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Neumann KH80 DSP or Genelec 8320A with a sub for home audio

ivayvr

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I currently own Adam A5X and REL T Zero sub with Node 2i as a source / pre amp. The room is approximately 3.5 x 4.5m and the speakers are along the longer wall closer to the right hand corner. The sound is very nice but since the room is untreated and it will remain so (total lack of WAF) I believe that there is still some room for improvement using DSP. I do have MiniDSP DDRC 24 (Dirac) for that purpose but I don't like the fact that using it would involve double digital to analog conversion and to a certain extent, complexity of installation by adding too many wires. Since I am living in an apartment building, I can only listen to the music at low to moderate levels. In that regard little REL sub is adding all the bass I will ever need.
Both speakers I am considering have their room correction contained within the speaker (once calibrated) and no additional equipment would be needed. I understand that integration of the sub, unless I change to Neumann or Genelec subs, would be better and more accurate with DDRC 24 because DDRC 24 is not brand specific.
Neumann KH80 seems like a logical choice since it does not need any additional hardware to perform the calibration (I have an I Pad) and Genelec needs their proprietary hub and mic for calibration adding 30% of the cost of the speaker to the equation. The speakers alone cost almost exactly the same, so in that regard Neumann is a clear winner. Adding Neumann sub is out of question because of the size and the price. Genelec sub (their smallest one) is borderline acceptable price wise but with the calibration package it will be still way above of what I am willing to pay.
If you were in a similar situation, what would you do? Is there any advantage I am unaware of in choosing one over another?
 

DjBonoBobo

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You can not use the KH80's DSP for correcting a sub, it is only for the KH80 themselves.
If you don't use the KH750 you still need additional EQ. Only the KH750 can EQ the whole range, even with non-dsp monitors.
 
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ivayvr

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I am fully aware of that but I probably did not state that clearly enough:
"I understand that integration of the sub, unless I change to Neumann or Genelec subs, would be better and more accurate with DDRC 24 because DDRC 24 is not brand specific. "
Even in the current configuration the sub has been adjusted by ear and that is far from perfect but the sound is better with the sub.
Thank you for your input.
 
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ivayvr

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I should probably add some clarity to my original question:
Is there any reason I am unaware of, that I should pay $1,700 for Genelec instead of $ 1,300 for Neumann (prices in Canada before tax)? Does one sound better and it is more suitable for the intended purpose (home audio-no mixing/recording with a small sub).
The more I read, the more confused I get. In Genelc's tutorial "How to select correct monitors" there is a table showing the ratio of direct sound vs reverberant sound depending on a listening position distance. Is that ratio speaker specific, room specific or both. If you exceed that ideal distance I can understand that resulting mix or recording may not be totally accurate but does it really matter in a home audio setting? I never heard that Dali Oberon 1 or even more so, Rogers (Falcon) LS3/5A should not be listened to from a distance of over 2 or 3 meters.
I would really appreciate even the most basic explanation.
 

richard12511

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I wouldn't expect a huge difference in sound quality tbh. I do like that the 8320 gives you GLM4, which is quite flexible and effective. No experience with Neumann's room correction equivalent. I think both are pretty well valued, just depends on how much you want to spend.
 
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ivayvr

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I tend to agree about the GLM4 being probably better compared to the level of accuracy provided by the iPad built in microphone. At the same time I like the fact that Neumann also offers more flexibility by means of switches on the back.
I would expect Neumann to have lower distortion for the simple reason that it has twice the power of Genelec and it should never be operating close to the power limit and it should be able to control drive units with a greater authority. Again, I am just guessing on all counts.
Thank you for your replies guys!
 

richard12511

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I tend to agree about the GLM4 being probably better compared to the level of accuracy provided by the iPad built in microphone. At the same time I like the fact that Neumann also offers more flexibility by means of switches on the back.
I would expect Neumann to have lower distortion for the simple reason that it has twice the power of Genelec and it should never be operating close to the power limit and it should be able to control drive units with a greater authority. Again, I am just guessing on all counts.
Thank you for your replies guys!

I've never used any of the switches on the back of any of my speakers, as any sort of digital EQ is always far better(Dirac, GLM, REW). IMO, the switches are very crude forms of EQ that should only ever be touched if you don't have any of those other methods of EQ.
 
