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Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
#435453 01/24/20 08:55 PM
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Well, lets be honest.. you don't even need to use a screen as both speakers effectively look identical.

So I am wondering .. Craig, you have both active and not active LFR1100. have you tried doing a test between the two to see if they are really night and day better as Mojo seems to want to poetically paint?

I am sort of wondering if trading in and trading up is justifiable for the $4000+ in cost.


Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435454 01/24/20 09:48 PM
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Matt - I have not done a direct comparison. The actives are better, but $4000 better is a really subjective concept.

Considering the actives, to my ears, outgun the Magico speakers for $40,000 per pair tells me what a great speaker they are, and thus a bargain at about $12 g's with amps.

But - the passives are REALLY good as well. If $4000 isn't a burden, yes, it's worth the jump. If $4000 is a lot of money, and you love your passives, keep them. They are a wonderful speaker.

Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435473 01/26/20 01:16 AM
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I am more curios for the Floyd Toole blind test to see what it is that people hear between the Active vs Non Active of the same speaker. Effectively, I wonder if the internals are the same between the two. I know that the active will have no passive crossovers inside, and will require to have some different wire hookups, but the fundamentals of the speakers are the same.

So it is a real interesting wonder for me, if you have single Active speaker, and a single Passive LFR1100 speaker sitting in a room, and you played a passage of music then switched, if anyone will notice a difference.

if your two LFR speakers are the same grain finish, then you could even do some fun to really test what people are hearing by randomizing if you have two of the original passive or two active, or and active and passive speaker. Logically if the speakers are the same then people should hear the same.. but it really puts to test if we hear what we want to hear. And will test how much better the Active are over the non.

I know for me that it is very unlikely that I will ever find the need to trade in and upgrade a speaker that blows me away when I listen.

As a different side note, I have the M3 inside my office room and the limiting factor with those speakers is being allowed to play them at a loudness level that will make them really shine.


Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435507 01/27/20 09:25 AM
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It would be an interesting blind test to do between Active and Passive as the only difference. We have a switcher that allows us to switch between two different crossovers to the same speaker and we have a switcher that allows us to switch between different DSP codes to the same speaker. With some modifications to our switchers we should be able to do both simultaneously.

What we do know is that the difference between an LFR1100 Passive and an LFR1100 Active is not only about Passive versus Active. When designing the LFR1100 Active I wrote DSP code that replicates the passive LFR1100 Family of Curves in an Active speaker. I did this so we could do blind testing between the Passive and Active Family of Curves. So we do know that putting very linear Listening Window and Sound Power curves on top of each other wins the blind test.


Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435540 01/30/20 05:53 PM
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The passive LFRs are not compensated mid-band. This is evident in the curves and is a really big deal. It may actually be a bigger deal to the listening experience than equipotential listening window and sound power. In addition to passive vs. active LFR listening tests, it would be interesting to also do active LFR vs. active bi-polar.

BTW, Axiom might want to stop using the term "active" for this line. Active implies using electronic filters which are, for many reasons, not nearly as good as digital filters. Not calling this line "digital LFRs" may therefore be causing confusion for prospects.


A-LFR/1000-8 & 2/500v4x2
1000-3,1500-3
100,160,QS10x2,800,M5x2,M2/3/50v4
Air Force, Freedom
had v2
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435550 01/30/20 11:07 PM
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That's what I find most confusing about this newer craze with active speakers.
How much different from the limits of a passive filter is it?

Also understanding the difference of powering {bi wire} with each band having it's own power.

Mostly I've seen people take out and redo the whole crossover with "Highest" quality components caps. filters, and power each band with an Amp. channel. Not easy conversions.

Totally cool is Axioms approach with a version of their D.S.P.

Suspecting the Axiom approach has greater control and bandwidth ranges from Digital D.S.P. Avoiding limits of Caps./filters etc.

Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435553 01/30/20 11:55 PM
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A multi-driver DSP like Axiom's gives the designer fine control over each driver array's frequency response curve. Fine control means three things: bespoke roll-off profiles, bespoke mid-band compensation and bespoke system response. Bespoke roll-off allows for improved integration between all the driver arrays. Bespoke mid-band compensation minimizes resonances. Bespoke system response allows for equipotential sound power and listening window curves. These are all impossible to achieve in a practical way with traditional means like passive filters, and driver and cabinet improvements for many reasons. The digital filters, located upstream of the amplification, result in a simpler speaker load for each amp channel. The result there is much improved control over each driver array.

