Originally Posted by Ellebob
No they can't. Passive drivers can basically only cut frequencies and not boost them. A lot of those settings would not be practical or even possible with a passive crossover.
Semantics, I suppose, regarding the term "shaping"? The more you have to "EQ" in a passive network the more you lose efficiency in the system. Still, passive systems can "shape" (tweak, tune, tone, refine...any better term?) the sound and I'd guess any speaker network would be better optimized with some amount.
So, to say these speakers would sound "terrible" without any "EQ" is a bit disingenuous, IMO because any raw drivers placed in a box without anything but a simple x-over will probably sound better if optimized ("shaped"?). I suppose a horn system needs a bit more help here, but it's not like it can't be done passively (ala SCL-2 which supposedly rivals the M2 and other passive horn speakers that also sound great in their own right).
Anyway, the point is that the M2s could sound great with a passive network if JBL wanted to design them that way. However, I agree, you can do more within an active system and even more in a DSP-based system, to go the extra mile.