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Genelec M040 Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 85 53.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 66 41.5%

  • Total voters
    159

amirm

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This is a review, and detailed measurements of the Genelec M040 powered studio monitor (active speaker). It is on kind loan from a member. It has been discontinued but cost US $895. I see a few available still for $600.
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Review.jpg

I like the more traditional look of these speakers. They have their curves but not as pronounced as the current series. Back panel shows the usual connections:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker back panel Review.jpg

I misread the labels and measured it first with -2 dB bass. :( Had to do it over again. Power connection is a figure-8 cable which is easier to plug into the back than larger traditional IEC. It was nice to see RCA input as well.

Speaker feels very solid but not overly heavy for its size.

A front LED indicates power and clipping/limiting.

Genelec M040 Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard of frequency response and directivity:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Frequency Response  Measurement.png


Overall response is quite good. The only exceptions are a peak due to cabinet/port resonance around 650 Hz. And bass level being somewhat shy of treble. Here is the near-field response to show the former:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Near-field driver Measurement.png


The resonance is very clear. On the other hand, the woofer response is impressively smooth out of band.

Early reflection shows what we already know about the resonance:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Early Window  Frequency Response  Measurement.png


Combining with sound power, we get our predicted in-room response in far-field listening:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker predicted Frequency Response  Measurement.png


Horizontal beam width shows the nice control in that axis:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Horizontal Beam width Measurement.png


Ditto for our contour plot:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Horizontal directivity dispersion Measurement.png


Typical 2-way design shows the usual two "eyes" in the vertical domain:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Vertical directivity dispersion Measurement.png


Distortion is impressively low at 86 dBSPL. It was also just as clean at 96 but clipping light came on toward the end and levels lowered:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker THD Distortion Measurement.png


Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Relative THD Distortion Measurement.png


I lowered levels to 90 dB and while the clipping light still came on, there was no limiting:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker 90 db THD Distortion Measurement.png


Notice how the left side hugs the near 0% distortion line where our hearing is most sensitive (2 to 5 kHz).

Waterfall basically highlights what we know about the port/cabinet resonance:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker CSD Waterfall Measurement.png


Finally, for fans of step response, here is that graph:
Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker Step Response  Measurement.png


Genelec M040 Listening Tests and Equalization
I listened to the M040 monitor in my near-field setup. Without EQ, the overall sound was good but it was not until I applied EQ that I realized more bass was better:

Genelec M0404 Studio Monitor Speaker EQ Equalization Parametric.png


The small notch filter for the port/cabinet resonance as usual improves clarity (although it is very subtle). Once there, the M040 was a delight to listen to. While there is no sub-bass to speak of, the rest of the spectrum sounds wonderful. I especially liked male vocals with the above EQ applied.

I am usually able to clip smaller Genelec speakers but could not do so with the M040. No matter how loud I made it, the clipping indicator did not come on and I could not hear any distortion.

Conclusion
I don't know why but I went into this review thinking the older generation Genelecs don't perform. But I was wrong. Other than one port resonance and small matter of bass output, performance is classic Genelec: great attention to design, construction and overall fidelity. With two simple filters, sound reaches upper echelons of performance ladder. With their more traditional look, the M040 could even be a better fit than some of the newer generation!

I am going to recommend the Genelec M040. With EQ, my recommendation goes up as some of the best bookshelf speakers out there.

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dfuller

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In my experience, the older Genelecs have considerably more power on tap than newer ones. Why this is, I couldn't tell you.
 

MZKM

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In my experience, the older Genelecs have considerably more power on tap than newer ones. Why this is, I couldn't tell you.
DSP probably

M040 specs:
107dB
80W+50W, class-D
-6dB: 44Hz
+/- 3dB 48Hz-20kHz

8040B specs:
105dB
90W + 90W, class-AB
-6dB: 41Hz
+/-2dB 48Hz-20kHz
 

Cars-N-Cans

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The enclosure with the metal dome tweeter makes it look like one of the characters from the game “Among Us” that my niece liked to play. Unusual looking speaker, like most products they make.

Still, it’s SPL capabilities are impressive for the size. A lot of large floor speakers have a tough time getting to those levels without undue distortion.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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In my experience, the older Genelecs have considerably more power on tap than newer ones. Why this is, I couldn't tell you.
Might be for reliability. Making the newer models more conservative may limit warrantee claims from burned out drivers (or even internal amps for that matter). For the size, this one looks like quite a screamer SPL-wise.
 

