Powered Versus Passive Speakers

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JLM

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #60 on: 21 Nov 2018, 01:24 pm »
Being low voltage active crossovers can be simple or complex, but passive (or powered) crossovers being high voltage have to remain relatively simple.  As the buyer of active speakers it'd be your choice what features to use.  My active JBL 708P monitors for instance have 12 user programmable equalization filters, DAC (for digital input), frame/speaker delay (for A/V applications), and bass management for use with subwoofer(s).  I find the equalization filters very useful to tame bass anomalies that exist in every residentially sized room. 

Joe Frances

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #61 on: 23 Nov 2018, 11:57 pm »
Being low voltage active crossovers can be simple or complex, but passive (or powered) crossovers being high voltage have to remain relatively simple.  As the buyer of active speakers it'd be your choice what features to use.  My active JBL 708P monitors for instance have 12 user programmable equalization filters, DAC (for digital input), frame/speaker delay (for A/V applications), and bass management for use with subwoofer(s).  I find the equalization filters very useful to tame bass anomalies that exist in every residentially sized room.



Hmmmmm.  I have read where this thread has gone, and frankly as a non-technical person who likes music and is involved in audio as a necessary element of a music appreciation hobby,  the high level like this one above might as well be discussing how to build telecommunication transponders to monitor signals from outer space....
 

Joe Frances

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #62 on: 24 Nov 2018, 12:06 am »
As most of us know,Meadowlark is back in business with some attractive Actives, especially the Kite/Predator combo paired with a DSP system that allows for fine tuning for room adjustments. Meadowlark Audio is located not too far from me so I might have to pack up my Bamberg S3s - which I really like btw - and drive to see Pat for an A/B comparison.

http://www.bambergaudio.com/products/series3/3tmw.php

http://meadowlarksings.com

Below, meadowlark’s Pat McGinty comments ... taken from another forum:

“Master speaker designer Joe D'Appolito lays out the basics of taking useful LF measurements:

https://www.audioxpress.com/article/measuring-loudspeaker-low-frequency-response

Back in the day you'd need to spend a bundle on a MLSSA analyzer or equivalent. Now we can get the job done with a Windows based system for just 300 bucks.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayto...ed-precision-room-measurement-system--390-792

If you're venturing into DSP - which gives you delightfully fine control in the bass - knowing Joe's ideas can make the process of aligning your system so much more fun.”


I have old Meadowlark Shearwater Hot Rods that I love but are too big for my future down-sized residence, and I read about the "new" Meadowlark thanks to this reference, but what I read on my first pass throught what Patrick is up to now does not make me very excited when he uses words like "aggressive" to describe the sound he's looking to achieve...My Meadowlarks are so well-broken-in and rich sounding that I think they are lovely with a refined burnished sound.  Aggressive is that last word I would be looking for in speakers.  When you buy speakers that have built in amplification it seems to me you are stuck with the manufacturer thinks is "good sound".  Maybe that's what everyone has been saying here through the course of the discussion in this thread, but I am not sure that having no choice on the way the speakers sound is the ideal.  You trade "ease" for a loss of choice in how to balance the system.  I know the "trial and error" and "that takes time" arguments, etc...But when I heard some powered speakers at shows I didn't like the sound, and of course some of us (maybe not here in this Forum) like tubes, or think tubes might be a nice way to build the sound field we like.

charmerci

Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #63 on: 24 Nov 2018, 12:36 am »

Hmmmmm.  I have read where this thread has gone, and frankly as a non-technical person who likes music and is involved in audio as a necessary element of a music appreciation hobby,  the high level like this one above might as well be discussing how to build telecommunication transponders to monitor signals from outer space....
What I did when I was younger, was just kept reading. I picked up stuff by reading the same things over and over and learning the nomenclature little by little.

Joe Frances

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #64 on: 25 Nov 2018, 05:17 am »
What I did when I was younger, was just kept reading. I picked up stuff by reading the same things over and over and learning the nomenclature little by little.


I appreciate your optimism.... :? :? :?

Wind Chaser

Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #65 on: 27 Nov 2018, 09:26 pm »
The first thing I noticed when working on this design (PowerPlay Monitors) was that the frequency response we were able to obtain was flatter than any speaker we had ever done.



