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Living with the Genelecs

Rega

Santy

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Its time to write something. I still remember when a mini meet was arranged at Pandam Audio for the first time, I was unwilling to travel all the way to the showroom. These were fairly exotic stuff for me. I said in a post that I would spend my free time demoing amps and speakers for a basic setup rather than spoil myself by listening to scarily expensive studio stuff. Thats when an FM asked why they cannot be considered, if my objective is to setup a decent system, that the smallest of the monitors is still good and fairly affordable. I was still in passive mode that time.

The second meet was a revelation. Thanks to the organizer for familiarizing me with the Genelecs. I could not believe how such a quality sound can come from these tiny boxes that too with lot of other electronics stuffed into it. The fact that the sound quality and signature remains same across the series and only the loudness and LF extension varies was something difficult to comprehend. But it was evident that day. Talking about big things demoed in the meet, the coffin sized sub has enough power to break your rib bones in case you inhaled more air. The way Clifford explained that day, the engineering behind these metal boxes took the audience to a new horizon of knowledge. Coming to the DSP series, a 15-min long calculation on a modern day PC shows how complex the acoustic calibration would be.

Today, listening to the Genelec 8030as at home is nothing short of exciting. While enjoying the music itself, concentrating on the vocals, analyzing the layering of instruments and realizing the big soundstage and the darkness behind was all running simultaneously in the mind when the Genelecs sing. The full bodied sound is crisp and fast and it doesnt miss a bit or byte of sound above 55 hz. I could hear all nuances in the music of my favourite tracks and some instruments never noticed before, sprang to life. The sound is so detailed and agile that you can hear the fingers smearing on the tablas membrane. The purity of the vocals and its focus at the centre helps in visualizing the singer at a good distance from the musicians. The crunchiness of the snares and crispness of the brass instruments makes the eyes to shrink without hurting the ears. People who heard music on it insisted me twice or thrice to ascertain if the sub was on. I had to pull the power plug to prove it isnt. To that extent the monitors dig deep, at the same time keeping it tight and fast paced too. Even at low volumes, the bass maintains its texture.

Though there is definitely a sweet spot that helps in stereographic imaging, the frequency response across all bands is pretty uniform at off axis areas of the room. Surprisingly even when I put my head behind the speakers, they still sound as if they are in front. Are they musical? Well, this question is often directed to people having or buying monitors. My counter question to them is, if they are playing music, why it wouldnt be? May be there are reasons I am not aware of. But I guess its more about perception. If someone is used to coloration, then this may appear little dry though I havent met anyone commenting so yet. At the same time, play a poorly recorded track or an MP3 less than 320 kbps, then the ears start to strain; as they not only make the compression and other deficiencies of the source evident, they amplify them as well.

For me, the pain of hunting for options, matching various components, changing cables, struggling hard to know which frequency is subdued or which is in excess and how to neutralize them by again upgrading the components and spending all savings on it, seems to have been put to rest by these actives, atleast for now. Of course, the quality of transport and the DAC would be always troubling till they are upgraded to match the performance of the montiors.

For the size, these monitors are really loud and they dont distort at high volumes either as long as it is fed with clean music. For a bday party at home, I had purposefully set up the puny 8020bs which made the first of the guests to walk in chuckle at it. Then as expected, the heads started to turn as the decibels were raised. They started looking into all corners of space searching for speakers. That was priceless.

The thought of using these for HT itself gave goosebumps to me. And luckily the deal in which the used speakers were bought, had more than a few pieces. Wired to the Emotiva UMC200, the 8030a for the fronts and 8020b's for the surrounds have created that perfect little theatre I dreamt of. I could see the 8020Bs feeling insulted for placing them as surrounds- because along with a fast sub, they are enough to make a great stereo setup. Well, it is this single active speaker doing the duty of centre channel, I believe has actually brought the theatre to home. It sounds simply big and the vocals are amazingly clear that you even the breathe of the artists are heard. The resolution is maintained even at most dynamic and demanding scenes. All speakers together effortlessly does the job of slamming me to the back of my seat. Active Theatre. Nice to call it that way.

