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Powered Bookshelf for Casablanca?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
After reading a recent review of the Mackie hr626 powered speakers, i am really interested in going this route. I am curious as to how things would sound coming directly from the casablanca, as opposed to through the Dreadnaught, as i do now..

Anybody have any recommendations on powered bookshelf speakers that they think might go well with the Casablanca?
post #2 of 30
These were selected by the bbc, the speker defies it's size, and it's super musical.

This is the bassis for the New Consumer grade Dynaudio MC15:




LL
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
They claim that none of their powered speakers are suitable in a home theater setup. It was something about their drivers not being able to drive enough power. They claimed that the Bm5a's were really made for the ipod, laptop crowd. They recommended the Focal 140's, although passive, as a great solution in the bookshelf sized arena....

Any other thoughts for powered speakers?
post #4 of 30
The Focus 140 you mean.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
i'm still curious about other powered options.......
post #6 of 30
Meridian
post #7 of 30
With Meridian you can even skip the Casablanca and go directly from your S/PDIF source. Remote comes with the speakers. 2xS/PDIF inputs

I did this with a modded HTPC which output 3xSPDIF for 6 channel PCM audio(5.1). Until I got the Meridian G68J Processor with Room correction.

Check for a used pair DSP33 that will blow most other small monitors away.

DSP3100 is a newer series although a bit more costly.
post #8 of 30
Powered speakers: I have enjoyed Genelecs for a long while for their excellent detail and great build. Used by high-end mixing/mastering studios all over. They also have variants with digital (AES/EBU) input. They are cheaper than the $20k price tag for this forum, though, so I'll leave it at that.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlgreen561 View Post

They claim that none of their powered speakers are suitable in a home theater setup. It was something about their drivers not being able to drive enough power. They claimed that the Bm5a's were really made for the ipod, laptop crowd. They recommended the Focal 140's, although passive, as a great solution in the bookshelf sized arena....

Any other thoughts for powered speakers?

I don't doubt that's what Dynaudio told you, but it makes no sense. If anything, the professional series needs to handle more power than the consumer series. I'm guessing that you were told this story because they do not want sales of their high-margin consumer speakers cannibalized by their professional speakers.
post #10 of 30
I love these:

http://www.pmcloudspeaker.com/aml1.html



fairly small, very powerful bass from a small box. I think they list for 10 - 15K / pair.
post #11 of 30
Those blue speakers sounded good.
post #12 of 30
What's your budget range? As you can probably tell by now, there is a wide range of prices for active speakers.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
I don't necessarily have a budget in mind. Frankly, i had no intention of spending as much as i did on my Theta setup, until i actually heard it for the first time! At that point, it became a no brainer. In a perfect world, i'd rather spend less than more, but ultimately, if it sounds right, i don't care. For example, i was intrigued with the review of the Mackie hr626's in the last issue of Widescreen Review. Especially considering the fact that a pair can be had for just over a thousand bucks! If the Meridian DSP33's are without question, that much better than the Mackies, i'll spend the $$$, no problem. If however, the Mackies turn out to be a hidden gem at the price, than why not?
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlgreen561 View Post

I don't necessarily have a budget in mind. Frankly, i had no intention of spending as much as i did on my Theta setup, until i actually heard it for the first time! At that point, it became a no brainer. In a perfect world, i'd rather spend less than more, but ultimately, if it sounds right, i don't care. For example, i was intrigued with the review of the Mackie hr626's in the last issue of Widescreen Review. Especially considering the fact that a pair can be had for just over a thousand bucks! If the Meridian DSP33's are without question, that much better than the Mackies, i'll spend the $$$, no problem. If however, the Mackies turn out to be a hidden gem at the price, than why not?

I've not heard the Mackies, but I have heard very good things about them. However, there is certainly more performance to be had in the active speaker realm. ATC, PMC, and Genelec are three names that immediately come to mind. These are all used in top recording studios around the world. ATC in particular is legendary, but quite expensive. They are available on audiogon through flat earth audio.

You also might want to look at some active designs intended for the consumer market, such as the NHT Xd system and Phase Technologhy dARTS.
post #15 of 30
I have run Mackies (824, which are bigger than 624/626) for years, and then upgraded to Genelec, and I believe the Genelec is more detailed and taut than the slightly sloppier Mackies.
Try something like this for starters (also comes in 5.1).

