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Sub 25K active speaker/system choice

lherrm

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If everything goes fine by the end of the year, I'll be in position to upgrade my current system.
I'm currently using Focal Solo 6, which I enjoy, and I would like to step up to something a bit outstanding.
My use case is mere music/movie enjoyment in an untreated living room of about 5.5m x 7m.
My criteria :
- full range active stereo (2.0 or 2.2)
- best possible sound quality : SOTA flatness/directivity control/distortion/younameit...
- no need for very loud (no idea about specific SPL requirement)
- listening distance is from 3m to 5m away (sofa or dining table used as desk)
- not too technical to setup (looking at you, JBL M2)
- rather an integrated system if 2.2
- good looking, however subjective that is
- max budget is 25k (new)
- buying in 2022

I narrowed it down to :
- Grimm Audio LS1v2 + subs LS1s (~24K)
PROS : Bruno Putzey's design, all reported experiences are dithyrambics, accuracy totally unscientifically confirmed by "Blind test part II" here, can be upgraded over the time to newer versions (when/if they make one)
CONS : no detailed measurements/spin, small (but growing) company
- Genelec 8351B+W371A (~24K?)
PROS : SOTA mains, nice combo with the W371A adaptative woofer and its different modes, GLM, genelec reputation, could be a start for a HT setup if willing to go there later
CONS : not so sure about that "narrow soundstage" (vs Salon2 for example) people talk about here
- The upcoming GGNTKT M3 as a challenger (and probably much cheaper), based on what existing Models do, and the measure glimpses.

Candidates ruled out : passives (Salon2 could have been the exception, but certainly a challenge to find a mint pair and have it shipped from US to my island), other actives like ATC (I like their look, but they are quite expensive and not SOTA), Geithain (don't like the bulk size/look, no detailed measurements/spinorama), Kii Three (SOTA measurements - thanks @hardisj , but don't like the look, BXT bass module expensive and ugly for me), Dutch&Dutch8C (looks very good for both SQ and esthetic, don't care about distortion, but believed by me to be inferior to the 2 top contenders), JBL M2 (too complicated setup for me), Linkwitz LX521 (complicated setup, ugly), Genelec 1237A/1238A & Neumann KH420 (expected to be inferior to the top contenders, but how certain is that ? by how much ? who knows), Genelec 8361A (ugly, inferior to 8351B+W371A).

I have a kind of crush for the LS1s, but 8351B+W371 is probably the best Genelec can offer for this use case, which says much. Although I'd want to, there is no way to listen to any of them here (Reunion Island, small french rock in the Indian Ocean).
Buying blind would be kinda crazy but I would be game, because any contenders here are, imho, f****** great.
I could have a clear preference for one or the other though, if I could listen to them.
Also, I have no idea how much better these may sound other the cheaper (and supposedly less good) alternatives.
I haven't planned on a trip to Europe soon, but if there was an opportunity of listening to a few of them altogether, would such an event be of interest to any of you (in France) ? It would probably be with buying something in mind.

The input will be an upcoming Topping EX5 through analog.
I later plan to go digital and add room correction with something like Trinnov Amethyst (or Illusonic or DEQX).

What would be your objective and subjective reasons to choose Genelec over Grimm over GGNTKT (writing that, I just realize they all start with Gs) ?
Do you have others candidates I would have forgotten ?
 

Head_Unit

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Bonjour! Do sound waves even reach that far?!? o_O
MAYBE I SHOULD BE TYPING IN ALL CAPS????:D
I suppose it is hard to get a home trial all the way out there ha ha, and if you didn't like the speakers the restock shipping would kill you!
I'm not familiar with the others but whenever I've heard Genelec at trade shows or at the Surround Sound Conferences they used to hold, I liked them very much. A "narrow soundstage" would come with any kind of horn/waveguide but if you have an untreated room controlled dispersion would reduce "splashing around" of the sound. And I'm sure others will say "TREAT THE ROOM!!!"

Now for some other questions:
- Do you recommend visiting Reunion? (Both now with COVID, or in general when/if that reduces finally). Are there nice sandy picturesque beaches? Toasty warm water or not so warm?
- What do people do for a living there?
- What would you say about visiting the different islands of Seychelles (my dream since childhood), visiting Madagascar, Mozambique?
 

YSC

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Well if I am in your place I would choose what is better looking for you. Raw sound quality wise I believe beyond certain level and used in right space, they are all in the very similar than different sounding. All achieved the goal of relative neutrality very closely even at the 1/10 cost models.

What the extra money brings are SPL to fill larger space, and they mostly have some dsp and software to help calibrate the actual in room response to make for perfection. So just buy what you like and don’t pull hair.
 
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lherrm

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Bonjour! Do sound waves even reach that far?!? o_O
MAYBE I SHOULD BE TYPING IN ALL CAPS????:D
I suppose it is hard to get a home trial all the way out there ha ha, and if you didn't like the speakers the restock shipping would kill you!
I'm not familiar with the others but whenever I've heard Genelec at trade shows or at the Surround Sound Conferences they used to hold, I liked them very much. A "narrow soundstage" would come with any kind of horn/waveguide but if you have an untreated room controlled dispersion would reduce "splashing around" of the sound. And I'm sure others will say "TREAT THE ROOM!!!"

