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Genelec 8361A Review (Powered Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 0.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 0.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 23 4.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 536 94.5%

  • Total voters
    567

Tangband

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This is my first post here. I currently have a pair of 8361s set up in my listening room for an in home demo. I have owned and heard many excellent speakers over the years. I have a different perspective from many members here in that I have a soft spot for bbc inspired speakers as well as quad es. I listen mostly to classical music. I agree that 8361s have a remarkable amount of clean, excellent, well integrated bass. astounding really for a speaker of their size. They can play much louder than I would ever care to listen. They certainly appear to have no distortion and to be exceptionally clear at all volumes. The detail presented is amazing. I really can hear things on recordings that I had missed before. I have no doubt that they are everything Amir says and that their designers wanted. Nevertheless, my experience is that the speakers are poorly suited for classical or other acoustic music. I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold. I find myself dreading the high notes. The beauty of live acoustical music is just not conveyed by these speakers In my room. The speakers are incredibly impressive, but do not companionable.

Now, all of this is without equalization. I have a GLS system arriving today, and it may improve things. I understand that I am posting a contrary view here. I do not doubt that these speakers are surely all they are intended to be for non-acoustic music, but they produce a sound, at least without eq, that is little like real acoustic instruments. I also understand that most here will take me to be an out of touch subjectivist ignoring the objective measurements. I do not intend to be anti-scientific or disrespectful in any way, but merely to report my short experience experience listening to the speakers. I hope that eq will fix the problems, for the many virturpes of the speakers are obvious, but I would not call them musical speakers, at least for classical music. Do others here who listen to classical music disagree?
Welcome :).
My experience with Genelecs is that they sound true to the recordings .

You write that you like the BBC-school of sound and that you like Quad esl.
Those are speakers that in certain ways measure very poorly ( bad directivity, bad frequency response and high distortion at high levels ) compared to the Genelec 8361. But you like the sound of those speakers and thats fine .

The beauty with the GLM kit is that you can change the tonality in whatever way you want. If you prefer a dip at 3 KHz you can do that in GLM. If you want more midbass at 200 Hz to gain a warmer timbre of strings or a piano, you can fix this also . Just use the shelving filter, + 2 dB from 200 Hz and below can make a big subjective improvement with certain recordings.

Youre writing : ” I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold.”

Its clearly that you dont like that kind of sound - I wouldnt like it either . And all of this can be made to sound just like you want it to sound - with GLM and doing timbre corrections in the frequency response. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised . It might take som time to play around with GLM and to understand how it works, but be patient and you will be rewarded . :)

All the 83xx models also benefit from being driven by a digital signal.
 
Last edited:

Matias

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What class D amps does these high end Genelecs use? In house or a chip?
 

dominikz

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This is my first post here. I currently have a pair of 8361s set up in my listening room for an in home demo. I have owned and heard many excellent speakers over the years. I have a different perspective from many members here in that I have a soft spot for bbc inspired speakers as well as quad es. I listen mostly to classical music. I agree that 8361s have a remarkable amount of clean, excellent, well integrated bass. astounding really for a speaker of their size. They can play much louder than I would ever care to listen. They certainly appear to have no distortion and to be exceptionally clear at all volumes. The detail presented is amazing. I really can hear things on recordings that I had missed before. I have no doubt that they are everything Amir says and that their designers wanted. Nevertheless, my experience is that the speakers are poorly suited for classical or other acoustic music. I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold. I find myself dreading the high notes. The beauty of live acoustical music is just not conveyed by these speakers In my room. The speakers are incredibly impressive, but do not companionable.

Now, all of this is without equalization. I have a GLS system arriving today, and it may improve things. I understand that I am posting a contrary view here. I do not doubt that these speakers are surely all they are intended to be for non-acoustic music, but they produce a sound, at least without eq, that is little like real acoustic instruments. I also understand that most here will take me to be an out of touch subjectivist ignoring the objective measurements. I do not intend to be anti-scientific or disrespectful in any way, but merely to report my short experience experience listening to the speakers. I hope that eq will fix the problems, for the many virturpes of the speakers are obvious, but I would not call them musical speakers, at least for classical music. Do others here who listen to classical music disagree?
Individual preference is of course always valid, even if it deviates from the 'norm'.
Note however that, due to incredibly well engineered directivity behavior, you should be able to use the (on-board) EQ to tweak the sound from the flat reference to almost any other direct sound signature you may desire.
 

