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DigiPete

Genelec - What is the rave about?

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Hi Digipete, hello everybody!

I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post.

I'm the happy (and recent) owner of a pair of 8260a.

 

Sound is IMHO very pleasant and natural; they're a real no-brainer to listen to on any kind of music style: everything in i'ts place, very defined treble (but not harsh), very deep bass (but well controlled, thanks to GLM), I wasn't expecting that from professional monitors ( supposed to be "over-analytical"...).

 

The only downside is the "practical" aspects of this setup: my source is a macmini running itunes, connected to the digital input of the Genelec's from the mini's optical (toslink) output, through an HOSA spdif/AES interface.

 

I run the monitors in standalone mode; GLM is loaded on a separate laptop only for setup, and then disconnected for normal use.

 

Limitations of the system include:

 

- Volume management only from the player: itune's volume control ( slider ) is everythig but progressive, making it a real PITA to achieve low volume listening.

- Genelec's connectivity is really poor: you only get ONE AES digital input, and an XLR analog, that's all folks!

I know we're in the professional domain where AES is gold standard, but honestly, couldn't they have supplied at least an SPDIF coax in ?

What if I need to connect some other digital gear...?

-GLM v.1 not running on El Capitan, need to upgrade to v.2 (have to pay for it, many bugs reported with E.C).

 

As a conclusion, I would say that running a minimalist all-digital setup has some benefits (short signal path, no amp or preamp) , but some drawbacks as well in terms of ease-of-use.

For instance, there's no way to plug in a pair of headphones (but it's not Genelec's fault !) without buying an extra DAC/Headamp.

The major issue is volume control, as there is AFAIK no hardware solution (interface).The only one I've found is a Weiss int 202 /203 firewire/AES interface w/volume control, but i'ts a + 1000$ option!

 

But overall, I still think the Genelecs are a real bargain (if not cheap) at their price, considering what you would have to spend ( speakers, amps, crossovers, room correction systems...) to get an equivalence in a conventional system.

Edited by philmas

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Hi Digipete, hello everybody!

I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post.

I'm the happy (and recent) owner of a pair of 8260a.

 

But overall, I still think the Genelecs are a real bargain (if not cheap) at their price, considering what you would have to spend ( speakers, amps, crossovers, room correction systems...) to get an equivalence in a conventional system.

 

 

Hi philmas and welcome to CA!

 

And congrats on an amazing pair of monitors.

 

 

You have a lot of good points and questions, let me throw in my 5 cents:

 

 

a) Creating AES3 out of the computer.

I recommend a real DDC, for stereo have a look at Yellowtec PUC2

It's about USD 600, has analogue in/out as well as EAS3 in/out and a headphone amp.

It'll digitize your vinyl etc, or you can go for the cheaper PUC2 Lite that just has AES3.

 

 

b) AES3 from S/PDIF.

Both use the same protocol (even if one bit actually indicates if it one or the other - Genelec just ignores this).

Use one of the impedance converters from Neutrik or similar.

It also works with small inexpensive USB -> S/PDIF converters like the M2tec hiFace Two

 

 

c) GLM 2.0 Trade-in Program: GLM 1.0 -> GLM 2.0 hardware

See announcement in the Genelec Community Forum.

EUR 400 Recommended retail price.

EUR 170 Trade in without proof of purchase and no matter the age of hardware.

EUR 70 Trade in with proof of purchase after 31st of May 2014.

Give a link to your importer if they are not aware of the program.

 

 

d) Volume management - rotary volume knob

9310A Volume Controller.

It provides wired rotary knob volume control for all SAM studio monitors and subwoofers connected to the GLM 2.0 Network Adapter.

Plugs right into the GLM 2.0 network adaptor.

Less than USD 100

 

 

e) Volume management - remote control

9101A Wireless Volume Controller

It provides compact volume control for all SAM studio monitors and subwoofers connected to the GLM 2.0 Network Adapter.

Less than USD 100

 

 

 

I have one of both, but I use the rotary volume knob most of the time.

It's just the right intuitive interface.

 

This is the right way, letting the monitors handle attenuation as they were designed to.

Also, I don't think iTunes dithers attenuation very well.

 

I'm always open for questions and good ideas!

 

 

PS. A few hints:

1) Genelec Community Forums are great for information and solving problems. Register and take part.

