Originally Posted by FrantzM
There is NO DOUBT that speakers are the weakest link of the Reproduction chain.. What we should refrain from are difficult to verify statements those that are based on a belief rather than tests.. Example : 3 cheap amplifiers will be better than one expensive one.. Have any of those advancing this have actually performed this experiment? And are able to conclude with certainty that it is so?
This is actually quite well understood (from the days of active vs passive x-overs) as long as you consider some caveats.
1. You don't confound variables in your testing. If you compare very expensive SS amps with competent designed amps in the hundreds of dollars, the answer is generally yes. But if you compare tube and SS amps, then other variables may come into play (e.g. personal preference for tube distortions/euphonics).
2. Obviously the active x-over has to be designed to meet the needs of the speaker in question.
3. The amps are able to address the load needs of the drivers (this is actually less important than for some passive x-overs which can present horrendous loads for amps).
4. Lastly, proper blind testing procedures.
Active x-overs just eliminate some of the head aches passive x-overs create. In a similar vein, digital x-overs just give the opportunity to eliminate a number of head aches that analog x-overs create. In a manner of speaking Greg and John have made the same comment. The less issues you have to address, the better the problems can be addressed. However, the solution must be prudently applied and not pursued with the blind lust that more is better.
PS Syswei, the relative failure in the marketplace of active and digital x-overs has little or nothing to do with cost, since one can provide examples of speaker-amp combinations costing more while providing less. It is just a case of the marketplace dictating preferences that elevate certain paradigms over others.
PPS We can all remember inferior products bringing about the death of superior products in the marketplace.