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Author Topic: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT  (Read 18712 times)

barefoot

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2006, 07:36:50 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 13:37

 I disagree. In practice (not in theory) most active speakers are a bit underpowered or exhibit some form of dynamic compression compared with what you can construct passively. All things are NEVER equal because of size and weight considerations.
>snip<
Size and weight considerations? Try putting my Pass X250, which weighs 75 pounds by itself, into a speaker cabinet  Smile.

Never say never.   The amplifier that piggybacks on my MiniMain12 weighs nearly 75lbs  (my customers always complain).    And while I don't want to get into a big debate about amplifiers, the Pass designs don't really conform to my personal preferences for high linearity amplification, even if they did fit into the price/weight/size budget.  


bobkatz

I don't understand why you would say that group delay or any other factor cannot be equal on the "passive" side. If the physical and electrical filters are the same, all that remains is a question of amplifier power and quality.
 
Modern loudspeaker drivers; including those used by Dynaudio, Lipinski, and every other manufacturer I can think of, rely heavily on electrical damping to achieve their dynamic performance characteristics.   This means they need to be driven by low impedance sources.  Passive components in the signal path degrade their dynamic performance.

Furthermore, loudspeakers are dynamic loads whose impedance is a function of the input signal.  This is always a source of distortion.   And since a filter's transfer function depends on the load it's looking into, the interaction between a passive crossover and the drivers makes the crossover itself a source of distortion, rather than just the driver (amplifier distortion is orders of magnitudes lower).  

bobkatz


Next, if you check out Lipinski's philosophy, he refuses to build active speakers because of the sonic effects of the microphonics from the vibration. How audible that is would be probably on the same level as the dithering test, but I suspect microphonic effects on components may be audible to some degree. A bit more "fuzz" in the sound?


The data really doesn't support this theory.  Microphonic effects fall well down below the noise floor, especially the noise of power amplifiers.   Even so, there's nothing to say an active speaker must have its amps attached to the speaker cabinet.    The MiniMain12 amp detaches.

bobkatz


Nevertheless, I do agree that there are some very well-constructed active loudspeakers. The Meyer HD-1 is no slouch, nor is the Dynaudio BM15A, or the Air 25, or some models of ATC whose numbers escape me. But I guarantee that the passive equivalent of the same loudspeaker will sound much better when you eliminate the compromises.

I won't comment on some of the others, but the on axis acoustic wavefront from the ATC's "sounds" more like the input signal than probably any passive speaker ever built.   Now, one might quibble about certain aspects of their power response and how that relates to translation and listenability, but that's not a matter of active versus passive.  Name a passive speaker/amplifier system that is more linear in its frequency range than an ACT SCM50ASL?    
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Thomas Barefoot
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bobkatz

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2006, 07:57:38 pm »

barefoot wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 19:36



Never say never.   The amplifier that piggybacks on my MiniMain12 weighs nearly 75lbs  (my customers always complain).




See, this IS strictly an argument about practicality, not theory.

Quote:

Quote:

I don't understand why you would say that group delay or any other factor cannot be equal on the "passive" side. If the physical and electrical filters are the same, all that remains is a question of amplifier power and quality.
 
Modern loudspeaker drivers; including those used by Dynaudio, Lipinski, and every other manufacturer I can think of, rely heavily on electrical damping to achieve their dynamic performance characteristics.   This means they need to be driven by low impedance sources.  Passive components in the signal path degrade their dynamic performance.




Does that include a cable run between the power amplifier and the loudspeaker? While I agree that most biamplifiable loudspeakers include a crossover component within the loudspeaker, it is perfectly possible to bypass the passive crossover components if that's your goal.

Quote:

Quote:


Next, if you check out Lipinski's philosophy, he refuses to build active speakers because of the sonic effects of the microphonics from the vibration. How audible that is would be probably on the same level as the dithering test, but I suspect microphonic effects on components may be audible to some degree. A bit more "fuzz" in the sound?


