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Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Review (Bookshelf Speaker)

Bear123

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I am not looking for THX qualification. I am only looking for an affordable stereo audio amplifier with bass management that will match these Emotivas. How much more I can make myself clear!!!

Made part of your post small to try and focus on being constructive.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how effectively these two products could be used together for your situation, but perhaps:
Yamaha WXA-50 streaming amp review
MiniDSP 2x4HD review

Its two pieces but this is honestly one of the top solutions I can think of. Also, I don't have all of your exact requirements firmly in mind but thought I would suggest it and let you decide if this option might work.

Do you already have a sub?

Ah, you'll probably need a Umik-1 mic to use with REW for a convenient way to load eq filters into the miniDSP. I think you can even save several presets in case you want to save different files for different genres or something.
 

richard12511

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I disagree totally! Otherwise why would you do eq in the mid frequency range?

This may be where we just have to agree to disagree. In my view, these B1+ bookshelf speakers have no chance whatsoever of approaching the sound quality of the same speakers crossed over (via standard AVR) to 4 well placed subwoofers. Are you saying that you think (because of the response dips in the 80-120Hz region) that a B1+ 2.0 system will sound better than a B1+ 2.4 system with fixed slope crossover? You're certainly entitled to that opinion, but it does seem unusual to me. I think it's pretty well understood today(thanks to the work of Geddes, Welti, Toole, etc.) that 2.0 stereo is always a sonically compromised solution compared to a multi-sub solution. There's a reason Toole crosses his Salon2s to 4 subwoofers at 80Hz. If the Salon2s are improved by crossing to subs, then surely this speaker would be too?

I think you may be overestimating how difficult it is to integrate subs well enough to improve the performance of cheap bookshelf speakers like this. Keep in mind, I actually own the tower version of the speaker. I can tell you from experience that the T2+ run 2.0 sound nowhere near as good as the T2+ crossed to external subs at 80Hz with a 12/dB slope(default for the Denon AVR I'm using). I've done this comparison many times, and it's not close. Sure, I do see dips at between 80 and 120Hz, but running 2.0 leads to even more and worse dips between 40-120Hz.


I am not looking for THX qualification. I am only looking for an affordable stereo audio amplifier with bass management that will match these Emotivas. How much more I can make myself clear!!!

And it's my opinion that you're overestimating the difficulty of "matching" the bass performance of these speakers. You (earlier in the thread) rightfully pointed out the flaws in this speaker. Almost any subwoofer and any crossover is going to drastically improve the sound of these speakers, though I suppose that's where we disagree.

PS. I personally do not agree with THX and what they do. They are simply a branding company these days who use tech as an USB.

I agree.
 

sarumbear

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Can you expand on this a little more? I think the "standard Hi-Fi" has changed drastically in the past 40-50 years or so. I also think we, as humans, tend to overestimate how "normal" we are. How are you so sure that most others share your strict requirements for stereo gear? I think you might be thinking your own requirements/beliefs are more common than they actually are. I doubt most standard Hifi users care about crossover slopes, or response dips. Most don't even measure at all.

This is a science based audio forum so I do not care what "most" do. I am not here to discuss how humanity is changing.

If I had to guess, I would guess that AVRs are actually the most common stereo solution in use today, as dedicated stereo rooms are very rare. Most stereo rooms today are likely multi-purpose. 40 years ago, I might agree with you, but I do think standards have changed. In my experience, the younger generations (say younger than 50) are very rarely building dedicated audio rooms with no visual display component.
Your guess is wrong. The smart speaker which sells orders of magnitude more than any passive speaker is the most common music listening solution.

We didn't have music rooms to listen to the music. We listened music in the living room. Why do you think the term WFA came about? Only the very few had separate Hi-Fi rooms. Home cinema is not suitable for listening music as you cannot socialise with fixed chairs facing one way only.

However, you are forcing the thread off-topic as I try to keep in on. This is the thread of a review of a pair of small and cheap speakers. We are debating how to extend its bass response. Anything else is off-topic.

Someone suggested using them in a 2.1 configuration with a subwoofer. I couldn't find a suitable amplifier (the word "a" means single box). At the end someone mentioned the ELAC DS-A101-G which fit the bill. I thanked the person. I do not want to build a cinema room nor use an AVR that will not even fit the shelf these speaker will be on.

