So, it was 10 a.m. at Friday morning when a company of four enthusiasts began their trip from Jyväskylä to Iisalmi, home of Genelec. The big G had arranged an exclusive visit to their factory for around 30 members of DVD Plaza forum and there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity. After three hours of joyriding we arrived at Iisalmi, checked in to our hotels and headed to the main destination, the Genelec factory located at the shores of lake Porovesi.
After stepping in to the reception area we received name tags housing our forum user names. Some snooping and marveling of the various props, product samples and other forum members followed, after which Mr. Ilkka Rissanen stepped in from the shadows and rushed all of us to the auditorium where the scheduled entertainment was about to begin.
A quick look at the scheduled program was soon over, and it was time for a history lesson about the story of Genelec, given to us by the head honcho mr. Ilpo Martikainen. After the history tour there was an opportunity to ask questions from Ilpo, to which he replied patiently. Next, the guest population was splitted to two pieces, others took a tour around the production unit while the other half stayed in the auditorium for a quick listening demo. This was the moment we were told about the legendary test track, It Feels Like Rain by Aaron Neville. After Aaron's tunes and a PG rated film clip it was time to switch the two groups and my half headed to the factory part of the factory.
And boy, was there stuff to see. Circuit board assembling units, huge piles of parts, finished and unfinished products, testing stations... Like a kid in a candy store. The tour was soon over and we were dragged again back to the auditorium by Ilkka to receive our next heap of information. Mr. Jussi Väisänen gave an information package of what goes in to designing a speaker à la Genelec, quite interesting stuff.
After filling our heads it was time to fill also our bellies. Two plates of delicious curry chicken and a cup of tea gave energy for the last lecture, concentrating on the current hip thing, DSP, and the newest member of Genelec speaker family, the innovative and cute 8260A. Mr. Aki Mäkivirta told us about the reasons to use DSP, all the while giving a good basics on room acoustics.
This completed the theory package and it was time to dive into the listening tests. There were four listening rooms to choose from, including the auditorium which had a good coverage over the product range. Some things that printed to my mind during the listening tests:
- A sweet demo of 8260A where three different settings were switched on the fly, one with DSP off and dip switches set to neutral, one with DSP off but dip switched set to more suitable bass level and the last one with DSP with all the bells and whistles.
- The awesome and not-so-cheap array of 1036A in the auditorium. Although the movie clip we checked out earlier didn't impress on me that much (the sound might as well have been produced by a smaller speaker set and a subwoofer, though listening levels weren't that high), the music performance was something truly out of this world. So tight and distinguished bass department that I almost pissed my pants.
- The lovely set of 6010A sounded nice as always, though this wasn't any news since I own a handful of those.
Since we are in Finland, the day ended with a sauna and refreshing beverages. This was the last opportunity to try and fish out some inside scoops from the hosts. Day had turned in to night quite some time ago and it was time to head to the hotel for some rest. Before leaving there was one last present, each one of the guests received a gift bag with various goodies inside. A quick walk on not so straight line to the hotel and lights out. Breakfast, car trip to home and that was it.
I'd like to thank the Genelec staff for this amazing visit one more time! I've been a fan of Genelec speakers for some time now and this certainly made me take a one step closer to a status of a superfan.
Anyway, this was my story, some errors are possible/likely. Feel free to share your feelings about the visit.
And oh, I took some pictures of course but here's a better gallery by DVD Plaza member Dinesh: http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/735199/1 ... c?h=3c925e