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$200 powered speakers? - Page 2

post #16 of 43

^ So... why should OP buy the Fostex?

post #17 of 43

From what I gathered from his statement all monitors under $200 are crap and the Fostex are the the creme de la creme of the crap.?.

Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

^ So... why should OP buy the Fostex?


post #18 of 43

Haha yeah, which hardly makes for a compelling case.

post #19 of 43

If you understand the inherent benefits of powered vs. active designs, you'd probably give the nod on paper to the Fostex.


Now, let's look at the counterfactual.  Is there a monitor in the $200/pair range that you would recommend without caveats?  If so, let's hear it.  If not, then that whole spiel about "creme de la crap" is little better than noise.

Edited by Mauricio - 2/20/12 at 10:01pm
post #20 of 43

Hang on a bit: there's a difference between powered and active? I thought they were the same for monitors?

post #21 of 43

Yes.  There is a difference between powered and active monitors/speakers.  A powered monitor/speaker is fundamentally little better and little different from a passive monitor/speaker.

Edited by Mauricio - 2/20/12 at 10:16pm
post #22 of 43

Care to give sources stating that?  In all my time I've never heard self-powered being anything other than active.


There is also no inherent advantage of 'monitors,' especially not in the consumerism since.  A 'monitor' can be every bit as flat or colored as the passive bookshelf sitting next to it in a showroom.  It all depends on the design of said speaker.

Edited by TMRaven - 2/20/12 at 10:21pm
post #23 of 43

^ x2 what TMRaven just said.


Mauricio, I'm not talking about one speaker type being "better" than another--that in itself is a whole topic for debate, and is somewhat akin to whether Balanced Armatures are better than Dynamic Drivers in IEMs.


I'm asking: what is a powered monitor/speaker, and what differentiates it, by definition, from an active monitor/speaker? 

post #24 of 43

A powered speaker/monitor is one in which the line-level signal is first amplified (by the single power amp inside the speaker/monitor enclosure).  The amplified signal is then fed to a passive crossover where the signal is split and channelled to the drivers.  The signal path is:  source-->amplifier (single)-->crossover (passive)-->driver


An active speaker/monitor is one in which the line-level signal is first passed through an active crossover.  The split high-frequency and low frequency band signals are then fed to two separate power amplifiers, which in turn feed the drivers.  The signal path is:  source--> crossover (active)-->amplifier (one for each driver)-->driver


I use the term speaker/monitor because the terms "speakers" and "monitors" are an artificial dichotomy, and artifact of marketing and market segmentation.  The differences between active and powered designs described above apply whether the enclosure with the drivers that emanates sound is called a "speaker", a "monitor", or "Lucy".


Based on experience and research, I believe that the most efficient, economical and accurate way to reproduce sound via speakers/monitors is with an active design.

Edited by Mauricio - 2/20/12 at 11:52pm
post #25 of 43

According to that terminology, would you consider "powered" monitor to be the same as "passive" monitor?

post #26 of 43

No.  The difference between a passive speaker/monitor and a powered passive/monitor is where the amplifier lives.  In the former, the amplifier lives outside the speaker/monitor, while in the latter the amplifier lives inside the speaker/monitor enclosure.  Nevertheless, fundamentally they are little different because both designs i.) use a single amplifier designed for the entire frequency range and an unknown range of driver impedance and efficiency, and ii.) use passive crossovers after the amplifier.


Here's Meridian's Bob Stuart telling it like it is: http://www.cinenow.co.uk/videos/318-meridians-bob-stuart-on-digital-slash-dsp-loudspeakers

If Meridian or Genelec sold an affordable digital speaker, I'd switch to digital speakers too.


My short-list for real-life audition and comparison would also include:

  • Behringer B1030A
  • Alesis M1 Active 520

These two are also active designs.

Edited by Mauricio - 2/21/12 at 12:11am
post #27 of 43

Wait a minute...are you now saying that the Behringer and Alesis are better than the Fostex for <$200?

post #28 of 43

No, I did not say that.  What I said is that my short-list for audition and comparison at that price point would include the Behringer and the Alesis.  What makes you think that I said "that the Behringer and Alesis are better..."?

post #29 of 43

The phrasing was a little vague.


OK, so if I'm understanding you right, 

Powered = Passive with amp inside the speaker enclosure, but still passive crossover

Active = Powered but with active crossover


And in any case, <$200 active mons aren't that great, but if you had to choose it would be between the Fostex, Behringer and Alesis. 


However, the OP's discussion with me reveals that he might not be inclined towards the necessary hassle and wiring involved in monitors. In that light, would you still recommend any of the above?

post #30 of 43

The distinguishing features, indeed the technical advantages of active monitor/speakers are that i.) the crossover is active, ii.) the crossover stage comes before the amplfication stage, and iii.) the amplifiers are literally hard-wired and matched to their corresponding drivers for frequency range, gain and impedance.


I think those who are inclined towards passive speakers/monitors overstate and mystify the wiring requirements of active monitors/speakers.  In a passive design, the speaker/monitor takes one wire, that is, that of the signal.  In an active design, the speaker/monitor takes just one additional wire, that is, that of the electricity plug.  There's nothing significantly more complicated or daunting about the wiring of an active monitor/speaker.  Also, an active design reduces complexity by eliminating the need to connect the preamp to the amp.  How so?  Because in an active design, the amp is inside the speaker/monitor, and it already comes connected, indeed literally hard-wired to the drivers from the factory.  Power amps are banished to the inside of the speaker/monitor in an active design


Yes, I would still recommend those three active speakers/monitors to the OP.

Edited by Mauricio - 2/21/12 at 3:21am
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