changing the audio world, one system at a time .... church sound, video and lights

Active or Passive for Main Speakers? Part One

I have had a lot of questions lately about whether to go active or passive in the choice for main speakers. While active is great, it does deserve some caveats. If you choose an active system make sure that you order one extra of every model you have in your system. The reason; if you have a problem with any of your speakers it will have to sent somewhere to get repaired. Having an extra allows you to keep the integrity of your system while the component is being repaired.
So which is better?
It all depends on your application. If you have a small venue (less that 1000 seats) active is a good choice.

The criteria being:

• You have good access to the speakers (make adjustments)
• Any component of your system can be easily changed out (if there is a problem)

The advantages:

• Speaker amps are tuned for the speaker and the enclosure
• 0 loss of signal from amp to speaker
• An amplifier for each speaker (bi-amped or tri-amped)
• Built in crossover and electronics
• More efficient (power)

The disadvantages:

• If there is a problem, it will be difficult to get the problem resolved. (you will have to remove your speaker from the system for awhile) no spare, hole in system
• Adjustments to levels only done at speaker location (i.e. 20' off the ground)

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