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Active Speaker Recommendations for USA (by @sweetchaos)

@sweetchaos, where did the Behringer B2031A measurements come from? I see that @amirm just posted that he has ordered a B2031A. It will be interesting to see how it measures on a Klippel compared to newer designs as It has to be one of the oldest designs currently available. Klippel results might either help further extend the B2031A's life or hasten its retirement.
 
@sweetchaos, where did the Behringer B2031A measurements come from? I see that @amirm just posted that he has ordered a B2031A. It will be interesting to see how it measures on a Klippel compared to newer designs as It has to be one of the oldest designs currently available. Klippel results might either help further extend the B2031A's life or hasten its retirement.
This was the source:

It’s unclear who measured it, but you’re right…Amir just ordered one last night. So we’ll confirm it soon.
 
Thanks Erin! I bought a pair of the powered neumi's on your recommendation and couldn't be happier for the price.

Looking at the Kali's, these and most in your list are monitors. For a stereo application, how do you set them up so the pair of separate amps and tone controls are actually identical? On a decent 2 channel amp one assumes this is all pretty much equal. But I'm not sure how this is accomplished when everything isn't-physically connected together....?
 
Improvements:
- Re-organized the tables (too many words last time) for a cleaner look.
- Added top 3rd pick (previously only 2 top picks).
- Removed "Best bass speakers", since some of the recommendations of lower preference score speakers didn't make much sense, and since I've added top 3rd pick, I think this is a good compromise.
- Fixed several mistakes, forgetting to recommend a few Genelec models.
 
Posted the passive bookshelf guide:
 
Not much love for Neumann KH 120A, eh?

Serious question...At what price point, do you think Neumann KH 120A should no longer be recommended?
I'll add a disclaimer about that once I hear the community feedback.
 
Not much love for Neumann KH 120A, eh?

Serious question...At what price point, do you think Neumann KH 120A should no longer be recommended?
I'll add a disclaimer about that once I hear the community feedback.
Personally I find the KH120 very good for what it is, namely a small 5" nearfield monitor, wouldn't recommend it though in price regions where you can get more SPL capable and higher listening distance monitors like KH310 or JBL 708p.
 
Not much love for Neumann KH 120A, eh?

Serious question...At what price point, do you think Neumann KH 120A should no longer be recommended?
I'll add a disclaimer about that once I hear the community feedback.
The KH120s are great. They just have the same problem that many speakers of their size do, they're trying to get too much low end out of a small volume. Which, of course has its limitations, at some point you compromise somewhere between SPL handling, bass extension, and size. The KH120s extend pretty near as low as the KH310s (F6 of 42hz vs 30hz) which have a significantly bigger cabinet volume and much more (more than 2x as much) woofer area - and the 310s are already somewhat SPL limited down there.
 
I would be quite interested in seeing a score which ignores on-axis frequency response and is instead derived from the directivity index and distortion products. In my opinion, that would be more representative of a given speaker's capabilities than a preference score derived from such an easily corrected characteristic as its on-axis frequency response.
 
Thanks Erin! I bought a pair of the powered neumi's on your recommendation and couldn't be happier for the price.

Looking at the Kali's, these and most in your list are monitors. For a stereo application, how do you set them up so the pair of separate amps and tone controls are actually identical? On a decent 2 channel amp one assumes this is all pretty much equal. But I'm not sure how this is accomplished when everything isn't-physically connected together....?

Is this a dumb question? How do you balance the volume of the left and right channels to play stereo properly?
 
@Destination: Moon
When you purchase studio monitors (which are sold individually), you usually connect both to your DAC or audio interface via XLR or RCA cables.
Then you control the volume using the volume-knob or remote from your DAC or audio interface.
You don't need to balance anything, as the DAC / audio interface does the work for you, and everything plays in stereo, with perfect sync.
 
@Destination: Moon
When you purchase studio monitors (which are sold individually), you usually connect both to your DAC or audio interface via XLR or RCA cables.
Then you control the volume using the volume-knob or remote from your DAC or audio interface.
You don't need to balance anything, as the DAC / audio interface does the work for you, and everything plays in stereo, with perfect sync.

But don't all these monitors have a volume knob? How does that work? Does having 2 volume knobs at the same position on 2 different amps create the exact same amplification? In my mind things in the real world never work that way...... And we spend so much attention to analyzing the most minute details and measurements in every aspect of audio systems has me wondering how to make these play stereo properly?
Is there a matching feature or setting I don't see labeled on the back of these type speakers, or am I misunderstanding how they are set up?
 
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But don't all these monitors have a volume knob? How does that work? Does having 2 volume knobs at the same position on 2 different amps create the exact same amplification? In my mind things in the real world never work that way...... And we spend so much attention to analyzing the most minute details and measurements in every aspect of audio systems has me wondering how to make these play stereo properly?
Is there a matching feature or setting I don't see labeled on the back of these type speakers, or am I misunderstanding how they are set up?
It depends on the studio monitor.

For example:
1. JBL 30xP MKII series have both a volume adjustment knob and an input sensitivity switch. In this case, adjust both studio monitors to the same level of volume knob, and control the overall volume with DAC/audio interface since it becomes the primary means of volume control.
2. Genelec 80x0 series don't have a volume adjustment knob, but only an input sensitivity switch. In other words, there's no way to adjust volume on the Genelec's themselves, and it must be done via an external device (ex. DAC, audio interface, etc).

You could use a generic SPL meter or measurement microphone like MiniDSP UMIK-1, and run pink noise to see if the output of each monitor is the same. Alternatively, you could use a multimeter and measure.
 
But don't all these monitors have a volume knob? How does that work? Does having 2 volume knobs at the same position on 2 different amps create the exact same amplification? In my mind things in the real world never work that way...... And we spend so much attention to analyzing the most minute details and measurements in every aspect of audio systems has me wondering how to make these play stereo properly?
Is there a matching feature or setting I don't see labeled on the back of these type speakers, or am I misunderstanding how they are set up?

The older Genelecs had volume control
pd8030amm03.jpg
 
Maybe I'm not being clear. Below is a typical measurement from one of Amir's amplifier evaluations. I'm sure each amplifier produced has its own minor variations but this measurement is important.

What do two monitors being used to generate 2 channel music look like? It's important I would think to know that 2 separate units, sometimes with 2 amps in each 2 way speaker (totaling 4 amps) are somehow matched to generate the same voltage or sound energy. ??

Edit :. Erin, you did answer my question at the end of your last post. I missed it the first read thru. Thanks for the response!

It's kind of what I expected. These types of speakers need more fussing with than I'm prepared to deal with if they have separate volume controls on each box.
 

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It's kind of what I expected. These types of speakers need more fussing with than I'm prepared to deal with if they have separate volume controls on each box.
It's really not that complicated. In a worst case scenario use a moment to find a gain setting that gives you a usable volume range upstream. For example with JBL's turn the dial X clicks in both speakers. Then control the volume upstream.
 
Thanks to @sweetchaos for providing this list, now we can stop answering the many questions about what speaker to buy for every budget ;)

It would be great if Erin or Armir could review the Mesanovic RTM10 and the GGNTKT M1, there are very few reviews with measurements of these speakers at the moment.

Roland of GGNTKT don't want to sent the speakers to Armir or Erin for testing because they have made measurements on a Klippel NFS by themselves but I think it's better to have an independent review of the speakers especially for small companies as Mesanovic and GGNTKT, a raving review of their product by Armir or Erin will boost their sales (ofcourse there is always a risk that the review will show some flaws in the design and then it is contraproductive)
 
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