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Volts and Scanspeak custom monitors to KRK Rokit Gen 4 Model 5 to Genlec 8030C. A story of a complete system chosen on measurements.

Waxx

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Glad you like them. And they measure very good, but i got an issue i can't find in the measurements that bothers me. It's more with older models than with the last models, but after a while ear fatigue is making me stop the music on them. I hear that 8030C every week in the radio studio i do broadcast my weekly show, and in that hour and a half i'm in the studio it's not an issue and they do a great job. But when i listen a few hours at once to those speakers i need to stop because it hurts to my ears. I did not find out from measurements (here and others) why that is and that bothers me.

I don't have that with many other neutral and far less neutral speakers (altough some others like Adam, KRK or Yamaha also have it). But for instance Kii audio, ATC or K&H/Neumann monitors (all fairly neutral on measurements) don't have that effect. So i'm searching for years what is the difference and may cause that but don't find it in any measurements...
 

Shadrach

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…what do you mean level match with a multimeter? There is every chance that you didn’t have the SPL level matched, if you measured a voltage going into the speakers and not the acoustic pressure coming out of them. And in that case, the mis-match in SPL will be a problem for the comparison.
It was the best I could do at the time. I used to have a sound pressure level meter but like a lot of the things I had when I was interested in building loudspeakers it got sold when I found I had more important things to do.
Thank you. MZKM directed me to this on another thread.

I will have the opportunity to make a better comparison between the two makes of loudspeaker next week when my daughter goes on holiday and I can borrow the KRKs.
If I was to make the response of the genelecs more like the KRKs with an equaliser then in theory they should then sound more similar. I doubt I could get the response exactly the same even with a parametric equaliser but it should be good enough, say + and - a couple of db throughout the range I can hear.
What has surprised me is just how much difference what are fairly small deviations from the Harman make to the listening experience.
There are of course other parameters such as directivity, construction materials and methods to name just two that I can't alter but it might be an interesting experiment. A bit like Bob Carvers I can make any amplifier sound like any other amplifier challenge.
 

Shadrach

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Glad you like them. And they measure very good, but i got an issue i can't find in the measurements that bothers me. It's more with older models than with the last models, but after a while ear fatigue is making me stop the music on them. I hear that 8030C every week in the radio studio i do broadcast my weekly show, and in that hour and a half i'm in the studio it's not an issue and they do a great job. But when i listen a few hours at once to those speakers i need to stop because it hurts to my ears. I did not find out from measurements (here and others) why that is and that bothers me.

I don't have that with many other neutral and far less neutral speakers (altough some others like Adam, KRK or Yamaha also have it). But for instance Kii audio, ATC or K&H/Neumann monitors (all fairly neutral on measurements) don't have that effect. So i'm searching for years what is the difference and may cause that but don't find it in any measurements...
I don't know the answer.
I too find some loudspeakers are more comfortable to listen to over extended periods of time. In general though just concentrating on recordings for much over an hour leaves me tired and this effects my perception of the sound.
There are a few things I've found that have a bearing on how long I can concentrate on recorded sound for.
The listening volume. Anything much past the decibel level of ordinary speech becomes tiring quite quickly.
The dynamic range of the recording. The higher the dynamic range the easier I find the recording to listen to.
My state of mind. This has a huge influence on my perception of sound.
The type of music. I like classical music but I can't tolerate it on a stereo system. It just sounds wrong. I go to concerts instead.
My feeling is humans and probably all other species are not designed to be subjected to long periods of exposure to noise.

So far the 8030c provide me with the best listening experience I can recal. My Volts sounded wonderful in a large volume but to me they needed to be played at a volume level that my current living space can't cope with.
 

gino1961

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I’ve read on a few threads contributors commenting that it would be helpful to have some comment from people who have owned the equipment in question.

I’ve been reading ASR since it went online. I was a member here at one point a couple of years ago.
I got so disgusted with the dogmatic and often unnecessarily rude approach by some of the so called leading lights on the site and the poor moderation I called it a day.

