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Genelec Ones setup questions

justAlistener

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Hi all. I decided to finally bite the bullet and buy a pair of Genelec the ones. I am confused about what is the best way to connect them however. I am new to these so please bear with me.

I want to be able to a) use them as computer speakers for macbook and b) be able to stream and/or airplay music to them when my computer is not connected.


I understand that Genelecs accept AES/EBU or Balanced line in. I see people mention AES/EBU route is better since there wont be a ADC. That makes sense, but I haven't seen any info on how noticeable this is. Is this something I should care about?

I believe for the digital route, I can use something like Douk Audio U2 or this . This is the part I'm most confused: But this means I have to use the GLM software to control the volume? Or buy the knob. Both requiring me to have the Spekers and the GLM hub connecting all times( not ideal due to cable mess, but not the end of the world) And I have to figure something else out for streaming.

So instead buy adi 2 pro fs be (or any other recomendations you have) and use a breakout cable. So I can connect multiple devices in, and have volume control on AES somehow? Im not exactly sure. aNd even if it has volume control, I think it cant be controlled by a stremer like the WiiM Pro



Or I can just let the digital input go and use the excellently reviewed The D70 Pro SABRE as a combined PC DAC and a wireless streamer and call it a day. This sounds alot simpler and less messiy then the options above. Any downsides Im missing?



So to summarize, my questions are:

1) How important is using the digital input of the speakers?

2) How does some AES/EBU devices have volume control?

3) If I use the RMI with a streamer, will my volume control work with a streamer?

4) Just to make sure, GLM connection can not be used as audio input right? The only digital in is AES

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Edit: Typos
 
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tmtomh

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Congratulations - great speakers!

1. I prefer the digital input because it provides the most direct/pure signal. If you use the analogue inputs, you're doing a D/A/D/A conversion (digital source to analogue output from a DAC, to analogue input of the Genelecs, to digital processing inside the Genelecs, to analogue output at the speakers). Now, many folks say this doesn't matter sound-wise, while others say the all-digital chain sounds slightly better to them.

2. You don't exactly need a device with an AES EBU output to feed the Genelecs' AES EBU input. For a short cable run, you can use a 110-ohm digital coax (RCA) to AES EBU cable. In fact, for a short run you can just use a regular 75-ohm RCA to XLR cable and it will work just fine.

3. The simplest way to control volume is to get a source component that has its own volume control, which is active over its digital outputs (many devices have a volume control but it only affects the device's analogue outputs - their digital outputs are fixed at 100% volume). If your DAC or source device has its own volume control active with its digital outputs, then you can disconnect GLM as soon as you're done running the initial measurement/correction process - no more GLM, no more ethernet cables, etc.

4. GLM cannot be used as an audio input. It's only for managing the speakers. AES EBU is the only digital signal with the Genelecs.
 
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justAlistener

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Congratulations - great speakers!

1. I prefer the digital input because it provides the most direct/pure signal. If you use the analogue inputs, you're doing a D/A/D/A conversion (digital source to analogue output from a DAC, to analogue input of the Genelecs, to digital processing inside the Genelecs, to analogue output at the speakers). Now, many folks say this doesn't matter sound-wise, while others say the all-digital chain sounds slightly better to them.

2. You don't exactly need a device with an AES EBU output to feed the Genelecs' AES EBU input. For a short cable run, you can use a 110-ohm digital coax (RCA) to AES EBU cable. In fact, for a short run you can just use a regular 75-ohm RCA to XLR cable and it will work just fine.

3. The simplest way to control volume is to get a source component that has its own volume control, which is active over its digital outputs (many devices have a volume control but it only affects the device's analogue outputs - their digital outputs are fixed at 100% volume). If your DAC or source device has its own volume control active with its digital outputs, then you can disconnect GLM as soon as you're done running the initial measurement/correction process - no more GLM, no more ethernet cables, etc.

4. GLM cannot be used as an audio input. It's only for managing the speakers. AES EBU is the only digital signal with the Genelecs.
Thanks for the detailed response. Do you have any specific recommendations for what to use. From your answer to #2, I believe I need a usb to digital RCA right? and one with streaming capabilities or other input?
 

tmtomh

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Thanks for the detailed response. Do you have any specific recommendations for what to use. From your answer to #2, I believe I need a usb to digital RCA right? and one with streaming capabilities or other input?

You can convert almost any digital port/format to AES, but RCA coax to AES is the simplest and cheapest conversion because you can use a $10 RCA to XLR cable if you have a short run, and be done with it.

Depending on what model of MacBook you have, it might have HDMI output and/or optical output capability. But with that said, USB is of course going to be the simplest, cheapest, method.

