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Genelec 8030C / G Three + miniDSP Flex + sub

Jonas13

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Hi, all!

I am looking to get a new stereo setup (+ maybe a sub down the line) for the living room and would appreciate some feedback on my plans.
The usage is about equal parts music and home theater with the source being the digital output of the TV or a streamer such as Chromecast Audio.
Room correction is also very important to me as I am moving relatively frequently and my current room is far from ideal with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side and open space on the other.
The listening distance is about 6 feet.

My envisioned setup uses a miniDSP Flex for DAC and room correction with REW feeding either the Genelec 8030C or G Three.
I considered the GLM kit and SAM versions but gravitate to the other solution as it includes a great DAC, integrations with powerful room correction software and no vendor lock-in (I could use the miniDSP with other speakers in the future) for a slightly cheaper price.

A couple of outstanding questions:
  • Any reason not to take the G Three with the additional RCA input over the 8030C for the same price?
  • Should room correction with the miniDSP be comparable to GLM/SAM?
  • Is the Dirac license worth $200 over using REW?
  • Is the balanced output version of the miniDSP Flex (+ $75) the way to go?
  • How much of a difference does a sub, e.g. Rythmik L12, make for apartment listening (music / home theater)?
  • Anything else to consider / a better way to spend two grand (+ $600 on a sub)?
Thanks!
 
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I'd look for an alternative to the Chromecast audio, which I had but the toslink output measures very badly (see ASR review), I noticed quite an improvement switching from that to a raspberry pi.

I've had an SHD and just swapped it to a balanced flex which I love also. Definitely recommend it. Also interested in whether it's worth the Dirac license Vs REW. I used Dirac with the SHD...
 

voodooless

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A couple of outstanding questions:
  • Any reason not to take the G Three with the additional RCA input over the 8030C for the same price?
I don't see a reason. They are the same speaker except for the additional RCA for the G3. If you want to save money, get a second-hand pair. They are usually in good condition and are virtually indestructable.
  • Should room correction with the miniDSP be comparable to GLM/SAM?
My guess is it is comparable.
  • Is the Dirac license worth $200 over using REW?
That probably depends on your skillset and the amount of time you wish to spend tuning. Both can give excellent results. Dirac has the added advantage of having impulse response compensation, which you cannot do with REW (but can do with other free tools). All in all, Dirac is pretty convenient.
  • Is the balanced output version of the miniDSP Flex (+ $75) the way to go?
I would say, yes. But if you want to save $75, fine. Also, consider cable length. If they are short anyway, it doesn't matter too much.
  • How much of a difference does a sub, e.g. Rythmik L12, make for apartment listening (music / home theater)?
For HT it will definitely add a lot. For music less so, but it all depends on the room size, listening distance etc. In general, though, a sub is recommended.
  • Anything else to consider / a better way to spend two grand (+ $600 on a sub)?
Well, consider the cost of the Flex + Dirac license + G3 vs 8340 + GLM. For the sub, it gets a bit more complicated. Genelec subs are not cheap and generally, woofers are relatively small. And integrating a third-party sub with GLM speakers will need some external DSP again, adding cost as well.
 

Digby

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Hmm, from six feet I'd want something bigger than 8030Cs, personally. They are better used up to around 3 feet.

Personally, I'd go with something with a bigger bass driver, like an 8" woofer (especially if you won't be using subs at first). I'd also check that you enjoy the Genelec sound. To my ears, they are quite unique sounding speakers, this can be good or bad depending on your preference. The smaller aluminium ones don't really sound much like other speakers you may have heard, so it is worth hearing them first to see what you think.

How much of a difference does a sub, e.g. Rythmik L12, make for apartment listening (music / home theater)?
Depending on how well built the apartment is, and how much it bothers your neighbours, it may get you complaints to be running a sub. It is worth mentioning as sub-bass sound can really travel.
 
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aikofan

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I recently bought an 8030c and a Flex, although I’m using them separately in 2 different systems. I was originally planning to get the G Three because I wanted white and the white 8030c was going to cost $100 more per monitor. However, I couldn’t find the G Three white in stock so I just got the 8030c in gray. As consolation, I was thinking one slight advantage of the 8030c might be that perhaps it’s slightly easier to resell because more pro/musician users might be familiar with that model and not realize that the G series has pretty much all the same features.

I‘m using my 8030c on a desktop in my home office, which is the size of a medium bedroom, and I have plenty of bass without a sub for my preferences. You can always get the monitors first, and if you don’t feel like that‘s enough, you can add a sub later.
 

