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Upgrade Focal Aria 906 to Genelec 8340 or Genelec G4 (and minidsp)?

niesfisch

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hi all,

i am currently trying to get my head around different options to progress my current home hifi (stereo) setup.

the focal aria perform quite well and i am more than happy with the yamaha wxc-50 as streamer/preamp.

the location of the speakers (that i can't really change) seems to be a bit problematic as they are close to the walls and one to a side wall which sometimes leads to boomy frequencies.

current setup:

- focal aria 906
- yamaha wxc-50 used as streamer,preamp
- xtz edge a2-300 (power amp, class d)

photo.png


plan.png


i was thinking about getting a pair of genelec active speakers with dip switches or dsp because of the speaker placement in my living room.

must haves (WAF, living room):
- green light needs should be turned off
- white color

my current candidates can be seen in this table (copied from various places)

table.png


which kind of leads to these two:

- Genelec 8340 AWM
- Genelec G Four AWM

a) are the genelec a general upgrade to the focal 906?
b) is the internal DSP with the SAM (GLM) better/more efficient than having something like an minidsp/REW setup (i already have a umik-1 and can handle (more or less) REW ...)?
c) is there a difference (technically) between internal DSP vs. minidsp between preamp and amp? could you point me to a technical explanation (link)?
d) is the 1000 euro price difference for the 8340 + GLM justified?
e) i guess using XLR (8340) as input i would need a new preamp as the yamaha only has rca preamp outs or is there a decent way to convert the rca to xlr?

i haven't really looked into other active monitors like neumann, adams etc.... from what i read the genelec are well regarded (and measured) and for the moment i am mostly interested in answers for a) to e).

i would really appreciate your opinions and maybe links to technical explanations.

thanks a lot and greetings from hamburg/germany
marcel
 

Trell

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I’m very happy with the GLM kit for room calibration with a listening distance between 60 cm and 100 cm. I’ve two desktop Genelec stereo system using 8330A, with one of them having the 7360A subwoofer.

What is important to me is that the calibration is stored in the monitors/subwoofer so no need for an external box for use of the calibration during playback, nor have any calibration software running on my PC. The integration with a Genelec subwoofer works very well. The GLM Kit does not need to be connected after calibration and other setup like time to enter standby.

One downside with GLM is that it only supports GLM subwoofers. They are much more expensive than subwoofers from example SVS and they are not pretty.

The GLM software is only offered for Windows and MacOS, so no Linux support.

There is no need for any license key to run the GLM software, thank God, eliminating that hassle.

So for me the non-DSP Genelec was not an option, but it does cost more. Since I’ve two system it’s very nice that I can use the same GLM Kit on both of them. I guess that is my answer to your question d)

There are inexpensive RCA to XLR cables for connecting your preamp, and that should work just fine for you. My DACs have balanced output, though.

I would buy the 8040 before the Genelec G Fouras it is quite a bit cheaper.

To find out if this is an upgrade for you you’ll have to try it out at home. I bought mine from thomann.de that has a 30 day trial period if you buy online. I don’t know if this is also for buying in their shop.
 
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theyellowspecial

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Technically the Genelecs are an upgrade, but the 906 is already a top measured speaker and within spitting distance of the Genelecs with regards to the Harman preference score. I think it would come down to subjective preference when comparing these speakers.

Personally, I would keep the 906s, add an affordable 10" subwoofer with high-level inputs, and get a MiniDSP with Dirac room control. I think that would offer more musical enjoyment and be cheaper.
 
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niesfisch

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thanks to you both for your answers.

> Technically the Genelecs are an upgrade, but the 906 is already a top measured speaker and within spitting distance of the Genelecs with regards to the Harman preference score.

would there be an audible difference when listening to them? i am not familiar with these curves. if there is no point in this then your suggestion with the minidsp would be a way to go.

> and get a MiniDSP with Dirac room control.

will think about this.
 

DSJR

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The thing is - and I see this all the time in 'domestic' setups, you have one speaker in a corner and the other basically in free space... Now, I appreciate bass is omni-directional and below a certain frequency, a corner-aided lift in bass level on the right speaker may well not be noticed as such, but this is where modern active speakers with careful eq possibilities may well help here.

I do still believe there's more to good quality music reproduction than *just* a flat frequency response plot though (and so many speakers have a deliberately tailored-in dip in the lower kHz region for example it must be a deliberate thing for one reason or another and not just lemming-like adherence to an old fashioned concept surely?).

If I stick my 'dealer hat' on for a minute, I'd urge you to somehow move the speakers to the left a bit to get the right hand one out of the corner. Since that's going to be difficult to impossible to do, maybe adding a sub to the left might help a little (but getting it to integrate is going to be another can-o-worms I feel). As the OP has suggested, the Genelec route may well give better room-integration if you're not too severe with the eq.

Sorry for the 'dealerish' rambles above, but hope they may help a bit.
 
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niesfisch

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@DSJR thanks for your comment.

