Time to go active?

RDSChicago

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Nov 12, 2013
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I’m building a combination office-man cave in a new 950:square foot room addition. I have huge monoblocks and don’t know where to put them as I wish to keep the room clean and minimalist. So I either need some good ideas for obscure locations to keep the amps and ancillary components or I’m thinking about starting from a clean slate and going active.

Looking for suggestions for either amp and component placement or active speakers which require minimum ancillary components. I’d love to keep what I have as I’m already spending plenty on the buildout so I’d appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.
 

Solypsa

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How many sources do you plan to use?

Will there be electrical power close to the anticipated speaker locations?

Are you inclined to want subwoofers in the mix or not?
 

RDSChicago

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Nov 12, 2013
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Thanks for the reply. My only source will be a Lumin X1 as I exclusively stream Qobuz. Since I want to keep this minimal I probably wouldn’t use subs. .
How many sources do you plan to use?

Will there be electrical power close to the anticipated speaker locations?

Are you inclined to want subwoofers in the mix or n
 

treitz3

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Hello @RDSChicago and good afternoon to you. I have seen minimalist setups that actually work out rather well.

On one setup, the owner knocked out the fireplace and tore the chimney down. He then built a 3' deep alcove that housed all electrical items, wiring amps, sources, etc. Obviously, he does not have any LP setup. The alcove (what is seen from the LR) is completely hidden by plain white panels that slide from side to side and are about 60" wide.

The owner sets everything inside the alcove shelves at a 90° angle, since everything is operated via remote control or controlled via his phone. This makes it easy for him to wire everything up and make any adjustments while keeping all wiring as short as possible. His SC's go down, under the crawl space and pop up at the back of the speakers through a trap door that closes flush with the hardwood floor. All you see are the panels, a big screen TV that is flush with the wall (looks like a picture) above it and the speakers. That's it.

On the other setup, this owner built a wall that made a "hallway" to nowhere behind his rig. It's basically a 4'x20' room (if you will) that houses all of his equipment within it. The only thing not in that room is his TT stand, TT and speakers, which are located in the listening room, on the other side of that wall. Between the speakers is a drop down screen for when the family wants to watch movies. He just retracts it for critical listening.

The door leading into that small "hallway" where all of that equipment is, is located off to one side of the wall, hidden behind one of the speakers.

Either one of these implementations, you may want to consider. 900SF is a good amount of real estate to work with.

Tom
 

Solypsa

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Agree with @treitz3 that hiding the Lumin and running direct to the active speakers could be q nice way to do it.

The NNNN Comium 30A is a full range active speaker that I work with, designed to mount directly to the rear wall. That's as minimal as it gets ;)
 

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Brad Lunde

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Sep 18, 2020
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Active can be built in very simply, all you need is AC near the speakers. ATC is a good example of proper active, so is Genelec. ATC install product is engineered more for full on studio level professional applications; Genelec is engineered for residential and smaller room pro applications.

Traditional passive speaker/power amp set ups can definitely decrease fidelity, with all the speaker cable involved. Power losses, dampening factor, increased capacitance of lower gauge wire can definitely affect sound. So great care must be taken to locate amplifiers close to the speakers, which can be difficult for servicing or [amp] cooling.
Brad
 

microstrip

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Active can be built in very simply, all you need is AC near the speakers. ATC is a good example of proper active, so is Genelec. ATC install product is engineered more for full on studio level professional applications; Genelec is engineered for residential and smaller room pro applications.
(...)

My experience with ATC is limited to listening and evaluating an acquaintance ATC50's . Although I initially found them inadequate for my taste - too dry and lacking 3D or layered depth - when paired with a specific great preamplifier, such as the Krell KRC, they could sound great. Actives can be a good choice, but surely the choice of partnering gear will be much limited and harder to get success.
 

RDSChicago

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2013
135
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333
Hello @RDSChicago and good afternoon to you. I have seen minimalist setups that actually work out rather well.

On one setup, the owner knocked out the fireplace and tore the chimney down. He then built a 3' deep alcove that housed all electrical items, wiring amps, sources, etc. Obviously, he does not have any LP setup. The alcove (what is seen from the LR) is completely hidden by plain white panels that slide from side to side and are about 60" wide.

