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Lone Mountain Audio

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  1. No you didn't, sorry to infer that. Earlier posts about active linked it heavily to DSP and Class D, which are unrelated to active, so I was responding in broader terms. Id love for you to A/B an active and passive side by side. Its quite eye opening (or I should say ear opening). Brad
  2. The standard active uses some output devices in an Integrated Circuit. A discrete design as separate output devices that can be matched and driven with more current. I am not an electronic designer so I always think of it as discrete is the old fashioned way of doing it, and IC's is the newer way. I'm not sure that's an ideal discription for you or what you wanted to know. Brad
  3. HI Kal Is DSP really the sign of modern acoustic design? Active has nothing to do with DSP or Class D or anything like that. Its about trying to create a minimum phase loudspeaker for lower phase error and less distortion as a by product. I am sure someday the idea of putting amps BEFORE a giant, lossy coils of copper in a passive crossover will be perceived as so old fashioned. It is the same way we've been doing it since the 1930s or before! Sort of a parallel between a combustion engine on a transmission to an axle to drive the wheels (lots of losses and problems created by all the parts between power and wheel) instead of a electric motor directly on the wheel. Putting many feet of copper in line between the amp and the speaker is not ideal -you cannot control phase. You lose dampening factor. You lose a significant percentage of power in the cable itself, especially on runs over 3 feet. Many other aspects of the speaker performance are better served by designing the exact amp the driver needs and hook it to the driver with 6 inches of wire, then match that to the other amps and drivers in the system so the entire 3 way system has proper balance (you aren't clipping woofers before tweeters, etc). If I put the exact same speaker in passive form next to an active version, using the same topology and devices in the passive amp so it has the same sonic signature as the active amp packs inside the speakers, the performance differences are striking. Imaging, precision, detail, dynamics are all improved dramatically. Anyone can hear it. Its a way larger difference than the difference fuses or power cords or many other items make. And in the case of the company I work with, ATC does NOT use DSP or Class D or any EQ inside for "room correction". The problem with DSP room correction is you are changing the direct sound of the speaker based on reflected sound in the room. The direct sound isn't wrong- its the reflected sound that's got all the error when added to the direct sound. SO onw would think the solution is to focus on improving the reflected sound (your room) and not changing this expensive speaker you just bought because its "wrong". Obviously there are many benefits to Room Correction as it can improve things subjectively especially when you cannot change your room, but its not ideal. Don't fix what is right based on what is broken. The only thing you cannot experiment with is amplifiers, as active so lowers the distortion and improves clarity that all the things in front of the speaker become even more important. The preamp (like that tube sound?), the turntable and cartridge, the cabling, the DAC and streamer are all even more audible as individual devices that have their own character. I think active INCREASES your hobby as you'll change the front end WAY more with active. Brad
  4. Hey Kal Okay, I'll bite. Active is the simple solution to the passive crossover problem. Here are some of the problems: 1) One cannot control phase through a passive crossover. One of the biggest differences in a proper speaker system vs a poorly performing one is making it a "minimum phase system" Measuring how well the speaker controls phase is a part of speaker measurement everyone in the industry EXCEPT consumer. 2) there are tremendous losses though all that copper even in a properly built passive crossover with oxygen free copper oin proper air core inductors. Then add the losses through the speaker cable are added to that! All that cable is changing the way the amp sounds and the speakers sound. I don't get it. People argue about fuses but they run 5M to 10M of copper cable though a passive speaker. 3) Active has nothing to do with DSP or Class D. It is simply locating the amps AFTER the electronic crossover, not before as in passive system. You can now design the exact right amount of power for each driver to match the other driver's dynamic range. ATC, whom I work with importing pro and consumer to the US, uses Class A/B power on their amps and zero DSP. Fully analog input to output. 4) Distortion is reduced with removing all those front ends of amplifiers. The amp design is simpler and less complex. 5) An active system is more reliable. It has far fewer connectors which are a source difficulty down the road as audio people all know connectors are always the weakest link. 6) Active will reveal far more about EVERTHING in front of it: the preamp, the DAC, the line level cables, the turn table, the cartridge- all these things are MORE obvious in active vs passive. So while people will not switch out the amp anymore, the will intensify switching out everything else because the differences are so much more striking. I think active will increase the hobby. 7) It saves so much money to not have to build four big pieces of metal (3 amps and an electronic crossover). In an ATC active amp pack there are three amps plus a mono active crossover. Active adds about 7K total the cost of a PAIR of passives. Try to buy 3 stereo amps and 1 stereo electronic crossover for 7K total and properly power a larger three way. 8 ) Active offers the possibility of upgrade because the 3 way amp inside the system can be recalibrated for a different driver. ATC is offering upgrades right now to anyone who bought from 1990s to about 2018 to install the new ATC built tweeter to replace the OEM one in 50s through 150s. It requires recalibration, something you cannot do with a passive crossover. 9 ) Active offers the ability for me in the US to perfectly repair and match the settings and QC readings from the speakers initial measurements at the factory in England when it was built. If ANYTHING such as an amp part or a driver has to be replaced, I can replicate the brand new settings. I could go on but these are probably the big reasons active is better- regardless of brand or design philosophy. The two leaders in active have been Genelec and ATC, both began doing it this way in the early 80s and have not stopped. Unlike Genelec, ATC does make passive versions of the speakers available for those that insist and two levels of performance in active: standard (19A through150A and fully discrete (SE50 and SE100). The discrete does indeed sound better. Brad
  5. Perfect explanation of the different types! It drives me nuts to see people incorrectly refer to active loudspeakers as "powered".