> As the OP has suggested, the Genelec route may well give better room-integration if you're not too severe with the eq.

what about the suggested minidsp + dirac route vs. genelec?
 

DSJR

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@DSJR thanks for your comment.

> As the OP has suggested, the Genelec route may well give better room-integration if you're not too severe with the eq.

what about the suggested minidsp + dirac route vs. genelec?
I'm showing my ignorance still here. Doesn't Genelec have DSP options of their own to 'tune' the speakers, rather than a third party DSP solution? Apologies if I have it totally wrong here. Having these speakers so close to the back wall may involve distortion reducing (in a smaller speaker) bass *cut* rather than trying to get as much extension as possible from a small cone...

I was 'converted' to the advantages of active speakers back in the late 70's and feel today, the flexibility of adjustments in a modern active crossover vastly outweight trying to get a passive system sorted with extra external third party eq solutions. That's just *my* vibe being shared here, as a passive crossover is an art in itself and is always lossy, albeit slightly in the best implementations.
 

Tonygeno

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I'm showing my ignorance still here. Doesn't Genelec have DSP options of their own to 'tune' the speakers, rather than a third party DSP solution? Apologies if I have it totally wrong here. Having these speakers so close to the back wall may involve distortion reducing (in a smaller speaker) bass *cut* rather than trying to get as much extension as possible from a small cone...

I was 'converted' to the advantages of active speakers back in the late 70's and feel today, the flexibility of adjustments in a modern active crossover vastly outweight trying to get a passive system sorted with extra external third party eq solutions. That's just *my* vibe being shared here, as a passive crossover is an art in itself and is always lossy, albeit slightly in the best implementations.
The 8340 does. The G4 and 8040 do not.
 
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niesfisch

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Doesn't Genelec have DSP options of their own to 'tune' the speakers, rather than a third party DSP solution?
yes. of course. the 8340 has built in DSP and together with the extra GLM set it can be setup.
The G4 and 8040 do not.
they do not have the DSP ... but they have the DIP switches ... which could lead to similar results together with REW and using the switches ... but of course not as fine grained. or am i missing something? that was one of my initial questions. what _exactly_ is the difference between the DSP and the dip switches. is it just the level/variations of settings to change or the DSP stuff on another level? is there any technical explanation that i (as noob) could follow to understand the differences between DSP and dip switches?

this also leads to these questions

- focal + minidsp + dirac , as "theyellowspecial" suggested, which would in turn "just" be around 500 euro
vs
- genelec 8340 with built in DSP + GLM set which would be around 2500 euro (3200 - 700 (selling the focal and amp)) and getting the XLR challenge solved as my preamp only has RCA outs

any ideas?
I was 'converted' to the advantages of active speakers back in the late 70's and feel today, the flexibility of adjustments in a modern active crossover vastly outweight trying to get a passive system sorted with extra external third party eq solutions. That's just *my* vibe being shared here, as a passive crossover is an art in itself and is always lossy, albeit slightly in the best implementations.
so all in all you would promote the "genelec 8340" version .. sorry to ask again. there is this price difference .... i am convinced that active is the future and that if money does not play a role ..... just collecting options :)

thanks again for taking the time!
 

DSJR

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No idea how coarse the lf adjustments on a typical small active speaker are (I think many good models tailor the adjustements pretty well) but for example, it may be possible to fit the basic model Genelecs on your wall as you do the Focals and then use the low bass trim on the right hand speaker to balance the left one better??? VERY crude suggestion and more experienced people here will no doubt wince, but it can't possibly be 'worse' than you're getting now.
 
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niesfisch

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VERY crude suggestion
isn't that what they are intended for and genelec specifically mentions ? :) ... for not optimal placements ... anyway. the speaker position is fixed unfortunately.
 

Trell

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theyellowspecial

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thanks to you both for your answers.

> Technically the Genelecs are an upgrade, but the 906 is already a top measured speaker and within spitting distance of the Genelecs with regards to the Harman preference score.

would there be an audible difference when listening to them? i am not familiar with these curves. if there is no point in this then your suggestion with the minidsp would be a way to go.

> and get a MiniDSP with Dirac room control.

will think about this.
The biggest difference would be the extension on the Genelecs, which would be noticeable. Adding a sub to the 906s will improve the Harman preference score to greater than the Genelecs alone. Also, you'll be able to better address any bass nulls, if any, in your seating position.

https://sites.google.com/view/speaker-data/speakers/preference-ratings-graphs

i just looked at the minidsp approach .. which exact model would that be?

this: https://www.minidsp.com/products/dirac-series/ddrc-24 ?
Yes. A subwoofer with high-pass would be necessary to incorporate a subwoofer using Dirac Stereo.

You can also get cheaper MiniDSPs without Dirac and do filters manually, but Dirac is good for point-and-shoot for frequencies below room transition frequencies.
 