The owner sets everything inside the alcove shelves at a 90° angle, since everything is operated via remote control or controlled via his phone. This makes it easy for him to wire everything up and make any adjustments while keeping all wiring as short as possible. His SC's go down, under the crawl space and pop up at the back of the speakers through a trap door that closes flush with the hardwood floor. All you see are the panels, a big screen TV that is flush with the wall (looks like a picture) above it and the speakers. That's it.

On the other setup, this owner built a wall that made a "hallway" to nowhere behind his rig. It's basically a 4'x20' room (if you will) that houses all of his equipment within it. The only thing not in that room is his TT stand, TT and speakers, which are located in the listening room, on the other side of that wall. Between the speakers is a drop down screen for when the family wants to watch movies. He just retracts it for critical listening.

The door leading into that small "hallway" where all of that equipment is, is located off to one side of the wall, hidden behind one of the speakers.

Either one of these implementations, you may want to consider. 900SF is a good amount of real estate to work with.

Tom
Hi, the links you added to your post disappeared. Can you repost? Thanks!
 

RDSChicago

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2013
135
85
333
Agree with @treitz3 that hiding the Lumin and running direct to the active speakers could be q nice way to do it.

The NNNN Comium 30A is a full range active speaker that I work with, designed to mount directly to the rear wall. That's as minimal as it gets ;)
Interesting website. They actually have different applications for two-channel home audio, but they don't go in the wall or ceiling:

 

treitz3

Super Moderator
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Dec 25, 2011
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Hi, the links you added to your post disappeared. Can you repost? Thanks!
Those were links that showed up when I tried to impose the "degree" symbol. They were not relevant to the discussion. My apologies.

Tom
 

Brad Lunde

Member
Sep 18, 2020
55
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www.lonemountainaudio.com
My experience with ATC is limited to listening and evaluating an acquaintance ATC50's . Although I initially found them inadequate for my taste - too dry and lacking 3D or layered depth - when paired with a specific great preamplifier, such as the Krell KRC, they could sound great. Actives can be a good choice, but surely the choice of partnering gear will be much limited and harder to get success.
Not sure I follow, other than you weren't fond of the sound of extremely low distortion speakers? They do not lack 3D or depth in a proper room. They do reveal a lot about partnered gear so I think I understand your observation, but comments like "harder to get success" don't make sense in the broader context unless said as an opinion. The music you listen to was probably built on ATC and the artists themselves from so many genres use them and trust them.
 

Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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RDSChicago

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Nov 12, 2013
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Sure- the Comium is the baby of the line, but a fantastic performer. [ and it goes on a wall not in ;) ]. Very smart people at NNNN...
Any place near Denver to hear the Comium? I couldn’t find info on price. What is the approximate cost for a pair?
 

Alrainbow

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Dec 11, 2013
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I’m building a combination office-man cave in a new 950:square foot room addition. I have huge monoblocks and don’t know where to put them as I wish to keep the room clean and minimalist. So I either need some good ideas for obscure locations to keep the amps and ancillary components or I’m thinking about starting from a clean slate and going active.

Looking for suggestions for either amp and component placement or active speakers which require minimum ancillary components. I’d love to keep what I have as I’m already spending plenty on the buildout so I’d appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.
I have three Ideas
1- hide below floor
2- above near ceilings
3- in next room
below or above to me is radical but solves all
below is best as it allows for short speaker cables
 

LampiNA

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2015
345
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I’m building a combination office-man cave in a new 950:square foot room addition. I have huge monoblocks and don’t know where to put them as I wish to keep the room clean and minimalist. So I either need some good ideas for obscure locations to keep the amps and ancillary components or I’m thinking about starting from a clean slate and going active.

Looking for suggestions for either amp and component placement or active speakers which require minimum ancillary components. I’d love to keep what I have as I’m already spending plenty on the buildout so I’d appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.
I want to make the suggestion that before going the route of active, you give consideration to the compact Westminster Labs REI amplification.

Size wise they are very compact while being capable of driving most any loudspeaker. They could easily be hidden right behind a speaker, though it would be a shame not seeing the aluminum and carbon fiber chassis.

