Efficient speaker, big bad tight bass?

Any reccommendations out there for this criteria:

1) Conservative looking, wood finish a must
2) Smaller (no 100-150pound behemoths need apply)
3) Can be run nicely with 30 watts class A power
4) Great for Rock and dynamic slam
5) $3-$4k used

I am looking at the new Klipsch Palladians. They seem to fit the bill, look nice and conservative. Anyone hear them?

Thanks all
Devore Fidelity has "big bad tight bass" for their size and configuration...and sound fantastic...

Mat be worth adding to the list, if nothing else, they will be fun to listen to for your audition...

Well I think you mean Palladiums, and it would be really rare to even find them used I believe, and definitely considering they are 20 k new you would not find them for 3-4k if you do find a used pair!

However I will offer this, definitely klipsch is the only track down which you will probably find what you seek overall for the money, look at the Reference series from them or the old KLF series, far cheaper than even 3 or 4k used, and bass with the correct amps will blow your doors down, but you will save about 2000 of what you want to spend on used pairs, and still have plenty to just add a good sub if necessary in your room, this will be totally room dependent however via size and power requirements to get that full range bass load from rock music, and the other recordings that lack it.

There is always the heritage series such as the Khorns, but due to the type of look (design) corner placement and bass power you explain no older klipsch heritage series will fit the bill in all your requirments. By the way absolutley the new Palladiums would be the top dog in your search and fit all criteria accept the pricing is not even remotely close unfortunatley.

Take a look at these models.. They rock hard, tons of good bass power... Take about 5 watts to do it... I have had RF3's, RF5's, and RF7's, along with several others, including the KLF series and they can all do it under the correct conditions.. And all can be had for under about 800 bucks a pair. See this link to a newer version, but I would go with the RF83's which come up for about 1800 a pair when available used, or as store demos.

Thanks Undertow!

The smaller Palladiums (model 37) are $8k retail and I would consider stretching to get to $5-6k, so that is why I was thinking the Palladiums. Thank you for your reply!
Okay I have not seen or read on the newest editions, only knew about the Top Palladiums, so yes those could be pretty sweet for 8 k new.. However I would venture to say the RF83 is as good a speaker and cheaper, with better low end and efficiency… Bottom line the palladium holds probably one thing over the reference series in this case and that is a slightly higher grade crossover part, and the fact they are true 3 ways over a 2.5 way.. I can tell you this, go listen if you can, I think you will be very suprised for the money what the reference series offers, and again I don't think you will find many used pairs of palladiums in the next couple years anyway unless you order from somebody overseas…You could get a street price on the RF83 I am sure for 1700 to 2100 a pair brand new possibly, or floor demos.

Thats still the one thing klipsch has advantage of vs. most other recommendations you will get here, they will have pairs in stock somewhere that you can go and listen! Or even take home to demo and still get a killer price on them. Most of these other brands are more esoteric, custom and direct order or very few dealers, so its up to you to simply try what you can first.
I'd look at Legacy Focus 20/20
off-the-beaten-path...go to the harman store online and check out the jbl Ti series under 'clearance'. big, lots of bass, pretty efficent,already collectable, already legendary....priced right.
Legacy Classic
For rock, I would not hesitate to get JBL. But look for amodel with as big woofers as possible. 10" woofer is good to have to feel the music.
Bose 901. The Sound Experts!
You owe it to yourself to check out the original DA-1 from Daedalus Audio.

They are in that 100 lbs weight class, but they are not physically/aesthetically overwhelming for a floor stander.

Otherwise, they certainly meet your requirements and are typically $3500 or less, used.
If you want "tight" bass then you will need a very large box speaker - a corner horn loaded or something like that. The problem with "tight" bass is that is requires critical damping (no bass bump in the frequency response) - this is necessarily inefficient until you get to a big woofer and big box ( think 10" woofer as a bare minimum ). Think classic Klipsch or Tannoys - big armchair sized stuff and you will be in heaven.
Classic problem of, "I want big bass, but I don't want to 'pay for it', either with space/size or dollars." Isn't going to happen, not ideally at least.

