Which is better, a fussy speaker or a versatile one?

When rating speakers into the high and ultra-high-end (or ultra expensive?) what do you think makes a speaker better?

Take two speaker models, for about $400,000 a pair, and 800 lbs.  One requires an excellent room, super quiet amps while the other sounds great in a number of different acoustic environments and can be powered by modest amplification, and speaker cables don't seem to matter.

Which is truly the better speaker, and which would you rather live with?


My motto in life is...

"If I liked it I would be disappointed".

I am a true audiophile.



The systems I like are not fussy in that they sound good with a wide range of music and with all sorts of upstream electronics.  However, that is not to say that one cannot hear the difference when components are swapped out.  I have sat through tuning sessions where small changes are made such as changes between internal wiring choices, and with great systems, such changes can be heard.  But, they are not fussy in that changes and improvements can be heard, but nothing sounds bad--just different.

What I like about custom systems is that the sound of the speaker can be changed to suit the customer's preference.  I have observed changes--to internal wiring, choice of drivers, choice of capacitors, amount and type of sound absorbing filler--being employed to get to the sound that the prospective buyer wants.  

To the extent that amp + speakers + room = "a system within a system", compatibility and adaptability are arguably desirable qualities for a loudspeaker. 


the room is always some fraction of the equation , i like 11 bands of analog EQ below 120 hz to address issues…. just my cup of tea.

Autos like Ferrari, Lambor, Bugatti and the rest of Italian junk are designed to ride VERY SHORT distance before they develop MAJOR ISSUES or just stay garaged and climate controlled with owner wiping and polishing it from time to time. These are toys pretty much.

I prefer tools like Dodge Ram 3500 or MB Sprinter an office-van version (currently own after selling Ram 3500 with large camper-trailer). Same point of view on speakers and other components pretty-much.