Home Theater: Genelec 7.1 vs Sonance 7.2.1 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-06-2018, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Home Theater: Genelec 7.1 vs Sonance 7.2.1

Hi All,

I am putting in a new home theater. I am looking at two setups recommended by my AV consultant and am curious to hear folks thoughts. One option is the Genelec G-Series in a 7.1 setup (G4s in front, G3s on side, G2s in back). The other is the in-wall Sonance Reference line in a 7.2.1 atmos setup. Costs are about equal. I don't love the idea of hanging speakers off the wall in a new theater but I know the Genelec's sounds nice. I haven't heard the Sonance Reference line. In both cases I will be using a Genelec 7370 APM sub. Down the road I could update the Genelec to atmos but wouldn't do it initially because of costs. The Genelec in-wall speakers are out of my budget range. Thoughts?

I will be using the room to mostly watch 4K movies and am thinking the atmos setup and aesthetics might outweigh the Genelec given the purpose of the room but am open to suggestions.

Thanks
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-06-2018, 10:18 PM
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how did you settle on those two lines?

two brands that aren’t discussed all that often on here
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-06-2018, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Recommended by an acoustic engineer helping with the design.
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-07-2018, 06:17 AM
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fair enough. What’s your theater room? is it a dedicated theater, or a living room? (how important are looks)

Either way, if I were in your shoes i’d look at other speakers lines (what’s your overall budget) and probably
due in walls for the ceilings plus/minus surrounds, but in-rooms for the fronts
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-07-2018, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhotchki View Post
Hi All,

I am putting in a new home theater. I am looking at two setups recommended by my AV consultant and am curious to hear folks thoughts. One option is the Genelec G-Series in a 7.1 setup (G4s in front, G3s on side, G2s in back). The other is the in-wall Sonance Reference line in a 7.2.1 atmos setup. Costs are about equal. I don't love the idea of hanging speakers off the wall in a new theater but I know the Genelec's sounds nice. I haven't heard the Sonance Reference line. In both cases I will be using a Genelec 7370 APM sub. Down the road I could update the Genelec to atmos but wouldn't do it initially because of costs. The Genelec in-wall speakers are out of my budget range. Thoughts?

I will be using the room to mostly watch 4K movies and am thinking the atmos setup and aesthetics might outweigh the Genelec given the purpose of the room but am open to suggestions.

Thanks
Do you mean 7.1.2 for the Sonance set up? The middle digit is the subwoofer and the last digit is the Atmos speakers.

You're really asking an apples and oranges kind of question and I would suggest that you do some homework and get a better understanding of what you're really looking at.

The Genelec's are active speakers, meaning they have their amplifiers built into their cabinet. You would need only a pre-pro to use them with a coaxial cable run to each speaker. In this case, each speaker cabinet has a tweeter and woofer and each speaker has its own amplifier; two speakers and two amplifiers in each cabinet.

The Sonance are passive speakers and would require a pre-pro/amplifiers combination or an AVR and speaker wires to operate.

So there is the above differences to consider.

The other point, and it's a major one, is that the Genelec speakers have active crossovers and what Genelec calls "Room Response Compensation". "Room Response Compensation" allows each speakers sound to be adjusted for its mounting position optimizing in-room performance. This would be in addition to any active room correction that a pre-pro or AVR may provide.

The Genelec's are also a waveguide design which can give flat on and off-axis response for a wider usable listening area and improved sound stage imaging.

If it were me, I'd go with the Genelec's. I would also go with three G4's and four G3's for the sides and backs. You could also consider going 5.1 2 and add the two back channels at a latter date for 7.1.2 it you feel Atmos is more important.

As far as Atmos goes, I would add it latter if it's a financial issue. The point being not all movies have an Atmos track. Heck, not all movies have a 7.1 sound track. I look at it this way, 5.1 is the "cake". 7.1 is icing on the cake and Atmos is sprinkles on the icing. In the long run, you're much better off getting a good solid set of audio bed speakers 5.1/7.1 and then going after Atmos/DTS:X/AURO-3D.

BTW, Genelec makes excellent speakers. I believe that your acoustic engineer helping with the design is giving you some good options.
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-07-2018, 12:57 PM
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I've installed both, Genelec hands down!
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-07-2018, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, this will be a dedicated home theater in an attic. The dimensions will be about 17 feet deep by 18 feet long. Unfortunately the peaked roof and another architecture issue present an issue from flipping it.

