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Actives.

hearhere

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There's a new range of DSP active wireless loudspeakers on their way. Hold on to your hats
:)
:)
Frankly I think many manufacturers will be going down that track. It make sense, despite the initial higher cost.

Who makes the range you suggest? Certainly Avantgarde are working on their G3 series of fully active speakers - with optional user-choice of their own (likely valve) amps instead.
 

TheFlash

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One day I may get over my prejudices against DSP and actually listen to a system which uses it. I’ve only ever heard one that does, at a show; it took forever for the owner to set them up and I entered with keen anticipation… to be completely underwhelmed by the actual sound. Expectation bias in reverse perhaps.
 

hearhere

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One day I may get over my prejudices against DSP and actually listen to a system which uses it. I’ve only ever heard one that does, at a show; it took forever for the owner to set them up and I entered with keen anticipation… to be completely underwhelmed by the actual sound. Expectation bias in reverse perhaps.
Yes, though including DSP room correction in active speakers is the way to apply it.

It's only needed for the bass and this extra processing does the top end no favours. If built into a single power amp (as most DSPs are) the music will lose some of its excitement because of the extra signal processing.

If applied within an active system to only the bass amp, then this will allow the top end to reach the drivers un-molested by DSP. My speakers have DSP in their bass amps so I hear top end without DSP. If I use Dirac Live that's built into my full-range NAD M33, I lose some of the goose-bump factor I enjoy from my speakers – so I don’t apply the filter. Likewise (but even more so) with RoomPerfect that I used with a loan Lyngdorf TDAI 3400 amp – it sucked so much lfe from the music, I lost interest in listening!
 
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karlsushi

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If applied within an active system to only the bass amp, then this will allow the top end to reach the drivers un-molested by DSP. My speakers have DSP in their bass amps so I hear top end without DSP. If I use Dirac Live that's built into my full-range NAD M33, I lose some of the goose-bump factor I enjoy from my speakers – so I don’t apply the filter. Likewise (but even more so) with RoomPerfect that I used with a loan Lyngdorf TDAI 3400 amp – it sucked so much lfe fro
I use Dirac Live in my living room because quite frankly, the room needs it. I tend to agree about the digital processing affecting the purity/tone a bit in the mids/treble, so I too just apply to the bass.

Not sure if the NADs have the same function, but when setting a Dirac target curve you should be able to move a curtain across so that no correction is applied above or below a certain frequency. I have the curtain right down so there is only processing below 150Hz, which is where my main problems start to hit.
 
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Paul55

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Only there isn’t for sources especially given that recording engineers can’t even agree if DSD or PCM is better. And many prefer the sound of records over digital and deem it better. It’s all subjective
Digital sources, definitely definable. Analogue, matter of art. And we know that digital is transparent to analogue, so QED. DSD is technical dead end and can be transformed into PCM. It's all algorithmic.
 
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tuga

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Only there isn’t for sources especially given that recording engineers can’t even agree if DSD or PCM is better. And many prefer the sound of records over digital and deem it better. It’s all subjective
DSD makes sense only when the mixing and editing is performed in analogue (e.g. Cookie Marenco / Blue Coast Records), to digitalise analogue masters for archival purposes (e.g. Sony / RCA issue of analogue recordings in SACD) or for direct-to-master recordings.
There is no point in recording DSD, converting to PCM for editing/mixing then back to DSD (or DXD).
 
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fredbatch

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For a given loudspeaker the advantages of active (whether digital or analogue) versus passive, are manifest:
  1. Dedicated power amplifiers per driver or channel are presented with bandwidth limited, typically easy loads.
  2. Independently driven channels avoid undesirable signal cross-talk.
  3. Active crossovers have their own dedicated power supply. Passive crossovers are powered by the driving amplifier. This is comparatively inefficient and places extra demand on the amplifier.
  4. Small level (active) signals are easier to control than high level post amplified (passive) signals and thereby maintain accurate filter characteristics, especially in a varying power-temperature dependent environment.
I find this all results in a more accurate, freer, dynamically less constrained sound presentation. The energy absorbing, phase distorting soggy sponge between the input and the output has been removed.
 

tackleberry

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For a given loudspeaker the advantages of active (whether digital or analogue) versus passive, are manifest:
  1. Dedicated power amplifiers per driver or channel are presented with bandwidth limited, typically easy loads.
  2. Independently driven channels avoid undesirable signal cross-talk.
  3. Active crossovers have their own dedicated power supply. Passive crossovers are powered by the driving amplifier. This is comparatively inefficient and places extra demand on the amplifier.
  4. Small level (active) signals are easier to control than high level post amplified (passive) signals and thereby maintain accurate filter characteristics, especially in a varying power-temperature dependent environment.
I find this all results in a more accurate, freer, dynamically less constrained sound presentation. The energy absorbing, phase distorting soggy sponge between the input and the output has been removed.
👍
 

Psilonaught

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The amps in ATC actives are specifically-designed in-house to drive whichever particular driver they are partnered to. I don't think it would be easy to find anything better-suited to the task among boutique hi-fi power amps.

They are not especially sophisticated, AFAICT, but they don't need to be because there's no passive crossover in the way.
Whereas if you buy speakers witj external amp / crossover input, you can buy whatever insane amps you like. That's what I do.

I'm only teasing as I'm sure everyone realises, but I really don't like this in-built active speaker philosophy.

