I'm currently running a pair of Paradigm Atom bookshelves off of a Marantz NR1402 AVR. The setup works, but it is obviously anemic on the low end. When I bought them I thought I'd eventually end up with a sub to fix that. I was wrong. I don't have a great place to stick one, and given the fact that I have people living below me I've come to accept that I'll just never be able to play music exceptionally loud or low.
That said, I'd like to move to a setup that goes a lot lower. Most orchestral music bottoms out by 40hz, so I'd like to aim near that if possible. Home theater is secondary to music. I'm not looking to shake the room (quite the opposite), but I'd like to hear as much of the music as possible. As for genres: orchestral, jazz, blues, bluegrass, modern indie, and pretty much anything that isn't heavy metal, rap, or electronic/dance.
To start, I want to restrict the search to bookshelf speakers -- we have a rather 'spirited' cat and I'm not sure if he could resist floorstanders that looks so much like a 36"+ tall, cloth-covered scratching posts. (side note: amazingly, my fiancee would prefer floorstanders to bookshelves on stands). They are going to sit closer to the wall than is ideal, probably no more than a foot from the wall to the back of the speaker, at best.
They should be reasonably attractive and need a front grill. Nice, matching stands would be good.
The normal listening volume will be far under reference. Even with the little Atoms (~90dB sensitivity) I have now, the AVR is rarely set above -30dB. That means the speakers need to sound good at low volumes.
Lets set a budget of $2000, not including new amplification if that's needed. Obviously I don't need to spend all of it.
Edited by jbchi - 11/5/13 at 3:12pm