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Today I heard...

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
292
89
18,970
...some active speakers. :shhh:

In my lunch break I decided it was time to hear why so many people seem to be promoting the benefits of active speakers so I went to listen to some for the first time in a long time.

I listened to the following:

Yamaha HS50

Yamaha HS80

KRK Rokit 5

KRK Rokit 8

It was a very mixed experience. I felt that the Rokit 5s were the weakest proposition. The top end sounds artificially dull and the mid-range isn't as open as I would have expected, with what I felt to be significant smearing of the sound in the lower mid-range/upper bass. To these ears the Rokit 5s didn't really make a great case for actives.

The Rokit 8s were significantly better. Much more open and detailed and the bass sounded more natural. I could actually listen to these for quite a long time but they still fell short of being special.

Then came the Yamahas. The HS50s are fantastic. Open, detailed, informative and very clear with a seemingly flat frequency response that really allows the music to shine through. The HS80s shared similar characteristics although I didn't feel the balance was quite as good as the smaller model overall.

In conclusion, I'm impressed with what some actives can do and I think the Yamaha HS50s are incredible value for money. They would make for a superb, simple and musically informative set-up with a decent DAC and I can fully understand why people would use them for general listening. Certainly makes me want to hear more - the Event 2020BAS V3 and the Adam A5x would be very interesting to hear for the comparison.
 

alchemist 1

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2012
80
2
18,545
matthewpiano said:
...some active speakers. :shhh:

In my lunch break I decided it was time to hear why so many people seem to be promoting the benefits of active speakers so I went to listen to some for the first time in a long time.

I listened to the following:

Yamaha HS50

Yamaha HS80

KRK Rokit 5

KRK Rokit 8

It was a very mixed experience. I felt that the Rokit 5s were the weakest proposition. The top end sounds artificially dull and the mid-range isn't as open as I would have expected, with what I felt to be significant smearing of the sound in the lower mid-range/upper bass. To these ears the Rokit 5s didn't really make a great case for actives.

The Rokit 8s were significantly better. Much more open and detailed and the bass sounded more natural. I could actually listen to these for quite a long time but they still fell short of being special.

Then came the Yamahas. The HS50s are fantastic. Open, detailed, informative and very clear with a seemingly flat frequency response that really allows the music to shine through. The HS80s shared similar characteristics although I didn't feel the balance was quite as good as the smaller model overall.

In conclusion, I'm impressed with what some actives can do and I think the Yamaha HS50s are incredible value for money. They would make for a superb, simple and musically informative set-up with a decent DAC and I can fully understand why people would use them for general listening. Certainly makes me want to hear more - the Event 2020BAS V3 and the Adam A5x would be very interesting to hear for the comparison.
You just had to '' Did'nt you''. You just could'nt have a normal lunch break ! :O
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
matthewpiano said:
MUSICRAFT said:
Hi Matt

Nice one 8)

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
Cheers Rick. Funnily enough it also makes me want to hear some passive ATCs eventually. :)
Hi Matt

Your welcome and if you're ever in my neck of the woods then please drop by and you can also listen to their SCM100ASL Professional monitors and C6-SCM0.1/15. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the reproduction :)

http://www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/scm100aslpro.php

http://www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/scm0.1_15.php

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
matthewpiano said:
KRK Rokit 5

KRK Rokit 8
It just goes to show that there's plenty of bad active speakers around. I wasn't impressed with the KRK's either. In fact they're pretty rubbish really.

Have a listen to some of the cheaper Dynaudio or Adam actives if you get the chance because they're much better than KRK's. Or for around £2-3K the Quested active monitors and the Event Opals are truly outstanding if you ever get the chance to hear them.
 

Overdose

New member
Feb 8, 2008
279
0
0
Does anyone know what benefits, if any, there are to using XLR speaker connections over RCA/phono leads in home audio?

I had always assumed that XLR was better for longer runs and in electrically noisier situations, but RCA leads, perhaps being better in the home.

Anyone?

Sorry for hijacking the thread, but for some reason I could not post this as a new topic.

Any ideas mods?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Interesting reading there matthew and good reviews as well :)

Where did you demo them by the way?

