Powered speakers show audiophiles are confused

17 of 23 speakers in my studio and home theater systems are internally powered. My studio system is all Genelec and sounds very accurate. I know the best new concert and studio speakers are internally powered there are great technical reasons to design a speaker and an amp synergistically, this concept is much more important to sound quality than the vibration systems we often buy. How can an audiophile justify a vibration system of any sort with this in mind.


Audiophiles like to use the word transparency. At moderate listening levels, the speaker will always be least transparent part perhaps with the exception of a turntable. No external amplifier that is not designed to interact with and drive one specific driver, in one specific configuration, can achieve the transparency of an application specific amplification.

@lonemountain Well said, marketing is the guiding force in high end audio. I understand cutting edge equipment is important but DACs that go way beyond what any human will ever hear, $25k anti vibration equipment racks colored fuses in which the PC circuits start and end in traces, marketing to the most gullible. Maybe it's time to form an audiophile society along with the AES or something like that because this is getting really silly.


@thespeakerdude I’m with you. 

If you want to significantly change the sound of a system, transducers- speakers and phono cartridges - are the way to do it.

An open question:  Is this above statement about change something audiophiles agree with?


@thespeakerdude When we speak at low levels our voices don't sound the same as when we speak louder as does a saxophone that plays softly doesn't sound like one playing loudly. When someone has automatic loudness DSP they are fooling themselves in more ways than one. As you said speakers and amps don't perform the same, the Fletcher Munsen curve is not the same, and the physics of the acoustic waveform are not the same in real life. I think part of audiophiles confusion is of course #1 marketing to rich people based on arrogance, but a close #2 is living in 2 worlds of music. If an audiophile wants to recreate an analog orchestra there are much different considerations than recreating a modern music group with computer based information. 

My Spiro Steinway grand that plays by its self is the perfect example of high end audio it sounds nearly perfect. There is so much difference between high end audio systems and the real thing it's not even worth talking about. When we see live music it's usually run through a PA and take it from me there are huge compromises when it comes to fidelity in every PA system and operator. I believe the answer to this problem is to understand the differences in our goals.


I think audiophiles want to change systems for the better in an incremental approach. Certainly you can change speakers but how do you improve the sound without changing the speakers? Source components, cables, amplification, vibration control, etc.