Active speakers ATC/Dynaudio/PMC/Focal

I wanted to know how many here are using active speakers from any of these companies (including Acoustic Energy)

I noticed that ATC does make an affordable preamp, which could be used to drive the XLR or single ended inputs of any of these companies (a bit sad that Naim does not - as Linn used to offer XLR outputs on some of their analog preamps)

Maybe Naim should with Focal offer a package (Naim preamp with XLR outputs and focal/Naim designed active speakers with Naim amp packs)

In the absence of this though hoping to hear from others who tried such arrangements.

May sound cliche, but recently I heard the eagles live album (till hell freezes over) on a Blu2Mscaler/Dave into Linn Active 350A speakers, and it was truly magical - something I had never really experienced or felt before, I wasn’t alone as the owner of the rig heard the same thing and we both agreed we have never heard that classic album rendered so good before…

But active speakers are available that cost a lot less than the top of the line ones from Linn… Will they sound as good… ?

My issue with active speakers that use class D amps, is that largely may interfere with the magic going on inside the Chord Blu2 Mscaler…

Also the cost of going active with Naim is really a lot of money, considering there’s no Naim speaker, and the only choice appears to be Kudos now…

If you don’t have any analogue sources you can of course always feed the active speakers direct from Dave - and its balanced outputs lend themselves well to the task if the cable runs are long, and some (eg ATC) have balanced XLR inputs ready for that.

I don’t have any experience of class D amps, but I don’t see why they would in any way be any different with Blu2/Dave compared to any other source. And if active speaker manufacturer use them, then however they sound will be part of everyone’s experience of the speakers. N.B. Not all active speakers use class D amps: some PMCs at least use Bryston amps which are not. I don’t know about others.

I didn’t really like the result of removing the preamp in the chain whether Naim or Linn… even with active speakers

It just sounds less dynamic…

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I wonder how much of that is because the preamp is the source of the Naim sound (so received balance of wisdom suggests, though I know you don’t agree), and how much is to do with suggestion often attributed to Naim their pre and power amps should be considered as complementary parts designed to be used together, neither intended to be used on its own: That pairing would be broken by using active speakers, and it might be that you’d find differently then, feeding direct from Dave.

I have Active ATC 40’s direct from a Benchmark DAC3 HGC which I bought to get me going along the Active route . I’m very happy on the whole with my system but I am looking to update my source now 2 years in . I really like the Benchmark but it definitely comes on song at higher levels which is often the case with digital Pre amps . This was explained to me as their best signal to noise ratio is at higher levels .

The best sound I’ve heard here was the Auralic Vega G2 which has an Analogue Pre , it was wonderful to listen to at all levels . The Vega isn’t available right now due to the virus and I’ve heard there’s a mini update imminent .
It would be nice somewhere in the future if Naim offered a Pre Amp with balanced XLR’s , there’s definitely a growing market in the Active speaker range for those of us with less space .

I would of course try an updated 272 but we’ve been waiting a long time for that to appear.

There’s no Naim sound, and nothing added by a Naim preamp to my ears.

And the system I refer to was a Linn active speaker system, adding a Linn preamp in the middle made the music a lot better rather than driven directly by Dave XLR output.

AM…I have found exactly the same, my preamp driving my power amps sounds much better than my streamer doing the same. Very shortsighted of Linn to discontinue the Klimax Kontrol! Not to worry though, for me the music at home is just great.

Can’t disagree, that’s exactly my system and I’ve been enjoying it every day since last summer.


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Interesting idea and I’d probably have investigated it when I jumped from Naim for my main system last year. But I’d have been looking for a streamer/pre in the form of a souped up 272 to create a one box and speakers setup. And I’ve not been wowed by the Focal speakers I’ve heard.

I also wonder how close this is to Naim’s design philosophy, in particular, separation/isolation into multiple boxes, just as active operation is a key part of ATC’s.


ATC’s amp packs use “Grounded class A/B circuit topology” according to ATC themselves.


The G2.1 series has just been announced. Mainly changes to the chassis but overall design the same .

For fully active speakers don’t overlook the Kii Three and the Dutch & Dutch 8c which further reduce the box count, and which receive very positive reviews.


Agreed - I thought these were both fantastic when I heard them last year. DSP, Class D etc, the stuff of audiophile nightmares but very effective when you just listen to what they can do.

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I use ATC 40A fed from Auralic Vega G2, and I am totally smitten.
Before purchase I did a comparison demo with 272/XPS , but the Vega won easily.

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I am perfectly content with using single 4 pin din > 2 x XLR. Imo and ime i’ve found that some products that offer XLR output into active ATC’s, AE1A’s, D&D 8c’s and Kii Three’s sound either somewhat soft/flat or ‘loud’ and in the end very hi-fi ish.

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That’s good to know but I was more thinking about the future and possible XLR implementation .

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Funnily enough i think that some manufacturers should look at taking a leaf out of Naim’s book and also offer Din output/s.

They already do, it’s called a NAC S1. Yours for a bargain £65k!



Since it’s possible on s1 why not on other ones like a future 172 or 272

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Well Naim do know a thing or 2 :+1:.

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