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A Visit to Genelec USA (Natick MA)

youngho

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A Visit to Genelec USA (Natick MA)

Having read about Genelec loudspeakers for some time, I tangentially came across a post in a Facebook group about room acoustics from the architectural firm (https://www.fmdesign.com/) that designed the Genelec Experience Center in Natick, MA, which was rebuilt during the COVID pandemic. Professional pictures and more information are available at https://www.fmdesign.com/projects/genelec-immersive-experience-center-natick-massachusetts/ and https://www.genelec.com/-/news/genelec-commissions-new-experience-center-at-u.s.-headquarters. I work nearby so I took the opportunity to reach out to Paul Stewart and Will Eggleston to inquire about the possibility of a visit. They were kindly receptive to my stopping by and spending almost two hours to get a sense of the Genelec Experience.

Here are Will and Paul:
Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.54.21 PM.png


The Genelec US headquarters in Natick is actually located in the former Allison Acoustics site, a relatively unassuming-looking office building:
Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.55.22 PM.png


Here are a few amateur photos of the Experience Center:
Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.56.04 PM.png


Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.59.37 PM.png


Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.56.43 PM.png


What may not be clear from the pictures is the depth of boundary absorption in places like the ceiling (2+ ft?) and rear (that's absorption all the way back) of the room:
Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 11.58.40 PM.png


As you can see. they added a W371A for the center 8351B, while the pair of 8331As remained in place at the sides of the mixing desk. I was able to listen to a variety of tracks (including a lot of classic rock like Rush, Toto, and Queen, as well as the Giles Martin remasters of the Beatles, but also including tracks from Beyonce and Billie Eilish, as well as Hans Zimmer live performances, plus some cinematic material like The Fifth Element and Mad Max: Fury Road) spanning the gamut from stereo to 5.1 to Atmos, including opportunities to turn off individual or groups of channels to get a better sense of their contributions to the overall listening experience, especially LFE only vs W371A only vs both. I had brought along some CDs, but these were too obsolete to play there.

I hadn’t actually experienced an Atmos setup before, so it was a treat to hear the immersive aspect with the overhead speakers, which could be switched in and out. I even made the classic newbie mistake of asking to have the center channel turned off, when it wasn't even playing, since the central image was so solid even in stereo. Will also showed the GLM measurements, demonstrating the flattest (no downward tilt above the modal region) frequency response from top to bottom that I’ve ever heard. I wasn't able to compare with my auditory memory of recordings that I know best, but I'll skip any flowery prose and simply say that the imaging, detail, and totally clean bass were exceptional in my experience.

Paul and Will discussed some of the history of Genelec and its drivers, design goals of and technology behind the Ones series and the W371A (a smaller version does not seem likely, sorry), and details of the Experience Center construction itself, including future-proofing each channel with power, audio, AES digital, and Ethernet connections.

Here are two different generations of coaxial drivers:
Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 12.01.28 AM.png


I didn't do a good job of capturing the difference in depth, but the newer coaxial driver (this particular one was damaged but available for demonstration purposes) was much thinner, allowing for a shallower depth of mounting, like in the Ones (though different drivers between the 8351B/8361A and 8331A/8341A model siblings).

Will and Paul were truly gracious hosts for an eye-opening experience. Certainly when it comes to a pair of 8351B/W371As, "if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

Young-Ho
 

dfuller

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Huh, I didn't realize they were so close to me. That's cool!
 

ernestcarl

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I see that they have a separate set of nearfield monitors on top of the multichannel surround monitors. Do you know if they use those exclusively when working with all stereo channel mixes? For just plain stereo playback I wonder which one would be preferred or perceived as more "accurate" ... the more distant (midfield?) monitors or the nearfield ones?
 
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youngho

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I see that they have a separate set of nearfield monitors on top of the multichannel surround monitors. Do you know if they use those exclusively when working with all stereo channel mixes? For just plain stereo playback I wonder which one would be preferred or perceived as more "accurate" ... the more distant (midfield?) monitors or the nearfield ones?
I believe that these are in place for use as per individual preference. All the demonstration material I heard was with the 8351Bs in various combinations. I didn't think to ask to hear the 8331As at the time.
 

ouimetnick

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Not far from me. Didn't know they had USA HQ in Massachusetts. I've been to EarthWorks in NH though (They make microphones)
 

goskers

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Just ran across this post. I will soon be making plans to visit this facility to better experience and understand possible future system expansion paths.
Making the trip will cost $500 or so with flight and hotel along with a day of vacation but I consider that a bargain if it helps in identifying a good path forward versus that the continued equipment churn. Thanks for sharing. I will do the same.
 

