• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

Active vs passive speakers?

tigger

I'm the only one
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
10,476 (2.44/day)
Likes
1,673
System Name Black to the Core MKIV
Processor Intel I7 6700k
Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming socket 1151
Cooling NZXT Kraken X61 280mm radiator
Memory 2x8gb Corsair vengeance LPX 2400 DDR4
Video Card(s) XFX Radeon R9 290 4gb ddr5
Storage Patriot Blast 120gb ssd Boot and WD10EADX-22TDHB0 1TB Data
Display(s) Dell 2408WFP 24" 1920x1200
Case Nzxt IS 340
Audio Device(s) Asus xonar dsx pci-e
Power Supply Corsair CX750
Mouse Logitech G502
Software Win 10 Pro x64
#1
I am using active speakers, which I think sound pretty good. I don't really have an opinion about which is best, Active or Passive, apart from mine sound really nice.

I found this (link below) which is very interesting, basically proposing that Active speakers are better. I have a bit of an interest in HI-FI stuff, and I have to say, what the guy is saying seems to make sense to me.

http://pteacoustics.com/linked/the case for powered speakers.pdf

Also I found this forum, were some guy is arguing the same, Active is better.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/600096/act...-dispelling-the-ignorance-confusion-and-myths

What do you guys think, and please read the article on the link above before commenting.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Messages
3,831 (1.48/day)
Likes
2,220
Location
Rīga, Latvia
System Name HELLSTAR
Processor Intel 5820K @ 4.6GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3
Cooling Custom Loop. 360+240 rads.
Memory 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz 15-17-17-35
Video Card(s) ASUS 1080 Ti FE + water block
Storage Optane 32GB + Samsung 950Pro 256GB NVMe + 750 EVO 500GB
Display(s) Philips PHL BDM3270
Case Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W
Mouse Razer Basilisk
Keyboard Razer Deathstalker
Software Windows 10 insider
#2
You need 5.1 or stereo? Seconds it all depends on the speaker itself... Me myself cannot stand gainclone type IC amps usually used in active speakers and bla bla my religious stuff, but those are my ears, it is different for each other.

First for movies and etc stuff... ehrm... to me it does not matter... use any of them. You can't get good from all worlds... like the crispiness of electrostatic speakers, mellow distortion of tube amps or heavy subsonic destroyers made by transistor train amps, or the best always is a single driver full spectrum speaker, with no crossovers and filters... that's it, either boobs or slender body otherwise it is fake :D

Personally I am using handcrafted QUAD405 amplifier, that honestly now is like 606, why? Because it is for home, it is a hybrid current dumping topology, so it does not get hot and eat electricity while in idle, but it sounds very very good to my ears... as i spent hell of a time tweaking each part of it, it is great for gaming and heavy music and reveals nice details with the current load I drive them. And because of that, I can't listen to less detailed ones anymore, I am spoiled. Usually I feel that I get tired of listening or the sound seems muddy, although I know how it sounded at home and I actually liked that record.

Active speakers are... eehrm... I dislike them, they are boring, usually poorly designed, you have to trade off space vs speaker size, and cheap elements and heat etc, a mess, I dislike seeing power coords to each speaker etc, At first it seem less hassle as with dedicated amp, but usually it is not.

So by definition... any of them... properly designed passive speaker should kill any active one, when driven from a proper source[for domestic home speakers only]

If you have interest more, read up from this mate... He is a true godfather in this industry... he has good articles for starters.

http://sound.westhost.com/articles.htm
 
Last edited:

tigger

I'm the only one
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
10,476 (2.44/day)
Likes
1,673
System Name Black to the Core MKIV
Processor Intel I7 6700k
Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming socket 1151
Cooling NZXT Kraken X61 280mm radiator
Memory 2x8gb Corsair vengeance LPX 2400 DDR4
Video Card(s) XFX Radeon R9 290 4gb ddr5
Storage Patriot Blast 120gb ssd Boot and WD10EADX-22TDHB0 1TB Data
Display(s) Dell 2408WFP 24" 1920x1200
Case Nzxt IS 340
Audio Device(s) Asus xonar dsx pci-e
Power Supply Corsair CX750
Mouse Logitech G502
Software Win 10 Pro x64
#3
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,872 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,159
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#4
I didn't read the PDF you linked because I already know the advantages and disadvantages.

I would not spend $7000 CDN on that Meridian system or any active speakers.

if I had that kind of money I would spend $4500 on Salk, DeVore, Harbeth, etc passive tower speakers. $1500 on a Jolida integrated tube amplifier or power amplifier and tube preamp depending on the speakers. $500 on a Musical Paradise MP-D1 D/A converter and whatever is left would be spent on a electrician, Owens Corning panels and a USB condenser microphone.

that's just a more attractive proposition to me.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
9,947 (2.25/day)
Likes
2,309
System Name MoFo 2
Processor AMD PhenomII 1100T @ 4.2Ghz
Motherboard Asus Crosshair IV
Cooling Swiftec 655 pump, Apogee GT,, MCR360mm Rad, 1/2 loop.
Memory 8GB DDR3-2133 @ 1900 8.9.9.24 1T
Video Card(s) HD7970 1250/1750
Storage Agility 3 SSD 6TB RAID 0 on RAID Card
Display(s) 46" 1080P Toshiba LCD
Case Rosewill R6A34-BK modded (thanks to MKmods)
Audio Device(s) ATI HDMI
Power Supply 750W PC Power & Cooling modded (thanks to MKmods)
Software A lot.
Benchmark Scores Its fast. Enough.
#5
The active/passive debate has raged for years, and while the active side has had a good theory and some mediocre at best application the changes in layout and power for passive and the understanding and matching at the top end has made those arguments obsolete except for the high of the high power setups where dissipating the power and delivering it is truly an issue. Not making a couple hundred watts of clean output to a load through 50 feet of good cable.

The second issue is the music at this level is only as good as the source, and we do not control the multi-track mix, and until we do the whole idea of "sounding" better is purely subjective based on who did what at the board and how they felt about the music.

Lastly, everyone will be a dick about it, but I play with the EQ, because I like to, you should too, just become tom, dick, or harry think it sounds good with a completely flat response doesn't mean you will.