Bryon, are there specifically any active speakers you think I should check out?
- 47 posts total
Colonel - I am by no means an expert on active speakers, but 4 that come to mind are...
-- Dynaudio, like these.
-- Focal, like these.
-- ATC, like these.
-- PMC, like these.
It will be quite a challenge to audition all of those, but if you could listen to one or two, you might get an idea of what active speakers have to offer. Though keep in mind that active speakers do not all sound alike, any more than passive ones do, so the speakers above will have unique presentations. Hope that helps. Maybe someone who has more experience with active speakers will make a suggestion.
And, FWIW, I think you can get to where you want to be with either the active or passive approach, provided you have very good bass in all three of the following...
1. frequency response
2. transient response
It is in #3, headroom, that active speakers often have an advantage over passive speakers. But, IMO, all three of the above are essential to excellent bass, and excellent bass is essential to a satisfying experience listening to electronic music. On the topic of optimizing both frequency response and transient response, you may find this thread interesting.
Oh, and... if you do go the sub route, prepare yourself for a potentially VERY long setup process. It can take as long as a day for an initial setup, and literally months of occasional tinkering to get everything dialed in.
Imo the bass extension of the Dynaudio Focus 160 is totally unnecessary if you're using a pair of ubersubs, and you're trading off valuable efficiency to get that unnecessary bass extension. The Focus 160 is rated at 86 dB "sensitivity", and that word usually implies "2.83 volts" rather than "1 watt". You see, 2.83 volts into 4 ohms (the Focus 160's rated impedance) = 2 watts, so the Focus 160 is probably only 83 dB/1 watt efficient.
In general, high efficiency = better dynamic contrast, and imo effortless dynamic constrast plays an important role in electronica (other types of music too, of course). Musicians use dynamic constrast to convey feeling, emotion. I suggest you look into main speakers that are up around 90 dB or more efficient (and remember to convert 4-ohm speakers back to watts if they're specifying 2.83 volt sensitivity), and don't worry if they don't go down very deep. Your pair of subs will have that covered.
Now here's an argument for using specialty tube amps: One of the things that robs music of its dynamic contrast is thermal compression, caused by voice coil heating. As the voice coil heats up, its resistance rises. Solid state amps put out reduced power into a higher impedance load, but many tube amps (and in particular SET and OTL amps) put out essentially the same power whether the voice coil is hot or cool. So, such tube amps do a better job of preserving the dynamic contrast when the speakers are being pushed hard.
Both of my sons compose electonica, and here's a link to one of their collaborations (honoring Amelia Earhart, check out tracks 1, 2, and 13):
And here's one of them solo:
- 47 posts total