ROOSKIE

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Our host does not like the idea of having to add a sub. I can understand it, because it took me a long time to get my subs working with LS50's. Many here say, just add a sub, but it's not a trivial task. The weaker the mains are in the bass, the harder it is to get it working right
Yes, there deff is a learning curve, however once you get it down it is pretty easy to add a sub or two or more - even if crossed fairly high. (If crossing higher multiple subs works great since there will be no localization) I have a couple smaller 5.25 based monitors that I crosse over at 125-150hrz with no problem. I get incredible sound.
I always use a HP for the mains as this makes blending much easier and free those tiny woofers up for heavy duty work.
I'd be sure to have some dsp and deff be using something like REW to measure as one goes.
What creates a good blend might shock a newbie who thinks they set the crossover on the sub and mains to the same value and then just move on. That rarely is the case. In fact whether in car or home audio, with many different set-ups those values have never been the same for me.
So yes it is sorta hard to do it well but only sort hard. Kind of fun a process for the right person. In any case as always in anything YMMV.
 

Tangband

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You are probably just hearing bad recordings. Or even bad mixes, because these speakers are better than what is generally used in classical mastering environments. Those tend to skew towards B&W loudspeakers which have clear coloration. So if they mix to make it sound good on their loudspeakers, it might sound poor on these. You are a victim of the circle of confusion.
Very true .
Using Genelecs, you soon discover many records that sounds better than ever, and the old favourites that you liked earlier because you previosly had loudspeakers with the same faults as the ones they used in the studio ( for example Yamaha ns10 or B/W 800 ) is sounding less good.

Yes, the circle of confusion is real .

But the only way to bring high-end hifi forward, is a better sound , based on science.
 
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q3cpma

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The data is a good fit as I see it.

You've got to be careful to make sure you're visually compensating for the different data ranges on the axes; the S&R isobar runs 100 Hz to 20 kHz versus Amir's 20 Hz to 20 kHz. If you scale the S&R plot so the frequency axis lines overlap, then stretch it in the vertical to the equivalent sizing, the isobars agree -quick and dirty photo editor work for example:
View attachment 164904

The Genelec data uses a different range on the X-axis again, and only runs -90 to +90 degrees on the Y-axis. All three use log scaling on the X-axis and linear scaling on the Y-axis though, so you can just do the equivalent adjustments. I used the 500 Hz and 8 kHz lines here, it's not pixel perfect but close enough to illustrate:
View attachment 164908

Just for completeness' sake, S&R versus Genelec:
View attachment 164909


There are some small anomalies in isobar shape between the plots, but I'd put that down to them using different amounts of smoothing or the measurement environment / method.
Yes, I did take that in account - you only make that embarrasing mistake of confusing scale once =) - but the 500 Hz flaring still looks much higher level on the Klippel.
 

Ken1951

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Lol
Honestly I'd prefer ugly speakers that sound good and not the opposite
Totally understand. Didn't buy my speakers for their looks, they sound good (to me), and also don't dominate the room visually. If I had a different decor aesthetic, maybe. I'm interested in audio stuff, just don't buy anymore.
 

echopraxia

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Those would be my dream speakers if they were not so heavy and impossible to move, and if they had grills to prevent fingers to damage the drivers.

Thanks a lot, Amir!
Although they’re definitely hefty, they are probably the smallest and lightest speakers you‘ll find with this level of bass output capability. For example, Revel F328Be should definitely match (and likely exceed) the bass capability of these, but they weigh almost twice as much and are much more than twice the size.

Compared to equally competent towers, the 8361A are a relative breeze to carry around :)
 

echopraxia

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This is my first post here. I currently have a pair of 8361s set up in my listening room for an in home demo. I have owned and heard many excellent speakers over the years. I have a different perspective from many members here in that I have a soft spot for bbc inspired speakers as well as quad es. I listen mostly to classical music. I agree that 8361s have a remarkable amount of clean, excellent, well integrated bass. astounding really for a speaker of their size. They can play much louder than I would ever care to listen. They certainly appear to have no distortion and to be exceptionally clear at all volumes. The detail presented is amazing. I really can hear things on recordings that I had missed before. I have no doubt that they are everything Amir says and that their designers wanted. Nevertheless, my experience is that the speakers are poorly suited for classical or other acoustic music. I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold. I find myself dreading the high notes. The beauty of live acoustical music is just not conveyed by these speakers In my room. The speakers are incredibly impressive, but do not companionable.

