Active Speakers - would you consider?
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  1. #1
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    Active Speakers - would you consider?

    While in Munich, I heard some fabulous active speakers. And each year we are seeing a few more. B&W just announced the new Formation Series which is a full line of active speakers with Roon connectivity. KEF has the LS50W. Estelon had some large floor standers that were active. Goldmund has some nice active speakers too. There are many others.

    Would active speakers be something you would consider? If no, why?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Actually thought about them many times. Would absolutely need a demo to make sure that I’d be able to achieve my style of sound but they are making more sense these days.
    Joe

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  3. #3
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    I am a KEF LS50W owner. It really is incredible the sound that can be achieved though these active speakers. I believe this category will explode in the coming years. I am using them in a second system, but if I fell on hard times and had to liquidate all of my gear, the LS50W would likely be all that would remain. Super high value. DSP. Analog inputs. Roon ready. Great sound. What’s not to like?
    Morgan

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  5. #4
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by MPW View Post
    I am a KEF LS50W owner. It really is incredible the sound that can be achieved though these active speakers. I believe this category will explode in the coming years. I am using them in a second system, but if I fell on hard times and had to liquidate all of my gear, the LS50W would likely be all that would remain. Super high value. DSP. Analog inputs. Roon ready. Great sound. What’s not to like?
    I should also note that my 23 year old son purchased these for his apartment in Philly. He appreciates great sound and is a music lover, but a full hifi system doesn’t make sense to him. Active speakers bridge that gap.
    Morgan

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  7. #5
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    If I was starting from scratch these would be at the top of my list.

    https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/revie...r-review-r739/
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  9. #6
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Those look awesome. Great article. Thanks Jack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    If I was starting from scratch these would be at the top of my list.

    https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/revie...r-review-r739/
    Joe

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  10. #7
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Joe

    There are only five dealers in the US including one in Brooklyn that are all Pro Audio outfits so I would have to buy sight unseen but it would let you eliminate a lot of gear and cables. A real alternative to the Ki III
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, PS Audio BHK preamp, Mystere PA-11, Reynaud Abcisse Jubilee, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC's , Triode Wire Lab PC's & SC's, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Teac NT-505, Audia Flight FL Three S, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Audio Sensibility SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

  11. #8
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Hearing the LS50W’s proved to me great sound can certainly be achieved from active speakers. Sure passive speakers with separate amplification offer a higher ceiling and more versatility and flavors, but the gap should be wider than it is.


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    Sean

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  13. #9
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    there are so many different active speaker approaches and different price points it's hard to have a general reaction to the concept.

    if I had a lifestyle or budget need that a modest priced and minimal footprint active speaker based system accommodated then sure, why not? my wife uses a Sonus system inside the house, in the Kitchen, upstairs in the bedroom, and outside. it uses my mirroring NAS and Roon/Tidal and fits her perfectly. but she is not an audiophile and sonic quality is not her priority.

    if I could live with digital only, something super simple and easy to use, and wanted top level performance then maybe a Goldmund active digital system might be the ticket.

    if I wanted an uber horn system maybe the Magico Ultimate III 5 way active horns might scratch that itch.

    but none of those scenarios fit my personal needs. I want a full range (and I mean full range) system that is coherent full range, and uncompromised analog sources, and I want the very best amplification I can get. that's not going to be active. my amps don't fit inside a speaker cabinet. I don't have a space limitation for active to answer that question.

    if I was starting from scratch right now maybe the Goldmund direction would be a consideration.....but I'm not.

    I've heard expensive active speakers sound like crap (big Meridians)......the odds of an active system really getting all the variables right is remote if the expectations are really high. at modest price points I think it makes lots of sense for those not needing upgradability.....as active is a dead-end.....to system building.

    then there is resale value to consider if you do choose to upgrade. not sure active speakers are reasonable to sell. very limited market. that has to figure into 'cost to own'.

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  15. #10
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    Re: Active Speakers - would you consider?

    Yes, used to have the Avantgarde Zero XD.

    Ultimately, I felt that the DAC section in the XD was a limiting factor instead of the active speaker concept as a whole.

    This article provides some insights on the benefits of active speakers:

    https://www.adam-audio.com/content/u...e-speakers.pdf

    Generally speaking, active speakers can be:

    * active digital systems - included DAC, DSP, crossover and amplifiers

    * active analog systems - included crossover and amplifiers

    These can be built into one unit or externally (which somewhat negates part of the benefits of an active system).

    I prefer the analog active system as that allows the option of upgrading the source, whether analog or digital.

    Having said that, the digital active system does have more flexibility in that the built-in DSP allows for frequency, impulse, etc, as well as digital room correction in one package.

    I have heard one of more highly regarded digital active systems, Grimm LS1be + LS1-dmf subwoofer: https://www.grimmaudio.com/hifi-prod...peakers/ls1be/. While impressive, it sound signature (or even looks) may not suit everyone.

    An active speaker does lock one into the eco-system, and limits the options to tinker with the system. It would not appeal to those who like to upgrade or build systems.

    The active speaker concept is promising and eliminates a bit of the trial and error in mixing and matching components.

    It would be a major boost if there were more choices for analog active speakers in, say, the US25k - 50k range.

    Sure, one would be locked in onto the amplifier + speaker cable + speaker interface chosen by the manufacturer, but that still leaves room to experiment with and upgrade the source components.

 

 
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