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KEF LS50 meta/w vs Genelec 8340a?

MysteryAudio

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I'm looking for a nearfield speaker I can put on a fairly large desk, that can double up as a living room speaker in the near future! I currently own a pair of JBL LSR 305's I love those speakers but ultimately im looking for the next jump in both enjoyment and listening experience!

Before I posted this thread I've done a bit of research and the verdict does sway towards the genelec for their immense build quality, but I'm worried that the genelec would be too analytical and sacrifice enjoyment as I've heard other's describing their sound, "clear but boring", while I've heard the 50's have a warmer sound to them.

. I'd be pairing these on a desk for about a year with a Topping A90 + D90 stack as pre-amp control for my PC before moving to a larger listening space, with multi-use, but primarily music, and movies and a little gaming.

. The KEF's I see used alot, and they are extensively covered but not so much on the genelec, my suspicion of reason why sits with my original worry about "boring, netural sound" but the genelec will offer me the GLM room correction kit!

.Due to "circumstances" this will be my last upgrade for perhaps a good 5-6 years and really want a package that will last and will be flexiable for both nearfield quiet to mid volumes for now and be powerful enough without distortion in a larger space!

What do you think?

Thanks in advance
 

alex-z

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Both are going to be exceptionally neutral speakers. But if you aren't using a subwoofer, I wouldn't even consider the LS50 Meta. The Genelec 8340A have a significant advantage in bass output due to their larger woofer. Not enough for my taste, but enough to reproduce a kick drum.

Although the LSR305 themselves are not bad speakers. I would happily use a pair of those with a subwoofer + acoustic treatment rather than the 8340A with no sub or acoustic treatment.
 

Peluvius

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I have the 8340s with a sub. I picked them over the KEFs and KH310 Neumann. I wanted accuracy so I could listen as closely as possible to what was recorded. The 8040s fit my requirements for that and I do find the sub necessary to give the system some low end oomph (below 85Hz). I listen at around 3 meters. The GLM kit is excellent and should not be discounted in the decision, it really does an excellent job at overcoming room issues (although it cant do magic).
 
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MysteryAudio

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Both are going to be exceptionally neutral speakers. But if you aren't using a subwoofer, I wouldn't even consider the LS50 Meta. The Genelec 8340A have a significant advantage in bass output due to their larger woofer. Not enough for my taste, but enough to reproduce a kick drum.

Although the LSR305 themselves are not bad speakers. I would happily use a pair of those with a subwoofer + acoustic treatment rather than the 8340A with no sub or acoustic treatment.

Interesting! I appreciate the first rule of audio as to make sure the room is acoustically treated, however, I’m still surprised you’d still say you’d prefer the LSR 305’s (£200) over thousands of pounds speakers! Fair enough though I suppose that’s a testament to how good the 305’s really are, and the performance headroom when spending thousands inside a poor listening environment.

Wouldn’t the Genelec GLM kit help with that though?

I should have mentioned I will be pairing both of these with currently an Svs sb1000 and may upgrade to a KEF LC62
 

alex-z

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Interesting! I appreciate the first rule of audio as to make sure the room is acoustically treated, however, I’m still surprised you’d still say you’d prefer the LSR 305’s (£200) over thousands of pounds speakers! Fair enough though I suppose that’s a testament to how good the 305’s really are, and the performance headroom when spending thousands inside a poor listening environment.

Wouldn’t the Genelec GLM kit help with that though?

I should have mentioned I will be pairing both of these with currently an Svs sb1000 and may upgrade to a KEF LC62

The gap from good to great speakers is just much less than the gap from an untreated to a treated room.

Using room correction software like GLM only corrects for frequency response, it cannot alter physical properties of the room like reflections and decay time. Also, if you correct a dip in the bass response, that comes directly out of your total output headroom. Such software works best in tandem with physical acoustic treatment.

Are you using the PC as your source device? If so, GLM loses some value. An enterprising individual can achieve the same result with Room EQ Wizard + EqualizerAPO. Certainly requires a bit more work and knowledge though.

