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Deciding on Genelec model: 8030C vs 8331A

farcurse

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#1
I'm considering buying some Genelec speakers, but I'm confused about the sound quality of the higher models like the 8331A compared to the much cheaper 8030C. I've searched this site but can't seem to find a discussion about this. My general question is around the spinorama results: both speakers have similar preference scores (well the 8030C and 8341A), especially when coupled with a subwoofer.

Here are some details of how I intend to use them:
  • Upstream equipment is a MiniDSP DDRC-22D using Dirac Live v3 for room correction. This feeds a miniDSP 2x4 for subwoofer crossover. I like Dirac and don't really need Genelec software for DSP.
  • Subwoofer is a Rythmik F12SE, crossed over at 80 Hz (24 db per octave slope).
  • Genelecs will be replacing Sierra 2-EX speakers. On stands the tweeters will be at ear height.
  • These are for a small room with 1.5 m listening distance. This seems to be in the sweet spot for either Genelec speaker. I only care about the sound at the listening location. Any speakers I'm considering will play loud enough.
Is there something not in the spinorama results that makes the higher end Genelecs sound better in such a configuration? What benefit does the coaxial nature of the Ones confer? Is this just for better driver integration near-field? Is 1.5 m far enough away to eliminate that benefit?

Sorry if this has been covered before and I just missed it. If so, if someone can provide a link to a discussion I'm happy to delete this post. Thanks in advance.

For what it's worth I'm also considering Neumann KH 80 or KH 120 speakers.
 

q3cpma

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#2
In your situation (sub, no need for GLM) I wouldn't consider the 8331A unless you need the coaxial advantages in vertical dispersion. Especially when they both advertise exactly the same midrange max SPL and THD; manual details:
Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz at 1 m: ≥ 104 dB SPL
Harmonic distortion at 85 dB SPL at 1 m on axis:
50…100 Hz < 2%
> 100 H < 0.5%
The 8341A or 8351B would have advantages over their 8x40/8x50 siblings such as 3-way making sense on the distorsion/SPL/directivity side that the 8331A doesn't really have; in truth, I don't really understand why that model exists.
 
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farcurse

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Thread Starter #3
In your situation (sub, no need for GLM) I wouldn't consider the 8331A unless you need the coaxial advantages in vertical dispersion. Especially when they both advertise exactly the same midrange max SPL and THD; manual details:
Thank you. That's what I suspected. I don't care about the vertical dispersion advantages unless they make the Ones sound better at my listening location.
 

q3cpma

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#4
By the way, this thread I made some time ago may concern you: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/neumann-kh120a-or-genelec-8030c.11109/
Especially since now we have a Klippel NFS spinorama for both models (the KH120A one I linked to in that thread was made and posted here by Neumann themselves).

You may not know but the little tweeter shelving in the 8030C spin was shown later in the review thread to be due to an unwanted ~5° vertical offset, both are as flat if you ignore the KH120A's port peak and tweeter resonance near 20 kHz.

Honestly, I'd chose between them based on features (auto standby and class D amps on the 8030C) and look.
 
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farcurse

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Thread Starter #5
By the way, this thread I made some time ago may concern you: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/neumann-kh120a-or-genelec-8030c.11109/
Especially since now we have a Klippel NFS spinorama for both models (the KH120A one I linked to in that thread was made and posted here by Neumann themselves).

You may not know but the little tweeter shelving in the 8030C spin was shown later in the review thread to be due to an unwanted ~5° vertical offset, both are as flat if you ignore the KH120A's port peak and tweeter resonance near 20 kHz.

Honestly, I'd chose between them based on features (auto standby and class D amps on the 8030C) and look.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of the vertical offset in the 8030C measurements. I read through that thread earlier, and came to the conclusion that the Neumann models are pretty competitive. I like the auto standby for the Genelecs. Is the class D amp benefit an efficiency thing? As for looks, neither are as pretty as my Sierra's but I honestly don't care very much about that.
 
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#6
I'm considering buying some Genelec speakers, but I'm confused about the sound quality of the higher models like the 8331A compared to the much cheaper 8030C. I've searched this site but can't seem to find a discussion about this. My general question is around the spinorama results: both speakers have similar preference scores (well the 8030C and 8341A), especially when coupled with a subwoofer.

Here are some details of how I intend to use them:
  • Upstream equipment is a MiniDSP DDRC-22D using Dirac Live v3 for room correction. This feeds a miniDSP 2x4 for subwoofer crossover. I like Dirac and don't really need Genelec software for DSP.
  • Subwoofer is a Rythmik F12SE, crossed over at 80 Hz (24 db per octave slope).
  • Genelecs will be replacing Sierra 2-EX speakers. On stands the tweeters will be at ear height.
  • These are for a small room with 1.5 m listening distance. This seems to be in the sweet spot for either Genelec speaker. I only care about the sound at the listening location. Any speakers I'm considering will play loud enough.
Is there something not in the spinorama results that makes the higher end Genelecs sound better in such a configuration? What benefit does the coaxial nature of the Ones confer? Is this just for better driver integration near-field? Is 1.5 m far enough away to eliminate that benefit?

Sorry if this has been covered before and I just missed it. If so, if someone can provide a link to a discussion I'm happy to delete this post. Thanks in advance.

For what it's worth I'm also considering Neumann KH 80 or KH 120 speakers.
Point source speaker have much better off axis performance especially vertically. Any time you have multiple drivers you get comb filtering. Point source speakers are the dream and Genelec Ones are about as close as you can get.
 
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farcurse

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Thread Starter #7
Point source speaker have much better off axis performance especially vertically. Any time you have multiple drivers you get comb filtering. Point source speakers are the dream and Genelec Ones are about as close as you can get.
I'm aware of comb filtering but unclear about its relation to the spinorama results. Does the spinorama average out comb filter effects by measuring in multiple locations? If so, would a point source speaker be preferred over a regular speaker with the same preference score? I think I read in Toole's book that the human ear is not that sensitive to this kind of frequency response anomaly, but I'm no expert. This is kind of what I was getting at in my original question about spinorama and actual preference.
 
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#8
Always try before you buy, if you can. They are approximately the same size, but will sound different. From a techincal perspective the 8331 is superior, but there have been some who didn't like how the 83x1s sounded compared to 80x0s. Also, there's the matter of possible firmware updates to the DSP models. It can't be done without the expensive GLM kit, which to me personally seems questionable. But of course it's no concern if you need the GLM for it's other features.
 
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#9
In your situation (sub, no need for GLM) I wouldn't consider the 8331A unless you need the coaxial advantages in vertical dispersion. Especially when they both advertise exactly the same midrange max SPL and THD; manual details:


The 8341A or 8351B would have advantages over their 8x40/8x50 siblings such as 3-way making sense on the distorsion/SPL/directivity side that the 8331A doesn't really have; in truth, I don't really understand why that model exists.
Sorry could pls elaborate the advantages of the 8341 over 8331 pls? is this just based on SPL capabilities ?
 
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