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I personally think active systems sound much better per $ spent than passive; this is not a prevalent opinion though and there are not a lot of active system choices;


Caution - I use Meridian DSP and so am already biased to active systems;


ken
 

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I am active with Linn gear for many years. Currently I have the Linn Akurates front and center, every driver (five each speaker) is driven by its own amplifier. I am convinced this is the best way to go, crossover at low level, each driver with its own amp.


Only downside is a few practical issues. You need many channels of amplification, I have 15 channels plus 2 more for the passive rear speakers. Only certain amplifiers work, as the crossovers which go into the amplifiers tend to be designed for specific speakers, I guess a generic crossover could be used, but I never would. Many speaker cables, 5 per speaker in the case of Linns Akurates. You have less flexibility to try different amplifiers as the speakers and amplifiers tend to go together.


I am a fan, but, there is always a counterpoint. I also have a setup with Thiel 7.2s. Thiel does not believe in active systems, as they have much better control of the results when the drivers and crossover are designed together. Linn would make the same case, and since Linn makes amplifiers, they can control drivers and crossovers end to end.


So both systems sound great, and both are different. Anytime I have the chance to go active, I will. makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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ditto to squareloop comments;

I've heard the new Linn actives and they soound much better that the Linn passives;



ken
 

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in theory, an active speaker system can sound better.


Reasoning is pretty simple, the manufacturer puts in exactly the right components crossed over at the exact right points for that driver. We keep the amp away from all the other noisy components, and speaker wires (unbalanced connection) are so short as to be almost out of the equation.


IN THE REAL WORLD in many cases it is a product that becomes a convenience thing. YOu slap some cheap amp in and call it a powered speaker.


With a high end manufacturer, it should sound better. But in mid level products, don't count on it.
 

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I have heard an active system that was moderatly priced (as far as active systems is concerned - $18.5K MSRP on a 7.2 system) and it was really, really good. I haven't heard any systems in that price range that dropped my jaw like that. I am going to put one in my theater along with a passive system if anybody wants to come over in a couple of months to do an A/B comparison between the Genesis and Phase Technology systems. (The Genesis is about twice the price of the Phase Tech)


I think it is funny to hear somebody say active is better than passive for the same price when they have a Meridian system. How many passive speakers systems are more expensive than that?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Poindexter
I think it is funny to hear somebody say active is better than passive for the same price when they have a Meridian system. How many passive speakers systems are more expensive than that?
:) I see your point; not many, but there are different levels of active;

for my ears the meridian setup is way out front of other actives, exceeding or matching the quality of the very most expensive passive setups around (not generally the opinion of the analog purests out there however);


ken
 

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Not exactly 20K material, but I stripped my car down to the metal and rewired it for active speakers earlier this year.

Not fun getting 7 channels of good amplification into a 2-door, but I think the results were worth it. Having total control of phase and crossover points, as well as independant gain knobbies for every driver is a very nice combination.


That being said, regular home loudspeakers are a much more controlled environment than car audio, and good passive designs are obviously great. I don't think there's any level of quality to be had via passive that can't be met or exceeded via 'active'.


Forgive me if it seems like I'm conflating active crossovers with 'active' speaker systems, but in my opinion they're two sides of the same coin. Manufacturers include the amps in the speaker chassis because that makes them much easier to set up than systems like TacT is offering. The end goal, either way, is to have a separate channel of amplification for each driver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliles
I personally think active systems sound much better per $ spent than passive;


I think the opposite is the case. As an owner of a 861, I was looking into DSP speakers as well. It soon turned out that quality wise, I couldn't live with anything below the 6k. I'd really want 8k in the front and 7k or at least 6k as surrounds.


When I have a look at the price of the 8k, I think one can get the same quality from a passive speaker for far less money... or stick to the price tag and do better quality wise. Of course when you go passive, you'll have to do alot of research and trial&error to find matching amps and cables for the speakers, which is all very time consuming.


But I'm really looking forward to see and hear what Meridian will get out of the new drivers.
 

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like anything, an active solution can provide excellent sound and in some cases an excellent price point.


But you can in most cases make things sound better for less with the lots of research and the right pairing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiler
Forgive me if it seems like I'm conflating active crossovers with 'active' speaker systems, but in my opinion they're two sides of the same coin. Manufacturers include the amps in the speaker chassis because that makes them much easier to set up than systems like TacT is offering. The end goal, either way, is to have a separate channel of amplification for each driver.
Often times those active speakers are really just amplified speakers with one amp for all the drivers and not a digital crossover speaker, which I would absolutely not call 2 sides of the same coin. A speaker with a built in amp is much closer to a passive speaker than a digital speaker and some of those digital speakers are passive as well with the amps all in one chassis.
 

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In that case, I agree. I was assuming we were talking about 'fully active' systems, without passive crossover networks.

Sounds like we need a better, more specific term here. :D
 

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There are many advantages to an active system, but IMHO, the real advantage of a “true†aktive system is the flexibility that electronic xo offers to dial/tune the in-room fr.


Priceless
 

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I am demo'ing two pairs of "active" focal-jmlabs Twin6 speakers, with a Marantz SR8600 a/v receiver.

I am using RCA (from the Marantz preamp out) to XLR cables (to the JMLab speaker), and wonder if this is OK. Any ideas on this setup, to be used for HT use?
 

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focal - jmlabs Twin6 with marantz a/v receiver? your demo will be as good as your weakest link. "The Receiver"


That is like putting a BMW series 7 engine in Yugo.
 

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I think that Hi-End HT Gear should always have separate components.

This would mean passive speakers with dedicated power amplifiers.
 

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if one finds the 'perfect' match of amp, driver, crossover and cabinet then in theory active can be best. it's like multi-channel music; it should be better than stereo but it turns out that it just gives a mixing engineer that much more likeyhood of screwing things up. the odds are dramitatically against one for attaining true state of the art with fully active speakers.


ATC has it's fans; there are things that the top ATC active speakers do that are very good; but you bump into limitations of the amps that ATC uses and it's overall approach when compared to the higher end amps and passive speakers. ATC's top products are aimed at the pro audio world.


my system is in some ways active; in so much as my speakers use an internal class D digital amp to power a 15" subwoofer; then i vertically bi-amp using two stereo amps with each stereo amp powering the mid-tweeter and woofer on each speaker. the sub takes it's signal from the speaker terminal of the woofer input. the subwoofer only operates below 50hz (there is a crossover that will allow you to extend the sub to 80hz depending on your room). with this approach the digital amp is well suited for undistorted 50hz to 15hz operation and will take on the flavor of the amp powering the woofer as that is the signal it gets.


i am free to choose the amps for my woofer and mid-tweeter. might the speaker designer have chosen my preference of amplification had he made the speaker fully active? possible but not very likely.


my experience tells me that 'active' can be state of the art in the bottom octaves; where the very best sounding amps i have heard are not at their best. but elsewhere one is better off finding the best sounding amp IF one wants true state of the art.
 

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Why is the receiver that much of a "weak link" , if I am only using it as a pre-amp, as the speakers are amplified?

What benefits would I reap from another pre-amp, such as the Theta Casanova, in terms of something my ears could actually notice??

Thanks for the comments
 
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