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Which active speakers to get for HT-LCR?

  • Genelec G Four (8040)

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • Neumann KH310 (costs about 28% more)

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • DIY Active speakers (pl. suggest drivers, crossovers and amps)

    Votes: 4 28.6%
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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

After much thought and consideration and demo of various brands both active (Dynaudio, Focal, ADAM, Mackie, Event) and passive (B&W, Golden Ear, Boston Acoustic, Yamaha, Harbeth, Martin Logan, Sonus)... I had narrowed down my selection to the Genelec G Four (8040) for the LCR and G Three (8030) for surrounds...

now an unexpected decision point has come-up...
due to the sudden fall of the Indian Rupee and pre-existing stock (before the fall) and more willingness of the Neumann dealer to negotiate etc... it turns out that I could get the Neumann KH310 at just about 28% more than the Genelec 8040... (all inclusive cost in Indian rupees after delivery, duties and VAT etc)..

KH310 is a 3 way (about US$2100) and is normally double the price of the 2 way Genelec 8040...(about $1050)
A dealer who sells both brands does concede that he prefers the Genelec as it has a very low failure rate and very few warranty claims - as compared to other brands...

this presents me with the dilemma of which one to go for...

in addition - since I've been quietly working on learning the ins-and-outs of a DIY sub-woofer - I've also been toying with the idea of making my own active... mains...and have some tantalizing ideas in mind...

for eg. : a coaxial 2 way driver powered by tube amps... will look really cool.

one of the expert dealers here has suggested that if I'm doing a DIY sub - I should probably go with DIY mains and surrounds as well - as that will help me keep the performance and voice consistent - there is no point in having very high end pro mains and a DIY sub...


any thoughts on ideas on this from the esteemed members of this great forum would be greatly appreciated...

thanks in advance and warm regards...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Folks,

I'm having to make the decision in the next 2 days as the deal ends and the Neumann KH310 goes back to about 75% more than the Genelec 8040 and the whole question becomes irrelevant...

Will appreciate a bit more votes... opinions and suggestions...

btw: the only reason the DIY option has come-up for the mains is because one of my long time associates is a pro-audio dealer/installer and he has friends who are a speaker designer / builder and an electronics expert. I should be able to reach out to them for guidance/collaboration in the DIY... and without them... the most ambitious I would think of would be a DIY sub...

Thanks in advance...
 

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Why not just buy whichever pair you like the sound of best? No point just buying based on price or an apparent 'deal' if you don't like the sound of them.

Also, regarding DIY subs, I don't see why you shouldn't combine them with commercial speakers. It's perfectly OK to mix different makes of subs with different makes of speakers and if your DIY sub is made to a good standard using decent parts I don't see why it should be inferior. I'm planning exactly this by making my own 15" sub (using an Fi Q series driver) and either MK MP150 speakers or more PMC Wafer speakers depending on a (home) demo to compare them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks Kelvin.. and Sonnie...

I'm sorry that I hadn't been checking the thread as it seemed it wasn't attracting any responses for some time...

The update is - I've decided not to go for a DIY active 2way or 3way... the most I should attempt is a DIY active subwoofer...


The decision on Genelec 8040 vs Neumann KH310 is actually a bit more complex because the KH310s dealer has sold out of his demo piece too due to the special pricing -and so I have to place the order "blind" (or in this case "Deaf") based on price and other factors...
The KH310 costs around $2100 and the G4 around $1400 (both prices after shipping, taxes, duties etc). Price-wise (310 is priced about 45-50% higher) and Specs-wise (2way vs 3way)- it is not a fair comparison at all... The comparison is coming in only because the KH310 is at a special price (about 30% discount from the before exchange rate fall prices) while the Genelec has increased the price due to the fall of the rupee and also apparently due to price increases from Genelec, Finland...

Now to the decision: the Genelec clearly has the advantage in the looks, reliability and 5 year warranty ... whereas the Neumanns are a 3 way (that means I can play music without the sub... and otherwise not sure how much better the 3ways make the Neumann better than a 2way Genelec) and offers only a 2 year warranty...
I've been trying to get a better warranty from the dealer and lets see how that goes and I will be making a decision as soon as I get some movement on that...
 

