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Emotiva Pro airmotiv4 Loudspeakers Review - Page 12

post #166 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

In theory, using balanced XLR should eliminate noise picked up my the transport cable. It's the whole point of balanced audio, after all.

 

But hiss can have many sources. The hiss can even be from the amplifier itself. When this is the case, then the best way of lowering the hiss is to lower the amplifier gain/volume and increase the source's output volume. I believe this will give you the best audio quality, but I might be wrong. My experience with car audio has told me that lower gain on the amplifier just sound cleaner. The only way I can see the opposite being better is if you have a very bad source.



I'm 99% sure the hiss is from the amplifier itself, as you describe. So it sounds like there is no issue with lowering the gain on the amp and raising the source volume? I plan to do just that in the future.

post #167 of 410

I am checking out a pair of the Airmotiv 5's... I also have been using Swan's M200MKIII for a while. I've seen a few questions in this thread about comparing them.

 

I've only got a few listening hours in on the AIrmotiv 5's but I'd have to say they are definetly "different"

 

The Swan's sound more musical and laid back to me, the midrange pops out a little more, but the high frequencies not  so much. I suspect they roll off a little sooner than the emotiva's.

 

The 5's go louder and cleaner. They are also more directional than the Swans. Sitting 9 feet back, the Swans are a little better at imaging, but sitting close the 5's are a little better.

 

The bass is quite good on the Swan's, and also quite good on the 5's... I'd have to say for the price the Swans are a better choice, but it all depends on what you want out of a speaker.  I think I'm going to keep the Swans in the bedroom setup and move the 5's to the office. IMO the 5's are ugly and the blue light and lack of grills doesn't help.

 

I may rig up an AB setup so i can properly switch back and forth between the two and compare some more.

 

Considering everything, I'd probably give the Swans a 4.5/5 and the airmotiv 5's a 4.3/5.  Neither are as good as my 5350SE creek and Epos or Soliloquy bookshelf speakers, but they are really close and I think most people would be satisfied with either. Especially compared to MAudio's stuff.

post #168 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by ittech View Post

I am checking out a pair of the Airmotiv 5's... I also have been using Swan's M200MKIII for a while. I've seen a few questions in this thread about comparing them.

 

I've only got a few listening hours in on the AIrmotiv 5's but I'd have to say they are definetly "different"

 

The Swan's sound more musical and laid back to me, the midrange pops out a little more, but the high frequencies not  so much. I suspect they roll off a little sooner than the emotiva's.

 

The 5's go louder and cleaner. They are also more directional than the Swans. Sitting 9 feet back, the Swans are a little better at imaging, but sitting close the 5's are a little better.

 

The bass is quite good on the Swan's, and also quite good on the 5's... I'd have to say for the price the Swans are a better choice, but it all depends on what you want out of a speaker.  I think I'm going to keep the Swans in the bedroom setup and move the 5's to the office. IMO the 5's are ugly and the blue light and lack of grills doesn't help.

 

I may rig up an AB setup so i can properly switch back and forth between the two and compare some more.

 

Considering everything, I'd probably give the Swans a 4.5/5 and the airmotiv 5's a 4.3/5.  Neither are as good as my 5350SE creek and Epos or Soliloquy bookshelf speakers, but they are really close and I think most people would be satisfied with either. Especially compared to MAudio's stuff.


Is the difference in the highs big? If you wouldn't be comparing and you just had the Swans, would you say they sound rolled of or is it just because you compare them with the ribbon tweeter? (which would make sense cause that's what ribbon tweeters do apperently)

 

post #169 of 410

Quote:

Originally Posted by ittech View Post

 

The Swan's sound more musical and laid back to me, the midrange pops out a little more, but the high frequencies not  so much. I suspect they roll off a little sooner than the emotiva's.

 

The bass is quite good on the Swan's, and also quite good on the 5's... I'd have to say for the price the Swans are a better choice, but it all depends on what you want out of a speaker. 


