Regarding the wording, didn't we settle this quite a while ago on another thread? Didn't we all settle on "active CAN be better than passive"?
Active or passive is irrelevant, unlike the design and implementation. Many manufacturers in the past have used the best of the best (in connection with anything), but this doesn't guarantee a top quality product. As an example, using the best quality DAC doesn't guarantee a good sounding CD player.
David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry
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No. I mean an active configuration is always better than passive (for any particular speaker).
You owe it to yourselves to own these little wonders.
I rest my case..........
Whenever AVI is mentioned I find it remarkable that something so tiny can make so much noise.
'And so on February 22nd 1966, at Luton airport...'
@ the OP: As you can tell by how this thread has gone, only you can determine whether the KEFs or AVIs are right for you. Most people have not heard both and even if they did it would just be their subjective opinions. Clearly both the LS50 & ADM9RS are fine products in their own rights, so you just need to find the one that is right for you.
Re: the overall AVI debate - Even ignoring whether you like the head honcho at the company or not, there are still some issues that cause problems for potential customers:
1) The claim is that the typical passive route is essentially audiophoolery and that buying a pair of AVI actives will break the cycle of upgraditis. That's straight up nonsense - there are many members of the AVI forums who have upgraded from one model of the ADM9 to the next and/or to the ADM40s. So the cycle has not been broken. So rippng on other HiFi companies about their upgrade paths is just hypocricy (especially when AVI customers are not discouraged from buying the whole AVI catalog).
2) The idea that in general actives are more accurate/just better than passives. While actives generally offer great (often better value for money), you only need to visit a pro audio forum or read user reviews on a site that sells pro monitors and you'll quickly see that not all actives are great. Pro users complain about monitors sounding distorted, overly bright, rolled off, bass shy, bass heavy, etc etc etc. Better yet go to a pro store and audition some monitors yourself, then you can say whether actives are just better than passives.
+1 Well said Ajani
1) I could never see why people think that active speakers cure upgraditis. It's just as easy to upgrade/change an active speaker as it is with any other piece of hifi equipment.
2) I agree that actives generally offer better value for money than passives do. It's also true that there are bad examples of active speakers which are too bright, boomy, bass light or whatever. However, many actives are voiced to have a natural balance and are measurably more accurate than passive speakers - although it's fair to say this style of sound reproduction doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1 Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
Yet something like the Maggies knock most speakers, active or no, at the same price into a cocked hat!
This is somewhat irrelevant.
Main: SqueezeBox Classic>AVI ADM40
Second: SqueezeBox Touch>AVI ADM9RSS
Go to a pro audio shop and have a listen to some active speakers yourself so that you can make up your own mind.
Actives don't necessarily offer better value for money Steve, as I'd suggest this is dependant on what your buying criteria is and each buyer's own definition of value for money...
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
Saying that active speakers generally offer better value for money is just my own opinion based on my own experiences. Although there have been a few exceptions to this where I've found that some active speakers were overpriced.
I've also heard some cracking value passive systems that sound great too (such as my own AVI Neutron system which uses passive speakers).
But while there are some exceptions I have generally found that active speakers do offer better value for money than passive speakers (IMO ).
I don't think it's possible to recommend ADMs on this forum without facing a torrent of abuse and/or the thread deteriorating into the usual active/passive debate. The purpose of a discussion board is defeated as it's not even worth discussing the issue.
... which I did, though it has to be said that was some time ago. - In less than ideal hifi circumstances (they were all grouped together and controlled from a pro mixer console) one thing shone through, the cheaper units ala KRK etc. generally seemed inferior to the more expensive ones. Adam impressed me (no, not a member of staff though they were very helpful) and the very small Genelec (with rather disproportionate price tags) dissappointed. Most of them also looked rather prosaic and I can't imagine they would grace many a living room. This is where AVI and other 'for home' made actives score in addition to offering some niceties such as remote control and such.
Bear in mind I am not a sound engineer and the whole thing was not just badly set up but also totally subjective in addition to having taken place some time ago. Memory, especially for things like that (recollection of sound), is incapable of recalling things precisely so my observations are probably not worth the screen it is written on! - It was interesting nevertheless.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
Other speakers to consider are the Dynaudio Xeos, which are a more advanced design than AVI being wireless, or the Linn Majik 109s. The Linns have the advantage that you can make them active if you want.
Very true, some of the responsibility for that falls on self-same owners I feel.
I haven't followed all of this thread as it seems to have descended into the usual bashing. However I own ADMs and like them. And I find the LS50 very interesting.
If I wanted a similarly-sized passive speaker, with a similar, well thought-out engineering basis behind it, I would definitely seek out the LS50. Particularly as good power amps are not hard to find. The LS50 looks a particularly well-balanced design and I'm sure it will be easy to drive - so you can probably get away with a good quality AV receiver and have a terrific system.
My impression from reading about them is that the LS50 has been tuned to be a stand-alone speaker, without the need for a sub unless you wish to dig deep. The ADMs, on the other hand, have sacrificed extension for a cleaner mid-range with the option to add a sub,depending on the type of music you enjoy.
I look forward to reading impressions of anyone who has directly compared both.
I didn't start it!
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