Big Stupid Warm Speakers

I'm getting ready for a speaker change. I've owned B&W 804 matrix speakers for about 12 years now. While I've enjoyed the refinement of them there's always been something missing.

Yes that's right, and that something might be BIG STUPID WOOFERS. Some of my favorite speakers ever were a pair of Infinity's I paid $300 for in 1979. They had 15 inch woofers, tweeters that were harsh and not the greatest, but these things roared like an angry lion even when no music was playing. When it was playing, about anything from Oingo Boingo to Mozart was a visceral experience.

Now with upper end speakers, you don't know there's bass until there's supposed to be, the tweeters are refined and realistic sounding, there's some wonderful imaging etc. But it's somehow too polite - I want to get back some of the warmth from the big woofer days. And no, using a sub isn't the same thing.

I remember being in a high end store about 10 years ago when a Polk Rep was there showing this huge new Polk speaker that was just incredible sounding. Big warm, realistic, detailed -awesome. I asked the store owner when he'd be getting them. He rolled his eyes and said, "Our customers are too discriminating for this type of speaker. The bottom end was way out of control."

So maybe I want out of control instead of polite. Can anyone put me in the direction of some BIG STUPID WARM SPEAKERS that still have some refined and high end attributes? The rest of my system is all Cary HT that retails for around $10K.

Cary Cinema 6 Preamp Processor
Cary Cinema 5 Multichannel amp (200 WPC)
Cary Cinema DVD 6 (incredible with CD's)

Even though the system is HT, the electronics do very well with music. And even the they're Cary components, they're solid state - but easy on the ears. I listen to Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Bluegrass, etc.
Oh yeah, and looking to spend under $3K/pair.

Has anyone else gone through this? Any speaker recommendations? Thanks.
well the VMPS would most likely not please your wife (I did not read carefully)
My fathher has the Focus 20/20 from Legacy, it is an awesome speaker but I dont know if it is still too big.
Go with what you loved - the POLK SRT system... you can, very occasionally, find them used on ebay or audiogon.
A pair of used Snell Model Cs, one thru three versions. Vandersteen 2Ce, 2Ci, Nht 2.5i....these are all examples of relatively modern speakers that would give you a nice warm, full bass on a budget....about $300.00 to $700.00 a pair. The later Snells with the poly woofers might not be so warm, but real punchy and fast, and very good none-the-less. Oh there are others to be sure, like the Snell type A, first iteration, absolutely wounder-full, big and warm, but the ones I mentioned above are the ones I am presently playing around with....again.

But why not go back to the beginning, the very beginning....well almost. A good pair of early AR3As, using the woofer that was first use in the Ar3s, set up on 24" high stands, or in my case on 24" high old Warfdale cabinets, will give you a bass that defines what warm bass is; yet it will still be very detailed at the lowest end, with lots of upper bass thud and fullness when you want it...plenty fast too.

Acoustic Research (AR) invented big bass in the small (by standards of the day, 1950s/60s) package, and I don't care what anyone says, the AR3....granddaddy to all 3way acoustic suspensions designs, and the first speaker ever to use dome drivers, invented by AR....and the AR3a are the most satisfying speaker systems I have ever heard; I've owned hundreds...wilsons/watts/puppies/maggies/acoustat/psb/paradigm/nht/duntek/and on and on/advents/bose 901/canton/b&w/ess/ohm/klipsch/eminent technology/etc., name some for me, and I'll tell you yes or no as to weather or not I have owned them because my memory for names fails me at present. But no matter how many times I've strayed, and no matter how many speakers systems I've put up at any given time, I always find myself coming back to the ARs....

The others are usually more efficient, so they seem to have an advantage, but come back I do; with my current amps, McIntosh MC252, transistors, and Masa Baron, tubes, the efficiency advantage seems moot since I have plenty of power to play the ARs satisfyingly in my 15' x 25' x 9' listening area. The big (called bookshelf in their day) ARs have remained with me for decades, while others have come and gone. They have pretty good extension in the highs, nice defined midrange, and a bass that is big, warm, but also tight, fast and defined....the ringed woofers are a work of art, and kill anything found on modern speakers costing upwards to $5000.00. The solid, all wood through and through cabinets hark back to the days when building a fine speaker was really a craft. Spend 3 grand on a pair of speakers today, and you still don't get real wood through and through, not in most cases. The big ARs are something to cherish.

The 3As might be better than the 3s for those who crave a bit more highs....or slightly modify the crossover of either, and add a more modern tweeter if you like; be sure to perfectly seal the cabinet, and make sure you have the correct amount of fiberglass baffling material installed. This makes a big difference in the bass capabilities of the speaker.

One last thing about the ARs....these speakers do not sound boxy at all, like some ported designs do. Even ones costing several thousand dollars. And they image very well, with a very detailed center stage; even staging to the outside of the speakers, that is if the recording is done that way, they will present it, with all the positioning of the vocals and instrumentation, etc., rendered spaciously intact....I love them!

Yet, invent the same thing anew they do...."On our waste to perfection," each generation, until all the generations are born and have lived and died, seeks to find that which is important, or of real value. So, go go go....a new gimmick a day keeps the blues doctor away, but there's very little in audio that's truly new under the sun....except your new speakers, yeah!! "On our waste to perfection, we have reached a new direction"......yeah,,,yeah.
3 words: SNELL TYPE B. Find a used pair of these for a few grand, they're flat to 20 Hz and extremely (many at the time said "overly" warm). I had a pair for a few years, and they're big-hearted and fun! Not to be confused with the B Minors.
entertaining thread... i remember some big 3 way polks from @ 1982 that were a blast. the drawback was the impedence dipped quite low and tended to fry amps without guts. had a buddy who kept frying his int.luxman amp (pre luxman sellout)that was a great piece and rated over 80 wpc. the speakers were fast as lightening and punched like goerge foreman on acid. they were wide but not too deep in big box enclosure. they were the ultimate college party speaker but very clean mids and good sizzle. i loved my big 2 way 10 in. jbl's but these things were awesome!