I’ve always thought that active speakers made a lot of sense. At least you’re assured that the people designing the drivers and enclosures actually chatted to the amplifier people before they all went ahead with the product. With any luck, they’re on one and the same team, maybe even the same person.
The alternative is the old fashioned way – buy a speaker from company A and match it with an amp from company B. As we all know, that can lead to great results but it can also lead to the company C, company D, company E ad nauseam upgrade roundabout. Matching the amps to the speakers and optimizing the crossovers for that specific combination has to be the logical way to go.
I’ve got an appointment booked with some ATC active speakers in the near future but another active option is now available in NZ from Terry Humphries at Audio Reference in Hamilton, who is bringing in Australian brand SGR Audio.
The CX4F model is a seven driver, four-way floorstander with 650 watts of power. The drivers are purpose designed and custom built for SGR Audio and comprise of:
1″ soft dome tweeter
2″ soft dome midrange
6″ paper cone mid-bass
4 x 6″ long-throw paper cone woofers
The enclosure is a sealed cabinet design with a 50mm thick front baffle, which is a diffraction minimised design covered in black leather. There’s a choice of timber veneer or high-gloss paintwork.
Other features include:
Class AB amplifier channels with all analog active crossover circuitry.
Individual hi, mid and mid-bass level adjustment +/- 3dB adjustment.
Selectable high pass crossover
Subwoofer output, 40Hz LR4 low-passed with level adjustment +/- 6dB
Selectable room gain compensation
RCA single ended & XLR balanced inputs
Microprocessor controlled with auto signal detection and auto standby
Real time monitoring with clip detect and self protect mode
External power supply with custom low noise transformer
Display out connection for use with external VU meter and clipping indicator
The price in NZ is $11,995, which makes these speakers seem like a lot of audio gear for the money (no power amps needed remember). I’ll have to set up a trip down SH1 for a listen in the near future.