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Genelec S360 Review (Studio Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 102 36.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 165 59.4%

  • Total voters
    278

Digby

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Is it prohibitively expensive to produce white/grey/silver drivers for white cabinets or something? I want to like the white ones, but with black drivers, hmmm :confused:
 

3125b

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A demo pair of 1236A can (could) be yours for $42000/pair plus shipping: see here.
Its' weight is 182 kg/each.
That's actually a decent price at 115€/kg, the 8030C for example aren't much cheaper at 108€/kg :)
 

Endibol

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Genelec S360 (S360A) studio monitor. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $3995 each.
View attachment 221806
It comes in both white and black. As you can see, it is quite a departure from other Genelec speakers with rectangular shape and non-coaxial drivers. The latter was changed in order to allow for higher output level. The port is down firing. Fit and finish is superb. It is also quite heavy for its size, clocking at 30 kg/66 pounds. Many mounting holes are provided for various mounting options which is a major plus over traditional hi-fi speakers.

There is a digital input in this active bi-amped speaker and can be calibrated using Genelec GLM software.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Likewise listening tests comply with the latest research into proper evaluation of speakers calling for mono, instead of stereo listening:

Reference axis was not documented but based on trial and error, I found it be at the outer ring of the woofer. Company was kind enough to review and approve the measurements you are about to see.

Genelec S360 Measurements
As usual we are start with our "spin" frequency response measurements:
View attachment 221807
On-axis response is smooth but has a slight sloping down. Hard to find any faults other than the directivity error at around 1.4 kHz. This is caused entirely by vertical directivity:
View attachment 221811

Which you can see better in the drill down:
View attachment 221812
Floor and ceiling reflections could be absorbed to better controlled that vertical response error. Perceptually though, this is not nearly as significant as horizontal dispersion.

Predicted in-room response for far-field listening as a result has a small kink:
View attachment 221813

Here is our near-field response of the radiating surfaces showing excellence in response of the port/cabinet and that of the tweeter:
View attachment 221814

Back to directivity, we see the perfection again in our horizontal graphs:
View attachment 221815


View attachment 221816

Vertical dispersion advises sitting at reference axis relative to your ear height:
View attachment 221817

The reason for switch to standard 2-way configuration from coaxial is better power delivery. We can see this in the 106 dBSPL response best:

View attachment 221818
View attachment 221819

View attachment 221820

Compared to Genelec 8361, we see no limiting of the tweeter at 106 dBSPL:
index.php


The sweep at 106 dBSPL was scary loud even though I had full hearing protection!

I am sorry but I forgot to run the waterfall plot but there is the step response:
View attachment 221821

Genelec S360 Listening Tests
Due to heavy weight logistics, I had to listen to the S360 in our living room setting as you can see in the review picture above. This is a very live room/surrounding so different than my usual setup where there is for example a thick floor carpet. Still, performance was excellent with the single S360 capable of filling the entire room with authority. Bass is not super deep but what is there is very clean. I was only able to get the clipping light to blink once on a single track but could not detect any impairment.

I attempted broad 1 dB EQ to flatten the on-axis response but the result was inconclusive. In controlled AB tests, I preferred it with or without EQ equal number of times.

Compared to my memory of the 8361A, I thought bass extension was not quite as deep. And clarity while excellent, was not quite as impressive as that speaker.

Conclusion
The S360 moves the dynamic headroom forward compared to rest of Genelec line. It is clearly well engineered and built. By standards of traditional 2-way speakers, it performs excellently. It is only compared to the perfection of coaxial Genelecs that we see slight errors.

In the looks department, the S360 is now housed in a more home friendly enclosure and as such, should find more buyers. Many have walked away from Genelecs due to their somewhat polarizing look. Now you have a great alternative in the form of S360A.

