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The flip side to this is reliability. Personally, I've never had a passive loudspeaker fail on me, but I've had multiple amps fail. In fact, my Yamaha Aventage RX880 just failed a couple days ago. Had this amp been inside of an active loudspeaker, I'd be SOL; I'd have to send it back to the manufacturer for repair, which is no fun. Don't mean to pick on JBL here, but go read the JBL 705p threads over on ASR, or the JBL 700 series threads here on AVS. These loudspeakers are far more prone to error than similarly priced passives. I see people in those threads that have gone through 3-4 705Ps in the span of 5 years. You never see that kind of unreliability with passive speakers. Another good example to go read is the D&D 8C thread over on ASR. Those speakers have failed multiple times for multiple people, not because the amps failed, but because D&D pushes out firmware updates with bugs that crash the electronics. Those people are left with a $10k piece of furniture until the devs can push out an update to fix the bug.
From a manufacturer's POV, this is easily solved in one of 2 ways, or both. Firstly, get the firmware right to start with or use a generic DSP that is proven and doesn't need to be updated, and keep the programmers the eff away from stuff that is working fine. Second approach is to do it the JBL M2 way with external amps with DSP in them.


I've been building active speakers for more than 30 years, and sometimes I get the itch to put the amps inside, then lose it when I realise all the work involved. Whilst I've never had an amp fail, as I have several others around it would take me about 1/2 to load another one in and get it back to full function. With the M2 approach, a customer could simply hire one whilst in for repair, load in the settings and be running again.
 

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1) A good amp is quite possibly a "lifetime" purchase. A speaker typically is not (it can be, but is much rarer).
A not abused speaker will easily last your lifetime. I've bought and sold a lot of very old speakers and drivers that still measure well and sound good. Electronics are more likely to fail, and I state this after decades of repairing gear as a sideline.

5) Streaming technology is constantly changing. Whatever is built into the active speaker may change. And then, you're in the upgrade cycle again or adding secondary equipment...all counter-intuitive to the space that an active is saving.
Streaming devices will get smaller if anything making them easily hidden, and most if not all now, and certainly in the future will be app controlled so you won't need to see them at all.
 

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Hey thanks.

Can you explain your second paragraph so Im not making a costly mistake. Are you referring to the unbalanced interconnect having an xlr termination on the input to the speaker (either made that way or by using a separate converter connector)? I've had to use those before in another system a long time ago with no issues, but maybe I'm missing the concern.

Update: Nevermind, I spoke to the engineer at Legacy and they can build an RCA input for an unbalanced cable.
Good luck running unbalanced connections, hope you don't have any hum or noise issues. You could get an unbalanced to balanced box and run balanced cable to the speakers. Might be a safer approach. I dealt with that stuff every day for 32 years as a professional recording and live sound engineer. Using RCA to XLR cables doesn't work, it's still an unbalanced line and susceptible to noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Hey thanks.

Can you explain your second paragraph so Im not making a costly mistake. Are you referring to the unbalanced interconnect having an xlr termination on the input to the speaker (either made that way or by using a separate converter connector)? I've had to use those before in another system a long time ago with no issues, but maybe I'm missing the concern.

Update: Nevermind, I spoke to the engineer at Legacy and they can build an RCA input for an unbalanced cable.
Good luck running unbalanced connections, hope you don't have any hum or noise issues. You could get an unbalanced to balanced box and run balanced cable to the speakers. Might be a safer approach. I dealt with that stuff every day for 32 years as a professional recording and live sound engineer. Using RCA to XLR cables doesn't work, it's still an unbalanced line and susceptible to noise.
Thanks and I know, hopefully not an issue. Certainly not an issue today with my current active setup. Zero hum.
 

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Hey thanks.

Can you explain your second paragraph so Im not making a costly mistake. Are you referring to the unbalanced interconnect having an xlr termination on the input to the speaker (either made that way or by using a separate converter connector)? I've had to use those before in another system a long time ago with no issues, but maybe I'm missing the concern.

Update
Nevermind, I spoke to the engineer at Legacy and they can build an RCA input for an unbalanced cable.
Sounds good. Resistors in the stepped attenuator MAY affect the sound and are usually different in unbalanced vs balanced applications. Be unfortunate if you don't get the sound you deserve from the wonderful speakers you're contemplating because of a part that costs a dime.
 

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Good luck running unbalanced connections, hope you don't have any hum or noise issues. You could get an unbalanced to balanced box and run balanced cable to the speakers. Might be a safer approach. I dealt with that stuff every day for 32 years as a professional recording and live sound engineer. Using RCA to XLR cables doesn't work, it's still an unbalanced line and susceptible to noise.
Oh, bollocks. In a domestic situation it's not an issue and this comes from being an EE for >30yrs and running unbalanced connections long distances in OB, PAs and many other applications such as instrumentation. Designed and built a lot of the gear I used too.

