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DSP objectively good speakers for the poors

hvbias

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#1
The thread title is a joke for the humorless :) (I also stole it from a thread on DIY Audio)

How long do you think it will be before we can get more affordable objectively designed speakers fully active/DSP? I would think KEF would be one of the forerunners to be able to introduce something like this, ala LS50. Or JBL. Basically this stuff has me drooling but no way am I spending 5 figures on speakers used in a secondary system or in my living room where my kid(s) might damage them. I guess I also equate a "shelf life" to them as in computer software, at some point support will be dropped, which also also has me more hesitant to spend large sums on them.
 

Soniclife

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#2
What's wrong with the current offerings from Dynaudio or Eve audio?
 

dc655321

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#3
How long do you think it will be before we can get more affordable objectively designed speakers fully active/DSP? I would think KEF would be one of the forerunners to be able to introduce something like this, ala LS50. Or JBL.
The LS50 Wireless already has some of these capabilities. Or, is it simply not present there to the degree that you consider "fully active/DSP"?
 

Cosmik

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#4
It's a conundrum. I think if someone did produce such a speaker, it would be perceived as just a glorified PC speaker or Homepod type thing.

DIY is the ultimate way to get there at low cost, but there's a learning curve. A PC or a (as yet non-existent) complex-i-fied version of those Behringer boxes would be needed, plus a multichannel AV amp ($100 on eBay), and it would need an ecosystem of open source setup files for various speakers. Buy existing old speakers, rip out the crossovers and fit some terminals. And I'm sure speaker manufacturers might start supplying them without crossovers - but they would need to fit a standardised protection cap for the tweeters and I doubt warranties would mean much. Luckily, when you go fully active and realise you can go three-way as easily as two, the differences between cheap and expensive drivers are much reduced, so people could also build or populate speakers with cheap drivers and get excellent results.
 

Soniclife

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#5
DIY is the ultimate way to get there at low cost, but there's a learning curve. A PC or a (as yet non-existent) complex-i-fied version of those Behringer boxes would be needed, plus a multichannel AV amp ($100 on eBay), and it would need an ecosystem of open source setup files for various speakers.
Or Beocreate for a sort of productionised version of what you are talking about.
 

oivavoi

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#6
What's wrong with the current offerings from Dynaudio or Eve audio?
I agree. Stellar value for money, together with offerings from JBL, Yamaha and others. I'm partial to Eve though. The problem with most such studio monitors is that they are two-ways (i.e. doppler distortion), most of them are stand mounts (a large chunk of the masses wants floor standing models, and stand mount two-ways create acoustic cancellation in the mid bass from the floor), they are usually optimized for near field listening (people often lister farther away in domestic environments), and many are ported (less fidelity in bass transients).

There are some German manufacturers who offer relatively cheap active DSP offerings which seem to provide very good value for money also - Abacus and Nubert comes to mind. My impression is that they mostly sell to the German market, though.
 
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oivavoi

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#7
I also agree with cosmik that diy provides the most audio for the buck though. But it will never be a thing "for the masses".
 
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#8
I want one device with a player that stores, steams and plays all file types, is accessible via BT and wifi, outputs bit perfect to one round of DSP, I2S to PWM amplification for 4 channels (passive high/mid) , and digital out for 2 sub channels .
 

Wombat

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#10
I want one device with a player that stores, steams and plays all file types, is accessible via BT and wifi, outputs bit perfect to one round of DSP, I2S to PWM amplification for 4 channels (passive high/mid) , and digital out for 2 sub channels .
:cool:

I would add plug-and-play.
 
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#12
I've no doubt that something like this would do an admirable job but it's not pocket money:
http://www.deqx.com/products/hdp-express-ii/
I still need a source (laptop/smartphone) and amplification. It would also add a D/A conversion in front of the amplifier(s), and in the case of Class D amplification you are going to have to A/D then route through another DSP process before the PWM.
 
OP
hvbias

hvbias

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Thread Starter #13
What's wrong with the current offerings from Dynaudio or Eve audio?
Sorry I'm just responding to this now, had a crazy busy few weeks. I actually don't know about either of these, the two big ones I see discussed here are Kii and D&D. Are these constant/controlled directivity speakers?

It's a conundrum. I think if someone did produce such a speaker, it would be perceived as just a glorified PC speaker or Homepod type thing.

