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Upgrading to Genelec Speakers vs Buying HTP1 to Calibrate Any Speakers?

stevenswall

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Currently have a setup that is a 2.1 Genelec system with surrounds and a center channel done by Kali IN series speakers.

Looking at a deal on an 8351B for a center channel but don't know if I should slowly change everything to Genelec or if I should just go with something like the HTP1 when it's back in stock.

Genelec Pros:
-Can use any processor.
-Works with multiple subs?
-Getting a new speaker is more exciting than a processor.

Surround Processor Pros:
-Works with any speakers.
-Works with multiple subs of any brand.
-Compatible with video games and non-dolby stuff vs current DP564.
 

ernestcarl

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Currently have a setup that is a 2.1 Genelec system with surrounds and a center channel done by Kali IN series speakers.

Looking at a deal on an 8351B for a center channel but don't know if I should slowly change everything to Genelec or if I should just go with something like the HTP1 when it's back in stock.

Genelec Pros:
-Can use any processor.
-Works with multiple subs?
-Getting a new speaker is more exciting than a processor.

Surround Processor Pros:
-Works with any speakers.
-Works with multiple subs of any brand.
-Compatible with video games and non-dolby stuff vs current DP564.


How do combine your surround Kalis to the Gens?
 

al2002

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Currently have a setup that is a 2.1 Genelec system with surrounds and a center channel done by Kali IN series speakers.

Looking at a deal on an 8351B for a center channel but don't know if I should slowly change everything to Genelec or if I should just go with something like the HTP1 when it's back in stock.

Genelec Pros:
-Can use any processor.
-Works with multiple subs?
-Getting a new speaker is more exciting than a processor.

Surround Processor Pros:
-Works with any speakers.
-Works with multiple subs of any brand.
-Compatible with video games and non-dolby stuff vs current DP564.
The two options are not mutually exclusive.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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How do combine your surround Kalis to the Gens?

I use an SPL meter to get them to the right volume and they are all plugged into a source that outputs digital for the Genelecs and analog for the Kali's.

They sound even enough that it's not super disruptive but I notice the center channel sounds a bit off with the Kali IN-8 v2.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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The two options are not mutually exclusive.
Sure, but if I end up going with a full Genelec system I wouldn't bother with the HTP1 or another poorly engineered unit.

If I don't though I'd need something to calibrate things.
 

tifune

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Serendipitously, I was in same situation as you not long ago. If your 2.1 are all SAM models, the 8351+ GLM is step 1 without a doubt. On medium-large SAM models the GLM add-on is a no brainier simply because it's only an extra 5-10% of overall cost and now you can spend the rest of your days trying to make GRADE happy :)

If they're not SAM units, then it comes down to how many channels.you currently have and expect to have and how you're managing them. Short answer as to how I approached it for 2 separate rooms: HTP-1 for the theater where I can't apply any room treatment, GLM+Audyssey/Denon for my nearfield Auro setup where I can set it up like a padded room at hotel 5150 without bothering the wife.

HTP1 upsides in my situation: Dirac + DLBC (obviously), but it also remaps Auro3D channels to fully compliant Atmos layouts. Most people probably dont care, but outside of headphones I pretty much only listen to AuroMatic because it's so much better

HTP1 downsides: price & availability. I honestly don't believe there will ever be a new unit produced so youre looking a secondary markets. The volume control on mine crapped out, took 9 months for a repair and even then it was only because I started emailing every @monoprice.com address I could find so they got ATI to agree to handle it for me. Typically they don't actually repair them, BTW, it's only replacement. The good news is warranty is 5 years and transferrable, so if you can get original invoice with a used unit you're probably good for awhile.

If you have the patience to level match your Kali's by hand, you certainly have the patience to work with GLM and the $200 Audyssey upgrade to import REW filters and Denon is WAY cheaper than HTP1. Quite a few affordable AVRs with Dirac these days, but not all of them have Auro3D (if you care). many people are happy w DSU but I think it's too overwhelming on surround channels especially with high gain/overdriven guitars. Either way, DLBC is rare and if you ever get into multisub GLM+SAM sub is great but $$$, MSO is great but time.
 

ernestcarl

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hey sound even enough that it's not super disruptive but I notice the center channel sounds a bit off with the Kali IN-8 v2

Might as well change your center channel itself for now since that seems like the more immediate issue.

