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Genelec 8361A Review (Powered Monitor)

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KaLam1ty

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tl;dr, my 8361A's sounded great in farfield, but also excelled in closer positions.

Figured I'd share a few recent updates and experience with my set-up, as this is relevant to the "near/farfield discussions". Since the introduction of the GRADE report, I've been messing around with a few different listening positions.

Originally, I had my listening position in a fairly far-field setup (38% from back of room, about ~15ft away from front wall). This basement room is quite wide, but with low ceilings, so I was looking to get more direct sound since there was a lot of reverberant effects before any further wall treatment. I also just wanted more space for record shelves lol... So I've moved the listening position to the front 38% (~8ft away from front wall with ~9ft equilateral triangle between the speakers and listening position).

Before-After-Listening Position.png

PXL_20220913_230048277.jpg


These were all points I had in mind and was able to accomplish just by moving the listening position a few feet forward:
* Position closer to front wall to reduce the number of reflection points.
* Toe the speakers in more to also reduce the range of the reflections in the room.
* Get more direct sound, equating to higher clarity and more headroom; plus significantly lower overall listening level..

I think with this listening position, I'll begin investing into more acoustic treatment. So far, I only have the back wall covered for minimal slap echo control.

But just moving the mic around was really enlightening to show how important direct sound dominance is over room reverberation, even with good speakers. Perhaps this is obvious, since Genelec also markets 8361's as great ultra-nearfields - it's kind of by nature of coaxial. They also talk about the important of direct sound all of the time.
 

Axo1989

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Great analysis and photo. Seeing them in a normal room is a bit startling, they are a giant caricature of the Genelec one shape (but not in a bad way). Can you expand on your complex sum/absolute sum measurement method?
 

blueone

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Great analysis and photo. Seeing them in a normal room is a bit startling, they are a giant caricature of the Genelec one shape (but not in a bad way). Can you expand on your complex sum/absolute sum measurement method?
Agreed. The best in-context photo of the Genelecs I've seen so far. No wonder Amir had trouble moving them.
 

KaLam1ty

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Their looks will forever be jarring to me too :p, but they've kind of grown on me a bit. Still kind of "plastic" looking, but... having solo carried them down a flight of stairs, I know very well they can kill a person haha.

Regarding the summation measurement, it's part of the GRADE report. Effectively, it's to verify phase matching between the speakers. My room is asymmetric (window and shelves on the left boundary; large open hallway on the right).

Moving the listening position forward, both the open hallway and window are now less of a "reflection" point and contrast. It's mostly left vs. right drywall corners.
1663122728588.png
 

changster

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tl;dr, my 8361A's sounded great in farfield, but also excelled in closer positions.

Figured I'd share a few recent updates and experience with my set-up, as this is relevant to the "near/farfield discussions". Since the introduction of the GRADE report, I've been messing around with a few different listening positions.

Originally, I had my listening position in a fairly far-field setup (38% from back of room, about ~15ft away from front wall). This basement room is quite wide, but with low ceilings, so I was looking to get more direct sound since there was a lot of reverberant effects before any further wall treatment. I also just wanted more space for record shelves lol... So I've moved the listening position to the front 38% (~8ft away from front wall with ~9ft equilateral triangle between the speakers and listening position).

View attachment 230801
View attachment 230800

These were all points I had in mind and was able to accomplish just by moving the listening position a few feet forward:
* Position closer to front wall to reduce the number of reflection points.
* Toe the speakers in more to also reduce the range of the reflections in the room.
* Get more direct sound, equating to higher clarity and more headroom; plus significantly lower overall listening level..

I think with this listening position, I'll begin investing into more acoustic treatment. So far, I only have the back wall covered for minimal slap echo control.

But just moving the mic around was really enlightening to show how important direct sound dominance is over room reverberation, even with good speakers. Perhaps this is obvious, since Genelec also markets 8361's as great ultra-nearfields - it's kind of by nature of coaxial. They also talk about the important of direct sound all of the time.

I see no reason why you need acoustic treatment. Your biggest problem are the two massive dips around 60hz and 100hz. You should move your speakers and try to fix those nulls.
 

KaLam1ty

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Unfortunately, I haven't been able to remove those two large dips on the right corner (it moves around even with my tests in changing speaker and listening position), so it's a room mode or some combination of my room asymmetry and the ceiling. I'll probably get subs to deal with those eventually.

Reverberation and slap echo is most definitely an issue in this room though. I hear it very clearly, but it should be pretty easy to deal with using treatment. Two different problems, really.
 

blueone

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Unfortunately, I haven't been able to remove those two large dips on the right corner (it moves around even with my tests in changing speaker and listening position), so it's a room mode or some combination of my room asymmetry and the ceiling. I'll probably get subs to deal with those eventually.
I also like your choice of stands. The right height, and look sturdy enough and safe enough for the large, heavy speakers. I've been thinking of ordering a pair, and I've been wondering what sort of stands would work best.
 