The 7.2.1 did have 2 speakers for atmos but I might delay the atmos for now.
Planning on using the Integra DRX5 with the speakers.
Thanks for the input.
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bhotchki View Post
Thanks, this will be a dedicated home theater in an attic. The dimensions will be about 17 feet deep by 18 feet long. Unfortunately the peaked roof and another architecture issue present an issue from flipping it.

The 7.2.1 did have 2 speakers for atmos but I might delay the atmos for now.
Planning on using the Integra DRX5 with the speakers.
Thanks for the input.
If you have a peaked ceiling I would definitely use the Genelec's as they will have more flexibility for adjustments. Your room is almost square and along with the peaked ceiling, you're going to have some very real room acoustic problems/challenges to deal with.

So you're saying 7.2.1 which is 7 bed speakers, 2 subwoofers, and 1 Atmos speaker? It's generally recommended to install Atmos in pairs.

I realize it maybe semantics, but if your talking about 2 Atmos speakers it would be called out as 7.1.2.

As for the Integra DRX5...

The Integra DRX5 will support either a 7.1 system or a 5.1.2 Atmos system, take your choice. The Integra DRX5 will not support a 7.1.2 Atmos system.

So, regardless of which speakers you select to use, if you want to install 7.1.2 Atmos, you will need a 9 channel AVR/pre-pro minimum. The Integra DRX5 is only 7 channels.
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bhotchki View Post
In both cases I will be using a Genelec 7370 APM sub.
Is this the sub?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...SABEgKrIPD_BwE


Seems like a stack of cash for a 400W 12" sub.
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 09:05 AM
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Is this the sub?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...SABEgKrIPD_BwE


Seems like a stack of cash for a 400W 12" sub.
It is for a 400w 12" sub... But it's quite a bit more than a 400w 12" sub.

It supports both analogue and digital input/outputs; 7.1 channel analogue XLR inputs and outputs as well as stereo AES/EBU XLR inputs and outputs without the need for additional external A/D converters.

It has an active crossover and network connection capability with room control/bass management software that can control up to 30 units individually.

The ported cabinet body is constructed from a spiral steel coil.

It's really designed for commercial studio and sound reinforcement use. Genelec doesn't fudge on their specification numbers.

It's maybe over kill for most home theaters But if you're looking for a quality sub that delivers and has lot's of control flexibility, it's one of the go to units in the industry.
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post
It is for a 400w 12" sub... But it's quite a bit more than a 400w 12" sub.

It supports both analogue and digital input/outputs; 7.1 channel analogue XLR inputs and outputs as well as stereo AES/EBU XLR inputs and outputs without the need for additional external A/D converters.

It has an active crossover and network connection capability with room control/bass management software that can control up to 30 units individually.

The ported cabinet body is constructed from a spiral steel coil.

It's really designed for commercial studio and sound reinforcement use. Genelec doesn't fudge on their specification numbers.

It's maybe over kill for most home theaters But if you're looking for a quality sub that delivers and has lot's of control flexibility, it's one of the go to units in the industry.
It sounds like it does lots of stuff, but I still don't see the value of a 12" 400 watt sub that costs $4k even if it also vacuums floors and does the dishes. $4k is dual Seaton, JTR and Funk Audio territory. But, I guess, each to his own.
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
It sounds like it does lots of stuff, but I still don't see the value of a 12" 400 watt sub that costs $4k even if it also vacuums floors and does the dishes. $4k is dual Seaton, JTR and Funk Audio territory. But, I guess, each to his own.
And likewise, the people that are interested or need what Genelec offers will see no benefit/value in dual Seaton's, JTR, or Funk Audio. Two different markets.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes the Sonance would be 7.1.2 with two Atmos speakers. The Genelec would be 7.1 to start but would go with the prepro to allow future flexibility. Trying now to see if there is a way to hide the speakers given in is a 4ft knee wall to a peaked roof.
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by b curry View Post
It is for a 400w 12" sub... But it's quite a bit more than a 400w 12" sub.

It supports both analogue and digital input/outputs; 7.1 channel analogue XLR inputs and outputs as well as stereo AES/EBU XLR inputs and outputs without the need for additional external A/D converters.

It has an active crossover and network connection capability with room control/bass management software that can control up to 30 units individually.

The ported cabinet body is constructed from a spiral steel coil.

It's really designed for commercial studio and sound reinforcement use. Genelec doesn't fudge on their specification numbers.

