Originally Posted by sheathensemble
Now my understanding is that passive means un-amped and active means amped... does this apply to the car audio world? All of this talk about running passive or not passive speakers is kinda of confusing me.
Once again any help on the topic would be useful.
Not exactly, it refers to the crossover type.
crossovers are installed between the amplifier and speakers in the system. They require no power hookup which is why they are called "passive". Passive crossovers limit the program played by each driver
to a limited frequency band. Their frequency bands are usually fixed value and tuning them requires transplanting parts.
Cost: parts are generally cheap and only one amp is required for all drivers.
Simple: mount it, hook up wires from amp and each speaker and you're done.
Tuning: requires transplanting parts which is time consuming
Quality: values drift with temperature and age, damping factor is compromised.
crossovers are powered (hence the "active" designation) and are installed before the amplifier(s). Active crossovers limit the program played by each amplifier
to a limited frequency band. The limits are usually adjustable on-the-fly which makes tuning easier and allows easy tweaking later when upgrading.
Tuning: easy as turning a **** and can usually be done on-the-fly.
Quality: damping factor improved since driver is connected directly to amp, each amp plays a narrow frequency band so spectral power is lower (fancy way of saying more headroom is available in the intended band).
Cost: multiple amps get expensive, crossover itself can be more costly too.
Complexity: power wires needed, extra interconnects needed, real estate (multiple amps to install)
I replied to your PM but I suggest continuing the discussion here so others can read your progress down the road. I don't mind the PMs but maybe this could be helpful to others