Fenix84

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Listen to the Genelecs before you buy, if you do like the sound then I would personally try and use the GLM software. As someone mentioned the 8X30s are probably going to be too small for your living room, I use the 8030s as desktop monitors sitting 3' feet, at 6' I'd go for something bigger.

I've never personally used the GLM software but am a minimalist so like the idea of not having another piece of hardware in the chain.

If I did go with the miniDSP Flex I would get the balanced connections, you can always get a TRS to RCA adapter if you really needed the RCA connection. Also get the Dirac license, at this point you've sent so much money on this stuff, another couple hundred wont make a difference but will save you tons of time and will simplify everything.

And finally if the G3 is the same price as the 8030, get whatever one comes in the color you prefer.

Also, before you get a sub test out whatever speakers you end up getting on their own. Living in an apartment the speaker may be good enough, it has been for me.
 
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Jonas13

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What's the main reason for suggesting going for a bigger speaker; sound volume or low-end extension?
I was thinking of addressing the low-end limitation with a subwoofer that would cross over at a frequency that shouldn't be an issue for the 8030.
This thread also mentions that the 8040 is of an older design.

Unfortunately, there are barely any speaker stores in Hawaii. I heard Genelecs years ago at an audio exhibition and really liked them. Their general appreciation online seems also very high.

Shipping the L12 sub here is $270. I will likely have to look for a manufacturer with a more robust distribution like SVS.
Back in California I still have a pair of GoldenEar Triton Two+ but shipping those would be around $700.
 

spudger

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The sub was essential in my living room. I have the G Threes with an SVS SB1000 in a 7m x 5m living room, the Genelec's on their own lack bass, especially noticeable with electronic music. My next move is to pick up a minidsp flex and a second sub.
 

NiagaraPete

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For about the same price I'd go for the 8330 with 7350 and GLM. You only have the GLM out when you';re doing a measurement. The settings are saved in the speakers. I like you'll have a horrible time with the 8030's and the svs.
 

Reed

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I have 8030C’s, an NAD C658 (with Dirac) and a REL T5i sub in an 11’ x 12’ room. The speakers have a surprising amount of bass but the sub will get you lower. Strong center image so it should be fine for TV/theater. Not sure the size of room you have but your 6’ LP is similar to mine. Small, square rooms are murder but Dirac makes a huge difference. If you can accommodate the equilateral triangle setup you’ll be happy. They do disappear.
 

Digby

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What's the main reason for suggesting going for a bigger speaker; sound volume or low-end extension?
I was thinking of addressing the low-end limitation with a subwoofer that would cross over at a frequency that shouldn't be an issue for the 8030.
It's not as simple as it may seem. Bigger woofers provide more depth/punch in the mid bass, they will be more capable than smaller ones + sub at the distance you want to use them from. Subwoofer integration isn't the easiest thing in the world either. You just have more in the tank with bigger mains with volume, extension and integration. Larger mains just fill a room better outside the nearfield (more than 3 or 4 feet).

Genelecs are not the only fish in the sea.

Personally, I prefer the Behringer B2031A over the 8030C. For both classical and electronic music I found I preferred it, with concertos in particular the 8030C just could not keep up (sounded like it was running out of steam). The Behringer has its own flaws, but on these speakers instruments sounded more true to life, voices were more convincing, and it has a relaxed presentation compared to the 8030C (may not be to your tastes). The 8030C had better imaging, but they cost 4 times the price. In my opinion, they are not 4 times the speaker.

What can you listen to at nearby hi-fi shops?
 
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Jonas13

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Thank you all for the helpful input!
I've been reading and thinking some more and I am slightly worried that the 5" woofer of the Genelec 8030 might struggle in my 6-8' listening distance, especially for movies.
The whole living room is 21' x 13' (6.3m x 4m) with a long hallway connecting to a corner of the room.

Unfortunately, listening to speakers in person here on the island is difficult. A BestBuy / Magnolia is the only option and shipping is quite expensive as well. Therefore, I've been going through the speaker recommendations and the Kali IN-8v2 caught my eyes. On the passive side, the Polk R200 might be another option, although I would prefer the simplicity of an active setup. Neumann KH-120s are currently also discounted to the same price as 8030s.

Excerpts from the speaker recommendations:

Active Speakers Under US$1500/pair:
RecommendationPSLFXAmplifiersPrice each
#1Neumann KH 120A6.7*42*80 & 50$730
#2Genelec 8030C (Amir)6.34650 & 50$700
#3Kali IN-5 (Erin)
Kali IN-8v2 (Erin)
5.4
5.3
41
39
80 & 40 & 40 (Erin)
60 & 40 & 40 (Erin)
$400

Passive Bookshelves < US$2200/pair:
NamePSLFXPrice each
#1Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.936$775
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.535$1100
#3Polk R2006.3*42*$375

The Kali IN-8v2 measure quite a bit lower in PS than the other options but Erin liked them a lot, they go the lowest and are a great deal at $400 a speaker.
Thoughts?
 