Speaking of bass and roll-off, where do you hear the bass begin to roll-off with the M200's? Is there any particular song that the Swan's just can't handle (bass wise)? Thanks

 

post #170 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

In general, I think that only speakers with at least 8" drivers can begin to plausibly claim that they have sufficient low end extension and obviate the need for a sub.  

 

For $800, I'd skip the Emotivas altogether and get me a pair of Yamaha MSP7 Studio (-3dB point at about 60Hz from its 6.5" driver).  No, they don't look as flashy with a trendy ribbon tweeter or the hyped up specs , but in all likelihood they are the more accurate and well-imaging speaker.  That's what I'd get.

 

 

yamaha-msp7-studio.jpg

 

 

Alternatively for about $700/pair, if you want a little more flash and bass extension, I'd go with the Yamaha HS80M (-3dB point roughly at 55Hz) with 8" woofers:

 

HS80.jpg

 

Better even, if you are after bass, is the following 2.1 setup which will go down to the upper 30Hz range with honesty:

yamaha_-_hs50m_-_enceinte_de_monitoring_5.1.jpg

JBL and KRK also offer similar set-ups for the same price.

 

 

The Yamahas look nice! Has anyone here tried these ones? The HS80M looks particulary interesting.



 

post #171 of 410
Originally Posted by melie View Post
...would you say they sound rolled of or is it just because you compare them with the ribbon tweeter? (which would make sense cause that's what ribbon tweeters do apperently)...

The technology is so different that calling it a ribbon is misleading. It bears more resemblance to a planar, except the movement involves pushing air out pleats instead of moving the whole membrane.

 

Anyway, I finally at long last received my A3S-250 subwoofer from Elemental Designs. 51 days from order date to front door. It was worth the wait. This sub complements the airmotiv5s wonderfully. I'm still experimenting with the best positioning, damping, and settings for the sub but right out of the box after 1 minute of tweaking it was filling in the bottom octave and a quarter (30 to 75) transparently.

 

I continue to be enthralled by the airmotivs in near-field.

post #172 of 410

Hi Everyone,

 

I've been hunting for a nice desktop 2.0 system and thought this thread would be a great place to ask about the 'hiss' that I'm hearing on the 2 powered systems I've tried out so far.  My first purchase was the B&W MM-1.  Sounded very nice, I was a bit apprehensive about the 16-bit DAC (vs 24-bit) and bass-enhancing DSP but in the store where I auditioned them they sounded really nice, so I gave them a try.

 

Fed them from the USB on my Mac Mini, also tried the auxiliary input.  Noticeable white / noise hissing from near-field position, my office room in the house is fairly quiet, and it was quite audible, even when playing music at very low volumes.  Hiss is constant, a clean 'white noise' sound - that did not change with volume adjustments, etc.  So I then went online and found plenty of other people who noticed the same thing.  What actually disappointed me was that not one of the professional reviews picked up on this - or if they did, they omitted mentioning it.  I decided to return the MM-1 speakers and try something else.  While I found the SQ of the MM-1 to be very good, it was expensive at $500 and I did not really need the DAC or the headphone jack, since I have those already.  Besides, the headphone jack was very inconveniently located on the rear of the unit - inconvenient enough to actually discourage me from giving it a good listen.

 

I then bought the Focal XS Book.  Being fairly new, there aren't too many reviews out on this thing yet.  Much bigger in size than the MM-1, and less features, having no DAC or headphone output or remote - a bit cheaper at $400, but that's still fairly pricey for a 2.0 computer system especially considering the lack of features.  So I was hopeful these would be nice and quiet (no hiss) and maybe even sound a bit better than the MM-1s.

 

Well, the hiss is there on these also.  Seems to be a little bit less present then it was on the MM-1, also, it seems to come from the tweeters mores than the small woofers.  At the desk, about 2 feet away from the speakers, the hiss is audible when no music is playing or at minimal volume.  More audible, of course, if I turn my head and actually point my ear toward the speakers.  The hiss is there whenever the speakers are powered on (even when nothing else is powered on from the same outlet - and even from other outlets in the house), whether there are no audio input cables connected, or if there are connections, regardless - hiss is always there, constant, doesn't change with volume adjustment.  It is the same type of constant clean 'white noise' sound, same as with the B&Ws.  When music is played through these it sounds excellent, and I find the Focals to be better, more natural sounding and significantly more powerful than the MM-1.  These can fill a good sized room with sound.  Bass is not DSP boosted and goes unbelievably deep for the small ported enclosure drivers this has.

