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Genelec 8361A Review (Powered Monitor)

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sarumbear

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The precedence effect is not an effect that you can be without . Its a reality in how the brain selects sound. But maybe that was what you ment ?
Yes
The walls can be used as an ”effect” in 2 channel reproduction where 20 ms delayed reflections, both in purist 2 channel recordings in a real concert hall and at home when listening in a big room, can fill up the flawed stereo-system and making the illusion somewhat bigger. This is ofcourse an effect , desired or not.


”The precedence effect can be employed to increase the perception of ambience during the playback of stereo recordings.[11] If two speakers are placed to the left and right of the listener (in addition to the main speakers), and fed with the program material delayed by 10 to 20 milliseconds, the random-phase ambience components of the sound will become sufficiently decorrelated that they cannot be localized. This effectively extracts the recording's existing ambience, while leaving its foreground "direct" sounds still appearing to come from the front.[12][13]
That is what stereo to surround processing tries to do but you are talking about ambience, which only exists in classical recordings that are recoded live. I have clearly said that I am not talking about them. The 99.99% of recordings on the market are recorded with close mikes to multi-track recorders where tracks are recoded at different times. There is no ambience on any of them!
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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  • A significant amount of the US price is margin, Genelec obviously realizes they can charge more in certain markets, so they do. You were able to get them for about $4K USD/€3.5K in Canada at one point($4250 currently), and I assume this price still allowed for a pretty good dealer margin.
  • The drivers are all custom in-house designed and produced, in addition to the R&D for the waveguide, the cabinet, and the overall speaker.
  • Genelec builds these speakers in Finland and presumably pays an appropriate wage for their workers in that country. This alone probably adds a large amount of cost.
  • In addition to normal QC, the speakers are thoroughly measured and the response of each speaker is corrected to match all the others. So there is no pair matching -- all 8361As match all other 8361As to a high degree of precision. Neumann does this as well, FWIW.
  • They include a DAC, 1000W of amplification, and a DSP system.
  • Genelec develops their own software in-house for GLM and other functions. This is also a cost center, I suspect, software development is *expensive* especially if you want it to be any good, and GLM is quite good.
  • Genelec is famous for their reliability and they maintain parts stocks and repair monitors for 20+ years.
Could you do the same thing cheaper? Sure, cut all the software and repair availability and build it in China. It's going to be very hard to maintain the same level of quality, and it's also probably hard to get cast aluminum cases this big done properly too.

But then, why WOULD you sell that product for much less? It's not like there are competitors beating this speaker at much lower prices. So there isn't really any incentive to sell for less.

Personally I think the pricing is very fair especially compared to many hi-fi products.

So, maybe cut out the DSP and the DAC(a). With a speaker this good, and this room-friendly, the DSP might be seen as an optional extra, which potential owners might have anyway.

DAC? Easy to get one that’s transparent to the source for not much over €100.

I’m not saying this isn't a fair price. Just wondering how it might be done more cheaply.
 

pozz

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Gulbenkian, CCB and Coliseu in Lisbon, Casa da Música in Porto, Sheldonian in Oxford, ROH in London.
Hard to say. There's no straightforward documentation of the history of each hall. According to a paper on its design, the first one you mention had reinforcement and hidden mics installed for the orchestra pit as early as 1977. But it was also recently renovated, and who knows what was done there or what happened in the interim.

I'm sure there are plenty of spaces where you can hear music without active amplification. Regardless, there's more at work in halls than most would like to admit, and this natural vs. synthetic divide helps no one understand sound or, I would argue, one's own personal preference.

Edit: Attached paper for reference.
 

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amper42

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So, maybe cut out the DSP and the DAC(a). With a speaker this good, and this room-friendly, the DSP might be seen as an optional extra, which potential owners might have anyway.

DAC? Easy to get one that’s transparent to the source for not much over €100.

I’m not saying this isn't a fair price. Just wondering how it might be done more cheaply.

More likely after the ASR review the Genelec 8361A speakers will sell out and be on backorder for $1000 more. :D:facepalm::p

 

pozz

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Screenshot_20211115-075748_Chrome.jpg


Only testing I could find for max SPL of the Salon2 is here: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/revels-salon2-super-speaker-model-page-2

Roughly comparable according to these numbers.

