YLE was building a new radio house in Pasila , Helsinki. Juhani Borenius, who worked for YLE as an acoustician , asked his friends at a postgraduate acoustics seminar if they could make an active monitoring speaker. Ilpo Martikainen and Topi Partanen had the first sample in two weeks. The prototype was promising enough to raise serious interest.
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Photo: Mark Ewing Despite their diminutive size, these new nearfield monitors still share the Genelec family sound. For example, if you have a programming suite that you use for writing sequenced music, then you can probably make do with smaller speakers until you come to do the final mix, whereupon you can move to the main studio.
Similarly, in a small home studio, smaller monitors can be used both for writing and for producing reasonably accurate mixes, as working at high SPLs may simply not be practical.
Controls on the rear panel optimise the audio performance to best suit the environment in which the speakers find themselves. With a decidedly compact x mm footprint and a height of just mm, the rear ported A features a die-cast aluminium enclosure with integral high-frequency waveguide and rounded corners to minimise diffraction.
The shape also makes the case extremely rigid, which in turn cuts down on unwanted cabinet resonances. Both drivers are magnetically shielded. Each driver has its own 20W amplifier on board, fed from an active crossover operating at 3kHz, and driver protection is built into the system. Below the reflex port on the rear panel are threaded inserts which allow for mounting the As on wall brackets — the screws at the bottom of the rear panel will release the Iso Pad desk stands in this case.
Mechanically, the As are nothing if not solid, weighing 3. Power comes in via a downward-facing IEC socket, and the input female XLR is accompanied by an opposite-sex version allowing up to six As to be daisy-chained from one line-level source. DIP switches are available for setting the EQ of the system, with a choice of flat or treble tilt at the high end -2dB below 5kHz , bass tilt choice of -2dB, -4dB or -6dB for half-space mounting against a wall, and an 85Hz high-pass filter — this should always be active when using the speakers with the optional subwoofer.
If the As are on a console meterbridge, the recommended setting is to have everything flat except the bass tilt, which should be set at -4dB. Listening Tests Despite their almost laughably small size, the As maintain the Genelec family sound and also deliver a very credible impression of low end within their power range.
The bottom line is that if you need small monitors that behave like big monitors, only not so loud, then the As come pretty close to being ideal. Pros Can be augmented by Genelec subwoofer. Surprisingly plausible bass end. No jack input option. Summary Genelec fans will love the As, as they deliver the same family sound as the rest of the series, with decent bass extension, but at a lower level.
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