Like I said, I like to rock, so if I could find a setup that punches me in the stomach and then serenades me with lullabies, I would be very grateful. I appreciate any suggestions.
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I thought about just adding a sub to the LSR's, but I would still be dealing with "flat response" speakers. If I wasn't into rock and only listened to easy stuff, the LSR's would be fantastic. In fact, I'm still in love with them just because the voices they project are hypnotizingly stellar.
What the LSR's can't do is hype and color sound, like hi-fi, to give the feeling of dynamic power, which heavier music requires. This is just my experience anyway and the debate will always be split.
Here are my recommendations:
1) get rid of the soundcard, it will never be a good performer - use USB or firewire interface
2) get rid of the preamp, it will compress and color the sound - use a DAC with a good volume or a transformer passive linestage
3) look at decent speakers, like the vaporsound.com stand-mount. Best speaker I have heard and beats $50K competition. Another is the new Magnepan.
4) never use integrated or receiver for an amp. Get real amps
If you cannot afford it, shop used on Audiogon. Forget about Best Buy. Mid-fi stuff at best.
You may want to rethink your approach. You say you want to get away from speakers that have a flat frequency response. Most, if not all, speaker designers aim to have a flat frequency response. And why wouldn't they? I don't know of any speaker manufacturer that tries to make bright or rolled of sounding speaker. Granted, some designs are more successful than others, but still, they are trying achieve a flat response. You can have 2 speakers that both measure flat and will sound completely different from one another. I would hold off on buying and do some listening first.
Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated.
The LSR's are so accurate that they smack me in the face whenever a bad recording is played and all I want to do is relax and enjoy. This may be good for the studio, but not for the living room.
I like the exaggerated and colored frequencies that hi-fi offers, it makes genres like rock fun to listen to. Also, I get tired of slaving my EQ after every song just to keep the mood going and patch the holes. If it wasn't for their revealing nature, I might have been able to just build around them, but I don't have room for the clutter.