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Genelec 8320a Review (Powered Monitor)

GWolfman

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I somewhat agree.....except......

$1,200 a pair, takes it way out of the realm of "Just a small 4" woofer" in a speaker.

Not saying they compare for real, but I have owned cheapo shelf systems, with 4" woofers that could do loud deep bass, and cost very little.
Maybe expectations are different when $1,200 is spent.
But the real benefit is when you stick that decent speaker in an unknown or crappy room, the it hits the fan. I don't listen in an anechoic chamber. These, with GLM, and you get accurate sound regardless of the room (there are extreme exceptions of course).
 
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GWolfman

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Consider two things here.
1, the cost. They're $1250 a pair new.
2, the competition. Neumann KH80s are right around the same price point (maybe a bit cheaper, even) and their distortion performance is far better.
But how do they sound in an untreated room (i.e., your listening environment)? That's what really matters.
 
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Lots of comparisons between the KH80 and these, while I only heard the 8020, I assume it's the same sans dsp. It was just plain better than the KH80 to my ears. The difference is in the cabinet, the KH80 vibrates a lot, while the genelec barely does at all. Cast metal vs. Plastic. Long term the KH80 look to have the potential issue of the cabinet leaking, some users already complained about this. No way to really fix it either as it's held in by clips all around + two screws at the bottom.

I also think genelecs rubber feet do an amazing job at isolating the speaker. On some K&M stands, with little rubber feet it comes with + KH80, a ton of energy was transferred into the stands then to my desk, lots of vibrations. 8020 hardly sent any energy into the stands and desk, it's impressive how well those feet work.
 

richard12511

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@Spocko , I'll be curious to hear your impressions about using these as heights. Right now I'm torn between these and the 8330 for heights to complete my 8351b Auro3D setup. I'm not concerned with sound quality of the height channels, but more so volume limitations. Given that the front heights are actually further away than the front mains, I'm unsure of just how dynamic they need to be for music/movies.
 

ezra_s

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Sometimes I wish I had more money to be able to try out these little guys. Such impressive measurements for such a small thing.
 

Spocko

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@Spocko , I'll be curious to hear your impressions about using these as heights. Right now I'm torn between these and the 8330 for heights to complete my 8351b Auro3D setup. I'm not concerned with sound quality of the height channels, but more so volume limitations. Given that the front heights are actually further away than the front mains, I'm unsure of just how dynamic they need to be for music/movies.
Exactly my concern too! My ceiling is 8 ft. high, my ear level is about 50 inches from the speaker, so when angled 30 degrees (just above my L/C/R) that makes the 8320a about 8.5 ft away (2.6m). For me to get 86dB at my listening position and peaks above 90dB, I would have to increase the SPL at 1 meter to at least 96 dB and now that we get these measurements from Amir:
Screenshot 2021-06-01 060351.png

I have grave doubts that these speakers can handle it. On Genelec's website, the specs show that the peaks are capable of 107 dB at 1m; knowing that I would cut them off below 120Hz, I originally figured it was OK because I should easily get 86dB based on those peaks right? But of course I wanted verification of capability up to 96 dB so I sent @amirm both the 8320 and 8330.

Sadly, what I'm seeing here is that tweeter compression hits hard above 10kHz while distortion shoots through the roof below 1kHz. In real world terms, I'm possibly losing ambient cues relating to the "air" and "hiss" from flying jet fighters or screaming dragons overhead ("The brilliance range is composed entirely of harmonics and is responsible for sparkle and air of a sound. Boost around 12 kHz makes a recording sound more Hi-Fi"). I'm not as bothered by the distortion above 120Hz although not happy about it. I've asked Trinnov if the Alt16 provides frequency bandwidth information per channel channel so I can see if I'm losing audible information but they said No (not yet? I'm going to try to lobby for this if it's not already in development).

It is these measuremenst that makes ASR so valuable for speaker selection - I never would have known the limits of the 8320a if I relied only on Genelec's "peak 107 dB" rating. I'm hoping the 8330a measure better because Genelec rates them at 110dB at 1m - fingers crossed!

