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Genelec 8260 DSP Series, Mac Mini, Multiroom and more


bourne

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Let me start with a little introduction as I am new to this forum. I am from Europe, around 38 years old and quite some time in music. Currently, I have a rather traditionell setup consisting of B&W 803, Rotel digital preamp/5 channel amp and a Meridian CD.

 

Lately, I started with lossless music (mostly in HD or own rips from CD), currently powered by a Raspberry PI and Volumio or directly via my Macbook. Additionally, I started research on room correction, both physically (limited, the room is 9x4.6m and serves as living and dining room) and digitally. Not long, and I thought about going active and digital.

 

Stereo:

- Front Genelec 8260 DSP, 2 Genelec DSP Subs 7260, computer controlled via Mac.

- Mac Mini as digital source (just waiting for Apple to update it), running Genelec GML software, volume control via Genelec Software directly in the speakers.

- Still lacking a device for USB to AES/EBU (24/196; Weiss? Stella?) and then if I understand correctly, one cable will go to sub1, from sub1 to sub2 and from sub 2 to the Genelec front speakers.

 

The benefits I see: the system is full digital, analog conversion takes place at the last step, the speakers can be calibrated individually, two thoroughly calibrated subwoofers should help to minimize room influence.

 

 

How about home cinema? (Home cinema is by far not so important for us and there is no need for 5-channels music, we don't really like it)

- Rear 8240 DSP; Center, I think about trying without a dedicated center and mixing it front. In my current setup, I don't see that the center is really necessary; option to add later still required.

- Streaming via Mac Mini

- Sell DVD Player, let Mac Mini play DVDs (we are not much in DVDs)

 

Now, if I understand the docs correctly, I need separate AES/EBU outputs for front, rear and sub. However, then the Mac would have to to the Dolby Digital/DTS processing in software?

 

And this is the point, I am stuck:

- How to get multichannel output directly to the Genelecs

- What software is necessary

- Where can the system be influences, e.g. mixing center to front

 

Another major problem: how to get digital (SPDIF) multichannel output of the satellite receiver to the Genelecs or analog input like a radio tuner without sacrificing my direct stereo setup? I definitely do not want to route my stereo music from the Mac Mini via the dolby digital preamp. I have no problem if the analog input is digitized at an early stage, so an inexpensive DAC might help and reduce the problem how to route several digital inputs (stereo and multichannel) to the Genelecs.

 

 

And, of course, I am happy about general recommendations/advices to the setup sketched - and please tell me, I you think, this is a bad idea for some reason!

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Hey Bourne

 

Welcome to CA!

 

I'll try to help all I can.

I have been running the rig listed below for a couple of years, making me the house expert with lots of holes in my knowledge.

 

The Genelec 8260 is really a gem!

I may be the resident Genelec fanboy, but that monitor is something special.

 

 

Clarifying questions

 

- Have you purchased any equipment yet?

- What is your timeline?

- Does any of your existing equipment have S/PDIF out that we can convert directly to AES3 (aka AES/EBU)?

- How many digital inputs are you looking for and what format are they?

- Where are you situated?

 

 

Useful facts.

 

- The Genelec 82XX series has both a AES3 input as well as an analogue balanced XLR input.

- AES3 both comes as dual wire (one cable per channel) and single wire (one cable per 2 channels).

- The Genelec 82XX series handles both dual and single wire.

- S/PDIF runs the same protocol as AES3. Simple converters are available from Neutrix - Example.

- Dual wire will allow you to run subs as stereo rather than dual mono

- GLM volume can be control by a Griffin Powermate - very nice, handy and tactile.

- Computers translates anything you can get into them into PCM needed for 82XX

- SACD's are a challenge, DSD files can be handled in software.

- Genelc runs a great forum where professional supporters chip in with answers.

 

 

Answers

 

How to get multichannel output directly to the Genelecs

 

You will need a DDC or better- a sound card with AES3 output.

The Weiss AFI-1 that I run only have 8 channels AES3 I/O.

You will be better off with a more conventional sound card running on USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt.

The choice depends on your signal needs.

Examples: USB -> AES3 stereo: Stello U3 DDC, Lynx Aurora 16 VT for a full multichannel incl. analogue input.

 

 

What software is necessary

 

Basically we can get the music to the speakers in digital form, as long as you can get the file into the computer and have a software that can play it.

 

VLC for any film format except for bluray

Mac Bluray Player plays files and disks on external bluray drives

C.A.S.H. List for Mac music players

Software for ripping DVD's and blurays if relevant

 

 

Where can the system be influenced, e.g. mixing center to front

 

I don't know, but some softwares exists that grab the core audio and manipulates it.

 

 

 

Read my blog, answer my questions and lets see if we can't cut your gordian knot.

Please be as specific as you can in both answers and questions.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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Hey DigiPete,

 

thanks for your long post, my comments/clarifications are inline:

 

Clarifying questions

 

- Have you purchased any equipment yet?

