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Kef LS50 meta (+ sub + Benchmark AHB2) or Genelec 8331a (+ sub)

rillettes

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Hi,

I'm about to pull the trigger for my desktop setup, but would like to share thoughts before I do so.

I'm looking for a pair of speakers to put on my desktop, to listen to music while working. In a small (14 sqm / 150 sqft), treated room.
I sometimes listen at high, but not extreme SPLs, and am quite close to the speakers (~80 cm / 31.5 in.).
I listen to classical music (including orchestral, opera), metal, some pop, ... All streamed with Roon (bringing EQ), through a Yamaha wxc-50.
I plan to use a subwoofer (not 2, for practical reasons).
I also happen to already own a Benchmark AHB2, which I'd be reluctant to resell. This is not rational: I just love the sound of this amp, and have listened to it for so long now that I'm quite attached to it.

So my plan is to get the Kef LS50 metas, and an SVS PB-1000 Pro.
The alternative I'm considering is Genelec 8331a + 7360a. This would mean reselling the AHB2.
Even after selling the AHB2, the Genelec option will be significantly pricier (3500€ vs 2200€).

I'm looking at coaxial designs due to the short distance to the speakers.
This will have to be a blind buy, no shop in my area have these models.

I'm pretty confident about my choice here, but would love to get other opinions ! And maybe this will help other people in a similar situation. I'm also open to other brands / models, provided they can be found in Europe.

Thanks !
 

Marc v E

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I would recommend you buy one you think you like best ( without the subwoofer) and return it if you don't like what it does. Check with the shop return policy beforehand.

(If it were my choice it would be the genelec 8331. It goes down to 50 hz flat and the ls50 slope down at 100hz. I have genelecs on my desk so I guess I'm biased.)

(You should probably also take into account if you want to change from desktop to main setup later on. Max spl would be a good indication to make that transition.)
 
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DSJR

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I can't argue with the above advice, but my own take is to go active all the way and leave the fickle audiophile domestic market behind. Your choice and where you are or wish to be on your journey. I'm sure both paths will give good results once set up well...
 

DMill

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First off consider yourself very fortunate that you have 2 great options. The first option gives you the ability to change out speakers in future without needing to buy an amp or an active speaker. Do you see yourself wanting to try out something new that looks amazing in a couple years? If yes, it would be a no brainer for me.

Both speakers are extremely well reviewed on this site - I really can't offer any more than what you can find here, both are great:


 

HooStat

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In a small room, the 7350A should be fine. It is specifically designed to work with the 833x speakers. But if you have an amp you don't want to part with, and EQ already in Roon, then the LS50 make the most sense. The benefit of the Genelec setup is that it has the amps and room EQ built in (which you know, of course).
 
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MarcosCh

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With the kef+svs+amp option you will still need something to do the xover. Depending on what you decide to get it can get expensive in europe (thinking minidsp flex)
 

Joachim Herbert

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Genelec Ones would give you one stop room eq, once you add glm. This is as good as it gets. You literally get what you pay for.
 

NiagaraPete

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I’m biased. If you can afford the Genelec system it is miles better than the other option.
 
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rillettes

rillettes

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In a small room, the 7350A should be fine. It is specifically designed to work with the 833x speakers. But if you have an amp you don't want to part with, and EQ already in Roon, then the LS50 make the most sense. The benefit of the Genelec setup is that it has the amps and room EQ built in (which you know, of course).
Genelec seem to suggest the 7360 to go with the 8331s ? https://www.genelec.com/correct-monitors
 
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rillettes

rillettes

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With the kef+svs+amp option you will still need something to do the xover. Depending on what you decide to get it can get expensive in europe (thinking minidsp flex)
Why would it be needed ? Is it due to flaws with the sub's crossover ?
 

MarcosCh

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Why would it be needed ? Is it due to flaws with the sub's crossover ?
I believe the svs 1000 pro, on the contrary to its predecessor, does not have high pass filter. Others might correct me if i am wrong.
 