It's maybe over kill for most home theaters But if you're looking for a quality sub that delivers and has lot's of control flexibility, it's one of the go to units in the industry.

what are it’s sonic measurements - how does it stack up to some of the ice reccomended subs around here? ie, the JTR 1400 at half it’s prce?
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 02:11 PM
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The Genelec would be 7.1 to start but would go with the prepro to allow future flexibility.
The sub I linked (if its the right one) "offers 7.1 channel analog XLR inputs and outputs together with stereo AES/EBU XLR inputs and outputs without the need for additional external AD converters." I am not sure what the complete role this sub is playing in the system (which reportedly has speakers with all active crossovers), but I would ask for upgrade-path clarification if you intend to go to a 9 or 11 channel Atmos system in the future. I suspect you might be getting into a proprietary system that is not as simple as adding two or four overheads and plugging them into an 11-channel pre/pro.
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post #16 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 02:38 PM
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The sub I linked (if its the right one) "offers 7.1 channel analog XLR inputs and outputs together with stereo AES/EBU XLR inputs and outputs without the need for additional external AD converters." I am not sure what the complete role this sub is playing in the system (which reportedly has speakers with all active crossovers), but I would ask for upgrade-path clarification if you intend to go to a 9 or 11 channel Atmos system in the future. I suspect you might be getting into a proprietary system that is not as simple as adding two or four overheads and plugging them into an 11-channel pre/pro.
That suspicion would be incorrect.

It is as simple as adding additional speakers and plugging them into any 9 or 11 channel pre-pro or for that matter 16 channel units like the Datasat RS20i, the soon to be released ATI ATP16, and the Lyngdorf MP-50 will work as well. The 32 channel Trinnov Altitude will work too!

The Genelec speakers are equally at home with any AVR that has accessible pre-outs, XLR balanced or single ended RCA connections.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 03:34 PM
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That suspicion would be incorrect.

It is as simple as adding additional speakers and plugging them into any 9 or 11 channel pre-pro or for that matter 16 channel units like the Datasat RS20i, the soon to be released ATI ATP16, and the Lyngdorf MP-50 will work as well. The 32 channel Trinnov Altitude will work too!

The Genelec speakers are equally at home with any AVR that has accessible pre-outs, XLR balanced or single ended RCA connections.
So now I am curious, what are the 7 XLR in and outs for in the sub?
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post #18 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 03:51 PM
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what are it’s sonic measurements - how does it stack up to some of the ice reccomended subs around here? ie, the JTR 1400 at half it’s prce?
I guess it would depend on how you want to measure the "stack".

The particular unit in question is spec'ed at 19 Hz-100 Hz (-6 dB) / LFE 19 Hz -150 Hz (-6 dB) @ 113dB. Those spec's would not be as impressive as the JTR 1400's 16Hz I suppose.

But then the Genelec is in a box less than half the size of the JTR, has less than 1/3 the power of the JTR, and a driver that is ~ 60% the size of the JTR.

Ah but the JTR cost 1/2 as much you say and it's tested by Data-Bass. That's correct.

And the Genelec company has been around for 35 years, designs their drivers, cabinets, control systems etc., in house. They are used in professional studios world wide. Genelec's independent testing comes in the form of decades of production and use by professional studios. You have no doubt listened to product produced on Genelec speakers. Off the top of my head U2 mixes on Genelec.

Genelec also has the ability to connect direct to a digital source and the advantage of active crossovers, room response compensation for room optimization/speaker accuracy, and networked connectivity and control that JTR doesn't.

It's really an apples and oranges comparison as the products are designed for different markets. JTR gives you a lot of boom for a low price. Companies like Genelec are what people use to create the boom that you listen to on a JTR et al.

I have no dog in this hunt. JTR, etc. builds a nice product. If you're looking for a speaker/amplifier in a box that plays low frequencies at a low price point, they are one of your go to guys, no question.

You might take a look here to see Genelec's product in use at one of HHB - London, England demo rooms. HHB supplies equipment and technical support for use at the BBC, Sky, CNN, Abbey Road, and more.

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/vid...-series-at-hhb
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 04:40 PM
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So now I am curious, what are the 7 XLR in and outs for in the sub?
They are essentially or work like analogue speaker level I/O's.

You are perhaps used to seeing two, right/left, speaker level controls on a subwoofer for use when the receiver/pre-pro/integrated amplifier does not have a LFE out. The sub has 7 discreet analogue I/O channels instead of just 2 channels found on most subwoofers.

In this case, input would come from a console (pre-pro) or monitor controller and the Genelec active speaker would be plugged into the outputs. The sound can be monitored via the AES/EBU connection and correction filters can be applied to the speakers with appropriate additional hardware or it can be a pass through.

