Powered Speakers

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JonFo

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A new article came out in Modern Home Theater, talking about powered speakers.
The article covers several brands, including ML, here's what they had to say about them:

MartinLogan: Most MartinLogan speakers are not powered in terms of having amps in them, but their technology requires power. For someone fearful of taking the leap into fully powered speakers, the classic sound of MartinLogan is always a consideration. On the right material, nothing competes with the sound of a MartinLogan speaker in terms of clarity and openness.

Couldn't agree more with that last statement.

Here is a link to the article:
http://www.modernhometheater.com/howto/powered_speakers/

What’s your take on powered speakers?
 

Audiophiliac

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Well, when I was still in high school, I had a good friend of the family who was a recording engineer. I spent some time in his studio playing with all the cool toys. THats where I started my enthusiasm for audio/video. Over the years, I have often thought that active/powered speakers were a logical and good idea. However, most of them were being made for use in studios. I wondered why none were being made for home use.

Paradigm had success with the limited number of powered Studio models that made years back. But it wasnt enough to keep it going I guess.

Today, you see more and more popping up. Mostly by very respectable companies like Meridian, Genelec, M&K, just to name a few. I think that in a contemporary, semi-permanent installation where the user doesnt have a desire to change things very much, it is a very good idea. If you can find active speakers that you absolutely love the sound of, I say go for it.

And Meridian has obviously gone steps further with a digital link all the way to the speaker. High tech. :)

I would like to see more and more active speakers on the market. If they work for demanding recording engineers, they should work for the end user, right? I mean if you really want to hear an album the way the producer intended it, get the same stuff he has. :)

Of course, most recording studios have a mix room, and a reference room, that normally has some consumer grade products in it. Sometimes an array of high end, to shelf systems. So they can listen to hear what their stuff sounds like on all kinds of equipment.

Either way. I like the idea of powered speakers, and I would not hesitate to use them.
 

JonFo

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Same here, I like the concept.

As a Meridian front-end owner (568), I get exposed to a fair bit of Meridian digital speakers at the dealer and at friend’s homes. They are simply some of the best sounding box speakers. For one, they are ultra-clean due to the amps AND crossovers being engineered along with the rest of the device. This other as aspect of ‘clean’ is low-distortion, which they achieve by carefully managing the power levels to each driver so it never enters heavy distortion.

Conceptually, the best design for a speaker would include amp, crossover with a digital in like Meridian does.
Another good example of this being done right, and getting many rave reviews, is the NHT xD
http://www.nhtxd.com/

I’ve heard this setup and it is indeed awesome. Again, for a box speaker, pretty much untouched except for a Meridian DSP5500 or bigger driven by a G68 with room correction.

For Martin Logan, I’m glad to see the woofers being powered, as that relieves the amps from dealing with those frequencies (often times the ones that suck a good bit of power). Leaving all current / power to the panels, which really need it to sound their best.

I’d love to see the factory design a Summit based fully powered ‘system’ that included amps, crossover and room correction. They could partner with TacT or someone like that and get it done without much R&D just take the parts, and tune them for best baseline integration, then support the final tuning in our rooms.

This would provide those who don’t like the tweaking to get top-notch sound with very little effort or guess-work. No ‘which amp/cable/other gizmo is best with speaker X’ type questions.
 
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