Why use powered monitors?

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Kevin Haskins

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #20 on: 21 Jul 2010, 06:46 pm »
I'm with you Kevin and Ethan, very well presented.  I’ll ignore the feedback debate, but it’s all spot on with me.

What makes a particular speaker design active is having one power amp channel connected directly to each driver, period.  Forget about where the amp located and instead make sure the crossover is wired between the preamp/source and the amps.

The primary advantage of active design is that without a crossover "blocking the view" of the driver, the amp can not only more easily respond to the reactive load, but with only one driver in play the load is inherently less complex and again easier to respond to. 


For me... I'm not all that opposed to passive networks.   They have their place and I'm not opposed to using them when they make sense.    If I were designing a complex multi-way loudspeaker I may choose to use a passive network tweeter-midrange and active line level for other crossovers or response shaping.    It is just another tool as far as I'm concerned and in many situations it is a better tool than a passive network.

Many of the advantages are theoretical.   It is great for building marketing literature but some of the benefits are exaggerated.... just like any marketing buzz in audio.    But at the end of the day if I'm designing something for myself..... I'd design it active.   The only downside is cost.   

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That being said, Paradigm gave up trying to sell the Actives due to consumer perceptions against active design and not being able to load up their equipment rack with trophies they had "hunted".  And rumor has it that these suffered from some of the same reliability issues mentioned above for the cheaper designs. 

Hey... you can have your trophy too!   :-)  There is nothing wrong with the Paradigm approach but I think most people in high-end audio myself included enjoy our racks (equipment racks that is). 

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Another reason against the use of active monitors in the consumer world, is just the logistics of running power to each speaker. Can lead to very bad WAF. They tend to work much better in a custom install, where you can plan for such things - which is a small share of the market.

In terms of power cables and non-traditional layouts.... that is why I design them as monoblocks.   It really looks no different or operates any different than any other loudspeaker with monoblocks.    The only additional cable requirement is that you use 4-wire speaker cable with 4-pole Neutrik Speakons.     Cardas makes many cables that are suitable and most high-end cable companies have compatible cables.     Or.... you can cheap out and use Canare or many of the other pro-audio solutions.   









 






JDUBS

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #21 on: 22 Jul 2010, 01:21 am »
I love the idea of active monitors.  It has the potential to sound awesome while really simplifying things....you don't even have to think about amplification after the initial purchase is made. 

-Jim

Construct

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #22 on: 22 Jul 2010, 01:27 am »
I love the idea of active monitors.  It has the potential to sound awesome while really simplifying things....you don't even have to think about amplification after the initial purchase is made. 

-Jim
Not to mention companies like Paradigm engineered the amp for synergy and optimal performance.  No worries about amp matching, that part is done.

JDUBS

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #23 on: 22 Jul 2010, 01:30 am »
Absolutely!  You can actually hear the speakers as the designer wanted (mostly...obviously that individual doesn't control the room or other factors).

-Jim

Construct

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #24 on: 22 Jul 2010, 01:33 am »
Absolutely!  You can actually hear the speakers as the designer wanted (mostly...obviously that individual doesn't control the room or other factors).

-Jim
It's also quite cost effective.  Let's say you got the paradigm actives, and paid $2K. It may have been a lot more than $2K  you spent for an amp alone that you like to match.  You may have gone out and got a Bryston 3bst or 4bst for that matter.  Now, instead of that expense, the money goes into a nice preamp. 

DanTheMan

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #25 on: 22 Jul 2010, 02:41 am »
Would you guys stop?  I'm trying to resist buying active monitors.

Dan :)

Construct

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #26 on: 22 Jul 2010, 02:51 am »
Would you guys stop?  I'm trying to resist buying active monitors.

Dan :)
The net is a mixed blessing.  Rumors, innuendo, lies, flames and more often than not:  a nudge of influence to go out and buy something you were already considering.  Just...a...little...more...praise...and ...you...are...there. There in the shop, whipping out your credit card so fast they call you "Wallet Erp."

srb

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #27 on: 22 Jul 2010, 03:04 am »
Would you guys stop?  I'm trying to resist buying active monitors.