I fail to see how a KEF KC62 would be considered an upgrade over an SVS SB-1000. A single 12" driver has 70% more radiating area than a pair of 6.5" drivers, and the SVS cabinet also has over twice the air displacement. It is going to be massively superior in the amount of peak output it can produce. The KC62 might play lower on the spec sheet, but it will rapidly run into compression, as the sub self-limits due to driver excursion. In actual practice, more peak output means you can enhance the bass extension with DSP, and not lose the ability to play loudly.
 
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MysteryAudio

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The gap from good to great speakers is just much less than the gap from an untreated to a treated room.

Using room correction software like GLM only corrects for frequency response, it cannot alter physical properties of the room like reflections and decay time. Also, if you correct a dip in the bass response, that comes directly out of your total output headroom. Such software works best in tandem with physical acoustic treatment.

Are you using the PC as your source device? If so, GLM loses some value. An enterprising individual can achieve the same result with Room EQ Wizard + EqualizerAPO. Certainly requires a bit more work and knowledge though.

I fail to see how a KEF KC62 would be considered an upgrade over an SVS SB-1000. A single 12" driver has 70% more radiating area than a pair of 6.5" drivers, and the SVS cabinet also has over twice the air displacement. It is going to be massively superior in the amount of peak output it can produce. The KC62 might play lower on the spec sheet, but it will rapidly run into compression, as the sub self-limits due to driver excursion. In actual practice, more peak output means you can enhance the bass extension with DSP, and not lose the ability to play loudly.
Fair enough! Thanks for the advice!

Yes my pc would be my main source for now.

I’d only replace the svs based on “wife acceptance factor“
 

Tangband

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Fair enough! Thanks for the advice!

Yes my pc would be my main source for now.

I’d only replace the svs based on “wife acceptance factor“
I would say that If you have a normal room with furnitures and dont live in a bathroom , the step up in soundquality from jbl 305 compared to Genelec 8030c or 8340 and also ls50 Meta is very big , even without any room treatment. The jbl 305 is the worse sounding speaker, even If the room is perfectly treated.

Further, in my opinion, the sound from a 8030c or the similar G3 compared to a ls50 meta is of no contest - the 8030c ( or G3) is better sounding in every way. They are more fun to listen to music. The 8340 sound quality is quite the same as 8030c , but in a bad room, the ability to use GLM can make them sound a bit better . They also go 10 Hz deeper in bass, and can play about 10 dB louder.

All those speakers mentioning above will sound better than your jbl 305 ( I have had a pair during a short time ) .

I would also say that a pair of 8030c , If used on a desktop, is probably good enough for most people.
 
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Steve Dallas

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The gap from good to great speakers is just much less than the gap from an untreated to a treated room.

Using room correction software like GLM only corrects for frequency response, it cannot alter physical properties of the room like reflections and decay time. Also, if you correct a dip in the bass response, that comes directly out of your total output headroom. Such software works best in tandem with physical acoustic treatment.

Are you using the PC as your source device? If so, GLM loses some value. An enterprising individual can achieve the same result with Room EQ Wizard + EqualizerAPO. Certainly requires a bit more work and knowledge though.

I fail to see how a KEF KC62 would be considered an upgrade over an SVS SB-1000. A single 12" driver has 70% more radiating area than a pair of 6.5" drivers, and the SVS cabinet also has over twice the air displacement. It is going to be massively superior in the amount of peak output it can produce. The KC62 might play lower on the spec sheet, but it will rapidly run into compression, as the sub self-limits due to driver excursion. In actual practice, more peak output means you can enhance the bass extension with DSP, and not lose the ability to play loudly.

I agree with most of what you say here except that GLM works in both the frequency and PHASE domains, and phase is not something that can be corrected in EQ APO. [EDIT: Incorrect. See below.] You need a convolver for that, which is much trickier.

However, you CAN purchase Dirac Live Standalone and run it on your PC as a virtual sound device. This is how I address room acoustics in my home office.

As for the original question, both are excellent speakers with incredible build quality. The LS50 Meta NEEDS a sub to play with any authority (unless placed near the front wall and listening distance is limited), but what it does, it does very well. For an all-rounder, I would choose the Genelec. Although I am curious as to why you are not considering the KEF R3, unless it is simply too large.

