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Genelec subwoofer portfolio - still state of the art?

thelion, modified 13 Years ago.

Genelec subwoofer portfolio - still state of the art?

Youngling Posts: 12 Join Date: 4/4/09 Recent Posts
As per Illka's kind request ;) I start this thread to discuss Genelec's subwoofer portfolio, the benefits and unique features as well as opinions about comparative benchmarks with the competition.

I find myself in a situation where I would love to complete my Genelec setup (5x 1037C) with a Genelec subwoofer but cannot justify to do so. The first time I witnessed an 7073A it was a rather moving and inspiring experience. But since than some very competitive subwoofer designs have entered the market. So when I finally decided to go for a state of the art sub I went with dual SVS PB-13 Ultras. IMHO this solution offers comparable performance at a fraction of the price of an 7073A. Each design has its benefits, but the PB13's provide higher output and better/deeper LF extension.

Illka, this is where you come in. What are the advantages and unique design benefits (like LSE) that make Genelec's offerings still highly competitive with products like the PB13? Where do you see potential for further improving performance (other than DSP, which I prefer to do centralized in a pre-pro) and output level per unit/€? Why does Genelec limit itself to 12" sub drivers while offering speakers with larger drivers?
andreas, modified 13 Years ago.

Re: Genelec subwoofer portfolio - still state of the art?

Padawan Posts: 61 Join Date: 4/8/09 Recent Posts
Lion, looks like you gave the support team something to think about :)

Did you ever see any impuls response measurments of the SVS BP13 ? Would be interesting to see how the 3 rather aggressive ports are dialed in and effect bass impuls quality. Any air flow noise at higher SPLs ? Maybe all not that dramatic anyway, as the ear is not that sensible in the low regions....

Overall you probably have to be honest enough to admit that the Genelecs are assembled in Finland ? I guess so. Production in Europe raises price alot. If I look at Geithain Subwoofer prices for their 40cm sub or K+H (also looks like Peerless) you are at least in the same price range a Genelec.

Certain parts leave alot of room for interpretation, like production tolerances and QC.

Indeed, will be interesting to see a reply from the support team.
ilkka-rissanen, modified 13 Years ago.

Re: Genelec subwoofer portfolio - still state of the art?

Yoda Posts: 2564 Join Date: 3/23/09 Recent Posts
Hi Lion,

Let's start to unwrap this from the "State of the Art" title. If we think about the absolute performance, the 7073A/HTS6 is still the king of the hill when it comes to unbiased and properly conducted one on one comparisons. It has the highest output and lowest overall distortion in ~20 - 120 Hz range of any manufactured single subwoofer I'm aware of. A good source for objective subwoofer data/comparisons can be found at Hometheatershack [1] and AVTalk forums [2]. Also unarguably the most thorough and greatest subwoofer comparison test ever made, "Way Down Deep" [3], by Keith Yates for the Ultimate AV Magazine back in 2004 ended up with the same result: the HTS6 was awarded the "State of the Art" title [4] and it got the highest accolades when it comes to both objective and subjective performance.

There are subwoofers with better extension but we can argue how much benefit we get from 'single digit' frequencies. As some new and innovate designs like the TRW-17 [5] have showed, there are some advantages but then again getting enough output at those frequencies requires special devices like the TRW-17. If we try to extend the operating range of more traditional designs, it means that certain compromises has to be done.

When we start to talk about the price, things get more complicated. Let's not forget the main difference between Genelec and for example SVS business model and therefore price structure: the former ones are sold through a traditional distribution network while the latter ones are sold directly from the factory (or through a distributor/dealer when outside the USA) by the use of the Internet. Both business models have their pros and cons, but of course it must be admitted that the latter has a clear advantage in price. But in that sense a direct comparison is a bit unfair from a commercial point of view. Products sold through a full distribution network can rarely match the Internet direct products when it comes to the "best bang for the buck" factor. But then again you can't visit your local dealer and listen to them before the purchase, or get fast local service in case of emergency.

As a more general note, the patented LSE technology used in the Genelec 7000 series subwoofers (except 7073A) offers the advantage of using a large (as in cross-sectional area) and therefore turbulent free reflex port in relatively small subwoofers with good bass extension. For example getting a true 19 Hz anechoic extension from a 7060B sized enclosure would otherwise be almost impossible and definitely unpractical.

I don't see anything revolutionary in the horizon when it comes to subwoofer technology in general but of course improvements can be made through updated drivers and amplifiers, and general optimization of the system. DSP and its benefits in room equalization are undeniably most beneficial in getting the subwoofer to sound good in the room where it's placed at, because even though some try to dispute the fact, the room plays a major role in most of the 'sound quality' issues related to subwoofers.

Even though our current subwoofer line up doesn't use drivers larger than 12", for example the past 1094A subwoofer used a single 15" driver. So we are not limited to 12" drivers in any way, it's just that this particular 12" driver (or multiples of it) was found to be the best option for our subwoofers. For example the dual 12" drivers used in the 7071A offer an advantage for example in sensitivity, maximum output and power handling over a similar single 15" driver.

Naturally we are open to all requests and suggestions when it comes to future Genelec subwoofers! One of the main purposes of having this new discussion forum was to establish a more direct connection with our present and future customers. So, speak now, or forever hold your peace. :)

Reference links:
[1] http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/subwoofer-tests/
[2] http://www.avtalk.co.uk/showthread.php?t=12079
[3] http://www.ultimateavmag.com/features/604way/index4.html
[4] http://www.ultimateavmag.com/features/1004way/index5.html
[5] http://www.rotarywoofer.com/