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rillettes

rillettes

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I’m biased. If you can afford the Genelec system it is miles better than the other option.
In which (measurable) way are they miles ahead ? @Marc v E mentioned the slope under 100Hz (which would be compensated by the sub integration ?).
I can also imagine that GLM will make EQ easier, but this is a less important criteria for me than sound quality.
 

Marc v E

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I believe the svs 1000 pro, on the contrary to its predecessor, does not have high pass filter. Others might correct me if i am wrong.
In any case I agree with you because without some form of eq the ls50 would output more bass than needed. This will probably not be beneficial to a good integration between speakers and sub. Cutoff at 100hz would most probably reduce distortion too in the ls50, giving them clearer mids. Anyway my money would still be on the Genelecs.
For the ahb2 ls50 combo @rillettes would need a minidsp flex or something similar.
 
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Joachim Herbert

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You should take both for a listen to appreciate their respective strengths and weaknesses. This is not a matter that could be resolved by discussing features or measurements.
 

tifune

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I have LS50 Meta, 8331 and 7350. You mention 7360; not sure where you're located but in USA 2x 7350 is same price as 1x 7360. The SAM module is around $250, don't forget to factor that in.

I would do 8331 + 2x 7350s even for one listening position. SAM makes it all so easy, and Genelec holds value extremely well if you ever want to upgrade. Or, don't upgrade, just expand to multichannel because SAM makes that so easy as well.

Amps don't matter nearly as much as most think; the AHB2 is remarkable in that it's basically remained SoTA for so many years but audibly speaking you can get equal results for 1/2 the price. Consider, for example, the amps used in 8331s have SINAD around 75-80 IIRC. Yeah yeah SINAD isn't everything blah blah, just trying to illustrate

Edit: somehow I missed you already own the benchmark, which changes the value proposition a bit. Given your room is treated, I'd personally start w LS50 Meta, 2x small subs, and MiniDSP device of your choosing. The price: performance *value* would far outweigh the Genelec solution. But, if you have to have "the best", genelec is it (at a premium of course)
 
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brandall10

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Genelec Ones would give you one stop room eq, once you add glm. This is as good as it gets. You literally get what you pay for.

Agreed, to me this is the primary differentiator. And the Genelecs are just 'that much' better.

That said, I went down a similar path and ended up w/ the A500s at a similar price point and would do it again, except I was considering building a system around 8351Bs or LS50WIIs. Granted, they're probably not great for near-field setups (poor vertical dispersion).
 

HooStat

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Genelec seem to suggest the 7360 to go with the 8331s ? https://www.genelec.com/correct-monitors
You are correct, but I can't figure out why. The 8330 and 8030 have the same peak loudness and recommended room size as the 8331 and the recommendation is the 7350. So, unless the 7360 has some other feature, the 7350 should be fine. When I was looking at this combo, I had decided on 2 of the 7350 as was recommended above and my dealer thought that was a good option.
 
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rillettes

rillettes

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Thanks for all the replies.
At first I was confused by the suggestion of a high-pass filter. But now if I understand correctly, this is to ease the load on the LS50's woofers, so that they can produce mids with lower distortion, and leave a larger spectrum in the lows to the sub(s), also allowing lower distortion. Which is something that Genelec does automagically with GLM.
Before even factoring the price of an added crossover, the complexity of adding and configuring another box is a strong negative.
 

NiagaraPete

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I believe the svs 1000 pro, on the contrary to its predecessor, does not have high pass filter. Others might correct me if i am wrong.
It does not.
 

phoenixdogfan

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I own the Metas and jave an SB 2000, so I am biased. I also drive them with a Purifi Eigentact which I think is a far better buy than the Benchmark. If you go the Meta route, I would suggest you buy a miniDSP Flex and the VTV Purifi Eigentact for equal or less money than the Benchmark. An SB 2000 Pro is not that much bigger than the SB 1000 and will pair more readily with anything else you might want to use in the future.
 
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