All this Active Stuff

Yes, many ways to skin a cat. It is always tricky when faced with a few upgrade options, which can be complicated further by people like me and your helpful dealer suggesting further options. When I have been in this position, I have always narrowed down my options by tailored dealer demos in the first instance and then taking those options that appear most promising home to demo at length in my own system.

This cuts down the leg work and hopefully gets to the right answer without disappearing up ones own jaxy. The fun of upgrade exploration can tip over into frustration and indecision, unless you can simplify things by a dealer, then home face offs.

I went to the Signals active Kudos demo a couple of weeks ago, convinced my next move would be a speaker upgrade. After a 10 minute chat with Alastair at Signals, I left the day with a new distribution block under my arm and subsequently took home a ND555 to demo. I ended up buying the posh streamer rather than Titan speakers!

Good luck Lindsay, and try to enjoy the journey.

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The monetary values of the amps and speakers have no particular relationship. In terms of character of the sound the critical thing is that you love the sound of the speakers, as they have the biggest effect on character of all components, and what matters with amps is that they drive/control the speakers well. Active driving will bring out the best in the speakers - but if the speakers themselves excluding the crossover are a limiting factor then they will still be limiting active. However if they do all that you want, in terms of range, character of sound, etc, then activating them would be a way to bring out their best.

But of course which is best, active with lesser amps or passive with a better amp can only be determined by listening, and will depend on what are the limiting factors of the lesser amp compared to the better one, and very possibly also on the passive crossover currently in the speakers

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Speaking of which,we haven’t heard much about your experience so far with the ND5555 @NigelB.

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He is too busy exploring his new found wonderful music collection…but times up Nigel😉

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I too fell in love with Active in the mid 90’s and forever believed there was no alternative as the ultimate goal given the performance gain.

I don’t hold that view anymore. I’ve since heard passive systems using modern speakers and amps and sources that were not around back then that have made me realise there are indeed more than one way to skin a cat. I used to hanker after Aktiv Linn Kabers driven by a trio of Klouts. I’m fairly confident that my current passive setup outdoes that.

Always choose the speakers you love based on their passive performance first. If they also come in active form, even better!

I think the OP is dead lucky here since it turns out there is an active option for even their current speaker. Given the OP knows they work in the room already, I’d be inclined to think long and hard. Active now may be a very attractive step. It is more boxes but avoids all the risk associated with a speaker change.


You sneaky dog. I missed that you got the ND555. You must post about it. We are all curious.

I did post a bit about the ND555 on the Signals Active Kudos thread, which I guess may have not been seen by some.

Rather than pollute this thread, I will post an update on the ‘ND555 Impressions’ thread.


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