Now, all of this is without equalization. I have a GLS system arriving today, and it may improve things. I understand that I am posting a contrary view here. I do not doubt that these speakers are surely all they are intended to be for non-acoustic music, but they produce a sound, at least without eq, that is little like real acoustic instruments. I also understand that most here will take me to be an out of touch subjectivist ignoring the objective measurements. I do not intend to be anti-scientific or disrespectful in any way, but merely to report my short experience experience listening to the speakers. I hope that eq will fix the problems, for the many virturpes of the speakers are obvious, but I would not call them musical speakers, at least for classical music. Do others here who listen to classical music disagree?
I totally get where you are coming from, and I find this to be the case too before tuning them. I highly urge you to use the GLM system to tune the sound profile to your taste (after calibration). For example, you can use the Sound Character Profile setting to tune your preferred level of warmth vs brightness.

Now beyond that, I do find that a pair of Genelec 8361A’s alone, while incredible in every way, have naturally a narrower beam than other speakers (like Revel — not sure about what you’re used to). As a result, I find stereo pair sounds less immersive for classical than wide beam speakers like the Salon2’s I used to have.

However, with a surround setup (where I use 8351B’s as surrounds), all that changes, and the multichannel Genelec setup produces the best classical music experience I’ve had to date from speakers. I do realize though that this increases the cost and physical space required significantly.

But if stereo is your only option, wide beam speakers I do find tend to be better for classical, jazz, etc. in terms of how their soundstage feels.
 

Tangband

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I totally get where you are coming from, and I find this to be the case too before tuning them. I highly urge you to use the GLM system to tune the sound profile to your taste (after calibration). For example, you can use the Sound Character Profile setting to tune your preferred level of warmth vs brightness.

Now beyond that, I do find that a pair of Genelec 8361A’s alone, while incredible in every way, have naturally a narrower beam than other speakers (like Revel — not sure about what you’re used to). As a result, I find stereo pair sounds less immersive for classical than wide beam speakers like the Salon2’s I used to have.

However, with a surround setup (where I use 8351B’s as surrounds), all that changes, and the multichannel Genelec setup produces the best classical music experience I’ve had to date from speakers. I do realize though that this increases the cost and physical space required significantly.

But if stereo is your only option, wide beam speakers I do find tend to be better for classical, jazz, etc. in terms of how their soundstage feels.
This differences can in a subtle amount be corrected somewhat with optimal placement of the loudspeaker in the room, and with optimal acoustic damping/diffusion.
 

MGG

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For me, 23 Hz - 500 Hz (-6dB) does not match what I understand as a subwoofer.
Should be like 16 Hz - 150 Hz (-3dB) or so.
Well, you asked for a 8371A and not for a subwoofer :)
Genelec does not classify W371A as a subwoofer on their webpage.
 

DjBonoBobo

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This is my first post here. I currently have a pair of 8361s set up in my listening room for an in home demo. I have owned and heard many excellent speakers over the years. I have a different perspective from many members here in that I have a soft spot for bbc inspired speakers as well as quad es. I listen mostly to classical music. I agree that 8361s have a remarkable amount of clean, excellent, well integrated bass. astounding really for a speaker of their size. They can play much louder than I would ever care to listen. They certainly appear to have no distortion and to be exceptionally clear at all volumes. The detail presented is amazing. I really can hear things on recordings that I had missed before. I have no doubt that they are everything Amir says and that their designers wanted. Nevertheless, my experience is that the speakers are poorly suited for classical or other acoustic music. I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold. I find myself dreading the high notes. The beauty of live acoustical music is just not conveyed by these speakers In my room. The speakers are incredibly impressive, but do not companionable.

Now, all of this is without equalization. I have a GLS system arriving today, and it may improve things. I understand that I am posting a contrary view here. I do not doubt that these speakers are surely all they are intended to be for non-acoustic music, but they produce a sound, at least without eq, that is little like real acoustic instruments. I also understand that most here will take me to be an out of touch subjectivist ignoring the objective measurements. I do not intend to be anti-scientific or disrespectful in any way, but merely to report my short experience experience listening to the speakers. I hope that eq will fix the problems, for the many virturpes of the speakers are obvious, but I would not call them musical speakers, at least for classical music. Do others here who listen to classical music disagree?

