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Turning the tide... New Active Speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

arhantd

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I have been quite intrigued by the development in new Active and wireless speakers over the last year. I think as more and more mainstream HiFi companies enter this area the more popular these will become.

The first steps i think were take by Dynaudio. Dynaudio xeo 5's have received brilliant reviews but at $4900 they are quite expensive.

At CES Focal announced similar technology speakers called the Focal Speak-airs for about $2600. I think its modeled on the Chorus 700 series and looks like it will be a great product.

I have heard KEF is planning a similar floor stander after the launch of X300A active digital wireless speakers.

Moss Audio Aero if anyone has looked at that, it combines the best digital components with ScanSpeak drivers to create a beautiful product at $2499, i have personally mailed Tom, the owner, and found out that they are planning to launch a floor stander around August.

Audio Pro from Scandinavia has some brilliant products to its credit albeit a little underpowered for serious Hi-Fi consideration. More of lifestyle produtcs.

If we look towards Germany there are many niche high -End products to choose from but generally they are very expensive so i am not considering them here.

Even ProAudio companies are coming to the home audio market, with Genelec just launching its first Active Home Audio Series. Its not wireless but i am sure its a really good solution.

But overall i think this is the future for not-very-serious audiophiles who want a simple solution to enjoy their music with the best loudspeaker technology.

I hope we get to hear these speakers in India soon and are able to judge them properly.

For anyone interested i have found this site http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/ to be a great resource on active speaker technology and computer based audio.

Thanks
 
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denom

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Hey arhantd,

Like U2, You still haven't found what you are looking for???? :p

What are you actually wanting in active speakers??? Please elaborate so that the guru's on the forum can help you out & you are then on your way to getting what you want.
 

arhantd

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hey denom:

I am not looking for anything in particular, right now, just enjoying the ride learning and experiencing new things.
Leaning towards an uncluttered simple active setup but i still have time before my currently occupied room gets empty to turn into an audio room.

I wrote this up as a heads up for anyone who is looking to go Active but has doubts about buying ProAudio monitors. I think in a years time we will see all many major brands launch active options.

This post was purely for information and discussion.
 

arhantd

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Btw, Denom, what is the current setup you are running?

I think i am pretty sold on PC - Dac - Actives chain or PC - Direct digital amp - Passive chain.
Simple and Sweet.
 

denom

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My current set-up is amp - DIY 3 way passive speakers - DAC - Comp

Will go the actives route when I have the funds to buy.

Heard you contacted Kanwar for an actives set-up, hence wondering where you are at the moment w r t actives... By your post, it appears that you are looking for wireless set-up, thats why asked in first place.

BTW, nothing wrong with using pro-audio speakers or studio monitors in home set-up, just that people who haven't heard them write nonsense about them & that is where these speakers get panned unfairly.
 
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arhantd

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Hey no issues,
I am a keen student learning about the art and enjoying the ride.

Ya i did have a chat with Kanwar ji with respect to a particular design in mind. But i am looking at various options before taking the plunge. Some people that i regard highly in this area have been telling me not to get a custom design made, though i am very keen. Then again budget plays a role and etc, etc.

I have also been suggested to audition extensively. Being in jaipur and not traveling much due to a recent accident has cut things down on that end.

Another suggestion has been since i am only looking for good music is to just go with genelec or adam audio speaker with a dac and be done with that until i become more of an audiophile i suppose.

So you know its all in due process.

Wireless is not something i am keen on but currently both main stream manufactures to take out affordable Active speakers have gone the wireless route. So i think that's where most others will go too.

My final decision depends on getting a vacant space for a dedicated room. There is part of the house that should have been available by now but its not and i am waiting for that.

This hobby is such a learning process that i am still too young and uneducated to bet the farm. I was living on Mp3 before i joined this forum. Slowly i have moved to FLAC and Wav, now i have just about 2TB of music in that format. So i am moving bit by bit.

I am also doing a small DIY project to hook up with a vintage sansui amp that i have, as a makeshift till i get the room.

Sorry for the long winded post, i am at that part of this journey where i can go in any direction so its all confusing.
Right now its just evaluation, discussions and learning and enjoying the music on what i have. I think thats most important.

:)

Regards
 

denom

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Yes, the place you are at is most important, as you have to learn as regards to what you are looking for. You should work towards the destination, where once you have reached, you should be home with & then think of nothing but music. The system then is not in focus, only the music is.

What you end up with is what matters MOST. Kanwar is the right sort of person to be in touch with, as people like him are the ones who know what they are talking about. Otherwise there are a lot of people who talk out of their a$$ / know nothing at all yet pose as if they know it all :rolleyes:
 

arhantd

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Well done Denom sir, I wish i could attend one of these Hifi meets.
There is just so much to learn and experience.
I wish there was more Hi-fi experience opportunities in smaller cities.

I was reading up and looking at emotiva pro monitors as well. Seems like a lot of value for money.
Has anyone here heard them or owned them?
The new stealth 8 looks amazing on paper @ price. Emotiva Professional, LLC

So i just asked someone to get me a oppo 105. Thats the only part i am sure of yet in my system.
Now i am wondering is it possible to:
1) Connect all the Oppo, Tv and PC/DAC to a pair of active speakers? Usually i see only one or two inputs so how will i achieve this?
2) How to add a sub woofer to this setup.

In a passive setup it would work to buy an Integrated Amp with enough inputs and a pre-out. I can then toggle between them.
But how achieve this with an active setup.

Can some one shed some light here?
 
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thevortex

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Connect from PC or Source to Subwoofer High level input and then connect the two speakers at high level from the subwoofer. Please ensure that only High level inputs and outs are used from the subwoofer. You are done!