KaLam1ty

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I also like your choice of stands. The right height, and look sturdy enough and safe enough for the large, heavy speakers. I've been thinking of ordering a pair, and I've been wondering what sort of stands would work best.

Amusingly, try looking around for large counter stools. I believe these "stools" were from a clearance at Target, of all things. The feets also coupled right into my carpet-concrete floor and I've yet to notice any issues with them.

The good thing about stools is that they often come with load capacity rating for safety reasons, and it's often way higher than required for speakers. Counter stools (as compared to Bar Stools) are also typically the perfect height, ~25in high.
 

CMB

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I am ashamed to confess here, that since I got my Genelecs 8361 (also in white) in my living room, played a bit with positioning and GLM/GRADE, well since then, my favorite thread here became the thread : A Call for Humor
If that is not a measure of audio satisfaction, I don’t know.

KR
 

Jimshoe

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I am ashamed to confess here, that since I got my Genelecs 8361 (also in white) in my living room, played a bit with positioning and GLM/GRADE, well since then, my favorite thread here became the thread : A Call for Humor
If that is not a measure of audio satisfaction, I don’t know.

KR
Ha ha! Exactly the same story for me. 8361's installed and I became much less interested in anything but music (and humour!)
 

Axo1989

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Their looks will forever be jarring to me too :p, but they've kind of grown on me a bit. Still kind of "plastic" looking, but... having solo carried them down a flight of stairs, I know very well they can kill a person haha.

Regarding the summation measurement, it's part of the GRADE report. Effectively, it's to verify phase matching between the speakers. My room is asymmetric (window and shelves on the left boundary; large open hallway on the right).

Moving the listening position forward, both the open hallway and window are now less of a "reflection" point and contrast. It's mostly left vs. right drywall corners.
View attachment 230802

Thanks for the detail. It's an interesting thing to measure actually.

I don't have Genelec, but (more by necessity than by design) my listening room layout is very similar (speakers close to front wall, with toe-in to face listening position at approx. mid-room lengthwise). It makes a lot of sense once you try it, for the reasons you've described.

Regarding your sharp nulls, my guess is they're a product of several oblique and tangential room modes coinciding. You can visualise via amroc room mode calculator (if you haven't already) and also try REW's room simulator to model moving the speakers. With the above setup I have a similar deep/sharp null at ~70 Hz, which I mitigated by moving the speakers laterally (toward the side walls) in small (200 mm or ~8") increments and measuring until the null was reduced, but not so far that the side wall influences were excessive (at least on FR and THD objectively and stereo image subjectively). May be worth a try but here are compromises, obviously.
 
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NiagaraPete

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tl;dr, my 8361A's sounded great in farfield, but also excelled in closer positions.

Figured I'd share a few recent updates and experience with my set-up, as this is relevant to the "near/farfield discussions". Since the introduction of the GRADE report, I've been messing around with a few different listening positions.

Originally, I had my listening position in a fairly far-field setup (38% from back of room, about ~15ft away from front wall). This basement room is quite wide, but with low ceilings, so I was looking to get more direct sound since there was a lot of reverberant effects before any further wall treatment. I also just wanted more space for record shelves lol... So I've moved the listening position to the front 38% (~8ft away from front wall with ~9ft equilateral triangle between the speakers and listening position).

View attachment 230801
View attachment 230800

These were all points I had in mind and was able to accomplish just by moving the listening position a few feet forward:
* Position closer to front wall to reduce the number of reflection points.
* Toe the speakers in more to also reduce the range of the reflections in the room.
* Get more direct sound, equating to higher clarity and more headroom; plus significantly lower overall listening level..

I think with this listening position, I'll begin investing into more acoustic treatment. So far, I only have the back wall covered for minimal slap echo control.

But just moving the mic around was really enlightening to show how important direct sound dominance is over room reverberation, even with good speakers. Perhaps this is obvious, since Genelec also markets 8361's as great ultra-nearfields - it's kind of by nature of coaxial. They also talk about the important of direct sound all of the time.
Great room and neat accessories. Question don't the strings buzzing from the guitar drive you nuts?
 

KaLam1ty

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When the music is super loud, it does, yea. I just move it away when I'm in party mode. I sometimes play through the monitors though.
I keep one there and by my desk for motivation. Else, I find myself never picking them up when out of sight.

All of my acoustic stuff are cased up though. They're super annoying when left out in any music room.
 

blueone

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Amusingly, try looking around for large counter stools. I believe these "stools" were from a clearance at Target, of all things. The feets also coupled right into my carpet-concrete floor and I've yet to notice any issues with them.

