Neutral or warm? Which do you prefer?


I have 2 sets of speakers with different characteristics (among others I have).

One is neutral while the other one has more warmth to the sound.

I enjoy both on different music, but started wondering what do other members prefer?

What's "supposed" to be "better"? ... if there is such a thing in hifi.

Opinions of members here are most interesting and educational for me...
liquid-smooth
Mind you, I'm not an audiophile. I just like to listen to music and enjoy it more when it sounds good. I prefer speakers to be more neutral so that I can hear the music as it was intended.

To me, the term "warm" infers that edges have been rounded off and this is done at the expense of some detail.

I'd go for neutral, but I have experienced some recordings that could do with a bit of added warmth. I recently picked up a Yaqin tube buffer with a set of JAN Philips 6sn7 tubes. Now, I just kick it in when I want to warm things up a bit.

For what my opinion is worth, I'd say that there's no "supposed to be better." I'd go with whatever has you closing your eyes and listening to the music rather than the equipment.
To answer your question first, "better" is whatever is best for that individual.

There are no absolutes in this hobby. If there was then the near endless debates about amp types, speaker types, cartridge types, cable types etc, would not need to exist OR there would be near universal answers.

Now if you are asking if more members prefer a system that they know is "colored" but prefer it anyway or do they prefer a system that sounds as "neutral" as possible to them, that's a horse of a different color.

For myself, I strive to reproduce the music as close to possible as to what I hear in real life. Of course that does not keep me from telling someone I prefer product "X" because it has a "warmer" sound however in that case "warmer" to me would be a more natural sound than "leaner, colder" product "Y" in that particular case.

In the end it's all about whatever gets you feeling as good (if possible) as the original live music would have.
Hi Liquid-smooth -- I've been interested in the question of "neutrality" vs. "warmth" for several years. Two threads that may interest you are How do you judge your system's neutrality? and What is "warmth" and how do you get it?. Judging from the responses on those threads, my impression is that the majority of audiophiles prefer warmth to neutrality. There is also a contingent of audiophiles who maintain that 'neutrality' is a meaningless or useless concept. I am not one of them.

Personally, I prefer a system that is built for neutrality with just a little bit of warmth. There is no right or wrong. It's a matter of preference. But an interesting question nonetheless.

Bryon
I like warm sound better as long as bass isn't soft.
For what my opinion is worth, I'd say that there's no "supposed to be better." I'd go with whatever has you closing your eyes and listening to the music rather than the equipment.
Very good answer, Tonyangel.

Neutral or warm? Neither, I prefer natural and lifelike, as if the actual instrument was playing in the room.