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3 way studio monitors that are not fatiguing?

heraldo_jones

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I have the 8361A in my studio, they are really great and can be listened to all day. The sister studio to mine has older Genelec mains, we all agree the 8361A are simply better in every regard except for peak SPL. Both are non-fatiguing and wonderful, the concentric drivers make the 8361A so much easier to work with and listen all day.
I read gearspace, mostly to get ideas. The opinions there are difficult to act upon, and if you search that forum you can extract just about any apparent consensus about just about anything. There are lots of really great sounding studio monitors these days, with so many tools to tune them to a room and a particular listening preference, all using measurements. And unlike 20+ years ago there are so many subwoofers available, and ways to integrate them into your system.
Yes, the One series seems to be less fatiguing but the 80XX and DSP versions are on the fatiguing side no doubt.
 

fredstuhl

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Yes, the One series seems to be less fatiguing but the 80XX and DSP versions are on the fatiguing side no doubt.
I doubt that :p

If you check the data of genelecs reviewed here (both two- and three-way), I don‘t see excessive brightness in the frequency responses. You might be used to speakers with an attenuated response in the highs -> all genelec studio monitors are adjustable, you can easily tune them to your liking using eg a treble tilt switch.
 

mightycicadalord

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I doubt that :p

If you check the data of genelecs reviewed here (both two- and three-way), I don‘t see excessive brightness in the frequency responses. You might be used to speakers with an attenuated response in the highs -> all genelec studio monitors are adjustable, you can easily tune them to your liking using eg a treble tilt switch.

Treble tilt didn't fix the 8030c for me, I wish it were at like 1-2k but it starts too high up, and kind of lame that there are mid range adjustment options on the higher models but not the 8030c.

I found 8030c more fatiguing than behringer 2030p so that's weird but is what it is.
 

Digby

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I doubt that :p

If you check the data of genelecs reviewed here (both two- and three-way), I don‘t see excessive brightness in the frequency responses. You might be used to speakers with an attenuated response in the highs -> all genelec studio monitors are adjustable, you can easily tune them to your liking using eg a treble tilt switch.
I don't, my experience with 8030c was that they are a bit tizzy in the highs. I don't think my experience is one not shared by others, you can hear the difference in certain high quality comparison videos on Youtube. Genelecs, at least the 8 series, do seem to be tilted more towards the lively side.

I don't think you can judge a speaker just by its FR. You have to look at directivity, distortion and other things that affect the sound. The FR is just one aspect of this. You can EQ speakers to very similar FR curves in room, but they can sound markedly different, because, I imagine, much of the difference lies elsewhere.

One of the most interesting parts of the site, for me, is Amir's subjective reviews of speakers after his measurements (I think he listens first nowadays). The JBL 4349 he was not pleased with after the measurements, but when he listened to it had a very different reaction. Similar thing with the Tunetot speakers. OK, this is just one person, but I imagine Amir knows how to listen critically better than most. This suggests there is may be more to this than meets the eye.

If Amir didn't have access to measurement data, he would be happy with certain "less than perfect" measuring speakers, while some of us are less than happy with certain "very good" measuring speakers.

Could it be certain attributes, to certain listeners, in certain rooms are more or less egregious - is there some kind of trend that can be noticed here? I don't know, but it is interesting to think about.
 
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fredstuhl

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I don't, my experience with 8030c was that they are a bit tizzy in the highs. I don't think my experience is one not shared by others, you can hear the difference in certain high quality comparison videos on Youtube. Genelecs, at least the 8 series, do seem to be tilted more towards the lively side.

I don't think you can judge a speaker just by its FR. You have to look at directivity, distortion and other things that affect the sound. The FR is just one aspect of this. You can EQ speakers to very similar FR curves in room, but they can sound markedly different, because, I imagine, much of the difference lies elsewhere.