I am happy to put the Genelec S360 speaker in my recommended list.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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Nice review Amir.
You mention that Genelec moved from a coaxial design to a 2-way design due to better power delivery.
Could you please explain the physics behind this?
Thanks
 

respice finem

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Genelec seems to be good at ensuring that there is decent amp power for the speakers.:)

Perhaps something to think about when choosing an amplifier, its power, for your passive speakers.
The amps in active speakers have "a lighter job" anyway, because they don't have a passive crossover before the drivers, and usually the actives got one amp for each driver (or even two bridged for the woofer).
 

BDWoody

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Genelec seems to be good at ensuring that there is decent amp power for the speakers.:)

Perhaps something to think about when choosing an amplifier, its power, for your passive speakers.

Absolutely right.

JBL uses 2x250wpc amps in their 7 series monitors. I don't see the clip indicator light up very often. Im a big believer in plenty of power.
 

DanielT

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The amps in active speakers have "a lighter job" anyway, because they don't have a passive crossover before the drivers, and usually the actives got one amp for each driver (or even two bridged for the woofer).
Imagine then one, only 1, amplifier that will power up a pair of passive speakers. There are many people here who like the Topping PA5 amplifier.
PA5 power: 83 W in 4 Ohm, 48 W in 8 Ohm. ....Well, nice but few watts.:)
If played at low volume (maybe normal listening volume), fairly sensitive speakers placed near the listening position, non-dynamic music. Maybe, but I want amp power headroom anyway.:D

Okay that was a bit OT, but still.
 
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amirm

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Genelec seems to be good at ensuring that there is decent amp power for the speakers.:)

Perhaps something to think about when choosing an amplifier, its power, for your passive speakers.
They may and likely have dynamic limiters though -- something we don't sadly have in non-DSP amplifiers. So they can degrade gracefully whereas in separates, you hit hard limiting and distortion.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Nice review Amir.
You mention that Genelec moved from a coaxial design to a 2-way design due to better power delivery.
Could you please explain the physics behind this?
Thanks
I don't have a direct answer but this video I watched before the review is helpful in this regard (around 2:00 minute mark):

 

Endibol

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I don't have a direct answer but this video I watched before the review is helpful in this regard (around 2:00 minute mark):

Thanks for this link. To be honest it's still not clear to me., I assume that since they use a quite big enclosure they have simply more space for a 2-way set-up which is easier to construct I guess.. The big box was probably needed to increase sensitivity thus facilitating higher SPL's.
 

Koeitje

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I don't have a direct answer but this video I watched before the review is helpful in this regard (around 2:00 minute mark):

Wait, the subwoofer that goes with these speakers has THREE 15" drivers. :eek:
 

Robbo99999

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Wait, the subwoofer that goes with these speakers has THREE 15" drivers. :eek:
Ha, I guess that's an indicator of just how much power these speakers can produce and how low & with so much power subwoofers would have to go to complement these speakers!
 

EchoChamber

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High end professional gear is just so satisfying (and still affordable). I must say, I do like the looks of my white egg shape Gens… They kinda disappear visually, no sharp edges, discreet, very Henry Moore sculpture like, I totally dig it!
 

mkt

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I don't have a direct answer but this video I watched before the review is helpful in this regard (around 2:00 minute mark):

Neat that the amplifier can be removed and rack mounted.
EDIT Also interesting.
They see the S360 not as a nearfield or even a midfield monitor, but as a speaker to be used flexibly in multi-channel monitoring, for TV, movies, games and VR applications, where perhaps 16 or more speakers, each potentially at a significant distance from the listening position, might be required to create an 'object‑oriented' immersive soundfield capable of reaching genuinely high volume levels. So the fundamental design brief for the S360 reads: compact, flat and wide bandwidth, tightly controlled dispersion, and ability to play loud.
 
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PeteL

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I wonder why they went with a compression driver for this one but still used domes in their larger models like the 1238A.
Have you seen that specified somewhere or you see something my old eyes can’t see as clearly as you? I am also a bit surprised by that from Genelec speakers.
 
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