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Genelec 1031A Measurements & Review

Nuyes

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IMG_9111.JPG




The Genelec 1031A is a classic model, still frequently seen in professional studios.




Frequency Response
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The speaker has a broad and subtle V-shaped sound character around the mid-range, dipping by about 1-2dB. In some cases, the high frequencies might feel slightly bright. The low-end limit is around 38.3Hz at -6dB, with a slope of -46dB/oct. Overall, it impresses with its very smooth frequency response.




Nearfield Measurements


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Directivity

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Compared to some of the best modern products, the 1031A's control of directivity around the crossover region is a bit lacking, yet it still boasts overall smooth directivity. Notably, around 15-16kHz, the speaker impressively compensates for the dip in the front with off-axis response. It's unclear if this is an intentional design aspect of what's often referred to as 'listening window tuning'.





Vertical
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The vertical directivity is smooth except at the crossover point, which is quite narrow at around +/- 15 degrees. If one sets up the speaker height without consulting the manual to match ear and tweeter height, it could lead to significant discrepancies. The acoustic axis of this speaker lies between the tweeter and the woofer, at the upper edge of the woofer frame.





Beamwidth
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As mentioned, the directivity angle around the crossover is about +/- 15 degrees. Since the directivity pattern is continuous (especially considering a +/- 10 degrees for a 3dB standard), careful setting of ear height is crucial. While it’s not a critical issue for casual listening, it’s significant for studio applications.





Polar plot

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This speaker's performance is quite impressive. The slight elevation in high frequencies, causing sidewall reflections, might be a contributing factor to Genelec's reputation for 'beautiful sound'—though this is just a speculation.





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The vertical polar plot shows uniform and smooth characteristics, except for the narrow crossover area.





THD

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At 85dB SPL, it exhibits very clean response across the full spectrum with harmonic distortion ranging only from 0.3 to 4% after 100Hz. The control of second harmonic distortion due to asymmetrical motion in the lows is beautifully minimal.







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Even at 95dB SPL@1m, the speaker maintains its characteristics well, with distortion below 0.5% after 100Hz, and excellent low frequency response.






Multitone DIstortion
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For a 2-way speaker, the response is surprisingly clean. It makes one wonder if a larger size is necessary.






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One might think the performance can't get better, but distortion decreases further. Even with a larger speaker, using a subwoofer and avoiding the resonant point of the front speakers proves to be beneficial for clean and faithful sound reproduction.








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The speaker shows very low distortion across the full range and remains stable even at 96dB SPL.





Compression test
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Its compression performance is also impressive. If it had been even more extraordinary, the discontinuation of this model would have been deeply regrettable.




In conclusion, my personal thoughts:

Having been involved in music, I've often heard about the reputation of this speaker. As mentioned at the beginning, it's not hard to find studios still using this model despite its discontinuation.

This made me very curious about its actual performance. Upon review, the individual units and the overall completeness of the speaker are indeed of very high quality, living up to its reputation.

Though the directivity design may be slightly inferior compared to Genelec's current flagship products like The Ones series, 8341, and 8351, it still performs competently in 2023.

However, as mentioned in the review, considering the narrow sweet spot on the vertical axis and its center being at the edge of the woofer frame rather than the tweeter, users who haven't thoroughly read the manual might have been experiencing a hollowed sound at the crossover point unknowingly.

That concludes this review.
 

kongkong

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Nice work again. Thanks for your work.
Nowdays, if a speaker company is professional audio brand or not, I can see more good directivity speaker than 1031.

But I can say surely it can still deliver good sound for hifi and work (Some comapny can not make like that until now :p).

I feel Genelec's attitude try to deliver real sound.
 
Last edited:

Matt_Holland

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Nice report. Do you know the production year for the sample tested? The user manual from 2003 (production went from 1991 to 2005 according Genelec’s website) has an SPL graph and it doesn’t look like your measurement in the midrange. There’s shows the response stepping up by about 2dB from 500Hz and staying fairly flat above that with perhaps something similar to the V-shape in your measurement. HF looks similar.

LINK
 
OP
Nuyes

Nuyes

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Good work. Promoted to home page. Question: how are you generating the first frequency response plot? Outdoors?

Thank you :)

I referred to the Nearfield & Farfield section in Klippel's documents. Additionally, I use the Nearfield + Farfield Merging module.

This is based on the principle that the amount of air pushed by the woofer is equal to the amount moving through the port.

It allows for the calculation based on the area ratio (ratio) of the woofer and port, using each nearfield measurement data.

For high-frequency response, I utilize Windowing.
 
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Nuyes

Nuyes

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Nice report. Do you know the production year for the sample tested? The user manual from 2003 (production went from 1991 to 2005 according Genelec’s website) has an SPL graph and it doesn’t look like your measurement in the midrange. There’s shows the response stepping up by about 2dB from 500Hz and staying fairly flat above that with perhaps something similar to the V-shape in your measurement. HF looks similar.

LINK

Indeed, it's fascinating.

In the data from the sample I measured, I didn't find any such characteristics. When I go to the studio later, I'll check the production year or serial number.
 

norman bates

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yes, thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Genelec Studio Monitor 1031A loudspeaker & Studio Monitor 1092A powered subwoofer​

J. Gordon Holt | Apr 11, 2019 | First Published: Aug 1, 1999

"(in the intro) Nearfield monitors are designed to have a slightly depressed midrange, to make them sound farther away than they really are, and are not intended to be listened to from 7' or 8' away....The tweeter is a 1" metal-dome unit with claimed "pure piston behavior up to 23kHz." Crossovers are parallel bandpass filters, giving 24dB/octave of acoustical slope. The 1031A's crossover is at 2.2kHz."

