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Emotiva Pro airmotiv4 Loudspeakers Review - Page 13

post #181 of 410

Thanks - good to know.  I'd expect there to be something if I placed my ears real close to the speaker, and would be fine with that amount of noise / hiss.  No amped speaker is going to be completely quiet when powered up, I just don't want to be able to easily hear it from sitting distance.

 

I definitely do not want to have to return a third pair of speakers, but I'm kind of undecided about whether to get active monitors like the KRK or Yamaha vs. the Swan M200 MkIII or Airmotiv4.  Considering the pricier Swan T200b also.  Any of those will look pretty funny sandwiching my 23" monitor.

 

Funny, I realized that I had an old Spherex Xbox 5.1 surround system collecting dust in the basement.  A decent bargain surround system that is no longer made, the satellites are basically the same design as Mirage omnipolars,  Just out of curiosity, I took down the Focals and hooked it up as a 2.1 system for the computer and it actually sounds pretty good.  But it hisses also.....ugh.

 

 

post #182 of 410

In general I would advise against 2.1 systems with satellites that don't have at least a 5" midrange driver.  Why?  Because the sound quality of a 2.1 system is particularly dependent on the handover between the satellites and the subwoofer.  If the handover is at too high a frequency (due to the satellite's small drivers), the subwoofer is forced to reproduce a frequency range that begins to be directional, meaning that the sound image is smeared.  100Hz, and preferably lower, is as high as you want the sub and the satellites shaking hands.

post #183 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

In general I would advise against 2.1 systems with satellites that don't have at least a 5" midrange driver.  Why?  Because the sound quality of a 2.1 system is particularly dependent on the handover between the satellites and the subwoofer.  If the handover is at too high a frequency (due to the satellite's small drivers), the subwoofer is forced to reproduce a frequency range that begins to be directional, meaning that the sound image is smeared.  100Hz, and preferably lower, is as high as you want the sub and the satellites shaking hands.


How is this relevant? Emotiva Airmotiv4's -3dB point is below 60hz (judging by specs, don't know how it's measured etc though). Below 60hz isn't directional I think?

 

Also the fact that below 5" should be avoided, doesn't make sense. Genelec 6010's have -3dB at 73hz, and they got a 3" woofer.

 

The only gain from bigger woofer/bigger speaker I know of would be better directivity, so it would work better in an untreated room(?) but I don't know more of that so I'll stop actin smart..


Edited by Headzone - 4/1/12 at 11:24am
post #184 of 410

First of all, I said "in general...".   Obviously an active Genelec studio monitor is different animal from a powered Focal "multi-media" speaker.  Second of all, I was referring to those little Focals, mentioned in the last paragraph of post no. 181, that had been hooked up in a 2.1 system.  To be fair and precise, I used driver size as a proxy for low frequency extension which is, of course, not always valid and accurate.  The greater point is that the satellites should be able to reach down to at least 100Hz.


Edited by Mauricio - 4/1/12 at 7:12pm
post #185 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

Could you details the difference between powered and active?



Powered is the same as active. These have an internal amp.

 

Passive is the regular speakers that need an amp to work

post #186 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post



Powered is the same as active. These have an internal amp.

 

Passive is the regular speakers that need an amp to work

Powered is almost* the same biggrin.gif

 

Powered speaker:

Copied from wikipedia (Click to show)

A powered loudspeaker works the same way as a passive speaker but the power amplifier is built into the loudspeaker enclosure. This design is common in compact personal speakers such as those used to amplify portable digital music devices.

 

 

Active speaker:

Copied from wikipedia (Click to show)

In a fully active loudspeaker system each driver has its own dedicated power amplifier. The low-level audio signal is first sent through an active crossover to split the audio signal into the appropriate frequency ranges before being sent to the power amplifiers and then on to the drivers. This design is commonly seen in studio monitors and professional concert audio.[4][

 

 

 

 

post #187 of 410

No, a powered speaker is not the same or almost the same as an active speaker.  There are wide differences in system design between the two.

 

 

What is the difference between an active and a powered speaker/monitor?

Remember the key characteristics of active designs:

  • one separate dedicated amplifier unit for each driver,
  • the amplifier is situated after the crossover and is literally hard-wired to the driver, and
  • the crossover is an active device consisting of transistor-based electronics.

 

A powered monitor/speaker, on the other hand, has only one general amplifier for all drivers in each channel.  The amplifier is connected in the first instance to the passive crossover, thereby isolating it from a direct connection with the driver.  Also, the crossover of a powered speaker is passive.  From a systems design standpoint, a powered speaker has more in common with a passive speaker than with an active one.  The only difference between a powered speaker and a passive speaker is the where the amplifier is located.  In the former, the amplifier is inside the speaker cabinet, while in the latter, it is located outside the speaker cabinet.  The only similarities between a powered and an active design is that they both require connection to electricity mains and they both reproduce sound.

