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Genelec 8361A Review (Powered Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 0.5%
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    Votes: 4 0.7%
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    Votes: 527 94.8%

  • Total voters
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waldo2

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I find that particularly older guys who have grown up with distortion whether it’s coloured speakers or source tend to enjoy it and there is nothing wrong with that.
Remember listening to an instrument in a room is not at all like listening to a recording of that instrument made in the very same room.
 

Inner Space

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I find that particularly older guys who have grown up with distortion whether it’s coloured speakers or source tend to enjoy it and there is nothing wrong with that.
True. People tend to want "the same but better", and won't or can't break out of a closed loop.
Remember listening to an instrument in a room is not at all like listening to a recording of that instrument made in the very same room.
This part I disagree with. I'll take a wild guess and say you've never tried it. With decent mike technique the results can be spookily real.
 

waldo2

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I guess Keith you just don’t believe I am comparing sound from speakers to sound of music and not to sound of other speakers. Several times in this thread, you have insinuated that I don’t understand the most basic concepts and just like colored sound instead of the straight stuff. I guess it is because, as you say, I am an old guy whom can't be be taught new tricks. That is what I mean by condescending. By the way, I am 52. Funny how many people manage to treat me with respect in my real life, despite my ancient age. But, thank you though for saying there is nothing wrong with being an old guy who is rather harmless, even if doddering.

By the way, the bbc way back in prehistoric times designed their monitors by comparing them to acoustic music on a regular basis. That is what I am suggesting is still useful, despite the newfangled ideas of the youngsters. Good to truth test your measurements by comparing them to the real thing.
 

AudioJester

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@waldo2 Have you tried adding a BBC style dip with dsp?

Interested to hear what speakers you will go with when after returning the Genelec
 

ahofer

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At one of those concerts I never attend.

[added later]: Superb performance of the Faure Piano Quartet with Inon Barnatan, Mischa Amory, Nicholas Cannelakis, and Alexi Kenney.

Relevant to this conversation- A concert hall really does smooth out the strings relative to when my wife plays chamber music in our living room. It’s quite loud and intense and, yes, lots of high frequency sound pressure, if you sit in the room with them.
 

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Mnyb

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I guess Keith you just don’t believe I am comparing sound from speakers to sound of music and not to sound of other speakers. Several times in this thread, you have insinuated that I don’t understand the most basic concepts and just like colored sound instead of the straight stuff. I guess it is because, as you say, I am an old guy whom can't be be taught new tricks. That is what I mean by condescending. By the way, I am 52. Funny how many people manage to treat me with respect in my real life, despite my ancient age. But, thank you though for saying there is nothing wrong with being an old guy who is rather harmless, even if doddering.

By the way, the bbc way back in prehistoric times designed their monitors by comparing them to acoustic music on a regular basis. That is what I am suggesting is still useful, despite the newfangled ideas of the youngsters. Good to truth test your measurements by comparing them to the real thing.

This ofcourse have merit , but there is a trap built into it that actually starts the circle of confusion . In the same way speakers are not instruments microphones are not ears . So the mike don’t actually capture the real deal it captures some aspects of the original sound omitting some things and capturing things we would never pick up if we where present. The skilled recording engineer then adjust microphone positions and apply some eq to the track and judging the result to give a pleasing result, but to do that he has to use speakers, speakers that are not perfect either . So at the getgo you have two loose ends not anchored at anything ?

Recent efforts by some speaker companies are trying to get at something else, defining how a good speaker “should work” at some kind of first principles ? This looks like a lost cause ,but I’m reading my copy of Tooles “sound reproduction” ( just started ) and there is some hope as it seems to be some desirable properties that are shared between good speakers .