The Mackies aren't bad at all -- a lot of modern music production trusts them. But the Genelecs are better (opinion stated as fact :-)
post #16 of 30
Enough of this Genelec nonsense. That is a ship that has lost it's propulsion. Why did their loose their bid to Dynaudio for the new BBC studios?
post #17 of 30
One of the nuisances of active speakers is having to run power to them.
A typical speaker only needs a speaker cable.
An active requires both an interconnect and a power cable -> more mess and possible more cost.

Sure, the manufacturers all say the "built-in amp is perfectly matched to the speaker's requirements".
Being optimal/doing-the-job, is not the same as better/best/best-est.
... just my 2 cents

- Andy
post #18 of 30
I don't understand the anti-Genelec sentiment. I use them in my theater and they sound fantastic being fed from the Halcro SSP100. Much, much better than I was ever able to get from passive speakers.
post #19 of 30
Andy, one of the many advantages of active speakers is that you can bypass many problems created by passive x-overs, and to many people those factors are far more deleterious in to the sound than any advantage you may gain by selecting your own amp (assuming of course the manufacturer chose a good amp, which these days many are able to do).

Cinemax,
You are in the sales business, yet you give an awfully simplistic view of procurement, especially for a large entity such as the BBC. Any person involved in large sales (be it through sales or procurement) will be able to tell that decisions are VERY rarely based on a single dimension (such as best sound*), but rather they are weighed by a number of factors which are generally predefined before the institution went out to tender.

*And to make this variable more complicated, there are many ways to define which is best, and they are all dependent on application on personal preferences, so even in this context your analysis is found wanting.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Lammer View Post

One of the nuisances of active speakers is having to run power to them.
A typical speaker only needs a speaker cable.
An active requires both an interconnect and a power cable -> more mess and possible more cost.

Sure, the manufacturers all say the "built-in amp is perfectly matched to the speaker's requirements".
Being optimal/doing-the-job, is not the same as better/best/best-est.
... just my 2 cents

- Andy

Not so with the new meridian installation series.
post #21 of 30
RaulGS: FYI -> my own main speakers are active tri-amped -> Waveform Mach 17.

- Andy
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Lammer View Post

RaulGS: FYI -> my own main speakers are active tri-amped -> Waveform Mach 17

I realize that, but your post identified a particular disadvantage to active designs, and I was just pointing out why some designers/engineers consider it the preferred route.
post #23 of 30
Random thoughts:

On a high-end speaker, a manufacturer would spend considerable time/resources in
perfecting their passive crossover. The cost of some of these "audiophile-grade" capacitors/inductors/resistors can get astronomacal, especially on high-rder slopes where the parts count is high.

A guy like BobbyP and his Merlin VSM have been an evolution of passive crossover perfection, along with some "minor" driver & materials changes.
Whenever he has announced a new iteration of his VSM speaker, it is most always to do with further passive crossover tweaking.

The big active PMC are not cheap my any means.
Each speaker will have 3 amps and a 3-way crossover network "attached " to the speaker.
Some may not like the end-result of the big active PMC or ATC, and would rather have their Dyns, Wilsons, Vandys, Theils, Focal, etc at the same cost.

Active speakers ( to me ) also lend to the subsject of bi or tri amping, though actively vs passively.
In the AVS Amp forum, there are often posts about passively biamping.
I sometimes chime in that passivley bi-amping "costs money" -> money for extra amps channels, speaker cables, and interconnects.
And would one get better sound by not passively bi-amping, and putting all those bi-amping funds into just a better amp ?

Then I sometimes wonder about some high-end speakers that give the user only 1 set of binding posts, so no chance to bi-amp

- Andy
post #24 of 30
I think it comes down to the reason to justify your product existing on the market too.

To spend the money on Theta and then try to hamstring it with $1000 powered speakers is certainly not ideal.

While the idea of a powered speaker may be nice there are far better ways to go and often these have fewer compromises.

What is most important is listening to them with your own ears and gear and not listening to the reviewers and folks you don't know on an Internet site. IMO

GET OUT AND LISTEN TO SOME SPEAKERS.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Lammer View Post

On a high-end speaker, a manufacturer would spend considerable time/resources in perfecting their passive crossover. The cost of some of these "audiophile-grade" capacitors/inductors/resistors can get astronomacal, especially on high-rder slopes where the parts count is high.

A guy like BobbyP and his Merlin VSM have been an evolution of passive crossover perfection, along with some "minor" driver & materials changes.
Whenever he has announced a new iteration of his VSM speaker, it is most always to do with further passive crossover tweaking.

