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Sub 25K active speaker/system choice

respice finem

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I think not everyone wanted to move around the furniture or put absorbers in places where the lord of the house (you know who) have the decision. in such case the GLM likely is the better solution though
Yes, WAF and general room usability are major factors, and EQ may help a lot, also waveguides can be very helpful.
I only postulate getting the physical basics in order as far as possible, before throwing money on a problem, money (in form of different speakers) can't really solve.
 
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phoenixdogfan

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With a room like that I would very seriously consider something like a state of the art headphone system coupled with a room speaker simulator like the Smyth A16 Realiser. You could then buy a PRIR or have one made in a studio and get, I think better sound than you could ever possibly hope to obtain by putting a $25 k system in that room. If you still wanted a speaker system, you could go for something a lot smaller like a pair of 8341's or a pair of March Audio Sointuiva's with an NCore or Purifi Amp and a miniDSP Shd with Dirac supplying DSP. I think you'd be a lot happier, and you'd have more toys to play with that way.
 
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respice finem

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With a room like that I would very seriously consider something like a state of the art headphone system coupled with a room speaker simulator like the Smyth A16 Realiser. You could then buy a PRIR or have one made in a studio and get, I think better sound than you could ever possibly hope to obtain by putting a $25 k system in that environment.
This, or, cheaper and easier to obtain, several crossfeed modes of the RME ADI2-DAC v.2.
But, not everybody is a "natural born headphone listener"...
 

Pearljam5000

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The white ones 8361 just look beautiful (not a fan of the grey version for my living room). Depends on your taste and your interior.
In my living room, in front of an orange wall they just look astonishing good (to me). I am still impressed every time how good they look actually.
So much for taste and colors…
But are you also impressed every time about how they sound? ;)
 
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CMB

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But are you also impressed every time about how they sound? ;)
Have no doubt of that Pearljam.
I don't have any impression of compromising what's or ever.
It took a few days/weeks to tune to my taste with GLM.

The only thing I really don't like about them is : I am set now.
Especially in combination with the ADI DAC which adds the possibility to quickly adapt on the fly and by remote with volume, B/T or loudness to the situation, recording etc.
:)
 
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lherrm

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Stumbled upon this thread today. A few "loose thoughts": If the current setup sounds "underwhelming", it's probably because the room doesn't allow for better (as it usually is). While your room isn't very bad (much diffusion, including the ceiling), there's no such thing as symmetry there, from what I see. Absorption would help, but you can't put absorbers on windows, obviously, etc.
If it was my room, I would, before buing different speakers, try to get the stereo triangle regular (a=b=c) and as small as possible - this may end with better sound and not even needing new speakers. The bigger the triangle, the louder the speakers must play to achieve the volume needed at the listening place, and thus the more energy is reflected from everything in the room.
My current setup doesn't sound "underwhelming" or insatisfaying in anyway. I love it.
I don't "need" new speakers. But I want to go further in sound quality. It seems obvious to me that many systems should be superior to the Focal Solo 6. At the very least, Focal Trio 11 should be vastly better. But I'm making a bet on other systems (like Genelec) because, on paper, it looks even better. I could be disappointed though. I'll see (or rather, hear).
As for making the triangle as small as possible, wouldn't it : restrain the depth of soundstage, make less seats avalable in the sweetspot ? I want to be able to enjoy the sound but not from a single seat.
 
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lherrm

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I’ve had the kii in room and they are best out of the box, don’t need the bxt imo. You can buy a prebuilt set of lx521 which just means they look wild but not complicated. I would spend some money seal those openings with doors. I currently own the lx521 and some subs. I have a good room, treated with dirac or Audiolense depending on the day. Genelec look terrible.
I'm very interested in LX521 as well, and yes, linkwitz.store sells almost done setups. It's really the look of the "head" (which is purposely designed like that, I know) that makes it difficult to project it in my living room. If I could find a way around it, I might want to try this later. So you've had kii three and lx521 and kept the linkwitz. What made you take this decision ?
As for genelec look, it's really personal indeed. I love the W371A + 8351B combo.
 
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lherrm

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Yes, WAF and general room usability are major factors, and EQ may help a lot, also waveguides can be very helpful.
I only postulate getting the physical basics in order as far as possible, before throwing money on a problem, money (in form of different speakers) can't really solve.
I'll see the problems my room have when I'll measure it.
In any case, I'm hoping that a SOTA systems, with DSP/DRC, will still make the most out of it.
 
