asking for upgrade advice

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-23 23:01

matthias wrote:
sunbeamgls wrote: Source first says that it is important to keep the information as accurate as possible as long as possible in the chain.
No, it says that any piece of equipment is more important than the one that comes after it.

Matt
Precisely. So an active crossover, in an active system, is more important than an amp. So it has to be good. Simple.
Moving the crossover forward in the chain (active) compared to later in the chain (passive) does not change the source first principle. It just changes the position of the crossover in the chain. Put it earlier in the chain than in a passive system and it becomes more important in that active system. It does not become wrong!
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-23 23:37

sunbeamgls wrote: Precisely. So an active crossover, in an active system, is more important than an amp. So it has to be good. Simple.
Moving the crossover forward in the chain (active) compared to later in the chain (passive) does not change the source first principle. It just changes the position of the crossover in the chain. Put it earlier in the chain than in a passive system and it becomes more important in that active system. It does not become wrong!
Let us compare active and passive systems.
The active crossover in an active system has the same rank in the hierarchy as the poweramp in a passive system. Both are coming directly downstream to the preamp.
For outperforming the passive system the crossover in the active system has to be better than the poweramp in the passive system. This is very difficult to achieve as Thomas stated in his post looking for a XO superior to the latest Tundra Monos.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-24 07:59

matthias wrote:
sunbeamgls wrote: Precisely. So an active crossover, in an active system, is more important than an amp. So it has to be good. Simple.
Moving the crossover forward in the chain (active) compared to later in the chain (passive) does not change the source first principle. It just changes the position of the crossover in the chain. Put it earlier in the chain than in a passive system and it becomes more important in that active system. It does not become wrong!
Let us compare active and passive systems.
The active crossover in an active system has the same rank in the hierarchy as the poweramp in a passive system. Both are coming directly downstream to the preamp.
For outperforming the passive system the crossover in the active system has to be better than the poweramp in the passive system. This is very difficult to achieve as Thomas stated in his post looking for a XO superior to the latest Tundra Monos.

Matt
Yes. Hard does not mean impossible. I would also say that the active crossover plus multiple power amps needs to be compared to a power amp plus a passive crossover for which is more musical. The 2 elements are interdependent as you can't have one without the other except in a single driver speaker, which is a whole different debate.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-24 11:33

Some considerations within a limited budget:
Let us say P1 is the part of the system from source to and including preamp and P2 the part downstream the preamp.
1.) Finding an active crossover in the class of TM or Klimax Solo is extremely difficult.
2.) Even if you find one, it does not make sense to go active before all components of P1 are optimised. That means best source AND Sagatun Monos.
3.) Even when P1 is optimised it could make sense to save money for further improvements of P1 in the future than to spend money to go active because improvements of P1 have much more impact than those of P2.
4.) Going active with a two-way system is expensive, with a six-way system EXTREMELY expensive.
5.) I do not believe that more amps give you better musicality, same with bi-wiring etc.

>>> For me passive wins clearly, particularly considering price-performance-ratio.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Spannko » 2018-01-25 11:10

tbh, all this talk about active v passive appears a bit blinkered and smacks of fanboyism.

I'm far more interested in possibilities and can imagine a 2 channel power amp with integrated x/o's sitting at the base of a Klangedang - with each channel of the power amp being tuned for musicality, taking the drive unit loading into account - with short and optimally placed cables, sounding absolutely fabulous.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-25 12:30

Spannko wrote: I'm far more interested in possibilities and can imagine a 2 channel power amp with integrated x/o's sitting at the base of a Klangedang - with each channel of the power amp being tuned for musicality, taking the drive unit loading into account - with short and optimally placed cables, sounding absolutely fabulous.
I always thought one of the reasons the Klangedangs sound so good is their passive series crossover.......

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Spannko » 2018-01-25 13:33

matthias wrote:
Spannko wrote: I'm far more interested in possibilities and can imagine a 2 channel power amp with integrated x/o's sitting at the base of a Klangedang - with each channel of the power amp being tuned for musicality, taking the drive unit loading into account - with short and optimally placed cables, sounding absolutely fabulous.
I always thought one of the reasons the Klangedangs sound so good is their passive series crossover.......

Matt
Does that mean that a fully optimised x/o and amplifier couldn't outperform the passive series crossover?