I’ve had a few dacs, amps etc in and out of the system over the years. I couldn’t tell the difference with any degree of certainty between the majority of the electronics when level matched.

I’ve done both DBT and Blind testing through my work years ago. I’m not convinced it’s particularly helpful for those who just want a system that sound acceptable to them and fulfils the other criteria that may be important to them unless it’s done in the room the system will be used in.

A year ago I became a pensioner. I moved back to the UK after living in my own house in Spain for the last ten years, into a small flat in a complex for people aged over 55. Given my new accommodation it was apparent that the Volts were going to be entirely unsuitable both in size and performance. Add to this that one of the Volt base drivers and one midrange had been damaged either in transit or storage. Each bass driver costs around £300.00 now I believe and the midranges are around £150.00. So I could spend say £500.00 and a lot of time trying to rebuild speakers that were now 45+ years old from their first iteration and would still be entirely unsuitable, or put together a new system.

View attachment 202000View attachment 202001

https://www.falconacoustics.co.uk/drive-units-1/volt-loudspeakers.html

In order to put a bit of perspective on this “experiment” it may be helpful to know a bit about the Volt/Scanspeak monitors. The last rebuild gave these figures.
Efficiency: 10 watts for 93db at Im.
Frequency response 40 to 20000 Hz plus and minus 4db
Bass roll off around 5 db per 10 Hz down to 20Hz
6 ohm min, 8 ohm nom.
ABR tuned to 20Hz

So, not state of the art but capable of decent room shaking bass given a few watts.
A bit horrifying this bit.
The Sony laptop cost around £600.00 when I bought it.
The amplifier I used most was an Exposure 25RC, £1100 new.
The HRT Music Streamer cost £130.00
Cabling including speaker cables about £250.00

Total £2080.00

Very difficult to put a price on the loudspeakers.
2 off Volt B250 I have are no longer available. Their nearest replacement are Volt B2500.1 at £330.00 each.
The ABRs are not available either. I’ve allowed £100 each.
Scanspeak D2905/9300 around £100.00 each.Scanspeak 13m8621 are no longer produced but the recommended replacement cost £150.00 each.
The crossovers cost about £150 each to build.
I don’t know how much I’ve spent on building the enclosures.
Say £3000 on components plus the cost of the enclosures which are often the most expensive part of a loudspeaker.
My current stands and the ones used for the Volts I’ve adapted or built. It would cost a least a couple of hundred pounds to buy something similar.
A bit of time spent on the aesthetics of the Volts which I obviously didn’t bother with and I would expect to pay around £6000.00 or more allowing for dealer and manufacturer mark up.
Roughly a £10000.00 system and this doesn’t include the headphone amp I built or the other pieces of equipment I’ve bought over the years.

I’ve posted the picture below to show the acoustic nightmare environment I had to try and deal with which measurement and equalisation never fully sorted out but even so didn’t stop me enjoying listening to music.

The old system in use in Spain.
View attachment 202003

I had already replaced an audiophile valve based kit built headphone amplifier which cost around £450.00 if my memory serves me with the JDS Labs Atom and later the plus model. I also bought the Topping DX3 at the time. The JDS Atom stayed.
I bought the JDS Atom headphone amp and the Topping because of Amir’s review here on ASR. I’ve been very happy with the performance of both units but in the end having a separate Dac and Headphone amplifier gave more flexibility.

