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Knipester

Getting active and never looking back

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Super Dealer
1 hour ago, sunbeamgls said:

Why not?  An active crossover gives more accurate crossovers (slopes and phase in particular) and an amp connected directly to a driver without the passive gubbins in the way has much more control over the drive unit.  If it doesn't sound different, it would seem to be a very poor active implementation.

I really am not sure, there is an interesting discussion of the passive/active crossover here,

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/passive-speakers-separate-boxes-help-me-understand-the-appeal.6456/page-7

Keith

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I have mixed feelings about all-in-ones in general and this applies to active speakers as well.

On the one hand I can see the performance potential and the practical advantages (less stuff).

But ultimately it has serious (for me) downsides:

- if you wish to replace the speakers because you've moved to a smaller or larger room, or abroad, as this requires replacing the whole system at a considerable expense

- if something breaks down the whole system breaks down (you can't just get your backup amplifier from under the bed)

- you're limiting yourself, performance wise, to whatever technology was put into the boxes as both D/A conversion and Class D amplification are not yet fully developped technologies (and DACs and amplifiers don't all sound the same anyway)

.

Personally I'd be happier buying actives with AB amplification and leave DSP and file processing to the computer and D/A conversion to a DAC of my choice. It also makes it a lot easier for those using analogue sources.

.

The 8Cs are probably the best available option if you want to make a one-time purchase and believe that you will not worry about equipment for a while. And because I haven't listened to them I am open to the possibility that their performance exceeds anything available for a similar price, although that might be asking a bit too much of them if we're considering an alternative system of used gear.

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None committal when it comes to active. Never heard a pair of active monitors nor do I have any plans... We don't have a second room.

I appreciate anyone who has and really likes'em...

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My concern with an all in one solution, is what happens when they fail in a few years time.  I have spent far too much of my life chasing parts that aren't made anymore and chips are some of the worst to source.  

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Moderator
4 minutes ago, moo-fi said:

My concern with an all in one solution, is what happens when they fail in a few years time.  I have spent far too much of my life chasing parts that aren't made anymore and chips are some of the worst to source.  

Build your own. Simples.

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I wish, currently working with Xilinx to reverse engineer some chips for PA DSP applications on two multi million pound installs.

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5 minutes ago, moo-fi said:

My concern with an all in one solution, is what happens when they fail in a few years time.  I have spent far too much of my life chasing parts that aren't made anymore and chips are some of the worst to source.  

Same as anything else, get it fixed or buy something else. Maybe I've been lucky, apart from a Marantz CDP that failed from new I have not had anything fail in over 40 years. If you want to change them because of room size then just sell them and but some other used speakers. If you are moving abroad I don't the see the difference, just sell them same as passives.  Actives have some advantages such as they are smaller to move, you only have the speakers not an amp to box up as well. What back-up amplifier? You can choose whatever DAC you want. 

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18 hours ago, BeeRay said:

Clarity is one thing that actives seem to have over passives

oh behave - I will gladly put my Art Impressions up against any active loudspeaker - and clarity  is not an issue for passive loudspeakers.  They each have their advantages and disadvantages and it is a personal choice .. but there is no clear answer as to what is best other than a well designed loudspeaker whether active or passive will sound better than a badly designed one.  

This is a bit like which is better a Seiko or a Rolex - of course in the grand scheme of things the Seiko is the most accurate (quartz crystal) but the rolex sub mariner is pure eye candy.   So there is no argument to be had about which is better when it comes to active versus passive loudspeakers it is whatever works best for you - end of 

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3 minutes ago, uzzy said:

oh behave - I will gladly put my Art Impressions up against any active loudspeaker - and clarity  is not an issue for passive loudspeakers.  They each have their advantages and disadvantages and it is a personal choice .. but there is no clear answer as to what is best other than a well designed loudspeaker whether active or passive will sound better than a badly designed one.  

This is a bit like which is better a Seiko or a Rolex - of course in the grand scheme of things the Seiko is the most accurate (quartz crystal) but the rolex sub mariner is pure eye candy.   So there is no argument to be had about which is better when it comes to active versus passive loudspeakers it is whatever works best for you - end of 

It is not my experience, none of the passives I have ever heard had as much clarity. Maybe your Art's do but I ones I have heard don't, maybe they needed more powerful amp, I don't know.

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1 minute ago, BeeRay said:

It is not my experience, none of the passives I have ever heard had as much clarity. Maybe your Art's do but I ones I have heard don't, maybe they needed more powerful amp, I don't know.

I've had plenty of passive and active and I'm also of the opinion that neither is better than the other. Clarity is measured on a personal level I suppose, but like Uzzy I'd also say that a well designed passive is as good as anything active.

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So why do people prefer actives? The problem with passives you have to get a well matched amp as well, it is not just about the speakers. I think passive crossovers are a problem esp. in cheaper speakers.

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1 minute ago, BeeRay said:

So why do people prefer actives? The problem with passives you have to get a well matched amp as well, it is not just about the speakers. I think passive crossovers are a problem esp. in cheaper speakers.

I personally find actives a bit restrictive in that you're stuck with whatever amplifier the manufacturer sees fit. And that's fair enough, if the flavour suits. 

I imagine space constraints and visual appearance play a big part. Modern homes and decoration are at odds with our wires and multiple boxes.

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Super Wammer

I would not disagree with @Uzzy I have never heard his loudspeakers or his system and everything in your own system is a matter of taste which only you and those your listen with can make .

I would say in the very limited (two ) speakears I have used both passive and active the difference in clarity and speed was very noticable . This is not to say that neither of the passive speakers had clarity and speed before the switch just that I noticed an improvement in those two areas straight away . Later also realised that imaging was much better as actives which as I use sealed units hard up against a back wall is a very good area that always needs improvement.

I have to say that despite being very pro active speakers I am not that keen on ready built active units with all the electronics inside the speaker cabinet . Firstly this then forms a closed system which is a personal dislike of mine , hence I own no Apple products . Secondly I do not think that the right place for Digital or Analogue electronics is close to powerful magnets and fast (hopefully) moving air . I like to be able to switch the amplifiers and as noted the advantage of being able to move a substitue unit you have on hand to keep the music flowing when things go wrong (and for me on the amplifier front things have gone wrong quite a bit .

Edited by bencat

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Super Wammer
20 hours ago, uzzy said:

with passive loudspeakers the problem is manufacturers cut costs on the components used and the cheap capacitors and chokes easily become saturated which means when you turn the wick up they all of a sudden do not sound as good as they did at low volumes.

This is one of the main advantages to my ears, I have found myself listening at much louder volumes, due to the fact there is no, or very little distortion.

As you have probably gathered I went active a couple of years ago, and would not go back to passives now. I also agree, that the clarity has been better, than any passive loudspeaker, I have owned. The biggest difference for me is in the bass, where it stops and starts, is tuneful, but as someone else stated, at first sounds less, but then you realise, that a lot of speakers that do prodigious bass, it's all one note, or nearly :). The soundstage is greatly improved, and the ability to pick out individual instruments too.

Umm I think I'm hooked :D

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