The fact behind the designs are so worth while.To design one to mate so well with the other is almost stupid proof.Chasing amps and speakers separate is like shopping for a car and then a motor.Thanx.
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I believe PMC active speakers are using Bryston amps - I believe Paradigm active speakers were also using Bryston amps - as I understand it. What amps are Meridian active or ATC active speakers using?
I bet if you took a stupidly expensive solid state amp and placed it behind a curtain with five other solid state amps of various prices and ask someone to identify the most expensive and the least expensive - nine out of ten people couldn't do it. Almost any idiot could identify the difference between a SS and Tube amp. Point is, I would be more concerned how the speakers sound and much less concerned about the amp. Go Active
Stanwal says 'In theory the active should win hands down'. Forget about theory. Being a good speaker designer does not make you a good amp designer (jack of all trades, master of none). Here is yet a different tale of a highly regarded amp designer who became a speaker designer:
Nesterovic produced a very highly regarded amplifier years ago ($7,000 tube monos - received excellent reviews in TAS, etc.). I owned the Nestorovic 5AS MKIV signature speakers that I loved. I got a chance to try their amp with their speakers in my home (amp was fully broken in). To my surprise, my amp (VAC 90C monos) was superior in ALL ways to my ears in my room. I was expecting the oppossite since they made excellent speakers and amps and was expecting a match made in heaven. Therefore, I believe that you should maximize your flexibility and never go active.
In theory the active should win hands down. The amp can be tailored to exactly compliment the speaker, with both a increase in performance and a very considerable savings, as it is no longer necessary to make the amp capable of driving a wide variety of loads. That said , all my equipment is passive. The only active speakers I have owned were Audio Pro in the 80s. Passive gives you the ability to tailor the sound to your taste. In the studio consistency in the prime consideration, the sound should remain the same over extended periods. If you hear an active system you like, go with it. Just remember that your ability at modify the sound is limited. Stan