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When should actives be recommended?

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Alec's picture
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RE: When should actives be recommended?

That's not a correction, just a restating of your position, but thnks anyway.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

Craig M. wrote:

atticus wrote:

In answer to the original poster; actives should (or rather, could) be mentioned at any time. A good rule of thumb would be if the person posting thought that the original poster would benefit from having active speakers recommended to them.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

John Duncan wrote:
You both seem quite surprised by this idea...ohhh sure

 

If your post was always designed to be in favour of the recommendation of actives (this thread topic) when there was a possibility they fulfil an OP's needs, then great. Any surprise is because of the recent spate of objection to any post recommending actives, as has been the case from PP, AL and jjbomber of late. Your recent very silly isolated quote re the PMC YouTube video showed that you may be similarly biased, but glad to see that's not the case  Smile

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

John Duncan wrote:
I have yet to hear any piece of kit that, by dint of its design philosophy alone, makes it instantly recommendable over other products which do not follow that same philosophy.

 

I agree, I have no idea why people bring an 'us vs them' battle into it.

It just seems to be some people who have been mis-guided by some marketing guff that one approach is always better than the other. Its not, its just another way of approaching the problem. Every speaker is a compromise, pick the one that does the least wrong in your room, whatever brand, type or style.

 

In reply to the OP, Active speakers should be recommended whenever they are suitable for the person who is asking, and they can demo them to see if they like them before commiting.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

Technically, there are strong arguments in favour of actives.  Colocating the amplifier and speaker avoiding long interconnects makes very good sense. Using separate amps for each driver allows either low level or DSP crossovers to be used which can be tuned much more accurately to driver and enclosure performance.

It is telling that in professional monitoring applications actives have become the usual choice.

I would expect the home market to eventually move in the same direction. 

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

andyjm wrote:

Technically, there are strong arguments in favour of actives.  Colocating the amplifier and speaker avoiding long interconnects makes very good sense. Using separate amps for each driver allows either low level or DSP crossovers to be used which can be tuned much more accurately to driver and enclosure performance.

It is telling that in professional monitoring applications actives have become the usual choice.

I would expect the home market to eventually move in the same direction. 

Speakers that let you completely dissect a track in an analytical way "may" not be the right choice for enjoyment.......I am absolutely not saying that all Active speakers are cold and analytical, but that what an Audio mastering engineer looks for in a speaker, could well be different to that in a domestic situation.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

CnoEvil wrote:

andyjm wrote:

Technically, there are strong arguments in favour of actives.  Colocating the amplifier and speaker avoiding long interconnects makes very good sense. Using separate amps for each driver allows either low level or DSP crossovers to be used which can be tuned much more accurately to driver and enclosure performance.

It is telling that in professional monitoring applications actives have become the usual choice.

I would expect the home market to eventually move in the same direction. 

Speakers that let you completely dissect a track in an analytical way "may" not be the right choice for enjoyment.......I am absolutely not saying that all Active speakers are cold and analytical, but that what an Audio mastering engineer looks for in a speaker, could well be different to that in a domestic situation.

Active speakers tend to be neutral, particularly studio monitors, I would imagine that most people commenting negatively on active speakers in general, have never heard them and wouldn't know what neutral really sounded like. Certainly 'cold and analytical' wouldn't be the first words springing to my mind, in fact there are quite a lot of audiophile cliches and jargon banded around without any real thought as to its meaning.

If by analytical, you mean that the speaker is very detailed and clear, then I would imagine that to be a good thing, as it will better portray any delicate nuances in the music played. It might well show up recording defects as well, but then you can't have it both ways.

To understand cold, you would need to define warmth, but being neutral, monitors wouldn't display either character in particular.

There's a reason that those Event Opals are getting a lot of attention in the hifi world and there are other brands that sound just as good or better. The biggest problem for most is how they look.

The anti AVI thing is a bit silly really, but it boils down to a real lack of alternatives in this arena. Yes, other actives are available, yes, some have integral DACs, but none have all the other functions and have a traditional hifi aesthetic. Only the Dynaudio Xeo 3s come close and they are compromised by the rear port and have much less power than the ADMs.