- What is your timeline?

- Does any of your existing equipment have S/PDIF out that we can convert directly to AES3 (aka AES/EBU)?

- How many digital inputs are you looking for and what format are they?

 

- Despite the current setup years ago, nope. Rotel Pre + 5-channel amp, B&W 803, Meridian CD, Raspberry PI running Volumio (and other things like Tuner, DVD, Sat Receiver...)

- Timeline, don't know. Maybe soon :)

- I'll definitely buy the Mac Mini as soon as Apple releases the update to replace the Raspberry (and to free my Macbook)

- Your last question is trickier: my main goal is a "perfect" digital stereo setup, Mac Mini -> USB -> AES/EBU -> 2x Genelec Subs and 2x 8260.

 

- In addition, I want to

+ play 5.1. from Mac Mini (stream, rip, dvd)

+ play 5.1. from my satellite receiver

+ (less important) adding an analog input to the system, such as a tuner, however, as stated above, I could add an inexpensive AD, to keep it simple with digital inputs only.

 

At first, I had the idea to connect Mac Mini digitally to the Genelecs and connecting my current Rotel Pre analog to the Genelecs (and even buying non-DSP Genelecs for rear) but then I realized, the subs are digital in only :/

 

 

Useful facts.

- The Genelec 82XX series has both a AES3 input as well as an analogue balanced XLR input.

- AES3 both comes as dual wire (one cable per channel) and single wire (one cable per 2 channels).

- The Genelec 82XX series handles both dual and single wire.

- S/PDIF runs the same protocol as AES3. Simple converters are available from Neutrix - Example.

- Dual wire will allow you to run subs as stereo rather than dual mono

- GLM volume can be control by a Griffin Powermate - very nice, handy and tactile.

- Computers translates anything you can get into them into PCM needed for 82XX

- SACD's are a challenge, DSD files can be handled in software.

- Genelc runs a great forum where professional supporters chip in with answers.

- The DSP-Subs (I might take 2x7260) have no analog in

- I did not know the fact about dual wire for stereo subs instead dual mono. That's interesting. The subs will be placed "stereo" at the front wall, the fronts free standing. I mainly want to achieve a more stable sweet spot and better handling of room modes, therefore mono subs should work fine.

- I should have mentioned that I am a computer scientist. I am well aware about the software side on the Mini, audio and video. I am already running Amarra/Audirvana (and iTunes) and Volumio on the Raspberry. I am lacking the "connection" part, the necessary interface between Mac and Genelecs for stereo and multichannel.

 

 

Answers

How to get multichannel output directly to the Genelecs

You will need a DDC or better- a sound card with AES3 output.

The Weiss AFI-1 that I run only have 8 channels AES3 I/O.

You will be better off with a more conventional sound card running on USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt.

The choice depends on your signal needs.

Examples: USB -> AES3 stereo: Stello U3 DDC, Lynx Aurora 16 VT for a full multichannel incl. analogue input.

- I already found the Stello for stereo

- The Lynx is a bit expensive, as is the Weiss - any alternatives? ;)

- 8 channels is more than needed, or?

- My signal needs: stereo 24/196 from Mini, multi channel dolby dd/dts from Mini and from the satellite receiver. 5.1 is highly sufficient.

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First, I would not start out spending on subs for the 8260's.

My 8260's are doing a perfect job (including room correction) with no support of a sub.

I have tried running everything on the sub, but I see no point.

My sub therefor only supports the rears + LFE .

 

I would much rater spend my money on:

 

2 X 8260 fronts

3 x 8240 center + rear

1 x 7270 sub

 

 

Choice of ADDA or DDC

 

Thomann has an online selection tool for Digital Converters - have a play with it.

 

I think you'll find that the Lynx Aurora 8 is a pretty good solution for your use.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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Well, it's complicated.

First, there is no good space for a dedicated center, in my current passive system, the center is placed on the floor, it's tweeter 80cm below those of the front speaker. No beamer here, large TV placed 30cm from the floor. Second, my main focus is stereo as mentioned before. I will try with a virtual center at first.

 

However, if you recommend to go without subs, I think, you also solved the problem:

Stereo: Mac -> USB -> AES -> 8260 Digital In

5channel: Rotel Digital Pre (with Tuner, DVD, SAT, Mac connected) -> Analog out -> 8260/8240 Analog In

 

Additional question: is there any difference between single wire and dual wire AES despite mono/stereo subs? Are both 24/196?

 

At first, I just had the 8260s on my list. Recently I found out, that Genelec had announced two further SAM monitors 1237a/1238a. There is not much information online on them, no manuals, no prices. Do you have any information on those?

(I also posted a question on the Genelec forum).

 

 

Edit: I always forget to mention - there are two listening positions, the room is 9x4.6, the main position in the living room (speaker distance around 2.5) and another one at the table in the dining room (were we also work on our notebooks), 2m-2.5m straight behind of the main position.

