We can speak in hypotheticals, but life is not itself hypothetical.
How much money do you have to spend?
How much space to you have to fill?
And specifically what are you looking for?
My Diamond 9.6 sound very good for $1000/pr
and even better when you consider that I paid $450/pr
for them. But I have heard $5000/pr
speakers, and my Diamond, good as they are, don't compare. The $5000/pr
speakers has stunning presence and clarity. But, because those speakers sounded better doesn't mean my speakers sound bad.
Room and Budget can not be divorced from the decision. It doesn't matter how good $5000 speakers sound if you only have $500 to spend. Now, for about $500/pr
you can find some very good sounding speakers.
Internet Direct speakers can be high value, but they can only take you just so far. I would pit a $1000 ID-Speaker against a typical $1000 consumer speakers, and expect the ID to win. But you won't find many Internet Direct in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. So, by their very nature they are classed in the common consumer range. But among common consumer speakers, they are high value.
There are REVEL speakers in the $5,000/pr
, and $15,000/pr
range, each sounding generally better, but it doesn't matter how life-like the $15,000/pr
speakers sound ...if... you don't have $15,000 to spend.
Then there is the question of - What is it you want? A $1,000/pr
Bookshelf speaker will likely have better Mid/High than a $1,000 Floorstanding speaker ...but... the bookshelf will not have the same bass as a floorstanding. If you look at any line of speakers - Monitor Audio Bronze/Silver, Wharfedale Diamond 11, B&W 600/700/800
- floorstanding always cost more than the bookshelf models. So, the underlying point is that, a $1,000/pr
Bookshelf is not the same as a $1,000/pr
Floorstanding speaker. For general sound quality, the Bookshelf is likely better.
What I'm getting at is that there is an inescapable element of personal priorities and personal taste involved. What do you want? If you want Floorstanding for a fixed budget, then you have made compromises on one area for advantages in another. If you are obsessed with bass that drives you toward speakers that would be rejected by someone who values Mid/High clarity and presences.
For myself, though given that I am broke so mostly in my dreams. I draw a line for speakers at about $10,000 per pair and trust my stomach to tell me when I have gone too far. My stomach is fine with $5,000/pr
speaker and even $8,000/pr
speaker but it tightens up and rejects the thought of $10,000/pr
speakers. I just can't imagine, not matter how good they are, what $10,000 speaker could bring to the table that wouldn't be satisfied with $7500/pr
This equally applies to other equipment. I have no problem paying (in theory) $4500 for the Luxman L-505xII amp,
but I absolutely CRINGE at the thought of paying $4900 for the matching CD Player (CD/SACD). I ask myself - What could that CD Player possibly bring to the table that a good $1000 or $1500 CD Player does not bring?
So, the point is, theory can not be divorced from reality. It doesn't matter what an expensive amp or speaker or source play brings if it is well out of your price range.
Further, even if you are drowning in money, it make little sense to try and put the FOCAL Grande Utopia
in a typical living room. These speaker are giant beasts -
- with 16" Bass Driver and standing 80 inches tall.
Up to a point limited by bounds of reason, yes, more expensive speakers well chosen can sound noticeably better, and many of the more expensive models are breath-takingly stunning ...but... OMG they are expensive. And there are other practical aspects, if you are going to buy $100,000/pr
speakers you really need a Million Dollar Room to put them in.
You have to take a SYSTEM Approach where everything relative to the decision and the performance is moderated by other considerations. No point in putting a $100 Amp on $10,000 speakers. No point in putting Grande Utopia in a 10ft x 10ft bedroom.
How good a $10,000 speaker sounds only matters if you have $10,000 to spend.
But then ...that's just my opinion.