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The active speakers club

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oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Overdose said:
I think that you are over analysing the situation. If you need to put your ear right next to a speaker to hear an anomaly, then clearly the problem is a moot point, as you will never be listening to music in such a situation. Personally, I am only concerned with the audible when it comes to music and systems, I have no time to obsess about inconsequential trivia. Others thrive on it though, as it seems their hobby or compulsion to do so.
careful there! before you know it you'll be preaching vinyl noise don't hinder sound quality, or higher THD in tube amps is meaningless, or [horror!] that crossover distortion is irrelevant. all this must be inconsequential trivia for how could it be heard at some -50db?
 

JMacMan

New member
Nov 9, 2012
9
0
0
oldric_naubhoff said:
a question to B&O active speakers owners. and of other active speakers as well. can you hear "hissssss" from the tweeters when the speakers are on but no music is playing? (and yes that means with your ear right up to the tweeter).

I got really interested because yesterday I clicked into a post on another forum (link is given in this thread http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/background-noise-in-floorstanders-twitters post 12 if someone is interested) where people are asking themselves the same question. it appears no owner of actives on that forum has trully silent replay system - some hiss is constantly audible.

I think it's really strange. my amp produces no audible hiss on tweeters. and it's not some multi-thousand jobbie. could it be that amps within most actives are so poor that they can't go without audible hisssss? that's why I point this question mainly to B&O owners as it appears their actives are a premium product judged not only by the asking price but also tech involved, ie. ICE Power modules used throughout and at least on paper ICE Power looks like it's up with the best in terms of SNR.

thx.
Interesting.

My then Naim electronics (CDI/72/Hi-Cap/180/SBL's hissed through the tweeter with the volume right down and no music playing - you could notice it if passing within say about 20 or 30cm away.

By contrast, my replacement amplification, the Sony TA-DA9000ES, which is Sony S-Master Pro technology (Class D, but using a DSD bitstream to form the pulse wave for the output switching transistors, rather than an analogue wave form) was totally silent even with ones ear up against the foam grill covering the tweeter in the SBL's.

I haven't done the same with the Beolab 9's, i.e. ear right up against the tweeter, volume at zero, no music playing etc, but certainly under the same circumstances, passing within 20cm or so of them, I have yet to hear anything from the tweeter.

I will check it out via ear up against them, but given all the other niceties of them, I would not be concerned if there were minute amounts of hiss.

At the end of the day, nothing is perfect, but as a music lover first, and an audiophile second, I have come to accept this fact of audio life.

Having obsessed about with things like racks, regular cleaning of connector pins and so forth, and the 'dressing' of power and signal leads in the past, I am happy to have left all those audiophile concerns behind, as I found that they basically replaced the simple enjoyment of music via my system (which is the reason I got into Hifi in the first place), with arguably obsessional and at times neurotic concerns about the system and 'it's' performance instead.

I appreciate that my 'attitude' is probably anathema to an audiophile whose hobby is the kit, and indeed fair enough; but for me, whilst interested in how things work and the why's and wherefores, the end result speaking as a lover of music and film, matters far more to me than concerning myself about possible 'failings' or 'weaknesses' of the system per se - I am happy to leave that to the audiophile who is into the kit as a hobby per se, far more than music or film.

Kind regards

JMac..
 

markiedee

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2009
7
0
18,520
Hi jmac would you say your lab 9s inproved more when they had a few hours on them or did they sound right out of the box? ? When I demoed the lab17s they sounded outstanding despite the demo room having alot of glass in there. And I know when I get mine in my room where it has as alot more damping in terms of carpet, shag pile rug and heavy curtains I'm sure the sound will be even better soon still.
 

JMacMan

New member
Nov 9, 2012
9
0
0
markiedee said:
Hi jmac would you say your lab 9s inproved more when they had a few hours on them or did they sound right out of the box? ? When I demoed the lab17s they sounded outstanding despite the demo room having alot of glass in there. And I know when I get mine in my room where it has as alot more damping in terms of carpet, shag pile rug and heavy curtains I'm sure the sound will be even better soon still.
There's a lot of anecdotal comment around the audiophile scene that loudspeakers need running in.

From what I've read, this basically means that the spider and surround need a certain amount of inital mechanical flexing to attain the desired and designed for compliance of the suspension for the speaker cone.

B&W say in their instruction manuals, that the effects of temperature and the stabilisation of glues etc, can result in subtle changes in sound up to around 15 hours of use. Beyond that they say, any perceived change in sound is down to the listener getting used to the sound of the new speaker rather than any changes in the speaker per se.

