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Genelec 8030C vs Canton Fonum 300 - In room measurements

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#1
Hi all,

due to the fantastic measurement results of the Genelec 8030C I ordered them in order to upgrade my current system. Today I made some measurements in order to compare the new to my old system. The results show that the old system is at least in the current room set up better - which is a big surprise to me.

Old System: PC -> HDMI -> TV -> SPDIF -> No Name DAC -> rca -> Rotel RA-935BX Amplifier-> Canton Fonum 300 (Y: 2001)
(I have a special version / limited edition of the Canton Fonum 300 - I can find unfortunately find absolute no information on this version )
Costs: ~300€ (used bought over ebay) comparable new price ~1000€ (hard to say due to inflation)

New System: PC -> USB -> MiniDSP DDRC-24 (No EQ or Dirac activated) -> rca / xlr -> Genelec 8030C RAW
Costs: ~1600€ (Genelecs + Minidsp)

Here my Setup (Excuse the mess ;) ):
IMG_20201017_135935.jpg


Measurements
  • Genelec on top of canton 5 cm distance to backwall (showed in image) - Red Curve
  • Canton Fonum 300 (showed in image) - Blue Curve
  • Genelec on top of canton 20 cm distance to backwall - Green Curve
  • Genelec on side board - tweeter on same height as canton - Brown Curve
Results
rew.jpg


You can see that the the Canton (blue line) (beside the dip between 100 and 200 Hz) has clearly a more smooth SPL curve than the Genelecs. Even when looking at the distortion graphs the Cantons are equal or better. You can find the measurements attached to this post if you want a look for yourself.

Question(s)
Am I missing something here or are these loudspeakers (Canton) just that good? (which surprises me due to their price and age)
Or is there something wrong with my Genelec Chain?

Thanks in advance for any type of input ;)
Regards
Dominik
 
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q3cpma

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#2
1) In-room measurements are supposed to have such a slope, the Canton is likely to sound a bit bright that way.
2) The only problem here is the 8030C's 3 kHz dip, which almost certainly due to the vertical unstability at the crossover point:

You should try to adjust the tilt.
 

GD Fan

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#3
Was the microphone height adjusted for each speaker type? In the picture it looks low for seating position, perhaps, and well below on-axis for the Genelecs.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #5
Thank you for the Feedback. I repeated the measurements with the microphone set exactly to the height of the tweeters of the canton and genelec.
Also the position for both loadspeakers was exactly the same.

Canton - Green Line (3 measurements 1/12 smoothing)
Genelec - Blue Line (3 measurements 1/12 smoothing)

rew2.jpg


Now they both look subjectively quiet evenly good / bad.

@aarons915 Not in a serious manner. It is planed for tomorrow. Some days ago I switched between them both and could not hear a great difference.

@q3cpma Now microphone and the tweeters of the genelecs are matched height wise. Shouldn't I expect no Dip now at around 3 kHz like on the graph you posted?
 

Tangband

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#6
Im afraid that you are measuring in the wrong way.
1. Measure ONLY ONE loudspeaker at a time, with the other turned entirely off. Othervise the comb filtering effect ruins your measurements .
2. Measure from a distance about 1 meter, no more. The ear/brain and the microphone is functioning differently. After 5 ms soundtravel ( 1,7 meter ) the brain starts selecting sound. Its called the precedence effect.

3. The way you measure now, you are far away from critical distance ( where the direct sound and the sound coming from the room is about 50/50 )
Right now you are only measuring the room ( maybe 80% room and 20% direct sound from the loudspeaker. )
In a normal room, critical distance is usually only about 1 meter .

4. Use a proper microphone stand. Othervise you get reflections from the surfaces near the mic. The differences can be up to 10 dB !

5. Read John Atkinssons ”how to measure loudspeakers” on the internet, its good reading. You can also read Tooles/Olives books.
6. Use logaritmic sine sweep or puls with 5 ms gating.

7. The Genelec 8030 is one of the worlds best desktop loudspeaker with almost perfect performance .
I have measured the digital version, the Genelec 8330. It has an entirely flat frequency response, measuring from 1 meter.
 
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GD Fan

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#7
Are you planning to use the MiniDSP room correction? Might be interesting to see how each speaker takes to that and base your decision accordingly.
 

q3cpma

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#8
Thank you for the Feedback. I repeated the measurements with the microphone set exactly to the height of the tweeters of the canton and genelec.
Also the position for both loadspeakers was exactly the same.