Lucky for us speakers designed in this way works well with eq so one should be able to find a good compromise.
And also bring back the tone controls, this helps a lot , as recordings are all over the place .
 

echopraxia

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I know how fashionable it is to assume there are defects in the listener rather than to re-examine the validity and interpretation of the measurements. My favorite is how people here are questioning how a classical musician who has been around violins his whole life doesn't know how a violin should sound because the Genelecs are the truth! The level of cognitive dissonance required to dogmatically adhere to the notion that loudspeaker measurements are 100% predictive of perceived sound quality is fascinating.
I cannot speak to what others here are saying, but to be clear I am NOT saying the listener is defective here. And I’ve seen several others also express this perspective.

Rather, we are saying that there are many reasons why old “BBC” style coloration may sound preferable to some people on certain collections of tracks. Part of it may be due to recordings having been mastered to sound good on those colored speakers. While many of us here know that would be indicative of technically bad mastering work, it also doesn’t change the fact that it exists and some people will (rightfully) be unwilling to change their music to match the speaker.

However also as others have commented, it should be possible to use GLM to tune the sound of the Genelec’s however you like, including to mimic “BBC” style coloration. So if frequency response is all it is, GLM should be able to correct it.

If not, then it must be something else. As someone who’s had Revel Salon2’s and Genelec 8351B’s in the same room, then later a surround multichannel setup of Genelecs, I have a very strong suspicion I know exactly what it is. Or at least, in the absence of knowing exactly what it is, I can explain a series of experiments that will give you a strong hint.

When playing orchestral music in some rooms via just a pair of Genelec’s, there are definitely moments where the spatial and treble quality doesn’t have the same feeling of realism (despite it being quite crisp and clear) as the real thing. In contrast, the Salon2’s never had this problem (rather, they trade off ability to project narrower beam/focused image, but I digress). Lastly, when I finally got my multichannel setup of Genelecs (8361 fronts and 8351 rears), you can with a push of a button switch between fronts only and stereo upmixing to the rears as well.

And in doing so, it becomes obvious that what I used to think was “artificial treble” or “lack of spatial realism” or whatever else the “untrained” ear (untrained relative to audio engineering, not music) uses to describe this difference is almost entirely due to amount of secondary reflections (or simulated reflections via rear speakers and stereo upmixing to multichannel) mixed in to create a more diffuse and spatially believable presentation (ie it feels like the music is truly in the room with you).

Now on the other hand, some people here commenting things that may seem condescending are actually speaking many things that were true of my former self with less speaker experience. I don’t think it’s condescending, as much as our ego makes it very difficult to swallow the fact that our audio perceptions of speakers are very messy when unexperienced in the different ways seemingly unrelated things can have an impact on some other aspect of audio realism (for example, it’s probably not intuitive how quality bass and midbass is required for good enveloping soundstage).

This doesn’t mean that unexperienced ears (in terms of speakers, not real music — two very different types of training) are wrong when they don’t like what they hear from speakers. It just might mean that the diagnosis of why it sounds the way it does, is often way off target. And of all the people to struggle with this difficult reality, I would imagine professional musicians will probably find it the most challenging to the ego to accept this reality (which applies to all of us) of trying to diagnose speaker realisms with untrained perceptions and opinions (again, untrained in the science of speakers — not music).

In case anyone interprets this as me dismissing the subjective impressions here by a few members, I am not! I just believe I know what the cause is, and it’s actually quite mundane and fixable. Unfortunately it’s “fixable” only in expensive ways (buying rear surrounds, or wider beam speakers like Revel for stereo-only fronts).
 
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AudioJester

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#$%$$^%! So now I not only need 8361 as fronts, but 8351 as rears. Damn this is getting expensive.

Come on Kali audio, come up with a viable cheaper alternative
 

thewas

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Interesting theory.
Thanks, for the interested more about why steady state listening position measurements don't tell much about the perceived tonality and shouldn't be used as correction targets can be read here.

Regardless, GLM only works in the lower frequencies, where gating is less important.
Not always, current versions also correct above. Also when not, the tonal balance can still be messed if for example the bass region is flattened too much relative to the rest.