Have you heard the Neumann KH420, too? A bit cheaper and less perfect in some aspects than 8361, but also very neutral. I wonder if this aspect that you described in particular might work a little better with the Neumanns. I don´t know, of course, never heard the Genelecs nor the KH420, only the 310.
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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Looks good enough for home to me. Sadly its very expensive
71ebc9a1f2a6b3e44124a056d3a2025af6ffe61a_2_690x458.jpeg
 

ROOSKIE

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This is my first post here. I currently have a pair of 8361s set up in my listening room for an in home demo. I have owned and heard many excellent speakers over the years. I have a different perspective from many members here in that I have a soft spot for bbc inspired speakers as well as quad es. I listen mostly to classical music. I agree that 8361s have a remarkable amount of clean, excellent, well integrated bass. astounding really for a speaker of their size. They can play much louder than I would ever care to listen. They certainly appear to have no distortion and to be exceptionally clear at all volumes. The detail presented is amazing. I really can hear things on recordings that I had missed before. I have no doubt that they are everything Amir says and that their designers wanted. Nevertheless, my experience is that the speakers are poorly suited for classical or other acoustic music. I think that strings sound harsh and piano brittle. Depsite the excellent measurements and clear virtues of the speaker, the e string on a violin is artificial sounding to me, harsh, unpleasant and cold. I find myself dreading the high notes. The beauty of live acoustical music is just not conveyed by these speakers In my room. The speakers are incredibly impressive, but do not companionable.

Now, all of this is without equalization. I have a GLS system arriving today, and it may improve things. I understand that I am posting a contrary view here. I do not doubt that these speakers are surely all they are intended to be for non-acoustic music, but they produce a sound, at least without eq, that is little like real acoustic instruments. I also understand that most here will take me to be an out of touch subjectivist ignoring the objective measurements. I do not intend to be anti-scientific or disrespectful in any way, but merely to report my short experience experience listening to the speakers. I hope that eq will fix the problems, for the many virturpes of the speakers are obvious, but I would not call them musical speakers, at least for classical music. Do others here who listen to classical music disagree?
You are probably just hearing bad recordings. Or even bad mixes, because these speakers are better than what is generally used in classical mastering environments. Those tend to skew towards B&W loudspeakers which have clear coloration. So if they mix to make it sound good on their loudspeakers, it might sound poor on these. You are a victim of the circle of confusion.
The mix may not be bad, the realism of Violin and Horns and other instruments may have been euphoricly altered or muted with some other speakers.
I mean in real life these things can sound a bit harsh and really get loud. The Genelecs may just convey this.
In any case maybe you don't quite dig 'em.
Be interesing to hear from you after you mess with the speakers a bit.
I have never heard the 8361a's and I'd love to.
I expect they sound great and may even be contenders for a no brainer purchase.
I also expect they work very, very well for content creation.
That said I can not assume they will be my favorite speakers for my personal playback based on measuring them alone.
Yes, I am sure I will at least like them. Not sure about love, for that I would have to use them for awhile.
After so many tests and speakers and comparing with the results and comments here I am convinced now that measurements currently only get one so far.
Yes DSP is awesome and I use it. It has limitations as well.
At some point the speaker has to convery a sense of realism and a sense of energy and get me excited to listen to track after track of music and many speakers do not do this for me while a few do. I have yet to correlate this directly with the measurements. Even some well measuring stuff has had just no life at all and some lesser measuring stuff has had so much of that something-something. I have had to listen.
The circle of confusion is an impossible crux. Does one want to remaster and rerecord? Or use track by track DSP? I also think it is disingenuous to assume that is the issue. We can never know the artists intention including that some artists intentionally go for a low fi sound. Or that some recording, mastering engineers overruled the artist. Or think about scale, analogy with film - should a film shot for replay in theater ever be considered justly conveyed on even an 80" tv? What about a made for tv show now on a projector? Do we all need M2's? It is impossible to equalize all of this.
In the end I want speakers I personally love to listen to music on reguardless of anything else.
Anyway, I wish the Genelcs were available to borrow. I'd love to play with them. They are out of my current budget. (Of course I could sell al my other gear and then buy them)
 

Pearljam5000

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