Canton - Green Line (3 measurements 1/12 smoothing)
Genelec - Blue Line (3 measurements 1/12 smoothing)

View attachment 88287

Now they both look subjectively quiet evenly good / bad.

@aarons915 Not in a serious manner. It is planed for tomorrow. Some days ago I switched between them both and could not hear a great difference.

@q3cpma Now microphone and the tweeters of the genelecs are matched height wise. Shouldn't I expect no Dip now at around 3 kHz like on the graph you posted?
In the far/diffuse field, the 8030C's power response will produce a dip in most situations, though the PIR in amir's review doesn't show it as this severe.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #9
@Tangband I want to optimize for my listening position. The position of the microphone will be my new main listening position when the couch will move 40 cm forward. Maybe the room is advantegous for the cantons and disadvantageous for the genelec. But I will also do the measurement you proposed.

@GD Fan Yes I will use Dirac later on when my second subwoofer will arrive. For the measurements I did not use any subwoofer. Unfortunately I can't test the Canton at the moment with Dirac.
 

Tangband

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#10
@Tangband I want to optimize for my listening position. The position of the microphone will be my new main listening position when the couch will move 40 cm forward. Maybe the room is advantegous for the cantons and disadvantageous for the genelec. But I will also do the measurement you proposed.

@GD Fan Yes I will use Dirac later on when my second subwoofer will arrive. For the measurements I did not use any subwoofer. Unfortunately I can't test the Canton at the moment with Dirac.
I´m afraid you can´t measure 4 or 5 meters away from two loudspeakers and get a result that compairs with what the ear/brain hears, - the precendence effect kicks in from distances longer than 1,7 meter ( the brain starts selecting sounds ) and you get comb effects if you measure two loudspeakers at the same time with one mic.

You can try different measurements distances ( its fun to learn ) and I´m sure you soon will find out that 1 meter compares very well with Amirms measurements of Genelec 8030c.
 
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Thread Starter #11
@Tangband I did the measurements you proposed. Microphone perfectly on axis with tweeter - only on loudspeaker - 1m away.

Red Curve: Canton
Blue Curve: Genelec

Results:

rew3.jpg


I am still not sure if I get your point. If I want to optimize / compare two loudspeakers in my specific room scenario and listening position I should not measure at the listening position (and not 1 m away from the loudspeaker)? The microphone in the first picture is only 2m away from the speakers. The room is smaller then it seems.
 
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Tangband

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#12
@Tangband I did the measurements you proposed. Microphone perfectly on axis with tweeter - only on loudspeaker - 1m away.

Red Curve: Canton
Blue Curve: Genelec

Results:

View attachment 88290

I am still not sure if I get your point. If I want to optimize / compare two loudspeakers in my specific room scenario and listening position I should not measure at the listening position (and not 1 m away from the loudspeaker)? The microphone in the first picture is only 2m away from the speakers. The room is smaller then it seems.
Better !
You have to read and learn about the precedence effekt and critical distance. This is two things that separates the mic - ear/brain, functioning entirely different.

At first - forget about measuring two loudspeakers at the same time. You get comb filtering effects that destroys your measurements.
Nummer two - get a proper mic stand, the measurements are showing reflections from the box you have underneath the mic.
Number three - what kind of measurement signal are you using ? Sinesweep or puls with gating ?
Number three - use professional standard for the window when you are measuring, - it should be 50 dB. You have it on 65 dB now.
Number four - put the window to frequencies 200-20000 Hz . You dont get a reliable measurement results below schröder frequensies in a room.
At the time you get the same measuring results as Amirms , you will know that you are measuring the loudspeaker in the right way.
 
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pierre

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#13
The Genelec is a near field monitor. You are paying extra to get marginally better results than the Canton (after room correction). You should listen to them at max 1m or 1.5m and optimize the room a bit in order to be able to hear a difference. I think that after aligning the freq response, you will have a hard time to hear a difference in the sweet spot.
moving on the side from the sweet spot the genelec is possibly slightly smoother but you will start to hear the timing difference.

when Dirac is configured please share with us the freq response and if you hear a difference.
 