By the way, Actives are awesome! Very interesting sector for audiophiles to look at. Reducing wire clutter anybody?
 

arhantd

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Thanks Vortex:

But again i am looking to connect three sources and toggle between them, essentially to use the same speakers + Sub for all applications as necessary.
1) PC/DAC
2) TV
3) Oppo

How to i connect all three and just use a remote or a switch to toggle between the one i need?

Thanks
 

arhantd

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Actives in my opinion just provide a simple way to enjoy music as compared to a more complicated passive setup.
But with the onset of direct digital amps like Wadia and Nad, i think passives are also getting simpler.

But again that's a personal opinion. Whatever rocks the boat.
I am just trying to see how do i plan my space such that i can use just a remote or ipad to control everything from my tv to the oppo to the pc and use the same speakers for ease of use and not having to change wires or anything to enjoy music.

I would like to go the active way but as far as i can understand for my need NAD 390DD or a similar amp with built-in DAC like Peachtree Nova 125 with good passive speakers seems like the solid-est candidate so far but i need to figure out what they cost in India and where do i need to travel to audition them.
 
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kanwar

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But with the onset of direct digital amps like Wadia and Nad, i think passives are also getting simpler.

How having a digital amplifier make the passives better/simpler :sad:

I would like to go the active way but as far as i can understand for my need NAD 390DD or a similar amp with built-in DAC like Peachtree Nova 125 with good passive speakers seems like the solid-est candidate so far but i need to figure out what they cost in India and where do i need to travel to audition them.

I think your understanding of an active system is pretty much vague.
 
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soundnovice

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How having a digital amplifier make the passives simpler :sad:



I think your understanding of an active system is pretty much vague.

+10
@Arihant:there is nothing like pure digital amp and its just a wrongly given name. for classD amps which mostly popular as digital amps, excerpts from wiki is,

"A class-D amplifier or switching amplifier is an electronic amplifier where all power devices (usually MOSFETs) are operated as binary switches. They are either fully on or fully off. Ideally, zero time is spent transitioning between those two states."
highlighted words give an impression of 'digital' nature so people call them wrongly as digital amplifier!

"The term "class D" is sometimes misunderstood as meaning a "digital" amplifier. While some class D amps may indeed be controlled by digital circuits or include digital signal processing devices, the power stage deals with voltage and current as a function of time.The difference between digital and analogue signals is that digital signals are subsequently interpreted as numbers whereas in analogue signals the exact waveform matters".

so the 'so-called' digital amp is nothing but any other normal amp and it in NO WAY helps to improve sound or make 'passive' speakers sound better or make them simpler...below link will help you understand about active and passive systems better,

Active Vs. Passive Crossovers
 

trittya

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@ FM Arhantd
I pretty much agree with all that FMs Denom, Kanwar and Soundnovice(he's no novice, really, IMO) have said.
You seem to have got things a little wrong, mate.
No worries, though, its part of the experience, actually.
Active speakers have a connotation, IN THAT
either they are active because
they don't have passive cross-overs to the woofer, mid-range and tweeter (per channel)
OR
speakers with built-in amps are inaptly referred to as active even though some of these may house passive XOs inside due to only one mono amp per channel and sometimes just one stereo amp for two channels (mostly housed in the sub-woofer box for 2.1 systems).
You must go through that link posted by soundnovice above. It'll go a long way in clearing your basics. Then we can take this further. Looking forward to hearing from you sooner than later.
HTH
Cheerio
 
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thevortex

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Thanks Vortex:

But again i am looking to connect three sources and toggle between them, essentially to use the same speakers + Sub for all applications as necessary.
1) PC/DAC
2) TV
3) Oppo

How to i connect all three and just use a remote or a switch to toggle between the one i need?

Thanks

Use a switch to toggle between all three amps? I have seen one done that allows switching of speakers. But I am sure the opposite is possible as well...

All the best!
 

thevortex

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Actives have a range of advantages indeed! But the critical decision is to choose neutrality or colour. It is easy to say 'neutrality'. Most active monitors (pro - monitors, at least) are made to provide as flat a response as possible and no pre-inclinations as far as sound signature is concerned.

Most of us like particular presentations. That is what one must weigh before taking the call. Again, nothing like auditions. And nothing above home auditions with your sources and above all your own room!
 

arhantd

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Sorry I think I was a bit vague in my post and left a lot to speculation.
I know perfectly well how an active system works viz a powered system and viz a passive one.

By simpler I meant for me, the options got simpler

1) source - direct digital amp like wadia or amp w/dac like Peachtree - passive speakers
2) source - dac- active/ powered speakers

My question was if I want to connect my pc, tv and a bdp to the same set of speakers and toggle between them as sources how can I do that in option no. 2? Want to understand if this is possible.

I am not doing an active vs passive debate it's just a question of useability.
Thanks :)
 
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Audioman

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Active speakers have a connotation, IN THAT
either they are active because
they don't have passive cross-overs to the woofer, mid-range and tweeter (per channel)
OR
speakers with built-in amps are inaptly referred to as active even though some of these may house passive XOs inside due to only one mono amp per channel and sometimes just one stereo amp for two channels (mostly housed in the sub-woofer box for 2.1 systems).
You must go through that link posted by soundnovice above. It'll go a long way in clearing your basics. Then we can take this further. Looking forward to hearing from you sooner than later.
HTH
Cheerio

pha.png


Speakers with inbuilt amps are generally referred to as powered speakers like the three examples in the above diagram
The first example on the left is a passive speaker which has an inbuilt amplifier feeding a passive crossover
Speakers that are bi-amped or tri-amped with active crossovers are referred to as active speakers
 
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