DIY is the ultimate way to get there at low cost, but there's a learning curve. A PC or a (as yet non-existent) complex-i-fied version of those Behringer boxes would be needed, plus a multichannel AV amp ($100 on eBay), and it would need an ecosystem of open source setup files for various speakers. Buy existing old speakers, rip out the crossovers and fit some terminals. And I'm sure speaker manufacturers might start supplying them without crossovers - but they would need to fit a standardised protection cap for the tweeters and I doubt warranties would mean much. Luckily, when you go fully active and realise you can go three-way as easily as two, the differences between cheap and expensive drivers are much reduced, so people could also build or populate speakers with cheap drivers and get excellent results.
I'm going DIY active with my main dedicated listening room speakers (doesn't save any money, something commercial just doesn't exist), but it is quite a great time sink. I don't want to dedicate the same amount of time to this which is why I'd prefer to buy something.
 

oivavoi

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#15
No, choices are very limited if you want that as well.
There are some cheapish constant directivity offerings though, if choosing the ikea-kit approach: The CBT Epique speakers from Parts Express, and the LX Mini. But they take up more space than small monitors.
 

Teddy

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#16
I actually got to speak with Andrew Jones about this very issue at a recent meetup at HiFiBuys in Atlanta, after he demoed his new Andante speakers.

He noted that Meridian had gone this route in the past, fully active speakers but with analog signal processing. He said that Active speaker lines usually don't really make it in the audio world and we don't see that many of them for this reason: Most high-end audio guys (the bulk of them are older men who grew up in the "Golden Era" of Hifi) want a SETUP that they can tweak and upgrade and buy the "new model" of one piece at a time when they have the money to spend. Selling the customer 2 speakers with everything already inside as a unit doesn't let them upgrade piece by piece, and this model would essentially kill audio component sales -- say bye to the amplifier companies, the preamp/DAC companies, the cable companies (well, good riddance to all but the honest ones), etc.

TL;DR Hifi companies need to give their customers an "upgrade path" if they want to make a profit.

That was his view of it.

A few interesting points to take into consideration.
 

Dialectic

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#17
I actually got to speak with Andrew Jones about this very issue at a recent meetup at HiFiBuys in Atlanta, after he demoed his new Andante speakers.

He noted that Meridian had gone this route in the past, fully active speakers but with analog signal processing. He said that Active speaker lines usually don't really make it in the audio world and we don't see that many of them for this reason: Most high-end audio guys (the bulk of them are older men who grew up in the "Golden Era" of Hifi) want a SETUP that they can tweak and upgrade and buy the "new model" of one piece at a time when they have the money to spend. Selling the customer 2 speakers with everything already inside as a unit doesn't let them upgrade piece by piece, and this model would essentially kill audio component sales -- say bye to the amplifier companies, the preamp/DAC companies, the cable companies (well, good riddance to all but the honest ones), etc.

TL;DR Hifi companies need to give their customers an "upgrade path" if they want to make a profit.

That was his view of it.

A few interesting points to take into consideration.
Some of us did not come of age in the golden era of audio, do not give a damn about having nice boxes to impress other white and Asian dudes, have spent our cash on the best actives, and look forward to the day when the audiophile commodity fetishism silliness will stop.
 

Teddy

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#18
Some of us did not come of age in the golden era of audio, do not give a damn about having nice boxes to impress other white and Asian dudes, have spent our cash on the best actives, and look forward to the day when the audiophile commodity fetishism silliness will stop.
This is a strange response? There's an audio market for both audio enthusiast types already. They have theirs, you have yours -- no reason to wish failure upon them.

I for one choose DIY DSP/Active, but that doesn't invalidate the other side's preferences.
 

Dialectic

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#19
This is a strange response? There's an audio market for both audio enthusiast types already. They have theirs, you have yours -- no reason to wish failure upon them.

I for one choose DIY DSP/Active, but that doesn't invalidate the other side's preferences.
Not strange at all. Selling people mix-and-match components for the purpose of putting them on a costly incremental upgrade path is not the way to help them achieve good sound. It creates the misleading impressions (1) that newer and more expensive stuff is better and (2) that certain components can be mixed and matched to achieve magical synergies.

Yes, I do wish failure on most (not all) of the companies whose gear is regularly reviewed in TAS. The manufacture of that gear is an obscene misallocation of resources. Better audio would be available at more affordable prices if those companies were exposed for what they are.

That's why I appreciate what goes on here at ASR.
 

Kal Rubinson

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#20
Economics and market issues dominate. There are, of course, objectively good DSP/active speakers at the top of the market (e.g., Kii for those with open minds) and at the bottom of the market (e.g., Google for those who don't care about the underlying technology). It is in the middle of the so-called audiophile market where consumer and manufacturer biases impose themselves.
 
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