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lherrm

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With a room like that I would very seriously consider something like a state of the art headphone system coupled with a room speaker simulator like the Smyth A16 Realiser. You could then buy a PRIR or have one made in a studio and get, I think better sound than you could ever possibly hope to obtain by putting a $25 k system in that room. If you still wanted a speaker system, you could go for something a lot smaller like a pair of 8341's or a pair of March Audio Sointuiva's with an NCore or Purifi Amp and a miniDSP Shd with Dirac supplying DSP. I think you'd be a lot happier, and you'd have more toys to play with that way.
I don't know much about room speaker simulator, will look into it.
But yeah, that's still quite a different experience compared to speakers. One difference right away is headphone is generally a single person experience. I like to be able to share.
Why do you think the speaker alternatives you mention would make someone happier than the propositions I made (besides having more boxes/more toys) ?
 

respice finem

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I'll see the problems my room have when I'll measure it.
In any case, I'm hoping that a SOTA systems, with DSP/DRC, will still make the most out of it.
That's a good opportunity to experiment with stereo triangle sizes and see (seeing is believing) what difference 1m can make.
As to soundstage and such, theoretically, it shouldn't be different between nearfield and midfield, as long as it's an equilateral triangle.
Practically, it usually is different, because of room influence. Such decisions depend on whether one wants high fidelity or "pleasant fidelity".
For high fidelity, nearfield and one (small) sweetspot, for pleasant fidelity, it doesn't really take a lot hardware-wise, because in mid- to farfield, in an untreated room, chaos will reign anyway. This chaos may still sound nice, but still... DSP/EQ can help, but it can't defy physics, and the room size allows you to really optimize only for one listening position.
 
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lherrm

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That's a good opportunity to experiment with stereo triangle sizes and see (seeing is believing) what difference 1m can make.
As to soundstage and such, theoretically, it shouldn't be different between nearfield and midfield, as long as it's an equilateral triangle.
Practically, it usually is different, because of room influence. Such decisions depend on whether one wants high fidelity or "pleasant fidelity".
For high fidelity, nearfield and one (small) sweetspot, for pleasant fidelity, it doesn't really take a lot hardware-wise.
Love the "pleasant fidelity" expression, lovely oxymoron.
I'll try to play a bit with the triangle.
 

FrantzM

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@lherrm

Good day to you. Read your OP. Yes, the disbursement will be important but you can't do any wrong with the Genelec W371A/8351 combo.

I, for one, find it beautiful and the combo is worth considering as an endgame for me too. Not that I need to at this point in time :). You get a pair of this combo W371A/8351, you're set with a superlative system for years to come. A system that will allow you to enjoy music with no fuss and with great reliability. Some would claim the ultimate to be the 8361/W371 combo. I surmise the differences in a real world Living room, to be slight to nonconsequential.
On the subject of room treatment. I have come to realize that the best sound from the multiple systems I have heard and possess in my audiophile life, ranging from less than $2000 to over a Million dollar systems (no , not me, friends' systems), the better systems have been those without epic and spectacular room treatments. I would even go as far as saying that the best systems I have heard featured little, to no room treatment. It is perhaps a debate for another thread... Some rooms do present problems in the upper end of the spectrum, that is tue, correct. I can safely advance that all domestic listening rooms , present most of their problems in the lower, say from 500 down to 0 Hz :p.This job of negating the effects of ALL rooms in the lows can be dealt with room treatments: Epic, colossal endeavor that will cost more than the system itself and transform your living room in a way most partners and even the audiophile, will not find attractive, convenient or livable...On the other hand, DSP and EQ can mitigate these effects considerably. On top of that the W371A provide also cardioid bass... an are extremely potent low frequency addition that can play louder than the audiophile can tolerate or should subject her or himself to, down to 18 Hz if I am not mistaken. And there in the lows, many rooms tend to provide some reinforcements and I wouldn't be surprised if a pair of W371A in the room you are considering, provide healthy (>100 dB at the listening position) output at 10 Hz....
All that to say do not overthink it: if you can, grab the W371A/8351. Do it. You'd be glad you did.

Other options, I would like to see reviewed by @amirm , @hardisj , @napilopez , et al, would be the Bang and Olufsen Beolab 20 and 50... No joke. They, Bang and Olufsen , would not be the audiophile choice but they are a company that know a lot about sound reproduction. They are much more than a Lifestyle company. If one has the opportunity please listen to the old , now discontinued, Beolab 5.. it is one incredibly great sounding speaker system... The Beolab 50 is current. You seem to be in Europe, it may be possible to get the Beo 50, at your budget. An audition will remove many prejudices: It is a serious speaker that check all the points...in line with what you are looking for. It is also, likely to have the highest spouse acceptance factor.

