I've been wanting to upgrade my speakers for a long time now, so yesterday I took the plunge & bought a new pair of Vandersteen 1C floorstanding speakers which have an 8" woofer in them. They cost about $1000 & sounded very good in the store. I also listened to the Vandersteen 2C's (which also have an 8" woofer plus a backfiring 10" woofer) & a few different B&W models. The 2C's were out of my price range, & I thought that the 1C's sounded better than the B&W's that I auditioned. Satisfied that I had bought a speaker that would make me happy, I walked out of the store with the 1C's. However, when I brought them home, I was underwhelmed to say the least. The first thing that I wanted to do was to directly compare them to my old, cheap Realistic floorstanding speakers, so I hooked up only ONE of the new Vandersteens & left one of my Realistic's hooked up to the other channel. I dug out a few mono recordings & had at it. There was absolutely NO contest. Even my wife, who cannot hear differences in sound unless they are quite drastic, didn't hesitate for one second when I asked her in a blind test which speaker sounded better, & I agreed with her 100%. The Realistic speakers with the 15" woofers absolutely mopped the floor with the new Vandersteens, which have only 8" woofers. Comparitively, there was almost no bass response or projection from the Vandersteens, while the Realistics had plenty. Now, I understand perfectly well that a larger speaker will give you more bass response, but I find the Vandersteens virtually unlistenable. There's almost NO bass!!! Putting that behind me for awhile, I decided to just focus on the midrange & treble. Here, the Vandersteens weren't bad per se, but the Realistics still sound quite a bit better in this area as well. I know that new speakers need to be broken in to tame the treble response, but I still was not all that impressed with the Vandersteens. About 20 years ago, when I was a teenager, I paid about $400 for my Realistic speakers & I always thought that they sounded pretty decent. I want to upgrade now, but I am very reluctant to buy anything with less than a 12" woofer, minimum. However, they don't seem to exist that much anymore. Almost all floorstanding speakers are equipped with only an 8" or 10" woofer, & I don't understand why. Is it because most people are using a dedicated subwoofer now? Surely not everyone though, right? Maybe I am just used to hearing TOO much bass, I don't know. Thoughts?