Originally Posted by O.F.F.
In the last 30 years I have not heard a single passive speaker getting anywhere near an equivalent active one. For example active ATCs are miles better than their otherwise identical passive brothers, same goes for DynaudioAcoustics and my own Tannoy DCs.
Your opinion only. By the sound of it, you have a one-eyed view about the subject based on whichever "speaker guru" you happen to follow. Maybe this isn't about to change. Fine. But trying to extrapolate from that, to argue that Active ATC's are "Better" than passives has nothing to do with the science of speaker/amplifier design. The performance of most passive ATC's (whether SMC 300, 100 or 20) depends on Serious power amplification and appropriate gauge/quality wire to both power them correctly and not induce impedance related tonal variations. Unfortunately this isn't always the case out there in the world.
Having spoken to Roger Quested about this, he confirmed that the greatest problem he had with his large passive monitors, was studio owners buying them sight unseen, for poorly designed rooms, and then going off their design briefs and under budgeting on power amplification, wiring and correct installation, and then blaming the monitors. This is partly why he offers a test/ install/ measurement service for most of his larger monitors and much of his clientele. While that is credit to his relentless quest to deliver to his customers, again, it has nothing to do with active monitors being "Better" than passive.
There are enough people out there who can clearly hear differences between Class A/AB amps and Class D amps. Which is why most manufacturers still offer the choice between active and passive. Some like the speed and efficiency of high current Class D amps on bass, others prefer the sound of Class A/AB for mid/high detail and "euphony", even though they suffer from inefficiency. It all comes down to the usage, the design and implementation, and catering to different people's taste, and different market segments.
Bandpassing and Filtering schemes, whether active or passive, is a contentious subject. They ALL have compromises. There is openly conflicting information wherever you go, but mostly in the Audiophile world. Here, acoustic, electrical and design theory all gets "Selectively" pressed into service as "Sales Propaganda". As always .. Caveat Emptor ..