I've had the same active speakers for some time, but continue to invest is better monos for each driver. Used with a very inexpensive but extremely high SNR active crossover, plus DSP, via my Auralic Aries G2, the results are very satisfying.
 
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karlsushi

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Whilst reading a review on one of the online review sites, as I do from time to time, it dawned on me that perhaps part of why so many people in this hobby avoid actives and stick to box-swapping, may have something to do with the equipment seen most regularly on review sites and as displayed at high-end audio shows.

How often do you see actives reviewed on the likes of Stereophile or PTA for example?

It seems the cost of the equipment being reviewed on these sites 'traditional' sites is growing exponentially and comments abound describing how the latest speakers/amps display "what is possible in high end audio".

Case in point, the review I was perusing was for the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 speakers at $100,000/pr (incidentally, the 'entry level' to their Ultra range!), which were of course on Dave McNair's "very short list of the best sounding speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear". But like 99.9% of the reviews I see on such sites, they are very much a passive design.

No doubt there is an underlying reason for this (more boxes makes more commercial sense), but I wonder if we haven't been sold the idea that to get to the highest of high end audio, as portrayed in such sites/magazines and as displayed at audio shows, box swapping with passives is the way to go!?

Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.

Just a thought...
 
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DomT

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A few people have spoken about owners of passive speakers box swapping. But I wonder how much more power amp swapping goes on over those that own actives. I can’t think a single reason why I would change my power amp but I could be persuaded to change my preamp if an SP20 came up at the right price and that’s mostly because the SP20 has a headphone socket and my SP17 doesn’t.
 
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DomT

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DSD makes sense only when the mixing and editing is performed in analogue (e.g. Cookie Marenco / Blue Coast Records), to digitalise analogue masters for archival purposes (e.g. Sony / RCA issue of analogue recordings in SACD) or for direct-to-master recordings.
There is no point in recording DSD, converting to PCM for editing/mixing then back to DSD (or DXD).
This is all factually incorrect for example you don’t have to convert to PCM and back again as multitrack recorders exist and I can think of labels producing new music recording purely in DSD with no conversion but it’s for a different forum.
 

Pedro2

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Peter
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
How often do you see actives reviewed on the likes of Stereophile or PTA for example?

It seems the cost of the equipment being reviewed on these sites 'traditional' sites is growing exponentially and comments abound describing how the latest speakers/amps display "what is possible in high end audio".

Case in point, the review I was perusing was for the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 speakers at $100,000/pr (incidentally, the 'entry level' to their Ultra range!), which were of course on Dave McNair's "very short list of the best sounding speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear". But like 99.9% of the reviews I see on such sites, they are very much a passive design.

No doubt there is an underlying reason for this (more boxes makes more commercial sense), but I wonder if we haven't been sold the idea that to get to the highest of high end audio, as portrayed in such sites/magazines and as displayed at audio shows, box swapping with passives is the way to go!?

Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.

Just a thought...
Recently, I posted a link to a YouTube review of the Hedd Type 5s. The reviewer starts by saying that he rarely discusses actives as he’s not too keen on the studio monitor sound … but then goes on to say that the Hedds are a pleasant surprise. What’s more, his audiophile friend is also pleasantly surprised as the speakers don’t conform to the sound that they both expected.
 

tuga

. . .
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Ric
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This is all factually incorrect for example you don’t have to convert to PCM and back again as multitrack recorders exist and I can think of labels producing new music recording purely in DSD with no conversion but it’s for a different forum.

As far as I know it is not possible to mix DSD unless it is converted to DXD (352.8kHz 32-bit PCM).

If it is possible then please post a link to the source of that information. I love to be educated.
 

StingRay

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Ray
HiFi Trade?
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Whilst reading a review on one of the online review sites, as I do from time to time, it dawned on me that perhaps part of why so many people in this hobby avoid actives and stick to box-swapping, may have something to do with the equipment seen most regularly on review sites and as displayed at high-end audio shows.

How often do you see actives reviewed on the likes of Stereophile or PTA for example?

It seems the cost of the equipment being reviewed on these sites 'traditional' sites is growing exponentially and comments abound describing how the latest speakers/amps display "what is possible in high end audio".

Case in point, the review I was perusing was for the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 speakers at $100,000/pr (incidentally, the 'entry level' to their Ultra range!), which were of course on Dave McNair's "very short list of the best sounding speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear". But like 99.9% of the reviews I see on such sites, they are very much a passive design.

No doubt there is an underlying reason for this (more boxes makes more commercial sense), but I wonder if we haven't been sold the idea that to get to the highest of high end audio, as portrayed in such sites/magazines and as displayed at audio shows, box swapping with passives is the way to go!?

Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.

Just a thought...
That’s because actives will kill a lot of sales which is not good for the dealers. My view of mags is to promote products and then they get advertising revenue.
Most products they review are sold by dealers, it is all part of the network. The UK market is different from the US.
 
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tuga

. . .
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Ric
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
That’s because actives will kill a lot of sales which is not good for the dealers. My view of mags is to promote products and then they get advertising revenue.
Most products they review are sold by dealers, it is all part of the network. The UK market is different from the US.

They kill sales in general and also amplifier manufacturers.
If I were a distributor/dealer that would not make me happy. Cables would make me happy though. :p
 

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