How Your Speakers Deliver - Passive or Active
It might seem like an easy task to create the sound that is sent from an amplified signal and source. It has been the quest of speaker designers for eons to deliver the best of what is delivered from the source in the most accurate way. We are certainly not trying here to provide Cupid's Arrow as to how to find the best speakers. We are simply trying to help in the decision process that brings the music to your heart. In our heart of hearts we will discover a sound that takes us places.
As with all audio technologies there has been advancement in creating the best representation of what the live artist intended in studio or concert sound that will envelop you in the music and just the music. Music has an emotional essence that "takes us away" from our day-to-day and into a special space that makes us feel right and special whilst we allow it. We need to honour the pioneers such as Paul Klipsch, John Bowers and many more that explored the boundaries of the technologies of their times to bring us closer to the sound that we intuitively knew was there.
For whatever reason, maybe contrast teaches us, for a while we accepted that MP3 was all. However, that taught us what we were missing in having the whole, without filtering or diminishing the file size as has happened in digital for a long while. What has been learned in this whole process is that there can be more. Fortunately, in the background we have had substantial improvement in turntable and digital technology that has rcognised the pioneering efforts of the past and combined them with the new technologies of today with a special result that brings us closer to the original. We are still amazed at how we have got back on track and are now understanding what touches us emotionally.
We are currently enjoying a rennaissance with analogue through vinyl re-entering the fray due to advancements in technology and a better understanding of what gets the best out of vinyl with attention to tonearm technology. Particularly, tonearm bearing quality and vibration isolation so that what we hear is the music and not the induced noise. At the same time we are now experiencing high resolution larger file size digital files that release more musical detail and access to millions of tracks that we could never own on vinyl.
It is exciting that our source is improving at a level that brings more of the music to us. After all, "garbage in, garbage out". Fortunately, amplifier designers and speaker designers are recognising this shift and delivering products that reproduce more of the "live" performance. Alongside classic speaker designs from iconic brands such as Klipsch and Bowers and Wilkins there are brands like Elac with their legendary designer Andrew Jones and their new budget designs that are making performance speakers at affordable prices. This is only a sample of what is happening. Quality audio at whatever is your budget in a way we have not experienced before.
The job of a speaker is to deliver a dynamic engaging experience to the music lover and that is done via a fast transient response defined by balance of the frequencies to tell the whole story. What we have seen over the journey is a combination of lessons learned early that have stood the test of time and technological developments that have brought more of the life of the music to the fore. After all we all want to be at that live performance every time at whatever level. Allowing the music to engage us creates a special experience and it is the job of the playback equipment to deliver that to us.
Every speaker has a tonality that is different. Whilst the detail and depth will be there, there is an essence that will appeal to different people in different ways. The best analogy is to look at two different paintings and whilst one person will fall in love with one, another person will love the other. Neither is wrong here. It is just a matter of personal taste and that is why there is choice.
Even active or amplified speakers that have previously been known as computer speakers have transcended into quality amplification and speaker drivers that are now being respected by the Hi-Fi press and being seen as quality performers. Brands like Kanto Audio and Klipsch have presented products that are being taken seriously and deliver excellent value for money. At the end of the day whilst we have been through some confusions and shift in the music playback spectrum we seem to have come out the other side with some special products that deliver more of the "live" performance and keep more of the music as it was intended by the artists. After all they wanted their story told in the best possible manner and things are getting better!
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