@richard12511 @tktran303
 

thewas

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Screenshot_20211115-075748_Chrome.jpg

Only testing I could find for max SPL of the Salon2 is here: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/revels-salon2-super-speaker-model-page-2

Roughly comparable according to these numbers.
Prof. Goertz who does the S&R measurement has also measured a large passive hifi loudspeaker which maybe more comparable to the Revel, namely the B&W 800 D3:

9-Bowers-Wilkins-BW-800-D3-maximaler-Pegel-1024x683.jpg

source: https://www.fidelity-online.de/bowers-wilkins-800-d3-messungen/

The red curve is for max 3% and the blue one for 1% so both red lines can be compared (please beware that also the x-axis limit are different), giving a the B&W a higher max SPL in the bass where it matters most.
 

Bombadil

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i am looking into buying a 8340 which also have the option of wiring via XLR analog and digital (AES/EBU). what i've found out so far, some parts already mentioned by others.

mix and match analog/digital

internet -> streamer -> digital out (spdif, coax/toslink) -> converters/cables -> XLR AES (genelec, possible resistance problems(?), e.g. 75 vs 110 ohm)

internet -> streamer -> digital out (spdif, coax/toslink) -> DAC -> analog XLR out -> analog XLR (genelec)

pure digital (not sure ... hope so)

internet -> streamer (e.g. "pure" raspberry pi) -> usb -> something like this -> XLR AES (genelec)

internet -> streamer (e.g. raspberry pi + AES hat like this) -> XLR AES (genelec)

internet -> streamer like minidsp studio or this -> XLR AES (genelec)

be aware of the following points
  • the genelec have a dac, from what i've read this will be part of either chain (analog/digital)
    • if input is analog it will be converted to digital, which will be some superfluous A/D conversions
  • you can feed analog and digital signals to the genelecs which can be volume controlled by the head unit depending on the settings
    • some say this will be inferior as the signal is digitally modified before it is send to the speakers (i doubt that i would be able to hear this(?))
  • if you feed the full level signal (not volume controlled) to the genelecs you can volume control via
    • attached (extra) volume knob attached to the GLM kit which needs to be permanently wired
    • attached LAN laptop/pc and GLM software
  • i had a chat about all the different options with a technical support guy from thomann here is my take away and what he suggested
    • i won't probably hear a difference anyway because my speakers are not placed ideally and the source material is also very important
    • start with the option you already have in place and try other options at a later stage
      • in my case i have a yamaha wxc-50 that i will wire via preamp mode rca out to (analog) xlr with these cables
so, as always in life ... tooo many options :) unfortunately, the "all-digital" route is more expensive and more hassle (extra volume knob, GLM kit attached) in my view and not the family friendliest (kids/wife need to be able to volume control).

cheers from hamburg/germany
I know the feeling! I feel that when we buy expensive high performance gear we should use the best possible connections. I found this on the Genelec support site regarding optimum connection to their monitors via spdif:



"SAM-series can be connected to a SPDIF directly, with noticing some limitations.

To connect Genelec Digital (SAM) monitors to audio source S/PDIF connector, it is recommended to use Digital cable with specification below:

AES-EBU:
Characteristic impedance: 110 Ω
Cable type: Twisted pair cable intended for AES-EBU digital audio transmission
Connectors: XLR (male) - XLR (female)


As this cable is XLR-XLR cable, you would also need an simple XLR-RCA adapter to get the cable connected to the SPDIF connector in your sound source.

Limitations:

The S/PDIF signal voltage is a fraction of that in the AES/EBU. Also, S/PDIF is not a differential transmission line, making it more prone to external disturbance. S/PDIF has not been designed for long distances in the same ways as the AES/EBU link has. We recommend to keep the cable lenght less than 8 meter when using 110Ω cable.

What is the best method to connect SAM-monitors to S/PDIF?

To use Genelec Digital monitors with S/PDIF input signals, best method is to use impedance matching converters (available for example from Neutrik) and short cable lengths because the S/PDIF link is not designed to travel long distances. The Neutrik converter takes care of the fact that the terminating impedance of S/PDIF is 75 ohms and that of AES/EBU is 110 ohms. This is the most robust solution to connect our SAM-monitors directly to S/PDIF."

