what to go for passive or active speaker

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dragonfly, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly
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    I know that speaker choice is a matter of personal taste,and most people have passive speaker system,and would like to drive them with good quality amp/processor.
    I am now looking in the market hopping to change the main speakers.Do active speakers produce better precision sound than passive speakers?.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    There was an excellent article in Secrets of Home Theater here giving details of the advantages & disadvantages of active speakers.

    My personal opinion is that your question is impossible to answer as there are as many flavours of active speaker as there are passive.
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    My view has changed on actives of late. At the low end, passives are the only way to go I think.... but once you get towards the medium, you can get a very good active set for under £2500 which I really really doubt will be bettered by a passive/amp combo of similar price, in fact I have a feeling that the right actives at £2500 will be competitive with a passive/amp combo maybe of somewhat greater value. From there, Im not sure. I dont know anything of high end actives, up to about £1500/2000 a pair, but that is as far as it goes..... so its possible that at the high end, passives/amp will again be better simply because there is much much more choice.

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  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I'd have to agree with buns and say that the lower end of the active market has improved a lot recently(and also don't forget the increasing numbers of Meridian and other actives coming onto the second hand markets....some real bargains there).
    I've had Linn Actives for some years prior to my current set of B&Ws,and have been very happy with them,culminating in some years with a set of triamped Keltiks.....all have superb transient responses,but the bigger Keltiks required huge amounts of power(in that case I was using 3 separate Krells rated at over 500W per channel).
    My point here is that I was very happy with them,but found on moving house that the bass end was just too much for a very old house,and I changed to the smaller B&Ws,which work much better in the current room...as much depends on the room speaker interaction as whether the speakers are active or passive.
    I might also add that the best speakers I've ever heard are passive...Wilson System 5 and 7's.
     
  5. chris

    chris
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    I've just upgraded from B&W 602s2, CC6s2 to 3xMackie HR624's and they are brilliant.
    I cannot belive the bass that comes out of these things......they are so good that i now have my Sub crossover set to 60Hz and everything sounds brill.
    They are more money than the B&W, so would expect an improvement....but for the price and the size i am well chuffed.
    I was origanally going to go for either the M&K Pro 1510's or the M&K 850's.....but then people started talking about the Active route and i looked into it a bit more and decided to give it a try......i am glad i did....i just wish now, that i had brought all 6 speakers, instead of just the 3.
    I dont think they are sounding at there best yet, as i only have cheap cable running to them, but hopefully i will sort that out in the next month or so.
    They are not as bright sounding as the M&K (Although that might be down to my cable), but they are not flat like my 602's sounded like, after hearing the 1510's.....they are just right for me....i can make them a bit brighter as there are loads of different filter settings on the back, but they sound good as they are....
    These are being run from the pre-outs of my denon 3803 (if you are intrested).
    If you are thinking of getting Actives then i would recommened getting a demo of these.
     
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly
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    Thanks Chris,
    Can you tell me where Mckie hr624's can be obtained please I like the way you've described it.
    I now know which direction to take,I have read the secrets of home theater sent by Ian J ,and Burns experience.
     
  7. chris

    chris
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    I got mine from Turnkey.co.uk, but digital village sell them as well....try doing a search and you will get a load of infoo come up......they have gone up in price now(Bummer)......but i think they are still worth it.....hopefully by the time i have saved the money for the other 3, the price might come down again......they have gone up about £100 per speaker.:eek:
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Active is the way to go for many sound technical reasons, oh it also sounds better for less money!
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    A lot depends on the implimentation of the system( also true of passive systems) and in particular the crossovers and amps,so whilst I'd certainly agree that there are many very good reasons for active systems,it's still also true that at the very top end of speaker design,there are as many good passive designs as active.

    I've had both active and passive systems over the years,and love the transient abilities and bass control of active systems,and I'd think one of the best ways forward is with a digitally equalised active system(i.e.room and speaker phase correction).
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The Mackie's are £685 from here
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    every time I have heard a speaker system which is available in both active and passive versions, I have always prefered the active. They have also been better priced especially if the amps are built into the speakers. This doesn't mean there aren't good passive speakers, there are. I simply think active is better and with 7 + bpxes hanging around av rooms nowdays it seems to make sense.

    PS I use passive currently
     
  12. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Beekeeper...I definitely agree with that....whenever I've listened to active Vs passive versions of the same speakers(Linn/ATC etc)I've always preferred the active versions,which just seem to have better attack,definition and staging.

    The point about size/packaging with anywhere up to 7 channels also makes a lot of sense.

    I also use passive currently,and the best speaker/amp combo I've yet heard(admittedly somewhat expensive)is also passive...Wilson System 7 and Krell.
     
  13. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am sort of having this debate with myself at the moment. Do I blow £4k+ on a pair of Bryston monsters or do I buy three active speakers for the same money to do L, C and R. Tough one...
     
  14. alexs2

    alexs2
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    It is a tough one....having somewhat committed myself on the amp front,to something I really like the sound of,I'll either stay with the passives,or potentially go back at some stage to active crossovers and external power amps...than again,there's always Meridian to consider.....good luck!
     
  15. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    Chris.

    Nice to hear you're enjoying the HR624's:smashin:

    Great performance for reasonable outlay:)


    Adz
     

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