Despite having built the valve headphone amplifier and having spent four times the amount of money on it compared to the JDS Atom, my preference for the JDS was almost instantaneous. I don’t mind the plastic case but the plastic volume knob which has a habit of coming away in the hand drove me mad.
I’ve had the HRT dac in and out of my system for many years now. Nothing else I’ve tried gave a noticeable improvement.
The Sony Vaio laptop I use to process the audio files was over 15 years old, had a couple of dead keys, a fan that just got noisier as time passed and a failing spinning hard drive. I’ve had various Linux OS’s on it.
I had replaced my home computer a couple of years ago. I chose a silent Mini Pc with the Celeron N4020 chip and run Puppy Linux Bionic 64 bit on it. Can’t fault the machine for most of the things I want a computer for. A similar machine was what I had in mind for serving music files in the future.
I also have a pair of Sennhieser HD 595 headphones which I use with the Pulse Audio parametric equaliser, setting taken from here.

https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq/tree/master/results/referenceaudioanalyzer/referenceaudioanalyzer_hdm1_harman_over-ear_2018/Sennheiser HD 595

The room I now have as a listening space is 4.2 metres long and 3 metres wide and 2.2 metres high, 27.72 cubic metres, or approximately 979 cubic feet.
There is a large window running along the front wall of the flat. The other end of the room has two doorways, kitchen and hallway. There is only one practical location for the stereo system and that’s against the wall with the window.
The floor has carpet and underlay plus a rug and is fairly crowded with pieces of furniture.
What I wanted was a smaller version of my Volts. Frankly I thought the chances of getting anything I could live with given my budget was very unlikely. I also wanted a minimal equipment footprint and stuff that worked out of the box and that includes minimum messing about with measuring and equalization.

I allowed £1500.00 to try and achieve my goal.

I can’t hear much beyond 12kHz.
My hearing from 12kHz down to 20Hz is reasonably good for my age with no noticeable defects at my last test.
My preference is to try to make adjustments to the room and speaker placement rather than head straight for the equaliser.
I do have REW and a Umik-1 somewhere and I may at a later date do some rough measurements and make the recommended adjustments.

I bought one of these to do the computing. I bought the lowest powered fan-less unit featuring the N4020 processor. One important thing to note is the provision of 4 USB ports. I had bought a similar machine made by Mini PC with the N4020 processor some time ago to act as my main PC and I’ve been very pleased with it’s performance.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/MeLE-Quieter2-Computer-Supports-Dual-Screen/dp/B099WSGLHH/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=DD7SFR3IW4QL&keywords=mele+fanless+mini+pc&qid=1650039722&s=computers&sprefix=Mele,computers,87&sr=1-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzRkE4RTJCQ085VVFCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDM4NjM3MTM2TlRRVTc1SjZTVSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjQ0NjM5MkVIU1o5WERTODJHNyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

Archimago did an article about a more powerful model.
https://archimago.blogspot.com/2022/02/mele-quieter2q-8gb-ddr4-128gb-emmc.html

I took Win 10 off and installed Ubuntu Mate which gave me access to stuff from the Ubuntu repositories including the better than before Pulse Audio plugins. My music player has been DeadBeef for the last decade at least. There is no shortage of other decent audio players for Linux.

I bought a Lenovo 24 inch monitor and a wireless mouse.
My intention was to operate the mouse from my listening position with a larger type enabled on the computer. A trackball may be a better option.
The wireless mouse packed up within a week.
I’ve got a basic wired mouse currently and use an on screen keyboard for the few occasions I need to type.
All my music is on remote hard drives with backup drives of course. This is where the number of USB ports becomes important. This means that in the event of an operating system melt down my music files won’t go with it and it gives space on the chip for alternative multi boot options.
The Miele Silent PC has an option to fit a solid state drive if required.
One USB port for the Dac
One USB port for the mouse
One USB port for a remote hard drive-units
This leaves me one USB port spare for say a measuring mic, or another remote hard drive.

A trip to a friends supplied a pair of motorway crash barrier support posts and after a clean up, a pot of black metal paint and a lump of scrap plywood I had speaker stands.

All the stereo equipment is plugged into a single plug board which helps to avoid ground loops. I screwed mine to the wall and attempted to hide the mess of wires with a cloth backdrop and one of my lamps.

