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Active Speaker Recommendations for USA (by @sweetchaos)

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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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In terms of bass, you won't feel a difference.
In terms of frequency response, LP-6v2's are more neutral, so will therefore be preferred (at least in a double blind test).
With larger drivers, the summation between tweeter and woofer happen at larger distances, than with a smaller woofer. So in theory, if you're sitting too close to Lp-8v2's, it's not an ideal distance.
 

David_M

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In terms of bass, you won't feel a difference.
In terms of frequency response, LP-6v2's are more neutral, so will therefore be preferred (at least in a double blind test).
With larger drivers, the summation between tweeter and woofer happen at larger distances, than with a smaller woofer. So in theory, if you're sitting too close to Lp-8v2's, it's not an ideal distance.
Thank you very much. This was helpful. I guess I'm surprised (maybe even disappointed) that the 8in woofer of LP-8v2 doesn't hit much lower than the 6in woofer of the LP-6v2. I was afraid to get the LP-6v2 out of concern that it could sound 'tinny' or anemic in the bass but if both sound identical bass-wise, then maybe I should try the LP-6v2 instead of the LP-8v2.

I'm not in the pro audio/recording industry. Just a home stereo enthusiast on a budget and I sit 4 feet from my LG C1 48" monitor.
 

Sengin

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@sweetchaos thank you for this thread! I am in the process of researching upgrades from my old Martin Logan MLT-2s (running through a yamaha rx-v373) as my desktop speakers and this thread has been immensely helpful.

A big selling point for me is auto standby, especially on monitors - I switch between speakers and headphones multiple times a day and needing to turn off 2 monitors every time is annoying (I don't want to waste electricity). Because of this, I've been researching which recommended speakers have it and which don't. Here's my findings for the ones that appear on the main list - not sure if it's important enough to be a column in the first post but in case others are interested:

JBL 308P MKII - yes
JBL 306P MKII - yes
JBL 305P MKII - yes
Kali LP-6 V2 - no (the original V1s did though, so it is confusing searching around for this)
Kali IN-8 V2 - no
Kali LP-8 V2 - no
Behringer B2031A - yes
ADAM T5v - no (same with T6v and T8v though these don't appear on the list)
Genelec 8030C - yes (called "ISS" IIRC)
Pioneer DJ VM-50 - yes (and on sale for $170 each right now if you are looking)

This covers a pretty wide swath of the recommended list due to the sheer quality of the options in the $400-$1000/pair range.
 

Zeeb

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volume sellers ... some do have 3.5mm line inputs

JBL Charge 3/4
Sony SRS-XB range
Ultimate Ears Megaboom range
Sonos Move, Roam, One/SL, Five
Tribit

I found out the aux inputs on many of this 'lifestyle' type - especially the wifi ones - have big latencies, which is a problem for analogue multi-room setups and for musicians/producers who want portable or secondary/multi-room monitors.

eg I currently have a Sonos Five boxed ready to be returned which has a minimum 75ms latency through the aux-in. Even taking the Sonos off the network doesn't reduce this (earlier hardware or firmware may have been different).

(I thought the Sonos sound was very good for a one-box thing, but it didn't quite blow me away like my Genelec 8030s do, for the obvious reasons... and it made me appreciate the radio-immediacy of analogue sound with minimal digital signal sifting.)

I bought the Sonos to have a wired second room (kitchen/dining) set up with my Genelecs (lounge room). The sync lag was intolerable. My guess is a latency of up to 30ms (?) might be okay for a multi-room setup.

[aside - list of portables with low aux-in latency: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...oth-speaker-with-zero-latency-aux-in.1792896/]

I was using a Soundcore Motion+ for this with unnoticeable latency. But I want bigger sound in the other room now so I've decided to add more studio monitors even though the affordable ones are near-field.

My thought with this is that studio monitors are better bang-for-buck than small active/hifi systems (which are also harder to objectively research) and I like listening critically/technically anyway.

Will split the post...
 
