When I was growing up, the typical home theater setup included a pair of loudspeakers (typically with 8-15" woofer, mid-bass and tweeter), and the high-zoot ones had a center channel and rear surround back when Dolby Pro-Logic was en vogue. Modern surround sound is worlds better 'now days, but is sound quality for actual stereo sound reproduction actually as good? I find myself cranking up my stereo listening to tunes thinking, "wish I had bigger speakers." The problem is they're almost impossible to find, at a decent price at least. Bookshelf speakers and mini-tower speakers are everywhere, most with a 6.5" woofer and tweeter, perhaps multiple 5 or 6.5" woofers. The bass always sound loud but muddy, not like what I remember as a kid with the half-refrigerator size speakers my dad had that would shake the ground you stood on. His were dual-12" (one was a passive radiator) KLH-brand tower speakers. But I can't find a decent priced loudspeaker with a >10" woofer for less than $500 each. My own setup is a 12" passive-sub with external amp, 6.5" woofer polk mini-towers, good sounding speakers all the way around for home theater use, where you're close. Nice treble, decent bass, but when you want to crank the volume up real loud it is seriously lacking. To hear the sound outside the house clearly while I'm doing yard work for example, there is distortion when you turn the volume up that high. I've tried different receivers, even my best "old" one, an Aiwa AV-X200 (~200w/channel clean power). I can't help but believe I need larger speakers. What would you guys suggest? I want to wow myself when I crank the volume up (headroom is nice, even though I won't listen at the volume) and I just can't do it with my present setup. My current receiver is a Denon AVR-S540BT, but again I've used receivers with more power and still been disappointed. Is small speakers & large subwoofer a better setup vs. huge tower speakers (like in the old days) with no external subwoofer? Curious what you guys think.