Genelec - technologie from the 80s? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I am still looking for an audio upgrade for my rather large dedicated room. Genelec is certainly right at the top of the list of options (not only because of coldmachine's warm recommendation - they really impressed me during a (way too short) demo).

What's holding me back is that - as far as I can see it - their present speakers are all based on technology which was introduced in the late 80s.

e.g. Genelec states that the drivers used in their large 3-way monitors (1" treble, 5" mid cone) were all introduced in 1989 (!). At least the specifications haven't changed a bit since then.

Question is: If I buy some 1037Cs (HT312A) as surrounds and 1034Bs (HT324A) as fronts now do I get besically the same speaker (drivers, amp section) as available since 1989?

In a VERY dynamic market as the speaker market where it is common that a new generation of speakers every 2-3 years per manufacturer significantly improves upon its predecessors (given innovations and technical/material advancements) - how is it possible that Genelec sucessfully sells technology almost 20 years old now? And it sells it in the high-end segment...

Are the drivers really virtually unchanged or are they continuously and silently improved (without changing specs?!)?

Any input would be welcome.
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post #2 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 04:03 AM
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The point is versa versa. Only nowadays room accoustics are understood and followed by the mass. So what companies like Genelec, Klein and Hummel, ME-Geithain knew for years will just become better understood. Many of these companies even build their own drivers (like Genelec), some even the complete speaker with e.g. all hand sellected drives coils (like Geithain). Some consider the drivers of these companies to be among the best out there. Its rather their kept "looks" that do not reveal instantly their state of the art technology.

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post #3 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Speakers, and all electro acoustic transducers, are based on technology from the 19th century since Emile Berliners work

I think i wont buy a house again because it uses the same technology as the Pyramids



Speakers are probably the only HT component that can last a lifetime, in terms of performance. If a device reproduces the AF specrum properly, it is equally potent 20 years in the past, now, or 20 years in the future.

I will soon commence my new HT and it will either be Genelec, Dynaudio or a bespoke solution. I intend them to last decades.

coldmachine, I get your point

But I guess it is somewhat a difference if something is based on the same "old" technologie/principle or uses the exact same implementation...

You sure wouldn't like to live in a house exactly build like the old pyramids (although it may be arguably based on the same basic principles...).

Question remains - does Genelec improve it's speaker components over time (performance wise - not just production efficiency) although published specs don't change or are they the exact same drivers/amps as 20 years ago?
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post #4 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 07:21 AM
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As, as said, Genelec manufactures alot of components themselves, they will for sure improve components or x-over/amp circuits/components where possible and where necessary However, whether their 12 or 18 inch woofers e.g. have changed dramatically in design and material can probably only be told by somebody who has deeper insides into Genelec's R+D in Finland ? Their drivers are top, put to outrages tests, and most demanding specs. This alone raises the question anyway, if such high developed and enhanced conventional cone drivers can be that much improved as your question is obviously asking for ?

Cheers, Andreas
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post #5 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 07:22 AM
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Assuming youre talking about the tri-amped full range Genelecs, they are reference quality. If a speaker driver enables one to hear the full AF spectrum properly, it makes no difference if it is made of fossilized monkey scrotum.

Demo them and see if you like them.

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post #6 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 07:24 AM
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Awesome responses coldmachine. I'm putting the pyramid relate into my vocabulary..

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post #7 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 08:03 AM
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Thank you. I aim to please

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post #8 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

If a speaker driver enables one to hear the full AF spectrum properly, it makes no difference if it is made of fossilized monkey scrotum.

Demo them and see if you like them.



I like the analogy. Gets the message across very quickly!
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post #9 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

I think i wont buy a house again because it uses the same technology as the Pyramids

That's an interesting assertion...I'd be curious to hear what technology or design/structural similarities a modern house shares with the Pyramids...

And while larger driver technology arguably hasn't substantially changed all that much in the last 20 yrs, I think mid and tweeter technology (technologies) have made quantum leaps during that time (TheLion specifically asked about 1" treble, 5" mid). I don't in any way hold myself out as an expert, but I think that the refinement, accuracy, musicality, transparency, and sense of realism of tweeters today can't be matched by anything 20 (10?) yrs old.