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-25 16:01

Spannko wrote: Does that mean that a fully optimised x/o and amplifier couldn't outperform the passive series crossover?
IMO, with the well-designed series crossover the two chassis of Klangedang behave like one chassis.
When you add an amp like Tundra Mono you will get musicality that is VERY difficult to top with an active design.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2018-01-25 16:13

Spannko wrote:tbh, all this talk about active v passive appears a bit blinkered and smacks of fanboyism.
Why blinkered and fanboy of who? Isn't it natural to take a position and defend it when discussing a matter? The important thing in my view is to be willing to change one's opinion.

I've heard many great aktiv systems and many great passive ones. It's good to remember that the aktiv system will sell more power amplifiers, plus aktiv crossovers, and is therefore in the interest of both the manufacturer, distributor and retailer. A single amp, single wire passive system is more of a "dead end" in sales than the clever ladder of upgrade steps where you simply add more amps and finally go aktiv.

Over the years I've become increasingly aware of how many details there are in a system and how just one of those details can ruin the magic of the system if it's not right. The same thing is true for the products themselves; I'd say around half of the really important details inside for instance a Tundra are really difficult to understand and have been found solely by trial and error. Torques and other mechanical details are among those. And how silly high precision (<0.1%) can matter enormously on some components, while on others it makes almost no difference at all.

This "the devil is in the detail" awareness makes me prefer simple systems (functionally simple, unfortunately that doesn't always mean few boxes). Even in a very simple system, there's usually enough details to perfect - some of them in conflict with others - that it's difficult to optimise them all.
matthias wrote:I always thought one of the reasons the Klangedangs sound so good is their passive series crossover.......
Klångedang T1 can be used with a passive parallel filter (Anders has just made a new entry level parallel filter), passive serial filters (currently two models) and aktiv with Exakt. I have not heard the latest iterations of all these options, but everyone I've spoken to says the Referens passive serial filter is in a class of its own, and the Synkron passive serial filter second best.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Spannko » 2018-01-25 17:20

lejonklou wrote:
Spannko wrote:tbh, all this talk about active v passive appears a bit blinkered and smacks of fanboyism.
Why blinkered and fanboy of who? Isn't it natural to take a position and defend it when discussing a matter? The important thing in my view is to be willing to change one's opinion.

I've heard many great aktiv systems and many great passive ones. It's good to remember that the aktiv system will sell more power amplifiers, plus aktiv crossovers, and is therefore in the interest of both the manufacturer, distributor and retailer. A single amp, single wire passive system is more of a "dead end" in sales than the clever ladder of upgrade steps where you simply add more amps and finally go aktiv.

Over the years I've become increasingly aware of how many details there are in a system and how just one of those details can ruin the magic of the system if it's not right. The same thing is true for the products themselves; I'd say around half of the really important details inside for instance a Tundra are really difficult to understand and have been found solely by trial and error. Torques and other mechanical details are among those. And how silly high precision (<0.1%) can matter enormously on some components, while on others it makes almost no difference at all.

This "the devil is in the detail" awareness makes me prefer simple systems (functionally simple, unfortunately that doesn't always mean few boxes). Even in a very simple system, there's usually enough details to perfect - some of them in conflict with others - that it's difficult to optimise them all.
matthias wrote:I always thought one of the reasons the Klangedangs sound so good is their passive series crossover.......
Klångedang T1 can be used with a passive parallel filter (Anders has just made a new entry level parallel filter), passive serial filters (currently two models) and aktiv with Exakt. I have not heard the latest iterations of all these options, but everyone I've spoken to says the Referens passive serial filter is in a class of its own, and the Synkron passive serial filter second best.
I say “blinkered” because the conversation is more about what has been (and why things work, or don’t) rather than what could be.

Would you say that it’s impossible to:

A) design a musical active crossover
B) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a hf unit
C) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a lf unit

that would outperform the best passive system available?

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-25 18:19

Spannko wrote: Would you say that it’s impossible to:

A) design a musical active crossover
B) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a hf unit
C) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a lf unit

that would outperform the best passive system available?
Imagine someone designed A, B and C and you are happy with the result. It outperforms the best passive system available. Now someone designs for the same amount of money a more musical source for the best passive system. What happens is that the source upgraded passive system will outperform your beloved active system.

The speakers, even when they are active, have the lowest rank in the hierarchy. So it is smarter to leave them passive and to put the money where it really matters, at the source end.

BTW, everybody is a fanboy of its own opinion.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Spannko » 2018-01-25 20:08

matthias wrote:
Spannko wrote: I say “blinkered” because the conversation is more about what has been (and why things work, or don’t) rather than what could be.

