It could be my mistake or poor taste, but sometimes PA systems sound very good to me. There was one in a toilette of a restaurant playing some classical music that made me almost angry, like, how is it possible to have such a decent sound so simply? (maybe it is the table-radio effect that Romy has mentioned before?)
Especially the sound at Tokyo DisneySea is something I always come back to when I think about great sound. In its broadway-musicals theatre called Encore!, the dynamics seemed to have no limit, everything was so well balanced and effortless sounding, and the texture of the sound was so rich and pleasurable.
I find it difficult to reconcile this sound with all those equalizers, complicated set-up, subwoofers, cheap looking solid state amps, and arrays of vented speakers, but the sound is what it is. (the acoustics are probably good though)
I had asked DisneySea where this system had come from, and it was Meyer Sound, so I searched their site today and found an interview with the engineer, Roger Gans, who created that sound. Here is the interview; very matter of factly talking about simple goals and constraints.
Maybe this is a weird topic for this site, but perhaps PA systems shows how mainstream hi-end is too purist/snobby (people are trained to hate all kinds of things from tone controls to graphic equalizers to solid-state to boring boxed speakers), and all these things people fuss about have nothing to do with the design and achievement of good sound? (just distraction from the real issues and besides the point)