I know how fashionable it is to assume there are defects in the listener rather than to re-examine the validity and interpretation of the measurements.
?? I didn't talk about the loudspeaker measurements but the ones of the HD800 which show what everyone hears, namely pronounced highs, and wrote that if for example such is taken as a neutral reference, than something with neutral highs will be rather perceived as dark in comparison.

Consider the fact that Harman research has already established differences in bass/treble balance preferences tend to correlate with gender, age, and country of residence.
Actually very low correlation/change with age and country, but higher with gender and most of all with level of listening experience, according to the Olive studies inexperienced listeners prefer more bass and treble.

Human variation exists. Just because a loudspeaker is engineered to match the FR preferences of the average of the sampled humans, doesn't mean it will sound outstanding to everyone.
I don't think anyone claimed such here, for example there seem to be clearly different preferences between wide and narrow directivity, depending also on the listening room, distance, music material and number of channels. Also most will agree that a mix that was mixed with a loudspeaker with a BBC dip will probably sound better to most listened on such a loudspeaker. On the other hand it is very unlikely that many people will prefer a loudspeaker with a significant coloration, for example a pronounced resonance or frequency region unless that was compensated in the recording accordingly.
 
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Sancus

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#$%$$^%! So now I not only need 8361 as fronts, but 8351 as rears. Damn this is getting expensive.

Come on Kali audio, come up with a viable cheaper alternative

I don't recommend it. You risk discovering that stereo can't compete with multi-channel and then it's all over...
 

Tonygeno

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So what's the bottom line? 8361 are bad for classical? lol
I listen almost exclusively to classical music and have been "into it" for over 50 years (kind of gives you my age). I have owned everything from AR 3As to Vandersteen 2ces to Vienna Acoustics with Maggies in between (among other things). I also attend many concerts in Symphony Hall, Boston so I think I know what the real thing sounds like. My 8361s get me closer to what I hear live than any other speaker I've owned. Of course, your mileage may vary.
 

Spocko

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Sorry if i was confusing. I did use GLM. it seems to improve bass, but that only emphasized the upper kids and highs more. So, I also did some manual eq to reduce the leanness of the speaker with glm correction applied.
Interesting!
 

preload

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Thanks, for the interested more about why steady state listening position measurements don't tell much about the perceived tonality and shouldn't be used as correction targets can be read here.
[/QUOTE]
So are you saying that GLM is invalid and people who own Genelec One speakers shouldn't use it? Not sure what your point is.
Not always, current versions also correct above. Also when not, the tonal balance can still be messed if for example the bass region is flattened too much relative to the rest.
[/QUOTE]
I'm using version 4.1. The was 0 correction applied above 500hz or so. What version are you using?

Actually very low correlation/change with age and country, but higher with gender and most of all with level of listening experience, according to the Olive studies inexperienced listeners prefer more bass and treble.
[/QUOTE]
Exactly, the treble/bass preferences exist. And who is to say who gets to say what sounds correct? People of the same gender and country and age as you? Only people who have gotten to level 8 of Harman How to Listen?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Sorry if i was confusing. I did use GLM. it seems to improve bass, but that only emphasized the upper kids and highs more.
This happens frequency post room EQ. The bass peaks are taken down which lowers the overall bass energy. The fix is to then boost the entire level or have a sloped target curve. Without this, the highs do become more prominent and bass while tight, will have less impact.
 

thewas

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So are you saying that GLM is invalid and people who own Genelec One speakers shouldn't use it? Not sure what your point is.
That it needs to be used with care and like any automatic DRC can also lead to problematic results, there used to be even a discussion of Toole about it in another forum.

I'm using version 4.1. The was 0 correction applied above 500hz or so. What version are you using?
I have long sold my Genelecs, but you can see on several GLM 4.1 screenshots that depending on the case it also adds filters above that region.

