Why do most audiophiles don't like active speakers ?

Glide3

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Nov 25, 2019
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One reason I have personally experienced is that you then can’t experiment with trying different amps.
Of course, one good reason to go with an active speaker is that this decision has been made for you and in theory, and generally in practice, the amp will be properly mated to the speaker
 

sbo6

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According to who?

If this was true, I'd say it's because of the lack of flexibility in amplification.
 
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andromedaaudio

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I didnt like Active speakers untill i heard this .
If you re in for a money no object / SOTA sound experience this should be on your short list
 

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shakti

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May 9, 2015
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not many audiophiles do know active speakers like the Backes & Mueller BM 100

Their Demo Room @Munich High End Fair should attract more international visitors.

images.jpeg
 
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Diasoft5

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I think there is still a prejudice: Active speakers are made by speaker manufacturers who have no idea about amplifiers. They simply reach into the grab box and buy cheap ready-made amplifier plug-in cards, which are then found in ultra-expensive big active high-end speakers.
 
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christoph

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not many audiophiles do know active speakers like the Backes & Mueller BM 100

Their Demo Room @Munich High End Fair should attract more international visitors.

View attachment 113723
Every other model that I heard from BM was extremely not to my liking.
Is this model vastly different in sound? Let's hope so :rolleyes:
 
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Republicoftexas69

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Not for me.
 
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exupgh12

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Audiophiles typically dislike active speakers because they believe that separate speakers and amplifiers offer more control over sound quality and allow for greater upgradeability. Additionally, some audiophiles believe that active speakers don't sound as good as passive speakers due to the limitations of the built-in amplifiers.

However, listening to Dutch & Dutch 8c active loudspeakers or Steinway & Sons ModelA loudspeakers might change your mind on the matter.
 

Robh3606

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Aug 24, 2010
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I don't think there is outright prejudice more of what's in friends homes and what's available in any remaining "brick and mortar" dealers. If there is no exposure you go with what you know.

You don't have to purchase all in one active systems. That is not the only option you can do it the "old fashioned way" where you have complete control down to the drivers selected.

You have complete control over cabinet design, cone and dome vs Horn or hybrid horn and so on. You can swap out drivers as the system matures so it's the ultimate as far as control over how the system sounds.

I have an active 4 way several bi-amp set-ups and straight up passive designs. I lean towards the passives but enjoy the other systems They have different strengths but all can be excellent.

Rob :)
 

NC Lee

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Oct 23, 2014
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They are a tiny part of a small market.
When you want a change, what do you do with them?
With so few retail outlets for any hi end audio, many of us buy used to try, knowing we can sell what we don't like.
The market for these speakers is so small I have no confidence I could readily sell them.
I bought active speakers in the 1980's for ~$2000. When one speaker stopped triggering the woofer to play at a low volume, I couldn't get it repaired at a reasonable cost... so I threw them away. Getting repairs on our equipment, with many mfg., is no better today.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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audiophiles fundamentally don't want to be told which amps to use. they want a choice. yet; objectively they also acknowledge that logically one amp per driver could be better. but investing big money in a closed system is a big stop sign. and we have our love for our brands of amps.

audiophiles view upgrading amps then speakers then amps again, as a good pathway to follow......safe......reasonable.....comfortable. active speakers might end up becoming outdated and then you are stuck. fear...lots of fear.

and i think a product like this one, at it's price, might actually prove that it's not practical to attain ultimate performance going active. no, i've not heard it personally.

1690385614632.png
 

gleeds

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May 29, 2018
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not many audiophiles do know active speakers like the Backes & Mueller BM 100

Their Demo Room @Munich High End Fair should attract more international visitors.

View attachment 113723
Baches and Mueller is one of the most innovative brands in the high end. I spent time with them in Munich this year and was mightily impressed with their commitment to active amplification and their decades of experience with its use.
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
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audiophiles fundamentally don't want to be told which amps to use. they want a choice. yet; objectively they also acknowledge that logically one amp per driver could be better. but investing big money in a closed system is a big stop sign. and we have our love for our brands of amps.

audiophiles view upgrading amps then speakers then amps again, as a good pathway to follow......safe......reasonable.....comfortable. active speakers might end up becoming outdated and then you are stuck. fear...lots of fear.

and i think a product like this one, at it's price, might actually prove that it's not practical to attain ultimate performance going active. no, i've not heard it personally.
 

