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Genelec, how great are they really? The best?

GM3

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So I was watching and reading Genelec reviews, mostly the concentric SAM line, and looking at their measurements, hearing raving reviews... Is it just me or do Genelec speakers seem like some of the best speakers out there? Of course with limitations, ex; 8010A 2-Way 3'' 25W Active Studio Monitor won't have thundering bass or put out crazy SPL, but I mean, for what they are, seems like you'd be hard pressed to find a better speaker at any price point for music reproduction. From their budget lines to their most expensive offerings. But yeah, unless your goal is HT, high SPL or pure dynamics, they just seem like the best choice for music reproduction.

Ex; for $1000, you could buy:
2x Genelec 8010A 3 inch ($700)
2x Dayton Audio SUB-800 8" 80 Watt Powered Subwoofer (~$300 for 2)

What sort of $1000 hifi speaker would come close? Not to mention that you'd need an amp, which is I think at least starts at ~$200, unless you're going cheaper class D which will have its own set of compromises...

Anyway, going up in cost, always relatively the same, the price performance of Genelec would always seem to beat out a set of hifi speakers. If I wanted to upgrade or put together a new system, Genelec would be by far my #1 choice I think... I wouldn't even look at anything audiophile... Let alone anything like Totem, B&W, Focal, Dynaudio, etc. Maybe DIY... Maybe...

There's likely others; I think Neuman is supposed to be also really good, and I was blown away hearing some of their very high end models, so as a brand they might be comparable; also offering almost 'unbeatable' performance...

But Genelec definitely seems at least top tier. But are they really that good? Would they really sound that much better buck for buck with a sub vs other speakers? Are they actually really 'better' than others? Or is there a plethora of similar price/quality brands, which would surpass or at least sound just as good for the money?
 
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RobL

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I think they’re top tier myself, but I also know they’re not everybody’s cup of tea.
It’s pretty hard/impossible to declare a line of speakers or a particular manufacturer as being “the best”. You will get the retort “the best at what?”. If you are asking “the best price/performance return”, then probably not. If you are asking “the best measuring to known objective targets” then an argument could be made I guess.
Are they the best looking? No
Are they the most reliable? For actives…maybe
Etc. etc.
I love mine though.
 

Tangband

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So I was watching and reading Genelec reviews, mostly the concentric SAM line, and looking at their measurements, hearing raving reviews... Is it just me or do Genelec speakers seem like some of the best speakers out there? Of course with limitations, ex; 8010A 2-Way 3'' 25W Active Studio Monitor won't have thundering bass or put out crazy SPL, but I mean, for what they are, seems like you'd be hard pressed to find a better speaker at any price point for music reproduction. From their budget lines to their most expensive offerings. But yeah, unless your goal is HT, high SPL or pure dynamics, they just seem like the best choice for music reproduction.

Ex; for $1000, you could buy:
2x Genelec 8010A 3 inch ($700)
2x Dayton Audio SUB-800 8" 80 Watt Powered Subwoofer (~$300 for 2)

What sort of $1000 hifi speaker would come close? Not to mention that you'd need an amp, which is I think at least starts at ~$200, unless you're going cheaper class D which will have its own set of compromises...

Anyway, going up in cost, always relatively the same, the price performance of Genelec would always seem to beat out a set of hifi speakers. If I wanted to upgrade or put together a new system, Genelec would be by far my #1 choice I think... I wouldn't even look at anything audiophile... Let alone anything like Totem, B&W, Focal, Dynaudio, etc. Maybe DIY... Maybe...

There's likely others; I think Neuman is supposed to be also really good, and I was blown away hearing some of their very high end models, so as a brand they might be comparable; also offering almost 'unbeatable' performance...

But Genelec definitely seems at least top tier. But are they really that good? Would they really sound that much better buck for buck with a sub vs other speakers? Are they actually really 'better' than others? Or is there a plethora of similar price/quality brands, which would surpass or at least sound just as good for the money?
I suggest you study the measurements of different Genelecs done by Amirm and draw your objective conclusions from there.
You can also take into account reability , and second hand value. You can also ask yourself If driving a dsp crossover directly with a digital source is a sound advantage, and if the SAM roomcorrection is an advantage .

After you have done this - now look at the competition .
 
