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Active speakers

Postby rec-tec » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:49 pm

Hi all

I am doing a project where I need a set of small active speakers.
Subzero 4", studio spares 4" or even the Kitsound reunion Bluetooth etc. 4"
I have noticed that the subzero appears to have a wall wart, the Kitsound only a positive and negative lead, whilst the studio spares one has a kettle lead (and by implication is earthed).

Which one of these pairs is likely to be less susceptible to unwanted noise/ interference (or is this irrelevant/simply down to each sets own foibles)?

Anyway. Thanks in advance.

Alternatively. Any other suggestions for a small reasonable speaker that is reasonable, small and produces reasonable volume without adverse effects.

Cheers

R
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Re: Active speakers

Postby ef37a » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:52 pm

Rather more important than the method by which rhey are powered is the nature of the device feeding them audio.

Do any of the speakers have balanced inputs, XLR or TRS jack? Go for that and never mind the power issue.
But I suspect none of them are balanced and therfore I would say the 3 pin earthed speakers would be less likely to give noise problems. That said, "earthed" means the possibilty of earth hum loops so, since this seems a rather "experimental project" I would budget for a two channel transformer isolator whatever you get.

Be useful to know if you or someone else involved has basic electronics skills? Making cables up sort of level?

More info please!

Dave.
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Re: Active speakers

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:53 pm

I remember listening to a set of these a couple of years ago and being quite impressed by the value for money: https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... -Pair/1312
Might be worth adding to your short-list.

[EDIT: balanced inputs too (with reference to Dave's comment above)]
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Re: Active speakers

Postby Wonks » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:36 pm

The Subzeros have balanced TRS inputs. However they do just have the amps all in one monitor, with a speaker cable connection from the active to the passive one. As there is only one pair of speaker outputs, they cannot be "bi-amped" in the normal sense, with one amplifier for LF and another for HF. Just two amps, one for each speaker with a standard passive crossover. Built-in volume control. Wall-wart power.

The same can be said for the Mackie CR4s (but at least they don't claim to be bi-amped). But the SubZeros do look to be based on the Mackies. But with prices not that different and no wall-wart for the Mackies, why bother with the SubZeros? Possibly because there's no volume control on the Mackies, so you'll need to feed it from something that can adjust the volume for you - best done in hardware. A fixed flat mains power cable which normally indicates just two cores, no earth.

The Kitsound Reunions have the same one active/one passive arangement as the Sub Zero and the Mackie. They take mains power (fig-8 connector so no ground). But you only get unbalanced RCA connection (or Bluetooth). It has volume, treble and bass controls.

Studiospares SN4As are individually powered and do have a 3-pin IEC lead, so the amp chassis is at least partially grounded. Inputs are 1/4" or XLR balanced - no RCAs. Volume control on the back of each one, which makes it harder to match the two speaker volumes exactly unless at full volume and you can control from elsewhere. It's not 100% clear whether each speaker has its own amp or there's a single amp and a passive crossover.

Unbalanced RCA connections are fine for short cable runs, and can provide the slightly better audio quality, but suffer more as the cable length increases.

What are you sending the audio signal from and how far away will it be?

I have no idea what any of them sound like, which is probably the most important thing! :D
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Re: Active speakers

Postby rec-tec » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:35 pm

Hi all

Thanks for your time and consideration of topic.

I want a set of speakers to sit atop a piano I have been gifted.

I want to do a prepared type piano, dynamic and contact mic, into small desk, send return through a mix of FX and then out to speakers (balanced or unbalanced, depending - but preferably balanced.

The speakers have to be loud enough to be heard over the piano and have a reasonable tone - range (bass mid top). I am aware of feedback issues and have hardware to suppress this

I thought the studio spares ones, cos they have an amp per speaker, with earthed power??

Does that provide background. Hope so..

Cheers
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Re: Active speakers

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:57 pm

Small is not going to reproduce the low end of a piano (prepared or otherwise) but may work to supplement the acoustic sound of the piano with the piezo produced sounds.

The benefit of earthed power is if you are recording to a laptop which may not have an earth connection. An earth loop is one issue recording rigs can suffer but a floating or no earth scenario throws up other problems. Ideally you want a single earth in the system with everything else earthed from it, with a wall wart or USB powered AI and a laptop with a fig8 PSU it is only the speakers that provide that earth. This is an oversimplification and I'm sure others will be around to expand if necessary.
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Re: Active speakers

Postby rec-tec » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:45 pm

Thanks for the info

Cheers
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Re: Active speakers

Postby rec-tec » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:47 pm

Thanks for the info

Slot of the low end is lost in the recording and then going through the FX. So you are right my main concern was earth loops and things

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