NC Lee

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Oct 23, 2014
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NC
Baches and Mueller is one of the most innovative brands in the high end. I spent time with them in Munich this year and was mightily impressed with their commitment to active amplification and their decades of experience with its use.
Only what, $600k to your door? Fly from the US to what country to audition?
 

gleeds

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May 29, 2018
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Mike et al, I came away from Munich this year with a certainty. Active amplification of high-end loudspeakers is on the rise. Of all the unlikely suspects, Avantgarde is making a substantial and IMO smart commitment to this technology. By "smart" I am referring to the fact that Avantgarde's active amplification technology is modular. One can demo their systems with and without the on board amplifiers included, even buy an active system then change the active out for separate amplifiers and vice versa in the future.

There were many other active systems on display including YG Acoustics, the aforementioned Tidal for Bugatti and Baches & Mueller, and an interesting product from a new firm from Switzerland named Airplan. Their speaker included amplification from Purifi, combined with a streamer/DAC/controller licensed from Weiss Digital.

All to say, while I generally prefer discrete systems I can see many advantages to active solutions, especially for enticing more and younger people into the hobby. A great example of this is Bouchart Audio, whose products include non-active, as well as active wireless systems at a great price point that appeal to younger and more value conscious buyers.

airplan-speakers.jpg
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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Mike et al, I came away from Munich this year with a certainty. Active amplification of high-end loudspeakers is on the rise. Of all the unlikely suspects, Avantgarde is making a substantial and IMO smart commitment to this technology. By "smart" I am referring to the fact that Avantgarde's active amplification technology is modular. One can demo their systems with and without the on board amplifiers included, even buy an active system then change the active out for separate amplifiers and vice versa in the future.

There were many other active systems on display including YG Acoustics, the aforementioned Tidal for Bugatti and Baches & Mueller, and an interesting product from a new firm from Switzerland named Airplan. Their speaker included amplification from Purifi, combined with a streamer/DAC/controller licensed from Weiss Digital.

All to say while I generally prefer discrete systems I can see many advantages to active solutions, especially for enticing more and younger people into the hobby. A great example of this is Bouchart Audio, whose products include non-active, as well as active wireless systems at a great price point that appeal to younger and more value conscious buyers.
sure; i have noticed that too. yet no one i know has even given active a thought.....maybe a couple with the Avant-garde. but i view big horn active as a completely separate case. and i listened to the new Avant-garde Duo with the i-tron active at the Pacific Audio fest a month ago in Seattle. heard it with solid state passive and tube passive too. spent lots of time in the room. the i-tron was not really listenable to my ears.....in that room, to my ears. a data point is all.

i had heard the i-tron G3 at Axpona 22' and it had promise there. so my views on it are......incomplete.

thrilled with my traditional passive set-up. but always curious.
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
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Only what, $600k to your door? Fly from the US to what country to audition?
NC, I understand the speakers will appear at several Bugatti dealers in the US in the coming year. I'm not sure but I believe the turnkey system including the DAC/streamer/controller is $450k but could be wrong on that. Yes, ultra high-end audio in many cases has become a playground for the well-heeled luxury buyer. On the other hand the DIY community is thriving and there are so many wonderful parts and free plans to build your own loudspeakers. Brands like Enleum, Moon River, Holbo, Denafrips and Black Ice to name a few are making wonderful products available at stunningly low price points, not to mention old standbys like NAD and PSB.

Has anyone previewed the new Qualio IQ loudspeaker for $5? Qualio is now a sponsor on WBF and while I have not listened to it yet appears to be disrupting the speaker market in terms of performance/price/value in the audiophile market.

I am off topic now as the thread is about active amplification in the high-end. The good news is innovation and value oriented products (both active and traditional) are becoming more plentiful and that is good news for audiophiles at all levels of available income the can allocate to our hobby. Now back to the music:)
 
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gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
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sure; i have noticed that too. yet no one i know has even given active a thought.....maybe a couple with the Avant-garde. but i view big horn active as a completely separate case. and i listened to the new Avant-garde Duo with the i-tron active at the Pacific Audio fest a month ago in Seattle. heard it with solid state passive and tube passive too. spent lots of time in the room. the i-tron was not really listenable to my ears.....in that room, to my ears. a data point is all.

i had heard the i-tron G3 at Axpona 22' and it had promise there. so my views on it are......incomplete.

thrilled with my traditional passive set-up. but always curious.
Cool Mike. I love my passive stuff too! Nevertheless It will be interesting to see where things go.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2015
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Baches and Mueller is one of the most innovative brands in the high end. I spent time with them in Munich this year and was mightily impressed with their commitment to active amplification and their decades of experience with its use.
Did you also listen to their products? :rolleyes:
 

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