Monitor audio rx6 vs AVI ADM 9.1 vs Dynaudio X16

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I have demoed all of these 3 speakers in the recent weeks and they all have their strenghts and weakeness.

First I demoed de RX6 with the Arcam a38 amp and this sounded very very good, Only concern is the bass, I can only manage 60 cm from my rear wall, the dealer said It needed at least 1 mtr.

Second the AVI I demoed them at my own home, It has more detail and sweeter treble but not all of my music sounded right, classical stuff was great but rock was dull and boring.

Dynaudio x16 with NAD 356 was less natural then the AVI but better with rock and more low end grunt, maybe a bit too much low end so I could demo the x12 ass well.

Now, maybe you guys know anything I could demo?
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Sorry, can't offer any insight on the AVIs or the Dyns.

How did the RXs sound? was it boomy? the reason I ask is my RS6s are only about 10-12" from the wall and sound impressive with the Leema.

I've heard [Nad amp and RX6] can lose its bottle when pushed fairly hard with really good speakers, although TBVH, I've not tested the theory personally.
 

Craig M.

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in hifi terms the avi actives wipe the floor with the other options, but that's no good if you don't enjoy them. i personally wouldn't be happy with them unless i had the matching sub.

can you demo atc? might get you a sound that gives most of the avi qualities but a bit more bass to make rock more appealing.

another option along the active route would be genelec, these could sound great partnered with a beresford dac/pre. another option which would likely blow you away would be event opals, another active, but these might push your budget too high. if you can get some demos and can live with the looks, a visit to a pro-audio shop should be on the agenda, well designed actives are head and shoulders above a typical passive setup.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the replies,

Some more people told me about actives are superior to passive systems, that's why i demoed the ADM's.

But my question is why are so many people stil buying passive systems if it is proven that actives are much more accurate?

Is it marketing? design? or does people just don't know active systems because almost all dealers sell passive systems.
 

Clare Newsome

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We were just having a discussion about active speakers in the office. We're bemused why more manufacturers aren't offering them as an option - and I mean living-room friendly designs (like the AVIs), rather than more tweaky, pro-audio models.

We're trying to put together a test, and are struggling to find enough (relatively) mainstream options to add! (Eg widely available to demo/buy).
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
GeorgeK said:
Thanks for the replies,

Some more people told me about actives are superior to passive systems, that's why i demoed the ADM's.

But my question is why are so many people stil buying passive systems if it is proven that actives are much more accurate?

Is it marketing? design? or does people just don't know active systems because almost all dealers sell passive systems.
There are a number of reasons: Firstly, they offer potentially fewer boxes. Secondly, there's less wires which some find annoying. This is allied to clever marketing, but I believe that in two years or so the novelty will wear a little thin.

If you look at most mainstream actives, they are mostly standmount. Bookshelf speakers are generally less coloured than floorstanders, which also explain some of their appeal.
 
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Anonymous

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i think many people like having the option to change amps.
 

The_Lhc

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Also, in this multi-channel world finding a matching centre speaker can be tricky, AVI don't make one for the 9.1s for example (and the response of "they sound so good, you don't need 5.1" is feeble) and I'm not sure how it would work given the 9s are digitally integrated as well.

That's the main thing that's putting me off at the moment.
 
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Anonymous

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@ Clare you are right about that, AVI is the only one with a full package (dac, amp, speaker). You guys did test some actives in the past i think PMC, AVI, Dynaudio and ADAM.

@Maxx True, but why should you change amp if it is perfect. The AVI amp is made for the ADM not more nothing less. Know people are searching what amps manufacturers used for tuning the speakers. Like higher pre/power Rotel + B&W CM serie and Monitor Audio RX + Leema.

2nd thing is if you are used to passive systems I think an active system would be very revealing and in the beginning you think it is not right. I am listening to the AVI for 2 days now an they are getting better because I get used to the sound. But still I would like some more grunt with Pearl Jam, Led Zep etc.so maybe I should try a sub.
 
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Anonymous

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The_Lhc said:
Also, in this multi-channel world finding a matching centre speaker can be tricky, AVI don't make one for the 9.1s for example (and the response of "they sound so good, you don't need 5.1" is feeble) and I'm not sure how it would work given the 9s are digitally integrated as well.

That's the main thing that's putting me off at the moment.
well I think you don;t need a centre speaker, because image is way better then the dyns + monitor audio. But that is personal.

You could add an AV pre amp to the ADM9's I think.
 