One of the most interesting parts of the site, for me, is Amir's subjective reviews of speakers after his measurements (I think he listens first nowadays). The JBL 4349 he was not pleased with after the measurements, but when he listened to it had a very different reaction. Similar thing with the Tunetot speakers. OK, this is just one person, but I imagine Amir knows how to listen critically better than most. This suggests there is may be more to this than meets the eye.

If Amir didn't have access to measurement data, he would be happy with certain "less than perfect" measuring speakers, while some of us are less than happy with certain "very good" measuring speakers.

Could it be certain attributes, to certain listeners, in certain rooms are more or less egregious - is there some kind of trend that can be noticed here? I don't know, but it is interesting to think about.
Of course, but Amirs data shows low distortion at reasonable volume and directivity is very smooth. Maybe the impression comes from a lack of low fq rather than excess highs. It‘s a very small speaker.

I do agree that mismatch between performance of some products in our typical objective evaluation criteria and subjective impression of a very experienced reviewer like Amir is quite interesting. It‘s rare though, and noone claims that a few graphs can cover literally all variables of speaker performance/ listening preference. But I‘d argue that it‘s quite impressive how good the correlation is in most cases.
 

Pearljam5000

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If you check Gearspace which is the most respectful pro audio forum you can find a consense on Genelec 8xxx being fatiguing and metallic sounding. I must say I also share the same opinion and also 1xxx series being far superior to the 8xxx
There's no such consensus, they are both loved and hated on Gearspace
 

bo_knows

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Sometimes mid/high listening fatigue also can be related even to too few bass due to room and placement problems, in my current highly bass absorbing listening room neutral loudspeakers sound too shouty unless I add some bass per equaliser or subwoofers.
Agree 100%, I experienced the same thing in my room. The more room becomes balanced in the bass and midbass region, the mid and high frequencies become "clearer" and could be interpreted as brightness. I feel for OP. I have a similar issue with my right ear. For that reason, I am very cautious about spending a lot of money on high-end speakers that have exotic tweeter materials (beryllium, diamond and etc.).
 

Digby

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Of course, but Amirs data shows low distortion at reasonable volume and directivity is very smooth. Maybe the impression comes from a lack of low fq rather than excess highs. It‘s a very small speaker.
I think you are right about the lack of low frequencies, that definitely had something to do with it, but I'm not sure it is the whole story. I find this comment from Amir about the Tunetots quite interesting, with a few reasons proffered by Amir as to why a less than perfect speaker didn't sound nearly as objectionable as the measurements looked.:

"There is no question that there are some clear objective/engineering errors in the design of Wilson TuneTot. The port is tuned too high and the on-axis/directivity response is poor. What is strange though that the impact of these on the fidelity of the speaker is not at all this obvious. Either I am influenced by the showroom sound as much as the next guy or getting off-axis to be right in my rather reflective room overcomes issues in on-axis response. It is also possible that all the money that has gone to building such an extremely dense speaker and keeping distortion low is paying benefit here."
 
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MAB

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Agree 100%, I experienced the same thing in my room. The more room becomes balanced in the bass and midbass region, the mid and high frequencies become "clearer" and could be interpreted as brightness. I feel for OP. I have a similar issue with my right ear. For that reason, I am very cautious about spending a lot of money on high-end speakers that have exotic tweeter materials (beryllium, diamond and etc.).
Also 100% agree. Which brings me back to the OP's question about the Focal Be6 Solos (before we got lost in generalizations about Genelec, Neumann, alleged fatigue, gearspace, etc.) There are many really nice monitors mentioned in this thread. My experience most can be EQ'ed from nearly flat to just about any preference. All will interact to a greater or lesser extent from room and treatment and placement. I think the Focal Be6 Solo the OP has are super fine (I don't own them, but like them when I hear them). If there is a perception of brightness due to room tilt or listener preference use tilt (or some DSP correction) to compensate. If there are reflections in your space, those have a specific remedy; treat them. And as mentioned, adding subwoofers (multiple are better than one) solves remaining room interactions that EQ, treatment cannot solve.
 

