This creates a very long reflex tube in the smallest possible enclosure by combining a front-firing woofer with a large side-exit port. As an added plus, the rods double as handles for moving the sub. The A is the middle of the Series, with a inch woofer driven by a watt amp. The system includes bass management for a 5. All audio connections are balanced XLRs. The onboard bass-management circuitry divides the six or five main channel inputs into LF and HF components, which route to the sub and main speakers at a fixed 85Hz crossover.
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Photo: Mark Ewing Genelec update their popular series monitors, improving the technical specifications without losing the family sound. Genelecs new series of active studio monitors comprises three models: the A, A, and A. These can be thought of as improved equivalents of the A, A, and A. Because their performance is ostensibly similar, they can be used with the same Genelec subwoofers where additional low-frequency extension is required, and in the case of the As reviewed here that would be the A for stereo or the A for multi-channel surround.
If these new speakers have equivalents in the existing models, why produce them at all? A fair question, and the answer would seem to be that the series has a little more LF extension, lower distortion, and quieter electronics. The new models also include an extra DIP switch setting on the rear panel to compensate for the Hz hump that arises when small monitors are placed on a desktop or console meterbridge. Bass management is provided by the Genelec subwoofer, which removes unnecessary low frequencies from the main speaker feeds.
Other claimed improvements include smoother on- and off-axis frequency response and better transient response.
As with the previous models, both drivers are magnetically shielded. More Of Everything The most obvious outward change is that the series speakers have a distinctive new cabinet shape attributable to Finnish industrial designer Harri Koskinen.
In order to maximise the internal volume of the cabinet while keeping the external size as small as possible, the cabinet is now cast from aluminium. This can be much thinner than a wood-composite cabinet and has a high degree of rigidity without the need for bulky internal bracing. Aluminium is also a very good conductor of heat and, by mounting the drivers directly onto the cabinet, the cabinet doubles as a heat sink.
Genelec describe the cabinet design as MDE or Minimum Diffraction Enclosure complete with obligatory trademark symbol , which in real terms means that the shape is designed to minimise edge diffraction no sharp corners and also so that the baffle shape matches the directivity of the drivers at the crossover point.
Genelec were early adopters of the acoustic waveguide for HF baffles, and this cabinet seems to represent an extension of that. The bass reflex port has been moved to the rear of the cabinet to make the best use of space and also to reduce port noise, and the shape of the port is based on research done when designing the series LSE subwoofers.
Essentially the port is longer than normal, which means it has to be curved, and it has a wider cross-sectional area plus a flared outlet to reduce the noise of air in the port, though additional work was done to minimise the effects of the port resonance, which can be a problem with longer port pipes.
Having the port at the rear has no serious mounting implications, provided that the distance between the cabinet and the wall is at least 50mm. The A rear panel. Photo: Mark Ewing The A features a 6. Both internal amplifiers are rated at 90W, and the crossover frequency is set at 3kHz.
At the base of the cabinet is a new mounting system called Iso Pod, which allows the cabinet angle to be adjusted, and the resilient material from which it is made provides a secure mounting without the need for Blu-Tac or other improvised solutions.
The overall size is x x mm, and the complete monitor weighs a substantial 8. Connection to the speaker is via an XLR connector, and the input gain trim now has an 80dB attenuation range. The familiar Genelec DIP switches are provided for adjusting the tonal balance for configuring the speaker for use with a subwoofer.
In addition to the Desktop mode, these include settings for treble tilt, bass tilt and bass roll-off, where the appropriate settings are illustrated graphically in the manual for various placement configurations. In additional to the Iso Pod mount, there are also threads at the base of the speakers to fit Omnimounts.
The smaller A may also be mounted on a mic stand. Power comes from an integral W amplifier, and the overall size is x x mm with an all-in weight of 50kg. Six regular inputs plus one LFE input are provided, allowing the sub to be used for surround monitoring — up to seven satellites can be fed from a single A. The smaller A, which is the sub under review here, has a similar physical design and the same controls, but uses a inch speaker rather than a inch speaker, and the frequency range extends down only as far as 29Hz.
There are still surround inputs left, centre, and right for both front and rear , though in conjunction with the A this subwoofer is recommended mainly for use in stereo monitoring systems. The A is considerably lighter 26kg and rather smaller x x mm than the A, and it has less than half the amplifier power of the A W , the maximum SPL being some 4dB less at dB.
This panel houses the mains inlet and power switch as well as XLR inputs for a maximum of six speakers, which means you could use this sub in a 6. A Bypass jack lets you turn off the filtering of the main speaker outputs, allowing them to receive a full-bandwidth signal, but this does not affect the LFE channel.
Photo: Mark Ewing Of course no Genelec active speaker or subwoofer would be complete without its quota of DIP switches, and there are two blocks of four at the centre of the panel. The right-hand block of switches controls the bass roll-off in steps of 2dB or 4dB, and when these are used together they provide a 6dB attenuation. The remaining two switches set the crossover phase to compensate for the physical position of the sub relative to the main monitors. One switch provides zero or degrees of shift and the other 90 or degrees.
Testing My first tests were carried out without a subwoofer connected, and the little As delivered rather more low-end extension than I was expecting for such small enclosures. Some users complained that the As had noisy amplifiers, but these ones are at least 4dB quieter overall, and around 12dB quieter in the 3kHz region where the human hearing system is most sensitive.
Tested with the A sub, the integration was seamless, and at no time did I feel that I could hear the sub sticking out at all. The impression was of the main speakers having great bass extension, which after all is the point of a good sub.
Finding the best position for the sub in the room requires a bit of work, and you may need to adjust the phase switches, but the manual offers a procedure that makes this fairly painless. Technically, this system is larger than needed for my relatively small studio, but there were no problems in getting it to work correctly. The integration with the subwoofer is near flawless, and the system seems fairly tolerant of room size and characteristics provided that some basic acoustic treatment is in place and you follow the setting-up procedure properly.
The extra switch to help with desk mounting is a good idea, though any such compensation can only be approximate. Pros Maintains the classic Genelec sound. Has been improved in several key technical areas. Cons Some users may still find the Genelec sound too aggressive. Summary The series builds on a very successful Genelec range, with all the major components redesigned for better performance while keeping the same family sound.
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