| | lennon_68
If you're going to go with an active setup you should skip the commercial side of things altogether. The most difficult and crucial aspect in designing a loudspeaker is the crossover. It makes very little sense to pay $ for a commercial loudspeaker and then ask them to leave out the XO - leaving you with a very nice looking enclosure (probably) and some very cheap drivers. You'd be much better off going the full DIY route if you want to tackle such a project. Pick up some nice drivers, a Behringer DCX2496, and some amps and go to town. Hooking up the Pro Audio gear to consumer level electronics isn't difficult either - yes they do take XLR or 1/4" TRS connections but one can easily build/buy an RCA to XLR (or RCA to 1/4 TRS) cable. Also some of the high end Onkyo/Integra preamps have XLR outputs.
Honestly though I don't get the impression that you have a firm grasp on what you'd be getting yourself into. You seem to be under the impression that creating an XO is as simple as choosing a slope and a frequency... and being able to tweak those will result in a better sounding speaker than what the MFG chose... If only it were that easy. Before you buy any gear do some reading - something like the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook - just to get an idea of what you're in for
Skipping consumer level speakers altogether assumes that you don't already own speakers. And to me, the one of the best/least expensive ways to get first hand knowledge of the real differences between a passive and an active network is to use have both in hand. I suppose I could ask the internets for their others' experience on this but I prefer to have first hand knowledge.
I've been down this DIY road before and intend to go there again. This is really the motivation for this question. I had a Focal MTM kit with a custom built network. (I did not personally design or build the network. The vendor put that together for me.) To me, the inherit flaw of this approach (using a DIY kit without an active crossover) is that though drivers and cabinet are equal to or better than what I could purchase on the consumer side of things, you will likely not have not heard the speaker until after the purchase. Once the speakers are up and running, regardless of how "good" the drivers are, you still have a reasonably good chance of not having an appreciation for how the speakers sound. Without an active crossover and dedicated amps, what options do you have to tweak the way the speakers sound?
I realize that for mainstream companies, it does not make any sense to offer active crossovers as a separate component. But I am asking this question on a niche product vendor's forum. It strikes me as odd that I cannot find one consumer level active crossover network that is sold by even a niche vendor.
Thanks for the suggestion regarding the the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook. It's been over 15 years since I lost my second copy of it so I should probably pick up another.