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.

128x128donavabdear

@kota1 I think the Bryston system is probably the smartest there is. I honestly don't know how audiophiles don't think active speakers are the way to get the best sound? If powered speakers are scary because you are worried about your amps going out of style then go active with outboard crossovers. The Bryston system should be the blueprint for a 3 way speaker that includes inputs from the crossovers and outputs to specific frequency windows. If all sound equipment were mad like this audiophiles wouldn't have to say "hey guys I'm buying as set of $140k XXX speakers what amp should I get?" really stupid commentary not on the one seeking info but the audiophile industry in general. Why does anyone put up with it, answer, because there is no alternative. 

When I saw that they used Bryston amps to remix Kind of Blue in Atmos at Capitol Records I realized that equipment must be perfect for immersive audio. I think the price is very reasonable and like that you can "bring your own amp" if you already have one and don’t want to buy Bryston. My Active 40’s are about the same size as the Mini-T’s and of course that enhanced the appeal for an immersive setup. I think the bigger Model T’s are great if you want a 2 channels setup but if you have subs and are going to send that bass to the subs the towers aren’t necessary. Having a digital crossover offers all of the DSP advantages plus software updates. In terms of what "audiophiles think" it is not about thinking. Nobody buys a sportscar for the MPG or being practical. It is about amp rolling and the adrenaline rush of putting your own spin on it. Going passive is NOT "logical" as you get crazy more value with active. I like getting the customization from the front end/source components while having the drivers/cabinets/active crossover and amps matched by the speaker designer. I do agree that you can go passive and get good or better SQ but it will cost at least double or more to achieve that AND there is also risk of a mismatch.

@kota1 @donavabdear Far Field multi way actives are not new or revolutionary. The ATC all analog hand made 4 channel P4 amp with built in (analog) crossovers is used to power the "active" pro ATC SCM200s and SCM300s used in studios for 20+ years?  These are some of the very few far fields with sufficient resolution one can confidently mix with them, everything hand made custom.  

Prior to this kind of speaker and the big Genelecs like them, the far fields in studios were traditional horn loaded high SPL speakers used to impress the band for playback and used by the engineer for tracking (tracking live instruments can often present sufficient peaks to blow up most speakers).  These were common back in the rock and roll era of the 60s, 70s and 80s.  Nowadays the super high SPLhorn loaded far fields are most popular in hip hop studios. 

Pink Floyds Astoria boat, East West in LA (called "western recorders" back in the 60s and 70s where Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin recorded), and the well known BlackBird Studio in Nashville (where a huge number of famous country acts, Jack White and more) all still use ATC 200/P4 or 300/P4 systems daily with a wide variety of artists using them and their near field of choice.     

There is a consumer system that parallels this ATC pro set up but with a different floor standing arrangement called the SCM200 towers and SCM 300 towers, with almost the same complement of drivers, same P4 amp pair, also all analog.  

Brad

Now I want one, I'll bet the amp is as indestructible as ATC speakers. 

Nice to hear from you @lonemountain great info. Is there any way someone can use specs to put together a high end system that is active? What I’m asking for is a way to use the specs on speakers amps and crossovers that would work together optimally, I’m sure the answer is no but why. Say I buy a very expensive spare of speakers and then take the passive crossovers out then pick amps for the drivers together with outboard electronic crossovers. I really don’t want to guess when spending so much money.