Peace
 
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lherrm

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@lherrm

Good day to you. Read your OP. Yes, the disbursement will be important but you can't do any wrong with the Genelec W371A/8351 combo.

I, for one, find it beautiful and the combo is worth considering as an endgame for me too. Not that I need to at this point in time :). You get a pair of this combo W371A/8351, you're set with a superlative system for years to come. A system that will allow you to enjoy music with no fuss and with great reliability. Some would claim the ultimate to be the 8361/W371 combo. I surmise the differences in a real world Living room, to be slight to nonconsequential.
On the subject of room treatment. I have come to realize that the best sound from the multiple systems I have heard and possess in my audiophile life, ranging from less than $2000 to over a Million dollar systems (no , not me, friends' systems), the better systems have been those without epic and spectacular room treatments. I would even go as far as saying that the best systems I have heard featured little, to no room treatment. It is perhaps a debate for another thread... Some rooms do present problems in the upper end of the spectrum, that is tue, correct. I can safely advance that all domestic listening rooms , present most of their problems in the lower, say from 500 down to 0 Hz :p.This job of negating the effects of ALL rooms in the lows can be dealt with room treatments: Epic, colossal endeavor that will cost more than the system itself and transform your living room in a way most partners and even the audiophile, will not find attractive, convenient or livable...On the other hand, DSP and EQ can mitigate these effects considerably. On top of that the W371A provide also cardioid bass... an are extremely potent low frequency addition that can play louder than the audiophile can tolerate or should subject her or himself to, down to 18 Hz if I am not mistaken. And there in the lows, many rooms tend to provide some reinforcements and I wouldn't be surprised if a pair of W371A in the room you are considering, provide healthy (>100 dB at the listening position) output at 10 Hz....
All that to say do not overthink it: if you can, grab the W371A/8351. Do it. You'd be glad you did.

Other options, I would like to see reviewed by @amirm , @hardisj , @napilopez , et al, would be the Bang and Olufsen Beolab 20 and 50... No joke. They, Bang and Olufsen , would not be the audiophile choice but they are a company that know a lot about sound reproduction. They are much more than a Lifestyle company. If one has the opportunity please listen to the old , now discontinued, Beolab 5.. it is one incredibly great sounding speaker system... The Beolab 50 is current. You seem to be in Europe, it may be possible to get the Beo 50, at your budget. An audition will remove many prejudices: It is a serious speaker that check all the points...in line with what you are looking for. It is also, likely to have the highest spouse acceptance factor.

Peace
Thanks for your lengthy answer, @FrantzM, a pleasure to read.
Very interesting feedback about the room treatment. I like it because it sounds like there's a chance for the system to be a major part of the experience. However, could it be that their room was already (naturally or specifically) designed/optimized for listening ? It's also hard to say whether these best sounding systems wouldn't have greatly benefited from physical room treatments, isn't it ? Did the best sounding systems feature digital room correction ? Were you able to discard the price tag from the experience (difficult to do so if it wasn't blind) ?
Attractive, convenient and livable are appropriate adjectives for what a living room should remain, at least in my case.
Regarding the genelec combo, it combines about everything I'm looking for indeed. And W371A caring about the bass, dealing with room modes and providing (more than) sufficient output is a key advantage here.
As for Bang and Olufsen, people seem to talk about Beolab 90 as a truly great system . That must be true for the 50 as well. Yet I can't get past this lifestyle image the company has, and currently, am more enclined to put this kind of budget in a "pro" company. (This could very well change if I could hear them. But that's not happening anytime soon - 10 000 km away from France, Indian Ocean, etc.).
 

phoenixdogfan

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I don't know much about room speaker simulator, will look into it.
But yeah, that's still quite a different experience compared to speakers. One difference right away is headphone is generally a single person experience. I like to be able to share.
Why do you think the speaker alternatives you mention would make someone happier than the propositions I made (besides having more boxes/more toys) ?
You would, I think, find the Realiser is just about indistinguishable from speakers playing in a room, and b/c you can transport yourself to any room (including a very well treated room, and do it for up to 24 channels), I think it would be a better experience. Personally, I had a 24 channel D & D 8c system made in a professional recording studio with DSP and subs. It sounds better than my 4.1 channel LS 50 Meta+OG LS50's+SB 2000 driven by an Octo 8 and Purif Eigentact+DL3 multichannel. If you want to share that's what the smaller system supplementing the Realiser is for, though the A16 can accommodate two users simultaneously with its two separate headphone amp processors.

