Powered speakers show audiophiles are confused

17 of 23 speakers in my studio and home theater systems are internally powered. My studio system is all Genelec and sounds very accurate. I know the best new concert and studio speakers are internally powered there are great technical reasons to design a speaker and an amp synergistically, this concept is much more important to sound quality than the vibration systems we often buy. How can an audiophile justify a vibration system of any sort with this in mind.


@phusis i think you made a great point about what I said about @kingharold horn system with years of trial and error concerning amps with the proper speakers. What I'm preaching is the inconsistencies when audiophiles read a TAS article and spend $200k hoping their system is great. Audiophiles can do good research look at the physics, talk to people with more experience and then get the system wrong. That's ok getting things wrong really only enhances our lives getting things wrong for the right reason is life. We are not dealing with understood hard science in sound, microphones, speakers, etc. there will always be room for experimentation in the sound world.

A common theme in in the audiophile world that is so wrong is assuming that the sound engineer doing the recording and mixing is an incredibly dedicated artist who    is painstakingly agonizing about every detail of the music. They are often on a time crunch like everyone else there are always many many compromises. Audiophiles are like people who watch House on TV they think the hospital assigned 3 doctors to work on your health problem, nope sound engineers are under the stress of business, time, and outrageously requests by artists who have no idea what they are demanding and will do detrimental things to the music. 
Also microphones and original recordings aren't all they're cracked up to be even the best microphones aren't adequate to record very dynamic sounds like a gun shot, keys dangling, or a Saturn 5 rocket. I always used at least 2 or 3 mics for even simple gun shots usually full load blanks that are still much quieter than real gun shots one mic for the direct sound with the gain very low so the signal won't over modulate, another mic to record the first large reflection of the sound with a bit higher gain then another mic farther away to record the echo with hi win to give the acoustic space a little life. All these mics had to have a gain structure that assumed the signal was too dynamic for the mic/recorder and would be put together later in the recording process. There are no predefined levels to set the mics to you have to listen to the space and then guess on how loud the gun / sound is. Even the boom operator who are micing the shot may be holding the mic at a strange angle to accommodate a shadow or an actor who doesn't want the boom in their eye line, lots of compromise even on the biggest movies and recording studios always. 

It cracks me up when I see a thread and a HT enthusiast is going on about capturing the "directors intent". You have no idea what amount of time, effort and budget were devoted to the blueray vs the theatrical release. I can guarantee it was MUCH less compared to the theatrical mix.

@donavabdear I find your comments interesting about movies/video. We hear tell over in music about the procedures in location sound. I am solely focused on recording studios and I do not find that to be true there. Al Schmidt, one of the better known "good" engineers (Diana Krall for example) had a story floating about him spending an entire day getting a good snare drum sound. Knowing him, I believe it, he was old school (you MOVE THE MICROPHONE you don’t use EQ). Some of the newer guys using plug ins and zero analog gear are different, but most of their work is not audiophile targeted work. George Massenburg is another one, loves analog, very particular about everything in the studio-his recordings are pristine. The guys I know in between, the ones that work a lot and have multiple projects going all the time, work to get "a sound" Chris Issacs sound in Wicked Game, I know him and he would work all day to get a "cool" sound-not necessarily an audiophile one. Killers Hot Fuss was another, I know him well and he used a lot of mid level end gear to get the sound he was looking for. But that’s the point, these guys are looking for a "sound" that is unique.



spent an en most of the music recording guys I know, fin that

@lonemountain In production sound 90% of all our energy is to accurately record the actors dialog, we would like to use a boom mic like the Sennheiser MKH-50 all the time but when the stupid directors (yes I'm still bitter) shoot wide and tight shots at the same time we can't get a boom mic in and we have to rely on hidden mics or lav mics hidden inside the actors clothing. The boom operator memorizes all the lines and points the mic at each actor as close as possible to the camera frame line without entering into the shot or throwing a shadow on anything in the frame. The mixer blends all the microphones booms and lavs raising each mic when the actor speaks, it's a lot like playing an instrument that is the actors, we try to minimize background and any noise that would interfere with the dialog. 

I called on Coffee Sound in Hollywood for years and it was indeed a whole different world of gear.