This much is true;"I'm convinced these active monitors are the best value in loudspeakers today."
I'm convinced, that's me.
Originally Posted by cel4145
Just curious. Have you actually tried comparable passive bookshelf speakers with amplification in the same budget range?
Yes, I've tried relatively comparable designs. I've performed extensive A/B demos here in my own room. Active possesses inherent advantages IMO. I experiment in my room all the time. Within the high value/yet high performance segment that I mentioned, ... active reigns supreme.
Originally Posted by cel4145
This is a pretty broad, sweeping generalization to make without some experience or other evidence to back it up.
Like many AVS'ers, I've got a pretty broad spectrum of experience.
Being an audio enthusiast for 35-40 years, with much of that interest focused upon loudspeakers, I've heard enough and learned enough to convince myself.
I've spent time in studios as a client, a great deal of time as a FOH engineer. I attend audio tradeshows and spend essentially all my time during those events listening,/auditioning speaker systems. As one could imagine, I've established many wonderful friendships, both professional and otherwise, and I've traveled across the country visiting these acquaintances and auditioning their systems with extensive sessions. Myself, I've owned (still own) Polk, JBL, Klipsch, Altec Lansing, QSC, Velodyne and there's more I'm sure (Cerwin-Vega etc). Also, a few of those mfrs. listed, I have multiple different products. I've performed DIY subs, sats, mains, etc. In addition to personally owned and DIY speakers, I've had a mix
My current, less than a year old, consists of an all active, 7.3 system, of Seaton Catalyst12C all across the front LCRs, surrounds/rears are (modded)QSC K-8s, with two Seaton SubMersive-HPs supplementing a custom, quad-18" IB sub. The system has 10kw across the seven main channels (2kw for each LCR, 1kw for each surround/rear), The IB sub system is powered by two EP4000s, and the SubMersives each have their own 2.4kw amp. The IB is re-configurable from 225w/driver, to 650w/driver. I'm currently in the latter config and that totals 2.6kw for the IB. This brings the total to 7.4kw for the subs.
17.4kw total, ... 10kw speaker system, 7.4kw sub system
I list my current system for context. I've gravitated away from passive approaches, toward all active approach. Contemporary DSP advances can be executed to be transparent. Upon considering that fact, and combining the clear theoretical/measurable benefits of active, it only seems a natural next step. Now granted, either approach, .. passive or active, can be executed poorly, or executed properly. The hardware is now available for any designer that wishes to exploit the advantages.
The additional tool set of variable slope type, steepness, time signal alignment and delay, level adjustment, eq, etc, is simply fantastic. There can be an advantage beginning with a local power supply, optimized for the amplifier sections, instead of the common PS/transformer that all speakers pull from. Long balanced interconnect runs are performed easily in both the studio and pro audio world every day,...in the home is no different. A distributed power supply approach, with the benefits of keeping individual current levels minimized, with the PS and amp stages right there ... close coupled to the driver, all has potential benefits.
Performing the all signal manipulation in regard to time, freq, and level, all without the insertion losses, the saturation, and the component tolerances that one encounters in the passive approach, has clear advantages. To achieve the ideal end result passively, would likely require the designer to alter each crossover specifically to match the driver's acoustically loaded impedance measurements. Even Earl Geddes, a staunch supporter of finely and individually tuned passive loudspeakers, has subsequently changed his position on his offerings and now offers his speakers in active form as well as passive.
The key is the designer's skill set in establishing the target response characteristcs, and how to achieve that in various environments, ... be it nearfield as in this case, or otherwise.
Poorly executed, inexpensive passive designs are everywhere. The designer optimizes the crossover in nice software, and all is nice and tidy. Until of course the inaccuracies of the crossover components throw things off. The driver's actual measured characteristics throw things off. Drivers easily encounter thermal compression, furthering the variance as crossover values change dynamically. Again, there are superbly executed passive networks, ... but these are the exception and aren't found in this affordable range.
What is found in this affordable range are ideally optimized active designs that have clearly changed the paradigm in my opinion
It is a timely topic of interest though, ... good question for sure.