The subwoofer also has a conventional LFE input with the addition of a LFE output which will allow for daisy-chaining multiple subwoofers; LFE IN > LFE OUT > LFE IN > LFE OUT > etc..

The subwoofer can also be daisy-chained via digital cabling using the AES/EBU connections.

All of the speaker/subwoofers room correction can be controlled/networked by Genelec software. Multiple subwoofers can be coupled together to yeld higher SPL if necessary. IIRC, that can be up to 30 units.
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 04:55 PM
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I guess it would depend on how you want to measure the "stack".

The particular unit in question is spec'ed at 19 Hz-100 Hz (-6 dB) / LFE 19 Hz -150 Hz (-6 dB) @ 113dB. Those spec's would not be as impressive as the JTR 1400's 16Hz I suppose.

But then the Genelec is in a box less than half the size of the JTR, has less than 1/3 the power of the JTR, and a driver that is ~ 60% the size of the JTR.

Ah but the JTR cost 1/2 as much you say and it's tested by Data-Bass. That's correct.

And the Genelec company has been around for 35 years, designs their drivers, cabinets, control systems etc., in house. They are used in professional studios world wide. Genelec's independent testing comes in the form of decades of production and use by professional studios. You have no doubt listened to product produced on Genelec speakers. Off the top of my head U2 mixes on Genelec.

Genelec also has the ability to connect direct to a digital source and the advantage of active crossovers, room response compensation for room optimization/speaker accuracy, and networked connectivity and control that JTR doesn't.

It's really an apples and oranges comparison as the products are designed for different markets. JTR gives you a lot of boom for a low price. Companies like Genelec are what people use to create the boom that you listen to on a JTR et al.

I have no dog in this hunt. JTR, etc. builds a nice product. If you're looking for a speaker/amplifier in a box that plays low frequencies at a low price point, they are one of your go to guys, no question.

You might take a look here to see Genelec's product in use at one of HHB - London, England demo rooms. HHB supplies equipment and technical support for use at the BBC, Sky, CNN, Abbey Road, and more.

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/vid...-series-at-hhb
thanks- and my intent wasn’t to start a fight and claim one is superior than the other; just trying to understand the design goals of the genelac.
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post #21 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 05:19 PM
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In this case, input would come from a console (pre-pro) or monitor controller and the Genelec active speaker would be plugged into the outputs. The sound can be monitored via the AES/EBU connection and correction filters can be applied to the speakers with appropriate additional hardware or it can be a pass through.
Ok, if I am understanding, the 7 channel active speakers he is buying with this sub run through the sub, and there are 7 XLR outs. What happens when he adds 4 more active speakers for Atmos duty?
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post #22 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 06:24 PM
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Ok, if I am understanding, the 7 channel active speakers he is buying with this sub run through the sub, and there are 7 XLR outs. What happens when he adds 4 more active speakers for Atmos duty?
No, you're missing it. Running through the subs 7 channel I/O's is an option just like speaker level connections on a home theater sub is an option.

He would come out of the pre-pro or AVR pre-outs to each active speakers input. LFE out of the pre-pro/AVR will go to the sub LFE in.

In the more conventional connection topology you're familiar with, the work flow connection is: source > AVR/pre-pro > amplifier >passive speakers and of course AVR/pre-pro LFE out > subwoofer LFE in.

The active speakers would connect the exact same way: source > AVR/pre-pro > active speakers and of course AVR/pre-pro LFE out > subwoofer LFE in.

The difference is, which is only a physical location difference, the amplifiers are built into the speaker box instead of using the AVR's internal amplifiers or a separate amplifier box. The Genelec speaker's he has selected have two amplifiers inside each speaker box to power each driver. So in effect he would be running 7 channels from the AVR/pre-pro supporting 14 amplifiers.

Another way to look at it is that a subwoofer is typically an active speaker, a speaker and amplifier in the same box with a line level input. The active speakers are really no different and would connect the same way to the AVR/pre-pro outs.

If he wants to add 2-4 active speakers for Atmos, they would simply connect to the pre-pro or AVR pre-outs for Atmos channels or any additional speakers supporting DTS:X, or Auro-3D.

The benefit of active speakers is a controlled amplifier match to a given driver for optimization. Genelec takes it a step further by adding active crossovers and room control software options giving you more control of the units frequency, phase, etc.