sarumbear

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A Visit to Genelec USA (Natick MA)

Having read about Genelec loudspeakers for some time, I tangentially came across a post in a Facebook group about room acoustics from the architectural firm (https://www.fmdesign.com/) that designed the Genelec Experience Center in Natick, MA, which was rebuilt during the COVID pandemic. Professional pictures and more information are available at https://www.fmdesign.com/projects/genelec-immersive-experience-center-natick-massachusetts/ and https://www.genelec.com/-/news/genelec-commissions-new-experience-center-at-u.s.-headquarters. I work nearby so I took the opportunity to reach out to Paul Stewart and Will Eggleston to inquire about the possibility of a visit. They were kindly receptive to my stopping by and spending almost two hours to get a sense of the Genelec Experience.

Here are Will and Paul:
View attachment 169812

The Genelec US headquarters in Natick is actually located in the former Allison Acoustics site, a relatively unassuming-looking office building:
View attachment 169813

Here are a few amateur photos of the Experience Center:
View attachment 169814

View attachment 169817

View attachment 169815

What may not be clear from the pictures is the depth of boundary absorption in places like the ceiling (2+ ft?) and rear (that's absorption all the way back) of the room:
View attachment 169816

As you can see. they added a W371A for the center 8351B, while the pair of 8331As remained in place at the sides of the mixing desk. I was able to listen to a variety of tracks (including a lot of classic rock like Rush, Toto, and Queen, as well as the Giles Martin remasters of the Beatles, but also including tracks from Beyonce and Billie Eilish, as well as Hans Zimmer live performances, plus some cinematic material like The Fifth Element and Mad Max: Fury Road) spanning the gamut from stereo to 5.1 to Atmos, including opportunities to turn off individual or groups of channels to get a better sense of their contributions to the overall listening experience, especially LFE only vs W371A only vs both. I had brought along some CDs, but these were too obsolete to play there.

I hadn’t actually experienced an Atmos setup before, so it was a treat to hear the immersive aspect with the overhead speakers, which could be switched in and out. I even made the classic newbie mistake of asking to have the center channel turned off, when it wasn't even playing, since the central image was so solid even in stereo. Will also showed the GLM measurements, demonstrating the flattest (no downward tilt above the modal region) frequency response from top to bottom that I’ve ever heard. I wasn't able to compare with my auditory memory of recordings that I know best, but I'll skip any flowery prose and simply say that the imaging, detail, and totally clean bass were exceptional in my experience.

Paul and Will discussed some of the history of Genelec and its drivers, design goals of and technology behind the Ones series and the W371A (a smaller version does not seem likely, sorry), and details of the Experience Center construction itself, including future-proofing each channel with power, audio, AES digital, and Ethernet connections.

Here are two different generations of coaxial drivers:
View attachment 169819

I didn't do a good job of capturing the difference in depth, but the newer coaxial driver (this particular one was damaged but available for demonstration purposes) was much thinner, allowing for a shallower depth of mounting, like in the Ones (though different drivers between the 8351B/8361A and 8331A/8341A model siblings).

Will and Paul were truly gracious hosts for an eye-opening experience. Certainly when it comes to a pair of 8351B/W371As, "if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

Young-Ho
It’s refreshing to see full range LCR plus subwoofers, which I assume for LFE only.
 
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youngho

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It’s refreshing to see full range LCR plus subwoofers, which I assume for LFE only.
Yes, the 8351B/W371A LCRs were run full-range, the larger subwoofer was for LFE only, as you say, and if I recall correctly, the smaller subwoofer was for the height (though may have been for surround) channels.
 

sarumbear

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Yes, the 8351B/W371A LCRs were run full-range, the larger subwoofer was for LFE only, as you say, and if I recall correctly, the smaller subwoofer was for the height (though may have been for surround) channels.
Interesting. Aren’t the heights and surrounds not 8351B as well? They have an f3 around 40Hz which is within the spec of those positions, hence shouldn’t require a subwoofer and bass management.
 
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youngho

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Interesting. Aren’t the heights and surrounds not 8351B as well? They have an f3 around 40Hz which is within the spec of those positions, hence shouldn’t require a subwoofer and bass management.
8341As for surrounds and height
 

sarumbear

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8341As for surrounds and height
Thank you for clarifying. 8341A still within the spec but they may wanted to demonstrate the inbuilt bass managed crossover on the subwoofer.
 
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youngho

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Thank you for clarifying. 8341A still within the spec but they may wanted to demonstrate the inbuilt bass managed crossover on the subwoofer.

