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.


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! 


Your reference to hard to drive Infinity Speakers brings back memories of my first "high end" purchase. In the early 70's I was at a hi-fi store in Palo Alto. They had the Infinity 2000A Electrostatic speakers (4 Ohm) on display playing a Cat Stevens album. To my young and naive ears they sounded spectacular. I don't know what amplifier they were using, but it was probably top quality, better than my Sherwood receiver at 60 watts a channel. I scraped up the money and bought the Infinity's. They sounded great even though my Sherwood was probably struggling to drive them. About a year later I traded them in, the speaker's power cords were quite inconvenient in my small apartment.