I think I prove to the posters who still suggest that there are not many solutions to use this speaker with a subwoofer.
 

beaRA

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I do not want to build a cinema room nor use an AVR that will not even fit the shelf these speaker will be on.
Finally, you have expressed why an inexpensive AVR is an unnaceptable solution to you and it comes down to the physical size. You have a very specific set of requirements and you are not willing to compromise on any of them. That's fine for your niche use case, but there are many in the market for a budget speaker that are willing to make compromises to maximize performance per dollar.
 

sarumbear

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Made part of your post small to try and focus on being constructive.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how effectively these two products could be used together for your situation, but perhaps:
Yamaha WXA-50 streaming amp review
MiniDSP 2x4HD review

Its two pieces but this is honestly one of the top solutions I can think of. Also, I don't have all of your exact requirements firmly in mind but thought I would suggest it and let you decide if this option might work.

The Yamaha has undefined, and un-adjustable xover frequency.

Thank you for suggesting the MiniSDP but even though I was clarifying on almost every post to explain that I am looking for an amplifier. "An amplifier" as in integrated amplifier. Not only miniDSP is a sperate unit, as @amirm said in his review "This is a "raw" platform with no intelligence of its own. If you want room equalization, you have to figure out how to program its individual parametric filters or FIR parameters."

I am looking for a single unit that is commonly called as stereo amplifier. Something that looks like this but has bass management.

You are one though group...
 

sarumbear

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Finally, you have expressed why an inexpensive AVR is an unnaceptable solution to you and it comes down to the physical size. You have a very specific set of requirements and you are not willing to compromise on any of them. That's fine for your niche use case, but there are many in the market for a budget speaker that are willing to make compromises to maximize performance per dollar.
THIS IS THE REVIEW OF A SMALL SPEAKER that costs $229. Not wanting to have a huge AVR that takes 2-3 times the volume of these speakers is not having specific requirements nor it is a niche case.

So far just one amplifier was suggested that has bass-management. JUST ONE! By keep saying "there are many in the market" you are either insulting me or yourself by not understanding that the word many cannot be used when the number is ONE!
 

Bear123

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The Yamaha has undefined, and un-adjustable xover frequency.

Thank you for suggesting the MiniSDP but even though I was clarifying on almost every post to explain that I am looking for an amplifier. "An amplifier" as in integrated amplifier. Not only miniDSP is a sperate unit, as @amirm said in his review "This is a "raw" platform with no intelligence of its own. If you want room equalization, you have to figure out how to program its individual parametric filters or FIR parameters."

I am looking for a single unit that is commonly called as stereo amplifier. Something that looks like this but has bass management.

You are one though group...
Its really a shame Yamaha didn't include bass management/user adjustable crossover in the WXA-50. Subwoofer pre-out but no crossover.....I can't imagine it would cost much if anything to add this in a unit that already retails for $500 with only two channels.
 

richard12511

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T
Your guess is wrong. The smart speaker which sells orders of magnitude more than any passive speaker is the most common music listening solution.

Just to clarify, I agree with you here 100%, but it's not that I guessed wrong. I actually wrote almost that exact same sentence out, but removed it to stay more within the "audiophile" context that the "magazines" and sites like this are for. If we're considering all people who buy devices to listen to music as audiophiles, then you're right that the "sonos smart speaker" crowd outnumber us greatly.

I would also say, even among the audiophile crowd(separate stereo speakers etc.), in the past 10 years or so, people have been slowly moving away from AVRs and towards things like Raspberry Pi, Blusound Powernode 2i, etc. I think AVRs were actually more common 10 years ago than they are today.
 

beaRA

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THIS IS THE REVIEW OF A SMALL SPEAKER that costs $229. Not wanting to have a huge AVR that takes 2-3 times the volume of these speakers is not having specific requirements nor it is a niche case.

So far just one amplifier was suggested that has bass-management. JUST ONE! By keep saying "there are many in the market" you are either insulting me or yourself by not understanding that the word many cannot be used when the number is ONE!
I really don't understand why the physical size of the amplifier in relation to the physical size of the speaker is relevant. When I say "there are many in the market" I am talking about many buyers willing to use AVRs not many devices that meet your requirements. If you frequent r/hometheater, these speakers combined with an AVR are recommended daily. It is not that difficult to accommodate an AVR in most setups.
 

richard12511

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THIS IS THE REVIEW OF A SMALL SPEAKER that costs $229. Not wanting to have a huge AVR that takes 2-3 times the volume of these speakers is not having specific requirements nor it is a niche case.

