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.

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@markw1951
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. 

@markw1951

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.

Brad

 

@donavabdear

Sorry I thought I answered this. I have not heard the Lyngdorf system so I don’t what to think about it. I assume it’s a good product (to have a business actually survive on it), but worth the money? No idea.

In your video he talks a lot about the "Story" behind the model he designed, so if you are a fan, it’s a cool video. If you don’t know anything about Lyngdorf, they’re inner tech, you won’t learn much from this. These kinds of videos are effective and convincing you when someone smart like this starts talking about bass that is "so fast, it’s like a real live concert". You tend to believe them but they actually say little about the support information that proves what they are saying is actually true.

John Meyer, Billy Woodman (ATC), Ilpo Martikainen (Genelec), Raymond Cooke (KEF), these folks knew what they are talking about and got straight to it.

By the way, I don't think John Meyer had the first active studio monitor, that was Genelec in the very early 80s.  I know as I was hauling their samples round Chicago in the early 80s.  No one wanted to hear it!   ATC was also building active systems around this time, locally in the UK,  mostly custom systems for specific buyers. The Meyer HD1 which had some success for sure, came a bit later, around 1990.  By this time Genelec and ATC was already installing large far field active monitors.   In the UK ATC had customers like the Astoria Boat owned by David Gilmour.  Genelec already well on its way in the monitor business in the US with an active small meter bridge monitors (1031) that completely dominated LA movie score mixing and music recording.  You still find people using them!  

@lonemountain I have a feeling you know some of those guys, I got to talk to John Meyer for 2 minuets, I was star struck, the best part was I got to also meet Roger Nichols at the same workshop, I think it was at an AES convention about '85' or so. I worked with many of the biggest stars in Hollywood but those were the guys who were really cool to me.

Steinway Lyngdorf make every component and their speakers together in exactly the way this thread has tried to describe the best practices of system synergy. The other side of that synergy is the fact that I already have a 15K$ Lyngdorf processor and I couldn't use it in the Steinway system, also I love my surround sound speakers and I couldn't use them in this system.

 

@donavabdear

What do you think about waiting until 2024 to consider getting the Steinway system? Get rid of the hum in your current system and maybe try a matching Anthem amp for your Paradigm speakers in 2023 and then see how you like it?