Ultimately a Realiser System is a very elegant way to get state of the art sound in both two and multichannel (including ATMOS and DTS-X up to 24 channels). A smaller high quality two channel system is a way to have quality sound for a group, and it avoids many of the pitfalls of placing a big system in a room unsuited for it. Both the March and the Genelec 8341's have usable bass into the 30's. Both systems (Realiser + a smaller high quality speaker system) could be had within your budget giving you the best of both worlds.
 
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onion

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You would, I think, find the Realiser is just about indistinguishable from speakers playing in a room, and b/c you can transport yourself to any room (including a very well treated room, and do it for up to 24 channels),
I have 8341s + Genelec subs + Bacch4Mac in a well treated small room. I agree with this sentiment although I think Bacch4Mac is more about 3d sound than room simulation. I do find I prefer the XTC of the loudspeakers over the headphone module even though the latter externalises audio outside the head effectively (similar to the Realiser I guess).

Having said that, the Genelec really drives the sound quality up. If I had to give up one or the other, I'd probably give up Bacch4Mac over the Genelec system.

My ideal system would include the W371s too which I suspect would allow the Genelec system to equal or exceed the D&D 8C in terms of XTC performance with Bacch4Mac.
 
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LTig

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Also just stumbled upon this thread. A lot of true things have been said about Genelec, so let me throw in Neumann. I could imagine two systems:
  • A 2.x or 3.x system using KH420s, possibly with x matching subs (x = 0..2, depending on room requirements and budget)
  • A 3.2 system with 3 KH310s and 2 KH750 subs.
I vote for 3 speakers because you like to have good sound outside the perfect listening position, and a center speaker should help here. The KH310 is usable as a center as is, with the KH420 you need to rotate the tweeter/mid section of the center KH420 by 90 degree so you can lay it on its side (below the screen). Neither model has a very wide dispersion so room reflections are lower in SPL than on wider speakers.

A note regarding the Grimm LS1: I listened to the LS1be with its top sub in a 2.2 configuration at Highend 2019 in Munich and was very impressed with the realistic sound when they played a soprano singer. However in this price range I would always go for a 3-way speaker due its inherently lower IMD, and a sub to make it a 4-way system to lower IMD even more. In the latter regard the combination of Genelec 83x1 with W371 may fail though. Using the W371 up to 500 Hz may end up not using the woofers in the 83x1 at all (if the crossover frequency between woofer and mid is at or below 500 Hz), ending up in a true 3-way system.
 

phoenixdogfan

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I have 8341s + Genelec subs + Bacch4Mac in a well treated small room. I agree with this sentiment although I think Bacch4Mac is more about 3d sound than room simulation. I do find I prefer the XTC of the loudspeakers over the headphone module even though the latter externalises audio outside the head effectively (similar to the Realiser I guess).

Having said that, the Genelec really drives the sound quality up. If I had to give up one or the other, I'd probably give up Bacch4Mac over the Genelec system.

My ideal system would include the W371s too which I suspect would allow the Genelec system to equal or exceed the D&D 8C in terms of XTC performance with Bacch4Mac.
Can't do 24 channels of Atmos with either set up though. And your Bacch4Mac for headphones simulation was not done in a studio either, I bet. So maybe some advantages for the A16 emulation of multi-channel D&D's in a studio over a two channel Bacch emulation of 8341's taken in a home listening environment. I also have a 24 channel emulation of my Metas+SB2000 done in my home listening room by me. Could not approach the SN ratios of the one done in a professional recording studio. Too much ambient noise from outside, and inside the house even late at night. The homemade PRIR did sound good, but nowhere near as good as a professionally made PRIR in an ultra quiet, acoustically optimized studio.
 

JRS

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I have 8341s + Genelec subs + Bacch4Mac in a well treated small room. I agree with this sentiment although I think Bacch4Mac is more about 3d sound than room simulation. I do find I prefer the XTC of the loudspeakers over the headphone module even though the latter externalises audio outside the head effectively (similar to the Realiser I guess).

Having said that, the Genelec really drives the sound quality up. If I had to give up one or the other, I'd probably give up Bacch4Mac over the Genelec system.

My ideal system would include the W371s too which I suspect would allow the Genelec system to equal or exceed the D&D 8C in terms of XTC performance with Bacch4Mac.
First BAACH owner I have seen post here. Is it as good as it is touted--assuming one has narrow directivity speakers? I have even entertained making a trip to NYC just to hear it setup. Several reviewers who I respect say it gets no better when setup properly.
 

JRS

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Here's my late vote: https://www.perlistenaudio.com/products/s7t/
16 to 18K leaving $$ for room treatment and if it were me, some kind of beautiful carpet for the area of first reflections. Sub should you find it necessary. This thing just bleeds SOTA. (Your floor made me think of these, not as a reason).
1641955326655.png
 

Pearljam5000

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