Active Speaker Choice

Active speakers utilizing DSP seem to take the room out of the equation, so now I'm now considering going this route, at least at my present residence.

Lots of buzz arounds names like: Dutch & Dutch, ATC SMC 40A, Kii Three, Buchardt A700. 

Most are pretty big bucks, so pricewise, I would prefer to lean more towards the Bucharts' but I'm open a bit (used?)

Most are difficult to demo, so please, if you have comments or recommendation these or any other active speaker you have heard or can recommend, it would greatly be appreciated.

High-amp, the Europeans love these because they are very efficient space wise. The amps are in the speaker so you don' have one or two more ugly boxes hanging out. You can buy any speaker and make it "active" by getting a room control preamp like The DEQX, Anthem STR or Trinnov Amethyst. But, if you like the all in one solution all of these speakers you mention are fine.
Thanks mijostyn. I honestly DON'T have a bunch of room for separate components and cabling here. As much as I love all that stuff, I think for this particular place, active may be the best route to take here. 
Nothing can take the room out of the equation.  DSP can help some situations but if you've got a resonance at 60hz DSP can't eliminate it. 

I've got some big active ATCs that I got used for relatively cheap.  They aren't DSP but they are unusually easy to integrate into a room.  I think there are two main reasons for this.  Firstly, they have small diameter midranges which makes for better dispersion.  They don't have wildly varying off axis response so the reflected sound isn't a lot different than the direct sound.  Secondly, the bass starts to drop slowly at a relatively high frequency.  Most companies like to advertise as low of a -3db point as possible.  In my opinion, this causes more problems than it solves due to room problems.  My ATCs have 2 9" drivers in each box.  That's enough for plenty of punch and dynamics but the gradually reduced output at lower frequencies means room nodes aren't excited nearly as much.  I think the combination of large woofers and gradually reduced low frequency output is the way to go for main speakers.  Fill in the missing deep bass with a sub or subs.  
Thanks Jon, Ya, my room really sucks! Lots of hard surfaces, big windows, irregularly shape, etc, etc, etc. I'd love to tinker around but that will cost a bunch of money. I was hoping to just spend once and get the full meal deal in one small package. Subs would add more cabling and take up more room in my case.
The A700 are the least expensive of the ones you've mentioned. I tried  but returned them. The bass was to boomy not well integrated in the speaker. If you like a lot of bass and want to spend time I imagine they could be tamed but my wife didn't care for them so i didn't really bother. I liked the Dutch and Dutch but they are a lot more expensive. One of the best measuring down to 100hz I've had in my room. They sound exceptional as well very easy to use REW to integrate them, I had one null at 60hz I believe was floor bounce.  There are a couple more you might look at, Genelec 8351b and Mesanovic RTM10. I ended up with the 8351b I preferred the narrow directivity  my listening position is only about 2 meters and they were the most neutral of the ones I tried. I like accurate neutral speakers. I haven't heard any of the others but I doubt you would go wrong with any of them.  
If you want small package full range you might give Devialet Phantoms a look. 
You can take a look at Meridian DSP speakers.  If you are open to buying a set used, the floor standing DSP5000s have plenty of bass for their size.  Depending on budget, you could also look to the DSP5200s which are the newer model.
djones51: Thanks for the info on the A700s' . I also thought the Buchardts' may not be for me. Your confirmation of that save me a whole bunch of time and money! I will check out the Devialets'.

jdbsi: I actually saw a couple of pairs of the Meridian DSP’s for sale here on AG, thanks. I will check out them out as well. Just starting a major remodel on my house so definetly have some time to shop. 
@high-amp --

Some interesting choices out there with active all-in-one speakers. I can certainly vouch for active ATC's - they're very good, honest sounding, no nonsense speakers. There also the intriguing Geithain RL901K that emulates a point source and packs a punch with its 16" woofer. For a separately boxed, active solution there's JBL M2 with external Crown amps and build-in, preset DSP. An even more all-out, all-in-on solution for the individual who can lay off audiophile conventions is Meyer Sound's Acheron series. Don't let their pro origins fool you. 

You can buy any speaker and make it "active" by getting a room control preamp like The DEQX, Anthem STR or Trinnov Amethyst. ...