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Thread Starter #14
@aarons915

"Critical" Listening Test
  • I brought the couch 40 cm to the front - listening distance 2m to each of the loadspeaker - both pairs are spaced 1.75 m apart
  • I put all loudspeakers at ear height
  • I spaced them equally that none has an advantage by a wider stance
  • I played some well recorded songs via Tidal (Mars Bringer of war, Chapman - Fast Car, Grimes - Realiti, Johnny Cash - Hurt, Yosi - Bubbles, ...)
  • I could switch instantly between both systems by the windows sound control panel
  • I played them both at 75 db at listening position
Results
They sound equally good to my ears. They are distinguishable due to the brighter sound of the canton. I can not identify a favorite. The genelecs sound in comparison to the cantons like played underwater due to a slightly more boomy bass (could be positioning since the left genelec is the closest to the room corner) and less spl in the high frequencies. On some instances this can sound better - but this is just taste - if the music was differently mixed then it would be vice versa. Both loudspeakers showed no difference in sound stage or imaging details (e.g. in Yosi Horikawa - Bubbles) Take my results with a grain of salt since I have surely no golden ears. I only reach barely average results in the most ABX tests for distortion or lossless vs lossy formats (even with good in-ear monitors).

After all i have to come to the following conclusions:
They sound equally good, and they measure equally good -> they are equally good (in my setting - small room - 2m listening distance) I really wished that the genelecs would be better since I bought them with the thought to "upgrade" my system. A lot of knowledge people in this forum are buying genelec near field monitors as their main loudspeakers since the common sentiment seems to be that this way you get the best bang for the buck. I admit mostly they buy bigger ones: 8X5X or 8X6X. But this is in my understanding only to deliver the spl and low distortion necessary for bigger listening distances ~4-5 m. On a second look it is not completely unbelievably that both sound similar since they are quit similar: Both compact speakers, both have waveguides for the tweeters, both have dome tweeter, the diameter of the woofers are comparable, ...)

Additional Notes:
  • I am sure that in the extreme near field (~1m) the genelecs have a better dispersion of sound over all frequencies - but this is not of interest in my scenario
  • @Tangband Thanks for the infos - I did indeed not know this affect, which is for sure present in my small room. The influences of my room are quiet severe since the room is small and only midely treated - But this affected both speakers in all measurements equally (in the test for at listening positions as well as the single speaker test from 1m distance) I am sure if I conduct the measurements in a anechoic chamber myself I will get results comparable to Arnim.
  • An interesting experiment would be to equalize the genelecs to have a similar spl as the cantons and compare them in a listening test. Maybe they are completely indistinguishable / transparent for me?
Maybe I resell the Genelecs or they will move onto my desktop and I will upgrade my main system when I move to a bigger place the next years ;)
Are my thoughts sound or do you have some ideas regarding some additional tests / explanations?

Regards
Dominik
 

Hephaestus

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#15
It is not just lower distortion and higher SPL bigger models offer - direct sound dominance extends to longer distance.
 

sfdoddsy

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#16
Based on the measurements you've done, they shouldn't sound the same. They certainly don't measure equally good. The Genelec is far closer to neutral. The Canton should sound noticeably brighter.

They do measure almost identically below 600hz, which is obviously where your room modes take over.

Your comment that they sound equally good is where it gets interesting.

The Harman curve and associated rating that is discussed so often here is not a measure of accuracy. It is a curve that correlates to what most (not all) people like. And most people do not like neutral speakers. With boosted bass and sloping treble is most definitely preference, not reference.

The Genelec is definitely more accurate than the Canton, but your comment that you find each equally good is just as valid as those who swear by the Harman curve, and those (like Amirm) who use it as a reference but don't necessarily like speakers that hew closely to it.

It depends on your aim.

If you want speakers that come close to revealing the engineers intent, then the Genelecs likely do that better than the Cantons.

But if, instead, you want speakers that you enjoy listening to, and your preference is for a livelier sound, then don't feel guilty about liking the Cantons.

Much as I love this forum, I'm always somewhat bemused by the flexible devotion to science here.

We demand objective purity (flat, distortion-free response) from our amps, and then deliberately design or EQ our speakers to match a subjective standard whose scientific rationale is 'most people like it'.

I personally am not a fan of the boosted bass of the Harman curve and EQ my speakers flat at the bottom end. I don't EQ the top but prefer a little more sparkle than the Curve provides..

Hence why I prefer the objectively less accurate open baffles in my man room to the more approved response of the big boxes in the living room.

What I'd really like is speakers that sound as accurate and transparent as my headphone (HD580s).
 

q3cpma

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#17
While I don't think the 8030C is comparable to a speaker twice its size with a 7" woofer, have you tried pushing it to 85~90 dB? The ultra low distortion from the 8030C may give it the edge (if the Canton is massively inferior on that front).
 

richard12511

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#18
Hi all,

due to the fantastic measurement results of the Genelec 8030C I ordered them in order to upgrade my current system. Today I made some measurements in order to compare the new to my old system. The results show that the old system is at least in the current room set up better - which is a big surprise to me.

