I wonder how many reviewers actually listened to Emerald range of the Wharfedales before condemning them to the scrap heap? I enjoy my 99's, 97's, 95's and 91's in the various systems I have scattered about my Ellenville, NY home. While it is true that the 99's need a little help in the lowest bass regions for certain recordings my Wharfedale Sub-woofer takes care of that nicely, when needed. I didn't bother with subs for the other systems. Usually, the 99's do well enough by themselves. I have had numerous comments from several "audiophiles" that they compare favorably with much more expensive systems and the musicality, openness, soundstage and clarity are undeniable. I have spent hours listening to speaker systems costing tens of thousands and powered by huge amps, preamps and the like, but my Onkyo receiver (and vintage silver pioneer receivers) seem to do the job. I did run the 99's through a vintage luxman 400t cube for a few weeks before selling it and the soundstage was incredible. I have driven them to maximum volume without any noticeable distortion. They are smooth. My 99's and 97's are black, real wood veneer, nicely finished with plinths and spikes. My 95's are real maple veneer with plinths and my 93's are real rosewood veneer. I also have a few Anniversary 7.2s in black and rosewood (all real wood veneers) and for their size and price they are incredible. For those who can't afford or simply won't spend thousands on speakers, these Wharfedales are amazing.