As said earlier, good things in life come with their own stake of problems. Thats the Sub (in HT) and the DAC (in stereo) for me. Going to be expensive if they have to justify the quality of these monitors. I am pretty sure that for stereo, I would not need a sub at all. How many instruments go below 55 hz is the question. The painful wait for the DAC upgrade has begun long back.

Ever since the Genelecs came home, I do not know why, I have spent a lot more time simply gazing at them rather than listening to.
 

Santy

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Time for some visual treat




























 

kapvin

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Using this for ht is a smart decision and one I would have taken too, after hearing abut Genelec availability, had I not already been s heavily invested in my diy.

I am really glad that it worked out for you.

I often visit studios as part of my job (as a client). I have heard Genelec quite often and they never fail to impress. Also the Genelec sub, might seem expensive but the seamless match in creates with the monitors give the sonic impression of a really high end full range speakers. You may wish to consider those at some later stage.

Some questions though

I understand that the models under question are near field. They are to be situated on the mixerdesk (and indeed that is how I have heard them). How do they sound in the midfield?

Have you connected them directly to your source. When doing my active speakers, I found that routing music from the emotive softened it a bit. What is your experience?
 

MZB

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WOW .... I feel lucky to have the audition of these little wonders at your home ....
Btw great pictures !!!
So currently is it the Nikon or the Genelac your first luv ?
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Santy, I really, really wish you hadn't written any of that. I am now going to go and gaze sadly at my bank balance.

:lol:

Seriously, though, it was a great write up, and accompanied by superb pictures of an amazing lineup. I have a dream of just having two of these beauties: your have five! :eek:

I understand that the models under question are near field...

That is what I understand too, and I would not have been at all surprised if, albeit superb in that role, they had not been able at the job of room filling. Somehow, it seems that they can fill a room. Santy speaks of even the 8020 doing so as stereo speakers for a party. We heard the really tiny 6010s at the last Chennai meet. These are speakers you could put one on each hand, designed as computer speakers, but even they sounded amazing, for their size, throughout the room. The words, "this should not be possible," were in my head at the time, and have stuck.

In fact, should the finance ever become possible (and I have more than half a mind to make it possible, although there are other priorities even on the audio shopping list) the only thing that worries me is that, in my alcove, between walls only 2m apart, the 8030s, or even the 8020s might be overwhelming and suffocated.
 

Santy

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I understand that the models under question are near field. They are to be situated on the mixerdesk (and indeed that is how I have heard them). How do they sound in the midfield?

Have you connected them directly to your source. When doing my active speakers, I found that routing music from the emotive softened it a bit. What is your experience?

They fill the room with such ease that I am still trying to understand why these would be tagged so. Of course as I said, the desk distance is the sweet spot and its ideal for getting that phantom imaging. Getting closer simply gives the feeling of moving closer to the stage but there is no big change in the tonality of the sound.

Yes I have connected them directly to source and its a little more open and cleaner but its very negligible. May be the upgraded UMC has some improvement in preamp section. However, the difference I think will be more pronounced when a higher quality DAC is used. Since its the weakest link now, it is probably not able to highlight the limitations of emotiva.

So currently is it the Nikon or the Genelac your first luv ?
The upgrade itch for camera and lenses set in on the second week itself.:)

Santy, I really, really wish you hadn't written any of that.

Seriously, though, it was a great write up, and accompanied by superb pictures of an amazing lineup. I have a dream of just having two of these beauties: your have five! :eek:

.

:D Sorry for spoiling you further Thad. BTW be extra cautious while handling cash as you are making counting errors. :eek:hyeah:
 

spirovious

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Its a real great setup.Also your DAC is working perfectly,digging out details & sounds musical.Also Emotiva pre is equally important.Congrats.
 