Not sure about AVRs as I’ve never gone that route — and won’t likely. But if the other formats beyond 5.1/7.1 were important to me, then there’s really not going to be a lot of great alternatives.

If ever Windows decides to support Atmos channels the way the new Macs do, then I might eventually just get a DAC audio interface that has more channel outs. In terms of Auro3D as Tifune mentioned, I know there’s a vst plugin one can use as an alternative. But I’ve been able to figure out a way tame JRiver’s JRSS (software upmixer) with a few tweaks (mainly EQ and leveling) that it’s not much an issue for me.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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Might as well change your center channel itself for now since that seems like the more immediate issue.

Yes, though perhaps that issue could be fixed with Dirac Live since there's no calibration on the Kali, and I think floor bounce is causing the issue.

Now that I think about it though, if floor bounce is causing cancellation then GLM isn't going to do much for it.
 

Peluvius

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Go for the 8351. The off axis performance makes it an excellent centre and I can't see EQ or treatment accomplishing that.

Much more exciting than a processor....
 

tifune

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If ever Windows decides to support Atmos channels the way the new Macs do, then I might eventually just get a DAC audio interface that has more channel outs. In terms of Auro3D as Tifune mentioned, I know there’s a vst plugin one can use as an alternative. But I’ve been able to figure out a way tame JRiver’s JRSS (software upmixer) with a few tweaks (mainly EQ and leveling) that it’s not much an issue for me.

Would you be willing to post those settings? I have no idea what jRiver is capable of, but last I checked the AuroMatic options for Windows were around $500-700 (penteo/halo). Add in the multich DAC + DIRAC and you're about the cost of a used AVR. Obviously that has its own shortcomings (audyssey) but for me the plug n play nature is worth a lot vs figuring out how to reliably piece it all together on my own. If jRiver can get close, that could be quite a savings
 

ernestcarl

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Yes, though perhaps that issue could be fixed with Dirac Live since there's no calibration on the Kali, and I think floor bounce is causing the issue.

Now that I think about it though, if floor bounce is causing cancellation then GLM isn't going to do much for it.

Ah, okay. I just assumed the mid-high region were most likely the main difference between the Kali and Genelecs due to their individual directivities.

You know what, disregard what I wrote before. My recent testing/experiment of using a completely different speaker (Fostex 6301 as the center channel) in my 7.1 multichannel "mishmash" of a desk setup has convinced me that it's not really all that crucial to have the same speakers (even if their tonality is different) as long as the speakers are all sufficiently "neutral enough" -- although some EQ may be required.

The tiny Fostex in particularly is rather very mids/vocal-centric and seems to have a dulling effect on any extraneous background and distracting treble noise despite the deceptive appearance of excessive HF energy in the measured magnitude response. Some of the reasons why, I believe, are due to the very rapid HF decay and damping characteristic of its single full-range paper driver as well as narrow HF beamwidth. One loses detail in the very high-range -- no doubt about it -- but in return that particular type of deficiency serendipitously enhances center channel mids/vocals performance which is quite crucial in a center channel speaker. No, I can't say that it's better than having the identical (or near identical) speaker counterpart (i.e. Neumann KH120 or KH80), but it definitely is sufficiently good enough to serve as a full substitute -- max SPL considered and balanced during the SPL levels calibration.
 

ernestcarl

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Would you be willing to post those settings? I have no idea what jRiver is capable of, but last I checked the AuroMatic options for Windows were around $500-700 (penteo/halo). Add in the multich DAC + DIRAC and you're about the cost of a used AVR. Obviously that has its own shortcomings (audyssey) but for me the plug n play nature is worth a lot vs figuring out how to reliably piece it all together on my own. If jRiver can get close, that could be quite a savings

Sure. The method mentioned ain't nearly as sophisticated as you may think:

1659972875217.png


One should add those filter options at the very top of the first PEQ section.

*BTW, one should really keep separate presets for plain regular MCH mode and "pseudo-surround" upmixing modes as there are a few crucial bass-management mixing and PEQ settings that may need to be disabled, adjusted or selectively added.

1659976138163.png


But, primarily, the ff. need to be ticked-off:

1659979828491.png


All of this assumes that manual mixing is performed and where the "Room Correction" [sic] module is fully disabled.


