A question about active speakers and monitors

I’ve been idly considering looking at active speakers as a way of reducing boxes/clutter. However, from what I’ve seen, most active speakers seem to be based on studio monitor designs, if not being outright studio monitors.

However I don’t want that clinical presentation that comes with monitors (I even found my Dynaudio Contour 1.3s a bit too clinical for me).

Can one get active speakers that aren’t like that then? That would give a sound like my Neats for e.g.

Yep, I find them too clinical and not muscial generally.

Two ends of the scale I would suggest;

Meridian M3, I have two pairs and they are wonderful for the money. Really 3D and relaxed sounding, but don’t do LOUD or a lot of bass, but they are tuneable and they need to be slightly away from the wall. They look great too.

At the much more expensive end, I use Avantgarde Acoustics Solo, which are about £3K+ second hand and a bit directional (horns), but sound great. I use subs with mine as I like bass down to 18Hz. They sound 3D and are really well integrated and of course adjustable. You can use them next to the wall, but they are quite deep and look like jet engines. I have been very impressed with them, detailed and yet not harsh or overly coloured. You can listen for hours.

What Neats do you have - what would the budget be? Do you use vinyl?

You might still need a preamp for some monitors so if you currenty use an integrated you won’t necessarily be cuttng down box numbers.

Plenty of Meridian’s out there depending on budget.
Avantgarde Zero Ones are brilliant if you can afford them
Dynaudio XD’s look nice but seem a bit expensive to me. The older Focus 110A might be decent if you can find a pair.
Kil Three’s look pretty awesome but not cheap.

Thanks guys.

I don’t have a budget in mind at the moment, I’m just curious to know what’s out there. That said if I did really consider going down this route, then maybe £4k.

I love the look of the Solos (you have them in yellow right?) but having just shown my wife some pics, there was an immediate veto. Apparently jet-engine styling isn’t for everyone.

Most of the reason for going active would be to reduce clutter so anything requiring a preamp would be out.

Also, aren’t the Dyns and Kiis based on/used as studio monitors? Not something I want (see my original comment on my old Contours).

The Dynaudio Contours, Focus and newer XD active speeakrs aren’t designed for Studio use - they have the BM range for that, but if you found the Contour 1.3’s (which I rate extremely highly) too clinical then I’d say Meridian is your only option.

Central Audio were advertising a pair of DSP5200.2 for £3.5k which looked a decent price and they should have WAF.
Alternativley the slightly older 5000/5500/6000 series can be had for a lot less.


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Geithain monitors and a nice sounding valve preamp :thumbsup:

Quite unbalanced in terms of cost per unit, but I once used a pair of Opals with an L300 preamp and it sounded great, definitely not clinical at all.

Three Scalfords ago I brought the Opals and had them fed by a Modwright Transporter and they went down very well in Syndicate 21 (I think, it was the room Olan and co had last year).

In the same room I had a pair of Meridian 6k’s and they sounded pretty good too and confounded a few sceptics. Need a long time to warm up though.

I’ve supplied several L300’s to the owners of ATC’s or similar in an attempt to humanise them a little. It works but isn’t where I’d start from.

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Agree, it’s not where I’d start from but the results can be surprisingly good.

Don’t know much about active’s,but won’t you need a preamp?

Have had a couple of pairs of meridians very briefly,wasn’t mad on the sound tbh.

The Adam speakers that Paul (Flapland) had sounded pretty good…

They were mine originally and they were nice but definitely much more ‘monitor’ish’ than a pair of Dynaudio 1.3’s to my ears.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Contours a lot - especially for electronica - but just found that I never felt very relaxed with them. It could have been the pairing with my sources but I did try a Leema Tucana II amp with them also and while definitely smoother than my Nait5i, it was a slight tweak to the sound rather than changing it significantly.

Anyway, it seems from this thread that Meridians are one of the few solutions. Perhaps at some point I’ll try hear a pair.

Thanks for all your inputs.

Any system that I have found to be any good is quite hard to relax to, IMO. Good means genuine dynamics and bandwidth. Active systems tend to be better than passive because they have more dynamics.