Ah, here you go (but ignore the part about the center, since they subsequently added the third W471A): “A 7370 subwoofer handles low-end extension for the overhead speakers, while a 7380 sub supports the LFE channel and manages extension of the center, side and rear channels.”
 

sarumbear

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Ah, here you go (but ignore the part about the center, since they subsequently added the third W471A): “A 7370 subwoofer handles low-end extension for the overhead speakers, while a 7380 sub supports the LFE channel and manages extension of the center, side and rear channels.”
I’m glad to read that they decided to treat centre the same as LR. I’m a firm believer of full range LCR, and consider the centre speaker the most important speaker in a surround system.
 

kongwee

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I see that they have a separate set of nearfield monitors on top of the multichannel surround monitors. Do you know if they use those exclusively when working with all stereo channel mixes? For just plain stereo playback I wonder which one would be preferred or perceived as more "accurate" ... the more distant (midfield?) monitors or the nearfield ones?
No surpassing at all. Many studio own 4"inch drivers. Target audience, people on JBL Bluetooth speaker. They make sure that audio range is mix really well before passing to mastering studio.
 

Descartes

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A Visit to Genelec USA (Natick MA)

Having read about Genelec loudspeakers for some time, I tangentially came across a post in a Facebook group about room acoustics from the architectural firm (https://www.fmdesign.com/) that designed the Genelec Experience Center in Natick, MA, which was rebuilt during the COVID pandemic. Professional pictures and more information are available at https://www.fmdesign.com/projects/genelec-immersive-experience-center-natick-massachusetts/ and https://www.genelec.com/-/news/genelec-commissions-new-experience-center-at-u.s.-headquarters. I work nearby so I took the opportunity to reach out to Paul Stewart and Will Eggleston to inquire about the possibility of a visit. They were kindly receptive to my stopping by and spending almost two hours to get a sense of the Genelec Experience.

Here are Will and Paul:
View attachment 169812

The Genelec US headquarters in Natick is actually located in the former Allison Acoustics site, a relatively unassuming-looking office building:
View attachment 169813

Here are a few amateur photos of the Experience Center:
View attachment 169814

View attachment 169817

View attachment 169815

What may not be clear from the pictures is the depth of boundary absorption in places like the ceiling (2+ ft?) and rear (that's absorption all the way back) of the room:
View attachment 169816

As you can see. they added a W371A for the center 8351B, while the pair of 8331As remained in place at the sides of the mixing desk. I was able to listen to a variety of tracks (including a lot of classic rock like Rush, Toto, and Queen, as well as the Giles Martin remasters of the Beatles, but also including tracks from Beyonce and Billie Eilish, as well as Hans Zimmer live performances, plus some cinematic material like The Fifth Element and Mad Max: Fury Road) spanning the gamut from stereo to 5.1 to Atmos, including opportunities to turn off individual or groups of channels to get a better sense of their contributions to the overall listening experience, especially LFE only vs W371A only vs both. I had brought along some CDs, but these were too obsolete to play there.

I hadn’t actually experienced an Atmos setup before, so it was a treat to hear the immersive aspect with the overhead speakers, which could be switched in and out. I even made the classic newbie mistake of asking to have the center channel turned off, when it wasn't even playing, since the central image was so solid even in stereo. Will also showed the GLM measurements, demonstrating the flattest (no downward tilt above the modal region) frequency response from top to bottom that I’ve ever heard. I wasn't able to compare with my auditory memory of recordings that I know best, but I'll skip any flowery prose and simply say that the imaging, detail, and totally clean bass were exceptional in my experience.

Paul and Will discussed some of the history of Genelec and its drivers, design goals of and technology behind the Ones series and the W371A (a smaller version does not seem likely, sorry), and details of the Experience Center construction itself, including future-proofing each channel with power, audio, AES digital, and Ethernet connections.

Here are two different generations of coaxial drivers:
View attachment 169819

I didn't do a good job of capturing the difference in depth, but the newer coaxial driver (this particular one was damaged but available for demonstration purposes) was much thinner, allowing for a shallower depth of mounting, like in the Ones (though different drivers between the 8351B/8361A and 8331A/8341A model siblings).

Will and Paul were truly gracious hosts for an eye-opening experience. Certainly when it comes to a pair of 8351B/W371As, "if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

Young-Ho
Thank you so much for posting this, wish I could visit and get a demonstration!
 

Descartes

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Just ran across this post. I will soon be making plans to visit this facility to better experience and understand possible future system expansion paths.
Making the trip will cost $500 or so with flight and hotel along with a day of vacation but I consider that a bargain if it helps in identifying a good path forward versus that the continued equipment churn. Thanks for sharing. I will do the same.
Please post pictures, video and comments as well when you experience this room!
 
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