heraldo_jones

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I doubt that :p

If you check the data of genelecs reviewed here (both two- and three-way), I don‘t see excessive brightness in the frequency responses. You might be used to speakers with an attenuated response in the highs -> all genelec studio monitors are adjustable, you can easily tune them to your liking using eg a treble tilt switch.
Data do not represent real world experience. Gens have a supposed flat response but I feel their highs metallic and harsh sounding. PMC are supposed to have boosted highs according to graphs but mine sound smooth and silky.
 

mcdn

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Frgirard

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mcdn

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EQing the ear fatigue is an oxymoron.
If the problem was distortion then perhaps. But the distortion performance is excellent, so any "ear fatigue" must be frequency response related.
index.php
 

Frgirard

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If the problem was distortion then perhaps. But the distortion performance is excellent, so any "ear fatigue" must be frequency response related.
index.php
The loudnesswar is the major cause of ear fatigue. Try eq.
The ear fatigue can also have physiological causes.
Try eq.
Without search the origin, a fail.
 

2020

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Listening fatigue is not coming with a specific tweeter material, associations between driver material and sound characteristics (metal tweeters are harsh and shrill, soft dome is smooth and silky) are better explained by psychology than physics.

I think there is some truth to these statements.

While the material may not hugely tone shape the sound, it does affect break up or ringing, as well as potentially how the frequency response is sloped/flat/etc. Perhaps certain people are just more sensitive to these differences. So, somebody saying a metal tweeter sounds harsh is not because it's like some physical association with metal objects in real life but other traits that metal imparts.

Likewise, the public's perception of a metal tweeter=bright and dome=smooth, well manufacturers could play into this fact to cater towards certain groups. Not all speakers are aiming for flat on axis/etc... If you're designing a speaker that is supposedly to be airy/3D/hyperrealistic, it might be smarter to go with the metal tweeter, not for the metal sound, but because your customers might already have a better impression of it. Could it be a stretch? I don't think so.
 

formula 977

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Listening fatigue is directly related to distortion and most of the distortion we hear is coming from the program material. If you have a decent digital source I would listen to some of what you consider excellent recordings to see if your problem disappears.
 
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1niltothe

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Thanks all for the replies.

I think the 'ear fatigue' thing is probably a mix of factors that are not the fault of the Focal Solo. On reflection I should change the thread title but it seems to have sparked a good discussion.

I am learning about acoustics and have picked up some fake news on the way. I read on other forums a while ago that people were complaining about the bright tweeters, fatigue etc.

I have a small room, and reflections are an issue. It's likely that the fatigue was particularly pronounced a few months ago when I was figuring out treatment, diffusion etc.

I do also have a sensitive tensor timpani muscle. If the quality of the audio is good, then it's fine, but if there are issues - e.g. excessive reflections, poor compression, resonance etc - it makes my ears wince. E.g. yesterday I was listening to a Talk Talk album in an untreated room, and the cymbals / hi hats were quite uncomfortable.

The other issue with the Focals, that the mid range might not be as pronounced as a dedicated 3 way speaker, I believe still stands. But often this forum proves me wrong.
 
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1niltothe

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Agree 100%, I experienced the same thing in my room. The more room becomes balanced in the bass and midbass region, the mid and high frequencies become "clearer" and could be interpreted as brightness. I feel for OP. I have a similar issue with my right ear. For that reason, I am very cautious about spending a lot of money on high-end speakers that have exotic tweeter materials (beryllium, diamond and etc.).
I also have an issue with bass - it's more or less good now, but I have found that if there are timing issues, e.g. with a Subpac that I'm using, if it's lasting too long compared to what I can hear - my ears wince, I feel rough.

It can be very difficult to decipher what is causing this sensation.

One thing I do is put an online tone generator and find the frequencies that sound too ringing, ugh, pan them L and R, then move the treatment, listening position, speaker etc, until it no longer is an issue.

I am not always doing this though, nor using REW all the time. I'm probably due another round tbh as I just put a lot more treatment in the room and need to dial it all in.
 
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