Intriguing inquiry, are floor-stand speakers always better than active speakers?

Hi guys,

Just a general wondering though, nowadays I've seen a lot of new active speakers, and truth to be told, I find them quite professional indeed, when I go into an audio shop and ask some advice, some might even encourage to purchase the bookshelf speakers, as they're more cost-effective and space-saving hahah.

All that asides, regarding the sound quality matter, it ain't bad at all, but I'm not sure if it's my living room just not that big or some technical matters, the sound experience is actually vivid, but yeah I also think when you put the extra circuit inside the speaker for amplifying use, it'd certainly affect the original performance more or less. Especially under this digital streaming era, every part seems to be specifically separated, so it can perform to its fullest, and lessen the interference between each device.

Anyways, let me know what you think, I'd be grateful, or maybe share you existing setup with us!



@ghdprentice --

"Yes, as in all things there are advantages and disadvantages in different system designs. It is great to discuss different approaches to system design. Most audiophiles are very cautious when trying a new paradigm. I have never had the money I needed to buy the equipment I wanted, and haven’t had the money to cover a step in the wrong direction.

Professionally I spent decades choosing new technology for global corporations… decisions each of millions of dollars, and sometimes upon which the very continued existence of the corporation would depend. I am very good at it, ideas that sound good and follow a new path are easy to find, unfortunately many are dead ends. I am not saying active is a dead end… but at this point in high end audio it is not the low risk proposition. Great possibility for one and done, cutting end types, well healed. But, for me, I would kick the tires a lot before heading down this path, as rosy as it is conceptually."

A glance at your great looking and no doubt very capable main system (one of three, no less) puts the cost of all well in excess of $100k, so I hope you’ve come closer to realizing your sonic dreams.

Exploring home audio reproduction avenues and where to possibly settle here takes a good dose of trial and error and open mindedness to follow an intuition, which in turn may invite risk and finding oneself sometimes in uncharted territory. Fortunately risk taking in home audio reproduction doesn’t call for considering the survival of global corporations, so it’s a "free" playground to gain some experience that should invite exploration rather than being, perhaps, as you pointed to: (overly) cautious.

One of the good things with risk taking and exploration - which needn’t cost a lot of dough, I might add, nor be devoid of careful analysis - is that principles, areas and segments of audio reproduction one may have more or less (un)consciously deemed unsuitable for domestic use, are suddenly "unveiled" to prove the contrary scenario. This is quite an uplifting and freeing discovery, and moreover sheds some light on audiophilia being very much a monetary affair rather than one primarily invested in the physics of audio - wherever that may lead.

A few years back I took a chance with a pair of used pro cinema speakers (augmented by a pair of my existing horn subs) at a very fair price, thinking they’d be an interesting and not too expensive experiment into accommodating more readily some physical properties in audio reproduction, while also trying out a fully active-as-separate-components configuration. They were later fitted with a (much) bigger horn variant intended for setups in large cinema auditoriums, something I initially deemed too bonkers for a home setting, but it turned out so successfully, also with dialing in filter settings and doing measurements that it’s now a permanent part to my setup.

Is it close to perfection? Of course not (what is?), but you know that giddy feeling of sitting in front of your stereo - not really intending for it to be a listening session - and it spontaneously dawns on you that what you’re hearing is just downright awesome? No genre of music is left by the wayside, what is being fed is served, no restrictions to size and scale of presentation, dynamics galore, totally effortless overall reproduction and honest 20-25Hz extension at ANY volume, prodigious resolution and insight. Conceptually few audiophiles would have given this a chance, but that’s where risk taking becomes your friend.



Good discussion. There are many approaches to high end audio. Typically they reflect a persons personality. Often idealistic vs pragmatic. One of the reasons I take a fairly conservative approach here is there are a lot of folks that are fairly new to the pursuit. Many do not know what a complex and multifaceted pursuit it is. Contradictory recommendations are the norm.  It is somewhat like investing. Until you have a lot of experience under your belt and know what you are doing you should not take on more complex, higher risk avenues. This is why I am a strong supporter of more main stream solutions. I completely support going digital only if you are just starting. Not trying to discourage exploring, but want as many as possible to be as successful as possible in this pursuit.