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.


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.

Over the last 40 or so years I have found that I gravitate towards low efficiency speakers with silk tweeters. Those sound best to me. Yes, it is sometimes a pain to get a good match for these as they require gobs of current, but at the same time that is where the ‘magic’ lies to my ears.

I also realize that this was most likely click-bait, but a fun topic none-the-less.

It is good that we are now in a time when we have almost limitless choices in this hobby. The downside is that there are relatively few places any longer to go to hear these choices.

Enjoy the music everyone, and have a good weekend.

Since I got the Hegel H390, I haven’t found a speaker it can’t drive, but I really can’t speak for the thousands of speakers I haven’t tried yet.


My Acoustat Model X’s come with forty watt mono blocks that have more than enough oomph to power them full bandwidth and with a crossover set at 100 hz, and a sub or two, it’s crazy good!