About 15 years ago when I just really getting into audio, I use to frequent high-end audio shops and give stuff a listen. I became friendly with the sales staff and even though I obviously couldn't afford the gear, they were nice enough to let me listen to whatever I wanted. Anyway, they had a pair of Revel Saloon's hooked up to all Proceed electronics (remember Proceed?) and I listened to a HDCD. It was spectacular and to this day is still one of my most memorable listening experiences.
To the point, after visiting the shop, I had to head over to the mall to get something from RadioShack. There was a stereo store in the mall, one of those places that sells both car and home audio. Still on a high from my listening nirvana, I couldn't help but walk in. The salesman took me to the back to listen to their reference system... A company called "Nuance" powered by Harman Kardon. He cranked it (because, you know, that's how it'll sound best). It sounded like a night-club. Boomy, distorted and harsh. Just awful.