Scored on some speakers today, a question

Discussion in 'Audio/Video & Home Theater' started by TastesLikeChicken, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    If you were to ask anyone to think about how they might approach a discussion with you, would they not feel like it would be completely fruitless? By any reasonable measure, your cup already runneth full of knowledge.

    By the way, who said I was talking about bi-amping passively-crossed speakers? Can you point out any specifics you can catch me on? Or did your uncalled-for aggressiveness force you to work with an abortion of an assumption?

    EDIT: Wait - entertain me this. Were you thinking that I was talking about bi-amping or bi-wiring?
     
  2. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    Then post a full response instead of a dismissal that doesn't explain why you take that stance. Bi-amping only matters when you need to provide active cross-over because your speakers are lacking the passive crossover. Most consumer grade home theater speakers are going to include passive crossovers.

    I haven't gone looking for speakers without crossovers so I have no idea how pervasive they are in the market place. But I'm going to guess that they're not what you'll see at most retailers on the floor as separates (instead of all in one receivers) aren't really popular or affordable for most people.

    With the level of technology these things need to handle doing, having a manufacturer slap in a decent amp doesn't seem to increase the price too much vs pre-pros. Hell, does anyone actually make a pre- without an amp, that compares to most mid range receivers with amps and pre-outs? And that isn't hideously more expensive?

    Bi-amping.

    It is why most people in consumer land do. And why they buy expensive cables, and worry about minutiae that isn't measurable or meaningful as compared to spending quality money on the speakers and room treatments.
     
  3. gus6464

    gus6464 Golden Member

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    You can score some great deals in garage sales by "ritzy" areas. My once once got a 4pc set of Le Creuset pots for $20. Mind you these things sell for hundreds each and have a lifetime warranty regardless if you are the 1st or 20th owner no questions asked.
     
  4. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    Nope.

    Here's what I'll say.

    where "xxx" is
    So again, that's not why people bi-amp. I didn't say anything at all about what was available to consumers, what was worth doing, etc. That was all your idiocy moving it waaaay past where I was.

    I've never seen anyone rip out a passive crossover and put an active one with a few hobbyist exceptions. Ergo, as to why "consumers" need to bi-amp: because they have to. Their speakers require it. QED.
     
    #29 Howard, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  5. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    Don't forget about the speakers that come with an active crossover but no amps. I thought that reminder might help your chip.
     
  6. TastesLikeChicken

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    Well I've listened to the B&Ws for a couple of days and I have to say that they are really, really nice. Their sound is clean and their output is very neutral. However, I don't believe them to be a vastly significant upgrade over my current Klipsch speakers. While I really like the highs the B&Ws output - they don't have that artificial brightness that Klipsch horns tend to produce - they don't have the same punch and range at the mid and low end that I have become accustomed to.

    Additionally, and the biggest factor, is that I couldn't justify the $1500 difference to the wife between selling B&Ws or keeping them and selling the Klipsches. It looks like they'll be heading for the auction block.
     
  7. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    Audio equipment has a very high rate of diminishing return. You are probably making the right decision.
     
  8. Number1

    Number1 Diamond Member

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    I find my Klispch to have that artificial harshness you described (see sig for details). They are a vast improvement over my vintage Cerwin Vegas and I have grown to like them but my next upgrade won't be Klipsch. I think you're doing the right thing by selling the B&Ws. The difference in sound is not that significant but the money you can get out of them is. What model are your Klipschs?

    Howard, in what conditions is bi amping of value? What is an active versus passive crossover in a speaker? Active crossover = powered?
     
  9. TastesLikeChicken

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    The only time I really notice the harshness is when playing music. For TV and Blu-rays they are great speakers. Won't be sad to see the B&Ws go once that $2K+ is in the bank.

    My current speakers are SF-2 mains, RC-62 center, RW-12 sub, and Mirage Omnisats for the surrounds. Except for the sub I bought all of those new at very non-premium prices. The sub was another garage sale find. Paid $40 dollars for it. I'm on the lookout for a garage sale bargain on some Reference series mains. If I ever do run across a pair they will be replacing the SF-2s.
     
  10. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    This is an academic question since >99% of all speakers sold on the market either use passive crossovers.

    Anyway, the difference is a passive crossover uses "zero" energy to operate, not including the resistive heating from the resistors, inductors and capacitors. An active crossover needs power to operate, hence active vs passive.

    Passive crossovers are simpler to build and are often cheaper, and usually provide for a lower total cost of ownership overall once amplification comes into play. That's because active crossovers require one amp channel per crossed output (e.g. four amp channels for stereo high/low crossover), whereas a passive crossover requires only one amp for all the drivers it feeds.

    Active crossovers are more difficult to build and are more complex, and are usually more expensive but can be less expensive in some situations. This happens when you need to cross over at a very low frequency, since the lower the frequency the greater inductance you need (for the low-pass). Inductors are big chunks of copper, so there's a point at which it starts to make financial sense to use an active crossover with a separate amp. It's easy to use a home theater receiver to split the LFE off the main L/R channels, but boy oh boy you'd never see one do it with a passive crossover.

