Speakers with their own amps

Was just wondering,

Are there speakers out there that have their own amps to drive the whole speaker?
Not just internal amps to drive the subs but also amps to drive midrange & treble.

I see 2 advantages to this.
1. One could drive the speakers with just a preamp avoiding the cost of amp/amps.
2. Would allow the designer to voice the speaker to their design and how they wanted them to sound.

Would probably still allow the consumer to balance their systems sound, to one's liking, via a preamp, processor, cabling, etc.

I have the ability to drive my speakers from my preamp leaving my amp to drive the mids & highs.
I've come to like this option.

Check out the "Do active speakers belong in a high end system " thread. It's further down the column.
I believe most of the ones that are available use solid-state plate amps. I'm not saying this can't work well, but if you wanted to use a nice sounding tube amp you'd be out of luck.

That said, depending on the particular speakers, you might be able to use a decent sounding tube preamp to sweeten the sound a bit.
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I had a pair of Focal Solo 6 Be and I have to say they were phenomenal. It doesn't have the nice piano finish of the Focal Electro 1007/8Be but it has the important guts where it matters. W woofer and Beryllium tweeter - trademark of Focal's high end stuff for a fraction of the price.

The only downsides are that most active speakers have a pretty low input impedance (10 or 20kOhms) and this might be an issue with some tube preamps especially those that don't use negative feedback (ie the better ones).
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This was the feedback I got from Ayon. They implement no negative feedback and as a result, there was quite an audible noise from the Ayon as a preamp when I used the Solo. Using a SS preamp fixed that.
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The buzzing was apparently a result of lack of negative feedback and impedance and not just an impedance mismatch issue. Impedance mismatch would normally just give you a rolled off frequency response.
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They are nice if you don't care about being locked into the amps that come with them!
Hey Bob_reynolds,

My Infinity Prelude MTS Speakers have a built in amp for the subwoofer section.
My line level output from my preamp goes to the "Line" input on my subwoofer instead of my amplifier. That line level signal goes to the sub's amp. Then I run from the output line "level" of my subwoofer to my amp. Then out of my amp and to the speaker inputs w/speaker wire.

The sub and the towers are two pieces that screw together to make one unit.

Man, that sounded confusing!!!

That was the recommended version of hooking up these speakers from the man that designed these babies.

My amp doesn't get burdened with driving the subs it only drives the mids/tweeters in the towers.
Not that my amp would have any issues driving the speakers with just running speaker wires to them. It's just that after talking with the designer he was adamant that the speakers sound their best when using the preamp to send the signal to the internal sub amp. I have to agree with him on this.

Did that make sense?

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Meaning... you're driving those subs with a line level signal? As in a sub out on a processor or receiver?

I've heard of some folks taking out the crossovers in the Infinity MTS' speakers and using an external one they designed themselves.
Way too far over my head!