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Zeeb

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...I'm down to 3 ($900 US max pair):

- Adam T5V
- Kali IN-5
- Kali LP-6 v2 (only v1 seems to be available in Australia so far)

I'm leaning towards the Adam, but does anyone think for mid-field (2-4m) dining room/kitchen listening - one of the Kalis or something different could be superior? (indie rock, old pop, electronic and talk listening)
 
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Zeeb

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A big selling point for me is auto standby, especially on monitors
You prob found, the Focal Alpha EVOs have a switchable auto standby as well. The Focal Alpha EVO 65 got a 4.1 score and looks like it just missed out on making the list. Also they come with removable grilles.

Another option is a remote-controlled mains switch - I think I'll set this up. I saw a simple cheap one (non-smart) from a major electronics store where the remote control had multiple buttons for different outlets. I wonder if switching monitors on and off with a mains switch affects reliability though.
 
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Zeeb

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...I'm down to 3 ($900 US max pair):

- Adam T5V
- Kali IN-5
- Kali LP-6 v2 (only v1 seems to be available in Australia so far)

I'm leaning towards the Adam, but does anyone think for mid-field (2-4m) dining room/kitchen listening - one of the Kalis or something different could be superior? (indie rock, old pop, electronic and talk listening)

I moved this question to a dedicated thread here...
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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@Nevi Please make a new thread.

Improvements:
- Added JBL 4305P (press release), with PS of 6.8 and LFX 38hz, which makes it #1 from US$2200/pair until US$5900/pair (where it drops to #2 spot).
We need this measured ASAP!! ;)
CEA2034.webp

- Added Neumann KH 80/120 to worthy picks, as I felt I was too harsh in the first place by keeping them out, after receiving community feedback.
 
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sweetchaos

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Improvements:
2022-03-04: Added Genelec 8331 and Buchardt A500, reviewed by Erin

Genelec 8331A becomes the #3 pick from US$4500/pair and up to US$5900/pair, where Genelec 8341A takes over.
Buchardt A500 becomes the #1 pick from US$3800/pair and up to US$6700/pair, where it drops to 2nd place.
 

TheNannerpus

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Great list. I've bookmarked this list because it is so valuable.

Two questions:

1. Why does the JBL 308p mkii disappear from the list after $800/pr with a 5.7 rating when the 'Worthy" list has preference scores less than it does after that price point?

2. Are you maintaining, or do you have the data for, historical ratings? I would find it extremely valuable for the used market, or with vendors who still have old stock of speakers no longer made.
 
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sweetchaos

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1. Why does the JBL 308p mkii disappear from the list after $800/pr with a 5.7 rating when the 'Worthy" list has preference scores less than it does after that price point?
Because it wasn't highly recommended by Amir (like the other speakers like Adam T5V), so I didn't consider it worthy enough to stay on the list.
2. Are you maintaining, or do you have the data for, historical ratings? I would find it extremely valuable for the used market, or with vendors who still have old stock of speakers no longer made.
I've created another spreadsheet (currently private) with about 1000 speakers. But unfortunately, I don't have the time to maintain it right now, so the project is currently on hold.

Here's the columns that I've created and populated:
Mfg (Sorted by first) Model # (Sorted by second) LFX. Bass Extension at -6db (hz) Score Score w/Sub Score w/EQ Score w/EQ+Sub Mfg Link Discontinued Manual Active / Passive Analog Input Digital Input Tweeter (") or mm Tweeter (converted from mm to in) Woofer (mm) Woofer (converted from mm to in) # of woofers Mid-range (") 4th Driver (") #-way Height (mm) Width (mm) Depth (mm) Weight/each (kg) Volume (m^3) Price in CAD for pair Price in CAD for each Link to CAD prices Price in USD for pair Price in USD for each Link to US prices Price in EUR for pair Price in EUR for each Link to EUR prices (mostly in Germany) Link to Maiky76 PEQ Design Type Ported/Sealed DIY KIT Review Date Source Overall Recommendation Amir's Award Community Award Video Review Spinorama Horizontal Directivity Vertical Directivity Distortion 86 (or other) Distortion 96 Response Linearity (by Erin) Measured Min Impedance Measured Sensitivity Height (in) Width (in) Depth (in) Volume (ft^3) Weight (lb)
This includes speakers that are currently sold, as well as models that are no longer sold.
It's very similar to my 'subwoofer comparison' spreadsheet, but for speakers.