I studied the recommended list in the Review Index and picked a speaker that was recommended but with low preference score that would provide a 60Hz to 20kHz plus and minus 4db response within the low end of my budget. My reasoning was that finding a speaker with a response of plus and minus 4db much below 60hZ in my price range was extremely unlikely and if I felt that bass response was lacking then a sub was the answer.
I had decided I wanted active speakers. Apart from the advantages covered on this forum and others it meant I could sell my small collection of amplifiers to fund a pair of subs if required. This reduced the choices considerably.
I won’t go through all the options given they can be viewed in the review and measurement pages.

I chose the KRK Rokits on the strength of Amir’s review and it’s low preference score. It was quite apparent that he liked this speaker. Amir’s main criticism was a lack of power which in my listening space should not be an issue.
The other main contender was the Yamaha HS5 which I had heard before and found it to be harsh and boring sounding with extended listening.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...rk-rokit-5-gen-4-review-studio-monitor.20711/

I used the JDS Atom Amp as the volume control.
I’ve got mostly redbook audio files; a few 24/96 and one DSD and a few 320 CBR. What I do have is a large differences in rip/recording levels between the files.
I found that the Topping D10s sounded quieter than the HRT Music Streamer. The HRT is specified at maximum 2.25 Volts output while the Topping D10s seems to output 2 Volts max. I haven’t delved into this to find out if the variation in output is responsible for what I hear.

Anyway, for files that sound too quiet I found the high gain mode on the JDS Atom Amp sorted it out with no discernable degradation in sound quality to my ears. I don’t listen much past 85 db peaks at my 1.7 metres listening distance so using high gain hasn’t been necessary for normal listening.
I liked the KRK’s from the outset. It thought they sounded incredibly good irrespective of price.
I played them for a couple of days resting on a chest of draws. They sounded good. I put them on the stands and toed them in 22 degrees in the end. They sounded better. I pulled them a few inches further from the wall and the sound stage improved. I thought if one went to the trouble of setting them up properly with a measuring mic and program you could end up with a very capable sounding loudspeaker.

I did play with the filters but it’s like throwing darts in the dark if you can’t measure when you’ve achieved as flat a response as practicable. They sounded great set flat.
I liked the look of them as did my daughter who now owns them.
I didn’t find them short of volume in the space I had them in. The most important aspect to them for me was they were untiring and very easy to listen to. Mine didn’t hiss either. I’ve listened to other studio monitors that hissed and found the hiss completely unacceptable. There isn’t much else to write about them. The bass is exactly what one would expect from looking at the various graphs. It will be fine for some, others will want a sub. I didn’t find the distortion in the bass as volume increased intrusive and hardly noticeable until I played them at stupid loudness levels

View attachment 202017

There was one thing I found frustrating with the KRK speakers; the filters lowest offering was 2db. I think this may be applicable to many other brands. 1db steps would be wonderful.
KRK promote an app to go with their speakers. I downloaded it to an Android 10 mobile phone. It’s pretty much useless. I couldn’t get the room correction pink noise to the speakers due to plug and cable problems. I could have worked around it, but it would have cost money.
The level metre is okay for what it is, but it didn’t inspire me with confidence.
The alignment “compass” wanted to reset itself every time I moved the mobile phone to a new angle.
I just lost patience with it within minutes and resolved to do the job properly at a later date with the final speakers.
The app is a good idea even if it just gets people to do rough measurements but I thought it needed a lot more work if it was to be part of KRK’s sales strategy.

In other circumstances I might have stuck with the KRK’s and been happy enough listening to the music. But, I hadn’t spent the budget yet and like many I suspect, I was very curious to hear rather than read what the highest preference score loudspeaker within my budget sounded like.


It’s interesting that the Genlec 8030C has the highest preference rating of any loudspeaker so far tested alongside the Genlec 8341A at a bit over four times the price! I certainly didn’t understand why from the measurements and comparisons.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/SpeakerTestData/

Off I went to PMT in Bristol with my shopping trolley where I bought a pair, strapped them to the shopping trolley and dragged them home on the bus.