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ivayvr

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That sounds logical! At the same time I am not too comfortable using apps that are not very simple or highly automated. That is what drove me away from MiniDSP. When I bought it (without Dirac Live) it required use of REW and to be perfectly honest, I was even struggling with terminology so never even came to the phase of using it. After upgrading it to the Dirac version, everything looks much simpler but still not my cup of tea.
In that regard GLM4 sounds superior to the built in app of Neumann. I did not read any complaints about it and I read a number of complaints about Neumann app.
 

richard12511

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That sounds logical! At the same time I am not too comfortable using apps that are not very simple or highly automated. That is what drove me away from MiniDSP. When I bought it (without Dirac Live) it required use of REW and to be perfectly honest, I was even struggling with terminology so never even came to the phase of using it. After upgrading it to the Dirac version, everything looks much simpler but still not my cup of tea.
In that regard GLM4 sounds superior to the built in app of Neumann. I did not read any complaints about it and I read a number of complaints about Neumann app.

GLM is very easy. You just have to measure once and then it auto-calculates the filters and applies them for you. The filters GLM creates will be specific to your room, and therefore much better than the general purpose switches on the back.

That said the KH80 also has a similar program(MA1?), though I've never used it. It may be just as easy.
 
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ivayvr

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That may be the solution (down the road) if the iPad calibration is not working or I am unable to use it. You were right. I tought that it it is only the name of their calibrated microphone but the program is called Neumann’s Automatic Monitor Alignment MA 1. I'll have to explore that avenue. Thanks!
 

PaulieDC

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That may be the solution (down the road) if the iPad calibration is not working or I am unable to use it. You were right. I tought that it it is only the name of their calibrated microphone but the program is called Neumann’s Automatic Monitor Alignment MA 1. I'll have to explore that avenue. Thanks!
I'm running the Windows app with the MA-1 tonight or tomorrow night, I'll let you know how that goes. The iPad app didn't yield great results, the 80s sound thin and the 750 barely sounds like it's doing anything. If I solo the sub in the iPad app and crank it, I hear/feel it so it's technically working but doesn't sound like $2700 yet.
 

PaulieDC

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First calibration with the MA-1 didn't go so well. I messed up in several areas, first and foremost not using a ruler to measure mic placement during calibration. If you eyeball it, save your money, it doesn't work. The other thing I changed was buying Mogami cables to replace the no-name brand XLR cables I got from Amazon. I did not expect that alone to have an impact on the sound but it truly does, not snake oil, at least in my world. Changing nothing else, I installed the Mogamis and turned on my set of reference tracks and was quite amazed and the noticeable fidelity increase. When I followed all of the Neuman rules and actually moved my StudioLogic 88-key controller so the mic and the sub could actually "see" each other (sub is under the desk, no option), the second crack at calibration yielded results that I did not think possible. It is now an absolutely joy to sit at mix position at my desk and listen to this rig. The thing that I noticed first was the seamless transition between the 750 sub and KH80s. Mind you, I'm coming at this as a musician and mix engineer-in-training, so I may not be noticing the exactness of detail others on here would, but in 40 years of doing home studio recording and going through countless different near-fields, this is by far the most accurate and best sounding system I've owned. Zero regrets on the price. I have never in my life had a monitoring system sound as good as headphones, until now. I have middle range cans, HD 650s and when I mix I use SonarWorks to clean the hype out and that works very well for mixing. Now I have that quality in my room which is amazing. Naturally SonarWorks gets turned off for the Neumann system. In fact I uninstalled SonarWorks when I did the Neumann cal to ensure the driver didn't somehow influence my sound.

I'd love to hear the similar Genelec system in my space but that's definitely out of my pay grade. But being a bit older now nd not wanting a lot of fuss, I'm 100% satisfied with the Neumann rig, and at first I thought it was terrible. Turns out I was, lol. Oh, my KH80s were also too low, not at ear level, I was about 4" short, and I found AmazonBasics Yoga blocks to act as height and absorption (I think I mentioned this in another thread). They work perfectly, it's almost weird.
 
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ivayvr

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Paulie, sorry have not been around here for quite a while and missed your post. I am glad that the whole combination eventually worked for you.
Unfortunately, the complete package cost more than I was planning to spend. The sub alone is a bit more then my current system (including my sub). I figured that I don't need absolute accuracy for the casual listening and decided to lower my expectations.
Thank you for your report!
 

PaulieDC

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Paulie, sorry have not been around here for quite a while and missed your post. I am glad that the whole combination eventually worked for you.
Unfortunately, the complete package cost more than I was planning to spend. The sub alone is a bit more then my current system (including my sub). I figured that I don't need absolute accuracy for the casual listening and decided to lower my expectations.
Thank you for your report!
It's an investment. Once I'm still paying off interest free on my Sweetwater Music card, lol! But 110% happy, just mixed a song tonight fot my Berklee Live Sound class and I still can't get over how good and how accurate these now are.
And, you're welcome!
 
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