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timiark

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G3 user here. If you really want to play loud, G3 (or essentially 8030C) have some noise near the vent port in lower bass area. Otherwise... it can get super loud without break a sweat. Genelec has this recommended distance chart somewhere on their website that you can refer to.

I am also interested in adding a sub and I had auditioning SVS SB-1000 Pro, REL (some sorts of 8" smaller one, cannot remember the model name), Monitor Audio Radius 380, and KEF kc62. My usage is mainly desktop use, but I also tried them in my living room. (loud enough for me), therefore I mainly want some smaller sub.

On the 12" side those, SVS SB-1000 pro suits your needs and it is not expensive. (and comes with EQ embedded)
 

Matt S

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I am listening from about 6ft in a small room with a sub and not wanting for more (having come from larger Adam speakers).

The MiniDSP SHD allows Dirac to work wonders with sub and speakers crossed at 80hz. I might up-size to larger Gens to test where there is a huge difference but, in my Victorian terrace in London, I'm not wanting for more volume, bass or punch.

More testing needed as only recently setup but happy at the moment.

I've loved that Genelec sound since first hearing a much larger pair at a record shop in Kings Cross' Coal Drops yard. Had me hooked from the off.
 

spudger

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I am listening from about 6ft in a small room with a sub and not wanting for more (having come from larger Adam speakers).

The MiniDSP SHD allows Dirac to work wonders with sub and speakers crossed at 80hz. I might up-size to larger Gens to test where there is a huge difference but, in my Victorian terrace in London, I'm not wanting for more volume, bass or punch.

More testing needed as only recently setup but happy at the moment.

I've loved that Genelec sound since first hearing a much larger pair at a record shop in Kings Cross' Coal Drops yard. Had me hooked from the off.
Same listening distance as my setup, and it's definitely not wanting for volume. I have the G threes with the older (non pro) svs sb1000 which high pass at 80hz I think.

Looking at adding room correction now, I am finding it hard to decide between a Denon AVR or a minidsp with dirac. Good to see the shd is working well for you.
 

TurtlePaul

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I thought about doing something similar with 8030c, MiniDSP Flex balanced and HSU VTF-15. I think the sub would be important even for apartment listening. The smaller Genelecs can run out if juice if you ask them to do bass and there is a lot of value in having sub-50 hz output. Crossing them at 100 hz would make for quite a system.
 

Peluvius

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I thought about doing something similar with 8030c, MiniDSP Flex balanced and HSU VTF-15. I think the sub would be important even for apartment listening. The smaller Genelecs can run out if juice if you ask them to do bass and there is a lot of value in having sub-50 hz output. Crossing them at 100 hz would make for quite a system.

I have that setup but with the SVS 3000 micro. Sub is definitely important, not a subtle improvement at all.
 

Willem

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I'd look for an alternative to the Chromecast audio, which I had but the toslink output measures very badly (see ASR review), I noticed quite an improvement switching from that to a raspberry pi.

I've had an SHD and just swapped it to a balanced flex which I love also. Definitely recommend it. Also interested in whether it's worth the Dirac license Vs REW. I used Dirac with the SHD...
The criticism of tbe CCA is unjustified. It only measures badly if used from a PC browser. Use it directly and it measures bit perfect. I use one with an RME ADI-2 DAC and Quad 2805 speakers and the sound is impeccable.
 

timiark

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I thought about doing something similar with 8030c, MiniDSP Flex balanced and HSU VTF-15. I think the sub would be important even for apartment listening. The smaller Genelecs can run out if juice if you ask them to do bass and there is a lot of value in having sub-50 hz output. Crossing them at 100 hz would make for quite a system.
That had alrady made quite a difference to me. It fixed 80% of my spatial imaging problem in my room due to room asymmetry, also added statisfying level of sub bass. I would say this is more cost efficient than going for a bigger speaker for that lower bass. (I think generally full range speakers and headphone drivers have this multi-tone issue that when I play sub bass, the SPL of higher frequency sound is lowered.)
 

Geertidow

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Maybe this is too late, but I have the genelecs 8030c with a custom sub and a minidsp flex.

I would definitely say you do not need dirac live, if you are willing to learn how to do room EQ with REW.
The rest I think had been said. I use the system in a room of 4 x 5 meters and it handles itself fine.
 
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