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/

There is a track by the band, A Perfect Circle called The Noose.
I like the track, play it a lot and use it as one of my speaker test tracks. I can’t explain exactly what this track playing tells me about the speaker but the Genlecs made it sound awesome (I’m in my sixties so awesome is not a word I use lightly)
I’ve got plenty of badly recorded music. I’ve only heard a couple of tracks where I’ve thought they sounded to rough to listen to.
People mention the Genlec failing when it comes to deep bass. I have to be honest and say I haven’t noticed this about them and the Volts did deep bass.
I’ve had the Genlecs reading 90db at 2m away using low gain on the JDS Atom Headphone Amp with about 40 degrees left on the volume knob and it was too loud for me to want to listen to for long.
I won’t be looking for a different loudspeaker. I'm even getting to like the way they look.
View attachment 202020
View attachment 202021View attachment 202022

New system costs.
Computer £160.00
D10s dac £130.00
Lenovo monitor £109.00
JDS Labs Atom+ £120.00
Cables from old system.
Genlec 8030C pair £900.00
Stands free
Mouse £6.00

Total £1425.00

There are people who will tell you that you can know how a loudspeaker will sound from looking at the measurements.
It may be correct to state you can know how a speaker will sound from the measurements if you can factor in the other parameters such as the room it operates in. The environment the speaker performs in has a massive impact on how it will “sound”.
I’ve had the measurements tell the whole story debate with extreme objectivists friends of mine and to prove my point I took a speakers and laid it on the floor face down and then asked if it sounded like his prediction from the measurements. Childish I know but it does illustrate a point.

I would love to do an ABX test between these two loudspeakers to try to discover why it is I prefer the Genlecs. The best I could do while I had both pairs was to level match them using a multimeter and listen. I swapped the KRKs and the Genlecs over a few times and listened to a few tracks I know well.
The Genlecs came a lot closer to how my unreliable memory recalls the sound of the Volts.
I don’t understand exactly how the preference ratings are arrived at. There may be a full explanation somewhere on ASR (?)
I’ve assumed the second set of frequency response figures for the KRK are with subs (?)

My understanding is most people can detect down to a 1db change. So, anything below this is not going influence people perception of the sound of a speaker
Below are the estimated far field in room graphs. Both speakers perform in a very similar manner up to around 500 Hz according to the measurements. It didn’t sound like that to me. I much preferred the bass response of the Genlecs; they just sounds fuller and deeper.

I won’t go over each frequency response variation from ideal for this model as the graphs are shown below and you can make your own estimations. What I do want to point out is where the deviations are at their most extreme we are looking at perhaps 3db or 4db. Pull up the 1200Hz to 1400Hz section with an equaliser with the right Q factor on the Genlecs and one is left with a response throughout the range of perhaps plus and minus 1.5 db at worst.

View attachment 202026
View attachment 202023View attachment 202025
View attachment 202024

KRK
Preference Rating
SCORE: 3.6
SCORE w/ sub: 5.9
Frequency response: +/-6.5dB 43Hz-20kHz ; +/-3.4dB 20Hz-20kHz.


Genlec
Preference Rating

SCORE: 6.3
SCORE w/ sub: 8.5
Frequency response: +/-2.9dB 54Hz/20kHz


It would help if the same information was presented in the same graphs for every speaker tested.

I used the Pulse Audio parametrise equaliser on the Genlecs and the KRKs to adjust the major frequency deviations from the Harman curve but left the frequencies below 60Hz alone. I pulled down the 680Hz deviation as Amir did and also roughly compensated for the dip above 1000Hz and the rise above 10000Hz. I’m not sure that I got the Q values right.
For the Genlecs I just copied Amirs adjustment.
I thought I could detect a slight improvement in the KRKs when the rise above 1000Hz was addressed but I couldn’t hear an improvement with the adjustment Amir used.
I got tired of messing about and given I had decided that I preferred the Genlecs any further experimentations with the KRKs seemed pointless.

