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I used to run these speakers passive and am now doing so active with 3 LK100s (discontinued Linn amp). Run active, they have much more punch, more clarity, and better sound and image seperation. I do not know why, but they are louder now (I do not raise volume as high as before)and the base goes a little deeper (and tighter). I used to have a set of the now discontinued Linn Keliedhs (sp?), which were a far better speaker when run active. With the 5140s, the change was significant, but not as transformative as with my older speakers. I suspect this is because the 5140s are a better speaker to begin with, reducing the margin for improvement.
the sound is more detailed, with more seperation
In my opinion the step-up from passive to aktiv is of tremendous value for any Linn Loudspeaker. It also gives a buyer much more latitude in specifying a system for a particular room situation - for example - if one wanted the best possible sound, but had absoluteley no room for equipment, Linn in-wall loudspeakers can be driven aktiv with Klimax amplifiers. Would this be better than other speakers with the same electronics, no; but if those were your constraints, it would be worthwhile.
Also, in answer to < Cal@lavoychernoff.com > on the sound pressure level being higher: when your amplifiers were running in "passive" mode, each unit was expending energy amplifying the full-range audio signal - but much of that energy was subsequently dumped off by the passive crossovers before getting through to the drivers. (Which is what prevented your tweeters from flying across the room when fed a 20Hz signal) ;'> With the aktiv crossovers, essentially all of the energy being generated by each amplifier channel is being converted to mechanical energy by a driver, instead of being thrown out.