The data really doesn't support this theory.  Microphonic effects fall well down below the noise floor, especially the noise of power amplifiers.   Even so, there's nothing to say an active speaker must have its amps attached to the speaker cabinet.    The MiniMain12 amp detaches.




What does that turn it into, a "passive" loudspeaker again? I think this argument should change from passive versus active to "integrated" versus "separate" systems. My main response was simply to say that in practicality most of the "integrated" speakers you will meet up with have underpowered amplifiers. Obviously yours is an exception! Imagine carrying around a B&W 801 with a built-in 500 watt amplifier!

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versus passive.  Name a passive speaker/amplifier system that is more linear in its frequency range than an ACT SCM50ASL?    




Are we arguing measurements, terminology, or just subjective opinion?

Because I could nominate half a dozen "passive" loudspeaker systems that are just as linear.  And don't forget that I put ATC in a very rarefied category, so I was not kicking them out of bed at all. They pack more useable amplifier power into their cabinets than most of the competition.

Let's just agree that this is an argument about practicality, not theory. Are we talking about active versus passive crossovers? Initially I didn't know that was the argument  Smile.

Those arguments could go on for days. And again it is a tradeoff. A well-built passive crossover can sound terrific and you know it. I've heard enough medium-quality active crossovers with a harsh sonic edge to them to not be convinced that it is so easy to build one that meets the ears' requirements. And that it is a lot easier to build a passive crossover...  I could get into arguments about negative feedback and slew rate limiting and I'm sure you'd respond with numbers and graphs. In the end, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (listening).  Invest enough money in quality components, and you may be able to build an active crossover that exceeds the sonic quality of the passive crossover in a Lipinski. But it won't be that easy! I'm a firm believer in high voltage power supplies and discrete opamps, to begin with.

Please send me your loudspeaker, I'm happy to be convinced! Can I afford it  Smile

BK
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Helge Sten

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2006, 12:59:19 pm »

If you like the K&H O300D I would recommend you to get a pair on loan.  That will most likely help you to get some more insight into how they work in the low-end register.  I would recommend to try out different placement options.  I like them more as midfields than as nearfields, but that might be just a matter of opinion.  As I own a pair I am clearly biased, but please do not buy the AIR25 before thoroughly testing the O300D.  Klein & Hummel are not too well known, probably because they have mainly worked towards European broadcasting.  Sennheiser now owns the company and that might make them more known throughout a wider range of audio professionals.
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Helge Sten
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lagerfeldt

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2006, 01:16:58 pm »

Helge Sten wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 18:59

If you like the K&H O300D I would recommend you to get a pair on loan.  That will most likely help you to get some more insight into how they work in the low-end register.  I would recommend to try out different placement options.  I like them more as midfields than as nearfields, but that might be just a matter of opinion.  As I own a pair I am clearly biased, but please do not buy the AIR25 before thoroughly testing the O300D.  Klein & Hummel are not too well known, probably because they have mainly worked towards European broadcasting.  Sennheiser now owns the company and that might make them more known throughout a wider range of audio professionals.


Yup, the Air 25's are out. Currently I'm on PMC IB1s Actives and K+h O300 + O800 Sub, also I'd love to know if there was a Danish distributor for the MCM27??

barefoot

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #64 on: February 11, 2006, 08:02:16 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 16:57

Let's just agree that this is an argument about practicality, not theory.

Agreed. Smile

Quote:


Please send me your loudspeaker, I'm happy to be convinced! Can I afford it Smile

I don't know about your finances, but maybe Vintage King has a layaway plan. Wink
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Thomas Barefoot
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dcollins

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #65 on: February 11, 2006, 10:14:19 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 13:37


For example, one of the most highly-regarded active loudspeakers is the Meyer HD-1. It's a terrific speaker, plays loudly and cleanly, but it doesn't compare to the passive prototype that Meyer originally designed with those drivers and cabinet.



