Active Speakers Better? No, per Michael Borresen

The best sounding speaker I have had the pleasure to hear is made by Borresen.

I recently spent time with Michael Borresen in Seattle at a show. It was slow so

I was able to speak with him for a time. I asked him if he plans an active speaker. 

His answer was a definitive and immediate "No". He said separates sound better.


His statement flies in the face of what passes in most audio corners as commonly recognized facts. 


Sadly I am too technically challenged to convey any of his further explanation.


I invite all intelligent commentary on this question. Theoretical or not.


@lonemountain , that would be awesome, you run in some high profile circles and I would appreciate checking it out. There is a "Virtual Systems" area here, you just go to the page and their is a link to Create System to start your system, you can list components, add comments and add pics. If you are able to upload measurements that would be a plus.

I notice you use 7 channel bed layer, have you tried adding wide channels at 60 degrees before for 9 channels? I find it much better for music in immersive audio.


Fully active digital xover triamped/biamped speakers using pure digital input amps would simply kill any speaker alive.....he he......that statement will get you going.

The Peachtree GaN 1 is a 200 watt a channel stereo amp that has coax input only. It converts PCM directly to PWM.....there are no linear amplifier stages or feedback......this is the same as Tact, Lyndorf and Technics.....but according to the guy that makes these inexpensive modules.....he thinks they sound better than Technics.......check out the thread on the amp here on Audiogon.

The module in the GaN 1 is a 4 channel amp (50 watts each) that combines two pairs in differential mode to make 200 watts. If you bought two of these $2000 amps and rewired each one so you had a three channel amp.....two 50 watters and one 200 watter per could then tri-amp using a minidsp digital xover or other pure digital xover. You could then hardwire the outputs of the amps directly to the voice coil wire of drivers mounted on a super damped and braced open baffle....or box....if you like box sound. Now you have a triamped speaker that uses no DAC, no preamp, no linear amps, no passive xover.  By using software in the digital domain you can time align the drivers, make the frequency flat as a board at your listening position and set the xover at any slope and frequency you want.  This would simply blow your frickin mind. The volume would be controlled in the digital domain in the server/streamer using lossless digital volume control. What I suggest has never been done before but is available now. You could do it yourself......but most here are not DIYers. I am sure there are manufacturers of speakers that will be implementing exactly what I suggest inside a loudspeaker......The output board weighs less than 2 lbs......the revolution is now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those fearing passive networks and driver integration issues seem to be a logical choice for a full-range driver system. Since it's active. 1 amp selected to best match transducers 1 driver no network. Maybe that's where you active lovers need to be in the end. And keep in mind many actives still use a passive part to keep drivers from blowing during amp turn-on or amp damage. And is the cabinet really the best place for an amp and an active crossover to reside? I have to fix so so many subwoofers that have an amp and active all-in-one box they don't have longevity. Is your costly active just a short-term friend that gets binned in a few years when amps fail?

@ricevs , that is an interesting direction to go, DIY. I know GR Research and Crites have kits for speakers. Do you think you could take an off the shelf $ amp and and $ speaker, do a little DIY and make it sound $$$?

@johnk , my Paradigm active spekaers have an LED light that makes the logo glow green. When you max it out they turn red so you know to turn it down.