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.


@lonemountain What do you think about the Steinway Lyngdorf Model B  system. They have the same speaker philosophy as we do I think. There are some good short videos on their page. 

Can't quite imagine a Nelson Pass class A amplifier in a speaker cabinet.  So you have a few feet of speaker cable for an outboard amp.  I don't see it as much of a problem.  

Say you buy a 200k $ speaker system then add an amp (Nelson Pass A), is that amp the best it can be for that speaker? The answer is no, unless that amp was designed for each driver in that speaker it is not a perfect fit. The equation is very simple. 

Also even the first real hi fi powered monitors that did well in studios the Meyer sound M1 had class A  amps up to about 5W the rest was class AB a very high percentage of listening is below 5W. John Meyer told me that himself. 


You are completely missing the idea. Active is not about where the amplifier is, it’s about where the crossover is. Sticking an amp in speaker box using a passive crossover is just the same (passive crossover with lots and lots of wire between amp and speaker) mess repeated. The technical reasons this old fashioned passive system is bad is

1) the losses through the passive crossover with what could be hundreds of feet of copper on the LF crossover in an air core inductor

2) the lack of the amp "seeing" the speaker directly,

3) the changes a speaker presents to a passive crossover as the speaker heats up, and finally

4) the lack of phase control through a passive crossover.

In short, the bulk of the benefit of active is NOT about amp to speaker cable length- that is merely one benefit out of many. I dare say all the money you spent on that wonderful pass labs amp is mostly lost sending it "through" a passive crossover with all those lossy parts and lots and lots of wire that change what the amp sounds like. You think you have 3 feet of wire on your [passive] speaker? Guess again.


I am convinced the passive speaker crowd is just being manipulated by amplifier marketing. Or manipulated by speaker makers who cannot build an active system.  What a shame! Now building an active system around pass labs amps and an electronic crossover- different story. That would be remarkable.