Another aspect of actives which keeps cropping up is how to audition these speakers.
For the pro-audio type, a few people have made useful posts about venturing into ....... pro-audio shops
For the domestic type, the manufacturers tend to be small with few dealers. Of course the new Dynaudios should be reasonably easy to demo. But trying to compare speakers could involve much legging around the country.
Without creating another firestorm, I don't think it's controversial to say that it's only natural to want to listen to speakers before you spend a significant amount of money on them. I don't want to regret suggesting that here...
When I've been browsing around active setups, I've found the variety of inputs quite confusing, particularly in the context of pro-audio vs domestic, where technical know-how is presumed.
There are the small number of domestic setups that are easy to understand, such as the AVIs with their optical input option and the new Dynaudio Xeos. So to use the AVIs as an example, connect an optical cable to your source such as Apple Airport Express or Apple TV and off you go.
But most other speakers, especially pro-audio seem to have different input options, such as RCA, jack, 3.5mm analogue, XLR etc.
I guess that if you have this basic, but technical knowledge then there's no problem, but to the domestic consumer who is primarily intereted in getting the best quality of sound with ease of set-up, you have to think about which speakers have which inputs, the relative merits of each and how each could be used to connect to your source, whether PC, Mac, AEX etc etc.
And of course there's where the DAC fits in, but I'm loathe to mention DACs, since they appear to engender some of the partisan discussion that we've trying to avoid here.
That's what I was thinking about when I mentioned 'cabling' !!
I think these kinds of issues will become easier to understand as active speakers become a more accepted format in home Hi-Fi. For now there just needs to be a distinction between those with onboard dacs and those without to know more about what cabling and accessories may be required.
On-board dac = digital cables from source, usually optical rather than the more standard co-ax used with conventional source+amp combo.
External dac = connect to dac as you usually would to an amp, then connect dac to speaker via digital cable, again usually optical.
Formerly known as Ooh, Boots, etc etc...
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All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
AVI - domestic only
Standout features - multiple inputs including plenty of digital
You mean 2? Not sure that's quite the definition of plenty.
should have said 2, but for a speaker? surely more than usual
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
Linn - domestic only
Linn does some models in active, but as far as I know some are only possible with external crossovers and power amps. All are very expensive.
Indeed, very difficult to find demos of the very few domestic actives available. Even in big cities like London it is not easy. HiFi shows help simetimes. I know Bartletts HIFI have several actives - adm9s, adam artist 3 and 5, dynaudio 100a. Cornflake has 100A classics. Sometimes it may be possible to agree with a dealer to send a model for home trial provided you agree to pay the cost of return shipping in case you do not buy.
M-Audio USB Transit->Benchmark DAC1->Beyerdynamic DT880 (600 ohm) / AKG K701
If one is interested in actives, one of his next usual area of interest is dacs with pre-amps, espeically with remote control
Here are some:
Benchmark Dac 1 HDR
Teac UD-H01 (no remote)
Grace Design m902 and m903
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus (no remote)
Note: A lot of AV amps and processors have digital inputs and pre-outs so can also work as dac/pre/remote with actives.
Mainly pro audio, but domestic too.
Arcam Cd33 > Matrix Quattro Dac > Digidesign RM2's on Partington Broadsides > Velodyne DD12 > And some mains cables that make it sound better
Genelec http://www.genelec.com/ has lots of pro models, including DSP managed multichannel systems.
I recently heard their demo at Munich HiEnd and was very impressed with both stereo and 7.2 demos - especially how good and clean small monitors can sound.
in general their site is very good (speaker selector, positioning guide).
Klein and Hummel
the model pictured has digital input
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