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Old March 3rd, 2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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Need some help in choosing audio monitors


I'm trying to decide which audio monitors to get. I have two choices and I have a little difficulty in making the decision. I hope that someone here could give me some insight...

I'm going to edit in a 4.5m x 5m room (~12x15 sq.ft). It's actually 4.5m x 10m divided in half by a very light wall. The computer will be in a corner. It's not the best place for audio monitors, but I have no options. The audio monitors would be placed on table stands on both sides of the screen. At ear level, as recommended. The desk is roughly L-shaped.

The alternatives would be Genelec 8020a or 8030a and probably a subwoofer for better bass management. These should be great for editing, and I like their compact size and - believe me or not - their looks. I actually have to look at them the next ten years, so...

Now I would need to choose between 8030a+sub, 8020a+sub or 8030a alone.

- What would you recommend?

- At first look the 8030a is a bit big, but my initial listening impression was that the 8030a + sub somehow sounded a little bit better that 8020a + sub. I felt some strange frustration when switching from 8030+sub to 8020+sub... Is there a true difference or is it just my imagination playing tricks? It could have been a result of poor placement (the smaller ones beeing closer to the desk surface), though... I don't have table stands yet.

- What's the main differences, besides the 8030a without a sub "only" reaching 58Hz?
Ralf Strandell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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I don't have any 8000 series. My remarks are based on about 4 years with Genelec 1029 + 1091 subwoofer, very similar to the 8030.

I've been VERY happy with the 1029/1091 system. Nice, full-range response for music, compact, portable. If I have a dialog-only job (I do lots of these) the 1029 is sufficient, and I sometimes take them to a video studio for audio monitoring. The sub hasn't left my home studio.

Mixing and mastering music has been great, I'm SO happy that I invested in reference monitors.

Looking at the 8020, I'd expect the response to be worse than the 8030, that's a pretty small cabinet and L.F. speaker. Even supplemented with a sub, you still want the low mids from the main cabinets, and these look too small to do the job. Like the 1029, the 8030 is much closer to a full-range cabinet.

I'm using my system as suggested by Genelec - there are dip switches to set on the satellites that limit bass response, creating a hole for the sub to fill. So, as I'm using it, this is a dedicated satellite/subwoofer system (I feed the whole thing from one stereo output).

One thing I've had my eye on is upgrading to a 5.1 system. Genelec recommends upgrading my 1091 sub to a newer box with "management", meaning a volume control, but I think I could just add 3 1029 (or 8030) cabinets, since I have software controls for playback volume of sub level (M-Audio Delta 1010).

The reason I mention this is that you might also consider what your upgrade path to 5.1 surround monitoring might be, should you need this in the future.

I think you'd be very happy with the 8030+sub. My montoring improved when I brought the cabinets up about 6" off the desk, so yes, stands would be important too.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #3
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If it's for the next 10 or how many years, go with the 30's and a sub. I promise you will be thanking yourself for it, even in 10 years time.
Comparing the 30's to the 20's, like you I found the 30's to be better.

I also discovered that running a sub with correct setup (placement, cross over etc...), not only allows you to accurately hear and feel the lower freqs, but also free's up the shelf monitors for a more accurate mid range respose. The woofers are free of low bass and therefore, are not compromised.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #4
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Thanks. Your comments have been most helpfull. I'll get the 8030a monitors + sub then. It seems to be the best choice as I'm planning on keeping them a long time...

ps. Now I just need to choose the color :) Black as usual, or a refreshing white :) White wouldn't be practical, though. It probably gets dirty and might cause reflections on screen...
Ralf Strandell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 9th, 2006, 04:45 AM   #5
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Does anybody know what table stands to use with these monitors? Would the K&M floor/table mic stands work?

This one:
Or this:

I have budgeted this monitor purchase for next month, so all kinds of comments are still welcome :)
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