This impressive setup combines point‑source technology, advanced loudspeaker management DSP and a powerful new bass extension system. Is this the state of the art in studio monitoring?
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Following my time with the 8351B at home, I decamped to Metropolis Studios to hear the combination of the 8351B and W371A in the Studio B control room. The system had been previously set up by Genelec, with GLM 4.1 configured to provide a few system response and dispersion options. Of course, being dropped into a less familiar environment to listen to an unusual monitoring system makes any definitive conclusion difficult to draw. Having said that, however, the experience left me with little doubt that the 8351B/W371A system is extraordinary. Bass bandwidth and level available from the W371A seemed subjectively unlimited, perfectly integrated with the midrange, and flawless in terms of pitch and dynamics. I listened to a wide variety of old favourites via Tidal, a couple of which I’d both mixed and played bass on, and heard countless elements that I’d simply never previously noticed: everything from new perspectives on how, say, reverbs integrate with the stereo image, to hearing significant instrumental or vocal performance details that I’d simply never been aware of before. It was seriously addictive.