Please look at the Annandale Acoustics A-25 XL2. We have a pair of demo's on Audiogon right now at $1,499. They are regularly $2,500. They have a 10" woofer which produces a very nice punchy tight bass response.
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I have owned countless speakers over the years, including some quite exquisite (and expensive) ones. Find my related review on the Verity Audio Parsifal to this effect here on Audiogon.
One of the steal of the century concerning ''budget'' speakers has to be the Polk Audio LS15. Please do a google search on this one, it is for real. I just saw a pair for a measly $ 700.00 or so here on Agon. If these are in top shape, they will be hard to beat this side of $ 3,000.00
Nice tweeter (same as in many higher-end products), great looks and solid wood. Get past the Polk badge with the snobby crowd, and frankly, this speaker is a no-brainer.
Dynaudio DM 2/10 (new). This is a stand mount speaker, but uses a 10" woofer and will put to shame most floorstanders.
Dynaudio Focus 140 (used). Again, a stand mount speaker, but sounds bigger than many floorstanders.
Monitor Audio RX6 or RX8 (new). These are both available around that price or less. They are both floorstanders and offer about the best bang for buck in that price range period. I prefer the RX6 which offers a nice high end sound but with plenty of full range bass as well. The RX8 bass needs a big room, but will serves up a knock out sound.
Totem Hawk (used). Rich full sound from a small floorstander.
B&W 684 (new) OR B&W CM7 (used) - The CM7 is a taste of the high end sound and a fantastic midrange. Very nice speaker.
All of these choices are dynamite and you can't really go wrong with any of them, but given your emphasis on "full-range" sound, I'd get the MA RX8.
The very best speaker that you could possibly purchase, and I am talking full range with lots of bass, perhaps not the very most musical bass, but bass never the less would be, in my opinion........................drum roll please..............a good pair of monitors ( merlins or reference 3A or Harbeth ) and later get a subwoofer.
A small caveat here, I am a dealer. Not for any of the above mentioned speakers but a dealer non the less so as audiophile would say take my comments with a grain of salt. I know you were real taken by the serious tone and were on the way to becoming a true believer. So sorry.
"Full-range" means a speaker that can cover all ten octaves, 20 Hz. to 20,000 Hz., and in particular, that has flat bass to 20 Hz. - such speakers are rare and very expensive by most people's standards. Assuming that you mean "basically full-range", we're talking about something that has flat response at 40 Hz., which is the lowest note of a double bass or electric bass. It's difficult to find a basically full-range, quality speaker for $1,500, especially one that has accurate bass response.
If you do not have a large room (say, bigger than 15' x 20'), I would recommend a pair of used Dunlavy SC-3's. Dunlavy has been out of business for 5+ years, but in the event you would blow a tweeter, they are user replaceable and not particularly expensive. Having five drivers per speaker (two woofers, two mids and a tweeter), they go fairly loud, but more importantly, they are accurate and musical. Check the threads and you'll find a lot of enthusiasm.
Mirage's new owner Klipsch has discontinued Mirage's higher line speakers. The good news is that the last of these gems are being blown out at fire sale prices. You can get the Mirage OMD-15 floorstanding speakers, originally $2500/pair and very competitive at that price point, for $800/pair at Vann's with 7-day return privilege and full factory warranty. The flagship OMD-28, originally $7500/pair and linear down to about 22 Hz, are being finished off at $2600/pair. Man, I wish I could get a pair of those.
I have used a pair of OMD-15s in my main listening system for two years, powered by a 100 wpc integrated amp and they are outstanding. Definitely good usable bass down to about 34 Hz, very transparent midrange, and smooth, airy treble. They are forgiving of upscale electronics (to a point), yet are resolving enough to yield big improvements when source and amplification components and cables are upgraded. The main break-in period takes about 100 hrs, but they keep getting better for the next year of listening.
At $800 a pair nothing can touch them. Nothing.
You might want to check out the Revel Concerta F12 speakers.(I believe new will cost you between 1200 and 1500) Very, very nice speakers; I had Magnepan MMGs and then won these in a contest. They will satisfy you within your budget. The only downside is if you are going for a HT setup then you will definitely need to pick up the Center (C12, I believe) which will push you over the 1500 budget.
They can be biamped too.
lots of USED choices @ $1500 ... if by full-range you are referring to 20hz performance, the NHT 3.3 is a great choice though a bit odd looking (if that matters). if you are not looking for 20hz performance, just something to the 35hz mark or so the field REALLY opens up. Alon Mk V's are a FANTASTIC deal used though again a bit odd looking
I was lucky enough to pick up a $10k retail speaker for $1700 a year or so ago ... if you are patient, you can get GREAT deals used
one things you may want to consider is what you will do next. FOr example it sounds like you want a 2 channel system right now. All things equal with $1500 you can get some very nice speakers, especially if you can go used. Now do you think you will want to go with a 4.0, 4.1, 5.1 or something like that system in the future? If so you may want to think about what you will do with the stuff you are buying now. FOr example if you go bookshelves now they can be a surround later.
may help you narrow things down now.