Wharfedale was Britainís first Hi-Fi speaker manufacturer founded by Gilbert Briggs, a salesman for a textile company before WW2. He was very successful and in 1948 he published his book on Loudspeakers and it sold in massive quantities. I have a mid-fifties reprint, in which he shows a design for active loudspeakers and explains their considerable benefits over passive.
The problem was that valve based electronic crossovers add complexity and cost, so not surprisingly, the idea didnít take off till the seventies when Integrated circuits first appeared. More or less immediately active speakers proliferated.
However, although active speakers dominate every other sector, they havenít until recently caught on with hi-fi enthusiasts despite their enormous benefits to sound quality. Truth is the more extreme audio fraternity are still listening to valves, FM tuners and vinyl. Subjective opinion dominates; It is sad that a once cutting edge hobby is now firmly based in the past.
AVI saw all this coming and also that media would be delivered by broadband some years ago and as a result we were the first British company to stop making CD players in June 2006 and hi-fi separates shortly after.
Hi-fi no longer needs to be in a pile of boxes. They give worse results and cost far more than decent actives. Nowadays DACs and preamps not only perform better, but need less space so can also be integrated with electronic crossovers and amplifiers into the speaker cabinets.
Enthusiasts can buy a substantial improvement in sound quality for a fraction of the cost of a pile of dust collecting boxes, miles of cables and great big old boom boxes. Thatís all legacy.