Now for some other questions:
- Do you recommend visiting Reunion? (Both now with COVID, or in general when/if that reduces finally). Are there nice sandy picturesque beaches? Toasty warm water or not so warm?
- What do people do for a living there?
- What would you say about visiting the different islands of Seychelles (my dream since childhood), visiting Madagascar, Mozambique?
Thanks for the feedback. Treating is not an option in my case.
As for the other questions :
- visiting is ok now on COVID (same situation as in France) or in general. It's not the best for the gorgeous beaches here, Mauritius next to us or Seychelles beat us at that. Our main attraction rather comes from the diversity of landscapes and activities (mountains/nature/hiking, beaches/diving) close one to each other. Water is warm in summer (like it is now, we're in Southern hemisphere) and "cold" (20°C) in winter.
- about everything people do in France (of course we don't have as many big companies here as there are in the main land). Services, industries (agriculture, tourism, commerce), and also, public employment.
- Seychelles : only went there once as a kid, really nice beaches, but don't know about anything else. Don't know Mozambique. Would skip Madagascar especially since COVID (borders have been closed a long time), and very cautious in general (poverty & security issues).
More in private if you want.
 

radix

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My non-expert opinion is buying a super-duper active speaker in an untreated room is money misspent. At some point the diminishing sound quality returns versus price is outweighed by the room modes.

I suspect 2.2 is much more practical than a full-range 2.0 active.

You might consider the 8351B + subs instead of the W371A.

How loud do you want to listen to music? How far is that from the speakers? How much dynamic headroom do you want (e.g. do you listen to classical or jazz vocals or is it all hip-hop or loud pop)?

Marc
 

mcdn

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With that budget can buy technical perfection, which really leaves you having to choose what radiation pattern you want. The Salon 2s are wide dispersion, the Kii threes are narrow, the 8cs perhaps even narrower. If you want to be able to give good many locations he room, and/or have a more atmospheric sound, then wide dispersion is usually better. If you want the mis accurate reproduction in a narrower range of positions then narrow dispersion is better.
 
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lherrm

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My non-expert opinion is buying a super-duper active speaker in an untreated room is money misspent. At some point the diminishing sound quality returns versus price is outweighed by the room modes.

I suspect 2.2 is much more practical than a full-range 2.0 active.

You might consider the 8351B + subs instead of the W371A.

How loud do you want to listen to music? How far is that from the speakers? How much dynamic headroom do you want (e.g. do you listen to classical or jazz vocals or is it all hip-hop or loud pop)?

Marc
Won't the W371A + GLM help fight the room modes, precisely ? How would their other subs be an advantage ?

For the other questions (some answers are in the first post) :
- how loud : not very loud in general (don't know about SPL), sometimes pump up the volume but never like a dance club.
- distance from 3m to 5m
- I mainly listen to rock, pop, jazz, classical. No rap or EDM.
 

Sancus

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CONS : not so sure about that "narrow soundstage" (vs Salon2 for example) people talk about here
Your Focals have wider dispersion, so envelopment(eg: amount of reflections) will be less with Genelec Ones. It's not really possible to describe 'how much' in text. It varies too much based on room and recordings. 8351B + W371A will sound clearer especially in the upper bass/lower mids because of its controlled dispersion and specialized modes.

Won't the W371A + GLM help fight the room modes, precisely ? How would their other subs be an advantage ?
They would. The previous poster is incorrect. Genelec doesn't have a multi-sub system that can target room modes. You can build your own with a miniDSP and MSO, but that's about it.

The W371A uses its dual, widely spaced woofers to reduce modes in the default complementary mode, and it has also null steering options to reduce SBIR with specific walls if you need.

Of course room treatment can always help but whether or not you even need it with W371As is impossible to determine without getting them in the room and measuring. Certainly you'll need less than otherwise.
 

Puddingbuks

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Considering these are all excellent speakers, looks also come into play. The genelec combination looks hideous. The ggntkt is not available yet, so then the Grimm - these look marvelous.


07-CB7-BB4-3780-4735-8-B22-FCE8-A81-A8-FB6.jpg
 
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lherrm

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Considering these are all excellent speakers, looks also come into play. The genelec combination looks hideous. The ggntkt is not available yet, so then the Grimm - these look marvelous.


07-CB7-BB4-3780-4735-8-B22-FCE8-A81-A8-FB6.jpg
Yep, esthetics is one of my criteria, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course.
While I too find the Grimm good looking, I also like the Genelec combo :

3HaPRHJ.jpg
 
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YSC

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Yep, esthethics is one of my criteria, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course.
While I too find the Grimm good looking, I also like the Genelec combo :

3HaPRHJ.jpg
it looked gorgeous to me also,

but if it's me with money no object decision as you are now in (almost) I likely will have a pair of 8351 alone for gaming rig setup, then get a pair of 8C for music listening only. in living room the D&D 8C is just stylish, and the app allow it to calibrate itself quite well in room
 

MarkS

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Considering these are all excellent speakers, looks also come into play. The genelec combination looks hideous. The ggntkt is not available yet, so then the Grimm - these look marvelous.