2) Get 5 years warranty on all your Genelec products just by registering them.

 

 

9310A and 9101 volume controllers:

 

9310a_9101a.jpg

 

 

Yellowtec PUC 2:

 

PUC2.jpg

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You've piqued my interest, DigiPete! I'm going to find a place a place in the SF Bay Area where I can give the SAMs a good listen.

 

As someone who is picky about treble and somewhat of a "tweeter snob", I find it strange there seems to be no mention of Genelec's tweeter construction or materials on the website or even in brochures. Do you know what they're made of?

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You've piqued my interest, DigiPete! I'm going to find a place a place in the SF Bay Area where I can give the SAMs a good listen.

 

As someone who is picky about treble and somewhat of a "tweeter snob", I find it strange there seems to be no mention of Genelec's tweeter construction or materials on the website or even in brochures. Do you know what they're made of?

 

 

Genelec usually uses 3/4 - 1 inch metal dome tweeters.

I think they are some sort of aluminium, but I don't know.

 

Genelec likes to discuss the optimal topology in details, but are less informative on smaller technical details.

Their stance seems to be that they are the guarantee that everything that can be done to get linear and natural sound has already been done.

 

They are however very detailed in how their monitors measure and how to get the most out of them.

And not many manufacturer provide directivity charts like these:

 

8260 H.jpg

 

8260 V.jpg

 

Then again, I don't think many speakers or monitors measure any way as well as Genelecs 8260's.

The plot shows how well the Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) provides flat on- and off-axis response.

+0 / -3dB at all frequencies within 30 degrees angle horizontally and close to that vertically.

This is part of the explanation of why the stereo imaging is great even if you are not in the sweet spot.

 

 

Based on my extensive listening experiences, I fully trust Genelec to provide excellent sound reproduction at all frequencies.

Go and audition and see if you feel the same way.

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Thanks for your replies.

This Yellowtec interface looks interesting, but I think i could get the Weiss int 203 second hand for the same price; I trust firewire more than USB (reported bugs under El Capitan) and it has remote volume control, which I hope is better than itunes volume management.

As for GLM II, I noticed on the Genelec community forum that there are still issues with recent versions of OS X (I'm running El Capitan), and I wouldn't like to mess up with computer hassle when listening to music...What is your OS X current version?

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Thanks for your replies.

This Yellowtec interface looks interesting, but I think i could get the Weiss int 203 second hand for the same price; I trust firewire more than USB (reported bugs under El Capitan) and it has remote volume control, which I hope is better than itunes volume management.

As for GLM II, I noticed on the Genelec community forum that there are still issues with recent versions of OS X (I'm running El Capitan), and I wouldn't like to mess up with computer hassle when listening to music...What is your OS X current version?

 

You are welcome.

 

My Weiss AFI-1 DDC runs on Firewire and it is all good, but I would choose USB or Thunderbolt today.

Firewire is already legacy!

 

I would go with the GLM 2.0 setup, any minor issues will be solved.

My GLM 2.0 does sometimes mute by 15-20dB after I have had the Mac in sleep mode, but that's no biggie.

 

The Weiss INT 203 runs on old technology like my AFI-1, and running above 96kHz sampling frequency gives me challenges.

My AFI-1 will only do 176 and 192 in stereo as opposed to surround. I think it's because AES3 single wire was only specified up to 96kHz while dual wire was up to 192.

Looking at the Weiss homepage, it seems like you could get similar problems.

I mentioned it to Daniel Weiss, but never got solved.

 

It's all minor details, I'm sure you'll find a good solution.

Oh, and somebody mentioned the Tascam UH-7000, it may be worth checking out.

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I'm not sure Apple has solved the issue with USB audio devices under E.C...many users report non functioning DAC of various origins, and say they had to downgrade OS X back to Yosemite!

I'll wait until E.C update before buying .And I hope Genelec will also update GLM software before I switch to GLM II.

What is exactly your software setup? Is GLM permanently open on your macbook ? I'd like to keep the whole stuff as user friendly as possible, as it is supposed to look and operate like a hi-fi system (or at least close to it) and NOT like a computer by no means...this would include remote control rather than keyboard operation, and no need for a monitor either (my mini is connected to the TV through HDMI, but I 'm not interested in home cinema!)

