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Best Active Speakers - Page 3

post #31 of 104

You don't need to get those outrageous amps. My $150 60W Rotel is great. You won't need anything more powerful unless you have inefficient speakers(<85db) or need to play really loud.

post #32 of 104

I'd take the Focal Solo BE or Twin BE, Event Opals etc over 95% of passive bookshelf speakers for near to mid field application. Once you're sitting past a certain point and in a room of a certain size then you get into floorstanding/full range speakers and unfortunately for stereo hifi there's not that much to choose from with actives (the cynic in me says that active crossovers are better than passive, but you can make more money selling speakers + amps). For cheaper speakers than those you can probably get more passive speaker for your buck in terms of size/power etc, but then they're usually not designed for nearfield listening and you're paying for aesthetics as well, where as actives tend to be rather plain as they're meant to do a job in a professional environment rather than looking pretty in a listening room.

post #33 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by brasewel View Post

You don't need to get those outrageous amps. My $150 60W Rotel is great. You won't need anything more powerful unless you have inefficient speakers(<85db) or need to play really loud.



I've never found a rotel under $600 (the RA-1062). Which model are you referencing? Is it a straight power amp or an integrated? 


Edited by liamstrain - 1/21/12 at 10:25am
post #34 of 104

My edit is not showing up. Lowest price I can find for a new rotel amp: $600 (the RA-1062). 

post #35 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post



I've never found a rotel under $600 (the RA-1062). Which model are you referencing? Is it a straight power amp or an integrated? 


I'm talking used not new. I have a RB-970BX 60W @ 8Ohms that is a very musical amp and has enough power to drive my speakers.
 

 

post #36 of 104

Ah - I didn't know we were contemplating used. That does make a difference. Some good NAD amps that would do the job too (3020 or 314). You don't need much juice in a small room for the most part. 

 

I know my old 40W McIntosh can put out some impressive sound.

post #37 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnambulist View Post

I'd take the Focal Solo BE or Twin BE, Event Opals etc over 95% of passive bookshelf speakers for near to mid field application.



Amen to that, brotha'!  Make that 98%.

post #38 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

For preferences, I'm into a smooth sound top to bottom and a flat FR.  I find that generally will do justice to the most genres, and would probably be the most transparent.  Basically nothin taken away or added.

Re passives, I still don't quite get it, unless any passive+power amp combo at a given price would always outperform actives of the same price, then I can't see any reason not to get actives for simplicity's sake.


Genelec, Adam, Dyn are the three brands I would recommend for the above sound signature. The Genelec and Adam will be a bit more analytical than the Dyns since they are purpose built for critical listening applications. The Dyn and Genelec are the most forgiving of the 3. All excellent active monitors.

I tend to like actives for monitoring and passives for pleasure listening. The active speakers can perfectly match the power amp sections to each driver and perfectly adjust the EQ and FR to give you the most uncolored and flat FR possible. This is GREAT for mixing, tracking, and mastering but is not always the most enjoyable for casual listening. Budget conscious actives also have a huge hurdle because they have to build both the amps+speakers+crossovers all to hit a single price point. How do you choose which corners to cut when you come in $10 over your manufacturing budget? The last argument against actives for casual listening is that they are a single package. You get what you get and there are no simple upgrade paths other than selling the whole bundle and buying a new pair.

Passive speakers are much more flexible because each piece of the puzzle is built and engineered to it's own price point. It also offers many different upgrade paths to tailor or improve the sound. You can get great sounding used power amps for cheap (Soundcraftsmen, NAD, Carver, Rotel, etc) and a huge array of speaker options. Plus you get to decide which corners to cut in order to meet your overall system budget.

Here is one example of an outstanding power amp that will drive just about any speakers in your budget for less than $150:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundcraftsmen-Power-Amplifier-MA5002-Vintage-Original-owner-1978-1979-model-/270948774380?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3f15ce31ec

That leaves you $1300 to spend on used speakers. Here are a few options that will kill any actives in their price range (assuming you have room for full range towers):
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/focal-814v-like-new--3
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/revel-performa-f30-floorstanding-speakers
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/paradigm-reference-studio-100-v4
http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tyler-tylo-ref-system-ii-ref-system-ii--2

The Revel's and Focal's are probably the flattest response and best deal of the 4. The Tyler comes in 3rd place and Paradigm last, but they all sound great.
post #39 of 104

Just get the best Klein&Hummel you can afford.

 

Bonus if you can afford a pair of glossy white O300d. :)

 

post #40 of 104

Didn't K&H disappear and morph into Neumann?

 

I agree.  While the passive fan boyz are busy with upgrading and tweaking to no end their brutish monoblocks and multi-driver speaker monstrosities, with their bigger is better, might-makes-right system philosophy, I am content to cut to the chase now with a high quality two-way active.


Edited by Mauricio - 4/7/12 at 2:34am
post #41 of 104

yes, neumann kh120d/o300d + kh810 beats 99% of home stereo systems

post #42 of 104

The good news is that you live in the States.

The even better news is that there are so many sellers who offer a trial / return period for their products.

Given that every single room is a totally different sound environment my suggestion would be, on condition you have the time for it, try as many as you can before deciding.

You know, at the end of the day  it’s about YOUR source, music, cables, room and ears….

Now that you’ve got all the specific suggestions about models, types etc it’s time to remember that the proof of the pudding is in the eating :)

post #43 of 104
Thread Starter 

I kind of forgot about this thread.  

 

Never updated after my visit to the hifi shop in January.  So I had two trips to Stereo Exchange, the first was dismal: I listened in a room with some $6K full-size speakers (I forget the brand).  It had an all Ayre rack behind it that was probably worth $10K.  I was totally unimpressed and the net sound of the system...wasn't all that much better than my LCD-2s.  Since I didn't have $16K to spend anyway, I lost some interest.

 

Then I visited again a couple of weeks later and tried a pair of Devore Fidelity bookshelves driven by some boutique $6K integrated.  I can't remember exactly, but it might have been a Bel Canto DAC as the source.  This room just blew me away.  Holographic soundstage, full presence, all the merits of speaker listening.  But the speakers were $4K and again, far out of my budget at the moment. 

 

I've spent a fair amount of money since then, so my budget is down to sub $1K for both speakers and amplifiers (if they are not actives).

 

I'll post an illustration of my listening space later.

post #44 of 104

what about emotiva airmotiv series read some good things about them !

 

post #45 of 104
Thread Starter 

This problem has solved itself, kind of - a friend gave me a pair of Mordaunt Short speakers and a Creek CAS 4040 integrated to keep.  It's vintage equipment and I have yet to test it out.

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