I can either:
- hold off until I have more free time, hopefully, in several months, to do error correction and then release the spreadsheet to the public
- release the spreadsheet now, and hope that someone can help me do error correction and data entry, since I haven't maintained it since Jan 22, 2022.

Life got in the way.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Improvements:
-2022-03-14: Added Focal Alpha 65 Evo, since Amir measured 2nd-sample, and it didn't have distortion issue as previously. In addition, Amir gave it the highest panther award, which made it on my list. See review for the update.
 

Digby

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@sweetchaos thank you for this thread! I am in the process of researching upgrades from my old Martin Logan MLT-2s (running through a yamaha rx-v373) as my desktop speakers and this thread has been immensely helpful.

A big selling point for me is auto standby, especially on monitors - I switch between speakers and headphones multiple times a day and needing to turn off 2 monitors every time is annoying (I don't want to waste electricity). Because of this, I've been researching which recommended speakers have it and which don't. Here's my findings for the ones that appear on the main list - not sure if it's important enough to be a column in the first post but in case others are interested:

JBL 308P MKII - yes
JBL 306P MKII - yes
JBL 305P MKII - yes
Kali LP-6 V2 - no (the original V1s did though, so it is confusing searching around for this)
Kali IN-8 V2 - no
Kali LP-8 V2 - no
Behringer B2031A - yes
ADAM T5v - no (same with T6v and T8v though these don't appear on the list)
Genelec 8030C - yes (called "ISS" IIRC)
Pioneer DJ VM-50 - yes (and on sale for $170 each right now if you are looking)

This covers a pretty wide swath of the recommended list due to the sheer quality of the options in the $400-$1000/pair range.
The problem is not all auto standby is the same. The standby on the B2031A is, well, crap - it will go off while playing music at moderate levels (even at lowest input gain setting) and needs to be turned up highish to start playing again, giving you a nice jump scare.

Some of the these speakers will be better and worse at the function. Some offer it, but it isn't really usable (B2301A).
 

oversky

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With larger drivers, the summation between tweeter and woofer happen at larger distances, than with a smaller woofer. So in theory, if you're sitting too close to Lp-8v2's, it's not an ideal distance.

The Recommended Listening Distance of these two speakers start equally from 0.5 meters.


PN0CLlA.png
 

steve59

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I love the way meridian does music, used dsp 7200.
 
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sweetchaos

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The Recommended Listening Distance of these two speakers start equally from 0.5 meters.


PN0CLlA.png
I was thinking of Genelec's guidance on the distance on their monitors, based on their lineup (different woofer and tweeter sizes).

Look at "Not Recommended Distances" in red.
correct-monitors-direct_sound_dominance-chart.jpg

But if Kali says its the same distance for both monitors, then I'll take their word.
 

oversky

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I was thinking of Genelec's guidance on the distance on their monitors, based on their lineup (different woofer and tweeter sizes).

Look at "Not Recommended Distances" in red.

But if Kali says its the same distance for both monitors, then I'll take their word.
That was what I have thought, too.
Maybe it's the designs of waveguide that make different results.
 

tifune

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@sweetchaos really appreciate these lists.

Would an "active center" category be useful? I imagine a lot of people who use these lists, who are maybe looking for suggestions and not terribly interested in the details, may not realize that 83x1 or Kali can be placed horizontal without any/much detriment. I had really good luck with KH310 because the LH bracket allows almost seamless wall mounting (my center is above screen, UST projector) and the optional grille obscures it's asymmetry, but I don't think I've seen it once recommended for center in any thread.
 
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