Edited by philmas

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Update: looks like there has been a new release of Genelec GLM software (I read it on the community forum) supposed to solve issues with El capitan.Wait and see...

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I am using the latest GLM on an iMac with 10.11.4 and have no issues at all.

 

The setup is as mentioned iMac -> USB -> Mutec MC-3+ USB -> 8330+7350

 

I have let it run without GLM+HW for some time but due to the 7350 quitting I am now running with HW connected and user the volume regulator, very convenient I have to say.

 

@Pete, I did not wanted to hijack your thread

Edited by HH_miller

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This is precious information.Still, I don't know where I should send my GLM I kit to according to tradeoff#1 and get my GLM II set...will enquire on genelec community website.

Some more wires to connect to the speakers, I guess ...

Thank you!

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@Pete, I did not wanted to hijack your thread

 

Not at all, it's good to get the kinks and solutions out in the open.

I may think I'm an oracle, but usually I'm actually not.

Just enthusiastic ;-)

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Maybe to get back on track, I am enjoying my digital rig a lot! I went back to full analog a decade ago, even with very expensive CD Player I could never get happy in the digital domain.

 

But now with my small computer rig fully digital I am enjoying even streaming. I have had very little choices in the mix, I wanted to go fully digital with active near filed monitors. And the Genelecs serve this purpose very nicely, I am hear music here more often than on my main rig.

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As I noticed, the wireless remote control is RF and not IR...too bad my whole system is IR controlled (logitech harmony )...

Anyway, I can't see another convenient way of adjusting volume .I guess GLM should be the solution, just as you said, DigiPete...

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OK, I'm a Genelec fanboy.

You know that if you are a regular at CA.

 

Do they really sound better?

Are Genelecs for everybody?

What is the secret technology?

 

 

Check the rather thorough blog posting

 

OK I have to ask. Do you have any professional association with Genelec or are you just an exceptionally happy user :-)

 

Mange tak!

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Do you have any professional association with Genelec or are you just an exceptionally happy user :-)

Mange tak!

 

I have no commercial ties to Genelec whatsoever or even an interest in selling any of my own Genelec equipment.

I am a self-confessed Genelec fanboy ;-)

In your words: I'm an exceptionally happy user!

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And I can see why, even though that I do have a very modest digital Genelec rig, I would rate it way above it's price point. At first I found them a bit anemic, if that makes sense. But after adding the sub and some burn in, they are super reveling and sweet.

 

To give some reference I am coming from a full spec LP12/active Naim 500 gear. The Genelecs are way different, super transparent with ease which does give a very effortless "enough time between the notes" impression. Fast systems tend to have a slow impression at the first moment, but once you start realizing that everything else is basically a compressed version you start to enjoy.

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Hi DigiPete,

 

My understanding is that digital signal gets re-sampled. What about analog, does it go through DSP internally? Thanks

 

 

To my knowledge, regarding all Genelec SAM monitors.

 

 

All signals are processed (DSP room compensation + DAC) at:

 

24/96 for midt / high

24/48 for bass / subs

 

Digital inputs are down sampled to the above frequencies. All, no exceptions.

Analogue inputs are digitized to the above frequencies. All, no exceptions.

 

Genelec has never participated in the number game, but maintains that this is the optimum solution.

Their monitors are developed for high end studios, and increased DSP processing time may play a role is these decisions.

 

I find they punch way way above their paygrade, and I find no flaws in the results delivered.

The initial setup requires some tinkering and reading, but nothing compared to mounting a pickup correctly on a TT.

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Hi DigiPete and anyone else

 

Last week I demoed the 8351. I liked them so much that I am going to order them now. I will use them as nearfield monitor and put them on desktop stands, i.e.: Isoacoustics L8R155 or L8R200. I am not sure which one to take. The isoacoustics website recommends for Genelec 8050 (same size as 8351) the model L8R155. On the other hand, this model is made for speakers up to only 14 kg. The 8351 is 19 kg, so the L8R200 ( 27kg max) might be the better choice?

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Hi DigiPete and anyone else

 

Last week I demoed the 8351. I liked them so much that I am going to order them now. I will use them as nearfield monitor and put them on desktop stands.

 

Congrats Urs

 

Hope it works out to your satisfaction.

Please come back and let us know what you think.

Never thought of the 8351's as desktop, but I suppose it's the ultimate desktop ever with no sub needed.

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