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Anonymous

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GeorgeK said:
@ Clare you are right about that, AVI is the only one with a full package (dac, amp, speaker). You guys did test some actives in the past i think PMC, AVI, Dynaudio and ADAM.

@Maxx True, but why should you change amp if it is perfect. The AVI amp is made for the ADM not more nothing less. Know people are searching what amps manufacturers used for tuning the speakers. Like higher pre/power Rotel + B&W CM serie and Monitor Audio RX + Leema.

2nd thing is if you are used to passive systems I think an active system would be very revealing and in the beginning you think it is not right. I am listening to the AVI for 2 days now an they are getting better because I get used to the sound. But still I would like some more grunt with Pearl Jam, Led Zep etc.so maybe I should try a sub.
Passive systems can be just as revealing as actives, it's the designer's intent than makes this. Also remember that you're unlikely to get the same quality of components in an active loudspeaker, ant that includes the speakers themselves as well as the amps.

I've heard Genelecs often enough to know that a good passive system can better them without too much trouble, and I suspect the same is tru with ther AVIs. Remember also that upgrading an active system - and the AVIs are price compromised as much as any other system - works out far more expensive than it does for passive systems, as essentially you have to replace the lot. With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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One good thing about AVI is an all in one solution and so need to work on system matching.. Hence I was exited till the time I auditioned them. But one I did that, then I realized that these are the extremely clinical and boring speakers I ever heard in all my auditions and the worst part is that there is nothing that I could change to tune to my needs.. That is how I quickly got in as well as got out of the one box solution spell.

Dynaudios on the other hand are on my favourite list especially the excite series. I almost bought X36 once and heard their entire Excite range. As you put it rightly their bass is the best but could be overwhelming as you move up the series or within the series. So X12 might work better for you and they are least fussy with matching.

To my ears, most amps are bright / emphasize the high end and that makes Dynaudio perfect to blend.

I do not know much about RX series.
 

Frank Harvey

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Grottyash said:
With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
One thing I've noticed is that from blurb about active speakers, claims that less cabling is a good thing etc etc, and photos of systems without cabling showing, is a little false. If you look at photos of 'real' active systems in situ, there's plenty of cabling. There's a connecting cable between the two speakers, so as far as speaker cables are concerned, you've saved one run. All sources still need to plug into one of the speakers. To me, it doesn't really seem any neater. I'm not saying that that's a reason not to buy actives, just that the cable side of things is a non issue.

As for the 'no centre' thing, I understand that a pair of speakers that are good at imaging can be used without a centre. But, there's a lot more reasons to actually use a centre. Having no centre is fine if you live on your own, or watch films on your own, but once a second person joins in the viewing, one of you, or even both of you, aren't going to be getting a central image. Plus, you can't alter centre channel information if you don't have a centre. Using a good quality centre also takes a little strain of the front left/right speakers too.

If any reps pop in, I'll ask them about active speakers, and why they don't produce any. One possibility is that many speaker manufacturers don't make electronics, so would have to buy in amplifier modules, and would probably need more staff to deal with the implementation of them. Costs add up. Unless you can make a good quality product at a competitive price, it's not worth doing.
 

The_Lhc

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Grottyash said:
With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
One thing I've noticed is that from blurb about active speakers, claims that less cabling is a good thing etc etc, and photos of systems without cabling showing, is a little false. If you look at photos of 'real' active systems in situ, there's plenty of cabling. There's a connecting cable between the two speakers, so as far as speaker cables are concerned, you've saved one run. All sources still need to plug into one of the speakers. To me, it doesn't really seem any neater.
And each speaker needs power of course as well...
 
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Anonymous

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GeorgeK said:
@ Clare you are right about that, AVI is the only one with a full package (dac, amp, speaker). You guys did test some actives in the past i think PMC, AVI, Dynaudio and ADAM.

@Maxx True, but why should you change amp if it is perfect. The AVI amp is made for the ADM not more nothing less. Know people are searching what amps manufacturers used for tuning the speakers. Like higher pre/power Rotel + B&W CM serie and Monitor Audio RX + Leema.

2nd thing is if you are used to passive systems I think an active system would be very revealing and in the beginning you think it is not right. I am listening to the AVI for 2 days now an they are getting better because I get used to the sound. But still I would like some more grunt with Pearl Jam, Led Zep etc.so maybe I should try a sub.
hifi is a hobby for many people, and tinkering with it can be enjoyable, i've only been into hifi for just over a year and i've had 5 different stereo amps.

if i'd have bought actives first off i'd have either had to stick with them or sell them and buy new speakers and amp, probably losing a fair few bob in the process.

i think being able to swap out various componants (especially budget/low end kit) from time to time is part of the fun while not costing too much, and not being able to do so would probably put me off buying actives.
 