Not a negative on the Palladium, as I've never heard it. The 9" drivers will produce lovely bass down to their limits; the specs show 39Hz +/- 3dB. The Low Frequency Extension shows 28Hz. When played at higher levels read "distortion threshold". They'll already be distorting to some degree on the way down to that point. It will get much muddier and worse sounding with very low Hz listening material. They'll play lower Hz, but they'll also distort at any higher levels to achieve lower frequ. at higher level. That's it. Don't expect clean, powerful subwoofer-like bass from these speakers - or any speakers with similar specs. It's an error to think that one can get similar bass from multiple smaller drivers.

I was scoping out the specs and came across this pic, which makes the speaker look HUGE; it's on a pedestal and the angle of the pic makes the speaker look larger than the woman.


The speaker is actually 4.5' tall. A very good size, but not large enough in cabinet size to let the 9" drivers dig deeper for more low end. A compromise between aesthetics and performance.

If you go with these speakers - as I said, I have not heard them, so you may love the sound and if so, great! - you'll likely be looking for a subwoofer at some point because you won't get the big, bad bass you say you're after. You'll likely have clean bass to 30Hz, but not much after that. And the most involving low end in terms of big, bad bass happens below that point.

Shadorne is absolutely correct; think 10" minimum. I'd say 12" minimum if you don't want to be adding a sub. I reviewed the Legacy Focus HD for Dagogo.com; it has twin 12" bass drivers and that is just enough to do without a sub. I frankly, do not know of many speakers with a single 10" or 12" bass driver which can perform at a level so that a subwoofer can be eliminated. There is, of course, a large degree of subjectivity involved in such conclusions, but I think a large number of audiophiles who use their system for music and HT would agree with that generalization.

So, from my perspective, #2 in your list is unrealistic. If you don't adjust your criteria to accommodate a larger speaker, you shouldn't expect to achieve the big, bad bass you crave. You can buy a smaller tower speaker, but should expect to incorporate a subwoofer for the bass experience you want.

The other potential issue is the 30W power supplied. Not good if you want serious bass, higher levels, etc. You can make it work, of course, but you're going to hear a lot of distortion. Compared to older, less capable speakers you may think it's wonderful, and it will be! But, in absolute terms you would do FAR better with many more Watts at your disposal if low end slam is what you're after. If you go with the Palladium speaker you should at some point upgrade your amp and you would find it to bring an entirely new, improved clarity and intensity to the bass.

If you're thinking of the smaller Palladium speakers, you're not going to be anywhere near this bass performance that you indicate you want.

There really is no way to get around the physics. :)
You will not find what you are looking for in klipsch. They are lean and bright. I would in no way call their bass " big bad and tight". Look at Paradigm studio 100s. Much bigger bass with over all good sound.
I have to agree with Shadorne...

When I browsed your post...the answer screamed Legacy...but then you mentioned the weight limit. I know that small speakers can do some porting magic and produce some decent bass...but (In my opinion/experience)...it's really hard to get around the need to move a lot of air/damping factor for smooth (real sounding) tight bass.

Although I have heard other speakers that do much better than Legacy's (classic, sig3, 20/20) in other areas (e.g. coherence/disappearing), etc. I have never (in that price range!) heard better, more real, bass.

What also made me think of Legacy's are that they are fairly easy to drive (a strong 30w would probably work...but they really sing with more power)

Again, Just my Opinion/Experience
Thanks all for your suggestions. I am leaning toward the Devore Nines, perfect size and look. I guess I misstated my post, I was not looking for dance club bass, but more along the lines of a Wilson Sophia.....they are efficient and look great, but weigh a ton and are way more than I can afford. Am also looking at Proac models as well.
Just auditioned the Nines, and while they do many things nicely, their bass is not real impressive in terms of weight and moving air. The older Proacs that I've heard(i.e. Response 2.5, 3) have a similar style performance. The Sophias sound quite different. I'm guessing that if you love the Sophias, the DeVores won't be your best choice. Cheers,

Silverline Sonata III
New, the Audiokinesis "Jazz Module" is $4500. I've not heard it, but it's big brother, the Dream Maker is wonderful. Both models are very efficient and their maker has an excellent ear. It's very handsome.

Take a look at the Klipsch Epic CF4 for sale on this site and see if you can live with the size. It will do everything you want. It will slam with rock and roll. has a nice wood finish.
Audiokinesis check them out.