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...cold and fatiguing.
With two dedicated amps in the JBLs, why are they described as powered rather than active?
it is not always true that you get better sound with active. for example with regards to dynamics or bass extension many active systems lag behind. the fact is that it is possible to get nice sound with active speakers but not guaranteed. for myself i tried adtive 3 times with sub $1k prices and alsys found the sound to be analytical, cold and fatiguing.
I am Active on my desktop (Adam F7 and laptop) and Powered in the kitchen/dining area (JBL LSR305 + portable CD player and phone). Love the sound, convenience, and simplicity of it all. The Adam F7 sound especially good. The JBL LSR305 are good enough for first floor milling about/cooking/entertaining.
AMP can and usually does fail before any of the speaker drivers do and its hard to get the exact replacement amps and its more cumbersome to deal with
the LSR 305 is the most incredible amazing speaker ever?
The reason why I wont go active is because a powered/active speakers AMP can and usually does fail before any of the speaker drivers do and its hard to get the exact replacement amps and its more cumbersome to deal with...most warranty just so happen to expire when the amp fails ...with passive speakers they have less mechanical/electrical parts, that is why the speaker drivers can last a very long time and not too mention they are way easier to replace as replacement drivers are more readily available then a active amp designed just for that specific set of speakers.
I have two pair of active speakers: Brines Acoustics M18F200 (single driver floor standers that I use with mono-block amplification - all single driver speakers are active be default); and Dynaudio BM5 MkIII. Neither are still available. Active speakers use a low voltage crossover that feeds the single channel amps that each serve a single driver (typical of studio monitors). Powered speakers schematically are identical to passive speakers but use a built-in amp (many like Audioengine put a stereo amp in one of a pair of speakers). I've related this several times on AC before, but 16 years ago auditioned Paradigm Studio 20 v.2 ($800/pair passive 2-way stand mounts) versus Paradigm Active 20 ($1600/pair actives with the same drivers/cabinet). It was no contest. Greatly improved dynamics, flatter frequency response (a revelation), and unbelievably deep/full bass. Passersby were gobsmacked when they realized that they weren't listening to the Studio 100 ($2000/pair 3-way 5 driver floor standers), but the Active 20 imaged better. The advantage of active design was one of a handful of euphonies in 40+ years in audio.
My active DIY speakers, three way design (HF - 125W; MF - 125W; LF - 350W) using JBL Pro drivers and a DBX Venu360 loudspeaker management system for crossover and DSP.
Certainly a desktop or second system or HT would make great applications for active speakers. But when it comes to high fidelity sound that can rival some of the best systems you find at audio shows, then active speakers have a long way to go. I'll give it 10 - 15 more years. Amp technology is a slow growth process. Hopefully, by then, we'll be able to get rid of speaker cables, ICs, and power cords. High end, flat paneled, motorized ceiling mounted, wireless, rechargeable, active speakers with voice command volume control that automatically adjusts itself to the listener's preferences and to the room's acoustics.
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