I've also read that companies like ATC bench test each invididual driver, and run it to Xmax, i.e. maximum designed for excursion, and hence the speaker is then 'run in' and no further change is likely to be noticed by the purchaser of the new speaker.

When I bought my Naim SBL's, I was advised by the dealer that they would need several hundred hours on them to 'run in'.

So, I kept a log, and started with gentle use, gradually upping the volume as the hours usage accumulated, and thought(?) I could hear the sound improving very, very subtly, up to around 250 hours, beyond which it was far to unreliable to say if anything was changing or not.

With my Lab 9's, I adopted a similar strategy, with gentle use for the first 20 or 30 hours, and then gradually upping the volume after that. I also kept a log. Indeed I did so up to around 300 hours of use, but to my ears, the sound did not change throughout that period.

It's worth noting that B&O test and adjust each individual speaker coming off a production line, in an sealed test chamber, and the results compared to the design reference, and corrected where necessary - which of course one can do with an active design.

This has two advantages. One, item A off the production line is going to sound the same as item Z, and two, the speaker should be effectively more or less 'run in' with that intial test use.

I do sometimes feel that from first switch-on, the sound possibly(?) improves very slightly after about twenty minutes running - but it really is only a very subtle perception and I have no measurements or technical info to support why that may happen.

Indeed, it may simply be psycho-acoutics, mood on the day etc.

The only issue I had with the Lab 9's when 'running them in' or rather getting used to the new system, was the prodigious bass output.

Everything is very balanced in the bass on music where there is little real bass or bass extension; a string quartet or solo piano for example, or even say large scale pipe organ works etc.

But put on a Bluray movie, and... OH... MY... GOODNESS!

There were times I was terrified something was going to break - on movie LFE the Lab 9's easily equal (subjectively speaking, as a friend has one) a Velodyne DD 15" dedicated sub, in the way they rattle doors and windows, make the couch go wobbly, and punch one in the stomach with visceral delight.

AWESOME!

I actually started a thread on Beoworld about it, and how the propietary ABL, or Adaptive Bass Linearisation works, - both to extend the bass, and also to protect the system from thermal or mechanical overload.

Dr. Geoff Martin most kindly wrote in and explained a lot about the technical aspects and features of the design which greatly put my mind at ease.

I've got used to the amazing bass performance now on movie LFE, and pretty much take it for granted - it equals some of the best dedicated separates subs I've ever heard, and no, they don't break!

But in truth, the bass performance is way beyond that which I've heard from most high end passive speakers - you really need to be up in B&W 802D or 800D class in a passive speaker, or something like a Velodyne 15" DD dedicated subwoofer to get near the Lab 9 in terms of bass grip and control, drive, extension, zero colouration and pitch accuracy along with timbral detail that tells you whether you are listening to string bass, electric bass guitar, synth etc.

Note, that B&O don't make any mention in their owners guides about runnning in; I'd simply keep the volume under control for the first few hours, mainly out of perhaps a misplaced sense of caution, and then just use as per normal.

Will look forward to hearing how you get on with them when they arrive.. :)

Kind regards

JMac...
 

markiedee

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2009
7
0
18,520
Thanks a lot for your input, boy does those lab 9s sound like they rock!!! I remember when I had a demo of the lab 5s it was a experience I have never forgotten.

everything worked in unison with each other, and the bass... I felt it through my body it was tight and very very deep. When people talk negatively about b&0 and say that there style over substance it really confuses me. B&0 speakers are some of the most sophisticated speakers in terms of the technology used and the output that there speakers are able to produce astound me every time.

when you check out the specs for the beolab 9 2500 watts per speaker come on that is outrageously powerful and even the beolab 9s 700 watts per speaker. Like I said b&0 IMO are definitely pioneers in there field and after owning mixing and matching products over the years finally being able to find a speaker that not only looks good but sounds phenomenal is a real bonus.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
Hi folks,

Just a little theoretical question for you. (I don’t mean to rock the boat, as I know this is a friendly thread, and long may it remain so.)

How do you define “active speaker”?

I ask because so many things are in flux in audio these days; there are so many ways of configuring the relation between crossover, amplification and transducer.

:cheers:

Matt
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
I think we are talking about a multiway loudspeaker that uses a line level active crossover to split the frequencies and supply band limited signal to individual amplifiers connected directly to the drive units.

I think that is the basics, if a speaker system has the above, it is "active".

You can add other factors and features, to suit various applications, but that is the essence.
 

markiedee

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2009
7
0
18,520
davedotco said:
I think we are talking about a multiway loudspeaker that uses a line level active crossover to split the frequencies and supply band limited signal to individual amplifiers connected directly to the drive units.

