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Author Topic: the old professional active monitors vs. passive audiophile speaker debate  (Read 3770 times)
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Audio Loudspeaker
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« on: November 02, 2012, 03:02:45 am »

As alluded to in the subject heading, there have long been debates about the merits and downsides of using professional active monitors for music listening. Active monitors, of course, are used in professional studios and in live performance settings where the goal of the audio engineer is to hear everything and make sure that everything is mixed properly. Accuracy and lack of listening fatigue are valued over musical enjoyment listening in such settings. XXHE's phase alignment setting rekindles the debate since many active monitors have built in DC protection that would make phase alignment an option for music listening meant for enjoyment. Add to that the absence of a preamp and, frequently, the availaility of balanced connections and you have a recipe for listening to XXHE with PA.

I see that at least one XXHE PA user(pistollero) listens to his/her music played through Adam Audio A8X monitors. From what I could ascertain from an internet search, the A8X are not as highly rated as their less expensive relatives, the A7X, but then that's looking at reviews where they are judging the speakers as working monitors and not as pure music listening tools. Put another way, they may or may not be ideal speakers for mixing/mastering but they may be awesome for the purpose of relaxing and listening to music. There's a fellow who posts over at the CA forum who swears by his Genelec 8260A monitors. While they may or may not be the holy grail(they are for him), there are lots of active monitors that can be bought for far less than the 11000 USD that the 8260A's will cost you.

I was wondering if there are other active monitor users out there enjoying phase alignment settings for their music listening. I would also be interested to know what active monitors they use and which active monitors XXHE users would recommend for pure musical enjoyment.


2010 mac mini running Windows 7 Professional N 64bit *SP1* and XXHE on SSD in Boot camp mode, mac os x Snow Leopard with Audirvana Plus also on SSD, music on  separate 2 Tb firewire La Cie HD / 8 Gb RAM/ Engine#4 *Adaptive Mode* / Q1/2/3/4/5 = *30*/0/0/0/0 (Dev.Buffer = *4096*) / ClockRes = *15ms* / Straight Contiguous / SFS = 170 / not Invert / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Real Time / Scheme = 3/ *Minimize OS = On*  / 24/768 Phasure/Is Phasure NOS1/ NOS1 async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.2 -> Marantz PM KI Pearl amplifier ->Gallo Strada/Gallo TR3 subwoofer
Audio Addict
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 01:17:35 pm »

I haven't heard a lot of active speakers in my audio lifetime, but one of them was the Dutch acive Pied Piper. There was much more of everything compared to the passive ones, but these speakers have quite a personality that you may fall in love with or truely dislike.
I think they communicate music very well, especially classical, but can be rough on the ears at times. Otoh they were driven by a mediocre laptop dac setup with an active preamp,

Though I prefer now the simplicity of passive speakersetups, I think active has great potential.

Regards, Coen

Settings: Qn: , SFS: , timeres: XT tweaks: , buf: 4096, driver: 8 ms,

Audio PC (jan 19): XXHE PC v1 with RAMdisk w.o. videocard and 1 of 2 cpu fans + BRIX/USB3 storage musicserver. ETN to Fibre converters (linear supplies), 500m SFP modules & 5m OM4 cable. Power cable PE not connected, together with nos1 and poweramp in separate "audio" powerstrip.

Clarixa set + Intona (or Lush 1m), Phasure NOS1a-75B G3 USB (buf 16 ms)-> Blaxius ->SE EL95 (0,8W triode) + cheap link to Abaqus 300W plateamps> Bastanis cable-> Bastanis Sagarmatha Duo ("DIY").

[other sources: TD124/3009SII-i/Grace F9/lounge LCR phono; Rega Planet 1997 vintage]
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