The benefits for the audience are all the poetry I've offered up in past posts. Those benefits are impossible to achieve even with fictitiously ideal components in passive filters. Note also that the passive cross-overs in v4 (and I think v3) are as good as a designer can practically achieve.

P.S. Many companies tout exclusivity by describing the endless investments they've made in esoteric passive cross-overs, cabinetry and drivers. These are usually exotic configurations or materials or both. But these result in very expensive, very incremental improvements. On the other hand, digital filtering like on the digital LFRs, is a step change improvement in performance and within very optimized cost for the consumer.


A-LFR/1000-8 & 2/500v4x2
1000-3,1500-3
100,160,QS10x2,800,M5x2,M2/3/50v4
Air Force, Freedom
had v2
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435563 01/31/20 07:16 AM
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I'm guessing a bit here, but to me the real advantage of DSPs over hard-wired electronics is the ease of experimentation and tweaking.

I don't have much digital audio experience but I was lucky enough to get in at the start of digital video... and if there's anything I remember clearly from that time it's that at most of the really cool effects we developed happened by accident while trying to implement something much less interesting.

It's interesting that it takes a big box full of DSP to make a multi-driver tower speaker give the same kind of ruler-flat frequency response that an M2 has been doing for a decade, using "Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave" technology.

EDIT - looks like the web pages have been updated to make it clear that the active LFR's include frequency response fine-tuning... very nice.

Question for Ian - the LFR1100's response (along with that of most of the larger speakers) slopes down ~5dB between 100 Hz and 15 KHz, while M2's (for example) are flat between those frequencies. Is the slope down something deliberate ?

I'm going to have to carry even more speakers up and down the stairs to compare, aren't I ? I figure about half of my total exercise involves hauling speakers between the HT loft and the rest of the house.

Last edited by bridgman; 01/31/20 07:51 AM.

M60ti, VP180, QS8, M2ti, EP500, PC-Plus 20-39
M5HP, M40ti, Sierra-1
LFR1100 active, ADA1500-4 and -8
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
MatManhasgone #435564 01/31/20 08:06 AM
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The advantages of digital filters go way beyond ease of experimentation and tweaking. Analog filters simply cannot do what digital filters can. Designed properly, they are far quieter, drift negligibly, can be phase linear, have less ripple and faster transition and higher attenuation than their analog counter-parts. They can be used to eliminate high Q and low Q resonances very easily which is a very complicated and expensive thing to pull off with analog particularly if you have many resonances to deal with.

Regardless of how flat the M2 response looks, it is not as linear as the digital LFRs. I can hear the difference in accuracy without trying even at quieter SPLs. The first immediate difference is the bass and lower mids and the second is image separation.


A-LFR/1000-8 & 2/500v4x2
1000-3,1500-3
100,160,QS10x2,800,M5x2,M2/3/50v4
Air Force, Freedom
had v2
Re: Blind testing between active and non LFR1100??
bridgman #435565 01/31/20 09:45 AM
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Ian Offline
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I see the M2 graph is still just showing the basic on-axis response so we will need to update that to show the Listening Window and Sound Power. What we hear in a room is a combination of the Listening Window and the Sound Power so just showing an on-axis response or the responses out to 45 or 60 degrees off-axis is not enough information. The big change that happened with the introduction of v4 was the concentration on getting the Sound Power curves, as well as the Listening Window curves, to have a nice linear response. The Listening Window should be linear across the frequency band and the Sound Power should be linear but tilting down so it is about 10 dB down at 10k Hz. In an omnidirectional speaker that downward tilt in the Sound Power comes up due to energy being radiated in all directions. In order for the omnidirectional speaker to not sound overly bright due to this extra energy in the Sound Power it is necessary to tilt the Listening Window downwards to compensate. In the LFR1100 Active the Listening Window and Sound Power curves are the same curve and hence the downward tilt of 5 dB to 10k Hz. The bringing together of the Listening Window and Sound Power yielded some amazing results in the blind testing. There is no question we are on to something here.


Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
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