07-CB7-BB4-3780-4735-8-B22-FCE8-A81-A8-FB6.jpg

I think that listening chair might need to be moved a wee bit ...
 

aac

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My non-expert opinion is buying a super-duper active speaker in an untreated room is money misspent. At some point the diminishing sound quality returns versus price is outweighed by the room modes.
The room can be fixed later in the time, some people just don't like reselling speakers and don't want to invest in the room as they are going to move, etc. But this is true, of course, room is maybe even more important than the speakers.
 

dasdoing

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yeah, $1000 speakers, and spend the remainder $24k building a custom shed! :D
I garantee you this will sound better than buying $25k speakers.
I actualy would go as far as this: $1000 speakers and $1000 room treatment will sound better than $25000 speakers in untreated room.

I am not saying you have to jump onto the reduced early reflections boat.....you can treat bass and front/back/ceiling only if you like the artifcial space of the sidewalls
 
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lherrm

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it looked gorgeous to me also,

but if it's me with money no object decision as you are now in (almost) I likely will have a pair of 8351 alone for gaming rig setup, then get a pair of 8C for music listening only. in living room the D&D 8C is just stylish, and the app allow it to calibrate itself quite well in room
In my case I only want one system, the best possible.


I garantee you this will sound better than buying $25k speakers.
I actualy would go as far as this: $1000 speakers and $1000 room treatment will sound better than $25000 speakers in untreated room.

I am not saying you have to jump onto the reduced early reflections boat.....you can treat bass and front/back/ceiling only if you like the artifcial space of the sidewalls
What evidence do you have to back that up ?
I have no doubt every room can benefit from treatment.
In my case, I am quite sure I have no room for this (I'll post pictures and my concerns/requisites later). In any case, IF I did it, it would need to be non-visible.
I doubt however about the fact "$1000 speakers and $1000 room treatment will sound better than $25000 speakers in untreated room."
Are people's room here all treated ? Is it the case for listening rooms of @amirm and @hardisj ?
They/people hear bloody differences between speakers, is it nothing compared to what they would hear if their room were treated ?
If the difference is so little regarding different speakers and so important regarding treatment, why care about >1k$ speaker anyway ?
Do room correction systems (Dirac, Trinnov and such) have no value if the room is no treated ? If they do, how much of the effort to the best possible sound is done ?
 
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YSC

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In my case I only want one system, the best possible.



What evidence do you have to back that up ?
I have no doubt every room can benefit from treatment.
In my case, I am quite sure I have no room for this (I'll post pictures and my concerns/requisites later). In any case, IF I did it, it would need to be non-visible.
I doubt however about the fact "$1000 speakers and $1000 room treatment will sound better than $25000 speakers in untreated room."
Are people's room here all treated ? Is it the case for listening rooms of @amirm and @hardisj ?
They/people hear bloody differences between speakers, is it nothing compared to what they would hear if their room were treated ?
If the difference is so little regarding different speakers and so important regarding treatment, why care about >1k$ speaker anyway ?
Do room correction systems (Dirac, Trinnov and such) have no value if the room is no treated ? If they do, how much of the effort to the best possible sound is done ?
I declare first that I am really new and never seriously invested in audio (my most expensive purchase was the 8030C+7040A in my untreated tiny room). but from the measurement or logic view, flatter and full range speaker would in first place gives you better result in any room than a crap speaker to begin with, next off is how effective the measures to tune the in room response to a target where no annoying peaks are there.

EQ and measurements makes the main listening position a great place to be as it knocks out all high peaks present in the room modes (dips are cancellations so boosting them are more or less inefficient, especially in untreated room where reflections aren't tackled)

Room treatments tries to minimize reflections but since these are physical materials trying to reduce reflections they will be less effective than EQ and more focused on the frequency range but can make walking around the room sound more consistent than by EQ only (lowering bass at MLP to make it flat can make walking away from MLP a dip, for example)

so it seems that the only great way is to at least have some basic treatments (bass traps, anti reflection panels for highs at the back wall I can guess) which don't ruin your room esthetic design/ comfort (which matters more for me as a house/apartment is.. mainly for living), then get a nice speaker set either with EQ ability built in (Genelec GLM) or other flat and nice speakers you can get a basic EQ setup to knock out where the remaining troubles lies
 
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lherrm

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Here are some pictures of the room (please don't mind picture quality and room disorder/mess as it is not the purpose).

Front :
IMG-7970.JPG

Back :
IMG-7967.JPG

Left :
IMG-7971.JPG

Right :
IMG-7966.JPG

Ceiling :
IMG-7968.JPG


Cleaning/puting things in their storage/normal places aside, I don't have much place to setup treatments.
Corners are already filled. The white wall in front is used for videoprojection (using about 60% of the space), there's a window on the back and a bay window on the right (there are supposed to be drapes on them sooner or later). The ceiling has a beam every 40cm.
If anything was to be added, it would need to be : almost invisible + take as least space as possible.
 
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