I never listen to the prognosticators who say a studio monitor sounds too analytical. They are they same people who say soft dome tweeters sound silky, metal domes sound metallic, ribbons sound airy, etc. All nonsense.

[EDIT]

Just for giggles, I overlaid the PIR for both speakers and level-matched the curves by eyeball. Coincidentally, these speakers have a remarkably similar frequency response!

KEF LS50 Meta vs. Genelec 8030C PIR.png
 
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abdo123

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I agree with most of what you say here except that GLM works in both the frequency and PHASE domains, and phase is not something that can be corrected in EQ APO. You need a convolver for that, which is much trickier.

However, you CAN purchase Dirac Live Standalone and run it on your PC as a virtual sound device. This is how I address room acoustics in my home office.

As for the original question, both are excellent speakers with incredible build quality. The LS50 Meta NEEDS a sub to play with any authority (unless placed near the front wall and listening distance is limited), but what it does, it does very well. For an all-rounder, I would choose the Genelec. Although I am curious as to why you are not considering the KEF R3, unless it is simply too large.

I never listen to the prognosticators who say a studio monitor sounds too analytical. They are they same people who say soft dome tweeters sound silky, metal domes sound metallic, ribbons sound airy, etc. All nonsense.

[EDIT]

Just for giggles, I overlaid the PIR for both speakers and level-matched the curves by eyeball. Coincidentally, these speakers have an remarkably similar frequency response!

View attachment 221082
EQ APO does have a convolver btw, I don’t know how you missed that.
 

abdo123

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Personally i like passive speakers better just because they’re easier to deal with and run by AVRs.

If you’re listening to speakers at a distance of one to two meters then the LS50 Metas with generic subwoofers and decent bass management are the holy grail in my opinion of home entertainment.

In other contexts studio monitors might be superior, but that’s a different conversation.
 

alex-z

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I agree with most of what you say here except that GLM works in both the frequency and PHASE domains, and phase is not something that can be corrected in EQ APO. You need a convolver for that, which is much trickier.
EqualizerAPO has a convolution option, you just give the impulse response as a .flac or .wav input. And for non-Windows users there is CamillaDSP. I do think GLM is great software, just not a hard requirement.
 

Steve Dallas

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EQ APO does have a convolver btw, I don’t know how you missed that.
EqualizerAPO has a convolution option, you just give the impulse response as a .flac or .wav input. And for non-Windows users there is CamillaDSP. I do think GLM is great software, just not a hard requirement.
Interesting. I did not know that, and I have used EQ APO for years. I think I never looked into it, because I have other convolvers from my project studio available.

You still need the skills to manually take several measurements with REW, create and export IIR filters, use a tool like RePhase to correct phase anomolies and create the impulse response, etc. which is above the skill level of most normal people.
 

Tangband

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Both the Kef ls50 Meta and Genelec 8030c is frequency linear and measures generally well , but the Genelec 8030c has much lower distortion below 500 Hz , both at 86 dB and at 96 dB .
The Kef ls50 Meta has high distortion from 130 Hz and below at 86 dB , and need to be crossed at this freq. with two stereo subwoofers placed very close to each speakers for good sound results . The Kef ls50 Meta alone cant play bass att higher levels.

The Kef R3 seems ( maybe ) to be a better choice in this case, with less integration problems to subwoofers, i.e can be crossed at a lower frequency than 130 Hz.

BADB1ED7-3F52-408F-AB0C-4CE6009F80F7.jpeg
7E99F236-2F52-467C-A1BC-3901B487E173.png
 
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abdo123

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Both the Kef ls50 Meta and Genelec 8030c is frequency linear and measures generally well , but the Genelec 8030c has much lower distortion below 500 Hz , both at 86 dB and at 96 dB .
The Kef ls50 Meta has high distortion from 130 Hz and below at 86 dB , and need to be crossed at this freq. with two stereo subwoofers placed very close to each speakers for good sound results . The Kef ls50 Meta alone cant play bass att higher levels.

The Kef R3 seems ( maybe ) to be a better choice in this case, with less integration problems to subwoofers, i.e can be crossed at a lower frequency than 130 Hz.