MZB

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They fill the room with such ease that I am still trying to understand why these would be tagged so. Of course as I said, the desk distance is the sweet spot and its ideal for getting that phantom imaging. Getting closer simply gives the feeling of moving closer to the stage but there is no big change in the tonality of the sound.

Yes I have connected them directly to source and its a little more open and cleaner but its very negligible. May be the upgraded UMC has some improvement in preamp section. However, the difference I think will be more pronounced when a higher quality DAC is used. Since its the weakest link now, it is probably not able to highlight the limitations of emotiva.


The upgrade itch for camera and lenses set in on the second week itself.:)



:D Sorry for spoiling you further Thad. BTW be extra cautious while handling cash as you are making counting errors. :eek:hyeah:

So 5 speakers are in 1 room , where are the other 2 ?
 

Thad E Ginathom

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Possibly hidden by my "counting errors" :eek:. My god! Seven Genelecs!
BTW be extra cautious while handling cash as you are making counting errors.
You are right (just ask my wife). I am not good at all with numbers, and do often loose out as a result. There is a numeric equivalent to dyslexia, and I have it.
 

Kittu

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Santy,

May God bless you with more lottery's. A very well written experience.

May I ask you what is the damage ? You can pm me with breakup / or the single number.
 

Santy

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The site I used for image upload sucks. Lot of compression. :mad: This is one uncompressed photo from flickr.

@MZB The caiman will retire soon and become a part of a secondary setup with the last pair of Gs.

@kittu It is not likely to happen again (thus the price also becomes almost immaterial;). I urge interested FMs to look forward to the M series- looks promising and are 30 percent cheaper (non-metal case and Class D amp).

@Darshan/Spiro Thanks again :)
 

docd

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I have heard Santy's setup and its amazing. He has been lucky. He has got the whole system for an extremely competitive price. And its going to last him for quite some time. The UMC 200 is very good in stereo as well as HT. Of course, he suffering from an incurable disease, we all know as upgraditis:yahoo:
Thats why he now feels his DAC needs to be upgraded:eek:hyeah:
I for one think that he needs to do nothing except sit back in audio visual bliss for the next 3-4 years:lol:
 
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rishiguru

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Great writeup Santy!!! Reading was a real treat.:)

Though I never heard genelecs, I was fortunate enough to hear a pair of top end KRK studio monitors and boy was they singing. Wish you all the best with those sweet looking Genelecs for many years to come.
 

arhantd

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Really well written review and absolutely brilliant setup.
I am sure it sounds great and it looks very neat as well.

Some people think genelecs look industrial but to me they look very elegant in your setup. Congrats!

Also wanted to know, Does this have DSP built in? Or are you using any computer based software for that?
Does DSP really improve how the speakers sound in a particular room a lot?
 
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Thad E Ginathom

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Some people think genelecs look industrial...

They look business-like. Studio, rather than living room, maybe. Certainly no veneer or chrome bits! I think they look great. OK, I confess... I am smitten by their curves! It was love at first sight :eek:
 

magma

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Nice setup
congratualtions

when you have the time and a bit of spare change remind me to get you a custom top plate built

i have done a few genelec stands so i know about the pods and the top plates required

if im not wrong the 4 pods in the corners are the only ones to make contact right ?
 

Santy

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^^^Yes magma. The only contact between the speaker and the ground is that rubber iso-pod and three needle sharp spikes. It is a commendable job from you, I forgot to mention in the original post. Thank you. First thing I do when an FM visits me is to ask them lift one of the stands. Not that they can't, but they try carefully, get the idea and step aside. I own the grin that comes thereafter. They ARE VERY HEAVY.

I should have kept the height an inch or two shorter though. My mistake. Wil try to truncate it if possible with your support. I wish to state that despite being so heavy, its easy to topple them when tilted diagonally. Ofcourse its understandable. Its the case with any 3 legged stands.

I will connect with you regarding the top plate you are referring to.

Here's a pic I clicked soon after assembling your creation. I love the DuPont matte finish.

 
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