Tangband

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hi all,

i am currently trying to get my head around different options to progress my current home hifi (stereo) setup.

the focal aria perform quite well and i am more than happy with the yamaha wxc-50 as streamer/preamp.

the location of the speakers (that i can't really change) seems to be a bit problematic as they are close to the walls and one to a side wall which sometimes leads to boomy frequencies.

current setup:

- focal aria 906
- yamaha wxc-50 used as streamer,preamp
- xtz edge a2-300 (power amp, class d)

View attachment 161307

View attachment 161308

i was thinking about getting a pair of genelec active speakers with dip switches or dsp because of the speaker placement in my living room.

must haves (WAF, living room):
- green light needs should be turned off
- white color

my current candidates can be seen in this table (copied from various places)

View attachment 161306

which kind of leads to these two:

- Genelec 8340 AWM
- Genelec G Four AWM

a) are the genelec a general upgrade to the focal 906?
b) is the internal DSP with the SAM (GLM) better/more efficient than having something like an minidsp/REW setup (i already have a umik-1 and can handle (more or less) REW ...)?
c) is there a difference (technically) between internal DSP vs. minidsp between preamp and amp? could you point me to a technical explanation (link)?
d) is the 1000 euro price difference for the 8340 + GLM justified?
e) i guess using XLR (8340) as input i would need a new preamp as the yamaha only has rca preamp outs or is there a decent way to convert the rca to xlr?

i haven't really looked into other active monitors like neumann, adams etc.... from what i read the genelec are well regarded (and measured) and for the moment i am mostly interested in answers for a) to e).

i would really appreciate your opinions and maybe links to technical explanations.

thanks a lot and greetings from hamburg/germany
marcel
From the picture of your room, you only experience about 50% of the soundquality than you already have, but poor installation has ruined the sound.

1. Get proper loudspeaker stands 50-60 cm for your Focals. You will need a pair anyway if you want really good sound from the Genelecs.

2. Take a hour and find the right placement of your speaker. Where the music sound best, it is the best placement.
2 cm difference in loudspeaker placement can change the perceived sound.

3. Genelec 8340 ( I have a pair ) is probably wastly superior to your Focals , but bad placement of your loudspeaker gonna ruin your sound if not fixed. Its a waste of money to buy 8340 and GLM cant correct 100% for bad placement of the loudspeakers. Your Focals perfectly installed on loudspeaker stands are probably gonna sound better than 8340 if they are really bad installed .


4. Your Yamaha wxc50 ( I have the unit to ) also has volume regulation at its digital output. The Genelec 8340 has digital inputs , and it works rather good. The sound gets slightly better than with analog connection from the Yamaha. Further sound quality gain can be had with a better digital preamp than Yamaha wxc50 . Its not high end, its not bad, but you can do somewhat better with a dedicated USB bridge of good quality. A streamer like bluesound node and such is not gonna be better soundwise, though.
 
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niesfisch

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but poor installation has ruined the sound.
this is the only setup currently possible with wife, kids in the living room ... so i am quite happy. better than no hifi setup at all.
1. Get proper loudspeaker stands 50-60 cm for your Focals.
no, that is not possible. no place for stands, only wall mounts are an option.
Further sound quality gain can be had with a better digital preamp than Yamaha wxc50
i get your point. as i am not really able to hear the difference between mp3 and flac most of the time (with good headphones) the yamaha should be fine i guess :)

thanks
 
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niesfisch

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Your Yamaha wxc50 ( I have the unit to ) also has volume regulation at its digital output. The Genelec 8340 has digital inputs , and it works perfect.
another question. which connection and cable do you use for this? coax cinch -> AES? do you use an adapter to convert the impedance (75ohm vs 110ohm, something like a neutrik?) or is it just a cable with two different ends?
 

Tangband

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another question. which connection and cable do you use for this? coax cinch -> AES? do you use an adapter to convert the impedance (75ohm vs 110ohm, something like a neutrik?) or is it just a cable with two different ends?
this is the only setup currently possible with wife, kids in the living room ... so i am quite happy. better than no hifi setup at all.

no, that is not possible. no place for stands, only wall mounts are an option.

i get your point. as i am not really able to hear the difference between mp3 and flac most of the time (with good headphones) the yamaha should be fine i guess :)

thanks
Ok, I understand.
Sometimes WAF gets in the way of correct loudspeaker placement, and you have to live with that. GLM can correct the wrong placement somewhat, and 8340 can be put on a wall. And no need to buy a better streamer.:)
 

Tangband

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another question. which connection and cable do you use for this? coax cinch -> AES? do you use an adapter to convert the impedance (75ohm vs 110ohm, something like a neutrik?) or is it just a cable with two different ends?
I use a RCA spdif - xlr 110 Ohm cable from HOSA, 3 metre from the streamer to Genelec. About 12 dollars.
I have modified my USB bridge with a 35 ohms resistor in series with the 75 Ohm output - to get 110 Ohm.
But I cant say I hear any difference compared to 75 Ohm output and the cable works directly from the Yamahas digital output (75 Ohm) to 8340 without any trouble.
You then daisy-chain a digital cable from the first Genelec to the other using ordinary dmx 110 ohm cable ( about 10 dollars ).
 
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