View attachment 221084View attachment 221085

The maximum output of the LS50 meta is around 96db/m at 100Hz which means 100dB is possible when crossed to a subwoofer. That’s 106dB for a stereo. No need for stereo subs in my opinion. Ofcourse it all depends on the distance.

Absolute amounts of harmonic distortion has no correlation with listener perferance, so I don’t see the usefulness in comparing the harmonic distortion of two speakers within their linear excursion.
 

Tangband

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The maximum output of the LS50 meta is around 96db/m at 100Hz which means 100dB is possible when crossed to a subwoofer. That’s 106dB for a stereo. No need for stereo subs in my opinion. Ofcourse it all depends on the distance.

Absolute amounts of harmonic distortion has no correlation with listener perferance, so I don’t see the usefulness in comparing the harmonic distortion of two speakers within their linear excursion.
Thats not true. High distortion, in this case very high distortion, can be heard easily.
 

abdo123

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Thats not true. High distortion, in this case very high distortion can be heard easily.
That’s not what you’re discussing though. You’re discussing the harmonic distortion of two speakers below audibility thresholds and you’re saying the Genelec is the better speaker because of it although both of them should be inaudible.
 
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MysteryAudio

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I would say that If you have a normal room with furnitures and dont live in a bathroom , the step up in soundquality from jbl 305 compared to Genelec 8030c or 8340 and also ls50 Meta is very big , even without any room treatment. The jbl 305 is the worse sounding speaker, even If the room is perfectly treated.

Further, in my opinion, the sound from a 8030c or the similar G3 compared to a ls50 meta is of no contest - the 8030c ( or G3) is better sounding in every way. They are more fun to listen to music. The 8340 sound quality is quite the same as 8030c , but in a bad room, the ability to use GLM can make them sound a bit better . They also go 10 Hz deeper in bass, and can play about 10 dB louder.

All those speakers mentioning above will sound better than your jbl 305 ( I have had a pair during a short time ) .

I would also say that a pair of 8030c , If used on a desktop, is probably good enough for most people.

Glad to hear you actually had a hands on listen with the 305's , I suppose this was the response I was looking for.., I think it's fairly obvious that speakers in an untreated room completly devoid of any acceptable auditory layout will sound awful or at least significantly worse then they can actually perfom so I am for the moment very accepting of potential small changes in quality until I move. Under no circumstances would I ever attempt to trash any of my choices as sounding only marginally better than £200 (pair) speakers given my room for the moment, that said the layout isn't awful for nearfield use case.

I experienced this myself moving from where I was to where I am now with the JBLS, I've heard the drop in clarity and soundstage immediately.

I'm hearing alot that the Genelec's (perhaps not as much as you suggest "blowing" the LS50's out of the water) are overall a better sounding speaker than the KEF's, I agree with the smaller and far cheaper £1000 8030c/ G3 etc. size for a desk is far more suitable, just worried about their SPL in a larger living room, but I suppose you can't have your cake and eat it.
 
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MysteryAudio

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I agree with most of what you say here except that GLM works in both the frequency and PHASE domains, and phase is not something that can be corrected in EQ APO. You need a convolver for that, which is much trickier.

However, you CAN purchase Dirac Live Standalone and run it on your PC as a virtual sound device. This is how I address room acoustics in my home office.

As for the original question, both are excellent speakers with incredible build quality. The LS50 Meta NEEDS a sub to play with any authority (unless placed near the front wall and listening distance is limited), but what it does, it does very well. For an all-rounder, I would choose the Genelec. Although I am curious as to why you are not considering the KEF R3, unless it is simply too large.

I never listen to the prognosticators who say a studio monitor sounds too analytical. They are they same people who say soft dome tweeters sound silky, metal domes sound metallic, ribbons sound airy, etc. All nonsense.

[EDIT]

Just for giggles, I overlaid the PIR for both speakers and level-matched the curves by eyeball. Coincidentally, these speakers have an remarkably similar frequency response!

View attachment 221082
Interesting suggestions, I believe when I have time after moving I would certainly like to look into more advanced room EQ adjustments solutions when I can afford to spend time reading into it, but I'll will take a look at Dirac in the meantime!