Exactly, the treble/bass preferences exist.
Having mainly differences between inexperienced and experienced listeners, the second group had quite close results and almost all in the end preferred the same loudspeakers and headphones, namely those with the least colorations, the few plus minus dB at both spectrum ends are rather the icing on the cake.

And who is to say who gets to say what sounds correct? People of the same gender and country and age as you?
As said gender and country had very few differences but still music end consumers should buy what they like, see also the rental car radio bass/treble anecdotal story, but that was not the topic.
 

oivavoi

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I cannot speak to what others here are saying, but to be clear I am NOT saying the listener is defective here. And I’ve seen several others also express this perspective.

Rather, we are saying that there are many reasons why old “BBC” style coloration may sound preferable to some people on certain collections of tracks. Part of it may be due to recordings having been mastered to sound good on those colored speakers. While many of us here know that would be indicative of technically bad mastering work, it also doesn’t change the fact that it exists and some people will (rightfully) be unwilling to change their music to match the speaker.

However also as others have commented, it should be possible to use GLM to tune the sound of the Genelec’s however you like, including to mimic “BBC” style coloration. So if frequency response is all it is, GLM should be able to correct it.

If not, then it must be something else. As someone who’s had Revel Salon2’s and Genelec 8351B’s in the same room, then later a surround multichannel setup of Genelecs, I have a very strong suspicion I know exactly what it is. Or at least, in the absence of knowing exactly what it is, I can explain a series of experiments that will give you a strong hint.

When playing orchestral music in some rooms via just Genelec 8351’s, there are definitely moments where the spatial and treble quality doesn’t have the same feeling of realism (despite it being quite crisp and clear) as the real thing. In contrast, the Salon2’s never had this problem (rather, they trade off ability to project narrower beam/focused image, but I digress). Lastly, when I finally got my multichannel setup of Genelecs (8361 fronts and 8351 rears), you can with a push of a button switch between fronts only and stereo upmixing to the rears as well.

And in doing so, it becomes obvious that what I used to think was “artificial treble” or “lack of spatial realism” or whatever else the “untrained” ear (untrained relative to audio engineering, not music) uses to describe this difference is almost entirely due to amount of secondary reflections (or simulated reflections via rear speakers and stereo upmixing to multichannel) mixed in to create a more diffuse and spatially believable presentation (ie it feels like the music is truly in the room with you).

Now on the other hand, some people here commenting things that may seem condescending are actually speaking many things that were true of my former self with less speaker experience. I don’t think it’s condescending, as much as our ego makes it very difficult to swallow the fact that our audio perceptions of speakers are very messy when unexperienced in the different ways seemingly unrelated things can have an impact on some other aspect of audio realism (for example, it’s probably not intuitive how quality bass and midbass is required for good enveloping soundstage).

This doesn’t mean that unexperienced ears (in terms of speakers, not real music — two very different types of training) are wrong when they don’t like what they hear from speakers. It just might mean that the diagnosis of why it sounds the way it does, is often way off target. And of all the people to struggle with this difficult reality, I would imagine professional musicians will probably find it the most challenging to the ego to accept this reality (which applies to all of us) of trying to diagnose speaker realisms with untrained perceptions and opinions (again, untrained in the science of speakers — not music).

In case anyone interprets this as me dismissing the subjective impressions here by a few members, I am not! I just believe I know what the cause is, and it’s actually quite mundane and fixable. Unfortunately it’s “fixable” only in expensive ways (buying rear surrounds, or wider beam speakers like Revel for stereo-only fronts).

Fantastic post. Very explanatory. The best experience of reproduced audio I have had in my entire life, which was so far ahead of everything else (for me) that it was almost laughable, was an Auro 3D multichannel rig with only high-end genelec speakers. I was completely transported to another acoustic space. No suspension of disbelief was necessary, I was really there. If I had a bigger house and a lot of extra money lying around I would have invested in a similar setup on the spot.

For stereo I agree with you, narrow-dispersion speakers don't sound as good on acoustic material, for my ears at least.
 
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