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Genelec 8030 cpm, a subjective recommendation to classical music lovers

Miguelón

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Hi everybody!

I recently started a personal and relative (temporal) investment on searching a reasonable good audio setup specific to classical music playback.

Initially was oriented towards audiophile pre-amp, amp and speakers and made a travel to Madrid (capital of Spain) to listen at showrooms different setups. Despite the tremendous price of the gear I found no satisfactory experience because some frequencies were enhanced, others attenuated by the response curve of the speakers, or the amp or both combinations.

If you love classical music as me, you understand that professional active monitors is probably the way to go.

Popular recommendations were to avoid using this gear to home listening as “they are made exclusively to mix or professional analysis, not for enjoying: you will be bored with them, sound is flat or so briliant”

After a new research, I was convinced that “flat” is I needed. You are a classical interpreter or a composer, or love classical for listening? You want to have the flattest response as possible: the conductor or the interpreter has studied very carefully how to made you feel emotions by subtle accents, phrasing, crescendos etc. Is the response is not flat, this dynamics will be affected.

After buying 6 different monitors with a 800€ upper bound each, all recommended by Amirm reviews (and that is the biggest advantage: they are MEASURED by external people, you don’t need to believe the retailer or biased subjective websites reviews), I keep Genelec 8030 cpm based on weeks listening to singers, pianists, orchestras, spanish guitar, chamber music, opera and solo recordings from various instruments. Also tested as monitors to my Kawai ES920 digital piano which its main sound is a careful and calibrated multilevel recording of a Kawai Grand Concert piano, and it deserves as a testing to frequency response between 27.5 Hz and aprox 4000 Hz.

I didn’t test anything above 5 inches cone, because don’t need below 50 Hz sound in general, so this recommendation is limited to that size.

Yesterday we did at home a little “soirée” with ancient colleagues of my conservatory time, some of them professional musicians or teachers. They all be astonished with the realism of the experience, after a 3 hours session. Even one that have a Krel amp and super expensive Bowers and Wilkins speakers was incredulous when I tell him the price as he preferred the sound to his actual setup.

Obviously this is a subjective recommendation, but I think (and hope) is a well done one and verified by 8 musicians (or ex musicians) one of them ancient tenor at Viena Opera and other actual worker in the Teatro Real de Madrid.

Genelec 8030 cpm is an extraordinary value for money, one cam see Amirm review for measurements, and totally valid as home listening to classical music in the majority of instruments, except organ at its low register in which you need a sbwoofer or go for bigger monitors.

No reason based on the audiophiles recommendation to avoid studio monitors is valid based on objective reasons: as our instruments have a pure acoustic sound, we want to be as neutral as possible on the equipment to reproduce others and our recordings. Pleasure is guaranteed now by the quality of the composer, the interpreter and the recording and editing process, not by dramatic effects produced by the speakers sound signature.

Total cost of my gear:

2 Genelecs 8030 cpm: 1130€
1 Focusrite Scarlett (or another dac as you like) 180€
2 stand floors from the brand (optional but I recommend because is barely impossible to accidentally falls of the monitors, very heavy base and adaptable height): 300€

Hope you find useful my (I insist subjective but with some good arguments based) review!

Thanks to many members that helped me to stick to measured audio!

Post editing: acoustic environment, thanks to Rednaxela to remind me!

-Room size: 5 x 4 meters
-no acoustic treatment, no carpets, no curtains. A 3 places sofa and a table, windows behind the speakers and bookshelves at one side.
-One speaker near a corner, - 4 dB bas tilt used but -6 dB recommended by Genelec.
-Other near a wall, - 4 dB bass tilt recommended and used.
-Listening distance: 2-2,5 meters
 
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Rednaxela

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Great write-up, thank you for sharing!

Could you perhaps describe the setting in terms of room size, furniture, listening distance etc.?
 
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Miguelón

Miguelón

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Yes, I forgot it!

Room is 5 meters by 4 aprox. No acoustic treatment, no carpets, one table aside one of the speakers, some bookshelves near the other and windows behind.

A difficult acoustic environment, not the worse but quite adverse.

Actually -4 dB bass tilt as room correction on both speakers. Is the best dip switches I found, surprisingly good results despite lack of DSP
 

Rednaxela

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Awesome, thanks.

I am surprised and delighted that you can make them work in a home audio setting. SPL and/or LF extension are often mentioned as limiting factors for this.
 
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Miguelón

Miguelón

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Awesome, thanks.

I am surprised and delighted that you can make them work in a home audio setting. SPL and/or LF extension are often mentioned as limiting factors for this.
Hmmm, perhaps the fact is that we don’t listen music high demanding of SPL.
Personally if I put the system at more than 80 dB at 2 meters it begins to be unpleasant.

Otherwise the Genelecs sound really clear, so don’t need to rise levels to listen detailed to one ore another instrument.

LF extension will not be enough to an action film, electronic music and low bass guitar notes, is for that reason I think at complete the setup with the Genelec 7040 subwoofer in the future
 
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