So far just one amplifier was suggested that has bass-management. JUST ONE! By keep saying "there are many in the market" you are either insulting me or yourself by not understanding that the word many cannot be used when the number is ONE!

If you limit yourself to say the cost of the speakers themselves, then I agree with you. It's going to be hard to find multiple subs + a device to support them for that. I was thinking of this more as a sub $1,000 solution or so. If you budget is (fe) $400, 2.0 stereo solution may be about as good as you're going to get, as even a powered Raspberry Pi to power the mains is gonna eat up your whole budget.
 

sarumbear

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I don't think you proved such a thing ;), as many great solutions were suggested. We'll let others decide, though.
If you are this ignorant and cannot see what is on this thread and the FACT that other than the ELAC and an AVR there were NO units that had bass-management.

Check an English dictionary for the meaning of "management" and "unit".

Sir, I'm not going to answer you anymore if you continue like this.
 

richard12511

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I really don't understand why the physical size of the amplifier in relation to the physical size of the speaker is relevant. .

It's relevant to him, obviously, but I think he makes the mistake in believing that his requirements and opinions are shared by the majority.
 

sarumbear

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I really don't understand why the physical size of the amplifier in relation to the physical size of the speaker is relevant. When I say "there are many in the market" I am talking about many buyers willing to use AVRs not many devices that meet your requirements. If you frequent r/hometheater, these speakers combined with an AVR are recommended daily. It is not that difficult to accommodate an AVR in most setups.
I DO NOT WANT TO USE AN AVR!!!
 

More Dynamics Please

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@sarumbear, can you see how your search for a unique solution that will have little interest to almost everyone else is more conducive to having its own dedicated thread? The number of posts dedicated to the back and forth about your personal dilemma is overwhelming discussion about the thread's main topic of a specific speaker review. There's nothing wrong with what you're trying to accomplish other than it would be more appropriate in its own dedicated thread, i.e. Please Help Me Find A Device That Does A, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc.
 

richard12511

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If you are this ignorant and cannot see what is on this thread and the FACT that other than the ELAC and an AVR there were NO units that had bass-management.

Check an English dictionary for the meaning of "management" and "unit".

Sir, I'm not going to answer you anymore if you continue like this.

"and an AVR", is kind of a big one, though, as that opens up hundreds of possibilities.

I understand that you don't want an AVR, and I've agreed with you that in your case(no AVRs, UK, variable crossover slope, no miniDSP, etc.), your options really are limited. Where I disagree with you is where you think that the majority of us here share your same requirements. I think for most of us, an AVR or one of the other stereo solutions proposed by @nathan are perfectly acceptable solutions.

Something like this is probably what I'd go for.
 
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ROOSKIE

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I DO NOT WANT TO USE AN AVR!!!
Dude, really.
Start a separate thread or PM folks.
You are on a public forum.
The generous responces are not just to serve you. Many will benefit from the recommendations presented here.
I appreciate that so many folks are genuinely trying to help you. Problem is they havent looked at your post history on this forum.
Never-the-less their thoughtfulness will surely help others.
 

beaRA

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I DO NOT WANT TO USE AN AVR!!!
Hey man, I get it. You don't want to use an AVR so these are not the speakers for you. If you recall, this whole debate started with you making a broad generalization about how nobody has access to a way to easily crossover small speakers to a subwoofer. The point isn't that an AVR will work for you. The point is that you are a niche market and many people are willing to accommodate an AVR for the benefits of bass management.

It is impossible to correctly cross an off-the-shelf speaker to a subwoofer without an adjustable active cross-over. As the proliferation of affordable external active cross-over is not going to happen anytime soon your solution will always generate a compromise, not to mention more than double the cost of two ported small speakers.
 

Bear123

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@sarumbear, can you see how your search for a unique solution that will have little interest to almost everyone else is more conducive to having its own dedicated thread? The number of posts dedicated to the back and forth about your personal dilemma is overwhelming discussion about the thread's main topic of a specific speaker review. There's nothing wrong with what you're trying to accomplish other than it would be more appropriate in its own dedicated thread, i.e. Please Help Me Find A Device That Does A, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc.
I agree here. Start a separate thread. Guy is pretty abrasive anyways. Time to shut this down.
 

AdamG247

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I DO NOT WANT TO USE AN AVR!!!
I agree. Time to move this question to a new dedicated thread. Please start one that is separate from this thread.
 
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