We should reject hard-to-drive speakers more often

Sorry I know this is a bit of a rant, but come on people!!

Too many audiophiles find speakers which are hard to drive and... stick with them!

We need to reject hard-to-drive speakers as being Hi-Fi. Too many of us want our speakers to be as demanding as we are with a glass of wine. "Oh, this speaker sounds great with any amplifier, but this one needs amps that weigh more than my car, so these speakers MUST sound better..."

Speakers which may be discerning of amplifier current delivery are not necessarily any good at all at playing actual music. 

That is all.


@fikki:  You are trying to drive 3.6:Maggie’s with 65 wpc.  That is never going to work in my experience.  I started with an AR150 amp and it was under powered.  Luckily I found a great pair of McIntosh MC501s (16 years ago).  The sound went from great to amazing.  I use a tube pre amp as I find that is my sweet spot.

IMHO, listen to speakers and find what pleases your ear.  Do not differentiate based upon anything other than how they sound to You.  Then see what is the best way to drive them.  If the cost is beyond your means, then move to the next candidate.  Building a system is a complex algorithm, but keeping an open mind regarding how to get where you want to go is imperative.

Obviously, Maggie’s work for me and the price is having a substantial amp and I accept that.  Others may prefer a different amp and that is cool, but most all 3 series Maggie owners use a beefy amp.

good thing there are so many great speakers out there...no issue to me what other people like, or designers choose to design...if a speaker is very demanding but the buyer is good with that, so be it...

+1 @bdp24. It’s all about the bass. The bass! Not the treble.


Driving speakers effectively that is.

IMO, electrostatic speakers are worth it.  Very worth it.  Like, never imagined recorded music could sound like this, worth it.  Started with Quad63s and now running upgraded Sound Lab M1s. Never going back. But I have had to upgrade my amps. Significantly. Hard to drive.

Good news is that class D amps are improving quickly. I’m auditioning a D-Sonic M3a-1200s, based on the Pascal LPro2. Jury still out. But power to price point ratio is so low I had to try it. 

I’m pretty sure speaker designers go for sound quality first and end up with hard to drive speakers. I was a long term fan and owned electrostatic and ribbon speakers (Acoustat, Apogee)… I was happy with the journey… and owned several enormous heavy and expensive amps.


If one doesn’t like hard to drive speakers, it’s pretty easy not to buy them.