Anyway, you might have EQ'd the surrounds to be very close in their objectively measured steady-state FR to the mains, but right during a regular stereo upmixing session, you're likely to find that either side surround or rear surround channel(s) have too much sound coming out of them. Or, maybe it's mainly the front mains' imaging that appears to suffer badly or seems muddier, lacks focus, or more confused in comparison to the original track played in pure stereo 2.0/2.1 mode. The reality is this may be more prominent under certain specific tracks/albums/or types of music.

So... again, as illustirated in the first screenshot, the most simplest thing to do is to apply a wholesale volume level reduction to the offending side channels on an as-needed basis! o_O


A somewhat more complicated and time-consuming secondary method is to apply EQ cuts (mostly rather than boosts) from what has been originally equalized as "flattish" relative to a target curve. You'd have listen carefully by solo-ing and switching back-and-forth between main channels and side channels. Full-range pink noise is used -- although you can also use more band-limited ranges if you really want to focus in on a specific, difficult to balance attribute or trait. So basically the side surrounds relative to the front channels; the fronts relative to the center; the side surrounds relative to the rears, etc. That's without any pseudo-surround upmixing active, BTW.

However, one can also listen as well while pseudo-surround upmixing is active -- using select stereo music and muting individual/paired channels to evaluate what content gets sent to the surrounds and how they actually sound...

Quite frankly, one could just skip the whole listening part and stick with equalizing based on the captured measurements! It really is all up to you how thorough and methodical you want the process to be.

For me, because I'm mixing and matching multiple different monitor types and brands, listening was really quite necessary to confirm things.

-----

Well, I could post my saved and somewhat more current generic template file for DSP studio in JRiver, but the logic behind the arrangement and options that can be enabled or disabled (even with the written title labels) really needs some explaining -- I'm afraid, that would necessitate a whole different new and rather long tutorial thread.
 
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tifune

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Sure. The method mentioned ain't nearly as sophisticated as you may think:

View attachment 223070

One should add those filter options at the very top of the first PEQ section.

*BTW, one should really keep separate presets for plain regular MCH mode and "pseudo-surround" upmixing modes as there are a few crucial bass-management mixing and PEQ settings that may need to be disabled, adjusted or selectively added.

View attachment 223086

But, primarily, the ff. need to be ticked-off:

View attachment 223098

All of this assumes that manual mixing is performed and where the "Room Correction" [sic] module is fully disabled.


Anyway, you might have EQ'd the surrounds to be very close in their objectively measured steady-state FR to the mains, but right during a regular stereo upmixing session, you're likely to find that either side surround or rear surround channel(s) have too much sound coming out of them. Or, maybe it's mainly the front mains' imaging that appears to suffer badly or seems muddier, lacks focus, or more confused in comparison to the original track played in pure stereo 2.0/2.1 mode. The reality is this may be more prominent under certain specific tracks/albums/or types of music.

So... again, as illustirated in the first screenshot, the most simplest thing to do is to apply a wholesale volume level reduction to the offending side channels on an as-needed basis! o_O


A somewhat more complicated and time-consuming secondary method is to apply EQ cuts (mostly rather than boosts) from what has been originally equalized as "flattish" relative to a target curve. You'd have listen carefully by solo-ing and switching back-and-forth between main channels and side channels. Full-range pink noise is used -- although you can also use more band-limited ranges if you really want to focus in on a specific, difficult to balance attribute or trait. So basically the side surrounds relative to the front channels; the fronts relative to the center; the side surrounds relative to the rears, etc. That's without any pseudo-surround upmixing active, BTW.

However, one can also listen as well while pseudo-surround upmixing is active -- using select stereo music and muting individual/paired channels to evaluate what content gets sent to the surrounds and how they actually sound...

Quite frankly, one could just skip the whole listening part and stick with equalizing based on the captured measurements! It really is all up to you how thorough and methodical you want the process to be.

For me, because I'm mixing and matching multiple different monitor types and brands, listening was really quite necessary to confirm things.

-----

Well, I could post my saved and somewhat more current generic template file for DSP studio in JRiver, but the logic behind the arrangement and options that can be enabled or disabled (even with the written title labels) really needs some explaining -- I'm afraid, that would necessitate a whole different new and rather long tutorial thread.