I think that is the basics, if a speaker system has the above, it is "active".

You can add other factors and features, to suit various applications, but that is the essence.
exactly what you said.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
davedotco said:
I think we are talking about a multiway loudspeaker that uses a line level active crossover to split the frequencies and supply band limited signal to individual amplifiers connected directly to the drive units.

I think that is the basics, if a speaker system has the above, it is "active".

You can add other factors and features, to suit various applications, but that is the essence.
Thanks, Dave, that's an admirably clear, concise and full definition. I will sleep soundly tonight.

:cheers:

Matt
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
matt49 said:
davedotco said:
I think we are talking about a multiway loudspeaker that uses a line level active crossover to split the frequencies and supply band limited signal to individual amplifiers connected directly to the drive units.

I think that is the basics, if a speaker system has the above, it is "active".

You can add other factors and features, to suit various applications, but that is the essence.
Thanks, Dave, that's an admirably clear, concise and full definition. I will sleep soundly tonight.

:cheers:

Matt
I thought you might be considering your own hybrids when asking this.

I believe you have speakers that have an active bass section, which will, I suspect have their own line level crossover so in that sense it is active. The electrostatic panel is a single driver I believe, driven by your own amplifier.

This does not make your system active as the panel is driven by your amplifier running full range, probably with some kind of passive network to roll off the bass end.

So in that sense it is not active, a hybrid in more than one sense of the word.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
davedotco said:
I thought you might be considering your own hybrids when asking this.

I believe you have speakers that have an active bass section, which will, I suspect have their own line level crossover so in that sense it is active. The electrostatic panel is a single driver I believe, driven by your own amplifier.

This does not make your system active as the panel is driven by your amplifier running full range, probably with some kind of passive network to roll off the bass end.

So in that sense it is not active, a hybrid in more than one sense of the word.
Yes, I'm not entirely sure how it works.

My understanding is that the panel is driven directly by the amp, albeit through a transformer (such as you'd have in the power amplification of an active speaker). The sub uses a DSP engine to suck the signal into its own amp. In effect it's like having an "active" full range speaker and a separate active sub. So not exactly active, but also not far removed.

Anyway, the absence of any crossover in the range from 340Hz to 20kHz is a good thing, whether it's properly active or not.

Just musing ...

Matt
 

JMacMan

New member
Nov 9, 2012
9
0
0
markiedee said:
Thanks a lot for your input, boy does those lab 9s sound like they rock!!! I remember when I had a demo of the lab 5s it was a experience I have never forgotten.

everything worked in unison with each other, and the bass... I felt it through my body it was tight and very very deep. When people talk negatively about b&0 and say that there style over substance it really confuses me. B&0 speakers are some of the most sophisticated speakers in terms of the technology used and the output that there speakers are able to produce astound me every time.

when you check out the specs for the beolab 9 2500 watts per speaker come on that is outrageously powerful and even the beolab 9s 700 watts per speaker. Like I said b&0 IMO are definitely pioneers in there field and after owning mixing and matching products over the years finally being able to find a speaker that not only looks good but sounds phenomenal is a real bonus.
You're most welcome Mark

Most Hifi, from so called 'specialist' manufacturers, utilises a system building methodology that is still based upon the early days of HiFi for the home, in the 1950's, where small start up cottage industries made individual separates components for HiFi systems.

Hence the beginning of the concept of separates and the mix and match, trial and error system builidng approach used by DIY home hobbyists of the time, and still largely in use today.

Times change, and my argument as a music and movie lover first and foremost, is that a company such as Meridian, or B&O, operating as they do with some of the most highly qualififed engineers in the industry, has a much greater chance of designing, engineering and building a HiFi system as a total thing in house, where the 'closest approach to the original sound' is the design aim, rather than my having to buy say an amplifier from one source, and then rely upon trial and error, and the opinons of retail amateurs to try and find a complimentary speaker for that particular amplifier.

I've used the analogy before, but to me it is like buying a car, but piece by piece from 3rd party parts suppliers, relying upon their amatuer, and my own amateur feelings thoughts and experiences, to try and build the total car, - rather than relying upon the efforts of a manufacturer of cars as a complete and finished product, employing the best engineers in the business to do the job.

With respect to B&O, one often hears the comment 'lifestyle' system thrown at them, which frankly makes me laugh, as when you think about it, almost any system is a 'lifestyle' system, as one buys a HiFi or AV system as a compliment to ones lifesytle, to enhance that lifestyle surely.