Furthermore the sound they create is definitely quite special and worthy of audition. I suspect you could achieve your minimalist appearance goals while bringing about a legitimate system upgrade.

I had no intentions of taking on another line of electronics in my portfolio, but after Gary brought a pair of these amps to my home, I couldn't ignore them!

Fred A.
 

DasguteOhr

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2013
2,212
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You need only a Source Avantgarde Zero 1 xd speaker digital input, analog input ,usb airport express (wifi optional)104db/1watt active
Avantgarde-Acoustic-Zero1-Test-Front-Back-01.png
 

Hear Here

Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2020
726
424
140
Portsmouth, UK
I’m building a combination office-man cave in a new 950:square foot room addition. I have huge monoblocks and don’t know where to put them as I wish to keep the room clean and minimalist. So I either need some good ideas for obscure locations to keep the amps and ancillary components or I’m thinking about starting from a clean slate and going active.

Looking for suggestions for either amp and component placement or active speakers which require minimum ancillary components. I’d love to keep what I have as I’m already spending plenty on the buildout so I’d appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.
The big advantage of mono amps is that you can place them on the floor immediately behind your speakers, so probably out of sight and using space that's not much good for anything else. Also, as it happens, it's better to run long interconnents to mono amps, then short speaker cables, than short interconnects and long speaker cables. The best interconnects for long runs is balanced ones fitted with XLR connectors. Do you amps and source have XLR? Is there a mains outlet near your speakers? If so, you're in business after buying XLR interconnects made with inexpensive cable such as Canare, Mogami, Belden or other cable commonly used in recording studios. Peter
 

Hear Here

Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2020
726
424
140
Portsmouth, UK
The music you listen to was probably built on ATC and the artists themselves from so many genres use them and trust them.
Yes, you're probably correct, but that doesn't make ATC studio speakers the best choice in the home. I used to have ATC Active 50s and found them less enjoyable for listening in the home than the KEF Reference 107s I bought them to replace and very much less enjoyable than the speakers I bought to replace the ATCs.

The trouble is that studio monitors need to possess one over-riding factor - accuracy - and this is so the engineer can clearly hear what's wrong in the recording so he can attempt to fix it. By contract, in the home and listening to the recording AFTER the engineer has done his work as best he can, we want the sound to excite us and provide the goosebump factor that we as listeners are looking for. The engineer is not looking for this - he wants to hear the imperfections. That's the last thing we are looking to hear.

I replaced my ATCs with Avantgarde horn speakers, the model that had recently won Stereophile’s Speaker of the Year award. What a difference! The sound was so much more lifelike and exciting, despite no doubt being a little less accurate than the ATCs
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
744
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Rds. I have been developing active loudspeakers for over a decade for the reasons you stated.
Full disclosure: I generally avoid recommending equipment I'm commercially involved with on WBF unless specifically asked to do so. However, since the product I am putting forth is new to the US, I thought in this case, you and the Members would not mind:)

I recently began importing an active loudspeaker from the Netherlands, Stilla, produced by AEquo Audio. The Stilla is available in either partially active (bass only) or full-active versions for a bit over $20k. Remarkably, these loudspeakers feature actual 20hz bass response in a compact, elegantly designed, and infinitely adjustable composite enclosure. In addition, the Still incorporates AEquos proprietary analog-only "AREPC" room control system. ARPEC allows for placement of the speakers virtually anywhere, including out in the room, against the wall, or even in corners, without compromising performance. There are multiple European reviews and comprehensive technical information on AEquo's website.

www.aequoaudio.com

All you need is an AC receptacle and a set of balanced interconnect for connection to your control center or source. Plugging the Stilla into a Lumin X1 or other high-quality DAC streamer creates an elegant, no-comprise high-end solution. If of sufficient interest, we would happily arrange for you to hear the Stilla at Artisan Fidelity in nearby Hammond, Indiana, a short drive from Chicagoland.

Good luck with your search.



AequoStilla-1.jpeg
 

RDSChicago

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2013
135
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333
Gleeds, I’m outside of Denver. Anywhere to listen out here?
 
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