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One thought on “ACTIVE SPEAKERS: Paradise or …. trouble in paradise?”
I’m an active speaker fan, and I think there are various classifications of ‘active’ varying from powered speakers with single amplifier in the speaker enclosure but passive crossover, through analogue active using op amps and so on for the crossover filtering with bi-, tri- or quad-amping, all the way to Meridian-style digital processing that can correct the phase and amplitude responses of the drivers – which is what I use. The speakers with true active crossovers, in my opinion, sound the opposite to how the uninitiated might imagine them. Instead of the ‘clinical’ neutrality that might be expected, the sound is rich, and pours out of the speakers without strain. Bass dynamics are unbelievable and the tendency is to turn them up louder than passive speakers because the sound is so clean. I have read an occasional comment that says active speakers suffer from ‘discrete driver syndrome’ where they fail to be ‘knitted’ together with, presumably, distortion unlike the passive crossover and single amplifier solution. This, I believe, is just one of those myths that can be started on a whim by someone who has never even heard an active speaker but somehow thinks that might be a problem if he were to try building one, therefore they’re all probably a bit like that.