"From a nearfield listening distance of a little over 3', the Genelecs sounded almost shockingly real, with the kind of micro-detailing that is rarely heard outside of a live performance—barely perceptible finger squeaks, page turnings, valve clicks, and glottal sounds from vocals. This was detail of definitely high-end caliber..... Unfortunately, at a typical home-theater listening distance of 7', some of that magic was gone. Some detail was lost, and the high end became slightly hot, while the range below became (in my relatively dead room) a little laid-back and subtly blurred, as though the system was involving the room acoustics too much...... Heard as they were intended to be heard—from up close—the Genelec 1031A Studio Monitor is among the most drop-dead realistic-sounding speakers I've encountered....... So...would I recommend this system to a Stereophile reader? Not for typical listening at 7'.... But Genelec's 1031A speakers are not crap; they are superb for the purpose for which they were intended—close-range listening. My problem with them in the context of this review is that they are being marketed for applications—far-field and multi-channel listening—for which they were not designed and are ill-suited."

I expected better distortion 500-2khz..............

We need to remember how old the amplifiers are in these guys also (20 years).
And yea, dispersion will be smaller as you go up trying to cross an 8" @ 2.2khz (looks like 1.7khz).
Healthy getting down below 50hz b4 falling off the cliff though.


So, 8" 2-ways are not for listening at 7'+ away ?
 
Last edited:

Ellebob

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No, 8" are fine 7+' away. That was just thinking of the time. We have better research now on preferences, acoustics, etc.
 

amirm

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So, 8" 2-ways are not for listening at 7'+ away ?
Nope. Above reviewer should have applied EQ to fix his room modes when he set out the speaker that far.
 

sweetchaos

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@Nuyes

Seeing how you created this fancy spinner to measure off-axis frequency response (taken from your 2021 post):
viewimage.php


And you mentioned:
"Spin Orama is measured at 10 degree intervals, To simplify the measurement process, I measure at 15-degree intervals unless there are special cases."

I believe Napilopez's quasi-anechoic tutorial shows that you don't need many off-axis points to get an effective CEA-2034 graph.
From the default of 70 angle measurements, Napilopez, as an experiment, only measured 11 angles and the resulting graph was good enough.
Here's the before and after gifs that I created.
He measured Horizontal (0,30,60,90,180) and Vertical (+/-30, +/-60, +/-90).

Obviously, Napilopez's method and your method are unique, but I figured I would ask just in case.

In other words, can you take Napilopez's approach of saving time by only measuring 11 angles and be able to generate the CEA-2034 graph?

Just an idea. :)
 

Triliza

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We need a case study of measuring the heart rate of ASR members when seeing spins of speakers, this one seems so ... peaceful. Comparing it to the last two speakers measured by Amir, it's like driving in the Netherlands vs that city in US we see in car chase movies (is it LA or San Francisco?). Thank you for the review.
 
OP
Nuyes

Nuyes

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@Nuyes

Seeing how you created this fancy spinner to measure off-axis frequency response (taken from your 2021 post):
viewimage.php


And you mentioned:
"Spin Orama is measured at 10 degree intervals, To simplify the measurement process, I measure at 15-degree intervals unless there are special cases."

I believe Napilopez's quasi-anechoic tutorial shows that you don't need many off-axis points to get an effective CEA-2034 graph.
From the default of 70 angle measurements, Napilopez, as an experiment, only measured 11 angles and the resulting graph was good enough.
Here's the before and after gifs that I created.
He measured Horizontal (0,30,60,90,180) and Vertical (+/-30, +/-60, +/-90).

Obviously, Napilopez's method and your method are unique, but I figured I would ask just in case.

In other words, can you take Napilopez's approach of saving time by only measuring 11 angles and be able to generate the CEA-2034 graph?

Just an idea. :)
First of all, thank you for your interest.

The previous posts you mentioned were from before I started using the Klippel system. While I was indeed greatly helped and inspired by Napilopez, the introduction of the Klippel measurement system in my studio has led to many significant and minor changes in my measurement process.

For a long time now, I have been measuring at 10-degree intervals, not 15 degrees.

Also, creating a Spinorama plot is not impossible. However, I must admit that it would be quite a cumbersome task with my current system.

What I'm showing you now is the actual Klippel POL module I use.

스크린샷 2023-11-27 오후 4.30.18.png





The TRF SPL + Harmonics [x | x | x] module in the photo above conducts sine sweep measurements at different angles. Subsequently, the POL Data Container module organizes the data, and the Visualization module visualizes these data into various plots.

The strings like [1 | 0 | 120] attached after each module represent the rotation angles around the speaker.
[r | phi | theta]

Here lies the problem.

Since I don’t use an automated robotic system like NFS, I need to measure the horizontal and vertical directivity of the speaker separately.

Additionally, as the design of each speaker differs (angles, round shapes, etc.), there is no way to continuously measure horizontal and vertical directivity in one go.

Therefore, I conduct these two measurements separately, then transplant either the horizontal or vertical module to the other side, changing the phi and theta values accordingly, and rerunning the POL Data Container module to solve this issue.

Now for my excuse, this process is quite cumbersome, and that’s why I haven't included it until now. I apologize...
 

Waxx

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The first time i see such detailed measurments about this generation of Genelecs, that are very fatiguing fo me. And they give me clues why. Woofer is crossed a bit to high to be perfect; as it goes into the (well surpressed) breakup modes a bit below 1kHz. But the main thing that i don't like is the high MD above 10kHz of the tweeter. That is probally the main reason why so many find them very fatiguing, while they are neutral and in normal distortion measures there is little to see that cause that.

I'm nitpicking off course. They are objectivly seen very good speakers. But i can't listen long to them without ear fatigue, and i was alwasy wondering why and this measurment with the MD gives me clues i was searching long for. Thanks.
 
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