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. . . However, if you recommend to go without subs, I think, you also solved the problem:

Stereo: Mac -> USB -> AES -> 8260 Digital In

5channel: Rotel Digital Pre (with Tuner, DVD, SAT, Mac connected) -> Analog out -> 8260/8240 Analog In

 

I recommend going 8260's without subs.

Surrounds with/without subs are a matter of taste.

The solution sounds quite fine to me.

Start with a set of 8260's and see where it takes you.

 

 

. . . Additional question: is there any difference between single wire and dual wire AES despite mono/stereo subs? Are both 24/196?.

 

The Genelec 82XX series and other SAM's will all take up to 24/192 i both single wire and dual wire AES3.

 

 

. . . At first, I just had the 8260s on my list. Recently I found out, that Genelec had announced two further SAM monitors 1237a/1238a. There is not much information online on them, no manuals, no prices. Do you have any information on those?.

 

It was the coaxial driver design with its fabulous imaging that sold me on the 8260's.

8240 would have been way powerful enough for both stereo and the entire 5.1 setup with one or two appropriate subs.

At listening distances below 4m I would definitely go for the 8260, but I have no listening experience to back that up.

 

 

. . . Edit: I always forget to mention - there are two listening positions, the room is 9x4.6, the main position in the living room (speaker distance around 2.5) and another one at the table in the dining room (were we also work on our notebooks), 2m-2.5m straight behind of the main position..

 

That will be quite fine with the 8260's.

The plot below shows how great the horizontal directivity is.

+/- 30 deg horizontally within 3dB - outstanding, and it shows in real life as uncoloured sound at wide angles and at any SPL.

 

 

 

Directivity 8260.png

 

 

Do you ever come through Copenhagen - come get a taste of Genelec.

 

 

PS. I really like Steinway Lyngdorfs philosophy of putting a sub in each front corner to significantly reduce needed SPL from the subs.

I just never felt the need with my 8260's.

 

Typical freq. response and correction in my living room:

 

 

Front left.png

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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Hi Pete,

 

thanks for your offer, unfortunately, there are approximately 1.200 km between us. More thanks for your answers, the picture is getting clearer and it's definitely a good plan to start with a pair of 8260s first and then reconsider (borrow and test) the subs. I tend to believe that two (dsp) subs might better "flood" the room and address room specific problems due to easier placement.

 

I really like the room response in your picture. My measurements of the passive setup show much deeper and therefore uncorrectable dips. You seem to have quite a good room and well positioned speakers (close to the front wall regarding the massive bass boost?) and listening position with just minor dips in the response. And the rest, where the level is too high, is well handled by the Genelec DSP. Just out of curiosity: do you have a picture of your room? How far is the distance between speakers and your listening position?

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Thanks Bourne

 

My living room and dedicated A/V space is rather modest 3,3 x 4,4 x 2,5m (w x l x h).

The listening position is 2,5m from the front wall and 2m from the front of the centre speaker.

Soft furniture, some carpet and rear wall partly a double door opening and shelves with records, books and games + the sub.

I have not gotten round to getting any real treatment of the room, but I often dampen first reflection points on the walls with 125mm foam mattresses.

 

The listening chair is the sofa :-)

 

Sorry, I don't publish pictures.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi bourne,

 

Just to confirm Pete's information, the graph of 8260 in my room.

 

gen_dr10.png

 

Untreated living room 9 x 5.5 meters. Listening point around 3.7 meters from the speakers, speakers as close as possible to the back wall in order to avoid bass cancellation, no subwoofer.

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Once again a good response chart. Thanks Udayan for posting this one.

 

I am more and more convinced to get Genelecs. The new SAM models 1237a/1238a seem to be already in production - I will wait until those become available and then try to get a demo with both 8260a and 1237a. And of course I will report my findings here :)

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  • 3 months later...

Quite some time has passed - finally, my new Genelecs have been delivered today. I decided to go with the new 1238a. Quite impressive speakers, both in size and in music. After a quick calibration with the GML Manager I spent quite some time experiencing well-known music like never before :)

 

While interested in the Stello at first, I finally went with the Bryston BUC-1, source is a Mac and level is controlled by GML.

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Congratulations! Very nice speakers...I'd love to hear those someday.

 

Out of curiosity, what USB>AES did you select?

 

Best,

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Oops, yes, thank you. Are you running multi-channel through the Bryston BUC-1? I thought it was two channel...

 

John

 

P.S. sorry to hijack your thread with silly questions...I'm trying to learn more about direct digital, multi-channel, and active speakers thanks to Digipete's threads.

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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No, that's fine, just ask. It's just stereo, for multichannel (which I need less frequently) I have an external DD-Pre (my old Rotel) connected to the Genelecs via their analogue inputs. Sat and Mac are connected via HDMI.

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Thank you!

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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  • 9 months later...

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