I think that part of this lifestyle comment thrown in a derogatory manner, comes about when one has invested a lot of time and effort in the mix and match approach, and there is thus a tendency to look down ones nose at the one make/manufacturers system, as though it cannot somehow be as good as the mix and match paradigm.

And so, if a one make system can't be taken seriously, then it gets dismissed as being 'lifestyle' - i.e not a system for the 'serious' HiFi owner.

Each to their own, but ersonally, I would never go for the mix and match HiFi building paradigm ever again, whilst recognising that for many, that approach is in itself a major part of the interest for those who are 'into' Hifi or if you will the kit, as the main raison de etre of owning a system per se.

Kind regards

JMac
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
180
2
18,595
JMacMan said:
markiedee said:
Thanks a lot for your input, boy does those lab 9s sound like they rock!!! I remember when I had a demo of the lab 5s it was a experience I have never forgotten.

everything worked in unison with each other, and the bass... I felt it through my body it was tight and very very deep. When people talk negatively about b&0 and say that there style over substance it really confuses me. B&0 speakers are some of the most sophisticated speakers in terms of the technology used and the output that there speakers are able to produce astound me every time.

when you check out the specs for the beolab 9 2500 watts per speaker come on that is outrageously powerful and even the beolab 9s 700 watts per speaker. Like I said b&0 IMO are definitely pioneers in there field and after owning mixing and matching products over the years finally being able to find a speaker that not only looks good but sounds phenomenal is a real bonus.
VERY WELL SAID!!

You're most welcome Mark

Most Hifi, from so called 'specialist' manufacturers, utilises a system building methodology that is still based upon the early days of HiFi for the home, in the 1950's, where small start up cottage industries made individual separates components for HiFi systems.

Hence the beginning of the concept of separates and the mix and match, trial and error system builidng approach used by DIY home hobbyists of the time, and still largely in use today.

Times change, and my argument as a music and movie lover first and foremost, is that a company such as Meridian, or B&O, operating as they do with some of the most highly qualififed engineers in the industry, has a much greater chance of designing, engineering and building a HiFi system as a total thing in house, where the 'closest approach to the original sound' is the design aim, rather than my having to buy say an amplifier from one source, and then rely upon trial and error, and the opinons of retail amateurs to try and find a complimentary speaker for that particular amplifier.

I've used the analogy before, but to me it is like buying a car, but piece by piece from 3rd party parts suppliers, relying upon their amatuer, and my own amateur feelings thoughts and experiences, to try and build the total car, - rather than relying upon the efforts of a manufacturer of cars as a complete and finished product, employing the best engineers in the business to do the job.

With respect to B&O, one often hears the comment 'lifestyle' system thrown at them, which frankly makes me laugh, as when you think about it, almost any system is a 'lifestyle' system, as one buys a HiFi or AV system as a compliment to ones lifesytle, to enhance that lifestyle surely.

I think that part of this lifestyle comment thrown in a derogatory manner, comes about when one has invested a lot of time and effort in the mix and match approach, and there is thus a tendency to look down ones nose at the one make/manufacturers system, as though it cannot somehow be as good as the mix and match paradigm.

And so, if a one make system can't be taken seriously, then it gets dismissed as being 'lifestyle' - i.e not a system for the 'serious' HiFi owner.

Each to their own, but ersonally, I would never go for the mix and match HiFi building paradigm ever again, whilst recognising that for many, that approach is in itself a major part of the interest for those who are 'into' Hifi or if you will the kit, as the main raison de etre of owning a system per se.

Kind regards

JMac
 

hear quality

New member
Jul 3, 2014
0
0
0
Sorry to tag into a long running thread but I'll be brief and then I'll not post back - just absorb the wisdom.

It says at the top "Have your say and ask the experts" so that is just what I plan to do.

All of my music is on a NAS in either FLAC or high quality (contradiction in terms I know) .mp3. NAS is networked via cat6 ethernet to a DAC.

My question is what active speakers? And before the torrent starts I just want something of good quality for listening. No interest in 'mixing'. Just listening.

My music tastes are very catholic from high opera through sixties/seventies rock/acid rock to trance (but I prefer to avoid RAP with a silent 'c' and hit with a silent 's')

Yes, I have a budget and it in the hudreds not thousands of pounds so let's be realistic. And, being a normal person not an audiophile, can we restrict the jargon, please?.

All I want is for my sixty five year old ears to hear is a reasonable reproduction of the music that I have recorded. I am really not so interested in being able to distinguish from my speakers the difference between a gnats fart in the left channel from a mosquito's fart in the right because, quite frankly, my ears are no longer that good.