I'll be listening to the following over the next week or 2:

EPOZ Aktimate Maxis

Swan T200B's

Swan M200 Mk III's

Adam Audio A5X's, Artist 3's and Artist 5's &

Hopefully the Yamaha HS80M's

Will report back in a separate thread soon enough :)
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Nice choice there MP and glad to hear you enjoyed them too. The KRKs are alright starters but the Yammies are nice. I liked the 80s when I heard them and they'd work well in a big room. I imagine the 50s would work better in my smaller room now. The thing to bear in mind with the Yammies (can't recall how the KRKs were kitted out in the following regard) is that they only come with XLR or 1/4" inputs, so an adapter of some sort or another is a must. That said, they're cheap and plentiful in Maplins or on Amazon.

And of course, it'll be no surprise for you to hear, do at least once try something from Genelec and/or Acoustic Energy's AE22 Actives. Both I would happily walk a merry old distance for on any day of the week.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
292
89
18,970
steve_1979 said:
matthewpiano said:
KRK Rokit 5

KRK Rokit 8
It just goes to show that there's plenty of bad active speakers around. I wasn't impressed with the KRK's either. In fact they're pretty rubbish really.

Have a listen to some of the cheaper Dynaudio or Adam actives if you get the chance because they're much better than KRK's. Or for around £2-3K the Quested active monitors and the Event Opals are truly outstanding if you ever get the chance to hear them.
Hi Steve. I certainly didn't think the KRK Rokit 5s were up to much, but I did quite like the 8s. They seemed much more open and balanced sounding than the 5s to me and less smeary. On my relatively brief listen yesterday the Yamahas were better though and, as you suggest, it does show that not all active speakers are equal!

Adams are definitely on my radar as are the more affordable Events. I'm not about to buy a pair yet, but I am going to continue exploring the active market and I can see a time not too far away when I might make the leap if I continue to feel the same. I'd love to hear the Quested ones and the Opals but they would be way outside anything I'd want to spend.

Essentially I need a pair of actives for some recording/production work and songwriting but I feel it would be a good opportunity to also try some for my general music listening given the enthusiasm for them.
 

Overdose

New member
Feb 8, 2008
279
0
0
matthewpiano said:
Essentially I need a pair of actives for some recording/production work and songwriting but I feel it would be a good opportunity to also try some for my general music listening given the enthusiasm for them.
These Behringer Truths have quite a bit of a following. Very good VFM.

http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/behringer-truth-b3031a-studio-reference-monitors--61718

Depends on your budget and if you wanted to go second hand.

As a guide, my BM5As cost a lot less than £500 delivered (used, but in mint condition).
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
292
89
18,970
Overdose said:
matthewpiano said:
Essentially I need a pair of actives for some recording/production work and songwriting but I feel it would be a good opportunity to also try some for my general music listening given the enthusiasm for them.
These Behringer Truths have quite a bit of a following. Very good VFM.

http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/behringer-truth-b3031a-studio-reference-monitors--61718

Depends on your budget and if you wanted to go second hand.

As a guide, my BM5As cost a lot less than £500 delivered (used, but in mint condition).
Thanks Overdose. I have heard and used Behringer Truths before and was extremely impressed with them. My only concern is the amount of comments on the internet about poor reliability on Behringer products.

Used market may well be a good place to look. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
matthewpiano said:
I certainly didn't think the KRK Rokit 5s were up to much, but I did quite like the 8s.
I can't remember which model of KRK's I listened too but I do remember thinking 'Meh' to myself after just a few seconds and moved on to the next set of speakers.

I've never heard the Yamaha's but after reading about your impressions I'd like too. I second RS's suggestion for auditioning Genelec and Acoustic Energy's speakers - they're both exellent IMO.

matthewpiano said:
Essentially I need a pair of actives for some recording/production work and songwriting but I feel it would be a good opportunity to also try some for my general music listening given the enthusiasm for them.
Out of interest how would you say the active Yamaha HS50 sounds compared to your Dali Zensor 1 speakers?
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
258
3
18,895
Sorry to be barging into this thread...but whats the definition of active speakers? are computer speakers with a power supply considered as active speakers ie Bose Companion for example?
 

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