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post #10 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 09:00 AM
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Newer technology doesn't always equal better. Most of it is for marketing purposes. "New and improved"! I would rather see refinement of what a company knows, instead of "new" for new's sake.
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post #11 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 09:09 AM
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One thing that Genelec knew was that you can't change physics pertaining to acoustics. And 90%+ of homes do not have rooms where acoustics were thought of... that is a reason Genelec incorporated "what I call - room controls" on their amplifiers (each amp is tuned to each driver @ the factory). For instance if I have my Ultima Salon 2 close to the wall the lower bass frequencies start to rise due to the room construction (yes, one should have bass traps installed in corners). This can cause unwanted "boominess". If I place a Genelec in the same position "near the wall" you could modify the slope and level of the bass frequencies to compensate while leaving it closer to the wall. On the flip side I would have to move the Salon's further into the room away from the corner to make the same adjustment. Most demo's with traditional speakers are done with the speakers pulled away from the wall and away from the corner. It's because of physics as it pertains to frequency behavior in the room.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to explaining why one speaker is superior over another. I want a speaker that will fit in multiple scenario's. Not just the house I'm in; that I plan to sell and hope it works in my new home.

I believe in the Genelec product that we decided to become a dealer in Florida and have them in our homes. Everyone who leaves after watching a movie is blown away.
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post #12 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider View Post

That's an interesting assertion...I'd be curious to hear what technology or design/structural similarities a modern house shares with the Pyramids...

I can think of a few: bricks, levers, pullies, fabric and paint decorations, doors, locks, stairs, beds, tables, chairs, bathtubs, pools.... and manned security if you're wealthy. After all if you have a pyramid; I'd say you are/were wealthy.

Oh and don't forget maids.
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post #13 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider View Post

That's an interesting assertion...I'd be curious to hear what technology or design/structural similarities a modern house shares with the Pyramids...

And while larger driver technology arguably hasn't substantially changed all that much in the last 20 yrs, I think mid and tweeter technology (technologies) have made quantum leaps during that time (TheLion specificallyasked about 1" treble, 5" mid). I don't in any way hold myself out as an expert, but I think that the refinement, accuracy, musicality, transparency, and sense of realism of tweeters today can't be matched by anything 20 (10?) yrs old.

1. My house is made of solid stone block, cut and assembled in a manner that remains fundamentally unchanged.The stone work is also rendered and painted in a manner similar to the Pyramids. Not to mention the formalization of Civil Engineering, Public Public planning, site control, mass production of materials, codified workforce structure, formalized site management including promotion from within the workforce. ............Other than that absolutely nothing.

I also intend, after my death, to be buried in my house and fully expect the locals to rob my belongings.Its also an amazing coincidence that my real name is actually Cheops

2. Certain technological advances in engineering and materials have been made. The fact remains that a 20 year old monitor that reproduced the AF spectrum with fidelity remains as high a performer as it ever was. When I had my Genelec demo I was taken to a recording studio. They also had a set of bespoke monitors from the 70s that they still used as full field monitors. their HF was pristine and bass extension was subterranean. The mastering engineer found these to be best for total transparency and used them almost exclusively. I fully expect my next HT to have speaker that will, other than the odd driver etc, last decades

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post #14 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Assuming youre talking about the tri-amped full range Genelecs, they are reference quality. If a speaker driver enables one to hear the full AF spectrum properly, it makes no difference if it is made of fossilized monkey scrotum.

Demo them and see if you like them.

coldmachine,

just to make my point very clear - I demoed Genelecs (1034b/BC) and they are IMHO right up there with the very "best" I have ever heard (only equalled by JBLs new Everest/Synthesis setup).

This is what makes it all the more amazing - how can a 20 year old design + 20 year old components/drivers equal a brand new berryllium charged product? That's why I ask the question if Genelec improves their drivers without introducing new models.

I certainly agree with your basic argument - a VERY good speaker will remain a VERY good speaker - and there are limits to how much things can be improved. I just think - especially regarding speakers - we haven't reached those limits yet - and for sure not 20 years ago...IMHO

Genelecs provide outstanding performance and make any other high end company that has introduced 5-10 new generations of products the last 20 years look pretty "stupid" - because as of today they are still on top. The question remains how can that be... Is there really no innovation regarding speaker design? Take any other A/V tech product - compare the top end from 20 years ago with a current design - in almost all the cases the present mainstream will be MUCH better than the top-of-the-hill 1990 product.

Thanks for your amusing comments btw.


