A few thoughts on "brightness"...
Speaker "brightness" is an ill-defined term that can describe a number of aspects of speaker performance.
For example, many speaker designs, including many well-respected designs, roll off the high frequencies slightly. This is typically done with traditional dome tweeters that exhibit moderate distortion levels at high frequencies. This distortion typically leads to listener fatigue and prevents long-term enjoyment of the speakers.
This roll-off typically falls well withing the normal +/- 3db range that defines a speaker's frequency response. And it is a very wise design decision where some dome tweeters are concerned.
Now, if a listener is used to such response, they will tend to define a speaker with flat response as being overly "bright." It is simly not what they are used to hearing.
The G2 ribbon in the Veracity series speakers is a highly detailed, low-distortion driver with essetially flat natural response well beyond audibility. So upper treble distortion is not an issue with this driver.
When designing the Veracity series speakers, Dennis Murphy and I decided to voice the speaker as flat (accutate) as possible. The result is speakers that will accurately produce minute detail in the high treble area.
Anticipating that perhaps some people would not prefer this type of response, or that they may have an overly bright room or have a collection of early CD's with excessive high-end emphasis, we decided to offer an optional "contour" switch. This switch substitues a capacitor and resistor combination to roll off the high-end response.
I normally do not recommend it, nor would I use it myself. Rolling off the top-end response results in a loss of high end detail. I prefer to hear all the detail contained in the recording I am listening to. And with great recordings, the reproduction is phenominal, IMO.
I have had a few Veracity customers (very few), upon recieving their speakers, ask if the high end could be rolled off. But in EVERY case, a week or so later they determined that the problem was not that their new speakers were overly bright, but that their old speakers were totally lacking in high-end detail (in comparison).
From my personal experience with users, those who have taken some time to live with flat, high-end response with minimal distortion, will never again be satisfied with speakers that have a rolled-off high-end response. While some first-time casual listeners may percieve the Veracity speakers to be slightly "bright." I have found it is mostly due to the bias they developed over time with their current speakers.
To me, it is an issue of distortion. Even a moderate level of distortion in the high treble will lead to listener fatique. In this case, rolling off the response is essential for good design. But the G2's distortion levels are so low, it allows you to voice the speaker flat with no risk of fatigue. In fact, owners universally comment that they can listen for very extrended periods of time without any negative effects.
In the end, if listener fatigue is not an issue (and it doesn't appear to be with the Veracity designs), then I would personally prefer flat speaker response so that the speakers can accurately reproduce minute detail in the high treble. The resulting "transparency" is like a crystal clear window into the sound. And with great recordings, it is something I would never personally trade away.
That said, if a customer prefers a rolled off high end response, we will do our best to accomodate. After all, they are his or her speakers, not mine.
Just some thoughts...