Over the years, I have read many posts on the topics of both speaker brightness and warmth. So I thought I might post a few observations.
Nothing in life is free - speaker design is all about trade-offs. My perspective is based on working in many recording studios over the last 30 years. So it may vary slightly from yours.
In this environment, it is critical to be able to hear every subtle nuance of the mix you are currently working on. This means the speaker system must be highly detailed and accurate. When we began work on the Veracity series speakers, it was with this perspective in mind.
Will a highly detailed speaker expose weaknesses in poor recordings? Yes. Will it expose short-comings in up-line source equipment? Absolutely. But it will also bring out detail in great recordings that the majority of other speaker systems are simply not capable of reproducing. In short, a highly detailed and accurate speaker will faithfully reproduce whatever is fed them in a very natural and realistic fashion.
Both the Seas Excel W18 and the G2 and LCY pure ribbon tweeters used in the Veracity designs are highly accurate and extremely detailed. They were chosen for this reason.
We certainly could have chosen a midwoofer that was "warmer" than the W18. But the trade-off would have resulted in a speaker that was not as capable of rendering minute detail in recordings. This would not have been consistent with our design criteria for these speakers.
With respect to brightness and warmth, there are a number of things to consider.
First, can a given tweeter be voiced flat without causing listener fatigue? Many traditional dome tweeters can be very fatiguing if voiced flat. So in many speaker designs the tweeter voicing is rolled off slightly to compensate. This results in a speaker that is non-fatiguing, but also lacks detail in the high treble. If you are used to a speaker voiced in this fashion, any speaker voiced flat will tend to sound bright (at least until you become accustomed to flat response).
With the G2 ribbon tweeter (and the LCY tweeter in the new HT2's), listener fatigue is not an issue. Distortion in these tweeters is so low in the audible frequencies that it is simply not an issue. These tweeters can be voiced flat without any concern with regard to this issue. That is one major reason we chose to use them.
The second issue concerns the "warmth" of the mid-woofer. The W18 uses a very stiff, very low-mass magnesium cone. This allows it to reproduce detail in the midrange that other drivers simply can't. But while it is very detailed, it is rarely described as being "warm."
What is it that contributes to the "warmth" of a driver? In a word, distortion. Paper coned drivers, generally described as being warm, are generally quite a bit higher in distortion.
It is important to note that this "warmth" is not contained in the recordings themselves, but the result of distortion added to the sound being reproduced. This higher level of distortion is masking detail contained in the recording. With highly-detailed speakers such as the Veracity series, you will hear detail in recordings that "warmer" speakers are simply not capable of reproducing.
This is especially critical when it comes to overtone structures. Instruments playing the same fundamental tones can be differentiated by their overtone structures. A trumpet sounds different than a clarinet because their overtone structures are different and, it is important to note, are at much lower levels than the fundamental tones being played.
The ability of a speaker to reproduce minute detail in the overtone structures of instruments will contribute to a level of realism that lesser speakers are simply not able to deliver.
The third factor to consider is the nature of the recording itself. Many rock recordings (especially earlier ones) were mixed and mastered using relatively poor playback systems. This was done by choice. Yamaha NS10 speakers were, and still are, quite commonly used in these mixing sessions. They are used because they more closely approximate the playback systems (often AM radios) of typical listeners than the highly-detailed monitor systems normally used in studios.
Because these speakers are not typically not very accurate, extensive EQ is used to boost both the top and bottom end. This is done to compensate for the speaker's inadequacies. The music is also highly compressed so that it sounds louder on average. Both of these factors rob the recording of detail and destroy its original tonal balance.
While the result can sound quite acceptable on AM/FM radio or with an inferior sound system, a highly detailed and accurate speaker system will readily expose the overly-bright nature of the mix.
As I mentioned above, speaker design is all about trade-offs. While warmer, higher-distortion drivers can help tame poor recordings, they will also render great recordings in a mediocre fashion. This is because the higher distortion levels that tame poor recordings also mask detail in great recordings. It is all about trade-offs.
The Veracity series speakers were designed to be as detailed and accurate as current driver technology will allow. They were not designed to add artificial warmth to overly bright recordings or source equipment. Nor were they designed to be bright. They were designed to faithfully reproduce whatever is fed to them in a highly detailed, accurate and natural fashion, and with a high degree of realism. Anything less (or more) would not have met their design criteria.
As indicated above, your mileage may vary.