Would you say that it’s impossible to:

A) design a musical active crossover
B) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a hf unit
C) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a lf unit

that would outperform the best passive system available?
Imagine someone designed A, B and C and you are happy with the result. It outperforms the best passive system available. Now someone designs for the same amount of money a more musical source for the best passive system. What happens is that the source upgraded passive system will outperform your beloved active system.
What you call "blinkered" is in reality smart.The speakers, even when they are active, have the lowest rank in the hierarchy. So it is smarter to leave them passive and to put the money where it really matters, at the source end.

Everybody is a fanboy of its own opinion.

Matt
The logical extension of this argument is an extreme source first approach, which would be something along the lines of >€100,000dCS + a budget amp and speakers (approx €500). I don’t disagree with this approach, but let’s be honest - it just isn’t going to happen! And, manufacturers of €300+ amps and speakers wouldn’t be able to survive. Viewed this way, your model is unsustainable!

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-25 21:21

Spannko wrote: The logical extension of this argument is an extreme source first approach, which would be something along the lines of >€100,000dCS + a budget amp and speakers (approx €500). I don’t disagree with this approach, but let’s be honest - it just isn’t going to happen! And, manufacturers of €300+ amps and speakers wouldn’t be able to survive. Viewed this way, your model is unsustainable!
I have no model based on your logical extension. All my posts in this thread are about getting the maximum musicality within a limited budget. Based on the source first principle my argument is that you get the highest musicality with a passive speaker approach. That is all.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2018-01-25 23:47

Spannko wrote:I say “blinkered” because the conversation is more about what has been (and why things work, or don’t) rather than what could be.
Ok, you prefer to look forward. I like that, but it's more speculative, don't you think? In general we have to try things to get an idea of how far a route can take us.
Spannko wrote:Would you say that it’s impossible to:

A) design a musical active crossover
B) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a hf unit
C) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a lf unit

that would outperform the best passive system available?
A: Of course not. To design one with zero negative impact on the music is impossible, but to design a musical one is very possible.
B and C: So far I have not found it possible to make an amplifier better for a certain frequency range that doesn't also make it better in other frequency ranges. Same thing with cables and connectors and crimped/soldered joints - if A has a more musical bass than B, it also has a more musical midrange and treble. So my answer at the moment is that it's impossible. I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong on this, as it's a very important question.

To the final summary, that A, B and C would outperform the best passive system available, my answer is: I'm sure it's possible! I don't claim that passive is inherently better than aktiv. Every design can be improved upon and you never know how far you can travel along each path.

What to do in reality, when spending a limited amount of money to build a system, perhaps also with additional limitations (physical space, shelve space, aesthetics, etc), is of course a whole other discussion.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2018-01-26 00:10

matthias wrote:All my posts in this thread are about getting the maximum musicality within a limited budget. Based on the source first principle my argument is that you get the highest musicality with a passive speaker approach. That is all.
I think you're right in this, Matthias, but I'd be happy if we were proven wrong.

Source First is a strange principle - nothing says it needs to be true, it's rather a theoretical rule based on practical results. Countless of times I've thought I've found a situation where it doesn't apply, but then when I make a careful comparison, it's still been more musical when the Source First principle is used. I'm still waiting for that first instance when it breaks down. There just ought to be some really small loss early in the chain that can be compensated by big gains later in the chain. That would seem reasonable.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by lejonklou » 2018-01-26 10:25

I've been informed that I contradict myself in my last two posts (above). Indeed that seems to be the case.

The thing is that I don't fully trust theoretical models. I believe it when I hear it. And: How passive and aktiv systems are executed is not clearly defined. There might be ways to do it that we haven't thought of yet.

I also discussed an aktiv analogue filter for Klångedang T1 with its designer Anders a while back. He had some interesting ideas on how to make a serial-ish aktiv filter. I haven't quite figured out how to practically implement those ideas, but they were interesting.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 11:58

Great input Fredrik, good to see that you continue to be open minded on the possibilities.

So yes, a good passive system can outperform a poorer active system, and vice versa.
Last edited by sunbeamgls on 2018-01-26 12:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 12:02

lejonklou wrote: Klångedang T1 can be used with a passive parallel filter (Anders has just made a new entry level parallel filter), passive serial filters (currently two models) and aktiv with Exakt. I have not heard the latest iterations of all these options, but everyone I've spoken to says the Referens passive serial filter is in a class of its own, and the Synkron passive serial filter second best.
This is interesting. Has anyone heard the T1 with Exakt? Given Fredrik's comments on a musical amp being musical across all frequencies, perhaps Exakt (where the processing is tailored to take account of the characteristics of the drive units and the box they're in) is the closest that is currently available to Spannko's ideas.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has compared Klimax passive sources and Klimax Exakt sources through consistent amplification into the T1s.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 12:06

Spannko wrote:
matthias wrote:
Spannko wrote:

The logical extension of this argument is an extreme source first approach, which would be something along the lines of >€100,000dCS + a budget amp and speakers (approx €500). I don’t disagree with this approach, but let’s be honest - it just isn’t going to happen! And, manufacturers of €300+ amps and speakers wouldn’t be able to survive. Viewed this way, your model is unsustainable!
I see where this extrapolation is coming from and why its happening, but more $$$ doesn't always mean a more musical source, something that some seem to assume.