+1 to poster mijostyn's suggestion here. Active-as-separates is what I do myself, but there's a (potentially steep) learning curve involved setting up filter values by yourself (if they aren't preset, like Sanders Sound's ESL hybrids), and so it's not plug and play. 
Another option to consider. I purchased the pair pictured on the website. Very much worthy of consideration. The Mini DSP studio adds about 1k to the price. I am still playing with target curve in Dirac and some minor PEQ adjustments. I definitely have a bit of a learning curve in respect to the possibilities that these have.
phusiscsmgolf, all good stuff gentleman. Between you and the others here, I can see I have my homework cut out for me. Thank you. 
Check out System Audio.  Scandinavian company that make glorious sound song speakers that aren’t crazy expensive.  
I am putting together an opening order in the next month as I think I want to start working with them.  Nice finishes and plenty of power.  
Just watched today a live comparison on Alpha Audio
of 3 active speakers, ATC SCM 40A , Dutch & Dutch 8c and 
a Grimm. Granted not cheap, but a perspective on what
you can expect.
verdantaudio. Boy, do those SA's remind me a lot of the Buchardt's. Even down to the specs, Ram tweaks (Buchartd's Master Tunings), and country of origin!

totem395, thanks so much for this, I will definitely check it out.

If you can’t do many room treatments you should look into narrow dispersion speakers and sit near or mid field, you will hear the speaker more than the room. In a room with a lot of hard surfaces, windows, etc.. like you describe you’ll get better sound quality with narrow, look at the dynaudio XD line they’re fairly narrow and the XD60 is full range.
djones51, thanks for the heads-up on the XD60. This is one of the few lines that I can demo somewhat locally.
It must be said for actives, the main objective will always be linear phase and reduced distortion-not just the "all-in-one" package solution.  Actives are not a speaker "rack system" that creates the illusion of a better solution by reducing choices. 

Active reduces losses and errors in the system.  A proper active set up images better and resolves details better than a passive one with the same exact amps and drivers.  I demo this at nearly every hi fi show. 

The effects of copper well discussed within the cable arguments that never end.  It always strikes me why this does not seem to transfer over to the gigantic chunk of copper you know nothing about and cannot change sitting between amp and driver and how it affects the amp/driver sound.  We argue about the speaker wire hung on the back end of the passive crossover, but the crossover itself has such massive coils of copper passing audio!   We wouldn't consider such a thing if we could see it, I'm convinced.  Processing after the amplifier at speaker level will seem so "did we really do that?"  one day.  


Hey Brad, I see you are an ATC dealer, but I don't see any SCM40's on your website. I have the option of demoing a pair these an hour and a half down the road from me. Have you heard these, is it worth the drive?

djones recommends Genelecs. I was fortunate enough to hear a pair of G3's this past Saturday and they sounded awesome at $1200 a pair. djones51 has the 8341's which are 3 times the price so I can't even imagine how much better they would sound over the G3's. Going to  demo some 8331's in a couple of weeks. 

Heck, just before I listened to the G3's I listen to a pair of Meridian DSP2500SE's and honestly, my wife and I (and the dealer) all though the little G3's sounded better the the Meridians...Go figure.
The G3 is basically the same as the 8030. I have the 8351B which are in the family of The Ones, any with 83x1 at the end. I also use two subwoofers. The main difference other than price ,the 83x1 series are 3 way and have the ability to use Genelec GLM to fine tune the speakers to the room. You’ll notice the difference in accuracy with the coaxial driver and waveguide when you hear the 8331 to the G3. I’m not sure how you’re consider using these but the smaller 8030,8331 are nearfield speakers for smaller rooms or close monitoring. The guide in the link shows the best distances for use.
If you get a chance the Neumann KH310 is another great monitor though a bit different  they are laid on the side and are designed specifically left and right. Actives that are more home friendly aesthetically are Dynaudio, Elac Navis and Dali. 
murphythecat - Thanks, checking out ATC on May 22! Geithain sounds like a tough one to demo, especially when I’ve never even heard of it but sometimes those are the best ones! Have a good weekend.
Geithain is hard to get in the US. I know there's a dealer in the UK don't know if they ship to the US. 
Just like passives, Active dsp systems will have their own sound. I really like Meridian for the rich full midrange and bass. Used M is competitive and established. The models get upgrades over the years so it's worth taking some time to find out what the .2 or se add to the product, or the different tweeters over the years. 
I actually demoed a pair of $20,000 Meridian DSP 2500 SE’s and the three of us listening thought the $1600 pair of Genelec G3’s sounded better...go figure?
The dsp5200se was probably against the wall and they’re the only pair of the 3 current floor standers that are rear ported. I won’t buy a new pair of speakers without hearing them in my room first. Genelec is pretty impressive and they have their fans.
For the OP, I suspect that those Meridian DSP5200SEs you demo'd were not set-up properly.  Not questioning what you heard, but when properly set-up and configured, the Meridians are really impressive.  
I’ve run the ATC 40A speakers for over two years and there is no turning back from the immediacy and dynamics active produce.  It is truly a different and wonderful world.  With each upgrade they move forward reflecting the chosen improvement.

