what are"fun" speakers?

Is it just me, or is it that when people say speakers are "fun" they mean it as a left-handed compliment, kind of like, "these speakers sound pretty good for being so CHEAP". I don't think I've ever heard Wilson's referred to as "fun". I guess you gotta be pretty serious when you listen to those puppies.
Fun speakers..

Linn Isobarik and old Klipsch I have heard have a great sense of humor. :)
I have a pair of Avalon Ascendants. A buddy and I were sitting around one evening listening to Crosby Stills Nash & Young, not having heard it in a while (we're both leftover 70's types) and he said, "Man, I think I must be having a flashback or something. I've heard this 100's of times, but I've never heard what I'm hearing now." The Avalons, on the right material, do have amazing detail and imaging, and it was fun hearing all kinds of stuff we hadn't heard before. However, as with any speaker that tells you things you never knew about source material, the Avalons not infrequently tell me more than I want to know about how messed-up certain recordings are, etc. If I had the money, I'd keep them around "for fun," but I'm happier with Harbeths for everyday listening. It's an interesting batch of compromises, this high-end business.
My interpretation of "fun" speakers are speakers that are easier to get to sound good, even if their potential isn't quite as "absolute" as other speakers. Easier to drive, easier to match, easier to place, not as dependent on room size.
On a whim I bought a pair of Usher S-520s with the bright yellow finish (fantastic finish). You better believe they got attention from anyone entering my listening room. They were fun to listen to and also fun to look at.
When I sold them I listed them here and on audiocircle.com with big color pictures. The first response on AC was "what color are they?" They were even fun to sell.
I don't think it's a left-handed compliment at all . . . I think it's a good thing for speakers to be 'fun'. It's just that frequently we'll give up some or all of the 'fun' part for other things.

An automotive analogy: I have driven a Ferrari 550 several times, and have also owned an MGB . . . and it was the silly little 60-HP MG that would put a smile on my face way faster than the Ferrari. The 3-series BMW that I own now is very nice, but it's not particularly 'fun' -- my 1986 Ford pickup is definately more so. If I had to keep only one . . . it would be a really tough choice.

Likewise, my current loudspeakers (JMLabs) aren't completely devoid of 'fun', but they're definately more serious, like the BMW. My B&O Pentas on the video system are much, much more 'fun'. And if I had to have only one system, I would keep the B&Os, no question. Yes, I'd miss the JMLabs . . . but when it comes to music, 'fun' is pretty high on the list.
Darosenb - did you mean WATT Puppies?


I think of big speakers that have rich tone and a big dynamic sound. Something inaccurate but enjoyable, maybe we should all own them...
I have seen "fun" applied to economically-priced speakers which
made you want to dance. As examples, IME "fun" applies to the Royd
Minstrel (low sensitivity) and the Triangle Titus (90 dB).
Magnepans are "fun" especially if you are a true hobbiest. The basic models offer unparalled value, and there's the fun of having friends over who are mystified that athe music is coming from 2" thick speakers that look like doors. Moreover, they are easily tweaked out- outboard active crossovers, biamping and for the DIY types, bypassing internal XOs, etc.
since 1973, i've never been 'without' a pair of large advents. across the board, they play as flat as a pancake, and never disappoint. they come close in sound to any speaker at any price(even today), and though they aren't the last word in 'anything', when the mood hits, and i want to pull out my classic late 60's, early 70's records(not the audiophile ones, but the ones i really love), there is no better 'fun' speaker than Henry Kloss's masterpiece. As the original instructions once said...'don't spend too much on an amplifier'. i still believe these classic 'fun' speakers, paired with a thorens tt, and a sweet marantz receiver could compete with system at CES or THE show.
Fun speakers are when mates come around and you say you've just spent 50k on a new pair and they then make 'fun' of you for having more money than sense.
Gawdbless, that is exactly what happens when my mates first see my Acapella Triolon speakers. That is until they hear them.
It does seem that "fun" in audio usually is associated with modest gear that has surprising performance. Some of the most fun I had in years was picking up a pair of the infamous Insignia speakers - for all of $50 at the time. I recall seeing the incredulous comments about them. I thought, No way, POS for that price. But then I thought to myself, "How can I just diss them if I've never heard them?" I was bored stiff with the gear I had, so I went down to Best Buy just to waste time/money on something different.

I was shocked and super-pleased at what they sounded like. I had a great time putting them into my high end rig and seeing what they could do. Just good 'ol fashion fun, sort of like how Stereophile reviewed the Playstation as a cdp.

Another really fun one are the Eminent Technology LFT-6 speakers, now on their way to becoming a true vintage component. They're 17 years old and obsolutely gorgeous, with natural oak trim and a light, vanilla colored grill cloth. They stand 6.5' tall and do not have the bass module like the LFT-8 series. They look like elegant, thin fabric doors on stands.

Everyone who sees them is amazed not only at their looks but the sound. I bought a couple of economical HSU subs to pair with them and the sound is lucious. There are still many people who have not seen planar speakers, or have not hear them. I love telling them that the technology is more than 30 years old. People are typically amazed at it. I take more delight in that than showing a hard core audiophile a high end component.

Some of the most fun I have had comes from demonstrating to people that are skeptical that different cables have a readily discernable impact on sound. I can switch one IC or power cord on my main rig and they are surprised at the difference in sound. They typically have to renig on their doubtful comments, saying things like, "How can that be?" or "I never thought one cable could make that much difference..."