    Active crossovers typically are more flexible than passive crossovers so it eases the prototyping process, especially with the new digital units (miniDSP etc.). Active crossovers are much more powerful as well, in terms of what you can ultimately achieve. Dipole speakers, for example, require many more filters (crossover sections) than regular monopole speakers and therefore designing and building passive crossovers for them is comparatively much more expensive and time-consuming.

    In terms of accuracy, you have fans of both, but personally I would trust op-amps, film resistors, and poly capacitors over imperfect power resistors, inductors, and sometimes even electrolytic capacitors for making sure that I get the response that I need.

    Maximum power can be a limitation for passive crossovers in some situations, usually in pro audio. Resistors and inductors need to be sized for the expected amperage of the music signal, whereas since active crossovers use their own amps, there's nothing to worry about.

    Sound quality I won't touch on.

    Here's some more info:

    http://sound.westhost.com/biamp-vs-passive.htm
    http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
    http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp2.htm
    http://www.rane.com/note160.html

    Sorry for the poor writing, I'm putting pen to paper as it all comes back to me.
     
    #35 Howard, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  11. Phanuel

    Phanuel Platinum Member

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    Fantastic, thanks.
     
  12. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    More:

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/221948-nao-note-ii-rs.html
    http://www.linkwitzlab.com/orion-rev4.htm
    http://www.linkwitzlab.com/LX521/Description.htm
    http://www.musicanddesign.com/NaO_Note_II_RS.html
    http://www.musicanddesign.com/NaO_Note_II_RS_Details.html

    Probably the best-known examples of active crossovers in the home-fi world. Pro audio is another beast entirely, but active pro speakers usually have built-in amps.

    http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/General/Product.aspx?PId=24&MId=5
    http://www.genelec.com/products/8250a/

    FWIW, if I had $10k for two front speakers, I would have to pick either the NaO Note II RS, the GedLee Summa, or the DSL SM-60F.
     
    #37 Howard, Jan 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  13. Number1

    Number1 Diamond Member

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    Good post Howard, my old rusty electronic training is coming back to me as I read this, It all make sense now.... maybe. There is no test is there? LOL

    Plenty of good reading in your links too.
    Fantastic,

    Thanks.
     
  14. Thump553

    Thump553 Diamond Member

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    Or you could end up like my brother in law, who did the same thing for years and has a three car garage literally crammed to the gills with stuff so tight you can barely walk down the isles, plus a full shed and a couple of other stashes around the house. Fortunately he finally went cold turkey on garage sales and is slowing whittling down his "collection."

    But congrats on a tremendous find, and it's probably a wise decision to sell them if they don't fit your needs. I'd personally have a hard time doing it, but it's probably for the best.
     
  15. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    which klipsch speakers did you compare to these?

    just wondering because i compared klipsch to b&w when i was doing my searching. compared the RF7ii's to the B&W CM9's. i personally liked the CM9's more after hearing both of them, and part of it was due to the brightness of the RF7's. i felt if i listened to them for a long while i would get fatigued.

    i ended up going a totally different direction in the end though.
     
  16. Tiamat

    Tiamat Lifer

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    nice score!

    You just need to jumper the terminals in the back. Passive biamping is a waste of time and money (this refers to using two amplifiers but keeping the passive crossover within the speaker intact. Active biamping is the only type that might yield audible differences (not necessarily an improvement). However, active biamping requires you to remove the crossover that B&W designed and for you to use your own active high pass and low pass filters (which may or may not be better than the B&W designed one). The high pass filter goes to the tweeter and would utilize its own amplifier. The low pass filter goes to the mid-woofer which would utilize its own amplifier.

    Some folks might choose, as a non-limiting example, to use a tube amplifier for the tweeter and a large solid state amplifier for the mid-woofer.

    This procedure is very labor intensive and can go badly if you don't have proper equipment and a trained ear and full understanding of the reactivity of each individual driver.


    In other words, just jumper the terminals and use a single run of speaker wire and you will be happy.

    Also, speakers are very setup dependent. Just arbitrarily setting them up will not usually yield the best sound quality.
     
  17. Aganazer

    Aganazer Member

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    I have a pair of Norhs that don't have a passive crossover. Speakers like these certainly exist. I used them for years with a passive crossover circuit dangling off the posts and planned to get an active crossover and another pair of monoblocks. Plans like these tend to dissolve after marriage. I finally boxed them up last night. :( I was lucky to keep a tiny pair of Audioengine A2s in that room, which are a surprisingly capable replacement.

    I have bi-amped and bi-wired speakers with passive crossovers. It didn't seem to make any difference in anything other than price.

    Those B&W's that the OP got are very polite speakers that would need a real nice source and a good subwoofer to appreciate. I had a pair that I think were identical about 10 years ago. Great speakers with some of the smoothest silkiest highs I've heard.
     
  18. Oyeve

    Oyeve Lifer

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    Nice find. I found a nakamichi dragon deck last year for 50 bucks.
     
  19. Anubis

    Anubis No Lifer

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    if you want another one i can give you one
     
  20. SyndromeOCZ

    SyndromeOCZ Senior member

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    I have wet dreams about finding a deal like this. I've got a set of these in the family(not the center just 805 S) and they are amazing.
     
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