This is great, thanks so much! How long did It take, what monitors, and now that you've gone through it do you think you still prefer it to an ACR that's basically PnP by comparison?
 

Vacceo

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Serendipitously, I was in same situation as you not long ago. If your 2.1 are all SAM models, the 8351+ GLM is step 1 without a doubt. On medium-large SAM models the GLM add-on is a no brainier simply because it's only an extra 5-10% of overall cost and now you can spend the rest of your days trying to make GRADE happy :)

If they're not SAM units, then it comes down to how many channels.you currently have and expect to have and how you're managing them. Short answer as to how I approached it for 2 separate rooms: HTP-1 for the theater where I can't apply any room treatment, GLM+Audyssey/Denon for my nearfield Auro setup where I can set it up like a padded room at hotel 5150 without bothering the wife.

HTP1 upsides in my situation: Dirac + DLBC (obviously), but it also remaps Auro3D channels to fully compliant Atmos layouts. Most people probably dont care, but outside of headphones I pretty much only listen to AuroMatic because it's so much better

HTP1 downsides: price & availability. I honestly don't believe there will ever be a new unit produced so youre looking a secondary markets. The volume control on mine crapped out, took 9 months for a repair and even then it was only because I started emailing every @monoprice.com address I could find so they got ATI to agree to handle it for me. Typically they don't actually repair them, BTW, it's only replacement. The good news is warranty is 5 years and transferrable, so if you can get original invoice with a used unit you're probably good for awhile.

If you have the patience to level match your Kali's by hand, you certainly have the patience to work with GLM and the $200 Audyssey upgrade to import REW filters and Denon is WAY cheaper than HTP1. Quite a few affordable AVRs with Dirac these days, but not all of them have Auro3D (if you care). many people are happy w DSU but I think it's too overwhelming on surround channels especially with high gain/overdriven guitars. Either way, DLBC is rare and if you ever get into multisub GLM+SAM sub is great but $$$, MSO is great but time.
This is interesting and I´d like to ask you for further detail. So your Genelecs are part of a home theatre setup, right? To EQ them you have started with the GLM and once calibrated, you have added Audyssey on top. How is the final sound? Do both systems interact well? Is it worth the expense on Genelecs when going multichannel?

That aside, would you mind telling a bit about the size of the room you´re using the system? I think I have an unconscions bias against pro monitors because I somehow think (probably a baseless and stupid thought) that the Genelecs would not be able to replace a tower speaker around 1 meter tall.
 

ernestcarl

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This is great, thanks so much! How long did It take, what monitors, and now that you've gone through it do you think you still prefer it to an ACR that's basically PnP by comparison?

The monitors in mentioned frankenstein setup are: JBL LSR305 (converted to sealed), Neumann KH120 (front mains), Presonus Sceptre S8 (two-way coaxes modified by overdamping), and a Fostex 6301 (sealed single driver).

If you mean setting things up manually in the PEQ section of JRiver's DSP studio, it shouldn't take long if you aren't starting from scratch -- say, you already have a saved file template(s) prepared that you can load unto a very familiar program interface, and aren't building a fully custom multi-way system. Let's imagine you only have five or seven pro studio monitors to be paired with a sub. Where everything is powered or hooked up to a PC; MCH audio interface and measurement gear on-hand all ready to go... it really should only take maybe two to three hours max -- heck, imagine the person setting things was already an "expert".

Unfortunatey, in the real world, though, there are almost always compromises and complications involved -- so better be prepared. Who knows, it could take much longer than expected. Case in point: JRSS (JRiver surround sound) being the only upmixing/downmixing algorithm included in the program and having to deal with all its limitations.


Hmmmn... Other than that, there are only a limited set of DSP parameters that need to be inserted within the DSP chain:

1) volume leveling
2) time delays
3) bass management crossovers and filters for the sub-to-mains alignment
4) full-range equalization


The latter two take the longest to manually set-up, esp. if you have no good way of visualizing/modelling things.

"PnP"... Well, I guess an AVR should expedite the entire process through a more streamlined, guided setup with all its clever proprietary AI algorithms and fully-decked upmixing/downmixing options.

Then again, more options could also mean more potential for confusion and/or indecisiveness.

