get klipsch heresy's...they're 'classics', and unlike many horn loaded speakers, they don't honk, and are lively as all getout...in corners, they will do bass better than many horn designs as well.
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At a $1500 budget, your choices are very limited. You may want to keep your present speakers and add a high end self powered subwoofer with a crossover point set at the low frequencies that you are missing, perhaps 100 or 80 Hertz. Also add an L-pad to control the volume of the subwoofer to keep it at the same level as the other speakers. You will also need a three resistor circuit to convert stereo from the two channels into one mono circuit just for the subwoofer. Let me know if you are interested in this gadget. Or you can check out the Klipsch website and go to their forum. Ask about the "mini box" that Paul Klipsch designed for this purpose.
You will have to spend from $10,000 to $20,000 if you want a quality horn speaker system with a high end amp and source that will avoid the harsh sound you don't want; and that's just for used equipment. Good luck!
I own a pair of Altec 604-8g (Model 17's) that sound to me what you describe you are looking for. The 17s are designed for nearfield listening and can be bought in your price range. Excellent clairty, soundstage and dynamics. They don't do much over 14hz and drop off pretty sharply at 40hz. For more info a google search using Altec 604 will give you alot more info.
Altec Model 19's if you have a larger room would fill the bill nicely. Again you should be able to get some within your price range.
These Altecs are high efficiency (100 db and up) and work very well with SET or PP tube amps. And there are lots of folks who drive them with SS amps too and enjoy them, although I prefer tubes with mine.
As far as the large heritage Klipsch, it seems there are quite a few heritage owners who replace the klipsh drivers and horns with Altec drivers in the heritage cabinets, but I will leave it up to you to research what is considered the best.
Great Plains Audio in Okla. City is owned by a long time (28 years) Altec employee and has all of the original Altec equiptment to service any problems with the drivers or horns for a very reasonable fee if they should need any attention.
Good luck in your search and I hope you find what trips your trigger. I did.
Ecruz, you don't need to spend $10,000. The Cornwall's with a warm solid state, or even better, a 30 watt or so integrated tube amp, and you will be surprised at what they will do.
A step up is the LaScalla's, which IMO are better, but don't have the bass extension and normally require a crossover mod to sound their best.
I've not heard the new RF-83's, but they may be exactly what your looking for. Better WAF for sure. Many on the Klipsch forum seem to think they're a bit too mellow, but all say they still have the dynamics and punch Klipsch is known for.
I'm certainly anxious to hear a pair.
I've owned many and heard them all. There's a reson the Cornwall's were resurrected by Klipsch and the Chorus, Fortes, etc. were not.
They're very good speakers that have a smaller foot print, which is what they were designed for, but Paul knew what he was doing we he used the big cabinets for the CW's.
I read that he disigned the Cornwall's to have bass performance on par with the K-horns, but in a cabinet that was easier to place, i.e. didin't require two good corners.
Obviously the CW's are my favorites. I'll admit the K-Horns and LaScalla's are more sensative, more detailed, etc., but they can also sound very sharp to my ear if the cross over's are not modified.
I always felt the CW's were much smoother and represent a good compromise.
I only got rid of my Hereseys to buy Cornwalls. I got rid of my Cornwalls to please my wife! I now have much smaller but almost as efficient Coincidents. In my opinion, if size matters, the Cornwalls are the best Klipsch out there. Hereseys take up as much space once on stands. Khorns, LaScala and Belle are HUGE and only marginally more efficient.
Also, the Corwalls are "old school" klpsch cabinet design with 3/4 plywood boxes. The whole company changes when they went to using mdf and cheaper materials for the horns. Now that HK has them, it's even worse.
Forte & Chorus are not from the original line-up. I'm very partial to the original klipsch.
Final note: My coincident speakers are almost as efficient, very tight and clean, smaller & prettier but made with veneer instead of plywood, have less bass and only lose out to klipsch when listening to horns/jazz or cranking at 125db!
KHorns or Lascalas. Its difficult to find the Khorns for 1500 but they are very good speakers. I have owned KG5.5, RF3, and now the Khorns. I guess I am a little partial to the klipsch line. The 5.5s are pretty good speakers with a good bass response and can be found on the used market for about 500 or less.