In the end I tried using the graphic equaliser in Deadbeef which has an equaliser setting dead on 2500 Hz and set it to +1.7db but of course, there is no parametric spread that a Q setting allows. It’s a basic but relatively simple solution compared to Pulse that isn’t applied system wide. The problem was this produced a crackling sound with some tracks. I don’t know what’s going on there. Disable the equaliser and it’s back to normal.
The same problem was apparent with the Genlecs when the Deadbeef equaliser was used.
I’ve yet to test out the Pulse parametric equaliser with the Genlecs. I probably wont bother until I’ve got them set up with REW and U-mik.

https://deadbeef.sourceforge.io/

https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/

https://t-5.eu/hp/Home/
View attachment 202029View attachment 202030View attachment 202031

If one was to buy a pair of the Genlec 8030c and then buy the appropriate Genlec subs, and then set it all up with a mic and computer program it would be hard to argue that one didn’t have a world class system given the measurements. I would love to add subs but I don’t think they would be appreciated by my neighbours. I would go for the 7050CPM and a pair despite the cost. They have a bit more power than needed but the next model down doesn’t go down to 24HZ.
It would be easy to conclude I’ve wasted a lot of money over the years on stereo sound reproduction.
It’s been a hobby for me since my early twenties and I’ve enjoyed most of it immensely. What I have learnt is if sites like ASR and Archimago’s had been around when I started I could have got to the point I am now having spent a lot less money. Yes, the measurements are important and they can take an awful lot of the guesswork out of system building. In the end one likes what one likes and no amount of objective data is going to change this.


Despite all the objectivists rhetoric from some of the posters here I won’t be expecting them to trash their multi thousand pounds worth of audiophile Hi Fi systems and put their money where their mouths are.:rolleyes:
Hi very interesting story thank you for very much
I would suggest to add a remote control preamp with xlr outs
Since i used a very old but decent Electrocompaniet ec 4.5 i like the sound better
It has both rca and xlr sockets so that i can connect unbalanced and balanced units
The Genelec have xlr inputs that can be used
 

Shadrach

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Hi very interesting story thank you for very much
I would suggest to add a remote control preamp with xlr outs
Since i used a very old but decent Electrocompaniet ec 4.5 i like the sound better
It has both rca and xlr sockets so that i can connect unbalanced and balanced units
The Genelec have xlr inputs that can be used
I'm using an JDS Labs Atom as a preamp which so far has worked well.
A remote control isn't something I feel I need in such a small space. I can reach the controls from my listening chair.:)
 

Shadrach

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I did eventually add a Genelec 7050cpm sub. I'm partway through writing up how I set it up.
I think many people who come to ASR might benefit from a step by step account of how a system like this could be set up. Often I find the advice is get REW and a measurement microphone and that's it.
P2050247.JPG
 

gino1961

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I did eventually add a Genelec 7050cpm sub. I'm partway through writing up how I set it up.
I think many people who come to ASR might benefit from a step by step account of how a system like this could be set up. Often I find the advice is get REW and a measurement microphone and that's it.
View attachment 262497
HI thank you for the very kind and valuable reply
Are you listening from that chair? :oops:That is indeed near field:D
I don't understand how the sub works
Up to which frequency does it work?
The l and r speakers are still working full range?
 

Mnyb

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Nice write up on practical experiences.

Regarding software eq i use equalizer apo with the Peace UI .

A feature I use is to set proper negative gain to accommodate the eq . Digital can not get louder than 0dB so if you want to increase some frequency everything else must go down . So in practice you ( or your software ) lower the total level to make room for your eq adjustments. Due to nature of how digital,audio migth work with resampling stuff you migth need a marginal at -3dB to avoid overshoots clipping the sounds ( intersample overs ).

The crackling you heard migth been some part of the digital chain clipping , might worked well with some tracks at low volume , but hit a limit when playing louder .
 
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