Another question - has anybody experience with a Genelec 1037C in comparison to other "high end" speakers? I intend to use those as surrounds but have no possibility to demo them.For your information - I come from a Klipsch THX Ultra2 setup (7x KL-650) with Parasound Halo A21 amps.

I was thinking of maybe just keeping 4 KL-650 as surrounds and combine them (I know, I know - not recommended) with Genelec 1034Bs/BC in the front. I think I would do that if the difference between KL-650/Parasound and Genelec 1037Cs is anything less than "earth-shattering".

Opinions? Thank you all for your time.
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post #15 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 10:30 AM
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Opinions?......Tried the JBLs....not in the same class as Genelecs. I found the large Dynaudios to be the only competitor. Bespoke solutions are also worth looking at.

As regards 20 year old equipment, the same can apply to amps. If it will reproduce the spectrum properly an old amp is every bit as good as anything of today. Remember theres no such thing as changing formats and facilities after the transducer has done its work at the final stage, correction issues aside.

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post #16 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 10:36 AM
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Newer isn't always better.

Virtually every driver manufacturer used to visit John Dunlavy (when Dunlavy audio was still around) to try to get him to use their drivers. He would tell them all the same thing "if it measures better than what I am using, I will switch" Virtually none did. Many of the exotic materials that were used in the "newer" drivers stored energy and hence rang. Their impulse and/or step response and/or FR response would have aberations of all kinds (and for what it's worth, some of those drivers are currently used in speakers selling for what a small condo sells for).

I'm only suggesting that older technology is not necessarily less correct than many newer technologies.

I can think of a number of well known speaker manufacturers who continue to use "older technology drivers" and those speakers knock the socks off (at considerably less money) than some of the new driver speakers.

One man's opinion !!
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post #17 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Opinions?......Tried the JBLs....not in the same class as Genelecs. I found the large Dynaudios to be the only competitor. Bespoke solutions are also worth looking at.

As regards 20 year old equipment, the same can apply to amps. If it will reproduce the spectrum properly an old amp is every bit as good as anything of today. Remember theres no such thing as changing formats and facilities after the transducer has done its work at the final stage, correction issues aside.


What are Bespoke speakers????

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post #18 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion View Post

Opinions? Thank you all for your time.

The 1037C is now the HT312A. This is the entry level 3 way speaker from Genelec. Some of the "larger installations" have 7 x HT324A with 1 or 2 HTS6 subs. It depends on the volume you need to fill. Also if you need 3 way vs. 2 way.

There are insane installs of: 7 x HT330A and 4 x HTS6 which will make you go deaf in no time flat. A special "hold harmless release" is required period. We take no responsibility should the user which to make their ears bleed.

How do you plan on mounting the speakers in the room? Are the sides/rears going to be in the ceiling? Special support will need to be created to hold them in place. I would recommend removing the amplifier from the back to lessen the weight on your ceiling. The amps fit nicely in a rack.

To your question regarding comparisons. I have heard the Salon 2s and B&W 800D's vs. the Genelecs. For movies there is no question: Genelec. If you were music only, then I could see the Salon 2's but I would recommend a 400Watt monobloc amp for each speaker. So now you have to weigh the cost of the Genelec vs. Speaker with amp.

One other feature that is nice is having the identical same speakers for your front array. The 3-way Genelecs allow you to rotate the tweeter/mid range 90,180,270 degrees should you need to lay the speaker on its side or upside down. This keeps all the tweeter/mid ranges aligned properly for that seamless sound (timbre matched) from left to right across the entire array. When you purchase speakers that have a dedicated center channel that is different from the front left/right it is never the same. It isn't appreciated until you listen to 3 identical speakers up front. If your projector has enough light output you could go with a perforated screen. Installing Genelecs is not as easy as put them on floor... now start sounding amazing. But that's for another discussion.

Regardless of what I like or sell... the bottom line is you have to love what you are buying. If you're looking for the thumbs up support to buy them. Then I believe you have our blessing. If you are doubting your purchase, then take the time to demo other speakers so that you know, one way or another, what you want.
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post #19 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 11:07 AM
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I think "marketing" is being mistaken to be "new technology". If you deduct what marketing tells you to be an improvement, you will not wonder anymore why Genelec is still among the best. Titane, Alluminum, Berillium, all do not matter, if you have room problems. In the end 20KHz are 20 KHz and you will be lucky, if at higher age you can still hear them (which raises the question why people have super tweeters up to 100Khz, but no master grade studio monitor, although of course I do not know all studio brands)

In the past passive high end speakers were tuned to meet a certain room of unknown properties, to have a certain "sound". Studio monitors never worked in such normal rooms, as only very few understood that full linear speakers need a tuned room to work or if they have switches to adapt them, how to use them properly. Hence we got that nice argument, that studio montors are too bright. No, they are just linear.