So the focus needs to be on good qualit build and good quality sound reproduction that will sooth my aged ear drums. Room size, where these will be placed, is 36' x 21' with two doors opening out onto the terrace so that I can hear the music outside.

My thanks in advance for any and all contributions made. No further postings will be made by me.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
hear quality said:
Sorry to tag into a long running thread but I'll be brief and then I'll not post back - just absorb the wisdom.

It says at the top "Have your say and ask the experts" so that is just what I plan to do.

All of my music is on a NAS in either FLAC or high quality (contradiction in terms I know) .mp3. NAS is networked via cat6 ethernet to a DAC.

My question is what active speakers? And before the torrent starts I just want something of good quality for listening. No interest in 'mixing'. Just listening.

My music tastes are very catholic from high opera through sixties/seventies rock/acid rock to trance (but I prefer to avoid RAP with a silent 'c' and hit with a silent 's')

Yes, I have a budget and it in the hudreds not thousands of pounds so let's be realistic. And, being a normal person not an audiophile, can we restrict the jargon, please?.

All I want is for my sixty five year old ears to hear is a reasonable reproduction of the music that I have recorded. I am really not so interested in being able to distinguish from my speakers the difference between a gnats fart in the left channel from a mosquito's fart in the right because, quite frankly, my ears are no longer that good.

So the focus needs to be on good qualit build and good quality sound reproduction that will sooth my aged ear drums. Room size, where these will be placed, is 36' x 21' with two doors opening out onto the terrace so that I can hear the music outside.

My thanks in advance for any and all contributions made. No further postings will be made by me.
For sound quality I'd pick one of these three:

AVI DM5 - £700 Clicky

Genelec G Four (or the near identical 8030a) - £900 Clicky

Adam Artist 6 - £950 Clicky

If you want something a bit louder/bigger/deeper because you have a large room to fill these are worth considering too:

Mackie HR624mk2 - £700 Clicky
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
hear quality said:
Sorry to tag into a long running thread but I'll be brief and then I'll not post back - just absorb the wisdom.

It says at the top "Have your say and ask the experts" so that is just what I plan to do.

All of my music is on a NAS in either FLAC or high quality (contradiction in terms I know) .mp3. NAS is networked via cat6 ethernet to a DAC.

My question is what active speakers? And before the torrent starts I just want something of good quality for listening. No interest in 'mixing'. Just listening.

My music tastes are very catholic from high opera through sixties/seventies rock/acid rock to trance (but I prefer to avoid RAP with a silent 'c' and hit with a silent 's')

Yes, I have a budget and it in the hudreds not thousands of pounds so let's be realistic. And, being a normal person not an audiophile, can we restrict the jargon, please?.

All I want is for my sixty five year old ears to hear is a reasonable reproduction of the music that I have recorded. I am really not so interested in being able to distinguish from my speakers the difference between a gnats fart in the left channel from a mosquito's fart in the right because, quite frankly, my ears are no longer that good.

So the focus needs to be on good qualit build and good quality sound reproduction that will sooth my aged ear drums. Room size, where these will be placed, is 36' x 21' with two doors opening out onto the terrace so that I can hear the music outside.

My thanks in advance for any and all contributions made. No further postings will be made by me.
OK.

Firstly we really need to know whether you setup/dac has a volume control or not.

This is very important, most active speakers do not have a volume control as such, any level control is usually rear mounted and designed for level matching rather than volume.

Most active speakers at affordable prices (up to £1k) are studio monitor types, not usually a problem but given their target market it is probably fair to say that they favour rock/pop/jazz rather than classical material.

One fine exception to this is AVI, their tiny DM5 (£700) are reputed to be fine all rounders but you will need some kind of outboard volume control. The slightly bigger ADM9 (£1250) is more flexible, has muliple inputs, dac and volume, all on a remote.

Given the size of the room I suggest you investigate the latest ADM9RS.
 

matt49

New member
Apr 7, 2013
51
0
0
I’d like some active speakers for my living room. It’s quite a big room: 5.5 x 5.5m. The speakers would have to look nice and be full range. I’d like something that came close to the performance of my Martin Logan Montis. (The Montis are in my listening room, and Mrs49 will not allow the Montis in the living room.) I’ve tried ATCs, but I found them inferior to the Montis and they’re very expensive.

I mainly listen to classical music.

Can anyone suggest anything that looks good and will not be disappointing? Budget £5K or more.

Cheers,

Matt
 

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