Craig M.

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Grottyash said:
With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
One thing I've noticed is that from blurb about active speakers, claims that less cabling is a good thing etc etc, and photos of systems without cabling showing, is a little false. If you look at photos of 'real' active systems in situ, there's plenty of cabling. There's a connecting cable between the two speakers, so as far as speaker cables are concerned, you've saved one run. All sources still need to plug into one of the speakers.
most actives don't have a wire connecting them to each other, most actives need a seperate pre so no sources will be plugged straight into the speaker. i don't see the lack or otherwise of cables as even a minor point in favour of actives, the point of actives is a perfectly matched amp and drive unit and the removal of passive crossover distortion. i'd put my opals against any passive speaker i've ever heard and they would walk it.
 

Craig M.

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maxflinn said:
hifi is a hobby for many people, and tinkering with it can be enjoyable, i've only been into hifi for just over a year and i've had 5 different stereo amps.

if i'd have bought actives first off i'd have either had to stick with them or sell them and buy new speakers and amp, probably losing a fair few bob in the process.

i think being able to swap out various componants (especially budget/low end kit) from time to time is part of the fun while not costing too much, and not being able to do so would probably put me off buying actives.
or it could be, if you'd bought actives you wouldn't have wanted to change. you could still tinker with different pre amps if you needed to, secure in the knowledge that if you'd bought wisely the marriage of power amp and speaker was as good as you were likely to get.
 

Craig M.

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GeorgeK said:
2nd thing is if you are used to passive systems I think an active system would be very revealing and in the beginning you think it is not right. I am listening to the AVI for 2 days now an they are getting better because I get used to the sound. But still I would like some more grunt with Pearl Jam, Led Zep etc.so maybe I should try a sub.
yup. if something sounds radically different to what you are used to, it can sound very strange at first. you need to give the brain time to 'forget' the previous sound you have gotten used to.
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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Hi Grottyash,

normally agree with most of your posts but not sure about a few things on this one:


Grottyash said:
Also remember that you're unlikely to get the same quality of components in an active loudspeaker, ant that includes the speakers themselves as well as the amps.
Why?

With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
Sort of. But given that an active speaker has a separate power amp, the comparable passive system has both a preamp and a poweramp, so you are one box down. And with the growth of dac/preamps the number of boxes can be cut further - Craig's set up is a great example, just 2 boxes, 1 of one which is tiny (and the Benchmark's not exactly big). Of course, I'm not one to talk - I have millions of boxes


Others have talked about centres. Nothing to stop you having a centre with an active system. There are some dedicated centre channels, eg the C3CA or stupendous C6CA from ATC. Others use a passive centre from the same speaker company, no problem. And of course David is frequently saying how sountracks are mastered on matching sub/sat systems, I'm aware of several people using 3 matching active speakers as fronts and centre.
 
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Anonymous

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BenLaw said:
Hi Grottyash,

normally agree with most of your posts but not sure about a few things on this one:


Grottyash said:
Also remember that you're unlikely to get the same quality of components in an active loudspeaker, ant that includes the speakers themselves as well as the amps.
Why?

With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
Sort of. But given that an active speaker has a separate power amp, the comparable passive system has both a preamp and a poweramp, so you are one box down. And with the growth of dac/preamps the number of boxes can be cut further - Craig's set up is a great example, just 2 boxes, 1 of one which is tiny (and the Benchmark's not exactly big). Of course, I'm not one to talk - I have millions of boxes


Others have talked about centres. Nothing to stop you having a centre with an active system. There are some dedicated centre channels, eg the C3CA or stupendous C6CA from ATC. Others use a passive centre from the same speaker company, no problem. And of course David is frequently saying how sountracks are mastered on matching sub/sat systems, I'm aware of several people using 3 matching active speakers as fronts and centre.
Because actives normally have an amp for the tweeter and an amp for the bass/midrange and the control over the individual speaker is better, therefore you don't need to spend a fortune on the best speaker. Not to mention the fact you have 4 amps, not one or two. It is a product of active speakers that you can compromise certainly on the materials you use to build your speakers, and, since you are using twice the amount of amplification, on those components, too. The other reason is, of course, size. You can't use hulking great power amplifiers in a small speaker, so inevitably that and requirements for heat dissipation cause trade-offs. Top class amps are hard to fit in small boxes. It's notable that some German manufacturers - Adams, I think, and perhaps some Cantons, use digital amplification to overcome the problem.