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Thanks Kelvin.. and Sonnie...

I'm sorry that I hadn't been checking the thread as it seemed it wasn't attracting any responses for some time...

The update is - I've decided not to go for a DIY active 2way or 3way... the most I should attempt is a DIY active subwoofer...


The decision on Genelec 8040 vs Neumann KH310 is actually a bit more complex because the KH310s dealer has sold out of his demo piece too due to the special pricing -and so I have to place the order "blind" (or in this case "Deaf") based on price and other factors...
The KH310 costs around $2100 and the G4 around $1400 (both prices after shipping, taxes, duties etc). Price-wise (310 is priced about 45-50% higher) and Specs-wise (2way vs 3way)- it is not a fair comparison at all... The comparison is coming in only because the KH310 is at a special price (about 30% discount from the before exchange rate fall prices) while the Genelec has increased the price due to the fall of the rupee and also apparently due to price increases from Genelec, Finland...

Now to the decision: the Genelec clearly has the advantage in the looks, reliability and 5 year warranty ... whereas the Neumanns are a 3 way (that means I can play music without the sub... and otherwise not sure how much better the 3ways make the Neumann better than a 2way Genelec) and offers only a 2 year warranty...
I've been trying to get a better warranty from the dealer and lets see how that goes and I will be making a decision as soon as I get some movement on that...
Sorry I did not see your thread sooner. You made the right choice going with DIY sub and brand-name mains. Getting pro-level sound out of a DIY main speaker is probably 100x the complexity of building a good-performing DIY sub.

Both the KH (Klein-Hummel was bought by Neumann) and Genelec lines are highly regarded by audio professionals. Both models are very neutral sounding. For cinema I would go with the KH, its output capability is much higher - it is a mid-field design while the Genelec is a near-field design. It would work best with a sub for cinema, then you can cross over the KH at 60 or 80 Hz and keep its low-midrange distortion much lower in use.

I would personally go with performance (KH for your situation) and inherent reliability (probably about equal) over warranty. Also looks would be secondary to me, but that is highly personal.
 

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Another thought. The Genelec is rear-ported, has to be away from walls or the bass is hard to control, can get muddy. The bass rolloff controls might or might not be able to control this. The KHs are not ported, give you more placement flexibility.
 

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D
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Another thought. The Genelec is rear-ported, has to be away from walls or the bass is hard to control, can get muddy. The bass rolloff controls might or might not be able to control this. The KHs are not ported, give you more placement flexibility.
This gives me the single biggest reason to go for the KH310... more than any other reason...

Folks,
Thanks to all your inputs - I'm now going for the KH310 for L/C/R.
I need to make a decision on the surrounds (RR/RL) as a similar (but not as great a deal) is available for KH120 as well.

My choice is between a Neumann KH120 (for about $700) vs Genelec G Three or 8030 (for about $1000)... after duties, taxes and shipping.

Normally these speakers are priced about the same... the present price difference is due to the Neumann dealer retaining the pre-rupee fall price for a limited period and Genelec increasing the price.

Thanks again folks...
 

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Again, both Genelec models are rear-ported, but for surrounds you could consider using a much higher crossover point than you would with your mains as little LF information goes to surrounds anyway. The Genelec's also come in white.

I would probably go KH, though - front ported so you can run with a lower crossover, probably voiced close to the KH 130s (although all these models are very neutral so voicing is not much of a consideration). a little more power available. A close call, but KH.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Folks,
The KH310 for L/C/R has arrived.
Absolutely can't wait to let it rip...


As I've blown way past (300%) of my original budget just for the LCR... I'm yet to decide/get the surrounds (KH120 vs 8030) and sub (DIY) - I'll add them may be next year - if the debt ceiling is raised by my one-woman-congress...

I'm now looking for a cheap/used AV processor 2.1 ch or 5.1ch or 7.1ch. or 9.1ch... whatever I can find..

even HDMI is optional...

problem is... the used equipment market in India is practically non-existent...
any ideas?
 
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