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 06:27 PM
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thanks- and my intent wasn’t to start a fight and claim one is superior than the other; just trying to understand the design goals of the genelac.
Sorry, the post was not meant to sound combative. I was trying to anticipate the next question.
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post #24 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 07:00 PM
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No, you're missing it. Running through the subs 7 channel I/O's is an option just like speaker level connections on a home theater sub is an option.
Ok. I understand the basics of how active crossovers work; what I was wondering was if the sub was acting as the digital crossover controlling the active crossovers in the speakers, like a mini dsp product would:

https://www.minidsp.com/applications...ossover-basics

I was assuming the sub was playing some system-wide DSP role because of its cost and the fact the speakers were running through it. Is each speaker just using an analogue active crossover?
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post #25 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 07:42 PM
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Ok. I understand the basics of how active crossovers work; what I was wondering was if the sub was acting as the digital crossover controlling the active crossovers in the speakers, like a mini dsp product would:

https://www.minidsp.com/applications...ossover-basics

I was assuming the sub was playing some system-wide DSP role because of its cost and the fact the speakers were running through it. Is each speaker just using an analogue active crossover?
On the active crossover, the answer could be yes and no. And it could be an analogue or digital active crossover as well... It depends... But yes it's mostly like the miniDSP

The sub could be part of a system and interact depending on how it's connected and how the user would configure the Genelec hardware/software. So to answer your question, it could be part of a system wide DSP solution or stand alone. It depends on what/how much you buy and how you want to use it. Kind of what I was trying to say when I said that it's not just a 400w 12" subwoofer.

I don't want to sound like I'm ducking your questions, but I'm not interested in writing a book ether. Genelec offers a sort of building block system were you can spec a rather complete system for custom needs or you can use the products stand alone. If you took a DIY approach you would be using a group of amplifiers along with passive speakers and throwing in your referenced miniDSP active crossovers for each speaker and miniDSP's DDRC-88A/DDRC-88M Dirac system on top for all the channels while controlling all of the speaker parameters for 30-45 units on a single network. Genelec has worked all of this out. Yes, it's expensive.

Genelac has the active crossovers, both analogue and digital depending on models.
They have their Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) and GLM™ Systems software for room correction which can also be networked and this can be used together with the active crossovers.

Here's some videos to look at.





Last edited by b curry; 03-08-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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post #26 of 33 Old 03-08-2018, 08:58 PM
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I don't want to sound like I'm ducking your questions, but I'm not interested in writing a book ether.
No, that's fair, thanks for your time. I'll take a look at some of the videos. I appreciate it.
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I've installed both, Genelec hands down!
^^^
What he said! Some of the best demos of CEDIAs past was Genelec. They are a staple in the studio and broadcast Monitor world.

Dispersion, clarity and dynamics take a back seat to no one.

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post #28 of 33 Old 03-09-2018, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
No, that's fair, thanks for your time. I'll take a look at some of the videos. I appreciate it.
I don't know if this will help but take a look at this video.

The video was made at Warren Huart's studio in LA. Warren is an engineer, mixer, producer, composer, and performer. He's worked with Aerosmith, James Blunt, Better Than Ezra, and more and has both film and TV credits. He uses Genelec speakers in his studio.

The video is showing two different sets of Genelec speakers, 4 speakers total. The speakers are daisy-chained together and networked via Genelec's SAM/GLM system/software. There is a large mixing console that would serve as a pre-pro if you were to make a jump to home theater gear. They use an iPhone or iPod touch as a source.

In the video you will see each speaker EQ'd individually at it's respective physical listening position using GLM to produce a more flat frequency response. While they are not using a subwoofer in the demo, it would be a simple add on and it would work the same way as the speakers do in the demo.

After auto EQing, the filters can be manipulated to fine tune. The individual speakers also have active crossovers that can be adjusted as well. The video does not go into any detail but I think you can get a feel for what is possible. GLM will allow you to save and load multiple EQ profiles and load them or switch speakers more or less on the fly. In other words you could set up your Genelec speakers and subwoofer for action genre movies and a different profile or mix for drama,etc. if you like.

Again, this is in a studio but it all transports to a home theater environment quite nicely.


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Again, this is in a studio but it all transports to a home theater environment quite nicely.

https://youtu.be/mN4U4h3Am8A
The Monitors look fantastic. I'm still not sold on the sub for HT, but I can see how it would great in a small sealed mixing studio for pro work.
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That sub is VERY nice and will measure a lot better than many HT subs in a lot of aspects. Genelec is all about accuracy, low distortion, transient response, etc. But if you are about SPL and boom then it might not be the best value and you can definitely get subs that play louder and go lower for less money.
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