They can mitigate some of the problems, but some of the major problems remain. It is not however an easy decision for designers in high-end audio to make since it is anathema to much of the dogma in the media and the consumers. Your speakers were very highly regarded, very well reviewed, and a bargain when compared to the competition. Yet the company went bankrupt while much lesser designs sold better.
post #26 of 30
Waveform did not go bankrupt -> Johh Otvos retired, and I think frustrated at the business of doing high-end audio.
He sold a helluvalot of speakers in his final year -> I know that for fact -> and for a one-man band, I am sure he made a LOT of money in his final year.
I thought his business model was somewhat flawed in trying to sell a true high-end speaker direct, and especially one that needed tri-amping and associated cabling. Also, not being based in the USA I think could have hinderd sales ( border-stuff, etc ). I also think more people are open to active speakers now then they were 7-10 years ago. Just more publicity/education about the benefits of active, which I agree are many.

- Andy
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul GS View Post


Cinemax,
You are in the sales business, yet you give an awfully simplistic view of procurement, especially for a large entity such as the BBC. Any person involved in large sales (be it through sales or procurement) will be able to tell that decisions are VERY rarely based on a single dimension (such as best sound*), but rather they are weighed by a number of factors which are generally predefined before the institution went out to tender.

*And to make this variable more complicated, there are many ways to define which is best, and they are all dependent on application on personal preferences, so even in this context your analysis is found wanting.

True , the BBC did a careful multifaceted double blind tested selection process.

Here is some info:

After a comprehensive selection procedure, the BBC Radio & Music has chosen Dynaudio as its new internal Monitor reference loudspeaker: Models from Dynaudio Acoustics' sensational AIR and BM ranges are the future "recommended standard monitors" in the BBC studios.


Martin O'Donnell, Broadcast Sales Manager at BBC Radio & Music HHB Communication Ltd. says: "As BBC Radio & Music moved to replace their existing monitors, we took a close look at the acoustic requirements and technical specifications of the BBC. After thorough inspection of that data it was clear to us that Dynaudio Acoustics was tailor-made to meet the tough requirements". In particular the future-proof digital, multi-channel architecture and perfect homogenous response in many different environments were high on the BBC's priority list.


The selection procedure was extremely comprehensive and was carried out under the EU procurement guidelines, where interested companies were invited to put 3 different monitor sizes on tender. Every single monitor and company was evaluated separately, and 10 different brands were selected for the final evaluation, where several different usability tests were conducted.


The speakers had to pass through technical evaluations and pass extensive listening tests under "blind" conditions, using an acoustically transparent curtain, in order to guarantee objective and neutral judging. Besides these tests, factory inspections were conducted to examine manufacturing conditions and production consistency. By the end of these far-reaching marathon tests Dynaudio was selected.


We're thrilled to have found a partner in the BCC which shares our passion for music and our high targets for true and authentic sound reproduction says Wilfried Ehrenholz, CEO, and speaking on behalf, of Dynaudio.


The British Broadcasting Corporation more commonly known by its acronym, the BBC, is renowned throughout the world for its many superb TV and music productions. Only very few broadcasting companies have such a formidable reputation; its productions reaching far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. Being very quality-conscious, the BBC has traditionally developed its own Reference Monitor loudspeakers, as none of the commercially available systems at the time could fulfil the BBC's own self-imposed highly exacting and demanding requirements. Probably most demanding is BBC Radio & Music: With the famous registrations from BBC Television Classical Music, 10 national radio BBC Radio stations, 5 high-quality BBC Digital Services and numerous music recording and production studios, stringent requirements are essential.


Dynaudio has developed loudspeakers for professional studio applications under the Dynaudio Acoustics brand name for years. In particular the innovative AIR active monitors are used throughout the world's best studios for music and film production, whereas the superb Dynaudio HiFi and Home theater range of speakers allow for the best possible sound at home.
post #28 of 30
Now that being said, and to show that I am a system designer first and foremost whilst salesperson a distant second, here is my new preferred active loudspeaker company.

:

http://media.meridian-audio.com/



Look at the [C components] Digital Active power units /crossover power combos.

and look at their powered in wall loudspeakers that match up with the c-51 c-52 and c-61

Click on [speakers] and then on [install-speakers]
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Now that being said, and to show that I am a system designer first and foremost whilst salesperson a distant second, here is my new preferred active loudspeaker company.

Could you elaborate as to why they are your new favs?
post #30 of 30
They are tools of the trade, very flexible, and great sounding. You can do a serious multichannel system with these in walls. Speaker boxes are difficult to deal with in custom installation.

Tower speakers (flanking a screen) hinder potential screen size, aurround speakers sticking into the room can interfere with the flow, etc etc.

Meridian will take this technology to all digital pretty soon.
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