant speakers ( Tannoys etc) that really get this essential aspect of fidelity. And the surprise is that you don’t have to actually listen very loud to hear the difference - just some well recorded dynamic music.
Indeed, the main difference between life music and what we get from our “hi-end audio equipment” to our ears are the dynamics, so what are we doing, firstly we often (including myself) use Compact Discs as the data carrier, and Geoffkait nailed it when he mentioned If your source is CDs the odds are very good any particular CD is dynamically compressed, and not just a little bit as things have gotten a little bit out of control. If your source is LPs or even hi res downloads there has been some overly aggressive dynamic range compression going on there, too.”

Secondly, people love to use plenty “dynamics” traps in their rooms, which they call “bass-traps”, and finally, yes indeed, dynamics at louder levels will be compromised by the speakers’ abilities to produce such high peak sound pressure levels. Of course, the rest of the electronics do contribute a bit as well. Even cabling and power source may contribute, however we should start to make corrections in the proper sequence. Why worry about the loss of dynamics at the power source/cabling level, and not addressing or be picky when choosing Compact Discs (or even LP).


Looks like a lot of big budget suggestions are being tossed out there. Not sure if the OP plans on taking a second mortgage on the house or not, but the budget would be good to know. I'm going to guess based on the names he tossed out there it not in the 5 figures. 
@mtrot --

To reiterate your initial inquiry a later clarification:

The primary audio characteristics I want to achieve in my system is an open, uncompressed, unstrained, and highly dynamic presentation. What I don’t know much about is how much speakers can or do contribute to loss of dynamics and impact. I have a very powerful amp, but it seems that when I increase the volume, yes, the speakers get louder, but perhaps not commensurate with the increase in the volume control. I do think I understand that this type of presentation is more easily achieved with larger scale speakers, but even with my large speakers, I feel something is wanting.

...

I guess I should clarify that I’m not looking for high SPL playback. I’m just looking for that big, relaxed, open, uncompressed sound. I want dynamic crescendos in classical music to get my attention, but with a sense of ease, if that makes any sense. Should I gather that I should be looking for high quality floor standing speakers with ~12 inch woofers and at least 96dB sensitivity?

It’s commendable that you’re able to articulate the above (not least the traits mentioned, per my own sonic priorities) as an actual bearing on where you want to go with the sound through your setup. Even though you’re not looking for "high SPL playback" per se it would be an inherent capability of speakers that conforms to your needs. Traits like ease, dynamic capabilities and a " big, relaxed, open, uncompressed sound" to my ears is very much grounded in the live, acoustic presentation, and even among audiophiles, very generally, I don’t find it a predominant sonic direction to be sought. One particular aspect that in a sense binds all of the above together (or is a cumulative product of it) is the sensation of ease, and really to be able to achieve this underappreciated quality you want "engines" much more powerful than what you strictly need, coupled no least with transient speed and a big air radiation area to fully load the room and give you the feel of size of scale to the sound. Sometimes you need to feel small when confronted with a sonic (re-)presentation, even startled by the sheer force and power - like witnessing (real) thunder and lightning, through which there’s also a deep emotional core to the experience; something is "ahead" of you here, and this way you’re better able to simply give in and concentrate on the on the whole of music (and not as a venture into dissecting the sound into bits and pieces as something happening "over there"). Sound reproduction, to my ears, is about being enveloped and carried away somehow, much more than sitting in a comfort zone and having an intellectual experience almost of something taking place at a distance. From my chair, going by your description above, the former is where I believe you at least implicitly want to be heading.

You then write the following:

Thanks much for all the great input here! I think, partly because of the expense and partly from an aesthetic standpoint, I’ll probably not seek to acquire the speakers mentioned here along the lines of ATC, PMC, Westlake, JBL, etc. The system for which I am investigating speakers is in our family room.

So, among more conventional dynamic floor standing speaker brands, any suggestions as to which of them might use the best quality components that would allow for the best dynamics of this "genre" of speakers? Which of them come closest to achieving my desired performance parameters? You know, just for starters, I’ll throw out names such as Sonus Faber, Paradigm, PSB, Monitor Audio, B&W, Legacy Audio, Daedalus Audio, Vandersteen, Goldenear, Revel, KEF, Dynaudio, Canton, etc.

Be careful not to shortchange your initial "quest" due to aesthetic requirements, though I’m aware both that and financial considerations can weigh in heavily in such matters. Better to take the time and find the right speakers and save up the extra amount of money potentially needed, and try and find an aesthetic solution that either doesn’t intrude too much in the family decor, or is so visually appealing that size and shape combine to be an actual asset - regardless of size ;) Many of the high efficiency designs fare very well when placed close to the wall behind them, so that their typically bigger size (and different shape) becomes less imposing compared to placing speakers way into the room.

The speaker brands mentioned in the second paragraph, save perhaps Daedalus Audio and Legacy Audio, are really what I’d consider "conventional" speakers that carries with them little if any of the desired traits pointed out by you. I would maintain the (active) ATC solution (minimum SCM100), and add Stage Accompany M57 and Volti Audio’s Rival and the more expensive models. I haven’t heard the Klipsch Heresy’s, but not too few here speak highly of them, and I imagine they’d do well with a pair of subs, as would the Klipsch La Scala’s (with subs). I’d seek out the new iterations of the Heritage line here. If you care to look into vintage horn speakers there are some great options here as well.
kosst

Yes, thanks, to clarify, I’d be looking up to the $10,000/pair range. So, I guess that eliminates a number of the great options out there which could produce the sort of sound we’re discussing. MAYBE up to $15K. I’m not looking for the ultimate in the parameters we’re discussing, but what brands/models can approach this performance. I just wanted to understand what components of speakers contribute to the type of audio characteristics under discussion, so as to better inform me as I get closer to a purchase.
Legacy Audio Focus is about 10K...that could float your boat

If you are ok with used and going up to 15K then you should be able to get what you are after.

+1 ATC SCM 100 as suggested by Phusis. If the 100 is far too boxy for you then ATC SCM 40 and a JL F112 subwoofer would do the job in a slightly more aesthetic manner. Don’t be mislead by “entry-level” description - the SCM 40 has plenty of huge dynamics - it just lacks the energy needed in the very bottom octave which is where the sub would fill in.