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DMill

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There are some speakers that have been measured here that could give Genelec a run for their money based on objective results. KEF and BMRs are two speakers that I particularly like. And I could argue they look a bit nicer. I probably would be a little careful with the Genelec 8010. It would be a helluva nice desktop speaker with sub. But it would struggle for sure in a larger room. The 8030 to me is really the start of what I would consider something that could give me what I’d want in a normal living room. As far as my thoughts on Genelec… If you have a pair and want to part with them for a good price, let me know :) They are very nice. And I personally like the look of them very much
 

Tangband

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There are some speakers that have been measured here that could give Genelec a run for their money based on objective results. KEF and BMRs are two speakers that I particularly like. And I could argue they look a bit nicer. I probably would be a little careful with the Genelec 8010. It would be a helluva nice desktop speaker with sub. But it would struggle for sure in a larger room. The 8030 to me is really the start of what I would consider something that could give me what I’d want in a normal living room. As far as my thoughts on Genelec… If you have a pair and want to part with them for a good price, let me know :) They are very nice. And I personally like the look of them very much
Yes - 8030c or G3 is were the real magic starts.
 
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RobL

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There are some speakers that have been measured here that could give Genelec a run for their money based on objective results. KEF and BMRs are two speakers that I particularly like.
There are singular speakers that may outdo equivalent Genelecs but I take the OP to mean “Genelec” collectively. I don’t think there is an audio company who’s products considered “as a whole” that can really compete. Maybe Neumann…
 

DMill

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There are singular speakers that may outdo equivalent Genelecs but I take the OP to mean “Genelec” collectively. I don’t think there is an audio company who’s products considered “as a whole” that can really compete. Maybe Neumann…
You might be right. I’d still say if you remove the lower end KEF models and look at everything from the Reference line up they‘d be close. Same with Revel if you remove the ”budget” Concerta line from the mix. Genelec really doesn’t have a model targeted to the masses like bigger brands. At some point, a flat frequency response from any of these and many other brands is going to be neglible. Room EQ would be far more important than 1 or 2dB hump or dip here and there.
 

Sancus

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the price performance of Genelec would always seem to beat out a set of hifi speakers
No, not really. The smaller Genelecs are still expensive. You use the 8010A as an example, but that's a tiny speaker that only exists to be portable and fit on space constrained desks. It has practically no bass with 67hz(-6dB). Distortion on it is already going crazy at 86dB, which is not very loud. Even if you listen as low as 75dB you'd still be hitting that all the time. At further than 1m, it only gets worse.

Compare to the Kali LP6v2, at only $200. ~42hz(-6dB) so you actually get to hear the lower octave of typical music. And the measurements are almost as good with some very minor flaws like a bit more tweeter beaming above 15khz. But you also get <1% distortion at most frequencies at 86dB.

It is a bit different at the higher end because there's very few manufacturers that approach the precision of Genelec coaxials, so if you absolutely want the best you can't get it much cheaper. But still, many Kefs and the Kali IN-8 are better value even though they're not quite as good objectively.

With Genelec, you pay extra for that last bit of precision and for their reputation of quality and reliability, which vastly exceeds any Hi-Fi active manufacturer.
 

napfkuchen

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With Genelec its combination of the speakers and the software. Sitting closer to your (ideally coaxial) speakers you get more direct sound than with a typical hifi-setup. Also the room-correction makes for a much more controlled bass and great instrument separation. Although I have to admit once the speakers have a certain quality the margin for improvement is not that huge. Before I switched to Genelec there were several setups. The last regular hifi-systems consisted of a pair of Kef XQ1 with Marantz-electronics, then I switched to a desktop system (Adam Artist 5, USB-interface and Dirac Live Stereo Software) which was not that far behind my current setup.
You might also want to check out MiniDSP electronics with REW or DIRAC which can be combined with many alternative active speakers.
 
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GM3

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I think the technology is great, the build is sooper nice but 3" woofers seems a bit small unless for desktop use.
Yeah I wasn't particularly talking about any specific model, I mean in that 1 line, they have a model with 3, 4, 5, 6.5 and 8 inch woofers, from $350-2450.

Then their SAM line starts; 3 way, from $2450-5000 for their biggest speakers. And they have I don't know how many other models...

