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Old 31st December 2014, 10:16 AM   #1
hahfran is offline hahfran  Germany
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Commercial active speakers

With the procession of "music from the net", active shelf speakers became a surging biz. They come with active equalization of room modes , frequency/amplitude dependent limiters, soft clipping etc. at moderate prices.
To improve bass response the amps have negative output impedance to change the speaker parameters for a small enclosure. Said limiters improve the bass and midrange response to an noteworthy extend, some subjectively outperform much larger and more expensive combinations of passive speakers and separate amps. Even very critical audio magazines had to admit this. The amps in the price category from 500 to 2500 Euros a pair are rather simple, some use of the shelf class D for the bass/midrange speaker, some go linear. It is obvious enough that the job to drive a speaker impedance ( or rather reactance because of the speaker's EMF) in a limited frequency range is easier than driving a passive speaker full frequency range. Thus in fact the distortion in the sensitive midrange is for some active speakers lower than for thrice as expensive combinations of passive and external amps at equal sound pressure.
In the upper price range from 10,000 Euros on upward we find current drive of the speakers with far more sophisticated amps.
Some come with motional feedback.
To sum it up, imho active speakers are superior to passive in several aspects.
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Old 1st January 2015, 08:26 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto and Delray Beach, FL
I guess I've been living in a cave. Some of those features sound quite wonderful (I am esp supportive of motional feedback). Lots that can be done when a manufacturer controls the whole music system and can make the trade-offs they think matter the most, and they also control the computing/DSP end too. And with everything wrapped-up and sealed, people can't nit-pik about .5% distortion in an internal amp... which prolly isn't audible on music.

Can you post links to these little wonders, please.

Ultimately, with more-or-less conventional cone drivers, there are some physical parameter constraints that can't be overcome by smart electronics driving small drivers. Getting loud and low is one. Resonances in hearable frequencies. Doppler distortion. Maybe cabinet diffraction. Dunno others maybe.

Dennesen ESL tweets, Dayton-Wright ESL (110-3200Hz), mixed-bass Klipschorn (28-110), and giant OB using 1960's Stephens woofer (18-110); Behringer DSP. HiFi aspirations since 1956

Last edited by bentoronto; 1st January 2015 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 4th January 2015, 08:10 AM   #3
hahfran is offline hahfran  Germany
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
You might Google for Adam, JBL , Geithain RL-901K ( this one looks like a diy box but has incredible performance) and Cabasse, Backes for the high end with motional fb and current drive
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