These are sealed box so integrate well into a less than optimal room.  I chose Isoacoustics Gaia footers coupled with carpet discs and placed GIK diffusers behind for even greater effect.

Approaching the cost factor;  you need no longer chase amplifiers, speaker wire or ride the upgrade carousel.  Transducer satisfaction guaranteed.
There’s many powered speakers out there but active dsp is another animal. Whats best forum has a very informative thread on the D&D dsp speakers and the owner/reviewer describes in detail the care put into setup and while it makes sense l think I expect dsp designs to be plug and play. ATC, Genelec and  Meridian have been around  while Kii and D&D are new kids on the block and getting press. Nobody can predict what the op will prefer.
I've had Dutch and Dutch 8c, Genelec 8351b , Buchardt A700 and none of them are plug and play. They are simple to set up but rooms are not the same they need to be calibrated. 
djones51 - you hade D&D and settled on the Genelecs?

steve59 & jdbsi - agreed, they were not set-up properly, but at $20K the DSP 2500 SE's are outta my price range.

celtic66 - going to hear the ATC SMC 40A's this Saturday at a demo price of $$11,189. which I could handle. These are in a wood grain though. So add in the white color to satisfy the WAF factor that gets me back up to $15K. Getting a bit pout of my league again... UGH!

HI High-amp.  I am not a dealer, I am the importer to the US of all ATC.  Have been for 20 years on pro, about 6 years on consumer.     Our consumer website is
Our pro website is
High-amp, I’m not advocating for meridian only justifying my own purchase because I could never recommend them at the prices they charge for new, used levels the playing field. Honestly if you understand (I don’t) how speaker placement works in your specific room any brand can make you happy.

spoutmouzert - interesting, Geithains' have been mentioned here before.
I hope they sound better than they look!
Although, it seems many of the active speakers (Genelec, Dutch & Dutch, Kii 3 & particularly the Devialet Phantoms) all have that unique look of there own. 
Check Heavenly Soundworks, FIVE17 and others. My friend Bob reviewed a few actives for audiophilestyle, he bought the floor models of Kii at Axpona, he reviewed these, then the Burchdarts, another one I think and I noticed online the Heavenly Soundworks and messaged him, he got em the next week and reviewed these as well.
He was very much impressed, don't know if would be a good fit but feel free to check it out

I prefer analog active crossovers, no DSP's. Once you go this route with multiple amplifiers, you will never go back! Stock passive crossovers suck.
luisma31 - thanks, I'll check it out.

fiesta75 - Can you please elaborate, I'm not sure how this works?

Analog active crossovers work just like digital ones, high and low pass filters before the amplifiers. Each set of drivers get its own amplifier so amps see a resistive load. This approach virtually eliminates IM distortion which is what your ears dislike most. Passive speaker crossovers are eliminated, no phase shift, added resistances or unwanted delay. Just not all the bells and whistles of a DSP, thus no digital "noise". 
Analog active crossovers work just like digital ones, high and low pass filters before the amplifiers. Each set of drivers get its own amplifier so amps see a resistive load. This approach virtually eliminates IM distortion which is what your ears dislike most. Passive speaker crossovers are eliminated, no phase shift, added resistances or unwanted delay. Just not all the bells and whistles of a DSP, thus no digital "noise".

High-amp - That's a good one, guess that was above steve. Not that expensive, was using Phase Linear and Crown when I started 42 years ago. Made my own active electronic X-overs for years. Never went back to passive crossovers for main room.
Hmm, anyway you could provide a detailed schematic on how to hook this all up in a 2-channel system? 
I'd be happy to. How many ways? 2-way, 3-way, more? Crossover slopes? Lowest cost? Just basic?