They're not a cure all for compulsive box swappers. They're not the best money can buy and to some, they're not even all that great looking, but they are, at the moment still, in an exclusive club of two and offer more value for money than any other system at their cost when all specifications are considered. The endless ranting seems to blind some people to what the package actually includes and it is rather impressive. That's why they are so often recommended in particular and over other actives.

Given the flexibility of the package on offer, the question should perhaps be, when shouldn't  they be recommended?

 

 

 

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

Overdose wrote:

If by analytical, you mean that the speaker is very detailed and clear, then I would imagine that to be a good thing, as it will better portray any delicate nuances in the music played. It might well show up recording defects as well, but then you can't have it both ways.

To understand cold, you would need to define warmth, but being neutral, monitors wouldn't display either character in particular.

Active speakers, like everything else in hi-fi, will vary and sound different......which means that they can't all be totally neutral. Some will be more suitable for studio work and open up a recording like a scalpel, while others will work better in the home by being a touch more forgiving (personal preference applies).

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

CnoEvil wrote:

Overdose wrote:

If by analytical, you mean that the speaker is very detailed and clear, then I would imagine that to be a good thing, as it will better portray any delicate nuances in the music played. It might well show up recording defects as well, but then you can't have it both ways.

To understand cold, you would need to define warmth, but being neutral, monitors wouldn't display either character in particular.

Active speakers, like everything else in hi-fi, will vary and sound different......which means that they can't all be totally neutral. Some will be more suitable for studio work and open up a recording like a scalpel, while others will work better in the home by being a touch more forgiving.

Where speakers are concerned, there are no absolutes, but the desing of an active speaker tends towards the neutral and an evenhanded portrayal of the music. HiFi speakers are different, particularly passive ones, as they will almost certainly include colouration of some sort by design, this tends to move away from the neutral.

No absolutes for sure, but definitely actives and monitors in particular tend to be a lot more neutral than passive hifi speakers in the main.

Maybe try some active monitors and 'tame' their lack of neutrality and add some warmth with a valve preamp and some audiophile signal cables?

The benefits of both worlds?

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

When ever I read for a long time these threads, I get tempted to go in the direction of actives and especially the AVIs given the vouching that happens. I heard the 9Ts and very recently 9TRS. May be people who have been using 9T can see a reason to upgrade to 9TRS but to me they bear the same broad sound character. They are very Analytical and Cold. I tried twice the 9T and once 9TRS, but did not enjoy listening to the music on these speakers. 

Coming back to OP - The way I see actives - There are two types.

1. Targetted at Professional Audio Industry which enables the Recording engineer to dig into the mix. If you are more into digging into the recording and the mix, rather than the actual music that is resulting from the mix, then these are no doubt to be recommended. In recent times, some of the Record engineers are doing Home Office and hence the more decor friendly Professional Audio speakers are being made but the purpose is still the same.  I heard Adam A7x and they do what they are supposed to do and rather brilliantly. I have not hear Event Opal but the specs look amazing and I would like to hear them some time soon. Genelecs have their DSP range which aims to take the room out of equation (atleast to some extent) which seems to be an exciting option over there. I can not generalize the sound of all these speakers but if the target is Professional Monitoring, I am not too sure how they would sound at my home for enjoying music. There is an apprehension but would really like to try them before I say sure what I really feel about them (especially the Event Opal and Genelec DSP as I think they are really interesting options)

2. AVI likes - which are targetted at home audio enthusiasts. They look more acceptable at home (which is still subjective). In case of AVI they have, for lack of better word, Ashley House Sound. (Just like Marantz had its signature sound or the way NAIM sound the way a NAIM sounds!). I am not too sure and never bothered about the neutrality of this Ashley House Sound but to me they sounded pretty cold and analytical. I heard Xeo towers from Dynaudio but they were not too impressive either but they sounded a bit more musical thean AVIs. I guess this category has much to catch up and I am hoping they do faster! I also feel that they do the same Home HiFi mark up (including AVI & Dynaudio XEO) as their business model is still the same (in case of doubt compare the similar specced one Professional Audio then you would know how much they are marked up) which can be inferred as ' not a great VFM' but might be cheaper than multiple boxes IF & ONLY IF, you like their House Sound.