Nowadays we have tuned rooms and we finally get high end speakers without a "tuned sound". And many have finally understood the importance of a linear speaker and that the room needs to follow.

The active designs also inherit alot of benefits that still give such "old designs" quite an advantage. From high quality low signal level active x-overs instead of huge complicated passive designs that look more like art when nailed on a wood panel, to various amps controlling directly the driver in an active design (dampening factor of the amp) and no x-over in the path (each "way" can get its dedicated and specialised amp).

It is actually more of the fact that these designs are so good that not many people like to sell them. Retailers will not make the turn arounds so quickly as with an established high end brand that has every two years a new flag ship out. And it is much sexier to sell separates as well. Make twice the stash.

So stop to wonder....

Cheers, Andreas
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post #20 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 11:27 AM
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coldmachine,
Are you going to go with Genelec for your HT in your new home or are there other contenders in the mix?

If Genelec has the nod then please describe the set-up you have planned. Thanks.
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post #21 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:04 PM
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Speaking from a pro PA point of view, something has changed in the last 20 years: Power handling. Back in the 70s and into the mid 80s, speakers like the JBL 2225 and EV 15B were the standard at about 250 watts RMS power handling.

Now, look at the 'Jackhammer' 32" car subwoofer that can take what, 6000 watts RMS?

This has allowed manufacturers to greatly compact the cabinet needed for a subwoofer, as amplifier power is dirt cheap now as compared to 20 years ago.

The problem is, efficiency goes way down with a small cabinet, thus long throw woofers and gobs of amp power are needed for tiny subs.

So something has indeed changed, I don't know that the outcome is different though.

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post #22 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:09 PM
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Genelec (7 x 330As and attendant HTS6, it may be possible to use 324As but i dont think so as the room will be itro 30,000 cu.ft.) or Dynaudio or a custom solution. Too early too say. Need to get the Planning and Architectural input sorted first, with as much structural acoustic treatment attended to as is practical. I will meet with the architect and acoustical engineer fairly soon for some initial brainstorming.

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post #23 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Genelec (7 x 330As and attendant HTS6, it may be possible to use 324As but i dont think so as the room will be itro 30,000 cu.ft.) or Dynaudio or a custom solution. Too early too say. Need to get the Planning and Architectural input sorted first, with as much structural acoustic treatment attended to as is practical. I will meet with the architect and acoustical engineer fairly soon for some initial brainstorming.

Wow. Please keep us posted.
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post #24 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas View Post

I think "marketing" is being mistaken to be "new technology". If you deduct what marketing tells you to be an improvement, you will not wonder anymore why Genelec is still among the best. Titane, Alluminum, Berillium, all do not matter, if you have room problems. In the end 20KHz are 20 KHz and you will be lucky, if at higher age you can still hear them (which raises the question why people have super tweeters up to 100Khz, but no master grade studio monitor, although of course I do not know all studio brands)

In the past passive high end speakers were tuned to meet a certain room of unknown properties, to have a certain "sound". Studio monitors never worked in such normal rooms, as only very few understood that full linear speakers need a tuned room to work or if they have switches to adapt them, how to use them properly. Hence we got that nice argument, that studio montors are too bright. No, they are just linear.

Nowadays we have tuned rooms and we finally get high end speakers without a "tuned sound". And many have finally understood the importance of a linear speaker and that the room needs to follow.

The active designs also inherit alot of benefits that still give such "old designs" quite an advantage. From high quality low signal level active x-overs instead of huge complicated passive designs that look more like art when nailed on a wood panel, to various amps controlling directly the driver in an active design (dampening factor of the amp) and no x-over in the path (each "way" can get its dedicated and specialised amp).

It is actually more of the fact that these designs are so good that not many people like to sell them. Retailers will not make the turn arounds so quickly as with an established high end brand that has every two years a new flag ship out. And it is much sexier to sell separates as well. Make twice the stash.

So stop to wonder....

