Originally Posted by bfreedma
I find it interesting when people single out audio as the one technology realm where they're willing to abandon known science.
What is this "known science" and is it known by today's top power amp engineers? A 200X2 solid state amp operating as designed for a consumer model priced at $500 is NOT going to sound anything like a 200X2 operating as designed for specialist hi-end at the price point of $4,000. The fidelity, as delivered through speakers capable of high resolution (such as Focal Utopia line), will be night/day such that anyone will hear the difference (soundstage width/height/depth, imaging, transient attacks, noise floor, extension highs to lows, etc, etc). Power amps at equivalent price points designed by today's most noted professionals will sound different and will perform better with some speakers than others.
I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn't invest in a $12,000 pair of speakers if I didn't completely appreciate their performance (sound quality). I wouldn't pair them up with anything but the best pre/power amp and front end either. I also wouldn't put cheap break pads and crummy tires on a 911 Turbo either. I can assure anyone that care about AQ that pre and power amps have a HUGE impact on fidelity. The front end (CD player, etc) has a ridiculous impact that is shocking to hear. But ya gotta have speakers with big-time resolution in order to "get it". Magical experiences. You won't be thinking about measurements!!
I'm not sure that I would invest huge sums for an HT though. Can our eyes and ears appreciate so much at the same time? I don't know and I don't have to worry about it for at least a decade. I listen in the sweet spot of my stereo with eyes closed so ears can do their thing. I'd have to practice with HT. That said, quality hi-end separates driving truly great speakers will sound MUCH better in all aspects of sound quality. Is it worth it? Will the buyer appreciate it? Those are valid concerns.