With your physical arrangement it will be tough to get great sound even though your equipment is quite good. Have you considered a laptop computer that would allow you to listen from the sweet spot?
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Most dynamic speakers don't do low volume well but that has a lot to do with imaging not tonal qualities. What I think may be happening to you is that folks do not hear the lower frequencies at low volume level as well as the upper frequencies. Its referred to as the Fletcher Munson curve. Thats why receivers and integrated amps were made for years with tone controls, and contour controls, so that you could increase the volume of the upperbass/lower midrange without increasing the mid/upper mid/treble. What I would suggest is you try inserting a good equalizer into your pre-amps tape loop and use it only when listening at low levels. You can tailor the lower frequencies to your need.
I find Proacs responce line of speakers sound wonderful at low volumes and can play plenty loud without breaking up. I think with the quality of your equpment the would work well as the do demand good equipment. I own 1sc's and find the off axis responce to be better than most. I agree with newbee, most dynamic speakers I have heard do not play well at low volumes, proacs do. The 1sc will not give you deep bass, but do play low enough to have satisfactory full sound. With a good pair of stands they fall into your price range nicely. I have not heard the responce 1.5 but would asume they also would work well, and fit the price. The other speaker that I would strongly consider would be a pair of responce 2 or 2s now out of production but a great bargin used. They also need stands, but fit the price with. Do not be fooled by the size of the 1sc. I love them. They all favor tubes however, but worth a try at the price.