Edit: I do have 8040a Genelecs I could use, but I'm not a fan of hanging 20lb. speakers from the ceiling and may have to go with lighter passive speakers that I can drive harder.
 
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Trell

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Exactly my concern too! My ceiling is 8 ft. high, my ear level is about 50 inches from the speaker, so when angled 30 degrees and placed just above my L/C/R that makes the 8320a about 8.5 ft away (2.6m). For me to get 86dB at my listening position and peaks above 90dB, I would have to increase the SPL at 1 meter to at least 96 dB and now that we get these measurements from Amir:
View attachment 133141
I have grave doubts that these speakers can handle it. On Genelec's website, the specs show that the peaks are capable of 107 dB at 1m; knowing that I would cut them off below 120Hz, I originally figured it was OK because I should easily get 86dB based on those peaks right? But of course I wanted verification of capability up to 96 dB so I sent @amirm both the 8320 and 8330.

Sadly, what I'm seeing here is that tweeter compression hits hard above 10kHz while distortion shoots through the roof below 1kHz. In real world terms, I'm possibly losing ambient cues relating to the "air" and "hiss" from flying jet fighters or screaming dragons overhead ("The brilliance range is composed entirely of harmonics and is responsible for sparkle and air of a sound. Boost around 12 kHz makes a recording sound more Hi-Fi"). I'm not as bothered by the distortion above 120Hz although not happy about it. I've asked Trinnov if the Alt16 provides frequency bandwidth information per channel channel so I can see if I'm losing audible information but they said No (not yet? I'm going to try to lobby for this if it's not already in development).

It is these measuremenst that makes ASR so valuable for speaker selection - I never would have known the limits of the 8320a if I relied only on Genelec's "peak 107 dB" rating. I'm hoping the 8330a measure better because Genelec rates them at 110dB at 1m - fingers crossed!

From the review of the 8030C I've good expectations that your 8330A measures well:

1622554838983.png
 

markb

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Sometimes I wish I had more money to be able to try out these little guys. Such impressive measurements for such a small thing.

The analog-only (and cheaper) Genelec 80xx series in can be bought second hand fairly easily, typically around half the price while still in great nick. They tend to last a long time and aren’t easily damaged, so not a lot of risk there even for quite old units.
 

Blake Klondike

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This is great-- always excited to see Genelec measurements! Do we have any idea how a ca. 2014 pair of 8020B without room correction option would compare? Any thoughts on a good room correction solution for the 8020b?
 

TurtlePaul

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Sadly, what I'm seeing here is that tweeter compression hits hard above 10kHz while distortion shoots through the roof below 1kHz. In real world terms, I'm possibly losing ambient cues relating to the "air" and "hiss" from flying jet fighters or screaming dragons overhead ("The brilliance range is composed entirely of harmonics and is responsible for sparkle and air of a sound. Boost around 12 kHz makes a recording sound more Hi-Fi"). I'm not as bothered by the distortion above 120Hz although not happy about it. I've asked Trinnov if the Alt16 provides frequency bandwidth information per channel channel so I can see if I'm losing audible information but they said No (not yet? I'm going to try to lobby for this if it's not already in development).

I disagree. I don't think that you are losing any air. Realistically, the limiter kicking in above 10 kHz with a 96 dB test tone is fine because the sound power of just about any music will be well lower in this range than the overall loudness level. Pretty much everything in the brilliance range is harmonics, which almost by definition is much lower in power than the fundamental tones creating it in the 5-10 kHz range or below.

If you turn up the volume to where the brilliance is 96 dB you will find that the bass notes and midrange are 110 dB+ (which this speaker can't do at any frequency). You need your speakers to be able to make 'maximum output' from bass through the midrange to about 5 kHz. Above that, it is really true that 'life is in the midrange' and you need almost no power handling capacity above this level.

I would be more concerned about the distortion at 50-80 Hz. This speaker really can't go that low and demands a sub, but it is trying.
 

Spocko

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I disagree. I don't think that you are losing any air. Realistically, the limiter kicking in above 10 kHz with a 96 dB test tone is fine because the sound power of just about any music will be well lower in this range than the overall loudness level. Pretty much everything in the brilliance range is harmonics, which almost by definition is much lower in power than the fundamental tones creating it in the 5-10 kHz range or below.