So putting that all together, you are correct that what you want sitting between your MacBook and your Genelecs is a device with USB input, digital coax output, and a built-in volume control that works on that coax output.

I don't have specific recommendations, mainly because I don't know off the top of my head which DACs have the above combination of features.

One device that I know has those features is the MiniDSP Flex Digital Edition, but that's a $500 device. I'm sure you can find what you're looking for more cheaply.
 
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justAlistener

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I don't have specific recommendations, mainly because I don't know off the top of my head which DACs have the above combination of features.
DAC? I thought the point of this to avoid having a dac?

Not trying to nitpic, genuinely confused about these.
 
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justAlistener

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Also, I do own micro iDSD Black Label as my headphone amp. In the specs it says it has it can output "Audio RCA L+R" and "Intelligent SPDIF® Coaxial Up to 192kHz PCM". I guess the second one is all I need?

I am not sure what to look for in the manuel to know if it has digital volume control
 

MaxwellsEq

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DAC? I thought the point of this to avoid having a dac?
You need to get from your computer to the AES/EBU input. If your computer has an AES/EBU output, you need no further kit. I suspect it doesn't. If it has an RCA S/PDIF output, you also don't need anything. If it only has USB, you will need to convert that to S/PDIF. The most common tool is a DAC with S/PDIF out, but I think there are less common converters.
 

staticV3

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I believe for the digital route, I can use something like Douk Audio U2 or this . This is the part I'm most confused: But this means I have to use the GLM software to control the volume?
If you can find a DDC like these, but with support for UAC2 hardware volume, then you could continue using the standard macOS volume control with AES input on the Genelec. No need for GLM or the knob.
 

tmtomh

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DAC? I thought the point of this to avoid having a dac?

Not trying to nitpic, genuinely confused about these.

You're absolutely correct, and I should have been clearer. You don't need a DAC - all you need is a digital converter. But you need one with its own volume control. And if you go looking for a device with USB input, coax or AES output, and a built-in volume control, I think you might find that the least expensive options happen to be DACs - you just wouldn't use their analogue outputs.

Now, I could be mistaken - it could be that the DACs that have a coax output and a volume control, and a volume control that works with the digital output, are very few and far between, and it could be that those particular DACs are expensive.

I'm just saying that to my knowledge, the cheapest pure-digital component that ticks all those boxes is the MiniDSP Flex, digital version, at $500; and there might be a DAC that will do the same thing and is less expensive.

Oh - and one note about GLM that I forgot before: you can indeed disconnect the GLM module once you have the proper component to go in between your MacBook and your Genelecs. However, the one capability you will lose when you disconnect GLM is the ability to turn the speakers off and on using Genelec's little wireless remote. You will have to reach around to the back of each speaker and manually press its power button.

My understanding is that most people don't care about this, as they activate the ISS feature when setting up the speakers with GLM - ISS puts the speakers to sleep/in standby when they get no signal after a certain period of time. But I have read online about certain source components, DACs, digital devices etc regularly sending clock signals or whatnot to the Genelecs, preventing them from sleeping. Just an FYI.
 
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justAlistener

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My understanding is that most people don't care about this, as they activate the ISS feature when setting up the speakers with GLM - ISS puts the speakers to sleep/in standby when they get no signal after a certain period of time. But I have read online about certain source components, DACs, digital devices etc regularly sending clock signals or whatnot to the Genelecs, preventing them from sleeping
This is great to know. Appreciated.
If you can find a DDC like these, but with support for UAC2 hardware volume
there might be a DAC that will do the same thing and is less expensive.
Ive been looking around to find suitable products, but I am not sure what to look for. Manuels for like MOTU UltraLite-mk5 and Topping E30 II does not spesify if the spdif outputs have volume control. (Edit: or the https://www.rme-usa.com/adi-2-fs.html ) What exactly I'm looking for in the product pages?

PS. I understand that these speakers are meant for studio use with pro gear, and I am trying to use them in a not intended way and all. But really Genelec? Are all these necessary? A $1 IR receiver on/off circuit was too much put in a 5K speaker lol
 
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ctakim

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I have the Genelec 8341A on my computer/home office work desk. I bought a MiniDSP SHD Studio for the reasons you outlined. This unit accepts the digital input from my computer or from LAN sources and outputs in digital format via AES-EBU connections. The computer outputs via SPDIF with an RCA like connection. I won't speculate on the audible difference between an analog signal feed to the Genelecs vs. keeping it all in a digital format, but I just like knowing I'm staying entirely in the digital realm. The other big advantage of the MiniDSP SHD Studio are the DIRAC Live options, although you may be perfectly happy with the Genelec GLM signal processing.
 
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