I asked the folks at Blue Jeans cable about spdif to XLR connections in general, as I noted they did not carry these cables/adapters on their web site. I got this response:

"Unfortunately it's more complicated than that. Since a balanced input is looking for a particular voltage and impedance, running an unbalanced signal can be problematic in a number of ways. Best case scenario here would be that is works about as well as running an unbalanced signal, with a higher noise floor. The way to do this correctly is with a balun or 'DI box' that would match the voltage and impedance. You could also choose to have a custom cable built, but we highly encourage that you get wiring information from Genelec about running an unbalanced signal into their balanced input circuit."

I have concluded that for me, I want to run fully balanced connections, as advised by Genelec (and Benchmark and others) so I will either run balanced from my DAC or find a component with an XLR digital output. I realize there will likely not be an audible benefit but there will clearly be a psychological one, lol.

PS- Genelec recommends volume control via their GLM program rather than the digital control in the source component. But as you've said all of these things may or may not be audible. Cheers from California, would appreciate hearing more about your experience.
 

Frgirard

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Yes

That is what stereo to surround processing tries to do but you are talking about ambience, which only exists in classical recordings that are recoded live. I have clearly said that I am not talking about them. The 99.99% of recordings on the market are recorded with close mikes to multi-track recorders where tracks are recoded at different times. There is no ambience on any of them!
99.99 %. You are exaggerating a lot. It is not because the business which represents 90% of sales represents 90% of productions. Classical music, world music ... we are very far from the world you describe
 

Cadguy

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Arthur that is the 64thousand euro question, I did approach ’Source’ but seemingly they are not keen, in the U.K. the Genelec distributor is also a Genelec retailer, a very fine arrangement no doubt for Source/HHB but not so good for other would be Genelec retailers.
Keith
In Canada a pair of Genelec 8361s retail for $10,700 cad, a pair of Kii3s retail for $20,400 cad. You may not be able to answer this question but what would you conjecture to be the advantages of the Kii3s over the 8361s? (In a midfield domestic application where very high SPLs are not required)
 

Bombadil

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You can send a digital signal with volume regulation from the Yamaha wxc50 to your Genelecs. This will sound better than using the analog outputs from the Yamaha.

Theres a lot already written about digital connection in this thread but people dont seem to read it . You can go fully digital cheaper than analog and with better sound . Read the thread please:).

Start here :
"You can send a digital signal with volume regulation from the Yamaha wxc50 to your Genelecs. This will sound better than using the analog outputs from the Yamaha."
Curious why you think this; I realize the analog outs will result in more conversion activity in the speakers but is there evidence that this causes an audible difference? and btw, I have read the thread.
 

dshreter

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"You can send a digital signal with volume regulation from the Yamaha wxc50 to your Genelecs. This will sound better than using the analog outputs from the Yamaha."
Curious why you think this; I realize the analog outs will result in more conversion activity in the speakers but is there evidence that this causes an audible difference? and btw, I have read the thread.
If you want to be pedantic, it will sound at least as good if not better. You're right that the ADC / DAC stages are likely audibly transparent, but there's no reason not to optimize the use of any gear you already have.
 

richard12511

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View attachment 165599

Only testing I could find for max SPL of the Salon2 is here: https://www.soundandvision.com/content/revels-salon2-super-speaker-model-page-2

Roughly comparable according to these numbers.

@richard12511 @tktran303
Thanks,

I think I lead the discussion astray with this power handling and "short term peak" spl talk. Thinking about it last night, there is no way it means what I was thinking it means. I was thinking "how loud can it play" as sorta similar to the compression testing that Erin does with his reviews. That is, keep sweeping at louder and louder volumes until compression starts to set in beyond some particular threshold. Last night I realized why it couldn't be that:

1. Amir's test at 106dB already showed some compression of the tweeter
2. Having some reference of subwoofer size and CEA-2010 numbers, I can't see any way that two 8.5" woofers could produce 118dB with any sort of reasonable compression threshold.