YSC

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Gave it a fine due to the bass low shelve and the resonanace.

Only did so since it's a Genelec, I demand perfection for that lol
 

Jim Shaw

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Out of curiosity not judgment, why take the resources and time to test an out-of-production device? Virtually no one is able to buy a new one.
And how many times must we test and prove that power and USB cables are all about the same in the proper application? How many nails does it take to nail boutique cable manufacturers' coffins shut? (And is this a valuable use of expensive test gear and expertise?)
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Out of curiosity not judgment, why take the resources and time to test an out-of-production device? Virtually no one is able to buy a new one.
And how many times must we test and prove that power and USB cables are all about the same in the proper application? How many nails does it take to nail boutique cable manufacturers' coffins shut? (And is this a valuable use of expensive test gear and expertise?)
I like to see them for the information value. It can show how products have changed over time, or give a datapoint that wasn’t there before. I don’t see any issues with the occasional old or vintage product review. Potentially the same argument could be made for testing ultra-expansive gear as few can afford it. My take is even if it’s unobtanium I still like the information aspect of the review.
 

Curvature

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Out of curiosity not judgment, why take the resources and time to test an out-of-production device? Virtually no one is able to buy a new one.
And how many times must we test and prove that power and USB cables are all about the same in the proper application? How many nails does it take to nail boutique cable manufacturers' coffins shut? (And is this a valuable use of expensive test gear and expertise?)
In 30 years Amir's measurements will be in history books. Few of the manufacturers will have made their data available or presentable, if they have any to begin with. I'm sure some will throw measurement data away entirely, assuming no one will find it useful or interesting.

Think of how little comparatively we know about historical speakers. Certainly not at this level of resolution.

Consumerism and current use value are not the only goals.

Not to put words in Amir's mouth.
 

Jim Shaw

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Consumerism and current use value are not the only goals.
So, we are writing a history book? I suggest that goal is incidental and likely apocryphal.
I would shoot for currently useful. But, I'm not the one volunteering it, so no judgment, eh?
 

YSC

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So, we are writing a history book? I suggest that goal is incidental and likely apocryphal.
I would shoot for currently useful. But, I'm not the one volunteering it, so no judgment, eh?
I do think occasionally enjoying those out of production is great, sometimes it surprises us how well (or bad) engineered a speaker a few decades ago. and say for a great company like Genelec, it really shows how the newer 80x0 and the ones improved over their older products are a great read
 
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DonR

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I don't know why but I went into this review thinking the older generation Genelecs don't perform. But I was wrong. Other than one port resonance and small batter of bass output, performance is classic Genelec: great attention to design, construction and overall fidelity. With two simple filters, sound reaches upper echelons of performance ladder. With their more traditional look, the M040 could even be a better fit than some of the newer generation!
Small batter is the best batter.
 

Garrincha

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Out of curiosity not judgment, why take the resources and time to test an out-of-production device? Virtually no one is able to buy a new one.
And how many times must we test and prove that power and USB cables are all about the same in the proper application? How many nails does it take to nail boutique cable manufacturers' coffins shut? (And is this a valuable use of expensive test gear and expertise?)
I also like products measured I possibly could purchase. But to debunk snake oil and ourageously expensive devices is a very useful task as well. And some expensive gear even measures well, that's also interesting. So besides making oriented and sourceful consumer decisions it is as well about insights in general, and that is very valuable.
 

Mnyb

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It will be retroactively more and more interesting, if some of the poster child’s from the last two decades of audiophile speakers would show up :) and then we see what’s what .

Some seems to have been early learners and applied the best knowledge from research like Genelec this old speaker seems to “fit” quite well with the model ? Maybe the M040 is not an super old design ?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Out of curiosity not judgment, why take the resources and time to test an out-of-production device? Virtually no one is able to buy a new one.
I quickly found a place that was selling four of them new at the discounted price I listed. What I liked about this series was the more traditional look compared to the new series. So was good to test it.

But yes, I hear you on the larger point. Every day I am turning down older products to test. There must have been half a dozen this week alone!
 
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amirm

amirm

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Maybe the M040 is not an super old design ?
It isn't. I think it came out in 2013 or 2014. I see a lot of reviews from that era. And as late as 2018 they were saying they are still available.
 
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