It may be that the KDS/3 is the most musical source at any price (as an example) and from that point on it may be necessary to spend 10s of thousands of $$$$ to preserve the music through the rest of the chain. Always assuming more cash should be spent on the source isn't the source first principle. Finding the most musical source is the source first principle. (Unfortunately the ability and the $$$$ are often aligned, but the assumption that they are always aligned is unsound).
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 12:08

Spannko wrote:tbh, all this talk about active v passive appears a bit blinkered and smacks of fanboyism.
Only for those who constantly insist that one is better than the other.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 12:14

lejonklou wrote: There just ought to be some really small loss early in the chain that can be compensated by big gains later in the chain. That would seem reasonable.
I see where you're coming from here Fredrik, even though it doesn't pan out in practice. Perhaps better expressed as "proportionately less loss" later in the chain? There can't be any gains as such, once the source has lost any information. I tried for a while to think of the right words for this, but its tricky, even when its my native language!
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-01-26 12:16

matthias wrote:
Spannko wrote: Would you say that it’s impossible to:

A) design a musical active crossover
B) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a hf unit
C) design a musical power amplifier optimised to drive a lf unit

that would outperform the best passive system available?
Imagine someone designed A, B and C and you are happy with the result. It outperforms the best passive system available. Now someone designs for the same amount of money a more musical source for the best passive system. What happens is that the source upgraded passive system will outperform your beloved active system.

The speakers, even when they are active, have the lowest rank in the hierarchy. So it is smarter to leave them passive and to put the money where it really matters, at the source end.

BTW, everybody is a fanboy of its own opinion.

Matt
Spannko's idea doesn't preclude either system having a source upgrade. Everything Spannko suggests is in the analogue domain and post pre-amp. So there would be no difference from a source perspective, just add the new source to either system.
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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-01-26 14:37

sunbeamgls wrote:
lejonklou wrote: There just ought to be some really small loss early in the chain that can be compensated by big gains later in the chain. That would seem reasonable.
I see where you're coming from here Fredrik, even though it doesn't pan out in practice. Perhaps better expressed as "proportionately less loss" later in the chain? There can't be any gains as such, once the source has lost any information. I tried for a while to think of the right words for this, but its tricky, even when its my native language!
I suspect a tiny upstream improvement, that can be perceived but is not really making all that much difference to my enjoyment (and has already dropped from my awareness after one listening session), would be outweighed by going for a moderate or big downstream improvement.

My issue starts when the upgrade nearer the source is clearly a more enjoyable musical experience. Once at that level, I don't like giving it up for better downstream improvements, cos I can't get back that fun and enjoyment, no matter how great the other set-up sounds.

I am not suggesting everyone responds this way. We are all different.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-26 17:05

Charlie1 wrote: My issue starts when the upgrade nearer the source is clearly a more enjoyable musical experience. Once at that level, I don't like giving it up for better downstream improvements, cos I can't get back that fun and enjoyment, no matter how great the other set-up sounds.
Charlie,
+1,
same for me.

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Re: asking for upgrade advice

Post by matthias » 2018-01-26 17:51

sunbeamgls wrote: Spannko's idea doesn't preclude either system having a source upgrade. Everything Spannko suggests is in the analogue domain and post pre-amp. So there would be no difference from a source perspective, just add the new source to either system.
Yes, BUT
imagine you have a front end of Klimax DS Katalyst and Sagatun Monos in both systems, then in the passive system Tundra Monos and JBL3677s. Now Fredrik designs an active crossover in the league of SM for 6k. For active operation you need a second pair of TM for 6k to drive 3677s. With additional costs of 12k the active system will certainly outperform the passive system.
So you have to spend a lot of money at the end of the hierarchy chain because there is no better source and preamp available at the moment. I would save the money, stick with the passive system and upgrade it with the next generation of Klimax DS and Sagatun Monos when available.
IMO, comparing optimised passive and active systems for the SAME price within a limited budget, the passive one will outperform the active one.

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