Dan :)

As Locutus of Borg said, "Resistance is futile".
 
I have often wondered what these JBL active studio monitors with Room Correction might bring to the table in the average home setting.
 
JBL LSR4328  (MSRP: $1850/pair, Street price: ~ $1450)
http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/General/ProductFamily.aspx?FId=7&MId=5
 
Steve
 

Construct

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #28 on: 22 Jul 2010, 03:16 am »
ATC SCM -100 ACTIVE MIDFIELD MONITOR.  ... :drool:

JDUBS

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #29 on: 22 Jul 2010, 03:33 am »

As Locutus of Borg said, "Resistance is futile".
 
I have often wondered what these JBL active studio monitors with Room Correction might bring to the table in the average home setting.
 
JBL LSR4328  (MSRP: $1850/pair, Street price: ~ $1450)
http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/General/ProductFamily.aspx?FId=7&MId=5
 
Steve
 


VERY cool.  You can run a digital cable right into these guys and room correct them. 

-Jim

lonewolfny42

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #30 on: 22 Jul 2010, 04:14 am »
I've heard many good things about these speakers..... Klein + Hummel.


Kevin Haskins

Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #31 on: 22 Jul 2010, 04:26 am »
Those JBLs look interesting and I've always heard good things about the K&H.   

I'm going to adjust the gain structure in a pair of the house so my wife can just use the Squeezbox Touch as the source and the preamp/volume control.    On that set I'll probably just use a plate amp to keep her happy.    One of the cool things about using the computer files is you can use one of the freeware filter tools that work with server software and it will offer PEQ tools for room equalization.    That is all you need for so-called room correction.   Some PEQ capability below 200Hz is all the room correction you need if the loudspeaker is designed right. 


DanTheMan

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #32 on: 22 Jul 2010, 06:03 am »
You can listen to those JBLs at Guitar Center.  I've gone there many times to listen.  One thing I'd say is that the digital room correction can fix acoustic problems.  IOW the listening experience was not very satisfying but I bet it was the speaker placement and room.  They were up against the longest wall on a long shelf filled with speakers with one towards the corner and one towards the middle.  Still, they were better sounding than I would have guessed looking at the circumstances.

FWIW I think if I were to buy active monitors right now, they'd be the 8" Mackies XXXX mkII.  I wish I could find good measurements on them.  I get annoyed when I can't find those on the manufacturer's site.  I just know that the Behringers are basically a cheapened version of those and the Behringers measure up very well.  The new Mackies have a great looking enclosure acoustically--though not Genelec or JBL good--and reputably reliable amps and a THX certification that I'm not familiar with.  That tells me they should get loud enough for me.  Heck, these cheap Behringers do that.  If I could find measurements on some of these products, I'd be more inclined to pay for them.

Dan

Hogg

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Re: Why use powered monitors?
« Reply #33 on: 22 Jul 2010, 09:23 pm »
I, too, like powered speakers. I currently own the ATC 20-2's and the Genelec HT206B's.  They are not for the new audiophile who isn't done searching for sonic nirvana.  If you know what sound pleases you, then they are an option.  I've found the ATC's to be too ruthlessly revealing of the recording (oh I get it, they're used for mastering in a recording studio :o).  This held me back from moving up the ATC chain to larger models.  There are few options to ameliorate the sound unlike a conventional system; cables have little impact but a warmish tube preamp can improve the sound.  The Genelec's are very nice and are easy to listen to for long periods.  I'm tempted to move up to the HT210B's but have never seen them on sale or used.  Long story short, I've settled on large Tannoy's, Glenair's with the 15" DCC, and tube amps, Jadis DA50S.  I don't think this type of sound is available in a powered speaker.  If it were, I'd be very tempted to move in that direction.

                                                                                             Jim