I always have to do major surgery on projects mixed on HD-1's.  NS-10's actually produce a better end product.

There is something weird in the, say, 500Hz and below region that is just out-of-whack.  Imo.

Quote:


Next, if you check out Lipinski's philosophy, he refuses to build active speakers because of the sonic effects of the microphonics from the vibration. How audible that is would be probably on the same level as the dithering test, but I suspect microphonic effects on components may be audible to some degree. A bit more "fuzz" in the sound?



Douglas Self had this to say:


"Microphony is essentially something that happens in sensitive valve preamplifiers. If it happens in solid-state power amplifiers the level is so far below the noise it is effectively non-existent.
Experiments on this sort of thing are rare (if not unheard of) and so I offer the only scrap of evidence I have. Take a microphone preamp operating at a gain of +70 dB, and tap the input capacitors (assumed electrolytic) sharply with a screwdriver; the preamp output will be dull thump, at low level. The physical impact on the electrolytics (the only components that show this effect) is hugely greater than that of any acoustic vibration; and I think the effect in power amps, if any, must be so vanishingly small that it could never be found under the inherent circuit noise."

barefoot

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2006, 11:14:50 pm »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 19:14



Douglas Self had this to say:


"Microphony is essentially something that happens in sensitive valve preamplifiers. If it happens in solid-state power amplifiers the level is so far below the noise it is effectively non-existent.
Experiments on this sort of thing are rare (if not unheard of) and so I offer the only scrap of evidence I have. Take a microphone preamp operating at a gain of +70 dB, and tap the input capacitors (assumed electrolytic) sharply with a screwdriver; the preamp output will be dull thump, at low level. The physical impact on the electrolytics (the only components that show this effect) is hugely greater than that of any acoustic vibration; and I think the effect in power amps, if any, must be so vanishingly small that it could never be found under the inherent circuit noise."


I've tried this on my systems.  Well, not with a screwdriver; by flicking at caps with a finger.    With 27 dB of voltage gain, I don't hear a damned thing.  
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Thomas Barefoot
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Rivendell61

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2006, 05:34:38 am »

If you are still looking.....and considering passive:

SP Technology is a small, fairly new US based monitor company--and have garnered some rave reviews.  Here is a review from Bruce Bartlett for the smaller monitor called the 'Timepiece 2.0': http://www.4sptech.com/reviews/bartlett.pdf

The bigger version is here (on the manufacturers web site):
http://www.4sptech.com/version2/continuum-ad_features.html
(Its a hefty stand mount 30" tall and 85 lbs....)

Both fit your budget--if I'm doing the currency conversion right (the big one is kr 35,000).
Karsten has them at Studio Sound in DK if you are interested.

I'd be interested to know if you hear them--I'm considering them for myself.

Mark
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jazzius

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2006, 07:12:05 am »

barefoot wrote on Sat, 04 February 2006 23:30

jazzius wrote on Sat, 04 February 2006 12:38

Definately go the passive + amp route......more upgrade options, better sound (in theory)

I'm not sure how you arrive at that statement?   I guess it depends on what you define as better sound.    With respect to professional monitoring I consider things like lower distortion, faster impulse response, flatter group delay, and lower dynamic compression to be better; amongst other things.   And all things being equal, active speakers win hands down over passive speakers on these counts, in theory.  But of course, the end results always depend on the quality of any particular design and implementation.  

Thomas




You're right, when i said "in theory" i meant "in practice"......Darius

bobkatz

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2006, 11:12:50 am »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 22:14

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 13:37


For example, one of the most highly-regarded active loudspeakers is the Meyer HD-1. It's a terrific speaker, plays loudly and cleanly, but it doesn't compare to the passive prototype that Meyer originally designed with those drivers and cabinet.



I always have to do major surgery on projects mixed on HD-1's.  NS-10's actually produce a better end product.




