Are active speakers better than passive speakers in sound fidelity and performance? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:55 AM
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@Dan1210 - another suggestion for you - I would rather go for the 8030 or G Three (if you can get it) before I buy the M040 - all of these will be in the same price range. 8040 will be 60% higher.

Other reasons to go for 8030/G Three include the fact that the 8000 series is one of the most tried and tested monitors out there and has a global appeal (global = everywhere except North America - as in Europe/Asia/Australia)... has been around for a while and will also have good resale value and the cabinet is fully aluminum.
The G3 is the same as the 8030 with a glossy paint and is not sold in high volumes...

The M040 and M030 cabinets are made of wood fiber composite and are a lot newer and are yet to get the wide spread use and feedback as the 8030 or 8040...

If you can't go for the 8040 or G Four - I say go for the 8030 all around...
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Once upon a time true, not today, with very inexpensive DSPs that can be programmed while seeing the effect on response etc. in real time. I see the real hindrance to self-powered home speakers being that they render powered AVRs obsolete. That doesn't bother the guy currently using a pre-amp and discreet amplification, but that a very small percentage of users.

Well some AVRs have a pre-pro mode that disconnects the amps. That's how I use my 4520ci as it is less expensive than any pre-pro with similar features except for Onkyo which I had a bad experience with. For my DIY speakers I went with miniDSPs and Emo amps. I went active as I had always wanted to try active and had an inheritance to spend. I am very satisfied. A very good passive is probably close to being as good as active, apart from equalization capabilities of the DSPs, so I wouldn't promote it to everyone.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:07 PM
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have you listened to the genelecs in question m040,8030 and 8040? im told the m040 might be a better fit due to the bass port firing down and out the front. if you have covered your assessment of the genelecs elsewhere please shoot me a link if not could you provide your findings on the m040 vs 8030,8040? (in brief)

cheers!
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:36 PM
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I have not heard the M040 - because they are still not available for demo where I live - but have heard the 8020, 8030, 8040, 8260 and 7060. People in the recording/music industry swear by these products... along with the Neumann, Dynaudio, ADAM and Focal - that's why I have no reservations in recommending a Genelec product... but at the same time - I caution that the M series is new and not in widespread use for anyone to be able to give you a proper review...

I'm neither an audiophile nor a recording engineer - and I can't say my ears pickup all the things these guys write about... just like with wine - either its dry or sweet and full bodied or not - I can't say much else that the oenophiles seem to be able to do. similarly with speakers I can pickup the basics - too bright, too boomy etc but I would be unable to give super detailed and subtle reviews of the speakers that you probably read from some pseudo reviewers all over the internet...

just do a search on Genelec 8030 reviews on AVS or on google and may be some of my threads will come up.

at the end of the day - its what fits your budget and what suits your ears... and even there many of these Active speakers (along with the room and the EQ software) can be calibrated to suit any particular listening preferences...
and a matter of personal taste (what looks good to you) some people love the look of the Genelec G series 8000 series some don't.. I happen to love it and I think if it weren't for the good deal I got for a 3 way sealed active speakers - I would've got the G Four.

so you couldn't go wrong with the reputed brands like Genelec (Finland), Focal (france), Dynaudio (Denmark), ADAM, Neumann (Germany) and am sure there are other American brands that are great...
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:48 PM
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Hi all, I have heard the M040s and M030s and they sound (and look) wonderful. As good if not better than the older Genelecs, which were designed many years ago and at a much more reasonable price. They have had to find ways to compete with the likes of Adam and Eve Audio (both also very good and I own a pair of A7x's in my studio) and they have achieved this by clever design, but have not cut any corners in terms of build quality. They have class D amplifiers which are perfectly matched to the speakers with the very latest in crossover technology and with the eq switches on the back then you have great control over the sound and also your own room's acoustic properties.

There is no "better" when it comes to active versus passive speakers, just what suits you most. Genelecs are designed so as to not colour the sound, their main use being in high-end recording studios, so if the sound you are putting into them is good you will get good sound out...not warmer or more harsh but just as the sound technicians intended. I have used both active and passive monitors for many years on many successful artist's recordings and I personally like the portability and consistency that active monitors bring. I can take my own pair with me and set them up quickly wherever I go. I also agree with an earlier comment that you can get great results easily in a home-cinema setup if you use the same active monitors front and back so 2 pairs of M040s and maybe a single centre M030 would bring extremely good results and look very cool as well.

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Old 05-01-2014, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveaudio View Post

There is no "better" when it comes to active versus passive speakers
Sorry, that is simply incorrect. There are many performance increasing features you can implement actively that are not even possible in a passive design.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:09 PM
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I know it's not apples to apples but I am amazed what manufacturers are doing with all this fancy DSP tuning stuff when it comes to these portable amplified Bluetooth speakers. The TDK unit I have goes down to 80hz with authority from a 2.5" driver and a pair of passive radiators. Sony has a new Bluetooth speaker unit that measures -3 db at 68hz from a 2.5" driver.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post


Sorry, that is simply incorrect. There are many performance increasing features you can implement actively that are not even possible in a passive design.