This is where I want to tell to all those who are wanting to recommend AVI speakers at the first opportunity - You got those speakers and you like the SQ.. Great. But do not assume that every poster here would love the SQ of AVI and if they do not like the SQ of AVI, then it is a pure CHOICE.. you do not have to breathe down with all the sales pitch of AVI (which seems to involve calling other speakers boomy, tizzy etc - Classic marketing technique where you attach imaginative negative words to the competion and by default attributing that those negatives do not exist in your own product). Those ardent AVI fans, If you understand what I have written, don't quote me in you reply to explain what I have not got while listening the AVIs, please be assured that I HAVE HEARD them properly and gave them a fair chance.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

Overdose wrote:

Where speakers are concerned, there are no absolutes, but the desing of an active speaker tends towards the neutral and an evenhanded portrayal of the music. HiFi speakers are different, particularly passive ones, as they will almost certainly include colouration of some sort by design, this tends to move away from the neutral.

No absolutes for sure, but definitely actives and monitors in particular tend to be a lot more neutral than passive hifi speakers in the main.

Maybe try some active monitors and 'tame' their lack of neutrality and add some warmth with a valve preamp and some audiophile signal cables?

The benefits of both worlds?

I agree.

The trouble with Reference quality passives (for me), is that they often show up the deficiencies of many SS amps (and recordings).......the upside is they pass on a good amp in all its glory, provided it's man enough to drive them. I consider myself lucky to own such excellent passive speakers.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

WishTree wrote:

 

This is where I want to tell to all those who are wanting to recommend AVI speakers at the first opportunity - You got those speakers and you like the SQ.. Great. But do not assume that every poster here would love the SQ of AVI and if they do not like the SQ of AVI, then it is a pure CHOICE.. you do not have to breathe down with all the sales pitch of AVI (which seems to involve calling other speakers boomy, tizzy etc - Classic marketing technique where you attach imaginative negative words to the competion and by default attributing that those negatives do not exist in your own product). Those ardent AVI fans, If you understand what I have written, don't quote me in you reply to explain what I have not got while listening the AVIs, please be assured that I HAVE HEARD them properly and gave them a fair chance.

Like 'cold and analytical' perhaps. Wink

What does that mean anyway?

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

Overdose wrote:
.. Yes, other actives are available, yes, some have integral DACs, but none have all the other functions and have a traditional hifi aesthetic. Only the Dynaudio Xeo 3s come close and they are compromised by the rear port and have much less power than the ADMs.

AVI, Dynaudio, Kef etc are all compromised one way or another, and they all have a common flaw too and that's connectivity, only offering a limited number of/legacy connections is poor in this day and age.

Of course you could add switches/converters/dacs to provide additional connections, but it defeats the object and makes their USPs redundant for me.

Hopefully some manufacturer will address this, Moos maybe? I seem to recall mention of a seperate tx box (as well as the PC dongle thingy) being developed with various connections including HDMI.

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

I am now in this position.  Most probably I will up garde my ATC 19 for the 50.  I can get the passive to conect  them wiht my Gryphon  or the actives giving mt Gryphon ad recieving a Chord CPA 3000 pre amp  (this option is USD 2000 chepear).

 

what should I do?  I have so far jsut heard the active once (not at my place, will hopefully do on Tuesday)  and I really love them.

 

Eduardo

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RE: When should actives be recommended?

daveh75 wrote:

Overdose wrote:
.. Yes, other actives are available, yes, some have integral DACs, but none have all the other functions and have a traditional hifi aesthetic. Only the Dynaudio Xeo 3s come close and they are compromised by the rear port and have much less power than the ADMs.

AVI, Dynaudio, Kef etc are all compromised one way or another, and they all have a common flaw too and that's connectivity, only offering a limited number of/legacy connections is poor in this day and age. Of course you could add switches/converters/dacs to provide additional connections, but it defeats the object and makes their USPs redundant for me. Hopefully some manufacturer will address this, Moos maybe? I seem to recall mention of a seperate tx box (as well as the PC dongle thingy) being developed with various connections including HDMI.

If it's a common flaw, then it's not relevant in this context. It just means that this product isn't for you. Audio over HDMI offers no particular benefits, for stereo playback. USB might be useful, but apparently the ADMs with USB didn't sell all that well. Perhaps things have changed and there is now a greater demand.

I can see HDMI connectivity being used in a wireless AV receiver setup though for multi channel use. Something like the Xeo transmitter for example.

 

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