Genelec 8260A Three-Way DSP/Powered Monitors Review

Oct 25, 2010 6:20 PM, By Bobby Frasier



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Rear panel controls include Bass Roll-Off, 
Bass Tilt, Desktop and Treble Tilt, and Stored or Manual controls.

Rear panel controls include Bass Roll-Off, Bass Tilt, Desktop and Treble Tilt, and Stored or Manual controls.

The 8260s are simply remarkable. While listening to many different sources and types of music, my first impressions were simple: accuracy and realism. Most notable was the vocal range. Vocal tracks were reproduced with an incredible degree of detail. Strings had detail and separation, almost as though you could pick out individual players in a section. The soundstage is superb, and the imaging is tight and concise. In many instances, the imaging went beyond the left/right boundaries of the speakers. The phantom center is dead on, and the coaxial midrange places the vocalist right in front of you.

Pianos had great detail and nuance; I could hear all the little resonances and pedal movements, and the breathing of the wood. Acoustic guitars sounded powerful with all of their associated harmonic structures intact, whether in delicate finger-style work or slammin’ rhythms.

The low-frequency response begs the question, “Do I need a subwoofer?” Kick drums were punchy and tight, and I could really hear the room around the drum on many tracks’ information that simply gets lost on other speakers. And these speakers can get loud (123 dB @ 1m). They’re great rock ’n’ roll speakers.

These speakers helped to make my decisions more accurate while tracking guitars, keyboard and vocals. The 8260As gave me a truly transferable representation of what I was recording. I loved the delicate way in which they reproduced the midrange timbre in the vocals. I’m going to miss these hefty jewels when it comes time to mix. I recommend these speakers for a mastering environment as they accurately handled every type of music I put through them.

I did an A/B comparison of the 8260A’s digital vs. analog inputs by simultaneously taking a digital and analog output of my Lynx Aurora converters and connecting to the corresponding inputs on the 8260As. When switching back and forth, I preferred the sound of the Aurora’s analog inputs, even though the signal was going through two conversion processes—my Aurora ADC and the Genelec ADC, which is always in place on the analog input. Although the differences were slight, the separation of instruments appeared to be more accurate with the Auroras, as was detail in reverb (space), cymbal swells, drum overtones and piano harmonics. The Genelec converters are quite usable and by no means second rate. I simply found the overall experience of my outboard converters to have a bit more detail. I was surprised that this “dual-conversion process” sounded more musical than the direct digital input.

The 8260As’ three-way design is a thing of beauty. The melding of the 5-inch MF driver with the waveguide, with no outer edge to produce additional turbulence, is intended to control midrange dispersion characteristics, and it works quite well, with very linear horizontal directivity in the critical 1 to 8kHz midrange frequencies, thereby increasing the sweet spot and providing a wider, more accurate listening window in the horizontal plane. Given the extended bass response, superb imaging and clarity in the midrange, plus the advanced networking and calibration technologies, the 8260s will no doubt be seen and heard in the most discriminate recording, mixing and mastering environments.

Bobby Frasier is an audio consultant, engineer and guitar player/vocalist in the Beatles sound-alike band Marmalade Skies.

Click on the Product Summary box above to view the 8260A product page.

Click on the Product Summary box above to view the 8260A product page.

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