Specifically for 3 inch, it surely is a compromise (price & size), but when coupled with 1-2 subs, it takes a huge load off the driver, and then I'm pretty sure they could play decently loud in a small to medium room. Not entirely sure, as I don't have any experience with them. And then even something like the twin Dayton subs at 300 should be fairly decent for bass... But again, no direct experience with the Dayton subs, maybe they don't actually sound that great when crossed over at 60-80 Hz, and/or maybe still the 3 inch woofer is just too small to get out decent SPL even with a sub in a small/medium room...

But yeah if 3 inch is really too small, just jump up to the one with 4 inch; 8020D, 1100/pair powered. 1100 sure is a decent chunk of change, but if you're looking for resolution, neutrality, etc., reading the raving reviews by Amir, sounds like it's (at least one of) your best bet...

I think they’re top tier myself, but I also know they’re not everybody’s cup of tea.
It’s pretty hard/impossible to declare a line of speakers or a particular manufacturer as being “the best”. You will get the retort “the best at what?”. If you are asking “the best price/performance return”, then probably not. If you are asking “the best measuring to known objective targets” then an argument could be made I guess.
Are they the best looking? No
Are they the most reliable? For actives…maybe
Etc. etc.
I love mine though.

Yeah... The way I would put it would be something like; better = higher resolution, accuracy, transparency (no distortion), neutral, 'clean'. For bookshelves, I wouldn't expect deep bass, I'd leave that for a sub, or for much larger floorstanders, or maybe for their larger monitors, but looking at their different models, they are pretty expensive...

6.5 inch versions = 8040B $1175, 8340A $1695 per speaker.. And these only go down to ~45-50Hz.... Which is good/decent, but might really not up to par with a similarly price floorstander... BUT then if you factor in a good quality sub, like a $600 SVS SB-1000 Pro (not sure if that's 'good' music/audio quality?!), the fact that they're powered, and the 'fact'(?) that they'll have better mids/treble than that same ~$3000 floorstande that has to also do bass...

So yeah... I guess 'best' to me would have been something like: What is the cheapest way to get top quality sound? If you take a 250000$ sound system from Stereophile's recommended speakers, what can get you as close to that level of sound quality given a certain price point? Or maybe simplest terms; what can deliver most accurate, real-like sound?
 
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AnalogSteph

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Genelec make a wide range of pro-quality monitor products with good to great dispersion and level handling for near- to midfield applications. Doesn't mean they're perfect, of course - the very smallest ones in particular are too hissy and sensitive (you also can't take the bass on the 8010 seriously), and their limiters tend to be on the conservative side (Neumann usually wins the output level comparison). They also tend to have dispersion on the wider side, which is good for nearfield use in a well-treated studio environment and keeps things tonally well-behaved even in less ideal rooms, but you may not like the amount of room reverb at larger distances in living quarters.


Note how even in relatively well-treated rooms, they recommend breaking out the big guns past 3 m / 10' for diffuse sound to remain under control. (Home listeners may have more lenient standards than this, of course.) And those still cost a pretty penny, even if still not "high-end" fantasyland prices.
correct-monitors-direct sound dominance-chart

If you consult the SPL chart, you'll also find that the very smallest models are limited by peak output level more than diffuse sound (assuming that we want about 102 dB SPL peak), which reverses around the 5" class.
correct-monitors-spl-chart


Yes, a pair of 8020s with a matching sub or two (of the studio variety with balanced I/O and a integrated crossover) would make quite a racket for sure, but is this really the right thing for hi-fi listening distances (2.5-3 or even 4 m more often than not)? Probably not entirely - you'd rather want 8351s or 8361s for that. 8331s with sub(s) should make for one hell of a "cost no object" desktop setup though!
 

Tangband

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Genelec make a wide range of pro-quality monitor products with good to great dispersion and level handling for near- to midfield applications. Doesn't mean they're perfect, of course - the very smallest ones in particular are too hissy and sensitive (you also can't take the bass on the 8010 seriously), and their limiters tend to be on the conservative side (Neumann usually wins the output level comparison). They also tend to have dispersion on the wider side, which is good for nearfield use in a well-treated studio environment and keeps things tonally well-behaved even in less ideal rooms, but you may not like the amount of room reverb at larger distances in living quarters.