Uh, really, I kind of hate to choose either way. Because, at the end of the day, I'm an obsessive-compulsive tinkerer; so I'd probably find myself spending countless hours playing around with whatever device/software it is I have on my hands...
 

tifune

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This is interesting and I´d like to ask you for further detail. So your Genelecs are part of a home theatre setup, right? To EQ them you have started with the GLM and once calibrated, you have added Audyssey on top. How is the final sound? Do both systems interact well? Is it worth the expense on Genelecs when going multichannel?

That aside, would you mind telling a bit about the size of the room you´re using the system? I think I have an unconscions bias against pro monitors because I somehow think (probably a baseless and stupid thought) that the Genelecs would not be able to replace a tower speaker around 1 meter tall.

Well, sort of. It's geared toward AuroMatic (hence the top surround) but I didn't want to entirely throw away Atmos music, so I went with rear height instead of surround height. Photos of each room attached, and my GRADE report just for fun. I run Audyssey on top mostly to reign in the Neumann's, but also to add in 3rd sub. I bass manage all genelec with GLM+L/R 7350s @ 100Hz due to desk issues. Then I cross all that over at 40Hz to a 3rd ELAC sub to try and minimize distortion from the 7350's (it can be pretty nasty). Finally, given I'm using the 7350's more like low-mid-woofers, I lie to myself and say I own the world's first W351's. The room is small, 15x12x8ft and MLP is around 75cm, so I certainly overdid it but you never truly know where the edge is unless you go over it! And yes, aesthetics literally don't even register in my mind so my cable mgmt = F-

Genelec 83xx were not worth it for my use case. I may feel differently if I used this setup for movies, but I do not. It's 99% Auro3D with the occasional Atmos album. To me, psychologically (timbre matching), 80x0's would be worth it. Center height and surround back are basically worthless no matter what you use, not worth the time unless you just have some old stuff laying around (I'd sell the Neumanns but my kids beat them to a pulp, I'd get practically nothing for them). I actually really do wish Atmos would adopt center height, though. I think, similar to how L/R can create phantom center, center/center height could reduce the localization effect of a single center being above or below the screen.

Also attached photo of the Revel/HTP-1 setup - Be series in front, some elevated kef R5's in rear. If I can ever sell the R5's i'll replace with something like F35/F36, again just for the peace of mind that everything 'matches.' I have some Revel 783's for top middle but I'm too chicken to get on a 20' ladder + run the cable and finding an installer willing to do a one-off has been tough. Having both monitors and towers, I understand what you mean. I saw a really good article here, I swear it was by Sigberg but I can't find it now, on what towers can do that monitors never will and one point was taller imaging. I do believe it's possible to achieve an audibly identical result if you have perfect sub placement/room treatment/EQ but most of us would be better served, in time and $, by getting bigger speakers for mid-far field. Of course, that's before you even get into the 'fun' vs 'accurate' conversation - does anyone really believe Kii Three sounds *better* than Salon2? More accurate, sure, but I can tell you firsthand there's a reason I moved from Kef to Revel in the common area. In terms of fun factor the difference is palpable, especially in dynamic range.

Unfortunatey, in the real world, though, there are almost always compromises and complications involved -- so better be prepared. Who knows, it could take much longer than expected. Case in point: JRSS (JRiver surround sound) being the only upmixing/downmixing algorithm included in the program and having to deal with all its limitations.

What are some limitations besides sweat equity required to get it dialed in? I'd love to give it a try someday, but time is so limited...
 

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ernestcarl

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What are some limitations besides sweat equity required to get it dialed in? I'd love to give it a try someday, but time is so limited...