The good thing about stools is that they often come with load capacity rating for safety reasons, and it's often way higher than required for speakers. Counter stools (as compared to Bar Stools) are also typically the perfect height, ~25in high.
I showed my wife your photo, mentioning that I would really like a pair of the Genelecs. In 20 years she’s never complained about my audio systems. After calling the Genelecs “the ugliest speakers I’ve ever seen”, for the first time gave me that “you’ve got to be kidding” look. Telling her that I’d choose the black finish didn’t appease her either. I guess the Genelecs set a new high bar for unappealing appearance, which crosses a line even for someone I thought was the world’s most understanding spouse.
 

lherrm

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I showed my wife your photo, mentioning that I would really like a pair of the Genelecs. In 20 years she’s never complained about my audio systems. After calling the Genelecs “the ugliest speakers I’ve ever seen”, for the first time gave me that “you’ve got to be kidding” look. Telling her that I’d choose the black finish didn’t appease her either. I guess the Genelecs set a new high bar for unappealing appearance, which crosses a line even for someone I thought was the world’s most understanding spouse.
You made me laugh, but that's sad. I guess you could have better luck with the more boxy ones (1237/8A, S360).
 

NiagaraPete

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I showed my wife your photo, mentioning that I would really like a pair of the Genelecs. In 20 years she’s never complained about my audio systems. After calling the Genelecs “the ugliest speakers I’ve ever seen”, for the first time gave me that “you’ve got to be kidding” look. Telling her that I’d choose the black finish didn’t appease her either. I guess the Genelecs set a new high bar for unappealing appearance, which crosses a line even for someone I thought was the world’s most understanding spouse.
In my 40+ years of bringing stuff home I got a very similar response from my wife.
 

Adi777

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As I look at them, it seems to me that the WAF ratio shouldn't be that low, especially in white. But ok, I don't have a wife ;)
I do not like them completely. They're not ugly, but they're not pretty either - for me. They just can be. However, I would prefer the look Neumann KH 420, for example.
I have to audition them sometime, preferably compared to the KH 420. These Genelec look perfect on the measurements, or almost perfect, but some people complain about them. If I remember correctly, mostly high-pitched. I also remember that on one of the Polish audio forums someone wrote that they sound relatively average without some built-in correction or something like that. Could it be the SAM system?
 

Dgob

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As I look at them, it seems to me that the WAF ratio shouldn't be that low, especially in white. But ok, I don't have a wife ;)
I do not like them completely. They're not ugly, but they're not pretty either - for me. They just can be. However, I would prefer the look Neumann KH 420, for example.
I have to audition them sometime, preferably compared to the KH 420. These Genelec look perfect on the measurements, or almost perfect, but some people complain about them. If I remember correctly, mostly high-pitched. I also remember that on one of the Polish audio forums someone wrote that they sound relatively average without some built-in correction or something like that. Could it be the SAM system?
Sorry, not quite sure what they mean by "sound relatively average without some built-in correction." Could you qualify what the point being made is?

It sounds almost as though they're saying that 'an electric kettle is only average without water'. And whatever one might say about the 8361A's (notwithstanding the impact of system), the term "average" regarding their sound and fidelity is not one that I can understand anyone levelling.
 
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FrantzM

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tl;dr, my 8361A's sounded great in farfield, but also excelled in closer positions.

Figured I'd share a few recent updates and experience with my set-up, as this is relevant to the "near/farfield discussions". Since the introduction of the GRADE report, I've been messing around with a few different listening positions.

Originally, I had my listening position in a fairly far-field setup (38% from back of room, about ~15ft away from front wall). This basement room is quite wide, but with low ceilings, so I was looking to get more direct sound since there was a lot of reverberant effects before any further wall treatment. I also just wanted more space for record shelves lol... So I've moved the listening position to the front 38% (~8ft away from front wall with ~9ft equilateral triangle between the speakers and listening position).

View attachment 230801
View attachment 230800

These were all points I had in mind and was able to accomplish just by moving the listening position a few feet forward:
* Position closer to front wall to reduce the number of reflection points.
* Toe the speakers in more to also reduce the range of the reflections in the room.
* Get more direct sound, equating to higher clarity and more headroom; plus significantly lower overall listening level..

I think with this listening position, I'll begin investing into more acoustic treatment. So far, I only have the back wall covered for minimal slap echo control.

But just moving the mic around was really enlightening to show how important direct sound dominance is over room reverberation, even with good speakers. Perhaps this is obvious, since Genelec also markets 8361's as great ultra-nearfields - it's kind of by nature of coaxial. They also talk about the important of direct sound all of the time.
I hate you and your ridiculously sober, great looking room...

:p Wow!
Tastefully done. Wow again!

Peace.
 
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