Of the projects I have gotten in mixed on HD-1s, I have to do the least amount of work to them, or none at all. Their "coloration" does not reflect back here in the mixes I hear.

Maybe because you're doing more rock than I am and I'm doing more Jazz/acoustic than you? The NS10s are definitely a rocker's loudspeaker. Or maybe because we just hear differently....

The number of NS10 projects I personally get that AREN'T screwed up are in the minority. But I haven't seen (knowingly) an NS10 project here in a long time and I don't quiz every single mix engineer what speaker he uses. I think the NS10 results rest squarely in the talent of the mix engineer, his ability to conquer their deficiencies. Obviously the engineers I get who happen to work with NS10s aren't as talented as yours.

Quote:



There is something weird in the, say, 500Hz and below region that is just out-of-whack.  Imo.




Compared to the NS10s I'd call the Meyers as flat as a pancake.

As for microphony I only cited what Lipinski's feelings are, I doubt he can support them by tests. But you can't fault the guy for a harmless belief, "no harm, no foul". Likewise, Nelson Pass builds an amplifier like a tank, does that make it sound better? Probably not, but it couldn't hurt Smile

BK
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dcollins

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2006, 12:41:18 am »

bobkatz wrote on Wed, 15 February 2006 08:12


Of the projects I have gotten in mixed on HD-1s, I have to do the least amount of work to them, or none at all. Their "coloration" does not reflect back here in the mixes I hear.



Bob, I am shocked that we would disagree.  Shocked!

I've had two steady clients that tried HD-1's.  With one guy it started to become a running joke as he would go from studio to studio with the Meyers (on something like smooth Jazz) and at mastering his tape made you turn your head like a dog hearing its name.

"Yeah, I thought something was weird. Everywhere else I played it, there was this strange peaky-ness.  But it sounded good in the control room."

The other guy was just a straight up hard rock mixer who became essentially unable to balance properly (after maybe 20 years of getting it right).

I talked the first guy into some Questeds and the second into using his NS-10's with a good amp...

And no extra charge for that advice!

Quote:


But I haven't seen (knowingly) an NS10 project here in a long time and I don't quiz every single mix engineer what speaker he uses.



Quote:


I think the NS10 results rest squarely in the talent of the mix engineer, his ability to conquer their deficiencies. Obviously the engineers I get who happen to work with NS10s aren't as talented as yours.



Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Right. Sorry.  No speaker or gear is perfect.  But interaction between the engineers ear, taste, etc. is...

If you have clients getting near-perfect results with the HD-1's then great.  Just relating some infamous troubles that I have encountered.

You would think they would be more popular.

OTGH, I just did some orchestral stuff that was mixed on K&H's and it was quite impressive.  I think the engineer might have had something to do with it, though.....

Quote:


As for microphony I only cited what Lipinski's feelings are, I doubt he can support them by tests. But you can't fault the guy for a harmless belief, "no harm, no foul".



Like the moon is made of cheese?  That's pretty harmless, right?

Quote:


Likewise, Nelson Pass builds an amplifier like a tank, does that make it sound better? Probably not, but it couldn't hurt Smile



Yes it does make it sound better, last longer, have better specs 20 years later, etc.............

NP may put a thick faceplate on for the audiophiles, but the engineering is inherently big, heavy, and hot.

So you do what you can.

DC


George Poenaru

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2006, 09:39:21 am »

Have you tried someone, IMF speakers ? http://www.imf-electronics.com/ I don't, but i'm curios about some opinions. Sometime you can find on the ebay.  

prozak

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Re: New monitors, budget limited to $6.500 + VAT
« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2006, 03:28:02 pm »

Yeah, my dad got a pair of the Studio Monitors.
They sound pretty awesome to me; he has looked at many speakers since to replace them due to low Wife Acceptance Factor, but never found something he liked quite as much.

So, if yoiu can pick up a pair cheap on e-bay...

greets

Tim
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Tim Lengfeld
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