Will need to think about it some more... but will get back to you. At the moment, I just need to figure out a way to jerry-rig mount another studio monitor on top of my screen display for "testing". ;)
 

Vacceo

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Well, sort of. It's geared toward AuroMatic (hence the top surround) but I didn't want to entirely throw away Atmos music, so I went with rear height instead of surround height. Photos of each room attached, and my GRADE report just for fun. I run Audyssey on top mostly to reign in the Neumann's, but also to add in 3rd sub. I bass manage all genelec with GLM+L/R 7350s @ 100Hz due to desk issues. Then I cross all that over at 40Hz to a 3rd ELAC sub to try and minimize distortion from the 7350's (it can be pretty nasty). Finally, given I'm using the 7350's more like low-mid-woofers, I lie to myself and say I own the world's first W351's. The room is small, 15x12x8ft and MLP is around 75cm, so I certainly overdid it but you never truly know where the edge is unless you go over it! And yes, aesthetics literally don't even register in my mind so my cable mgmt = F-

Genelec 83xx were not worth it for my use case. I may feel differently if I used this setup for movies, but I do not. It's 99% Auro3D with the occasional Atmos album. To me, psychologically (timbre matching), 80x0's would be worth it. Center height and surround back are basically worthless no matter what you use, not worth the time unless you just have some old stuff laying around (I'd sell the Neumanns but my kids beat them to a pulp, I'd get practically nothing for them). I actually really do wish Atmos would adopt center height, though. I think, similar to how L/R can create phantom center, center/center height could reduce the localization effect of a single center being above or below the screen.

Also attached photo of the Revel/HTP-1 setup - Be series in front, some elevated kef R5's in rear. If I can ever sell the R5's i'll replace with something like F35/F36, again just for the peace of mind that everything 'matches.' I have some Revel 783's for top middle but I'm too chicken to get on a 20' ladder + run the cable and finding an installer willing to do a one-off has been tough. Having both monitors and towers, I understand what you mean. I saw a really good article here, I swear it was by Sigberg but I can't find it now, on what towers can do that monitors never will and one point was taller imaging. I do believe it's possible to achieve an audibly identical result if you have perfect sub placement/room treatment/EQ but most of us would be better served, in time and $, by getting bigger speakers for mid-far field. Of course, that's before you even get into the 'fun' vs 'accurate' conversation - does anyone really believe Kii Three sounds *better* than Salon2? More accurate, sure, but I can tell you firsthand there's a reason I moved from Kef to Revel in the common area. In terms of fun factor the difference is palpable, especially in dynamic range.



What are some limitations besides sweat equity required to get it dialed in? I'd love to give it a try someday, but time is so limited...
For a second I thought I had far more than what I asked for, but upon a second (and third) reading, I think I really got a very revealing user case for different systems with a couple cherries on top. Thanks a lot for the detailed info!

Let us consider for a second that you decide to set the Genelecs on the larger living room. I can see the acoustics can be complicated just by the amount of glass, but that will happen with any kind of system, that´s where EQ becomes crucial. Would you be able to get results as good as the ones you already have with the Revels? The bottom line here is can you get equally good sound with active or passive or does the actives (in this case, the Genelecs) give you the extra option to get better sound? Also, the other consideration is if Genelecs would be capable of working well on the larger space you have.

Why am I asking? Well, because I have a fully passive, re-purposed 11.2 system. I say re-purposed because my height channels are Kef IQ 1´s that were never intended to be height speakers, as they were designed and produce before Atmos even existed. It works well, because the room they´re in has tall walls (almost 3 meters!), so channel separation is there. The baseline is a combination of other Kef IQ speakers (7, 8ds, 6c, 3) and a pair of subwoofers (PSW 2500). So far, I´m using Audyssey x32, but no fine tuning.

I use the system for everything: films, music, videogames, watching the news, radio reproduction... I want to upgrade the system a bit, but after reading this forum for months, the "to what?" question has become difficult. Active speakers (something I never considered), particularly Genelecs, have the advantage of amazing sound in a very compact format and a source point design, just like the Kef´s I use. Cable management will be harder for sure (XLR´s and power, plus RJ45 jacks) but at least on paper, the smallest speaker from the Ones series has more performance than my current Kef IQ7 towers in a fraction of the space. However, I also fear that going that route will be overkill or that I may be missing or not considering some factor.
 

Dj7675

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HTP1 upsides in my situation: Dirac + DLBC (obviously), but it also remaps Auro3D channels to fully compliant Atmos layouts. Most people probably dont care, but outside of headphones I pretty much only listen to AuroMatic because it's so much better
Off topic a bit... does the additional bass from AuroMatic bother you? Big fan of 4 subs/DLBC and work hard to get the bass "right". The significant amount of bass boost by Auro I find to make it sound very bad/bloated. If it bothers you do you create a seperate preset to reduce bass or manually adjust it?
 
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