The graph you posted is perfect for answering the question I had in mind. That's the kinda graph I'd like to see more manufacturers and reviewers make for the loudspeakers they produce/review. That gives you a great idea of which speaker will play louder based on your situation(subs vs no subs, taste in music, etc.) I was assuming(based on power, excursion, and typical music spectrums) that the bass is going to always be the limiting factor. Yes, the Salon2 has more woofage, and a much larger cabinet, but it also has way more extension(-3dB) ~23Hz vs ~33Hz, which is a substantial difference. Getting 23Hz to the same volume as 33Hz takes a lot more displacement. It wasn't immediately obvious(at least not as obvious as it was to tktran) that the Salon2 would be able to play both 10Hz deeper, and much louder. I was thinking it would actually be a pretty close race. I brought up the F328Be, because that's a speaker that has almost as much displacement as the Salon2, but is similar to the 8361 in terms of extension. To me, that's a speaker that should be able to play much louder, because if its combination of woofage, cabinet size, and extension.
 

Bombadil

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If you want to be pedantic, it will sound at least as good if not better. You're right that the ADC / DAC stages are likely audibly transparent, but there's no reason not to optimize the use of any gear you already have.
agreed, so if the decision is spdif from source to digital XLR input vs analog XLR output to analog XLR input? Probably depends on how we feel about XLR vs spdif in general. Likely no audible difference either way.
 

sarumbear

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99.99 %. You are exaggerating a lot. It is not because the business which represents 90% of sales represents 90% of productions. Classical music, world music ... we are very far from the world you describe
Am I? It is widely known that classical music market is 5% and classical streaming is 1% and what percentage of it is live recording?

In order for a recording to be listened to it has to be paid for…
 
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HooStat

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there's no reason not to optimize the use of any gear you already have
There are definitely reasons. The primary one being that it isn't easy to wirelessly control GLM (and hence power and volume). And if you already have a great DAC (which is most recent DACs), why bother with the hassle?
 

Laserjock

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There are definitely reasons. The primary one being that it isn't easy to wirelessly control GLM (and hence power and volume). And if you already have a great DAC (which is most recent DACs), why bother with the hassle?
“No reason NOT to”. Key word
 

Tangband

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"You can send a digital signal with volume regulation from the Yamaha wxc50 to your Genelecs. This will sound better than using the analog outputs from the Yamaha."
Curious why you think this; I realize the analog outs will result in more conversion activity in the speakers but is there evidence that this causes an audible difference? and btw, I have read the thread.
Doing volume regulation with Yamaha wxc50 in pre amp mode: best option is to lower the internal digital level inside the speaker with GLM to -30 dB , because its lowered AFTER the dsp filtering , then store it into the speaker , and put away the GLM kit .

I have never experienced any digital dropout with spdif - 3 metres rca-xlr cable from the Yamaha to 8340.
 

richard12511

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When I had the 8351Bs here I felt you had to listen nearfield ie within 2 metres to be immersed in the soundfield, I listened to the 8361s at the Genelec centre in London and we sat much further away and immersion didn’t appear to be an issue, different rooms different music so not a particularly valid comparison, I would always go for the larger speaker if you have space.
Keith

Most of the "small" issue here is with GLM 4.0 and below(though this speaker does seem to have a bit of a negative bass shelf). I could never stand the default curve for GLM 4.0. It was always too bright(or thin). I fixed this by using either Dirac Live or REW to apply a shelf filter below 200Hz to raise the bass.

The problem with GLM 4.0(imo) is, it takes what is already a perfectly neutral speaker, and turns it into a speaker that sounds like it's tilted up on axis. The reason it does this is because:

1: It only applies cut filters
2: It doesn't just cut the peaks down to the middle point between the peaks in troughs, but much lower.

It leaves you with an in room response (at ~3.5m) that's only tilted down by 3dB or so, which makes it sound close and thin. GLM 4.0 definitely makes the bass sound more natural, but it messes up the bass/mid/treble overall balance. 4.1 fixes this by not cutting the peaks as much, applying some trough boosts where appropriate, and adding both a bass shelf filter and a negative treble shelf filter.

Last year I compared the 8351 to the 8C, like you, but one difference between our tests is that we used Dirac Live(below 200Hz) to correct the bass response. Doing that, neither sounded small or "close", at least compared to each other. Both definitely sounded small compared to the Salon2. Our conclusion was that we preferred the 8C without subs, and basically had no preference(or slight 8351 preference) with subs.
 
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