As interested as I am in the KEF R3, I believe they aren't nearly as suited for nearfield listening "especially desk usage" as far as I've read as KEF LS50's and almost religiously wouldn't ever be put on a desk compared to the former. It's not about power for me, I own a Hegal H190 amp, but it's use case I believe It wouldn't make sense on a desk placed against a wall, while they are large it honestly wouldn't matter to me, after all I am debating Genelec 3340a's for the same application until moving.

- KEF R3's are gorgeous though
 

Sancus

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I agree with most of what you say here except that GLM works in both the frequency and PHASE domains
No, it doesn't work in the phase domain. The Genelec FAQ is clear about that. Only minimum phase filters are used.

GLM can linearize the phase of the Genelec Ones, which just fixes the phase of the speaker, it doesn't do anything based on in-room measurements. It can also align phase of a Genelec subwoofer with one(1) Genelec monitor.

Neither of those things are what Dirac does when it performs full range phase correction based on in-room measurements. As noted in the FAQ, they are trying to keep latency at reasonable levels. Dirac typically introduces at least 20-25ms of latency and I believe it can introduce a lot more depending on what corrections it makes. Even 20ms is way too much for a studio monitor.

It's best to understand GLM as a quick-and-dirty room correction. It's not trying to do anything fancy, it's just trying to put in a few simple PEQs to reduce the worst bass peaks. It's very minimalist. The assumption is that the speakers are being used in treated rooms where the problematic effects of reflections and SBIR in the time domain are already minimized, so there is no reason for GLM to try to be Dirac.
 

Tangband

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No, it doesn't work in the phase domain. The Genelec FAQ is clear about that. Only minimum phase filters are used.

GLM can linearize the phase of the Genelec Ones, which just fixes the phase of the speaker, it doesn't do anything based on in-room measurements. It can also align phase of a Genelec subwoofer with one(1) Genelec monitor.

Neither of those things are what Dirac does when it performs full range phase correction based on in-room measurements. As noted in the FAQ, they are trying to keep latency at reasonable levels. Dirac typically introduces at least 20-25ms of latency and I believe it can introduce a lot more depending on what corrections it makes. Even 20ms is way too much for a studio monitor.

It's best to understand GLM as a quick-and-dirty room correction. It's not trying to do anything fancy, it's just trying to put in a few simple PEQs to reduce the worst bass peaks. It's very minimalist. The assumption is that the speakers are being used in treated rooms where the problematic effects of reflections and SBIR in the time domain are already minimized, so there is no reason for GLM to try to be Dirac.
GLM can do 90% in 5 minutes of what a proffesional installer can do .
Amirms review :

”Conclusions
The Genelec GML Room EQ is a straightforward automatic generation and execution of filters. This makes the system easy to understand and modify but perhaps takes out the mystique of something magical going on. I personally may take a shot at just programming the filters manually or measuring and then modifying. While I have accepted the fact that consumer EQ products don't want to provide transparency on what they have done, I wish a Pro product like GLM would make a post EQ measurement and show that rather than simulated, feel good but made up response. It would take just a few seconds. Heck, that measurement could be used iteratively to optimize the filters more.

As is though, the system provides 90% of what an expert could do on his own in almost an instant. The improvement is dramatic and you would be silly for not using it if you have a Genelec SAM speaker. Indeed any system used without an EQ is producing incorrect and far less than satisfying sound in your room. You must have an EQ strategy and if you can't provide it upstream, having it this easily programmed into each speaker is a great help for very little money.

Overall, I am going to recommend the Genelec GLM. It should be mandatory for anyone buying a SAM speaker that works with it.”
—————————

One good thing with GLM is that the two speakers are corrected individualy. You have one frequency sweep for each speaker. After the calibration is done you save it into the speakers.

One can always do manually corrections in GLM after the automatic corrections are done.
One obvious is to use a 5 dB shelving filter from 100 Hz , lowering everything above that frequency to get a frequency response at listening position thats very similar the ones that Dr. Toole at Harman recommended.

9722CDFE-E1E7-40B1-9921-BFAEA4EB627B.png
 
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