  6. I have to add that KEF did most of the heavy lifting in engineering the BBC monitor (LS3/5 -LS3=outside broadcast monitor; /5 =5 inch woofer). KEF was a OEM driver manufacturer and Cooke, one of the KEF founders, had worked at the BBC for a year as Technical Director. The BBC LS3 monitor speaker was built under contract by multiple manufacturers using a KEF KIT for both woofer and tweeter. Some familiar speaker names were at the BBC during this period of standardizing on loudspeakers across all venues to improve quality of sound: Dudley (and Beth) Harwood (Harbeth) and Spencer and Dorothy Hughes (Spendor) are two such names. There were multiple other manufacturers who also built the LS3/5 including Goodmans, KEF itself, Rogers, and a number of others. The speaker was an effort by the BBC to achieve an higher quality, standardized sound to all in-field recordings. They developed a studio speaker (LS5) as well. Brad
  7. Following engineers is and always has been the way to get good records or hear records that are well made. In modern times, start with Al Schmidt, George Massenburg, Chuck Ainlay and Ed Cherney. Most of these guys do a variety of records, few if any are classified as “audiophile records“, but they are the best of the best. They work constantly as the best musicians hire them again and again (except Ed now as he passed recently). In previous times (60s-70s) its a different list as they worked with a much more primitive studio set up, fewer tools but all that required greater inventiveness. Folks like Tom Dowd come to mind as absolute leaders in the field. And even further back, I don’t know the engineer but I am always amazed at listening to Frank Sinatra realizing how loud he sang, that it was beyond the dynamic range of the recording system, that he learned to control his level by moving closer or farther from the mic without a pop filter! In our other division we do gear supply for pro studios, and all these folks are friends. We’ve been working in that field for 40 years. Brad Lone Mountain Audio ATC Consumer.
  8. Agreed. ATC crosses over at 3800Hz as well, so we are well familiar with this idea. A 3 dB boost at some frequency would eb heard to hear, but an entire band being down 3dB is audibly quite significant (to us). People's idea about what is "louder" or "softer" is often different to what we think and measure with our Audio Precision 515x. Brad
  9. Sorry Bluesman, I missed that post and said the same thing you did. Forgive me! I agree tweeters are so small and delicate they usually either work or are dead- I've not seen them reduce level and stay consistent response wise. I am with you, it is likely midrange crossover or some unusual failure. Brad
  10. If you are speaking of a biamp or triamp speaker input panels, many of these are not direct inputs to the tweeter. They are usually inputs to the passive network and a HF section of a network still outputs something to the midrange; a passive biamp network is not a brick wall protecting the tweeter. Plus there are many parts prior to the tweeter so if the network is bad (has bad parts) then you might think its the tweeter when its really the network. The only failsafe way to check is to physically disconnect and switch the tweeter between right and left. Brad
  11. Another simple test is to swap tweeters from right to left/left to right. Does the loss follow tweeters or stay the same with the crossovers? That narrows it down fast. Brad
  12. Yes, you would need to maintain channel consistency but I would also imagine you need crossover adjustments, as the "new" tweeters would most likely not be the same identical sensitivity off the old ones. Even a very small difference in sensitivity would be audible as more sensitivity means brighter if its a tweeter or darker if's lower sensitivity. And its not the Tweeter's fault or the factory's as no production method offers precision in "adjusting" driver sensitivity without changing something else. So it is what it is and the adjustments happen through crossover parts. It is important to account for this as the smallest change in sensitivity will make the entire driver band louder (the whole speaker sounds brighter in the case of a tweeter) or "darker" (less top end across the entire tweeter band). This is MUCH more obvious than a small change in EQ. I know this to be true as my company just went though all these issues in upgrading some later model ATC's to a new in house ATC built tweeter (replacing an externally supplied OEM one). It thew me for a loop in how much change a 1/4 dB difference in sensitivity can make when I know a 1/4dB boost in EQ is almost impossible to hear. SO it's not just tweeters, you must account for the change in driver sensitivity. Brad
  13. DIfferent frequency produces different port noises. It could be a vibration issue of something else, but I would guess its not the screen. Maybe? Brad
  14. I don't think chains work unless you are dealing with a lot of mass; chains have a resonance too! I think isolating pucks of some sort is the better plan. My favorite is the RAB Audio versions here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProJax40--rab-audio-projax-px40-studio-monitor-isolation-kit-8-pieces They also make them for heavier monitors. Brad
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