Appearances are suggestive

The previous post talked about how it is a natural human inclination to attribute higher quality to something that is more attractive and that this, in general, is not true in reality.

But appearance does convey some valuable information. Just like the color of a book cover can help you determine whether it is science fiction, a mystery, or a romance novel, so too can the appearance of a speaker tell you some about the goals of the manufacturer for that speaker [also works to some extent for amplifiers, but not so much for digital equipment]. If the speaker is big and massive, then one can presume that impressiveness is high among the goals of the speaker designer [with planar speakers and to some extent the big Acapella speakers being counter-examples]

Similarly, big heavy metallic amps also try to convey that impressiveness is the goal of the amp[i.e. ARC, VTL, Soulution, etc..] versus something like Jadis [shiny beautiful amps whose goal might be said to be more beautiful than impressive].

Again, appearances are only suggestive, but it would behoove manufacturers to make their products appear to reflect their sonic goals for their products. Most do [an example where this is not so is the statement KEF speakers, which to me look like they are going for beautiful sound where in fact it seems like they are going for scientific accuracy instead. Similarly, the new Revel Salon 2, which looks like it is going for impressive, but instead is also going for accuracy (+/- 1 dB in most of the audible spectrum). This may be a viable marketing strategy, to sneak in quality where impressiveness (or something else) was expected – but… it kind of makes the eyes and ears disagree with each other in this kind of dueling banjos kind of fugue :-)]