Thanks, Andreas. Very good arguments - especially the marketing remark

btw you got a PM.
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post #25 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Speaking from a pro PA point of view, something has changed in the last 20 years: Power handling. Back in the 70s and into the mid 80s, speakers like the JBL 2225 and EV 15B were the standard at about 250 watts RMS power handling.

Now, look at the 'Jackhammer' 32" car subwoofer that can take what, 6000 watts RMS?

This has allowed manufacturers to greatly compact the cabinet needed for a subwoofer, as amplifier power is dirt cheap now as compared to 20 years ago.

The problem is, efficiency goes way down with a small cabinet, thus long throw woofers and gobs of amp power are needed for tiny subs.

So something has indeed changed, I don't know that the outcome is different though.

Power handling does not impact the end result. I was referring to the spectrum reproduction. Video otoh has changed massively in terms of PQ in terms of source and display. Audio sources have improved but the transducers have been capable of exceeding the AF spectrum for some time.

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post #26 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

1. My house is made of solid stone block, cut and assembled in a manner that remains fundamentally unchanged.The stone work is also rendered and painted in a manner similar to the Pyramids. Not to mention the formalization of Civil Engineering, Public Public planning, site control, mass production of materials, codified workforce structure, formalized site management including promotion from within the workforce. ............Other than that absolutely nothing.

Sorry; I find it very hard to believe the building dept. approved your plans (or that you passed any inspections) for a house using "the same technology as the Pyramids": built solely of massive stones set atop one another with no mortar or rebar, on a dirt floor with no poured or reinforced foundation, without any roof, plumbing, waste disposal, electrical, ventilation (not to mention HVAC), and without a single window or door.

Early concepts of bureaucratic infrastructure and labor management don't really enter into the discussion.

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The fact remains that a 20 year old monitor that reproduced the AF spectrum with fidelity remains as high a performer as it ever was.

"as high a performer as it ever was" means it's as good now as it was then, but doesn't speak to any comparisons to current state-of-the-art driver technology. But if you say the Genelec's sound is comparable/equal to current technology, I'll defer to your opinion, since I've never heard them so I can't comment. (and even if I had heard them, your critical listening experience may far exceed mine).

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post #27 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 01:11 PM
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"as high a performer as it ever was" means it's as good now as it was then, but doesn't speak to any comparisons to current state-of-the-art driver technology. But if you say the Genelec's sound is comparable/equal to current technology, I'll defer to your opinion, since I've never heard them so I can't comment. (and even if I had heard them, your critical listening experience may far exceed mine).

You have misunderstood me. A 20 year old speaker that reproduces the AF spectrum properly is still exactly the same as one that does the same today and remains top of the food chain.

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post #28 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rider View Post

Sorry; I find it very hard to believe the building dept. approved your plans (or that you passed any inspections) for a house using "the same technology as the Pyramids": built solely of massive stones set atop one another with no mortar or rebar, on a dirt floor with no poured or reinforced foundation, without any roof, plumbing, waste disposal, electrical, ventilation (not to mention HVAC), and without a single window or door.

Early concepts of bureaucratic infrastructure and labor management don't really enter into the discussion.

Your insipid response to a casual observation, that is fundamentally valid, is devoid of original context. This renders rebuttal somewhat unnecessarily vapid.

Other readers understood the meaning being conveyed without issue, to the extent that a number actually commented positively on this. Lets get back on topic.

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post #29 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 01:20 PM
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Hi Curt,
I think that change in driver technology is most due to the new digital formats. In the past we simply did not have 115db LFE Channels. Only some musicians had that fidelity dream. Today we have DTS in cars When looking at T+S parameters vs. space usually available, we most often have high quality approaches that have very low output in (too) small enclosures with high WAF, like in a closed design with first order slopes. So you need alot of juice to fire those babies and they need to be able to take it. Who spoke 15 years about that Fan-style rotary subwoofer that does 5Hz, maybe the inventer and his friends and a few folks around here.....but since Jurassic Park we all do But in the end, those high grade sub drivers are cones that needs to push alot of air.

Cheers, Andreas
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post #30 of 179 Old 01-29-2008, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Your infantile response to a casual observation, that is fundamentally valid, is devoid of original context. Other readers understood the meaning being conveyed without issue. Lets get back on topic.

Thank you for your gracious response.
I'll have to remember not to respond to any of your flippant posts, since your extended efforts at supporting a "casual observation" are on-topic and admirably mature, while my responses to them are juvenile.

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