We could create filters for every dip and peak in the response curve and generate a far flatter plot than possible with a more standard passive crossover design.

Jim,

That is a remarkable achievement!

How powerful are the internal amps? Can they accommodate balanced inputs? In the picture below taken from your website, one looks different from the other below the woofer, is that a control panel or...?






Joe Frances

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #66 on: 28 Nov 2018, 04:46 am »
I guess one other thing that I have never thought much about, since only Jim and John Atkinson (of Stereopile) bring this up,  is that the flat response stats is somehow  important. I have looked at Atkinson's technical graphics in connections with a lot of reviews, but I've never really understood them, nor have I given them much significance.  What I want to know is what the speakers sound like to the reviewer, and whether the reviewer's subject appraisals seem to be congruent with my own, such as Art Dudley's reviews,  as I seem to have similar tastes, and I trust his judgment.  Not to  "dis" Jim or JA, but the graph paper blips didn't mean very much to me.  I have heard a Brit monitor that supposedly goes nowhere deep into the bass as the Salk Silks, and they sounded musical and really awesome in bass.  But the "stats" were not that great, I guess.

So a few more  follow up questions: why is the flat response graph important to me a prospective buyer?  What does it have to do with actually enjoying listening to a speaker?  And specifically as t the Power Play, for instance, how does it "sound" compared to say the Salk Silk monitors?

Baffled with science,

Joe

JLM

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #67 on: 28 Nov 2018, 12:59 pm »
Flat frequency response can be a revelation.  Proper tone is maintained so everything sounds "right".  Bass, midrange, and treble ranges are balanced (no relative exaggerations that so many quick sale marketeers use to impress unsuspecting customers).  No bass bloat,  shouty/nasal mids, or 'zingy' highs and no missing sounds from frequency dips.  The closer to flat you get, the more it "makes sense" of what you're hearing.

Wind Chaser

Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #68 on: 28 Nov 2018, 07:13 pm »
Flat frequency response can be a revelation.  Proper tone is maintained...

That is so true. Quite often the FR specification will read +/- 3db. That is pretty much and industry wide acceptable norm. However the thing to keep in mind is +/- 3db is a 6db swing!

With variation of that magnitude through out the bass, midrange and treble it’s no wonder two different speakers with the same stated FR (i.e. 50 Hz -20Khz +/- 3db) can sound so different.


Openly Baffled

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #69 on: 28 Nov 2018, 09:21 pm »
Although I agree that a relatively flat frequency response is important, I always question the pursuit of perfection from a practical stand. I consider that once you’re within say 2-3dB of flat then other factors will predominate your listening experience including, but not limited to:
1)   The microphone frequency response that was used to record the sound.
2)   The acoustics of the recorded environment
3)   The audio engineer’s preference for eq. (and their age!)
4)   The audio engineers’ speakers/headphones influencing choice 3) above
5)   The recording and reproduction signal chain (hopefully within +/- 1dB)
6)   The room acoustics and layout of your listening environment.
However, I think frequency response can become critical between 400Hz and 6Khz where abrupt ripples in the response say +/-2dB (total delta 4dB) will be audible for specific instruments and vocals that explore adjacent frequencies. I think this is what JLM was alluding to in his comment:

shouty/nasal mids, or 'zingy' highs and no missing sounds from frequency dips.  The closer to flat you get, the more it "makes sense" of what you're hearing.

Outside that frequency range the bass is more heavily impacted by your room setup and the high end is impacted by your ears, if you’re anywhere near middle age.
Hmmm, now I’m feeling like I’m getting a bit off-topic in this thread.

Joe Frances

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Re: Powered Versus Passive Speakers
« Reply #70 on: 29 Nov 2018, 05:16 am »
Flat frequency response can be a revelation.  Proper tone is maintained so everything sounds "right".  Bass, midrange, and treble ranges are balanced (no relative exaggerations that so many quick sale marketeers use to impress unsuspecting customers).  No bass bloat,  shouty/nasal mids, or 'zingy' highs and no missing sounds from frequency dips.  The closer to flat you get, the more it "makes sense" of what you're hearing.



Thanks for this....I think.

Joe