Active speaker monitors

July 3, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “Active speaker monitors”

  1. How can this strange set-up (no vacuum tube stages) and positioning of these active loudspeakers deliver the sound quality (holographic imaging, stage depth, etc.) you are heading for by recommending to us to follow your set-up guidelines , Paul? The stereo angle is much bigger here than 60°, there is not much space between speaker and front wall, what about those early reflections from the mixing desk??????

    1. It can’t. And, it doesn’t. However, through the magic of a bit of DSP it can get somewhat close and for the rough mix that’s fine. The new system captures the rough mix and when we go to the final mix on the FR30s, we start with that rough mix and then tweak it to perfection.

      Not perfect, but light years better than what we had.

  2. There’s a whole bunch of high-end loudspeaker companies that have not gone anywhere near producing active/wireless floorstanders or standmounters.
    Then there’s companies like ‘GoldenEar’ who make passives but with powered built-in bass/sub drivers.
    Then there’s companies like D&D, specifically the 8c with built-in room correction that have had very good reviews & ATC makes a very decent actives & PMC goes there as well.
    As always the choice, as a consumer, is yours.

  3. I like the DSP of high-end actives. I like the firmware updates that can improve individual components of actives and the synergy amongst them. I like they are less intrusive in a room. I like the room can be compensated for with DSP. If actives start to highlight diminishing returns of going separate and the price begins to wet mainstream appetite, I think they will be the future.

  4. Good afternoon Paul!
    After a year almost of picking up a pare of Klipsch R-41pm active bookshelf speakers, I can see what you mean.If you go to their website, it says, “the built in amplifier has been optimized for the woofer and horn loaded treters that we used for the R-41pm monitors.”
    I’m not kicking against Klipsch, but my ears have heard way better.
    I think I still need to step up to the plate.
    Sure the market is fludded with active speakers of all kinds.
    But no company that I’m aware of, has ever made a pare of active speakers that have tube amps built in to them.
    So, if I want a pare of active speakers that are built around tube amps, I’ll have to build them myself.
    This is why, my go to speakers, are always gonna be passive.
    Because with passive speakers, you can choose whatever amp or amps you wish to use with them.
    But with active speakers, you’re stuck with the type of amps the companies built in to them.
    This is why for the most part, real serious Audiophiles shy away from them.
    My R-41PM speakers, don’t really give me the kind of sound that I expect to get from them.
    And the built in DAC, doesn’t do DSD files either.
    What a shame!

  5. Ultimately, done well active speakers are the way to go. You have a separate amp for each driver but even more importantly, even with great amps, the amplifier sees a much simpler load. The amp only sees the reactance of a voice coil, not the often crazy load of the multiple voice coils plus a combination of resistors, capacitors and inductors. The amps see a load closer to what they were specified at driving a much simpler resistive load. And even great amps are happier under those conditions.

    There are other arguments in favor of active speakers but they are, while certainly important, are secondary. But they still add to the active superiority.

  6. John Price said, because with passive speakers, you can choose whatever amp or amps you wish to use with them.”

    The issue for sure…

    PS John, I enjoy your voice recognition software 😉

  7. I believe the KEF LS60 format is the future of audio.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m currently all in on PSAudio. But have you heard the LS60s?
    First, if you are going to compare a full PSAudio system with LS60s, then remember one PSAudio amp costs as much as the LS60 package, a self-contained, all-in-one system.
    Second, maybe better to compare a Stellar system with the LS60? You’d have to consider the Stellar Strata with speakers costing about $3,50 to be a fair fight against the LS60s.
    I wonder who would win that one?
    I’ll bet that within 10 years, most of us will own systems in the LS60 format. Just plug in your Ethernet and off you go.

  8. Paul,
    The ATC SCM 50 home towers, with better wood or mdf than the junky pro version, which you find ‘clinical’ and I don’t, have Class AB MOSFET amplifiers.

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