Recording - June 2016 - 50

...where we bring you follow-up articles
with application hints and upgrade news
about gear already reviewed in Recording

&

Genelec 8020C Active Monitor
The 8010A's big brother isn't all that big
-but it sure sounds like it
by Mike Metlay

In previous issues (March 2015 and
March 2016), we've taken a close look
and listen to the newest products in
Genelec's line of ultra-portable monitoring systems for small rooms and engineers on the go. We've reviewed the
amazing 8010A speakers, which pack
extraordinary sound quality into
a monitor so small that you'd
barely be able to think of it as
a desktop speaker for casual listening, let alone a studio-grade
nearfield monitor. They paired
up beautifully with the new
7040A subwoofer, which delivers smooth and musical low
end in a package that again is
easy to set up and put to use.
This month, we're rounding
out our look at the ultra-small
Genelec line with a quick
examination of the 8020C
active monitors, which marry
the fascinating frequency
response performance of the
8010A with a design that provides more lows and more
power without adding significantly to weight and portability issues.
Meet the 8020C
The 8020C is a bit larger and heavier
than the incredibly tiny 8010A, but even
so, it remains a quite compact and lightweight monitor at 9.5 x 6 x 5.6 inches and
8.1 pounds. It has the same 3/4" metal
dome tweeter and a larger 4" woofer,
each with a 20W amplifier. Yes, that's actually less wattage than the 8010A, but the
8020C has no trouble filling a room without overloading or distorting.
The front of the die-cast aluminum
enclosure features Genelec's DCW™
(Directivity Controlled Waveguide), protective grilles over both drivers, and a
front-panel power/clip LED and volume
control. The volume control has a clickoff position, which puts the speaker in a
5W standby mode; there's a rear-panel
power switch next to the 3-prong IEC
power jack to turn the speaker completely off. There's also a built-in Intelligent
Signal Sensing system to put the speaker
on 0.5W standby after an hour of
silence. The 8020C has only one input,
a balanced XLR. The enclosure can be
50

RECORDING JUNE 2016

wall mounted, or set on the included IsoPod adjustable isolation stand.
Anyone who's read our 8010A review
will find the rear panel of the 8020C
quite familiar, but the feature sets aren't
identical. The four DIP switches on the
back of the 8020C, just below the large

flared port, are for Treble Tilt (a -2 dB
shelf above 5 kHz), Bass Roll-Off (at 85
Hz for use with the larger 7050B subwoofer), and two Bass Tilt switches (-2
and -4 dB at 100 Hz) that can be combined for a -6 dB shelving. You can use
these two switches to optimize the behavior of the 8020C for placements very
close to walls or corners; for my tests, I
got the best results with the -2 dB Bass
Tilt, since the test arrangement was in
proximity to a rear wall.
I experimented with the Treble Tilt a
bit and eventually elected to leave it flat;
some engineers might like using it for
taming rooms with weird high end
response that hasn't been smoothed by
acoustic treatment. At first I turned off
the Bass Roll-Off switch when listening to
the 8020C monitors on their own, and
turned it on when mating them to the
7040A. As it turns out, this is incorrect
usage; unlike the 7050B, for which that
switch was intended, the 7040A automatically does highpass filtering on its
inputs, so the Bass Roll-Off switch will
create an audible dip at and below 85
Hz. Read the manual, kids!

Listening results
Everything I said about the 8010A
applies to the 8020C, with a slight but
significant difference in the low end.
Above the bass roll-off region, the 8020C
has the beautiful clarity and detail that
Genelec's renowned for, a sweet and surgically precise sound that hides nothing
and presents the good and the not so
good in every track and mix.
The 8020C is rated flat ±2.5 dB from
66 Hz to 20 kHz and is 6 dB down at 59
Hz. That 10 Hz extension beyond the
8010A's usable low end makes a big difference when listening to music
without a subwoofer-there's
less guesswork with piano, bass
guitar, and kick drum. Below
that, the bass response drops
like a stone; the ear fills in the
missing frequencies, in the
absence of any real information.
The impressive performance
of the 8020C is made even
more so by the 7040A subwoofer, which (once dialed in
correctly) neatly provides that
final octave of bass-down 2.5
dB at a very impressive 33 Hz.
This satellite/sub arrangement
provides effective full-range
monitoring; the engineer just
needs to be sure to take time to
properly place and set the
7040A for reliable bass. Using
the larger 7050B will be even more
straightforward, as the 8020C's controls
are designed for it.
Conclusions
There are always going to be people
who look at speakers like the 8010A, with
its 3" driver, and simply assume (wrongly)
that something that small isn't possibly able
to provide a usable monitoring experience.
I strongly recommend to those folks, and
any other engineers who are looking to
learn just how small a speaker can get and
still offer real monitoring, that they give the
8020C a proper and thorough listen.
This is a speaker that outshines much of
the bigger, bulkier competition. In a still
quite portable format, it's a monitor that
can give the engineer on the go a reliable listening system for all but the lowest
lows, and the 7040A easily fills in those
blanks. It's never been easier for professionals to have Genelec quality in their
ears, even in the smallest rooms.
Price: $575 each
More from: Genelec, www.genelec.com


http://www.genelec.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - June 2016

Contents
Recording - June 2016 - Cover1
Recording - June 2016 - Cover2
Recording - June 2016 - 1
Recording - June 2016 - 2
Recording - June 2016 - 3
Recording - June 2016 - 4
Recording - June 2016 - 5
Recording - June 2016 - Contents
Recording - June 2016 - 7
Recording - June 2016 - 8
Recording - June 2016 - 9
Recording - June 2016 - 10
Recording - June 2016 - 11
Recording - June 2016 - 12
Recording - June 2016 - 13
Recording - June 2016 - 14
Recording - June 2016 - 15
Recording - June 2016 - 16
Recording - June 2016 - 17
Recording - June 2016 - 18
Recording - June 2016 - 19
Recording - June 2016 - 20
Recording - June 2016 - 21
Recording - June 2016 - 22
Recording - June 2016 - 23
Recording - June 2016 - 24
Recording - June 2016 - 25
Recording - June 2016 - 26
Recording - June 2016 - 27
Recording - June 2016 - 28
Recording - June 2016 - 29
Recording - June 2016 - 30
Recording - June 2016 - 31
Recording - June 2016 - 32
Recording - June 2016 - 33
Recording - June 2016 - 34
Recording - June 2016 - 35
Recording - June 2016 - 36
Recording - June 2016 - 37
Recording - June 2016 - 38
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Recording - June 2016 - 40
Recording - June 2016 - 41
Recording - June 2016 - 42
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Recording - June 2016 - 45
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Recording - June 2016 - Cover3
Recording - June 2016 - Cover4
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