 

This thread helps to dispel the confusion, ignorance and myths about active speakers.

post #188 of 410

Alright but so far as functionality is concerned and the requirements for extra equipment, they are essentially the same. Geeks LOL

post #189 of 410

I'm going to jump back in here with my question that has gone unanswered - Mauricio, I read your thread.  What I'd like to know, is if the proper active design gets rid of the latent hiss that I hear when I had the B&W MM-1 and Focal XS Book powered on, even with no audio input connected.  It would be great if you, since you seem to be pretty versed on the differences, could provide your thoughts based on your ownership / experience with the actives you recommended.

 

Then my next question, is why do a lot of people discourage buying 'studio monitors' like the Yamaha and KRK models that you specifically recommended for the purpose of enjoying music?  I'll make a comparison with headphones I've owned, the K701.  Brilliant headphone on technical merits, but it was not all that enjoyable to listen to music with, in my opinion.  I ended up selling it.  Another thing some folks seem to say quite a bit is that listening to studio monitors becomes fatiguing after a while.  This is obviously a subjective attribute, and I would have to try out a pair of actives to see if I am affected this way, I suppose.  While I do want detail and accuracy, I do not want it at the expense of enjoyment, if that makes sense.  From the debates you have gotten into with others on the topic of pro vs. hifi and powered vs. active I would say (without trying to start another debate) that you might be missing this point - some folks aren't looking for sonic perfection, especially when they have a music collection that is largely comprised of recordings that weren't great (which is a lot of stuff nowadays unfortunately).

 

I can still return the Focals, but they actually sound very good for what they are (computer speakers) aside from the hiss.  So a hopefully easy question to have answered - will the Yamaha or KRK actives have perceptible hiss from near-field (2-3 feet away)?  

post #190 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by donunus View Post

Alright but so far as functionality is concerned and the requirements for extra equipment, they are essentially the same. Geeks LOL

Almost added to my post "well at least similar to the end user", like you meant. Since they both still don't require an (external) amp.

 

post #191 of 410

On the first issue, my experience is that most active monitors will have negligible Signal-to-Noise ratios.  I have not ever noticed objectionable levels of hiss or even audible levels at typical listening distances.  Why don't you go into a place that sells them and check them out yourself?

 

On the second issue, you'll have to ask those whose ears are fatigued by active monitors.  I, for one, can tell you that fatigue is not the word that I associate with the sound of a competent active monitor.

post #192 of 410
Thanks - the only problem with stores like Guitar Center where monitors are sold is that they tend to be very noisy. I'll give it a try though.
post #193 of 410


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meltdown100 View Post

Thanks - good to know.  I'd expect there to be something if I placed my ears real close to the speaker, and would be fine with that amount of noise / hiss.  No amped speaker is going to be completely quiet when powered up, I just don't want to be able to easily hear it from sitting distance.

 

I definitely do not want to have to return a third pair of speakers, but I'm kind of undecided about whether to get active monitors like the KRK or Yamaha vs. the Swan M200 MkIII or Airmotiv4.  Considering the pricier Swan T200b also.  Any of those will look pretty funny sandwiching my 23" monitor.

 

Funny, I realized that I had an old Spherex Xbox 5.1 surround system collecting dust in the basement.  A decent bargain surround system that is no longer made, the satellites are basically the same design as Mirage omnipolars,  Just out of curiosity, I took down the Focals and hooked it up as a 2.1 system for the computer and it actually sounds pretty good.  But it hisses also.....ugh.

 

 


Just wanted to echo that my airmotiv 4's do hiss a bit. If I turn the gain all the way up past 3/4, the hissing gets a bit louder such that you can hear them from 2ft away. However, if I turn up the volume on my mac (source) and turn the airmotiv's gain down to 1/2, I barely hear any hissing at all. This was recommended to me by EmtivaPro directly. My soundcard itself makes the hissing louder than when the airmotivs are just powered on but not receiving any audio.

 

post #194 of 410

with windows volume maxed out and the pot on my dac also maxed, i have the tiniest bit of audible hiss, but if i played music at that volume i would blow my ears out.  i'm using them with the pre out (rca outputs) on my audinst.  got them on mopads, they're real nice!


Edited by creamsoda - 4/10/12 at 3:11pm
post #195 of 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by creamsoda View Post

with windows volume maxed out and the pot on my dac also maxed, i have the tiniest bit of audible hiss, but if i played music at that volume i would blow my ears out.  i'm using them with the pre out (rca outputs) on my audinst.  got them on mopads, they're real nice!



But the real question is: With your sources at max volume and the Airmotiv's volume at listening level, do you hear any noise?

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