Genelec first introduced its Genelec Active Monitoring Loudspeaker, the S30, thirty years ago. Since its inception in 1978, Genelec has concentrated its efforts and resources into the design and manufacturing of active monitoring loudspeakers. Genelec has promoted the concept of active monitors, a trend in technology that many manufacturers are now incorporating into their products. To this day, Genelec continues to advance the art of active monitor system technology with products specifically designed for the high-end custom install/home theater, professional recording, project, post-production, and broadcast markets.
Based on the shore of Lake Porovesi in Iisalmi, Finland, Genelec Oy was founded in 1978 by Mr. Ilpo Martikainen, President, Mr. Topi Partanen, Vice President & Technical Director, and Ms. Ritva Leinonen, Financial Director. Genelec was launched when the original three founders were awarded the contract to design and manufacture monitoring loudspeakers for a new broadcast complex being built by the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation in Helsinki, Finland. As a result, Genelec established an early reputation mainly with broadcasters in Scandinavia and Europe, which still remains an important customer base. However, in the mid-1980s, Genelec saw the opportunity to expand its market segment to include the music industry and recording studios.
In the late 1980s, intensive R&D efforts were devoted toward the design of a new large monitor for the main control rooms of recording studios, which ultimately resulted in the introduction of the Model 1035A at the 1989 AES Convention in Hamburg, Germany. High standards were set for the design criteria on this product, including the use of Genelec's proprietary Directivity Control Waveguide Technology• (DCW) and the development of an exclusive midrange driver capable of producing very high SPLs with low distortion. Genelec monitor loudspeakers found their way into many studios in England, Japan and the United States. The introduction of the 1035A helped to solidify Genelec's reputation for the design and manufacture of audio monitors. The creation and development of the original 1035A monitor was the foundation for Genelec's 103x range of Active DCW•-equipped monitors.
As the high-end consumer audio market evolved, Genelec Active Monitors found their way into home theater and surround sound installations. Genelec was then asked by consumers and custom installers to develop specific products for the custom install/home theater market. The objective was to develop an active monitoring line with the ability to handle high SPLs with the wide dynamic range necessary to meet the needs of today's home theater audiophile. This R&D effort resulted in the launch of a new dedicated line of Custom Installation Systems products, which was introduced at the 1999 Hi-Fi Show in Chicago, IL. Since its introduction, the Custom Installation product line has continued to evolve and now includes the HT206B, HT208B and HT210B Two-Way Bi Amplified Active Loudspeakers; AIW26, AIW25 In-wall Active Loudspeakers and AIC25 In-ceiling Active Loudspeaker; HT320BC, HT312B and HT315B Active 3-Way Loudspeakers; AOW312B On-wall Active 3-Way Loudspeaker; HT324AC, HT324A and HT330A Active Large Loudspeakers; and HTS3B, HTS4B and HTS6 Active Subwoofers, as well as several products launched at this year's CEDIA Expo. In addition, to provide an interface between unbalanced single source outputs and Genelec's Active Home Theater Systems or Professional Audio Monitors, Genelec developed the DI8A Active Balancer, which converts an unbalanced line signal to a balanced line signal.
Since the company's founding and the advent of active monitoring technology, Genelec has taken great pride in its entire ever-evolving product line, with several products in particular.
A short list of notable Genelec products:
• S30 Monitoring Speaker (1978): The very first Genelec product, promoting the concept of Active Monitoring to the broadcast and professional audio market sector.
• 1022A Monitoring Speaker (1983): The product that introduced Genelec's proprietary Direct Control Waveguide Technology (DCW), which increases performance by matching the frequency response and directivity of the drivers.
• 1035A Control Room Monitor (1989): The first large-scale monitor featuring DCW.
• 1031A Bi-Amplified Monitoring System (1991): Genelec's first nearfield monitor featuring DCW. The 10301A to this day is still used by engineers, producers and facilities.
• 1029A Bi-Amplified Monitoring System (1996): Genelec's first sub-compact monitor made from die-cast aluminum
• 2029A Digital Monitoring System (1998): The first Genelec product with a digital input and built-in D/A converter.
• Genelec's Custom Installation Systems (1999): Genelec's Custom Installation Systems, the division of the company that concentrates its efforts on the Custom Installation and Home Theater market, was established. Their mission was to develop an Active Custom Installation product line with the ability to handle high SPLs, wide dynamic range and reliability necessary to meet the needs of today's system integrator or home theater audiophile. This R&D effort resulted in the launch of the HT line. Since its original introduction, the HT models within the Genelec Custom Installation product grouping have continued to evolve.
• 8000 MDE• Series Bi-Amplified Monitors (2005): The introduction of Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE) technology. The 8000 Series eventually replaced the 1029A, 1030A and 1031A Active Monitors and was the impetus behind the creation of the 6020A Bi-Amplified Active Loudspeaker system for the Custom Installation Systems division.
• 8200 Bi-Amplified Monitor/7200 Subwoofer (DSP Series Products, 2006): Built on the foundation of Genelec's 8000 MDE and 7000 LSE Series products, the Genelec 8200 Series Bi-amplified Active Monitors and 7200 Series Active Subwoofers are designed for end-users who want a network speaker system that can be set up, measured, analyzed and calibrated quickly. Employs the company's proprietary DSP (Digital Signal Processing), GLM• (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software) and AutoCal• (Automated Calibration software) technologies.
• AIW Series Active In-Wall/In-Ceiling Products (2006): Genelec's Custom Installation Systems introduced a level of convenience for system integrators and those looking for low-profile active speaker solutions: the AIW25 Active In-Wall Loudspeaker, the AIC25 Active In-Ceiling Loudspeaker and the AOW312 Active On-Wall Loudspeaker. Each model is designed to meet the needs of the custom installer and underscores Genelec Home Theater Sound Systems' commitment to the high-end home theater and custom installation market.
• 6010A Bi-Amplified Active Monitor/5040A Active Subwoofer (2008): Genelec introduces its smallest speaker system to date. This system has been designed for computer sound systems, workstations and other close proximity listening applications requiring a low-profile monitoring solution. The 6010A two-way Active Monitor and 5040A Active Subwoofer system incorporate Genelec's acoustic design innovations.
At this year's CEDIA Expo, Genelec is launching the 6010A Bi-Amplified Active Speaker and 5040A Active Subwoofer; the 6020A Two-Way Active Speaker and 5050A Active Subwoofer; the 5041A Active In-Wall Subwoofer; and the RAM4 and RAM5 Amplifiers.
In addition to its continued presence in the Custom Installation/Home Theater market sectors, Genelec has provided active monitoring solutions for live broadcast events here in the U.S., most notably 2005 Super Bowl coverage and XM Productions/Effanel Music's use of the 8200 DSP Active Monitors at the 2007 and 2008 GRAMMY® Awards.
Genelec's current range of Custom Installation products is a complete line of active loudspeakers, from floor to ceiling. Genelec's concept that "active" monitor loudspeakers are necessary to achieve true and accurate sound reproduction has gained widespread acceptance in the industry. When asked to comment on the company philosophy, Genelec President Ilpo Martikainen remarked, "From the beginning we could see it was better to build a speaker this way. It offered so many benefits over passive designs and that's why we've been so stubborn about it. It was hard for the first ten years, but in the mid-nineties, the market moved from passive to active so we felt vindicated by our perseverance. At Genelec, we simply design monitors that speak the truth of the recording."