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jakja83's picture
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Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

So,  I am about to put about maximum 1200£ into a living room setup for music listening. I already own a Beresford Caiman, transport and a PS3. I am considering sticking to stereo and have been looking down two roads I must choose between:

 1. Get the AVI ADM 9.1 and later on a sub, price around 1200 + 300£ and I am set with little fuss.

 2. Get something like Cambridge 650A and find speakers that mate well. Price about 800£? Money saved, but a lot less SQ for the money?

 

Room is 20 sq meters, music taste is broad.

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?
jakja83: I already own a Beresford Caiman


Don't forget, the ADM9.1s have a DAC and Preamp built in, so you would not need the Caiman.

You could sell it to fund the AVI purchase or keep it and add some active speakers (without DAC/Preamp). 

The ADM9.1s have 2 optical inputs and an analogue input.  The Caiman has Coaxial/optical/USB but no analogue input, and it also has a pretty good headphone amp. 

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

True, but I listen a lot to headphones and use the Caiman as my headamp so it stays either way...

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?
jakja83: Get something like Cambridge 650A and find speakers that mate well. Price about 800£? Money saved, but a lot less SQ for the money?


Not necessarily.  Only your ears can decide that.

Moorgate Acoustics currently have the Rega RS3 (ex-dem) for £499.  Plus £350 for the 650A is £850 for a very good amp and speakers.

There are many more options within your budget.  Don't be afraid to take your time and shop around with your ears.

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?
jakja83: True, but I listen a lot to headphones and use the Caiman as my headamp so it stays either way...


In that case you could add the Quad 11L Active speakers (£450-500) and a quality pair of interconnects and save a lot of money.  There's also the Dynaudio MC15s (£700+)  which also have a matching sub you could add later on (Sub 250MC).  Oh, and there's the Acoustic Energy AE22.

The next issue of What Hi-Fi is going to feature a group test of active speakers.  Worth checking out.

http://community.whathifi.com/forums/t/417913.aspx

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

I will try to, but withing the price range it is a jungle of products. Hard to demo a lot of them...

 

 

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

I have almost the same setup you are going for and I would certainly recommend the ADMs. I think you would struggle to get a better sound.

If nothing else I would certainly recommend an audition.

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

You could buy a used pair of ATC scm 10-2 Actives?

Anonymous
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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

If I did not have a large cd collection and had to start a hifi from scratch, I would look very closely at some really good active speakers connected to spotify or similar ....

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?
dim_span: If I did not have a large cd collection and had to start a hifi from scratch, I would look very closely at some really good active speakers connected to spotify or similar ....


Yes, but Spotify doesn't have Gonjasufi Big Smile

Seriously though, that's a very good idea.  Spotify, Last.fm, 22Tracks, iPlayer, Shoutcast, etc. take up a lot of my listening time now.

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

I'd be inclined to give some active models a go - Yamaha HS50 or HS80s might be good if you like a good detailed and articulate sound with a bit of oomph. Been checking these out today; could be a good sub £500 option.

Anonymous
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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

when engineers were doing designs on drawing boards approx 30 yrs ago, I opted for CAD (computer aided design) and took a big knock in salary .... I felt that was the future and the way forward .... many of the older more experienced engineers disagreed, however, they were put on 'early retirement' a few yrs later


today, I feel exactly the same about active speakers vs passive speakers .... think that is the way forward, still in it's infancy stage and think there will be a lot more options in the next year or so ... quality will be much better and prices will drop

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

That is my main gripe with the ADM 9.1, I play a lot of music from my PC and love the USB input of the Caiman, maybe an integrated with a pair of small floorstanders is the best solution in my living room?

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Re: Active speakers or budget integrated with passive speakers?

I think with your budget you would struggle to better the 9.1's. If you want uber low bass straight off, you could try and hunt down some second hand ADM9's leaving enough for a decent sub..

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