Note how even in relatively well-treated rooms, they recommend breaking out the big guns past 3 m / 10' for diffuse sound to remain under control. (Home listeners may have more lenient standards than this, of course.) And those still cost a pretty penny, even if still not "high-end" fantasyland prices.
correct-monitors-direct sound dominance-chart

If you consult the SPL chart, you'll also find that the very smallest models are limited by peak output level more than diffuse sound (assuming that we want about 102 dB SPL peak), which reverses around the 5" class.
correct-monitors-spl-chart


Yes, a pair of 8020s with a matching sub or two (of the studio variety with balanced I/O and a integrated crossover) would make quite a racket for sure, but is this really the right thing for hi-fi listening distances (2.5-3 or even 4 m more often than not)? Probably not entirely - you'd rather want 8351s or 8361s for that. 8331s with sub(s) should make for one hell of a "cost no object" desktop setup though!
This is not true.
The 8030c, G3 ( and 8330 ) are very suitable for listening in a normal livingroom. Watch the Steve Guttenberg review of G3 and read stereophiles review of 8030c. 8330 is a very good desktop speaker, but also a very good speaker in a smaller livingroom.

Those diagrams you show would be similar for Revel , Elac and Kefs smaller models. And they are used in normal living rooms.
Kef ls 50 Meta has much worse spl capability than 8030c If you read Amirms review, but ls50 Meta are still used in livingrooms.

8929E63F-79CB-402C-87BA-53760D8033E3.png
4E84D8A9-A534-452F-AAB2-672424A2F497.jpeg
 
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Digby

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I think both @RobL and @Sancus explained the pros & cons very well.
This is not true.
The 8030c, G3 ( and 8330 ) are very suitable for listening in a normal livingroom. Watch the Steve Guttenberg review of G3 and read stereophiles review of 8030c. 8330 is a very good desktop speaker, but also a very good speaker in a smaller livingroom
If you are going to put them on stands, then you might as well buy some floorstanders instead (of 8030C), which will probably keep up better at those distances.
 

jonfitch

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Genelec’s built-in amp noise floor is not top tier among powered monitors, I would say that’s their biggest weakness, along with needing some proprietary software/hardware to get the best out of them if you choose to use digital inputs. For a all in one solution they can work but there are some inexpensive passive speakers that get close in performance and have a bigger variety of aesthetic options.
 

Sokel

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Note how even in relatively well-treated rooms, they recommend breaking out the big guns past 3 m / 10' for diffuse sound to remain under control. (Home listeners may have more lenient standards than this, of course.) And those still cost a pretty penny, even if still not "high-end" fantasyland prices.
correct-monitors-direct sound dominance-chart
Imagine my surprise when I saw the speaker size recommended for a room like mine (something between 1234A and 1236A).
(let alone the price)
 

Tangband

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I think both @RobL and @Sancus explained the pros & cons very well.

If you are going to put them on stands, then you might as well buy some floorstanders instead (of 8030C), which will probably keep up better at those distances.
..or some Genelec subwoofers;)
I guess that you recommend all Kef ls50 Meta owners the same advice, to buy a floorstander instead ?
 
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Tangband

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Genelec’s built-in amp noise floor is not top tier among powered monitors, I would say that’s their biggest weakness, along with needing some proprietary software/hardware to get the best out of them if you choose to use digital inputs. For a all in one solution they can work but there are some inexpensive passive speakers that get close in performance and have a bigger variety of aesthetic options.
...” There are some inexpensive passive speakers that get close in performance and have a bigger variety of aesthetic options” - you wrote. Can you name a few examples of those passive inexpensive speakers that , according to you, is close in performance to a 8030c ?

I cant remember any such inexpensive passive loudspeaker that Amirm has reviewed.

By the way, my Genelec 8340 SAM monitor is dead quiet, - no noise, no hum.
 
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goat76

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Imagine my surprise when I saw the speaker size recommended for a room like mine (something between 1234A and 1236A).
(let alone the price)

Isn't that chart for listening distance, the room size shouldn't dictate your listening distance. I think it's should be better to have a big room and a small listening triangle to maximize the ratio of direct sound vs reflective sound.
 

Mal

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What about Kef LSX? I have these as my main system for TV and Spotify Connect, and am very happy with them. Reichart/Stereophile reviews them (quite positively!) and you can access the review from the Genelec review mentioned earlier. KEF LSX I are heavily discounted, at the moment, as II has just come out... Unlike with the Genelec, you are not limited to 100% analog & have more connectivity options - they have inbuilt AMP, DAC, DSP (for newbies...), Optical in (for TV...), and Spotify Connect. So if you fancy a simple "all in one" solution they are, perhaps, worth considering.
 
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