Which features do you mean A9X-308 ? 

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Old 05-02-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveaudio View Post

Which features do you mean A9X-308 ? 
Very steep slopes, more complex and capable EQ, time delay and phase correction.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Very steep slopes, more complex and capable EQ, time delay and phase correction.

I'm unconvinced. I can do LR4 (24dB acoustical), with time alignment, phase coherence, on a cheap flat baffle, using only 6 crossover parts (in a 2-way), and using 99.9% of drivers on the market, i.e. Seas, Vifa, Scanspeak, Peerless, you name it.

EQ is unimportant. Steep slopes past LR4 are unimportant. If anything, shallow slopes actually sound better.

Most of the best sounding speakers are LR2 acoustic, with very complex passive crossovers, with proper mechanical driver alignment or ladder networks, etc. No readily available, or affordable active system is capable of this.

For professional use it's cheap and dirty and gets the job done, but I've never heard an active set-up actually sound good.

P.S. DEQX is not all that either.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

I'm unconvinced.
I'm not. I have about 25 years designing active systems.
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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

I can do LR4 (24dB acoustical), with time alignment, phase coherence, on a cheap flat baffle, using only 6 crossover parts (in a 2-way), and using 99.9% of drivers on the market, i.e. Seas, Vifa, Scanspeak, Peerless, you name it.
Which would only be about 12dB electrical. Meh. Still not enough for many drivers that behave poorly out of band.
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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

If anything, shallow slopes actually sound better.
Not in my experience.
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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

No readily available, or affordable active system is capable of this.
Anything you can do passively, I can do actively. And more.
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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

I've never heard an active set-up actually sound good.
Then I feel sorry for you.
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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

P.S. DEQX is not all that either.
My experience disagrees with that.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post


Very steep slopes, more complex and capable EQ, time delay and phase correction.

Yes of course, but you can do all that externally with amps and processors. It's a lot more convenient with active monitors and a lot of the work has been already done for you. It doesn't make active better, just easier...which was my point. I can take my active monitors into any studio in the world and as long as the room is not terrible then I know what I'm working with and what results I will get. Conversely this is a good thing for home cinema because the sound you will get with this type of monitor is very close to what the studio technicians, producers, musicians and sound engineers intended you to hear.

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Old 05-03-2014, 02:20 PM
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I would think that active could be better for reasons already mentioned by others.

My concern about active, though, has to do with reliability and longevity. Amplifiers do not generally seem to be as reliable as speakers, and so an active speaker will likely fail earlier than a passive one. And that can be a serious problem, as the amplifiers will be custom designed for those specific drivers (if, that is, they make use of the proposed advantages of an active speaker), and so one will not be able to simply replace the amplifier with a generic one off the shelf. Getting parts on old gear is sometimes a problem, and so one might have either a useless piece of junk or have the trouble of reverse-engineering an amplifier for it (or, for most people, the expense of paying someone else to do it). With passive speakers, if the amplifier fails, if one cannot get it fixed, the solution is simple and easy; one just buys another amplifier that has a flat frequency response that is not custom designed for a specific individual driver. They are common and cheap.

God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveaudio View Post

It doesn't make active better, just easier...which was my point
It does make it materially better. Steeper slopes mean less out of band output from drivers, lowering distortion. Try to damp out a high Q resonance from a rigid cone driver passively. You can only cut when using EQ. Most drivers do not have good Le(x) so their impedance changes depending upon the position of the coil in the gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

I would think that active could be better for reasons already mentioned by others.

My concern about active, though, has to do with reliability and longevity. Amplifiers do not generally seem to be as reliable as speakers, and so an active speaker will likely fail earlier than a passive one. And that can be a serious problem, as the amplifiers will be custom designed for those specific drivers (if, that is, they make use of the proposed advantages of an active speaker), and so one will not be able to simply replace the amplifier with a generic one off the shelf. Getting parts on old gear is sometimes a problem, and so one might have either a useless piece of junk or have the trouble of reverse-engineering an amplifier for it (or, for most people, the expense of paying someone else to do it). With passive speakers, if the amplifier fails, if one cannot get it fixed, the solution is simple and easy; one just buys another amplifier that has a flat frequency response that is not custom designed for a specific individual driver. They are common and cheap.
There almost no parts for amplifiers that are not still available, nor do amps need to be designed in any way to suit the system. there are almost no amps I can't fix, and I have had thousands across my bench over the decades, with a few rare exceptions that used some rare and currently unobtainium part, eg VFETs.

An active system can easily be built around an external xover and amplifiers a la the old Linn/Naim systems (my first two active systems). In the second I took out the Naim amps and sold them and replaced them with a trio of Perreaux amps which took no more effort than physically removing the amps, placing the new units and setting the gain.
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