Back to passive speakers!

I have been using active Audiovector sr6 for more than 20 years, and have always been convinced that there is no way back from running active speakers to passive speakers. As I wrote in another thread, I unfortunately found a fantastic deal on a set of Audiovector r8 at about half the regular price. Normally r8 would be llong out of my budget and not something I would spend time thinking about. But with a good deal on a demo set of speakers, things have changed. So today my dealer will meet up with the r8, and I will most likely be back in the passive speaker camp at the end of the day with an even more speaker driven system. Doing a good long comparison is almost impossible for many reasons, so it is take it or leave it more or less. Having heard both the r8 and especially the r11, I really look forward to the change. The r11 in a top Naim system is the best sound I have ever heard! Much better than the somewhat disappointing statement focal demo at Naim a few years back. The nice thing is that several reviewers claim that the r8 actually sound as good as or some think maybe better than the r11, unless you have a huge listening room!

I really hate to write this, Claus. Three months ago I ran into a pair of SR 6 Avantgarde Arreté in mint condition at 40% of the listed price. I was very very tempted and spent some time on it.
I am happy to report that I resisted and passed. I would like to believe that I am recovering from my compulsive purchasing light disorder (kidding) but I know deep inside that this is not real.
Congratulations and good luck with the wonderful R8s. I just hope that there are not too much of a speaker for you room.

I tried a few strategies to avoid this. First it is too expensive, this almost worked. Then my room must be too small, it is close to 7 * 4 meters, and playing on the short side this has prooved to work well with the sr 6s. My dealer says that he has changed or upgraded passive 6s to 8s at another customer with a smaller room without any problems with the sound. I have also tried to use the cost of selling my just recapped snaxo something that there is no market for in Denmark. My dealer is trading in the filter with my extra 200 but as I understand it he does not really believe he will be able to sell the Snaxo on. Resistance is useless!!

…I changed from active (aktiv!) to passive with top of the range monoblocks…to say that the improvement was dramatic would be an understatement. I was particularly surprised because (I assume that) the passive XO is a complex affair. Be safe everyone, enjoy the music.

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It is unsurprising that a fundamentally better speaker passive is better than a lesser speaker active - and with advantage of less complexity, fewer amps, less power consumption etc. Of course, th better speaker converted to active may be another matter entirely…!

My own tri-amping is in lieu of designing and building a custom XO, an active XO being very easy to set up and adjust (at least, a digital one is). Whilst no problem at present, if anything were to happen to me I think the complexity of set-up could be a problem for others (different if they were active speakers with attached amps and active XO).

For clarity…I’m my previous post, the 'speakers were the same.

And I readily acknowledge that a better amp driving passively may indeed perform better than multiple lesser amps actively. A big question may be, for a given price point which can achieve better? (I have no idea, and guess “it all depends”!

Multiple better amps active, however…

I went from being an active user for years, back to passive.
I had 3 x 250 amps into ovator s600’s, snaxo and supercap and sold the lot and went 500dr and pmc fact 12 speakers. Very happy with the outcome, much more simple, less cables, 2 and 1/2 less boxes and a greater improved sound.
Going forward less service cost and more importantly less worrying, as you are mindful that with all them amps and other stuff, it’s far more likely to go off.
But active can be fantastic especially with the old naim and linn speakers that really need active to work best


I’d agree with that part. I’ve run Isobariks both passive and active and the difference isn’t subtle. I’ve never heard them passive with a 500 but I suspect even then I would prefer active with 3 x 250DR. The crossover seems to be a real bottleneck for that speaker. Likewise I ran my IBL’s active with two NAP 180s and an IXO for a short while and that was pretty spectacular and IMO preferable to use with one 250. I keep toying with the idea of borrowing/purchasing and SNAXO 242 and trying the IBLs out in the main system. But moving the Briks is such a chore.


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