When you consider that the Kestrels are available at less than $1000 used (I paid $700) and to my ear were more "musical" than the Vandersteens, Thiels and JMLabs I compared them against, I think anyone auditioning speakers up to $1500 has to take them into account. The soft dome tweeter makes, to my ears, Joni, Joan and Margo sound very natural. It is true, however, that trumpets in the upper register, for example, especially soprano trumpet, don't have the bite that you hear in a hall, live. Life is compromise. Right out of the box they have excellent bass, the double bass line in the Vivaldi Flute Concerto in D on Telarc is suitably growly and rythymic. Likewise the electric bass lines on pop recordings have excellent pitch definition. Placing 25 pound bags of lead shot on top of the cabinets removes the wobblies from the terrible spikes they come with and further reinforces the bass. With all that said, one more point: in my community orchestra, our trombone section is equipped with a King 3B, really a tenor horn with F attachment and quite bright, a Conn 88H with an 8 1/2" "red brass" bell which is somewhat darker, and my own Reynolds Contempora bass with 10 1/2" bronze bell and large bore tubing which has a very dark sound. Sounds like speaker descriptions, right? And the bass isn't always played by such a dark instrument; the big Bach's and Benzes' are somewhat brighter and lighter. Which live performance are you trying to reproduce, the Reynolds or the Conn, the Fender or the Rickenbacker?