When a budget speaker is preferred to a high end one...

How many have experienced a situation when a more budget oriented speaker has a more preferred overall sound over a higher end speaker, something at 3 or more times the price?  What are your thoughts, experiences and how can you explain this?


I like this thread because I have always felt that source and electronics are more important than choice of loudspeaker. I’ve said this many times in various threads-the choice of loudspeaker has the most effect on the character of the sound, not on the quality of the sound. This combined with garbage in, garbage out. Like the old adage that a good photographer can get far better results with a cheap camera than a novice can achieve with an exotically expensive camera, an experienced listener can do amazing things with optimally placing any well designed loudspeaker if the supporting components are in place and assuming reasonable compatibility between amp and speaker. It seems that I am in the minority due to human nature-most audio enthusiasts focus on loudspeakers because they garner the most visual and visceral attention. And, from a very real practical standpoint, it is easier to choose a set of loudspeakers and then choose the amp rather than vice versa. But, what is practical is does not necessarily equate to what is best. Time and again I see systems being listed on this Board consisting of very expensive loudspeakers- Magico’s being the flavor of the month-and what imho are inexpensive and sorely compromised supporting components. As always, just my humble op. The fact that I have a viewpoint does not mean I am right in this very abstract world.

Considering the inordinate amount of garbage stockpiled into a Harbeth bookshelf speaker (like there was a contest to see which network could be the most complicated piece of junk anyone could produce on design day), it is not at all surprising to hear that a less expensive and well engineered speaker could wipe the room with them. While you didn’t mention brand, I did. Imagine what they could sound like if you could improve them. But you can’t. You’d have to go external to make any headway. Trying to replace all the cheap Chinese scraps in the network with quality components would be cost prohibitive in the face of the initial outlay and the fact that the cheaper parts are smaller. No room to do a straight swap in their bookshelf designs. 


Reality is subjective. Your truth is shaped by your ability to process what is. 

I often wonder if it is more beneficial to spend money on a better than on speakers. I wonder if you can hear the difference.  It would be nice to be able to do an A vs B comparison in your home to see what is best.  Kind of like garbage in equals garbage out.

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