Old System: PC -> HDMI -> TV -> SPDIF -> No Name DAC -> rca -> Rotel RA-935BX Amplifier-> Canton Fonum 300 (Y: 2001)
(I have a special version / limited edition of the Canton Fonum 300 - I can find unfortunately find absolute no information on this version )
Costs: ~300€ (used bought over ebay) comparable new price ~1000€ (hard to say due to inflation)

New System: PC -> USB -> MiniDSP DDRC-24 (No EQ or Dirac activated) -> rca / xlr -> Genelec 8030C RAW
Costs: ~1600€ (Genelecs + Minidsp)

Here my Setup (Excuse the mess ;) ):
View attachment 88272

Measurements
  • Genelec on top of canton 5 cm distance to backwall (showed in image) - Red Curve
  • Canton Fonum 300 (showed in image) - Blue Curve
  • Genelec on top of canton 20 cm distance to backwall - Green Curve
  • Genelec on side board - tweeter on same height as canton - Brown Curve
Results
View attachment 88273

You can see that the the Canton (blue line) (beside the dip between 100 and 200 Hz) has clearly a more smooth SPL curve than the Genelecs. Even when looking at the distortion graphs the Cantons are equal or better. You can find the measurements attached to this post if you want a look for yourself.

Question(s)
Am I missing something here or are these loudspeakers (Canton) just that good? (which surprises me due to their price and age)
Or is there something wrong with my Genelec Chain?

Thanks in advance for any type of input ;)
Regards
Dominik
The Genelecs look better(more neutral) to my eye. A good, neutral loudspeaker will have a downward sloping curve like you see with the Red/Green/Brown curve. The blue curve is very flat from 70-20,000Hz, which is bad(not neutral). Not terrible, but the Canton definitely looks like it might be too bright, anechoically.

What distance are you measuring from.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #19
The Genelec is far closer to neutral.
I have to disagree. From a visual subjective standpoint I was sure that the cantons are overall a little bit more smooth. So I calculated some metrics between 100Hz and 20000Hz with the target spl of 70 db. Note that the target curve is just a flat line at 70db (which both systems levels were with full spectrum pink noise):

Canton 1m measurement distance (only one speaker)
RMS between given SPL curve and target spl value is 1.951045 db
Mean error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 1.546171 db
Max error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 4.218000 db
Min error between given SPL curve and target spl value is -7.432000 db

Genelec 1m measurement distance (only one speaker)
RMS between given SPL curve and target spl value is 3.098529 db
Mean error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 2.962741 db
Max error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 3.790000 db
Min error between given SPL curve and target spl value is -6.199000 db

Canton Main Listerning Position
RMS between given SPL curve and target spl value is 2.041496 db
Mean error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 1.726786 db
Max error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 7.979000 db
Min error between given SPL curve and target spl value is -4.857000 db

Genelec Main Listening Position
RMS between given SPL curve and target spl value is 6.043258 db
Mean error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 5.309229 db
Max error between given SPL curve and target spl value is 7.410000 db
Min error between given SPL curve and target spl value is -11.313000 db

I (hopefully) never said they sound the same ;) The Canton sound brighter. But the Cantons are more linear. At least in both measurement scenarios (see numbers above). And thus the sound the Cantons produce in my room are nearer at the intend of the artist since the music is mixed in a studio with linear target curve I guess? I am not so sure any more :)

My strong guess is that the higher pitched cantons balance the damping effects on higher frequencies in in room responses and thus would perform worse in an anechoic chamber where the Genelecs would perform assumable linear.

I attached the python script I wrote for this - maybe someone can use it in the future - you just has to export the rew measurement as text and then call "python rew_spl_analyzer.txt [measurement_file] [target_spl] [start_frequency] [stop_frequency]" (You have to install python obviously ;) )
 

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Thread Starter #20
While I don't think the 8030C is comparable to a speaker twice its size with a 7" woofer, have you tried pushing it to 85~90 dB? The ultra low distortion from the 8030C may give it the edge (if the Canton is massively inferior on that front).
The levels were 75 at MLP (2m distance) so 81 db at 1m from the speakers. I dont want to go louder due to my neighbours. At this levels the THD of the canton were equal or slightly better then the genelecs. But maybe I try it with some db more the next days ;)
 

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