Active or passive?

Why/Why not for each...?
Passive: Simpler, no noise, no additional A/D, D/A stages.

Active: Greater control, higher efficiency, and a lot more parts in the way. Multiple amps, cables, and A/D, D/A + DSP in the way. 

You need not have DSP involved in an active speaker.  As examples, ATC and Linn have been making active speakers for years with no DSP, and having worked for a dealer who sold both I can tell you the active versions smoked their passive models and it wasn’t close.  Also, when you consider you’re getting all the amps along with the speakers it can actually be a bit of a bargain for the price.  The fact is there aren’t many good active consumer speakers available so your choices are severely limited and may not be as much to your tastes as one of the many more passive designs.  Personal taste trumps active vs. passive in my book. 

As to why there aren’t more active speakers available, I think it’s due to the flexibility of picking your own amp at your comfortable price point and also being able to upgrade in the future.  So you have both flexibility of sound characteristics as well as being able to spend less upfront with the option to improve your system later as funds allow.  But that’s just my guess. 
Just did a fair A-B comparison between ATC SCM 19 active and passive.

started with passive.
ATC P2 amp connected directly to Linn Akurate DS with Katalyst via balanced cables.

actives connected directly to same source via balanced cables.

my test subject was my wife who loves music but has zero audiophile knowledge. 
Room/power/music and speaker placement all the same.

she noticed a difference right away and when asked she identified exactly what most would expect. Active has better bass definition in addition to the already fabulous mids and highs. 
So passive for price and the ability to build system as funds are available. Also for something most do not mention. “ remote control”
Active have individuals power buttons on the bottom back and a PITA. You can over come it with switchable wall sockets proper power strips etc but still... PITA.

next test will be to add in ATC preamp to passive as I am told it will improve minds and Bass. We shall see. 
If you can afford it and deal with power switching. Active wins hands down. 

Great thead.  I owned the Vandersteen Treo's for a few years after many with Proacs (various ones).  I went through a few amps with the various Proacs from Quicksilver tubes to higher end NAD to a few others along the way.  

I have heard many of the active or semi active speakers over the years as I actively listen to new products constantly and have since I started in audio as a kid in '69.  There was always something special about the active speakers that I found alluring even if I wasn't in love with the voicing.  In Europe, there are many more who go active for so many reasons.  

I spoke with Richard Vandersteen at Audio Connection in Jersey a few years ago about why he does semi active.  He said that the only reason he didn't do fully active was due to the US market and folks wanting to tinker and constantly change amps.  He said the more factors a designer can control, the better the speaker.  Impedances and all the other electronic stuff that make some top amps and speakers NOT play well in the sandbox tougher are perfect examples of guessing and and not science.  

It makes complete sense to most folks as the designer can fully control HOW his speaker will react.  It's also less money for amp cases and interconnects that often cost as much as the speakers themselves (in some cases).  Just total control of the sound the way the designer wants things to sound.

Vandersteen now makes two amps and I'm sure there will be a pre eventually to compliment the amps.  It's his way of doing a sort of a active system for the US market.  There is synergy happening.  

I upgraded (when I was finally able to) to the semi active Quatro's and have never looked back.  The bass is something so special for a 14k speaker.  If I ever wanted to add two more of his EQ'd subs for even smoother bass (pretty darn smooth already) or more likely more impactful bass in my large open loft, I could.  If he offered a fully active system like some of the others are doing, I'd have gone there in a heartbeat.  

It's fewer cabinets and products, fewer wires and cords and probably much less money for better sound.  We all have our own opinions and no one is right or wrong obviously.  Different ways to do the same thing.
There was always something special about the active speakers that I found alluring even if I wasn’t in love with the voicing.
For bass active is the best, tightness and control "the alluring"
But for the mids and highs go quality passive, then you be happy with "the voicing".

Cheers George