If you turn up the volume to where the brilliance is 96 dB you will find that the bass notes and midrange are 110 dB+ (which this speaker can't do at any frequency). You need your speakers to be able to make 'maximum output' from bass through the midrange to about 5 kHz. Above that, it is really true that 'life is in the midrange' and you need almost no power handling capacity above this level.

I would be more concerned about the distortion at 50-80 Hz. This speaker really can't go that low and demands a sub, but it is trying.
whew! Thanks for that
 

Sancus

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Exactly my concern too! My ceiling is 8 ft. high, my ear level is about 50 inches from the speaker, so when angled 30 degrees (just above my L/C/R) that makes the 8320a about 8.5 ft away (2.6m). For me to get 86dB at my listening position and peaks above 90dB, I would have to increase the SPL at 1 meter to at least 96 dB and now that we get these measurements from Amir:

Speaking as someone with small KH80s for heights, I don't think there's likely to be any issues in high frequency. I am 99% sure limiting will happen due to sound in the 100-500hz range. The typical room only loses about 3-4dB per doubling of distance, per Floyd Toole. Going from 1m -> 2.6m will only produce 4-5dB less SPL, so 86dB would only require 90-91dB.

That said, I am quite sure these 4" woofer speakers cannot handle reference level peaks in the mid-bass. That would affect things like the ubiquitous helicopter sounds.

Personally that's not a major concern of mine since I rarely if ever listen at reference level, but it would be a reason to go with the 8330A instead. If I ever bother to replace my KH80s with Genelecs to match my whole set(it was built piecemeal, originally...) I will probably go with the 8330As. At 12lbs, they're not too hard to height mount IMO. But.... I consider that an extremely low priority upgrade lol.
 

Spocko

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Speaking as someone with small KH80s for heights, I don't think there's likely to be any issues in high frequency. I am 99% sure limiting will happen due to sound in the 100-500hz range. The typical room only loses about 3-4dB per doubling of distance, per Floyd Toole. Going from 1m -> 2.6m will only produce 4-5dB less SPL, so 86dB would only require 90-91dB.

That said, I am quite sure these 4" woofer speakers cannot handle reference level peaks in the mid-bass. That would affect things like the ubiquitous helicopter sounds.
Agreed as I plan to cross these over at 120Hz I should be ok from what you’ve said.
 
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amirm

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Realistically, the limiter kicking in above 10 kHz with a 96 dB test tone is fine because the sound power of just about any music will be well lower in this range than the overall loudness level.
Indeed. I wear hearing protection for these sweeps as the highs are quite loud and damaging to hearing.
 

infinitesymphony

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I found it. There is an 8320A sitting on top of the subwoofer. I still wonder what it's for though.
View attachment 132932

EDIT: nvm, it says in the article: "Additionally, an 8320A compact two-way nearfield monitor sits atop the 7380A, to provide an upwards frequency extension above 120 Hz. This acts as a checkpoint into the true content of the LFE channel before it is distributed."
I keep repeating this sentence in my head and no meaning is forming. A checkpoint... into the true content... of the LFE channel. So, it adds frequencies above 100 Hz for localization purposes? Or it's used to confirm that the LFE channel only has LFE information?
 

Trell

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daftcombo

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Indeed. I wear hearing protection for these sweeps as the highs are quite loud and damaging to hearing.
If one wants to test, go here to this tone generator;
https://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/
Reduce the volume first, start at 100 Hz and slowly increase frequency. It will soon be unbearable.

That's also why pink noise is used rather than white noise I guess.
 

Sancus

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I keep repeating this sentence in my head and no meaning is forming. A checkpoint... into the true content... of the LFE channel. So, it adds frequencies above 100 Hz for localization purposes? Or it's used to confirm that the LFE channel only has LFE information?

He explains in detail in this video. It's because they're mastering, so they need to know if there's content above 120hz in the channel. Presumably so they can get rid of it. In a consumer situation there is no need for it.
 
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