The answer to your other point is easy. An integrated amp. An integrated amp with a DAC such as Peachtree also gives you the same number of boxes, so no benefit there. In fact, as David says, possibly actives miss out because they have double the number of cables.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Craig M. said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Grottyash said:
With the exception of AVI, active speakers do not lessen the box count, as you still need a preamp and cd player or DAC.
One thing I've noticed is that from blurb about active speakers, claims that less cabling is a good thing etc etc, and photos of systems without cabling showing, is a little false. If you look at photos of 'real' active systems in situ, there's plenty of cabling. There's a connecting cable between the two speakers, so as far as speaker cables are concerned, you've saved one run. All sources still need to plug into one of the speakers.
most actives don't have a wire connecting them to each other, most actives need a seperate pre so no sources will be plugged straight into the speaker. i don't see the lack or otherwise of cables as even a minor point in favour of actives, the point of actives is a perfectly matched amp and drive unit and the removal of passive crossover distortion. i'd put my opals against any passive speaker i've ever heard and they would walk it.
hi craig,how does your new opals compare to the atc sia150,scm19's combo? how much do they retail for?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
GeorgeK said:
Dynaudio x16 with NAD 356 was less natural then the AVI but better with rock and more low end grunt, maybe a bit too much low end so I could demo the x12 ass well.
What i've observed with my X12s is that, they need good stands to sound good, esp. with Bass. Atacama Nexus6i did not work. Target HR60 really improved things for me.....this could be tru with X16s as well. incase you didn't have this aspect covered during home demo (if at all it was), its likely the X16s could do better.
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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Grottyash said:
Because actives normally have an amp for the tweeter and an amp for the bass/midrange and the control over the individual speaker is better, therefore you don't need to spend a fortune on the best speaker. Not to mention the fact you have 4 amps, not one or two. It is a product of active speakers that you can compromise certainly on the materials you use to build your speakers, and, since you are using twice the amount of amplification, on those components, too. The other reason is, of course, size. You can't use hulking great power amplifiers in a small speaker, so inevitably that and requirements for heat dissipation cause trade-offs. Top class amps are hard to fit in small boxes. It's notable that some German manufacturers - Adams, I think, and perhaps some Cantons, use digital amplification to overcome the problem.
Thanks for the reply Grottyash
You're right about using more amplifiers, I'm not sure that necessarily leads to them being 'lower quality components' but I can see how it could. I know more about ATC than other brands, and have recently seen an article in a German mag showing that ATC actives outperform the passive version even with amplification costing more than the entire active speaker. So the amplification may be cheaper but not necessarily worse, and obviously doesn't suffer from having a passive crossover. Again, ATC is able to fit top class amps in their speakers, ones that operate in Class A up to two thirds of their output.

Sticking to ATC again, they use the same drivers for both passive and active versions of their speakers, so there's no question of having less good components in that area.

The answer to your other point is easy. An integrated amp. An integrated amp with a DAC such as Peachtree also gives you the same number of boxes, so no benefit there. In fact, as David says, possibly actives miss out because they have double the number of cables.
You're right, it's why I said 'sort of'
If you have the traditional route of source-pre-power then it cuts out a box but there are many non-traditional options, both passive and active. Traditional actives like ATC still reduced the cable count from traditional passive (1 extra mains cable, but no speaker cable). I tend to agree with Craig tho, the argument for active is not box or cable count (tho for some that could be a further advantage) it is a perfectly tuned amp and an active crossover.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
BenLaw, I read the same article, but it could be my poor German let me down. I thought the first series of tests, which used hyper-expensive amplification with the passives, showed the passives winning, it wasn't until they brought in cheaper amps to make the pricing more equal that the actives were judged better. Perhaps you could correct me - as I said, there's a distinct possibility I misunderstood, but would like to know.

That said, prices of both would buy you a couple of decent motors...
 

Craig M.

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Grottyash said:
The other reason is, of course, size. You can't use hulking great power amplifiers in a small speaker, so inevitably that and requirements for heat dissipation cause trade-offs. Top class amps are hard to fit in small boxes. It's notable that some German manufacturers - Adams, I think, and perhaps some Cantons, use digital amplification to overcome the problem.
as Ben has said, this isn't true. atc use top notch amplification in their active speakers, small and large, for example. my opals have a ton of power. the other thing to consider is that actives don't need as much power for a given output as passives because they don't have a crossover in the way, soaking up amp power.
 

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