 

I do not believe this is a power or signal chain noise issue.  I'm feeding the Focals from my Mac Mini through my DAC, the same signal chain when used into my headphone amplifier generates zero audible noise, it is dead quiet.

 

I've come to the conclusion that this is apparently normal for these types of powered speakers, which is really frustrating, because these are fairly expensive and for near field use the hiss is very hard to just 'live with'.  I'm trying to avoid getting massive monitors for the desk.  At a loss here, I love the way these sound, but two feet from my head the hiss is just impossible to accept.

 

Any recommendations - should I try the Audioengine 5+ or Airmotiv4?  Will they have the same hiss?  I'm confused by this whole thing, I cannot understand how very prestigious speaker companies like B&W and Focal would both make a product meant for close listening that has such a high noise floor.  Is it possible that I missed something - that these would be quiet somehow if I do something like get a power conditioner?  I'm willing to try but the part that doesn't make sense is how my headphone amps in the same chain are absolutely dead quiet...  Anyone else having the same problem?

post #173 of 410

Those Focals are powered, rather than active.  In my view, powered speakers are neither here nor there.  They neither have the dedicated amplifiers of active speakers nor the large outboard amplifier of passive speakers.  They may be convenient, but their system design is inherently compromised.  For $400, I'd go with a biamplified, active monitor from Yamaha, JBL or KRK.  Look to active for the pro market.

post #174 of 410

Could you details the difference between powered and active?

post #175 of 410

A powered speaker has a single on-board amplifier for both drivers, and the amplifier comes before the passive crossover.

An active speaker has an amplifier for each driver, and the active crossover comes before the amplifiers.

 

The difference between a passive and a powered speaker is the physical location of the amplifier.  In the former, the amplifier is an outboard unit.  In the latter, the amplifier is an on-board unit.

post #176 of 410

Ah! Thanks for the information =)

 

So the Airmotiv are active, right?

 

 

post #177 of 410

I think so, yeah.

post #178 of 410

Maurico - I appreciate the response.  Problem is size with the bigger monitors you're recommending, the footprint is massive and I have to have room to work on the desk.  The Yamaha HS50M for example is in the same price range for a pair (about $400) but a 9x11" footprint is a bit large.  I'd like something a bit smaller and less powerful that sounds accurate and has no audible hiss from near-field listening.  The KRK RP5G2 is a little smaller in the footprint at 7x9" and seems to get a lot of positive feedback on amazon, that might be one to consider, or the airmotiv4.

 

The question that remains unanswered is why despite the design difference I am hearing the hiss.  Is it because of the crossover design in the MM-1 and Focals, as I think you are saying?  I'm still baffled at how two legendary speaker companies would sell a fairly expensive set of computer speakers with an inherent design flaw as you are suggesting.

 

So can you or anybody confirm if the Airmotiv is free of audible hissing / white noise?  Or the KRK I mentioned before?

post #179 of 410

The footprint of the Yamaha HS50M is about 9" x 6" (222mm x 165mm).

post #180 of 410
Originally Posted by meltdown100 View Post
So can you or anybody confirm if the Airmotiv is free of audible hissing / white noise?  Or the KRK I mentioned before?

Never noticed it, but there is a very very slight hiss. Doesn't matter if I turn the airmotiv volume all the way up or all the way down, or turn the volume on my Denon PRA-1500 preamp all the way up or all the way down, or switch inputs from the PC out to my CD player, or even turn the preamp off. It's always the same.

 

However, it is EXTREMELY quiet. If I put my ear directly to it the AMT tweeter, it's probably delivering 50-53 dB to my ear at that distance. As I'm sitting here there's fat chance of me ever noticing the hiss.

 

By the way, I ordered adjustable stands for my airmotivs and they work well and leave desk space unencumbered.

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