Most of the transmitters and receivers in the majority of pro and studio gear are junk anyway, simple 1 opamp, 4 resistor designs (receivers) that are lucky to get a CMRR of 60dB.
 

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Oh, bollocks. In a domestic situation it's not an issue and this comes from being an EE for >30yrs and running unbalanced connections long distances in OB, PAs and many other applications such as instrumentation. Designed and built a lot of the gear I used too.

Most of the transmitters and receivers in the majority of pro and studio gear are junk anyway, simple 1 opamp, 4 resistor designs (receivers) that are lucky to get a CMRR of 60dB.

True differential circuits do exist in some good gear, but as you say this is geared to pros that string cables long distances across the stage. Then do it all again the next day on a different stage with power outlets on different grounds.


In a home environment you use short cables and a common ground reference and (usually) avoid the problem, except for that pesky coax cable into your ungrounded cable modem referenced to the cable amplifier box down the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #149
Sounds good. Resistors in the stepped attenuator MAY affect the sound and are usually different in unbalanced vs balanced applications. Be unfortunate if you don't get the sound you deserve from the wonderful speakers you're contemplating because of a part that costs a dime.
Yeah they can affect sound qualities but GOLDpoint (one of the only companies I know of) uses Nickel-Chromium in their resistors which according to their tests eliminate the issue nicely. From an empirical perspective, I can't tell the difference at least to my ears.
 

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Yeah they can affect sound qualities but GOLDpoint (one of the only companies I know of) uses Nickel-Chromium in their resistors which according to their tests eliminate the issue nicely. From an empirical perspective, I can't tell the difference at least to my ears.
Different as is 10K vs 25K ohms. Expect Goldpoint can advise after you've selected new speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #151 (Edited)
Yeah they can affect sound qualities but GOLDpoint (one of the only companies I know of) uses Nickel-Chromium in their resistors which according to their tests eliminate the issue nicely. From an empirical perspective, I can't tell the difference at least to my ears.
Different as is 10K vs 25K ohms. Expect
Goldpoint can advise after you've selected new speakers.
Advise on what exactly?
 

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I know everybody posts what they have is the best and I bought a few of the more affordable ($25k new) passive speakers used so I wouldn't lose my shorts reselling them if they didn't work, when they didn't work. How a speaker can sound so great at a shop and fail so miserably once home i'll never understand, but one of the benefits of buying used is they're already broke in if that's a real thing I didn't have to worry about it.

If i'm buying a $25k pair of speakers I want smooth full range sound not lumpy bass, no bass or a room full of subs! I got a deal on a pair of meridian dsp8000's I later upgraded to se, not because I needed to, but the price was right and it didn't take me too long to figure out these were, by a country mile, the best sounding speakers i'd heard in my listening room.
 

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I got a deal on a pair of meridian dsp8000's I later upgraded to se, not because I needed to, but the price was right and it didn't take me too long to figure out these were, by a country mile, the best sounding speakers i'd heard in my listening room.
I assume you didn't pay the $40,000 for them?

Also, it should go without saying here, that passive floorstanders have no way of dealing with the problems your room is going to cause in the bass region. That is why we use subwoofers and EQ.
 

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I assume you didn't pay the $40,000 for them?

Also, it should go without saying here, that passive floorstanders have no way of dealing with the problems your room is going to cause in the bass region. That is why we use subwoofers and EQ.
Dirac Live is a way to deal with the problems of the room.
 

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I hope whoever is spending $20K or more on pair of speakers at least have a treated room.
 

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Discussion Starter #156
I got a deal on a pair of meridian dsp8000's I later upgraded to se, not because I needed to, but the price was right and it didn't take me too long to figure out these were, by a country mile, the best sounding speakers i'd heard in my listening room.
I assume you didn't pay the $40,000 for them?

Also, it should go without saying here, that passive floorstanders have no way of dealing with the problems your room is going to cause in the bass region. That is why we use subwoofers and EQ.
Wow those are $80k new!
 

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Discussion Starter #157
I think i may pivot to an integrated amp solution (or at least consider it) to open up more speaker choices and will start another thread. Thanks all.
 
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There's a pair of upgraded dsp8000's on AG for $20k. The main advantage I found is these speakers sound so natural that they don't need a bunch of treatment, or weeks of inching around to get great sound from. I have around $25k invested in mine, but I was at least there $$$ with my passive system and still nowhere near sounding integrated with the room. I couldn't afford to consider M kit new, but there's other companies doing dsp more affordably if you want new gear. Dutch $ Dutch got a great review and once someone hears how good dsp speakers sound (regardless of manufacturer) it's hard to justify all the struggling we go thru with passive's.
 

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Yeah, things are really progressing. Maybe in a few years I'll migrate from my Buchardt S400's to the A500's and see what all the fuss is about. Or at least trial them to see the differences.
 
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