active loudspeakers

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
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.de
#1
Active loudspeakers don't seem to be an overly hot topic here on WBF. While I understand that they simply remove some of the areas that audiophiles just love to tinker with (amps, cables, ...) I personally really see - and like - the advantages of dedicated power amps per chassis, carefully matched by the speaker manufacturer to the requirements of the speaker chassis, and driven by signals coming from an active crossover. Plus of course the option to fine tune the frequency response of the speaker to one's room requirements.

Are there any other members here using active speakers, and if so, which ones and for which reasons?

And if you specifically don't like active speakers, please let me ask why?

Here's a picture of my ME Geithain RL 901K, an active 3-way coaxial midfield studio monitor with a 16" bass driver. ME Geithain is quite well regarded in Germany, not only in the professional area, but also in hifi circles. But I understand that they are not overly well known outside of the country.

ME Geithain RL 901K _ bw.jpg
 
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Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
763
225
43
Melbourne, Australia
#3
I can't say I like fully active speakers, as I always like to have the choice of which amplification to pair with the speakers to achieve the right synergy for my ears/room. But I do like the concept of semi-active speakers. My current favorites are the GT Audio GTA3r planar/ribbon panels with Sound Insight active open-baffle servo subs. Here is a video about them fyi.
 
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Apr 15, 2017
156
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Cascais
#4
Active speakers will be a lot better liked if manufacturers considered designing them using real amps and not some miserable excuses for amps. Part of the issue is that speaker designers generally consider amplification to be of no or little importance.
 
Likes: christoph

wisnon

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2011
2,719
110
63
#5
GOLDMUND speakers have great amps in them and employ SoTA DSP and DRC. However, they cost a pretty penny.
 

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
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.de
#6
Active speakers will be a lot better liked if manufacturers considered designing them using real amps and not some miserable excuses for amps. Part of the issue is that speaker designers generally consider amplification to be of no or little importance.
I know what you mean but I'm not sure that this is equally true for all manufacturers. Do you have any specific speakers or brands in mind that you consider especially notorious in this respect?
 

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
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#9
I can't say I like fully active speakers, as I always like to have the choice of which amplification to pair with the speakers to achieve the right synergy for my ears/room. But I do like the concept of semi-active speakers.
Do you know of any current production semi-active cone speakers? I know quite a few with active bass units. But I'm not aware of a full speaker system with an active crossover that lets one pick one's own flavour of power amp for all drivers.
 

Kal Rubinson

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2010
1,579
78
48
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#10
Do you know of any current production semi-active cone speakers? I know quite a few with active bass units. But I'm not aware of a full speaker system with an active crossover that lets one pick one's own flavour of power amp for all drivers.
Bryston? :)
 

UEM

New Member
Dec 26, 2017
23
1
3
Horgen, Switzerland
#11
In my main music system, I’ve been using active LINN speakers, the older „analogue“ 350A Version, for quite some time – and I wouldn’t go back to passive models.;)

The 350A, even in the original version, offer some modest, but effective frequency adjustment, especially some tuning in the bass region to just nicely fit my rather bad room acoustics.

Likewise, in my smaller office and PC / Video replay system, I’ve got some small ME Geithain Near field monitors, the RL 906.

Regards


Urs

BTW: the “big” MEG 901 would be my top favourite, if they wouldn’t take to much space / width …:(
 

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
763
225
43
Melbourne, Australia
#12
Do you know of any current production semi-active cone speakers? I know quite a few with active bass units. But I'm not aware of a full speaker system with an active crossover that lets one pick one's own flavour of power amp for all drivers.
The speaker system I had in mind are the GT Audio GTA3r panels + SI600 open baffle servo subwoofers. That system has planar/ribbon panels which require amplification, and active servo subs. As far as cone & dome speakers go, off the top of my head the Legacy Audio Focus XD can be run either fully active from it's 750 watt Ice powered amp, or semi-active via a switch on the back of the speakers, allowing an external amp to drive the mids/highs.
 

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
43
.de
#13
This weekend the "Norddeutsche Hifi-Tage" hifi show took place in Hamburg. It's Germany's second biggest hifi show after Munich with some 10k+ visitors on two days, and so quite a bit of interesting gear was on display. Among this was not only one but actually two full Kii Three BXT systems in two different rooms. So I was finally able to hear the full version.

Well, I must admit that I was pretty impressed, and definitely the Kii Three BXT was one of the "best of show" speakers/systems for me.

_MG_8309_Kii-Three-BXT_800px_web.jpg
 
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Likes: christoph

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
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.de
#14
There were also a few pretty impressive presentations of passive speakers. Still one of the other "best of show" speakers for me was a new ME Geithain, the RL 921K. This is basically a smaller variant of my RL 901K with a 12" bass instead of the 16" of the bigger sibling designed for slightly shorter listening distances.

_MG_8313__MEG-RL-921K__1000px_web.jpg

_MG_8315__MEG-RL-921K__1000px_web.jpg
 
Likes: christoph

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
43
.de
#15
Last but not least I need to mention a tiny active speaker from Abacus, the C-Box 3. I was really searching for the subwoofer when I entered the room and heard the sound, but there was none. This is obviously not a full range speaker and wouldn't satisfiy me for my main system in my large(ish) listening room. But what this tiny thing could do in a secondary system in a small room is just amazing.

_MG_8296__Abacus-C-Box-3_1000px-web.jpg
 
May 11, 2015
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1
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#16
I love active speakers having owned active Naim DBLs and ATC 50s. Really not sure why active speakers are not more popular as they have a lot of advantages from both a SQ and ease of implementation perspective. Back in the 80s, a close friend had an exquisitely setup pair of active Naim Kans driven by 4 x Naim 135 monos in a small NYC studio apartment. Still one of the best hifis I ever heard.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to hear a pair of the ME Geithans. Will have to get myself to Munich one of these years.
 

ferenc_k

New Member
Apr 9, 2011
29
0
1
#17
Active speakers will be a lot better liked if manufacturers considered designing them using real amps and not some miserable excuses for amps. Part of the issue is that speaker designers generally consider amplification to be of no or little importance.
Quested active studio monitors are using MC2 Audio A/B class amps generally and these are really good amps.
 

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
43
.de
#18
You are of course right. Funny I haven't thought about them seen that I was quite intrigued with their Middle T model on the NDHT hifi show last year.

I really like the concept with their BAX-1 active DSP crossover and the free choice of amps for each driver. Make this six separate class-A mono blocks and that would be quite some system... :)

It's just a bit of a shame that they didn't opt for an additional room correction possibility in their DSP. That might have brought the system up another notch.

Bryston Middle T Active.jpg
 

jackelsson

Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
214
106
43
.de
#19
I love active speakers having owned active Naim DBLs and ATC 50s. Really not sure why active speakers are not more popular as they have a lot of advantages from both a SQ and ease of implementation perspective. Back in the 80s, a close friend had an exquisitely setup pair of active Naim Kans driven by 4 x Naim 135 monos in a small NYC studio apartment. Still one of the best hifis I ever heard.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to hear a pair of the ME Geithans. Will have to get myself to Munich one of these years.
I just love the classic look of the bigger ATC active speakers. While their pro versions are somewhat plain and utilitarian looking for me the hifi range is *the* perfect example of how a classic loudspeaker should look like. And I just love the fact that they offer both floorstanders and stand mounts of the same model.

ATC_SCM50_versions.jpg

ATC_SCM_50-100-150.jpg
 

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