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— A historical look at the pioneer in Active Monitoring technology —

— When the first Genelec Active Monitoring Loudspeaker, the S30, was introduced twenty-five years ago, listeners were stunned by its ability to reproduce sound with remarkable accuracy. Since its inception in 1978, Genelec has concentrated its efforts and resources into the design and manufacturing of active monitoring loudspeakers for true and accurate sound reproduction. Genelec is credited with promoting the concept of active monitors, a trend in technology that many manufacturers are just now incorporating into their products. To this day, Genelec continues to advance the art of active transducer technology with products specifically designed for the professional recording, project, postproduction, broadcast, and high-end home theater/custom install 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. Twenty-five years later, the three original principals are still actively running the company.

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 for the company. 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. Extremely high standards were set for the design criteria on this product, including the use of Genelec’s proprietary Directivity Control Waveguide Technology™ (DCW, circa 1983) and the development of an exclusive midrange driver capable of producing very high SPLs with extremely low distortion. The 1035A monitor was immediately accepted as the new reference standard for the recording industry, and Genelec monitor loudspeakers rapidly found their way into many of the most prestigious studios in England, Japan, and the United States. The introduction of the 1035A immediately helped to solidify Genelec’s world-renowned reputation for the design and manufacture of the finest audio monitors available.

The creation and development of the original 1035A monitor was the foundation for Genelec’s 1030 range of Active DCW™-equipped monitors. Today, the company manufactures a wide array of active monitors for the recording studio, broadcast, postproduction, project studio, and home theater/surround sound markets. Other products currently in the Genelec line include the 1034B, 1034BC, 1039A, 1035B, and 1036A Main Control Room Monitors; Bi-amplified Active Monitors include the 1029A, 1030A, 1031A and 1032A; Digital Bi-amplified Active Monitors include the 2029A and 2029B; and Tri-amplified Active models include the S30D, 1037B, 1038A, and 1038AC.

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 Home Theater market. The criteria was to develop an Active Home Theater Monitoring line with the ability to handle extremely high SPLs, and 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 Active Home Theater products — the HT line, which was introduced at the 1999 Hi-Fi Show in Chicago, IL. Since its original introduction, the HT line of Active Home Theater Systems has continued to evolve and currently includes: the HT205, HT206, HT208, and HT210 Two Way Bi-amplified Active Monitors; the HTS3, HTS4, and HTS6 Active Subwoofer Monitor Systems; and the AIW26 Active In-wall Monitor System. 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, minimizing its susceptibility to electronic interference and maximizing its sonic performance.

At the 2002 NAMM Winter Session in Anaheim, California, Genelec once again stunned the professional audio community by unveiling prototypes of what was to become an entirely new range of active subwoofers, employing its proprietary Laminar Spiral Enclosure™ (LSE) technology. Developed by Genelec’s award winning R&D team in Finland, this radically innovative design dramatically alters how high level, low frequency acoustic energy is delivered to any critical-listening acoustic space. The result of LSE™ technology is that acoustic non-linearities from port turbulence are virtually eliminated, creating a smooth sounding “laminar flow” of low frequency energy emanating from the rigid, tuned enclosures of the LSE Series. When combined with the latest 6.1 bass management technology, the LSE Series delivers high-velocity, low turbulence sound that enhances any professional multi-channel or stereo playback environment. Current models of the LSE Series of Active Subwoofers include the 7050A, 7060A, 7070A, and 7071A. The following year, the company expanded its subwoofer line with the launch of its largest subwoofer to date, the 7073A Active Subwoofer. Designed for large-scale installations in either stereo or surround, the 7073A features four 12" drivers, fast-acting, low distortion amplifiers, 124 dB SPL capability down to 19 Hz, plus a full 6.1-capable bass management system.

On October 5, 2002, at the 113th AES Convention in Los Angeles, Genelec introduced a comprehensive multi-channel monitoring system specifically designed for postproduction suites and recording studios with control rooms measuring less than 3000 cubic feet
(W x D x H). The 1029.LSE PowerPak™ system, consisting of five Genelec 1029A two way, bi-amplified active monitors, one Genelec 7060A LSE Series Active Subwoofer, and a Genelec Acousti/Tape™ frequency/wavelength measuring tape, simplified the process of creating a new multi-channel monitoring system or upgrading an existing stereo monitoring environment to 5.1 surround at an extremely affordable price point. The system immediately received rave editorial reviews from all the leading publications and journalists in the audio industry. Three months later at the 2003 NAMM Winter Session in Anaheim, Genelec hit a home run with the introduction of the new Triple Play™ compact full-range stereo monitoring system. Designed to meet the needs of the project, recording, multimedia, or postproduction studio environment, the Triple Play system consists of two Genelec 1029A two way, bi-amplified active monitors plus Genelec’s 7050A LSE Series Active Subwoofer. The system is able to deliver smooth, clean, wideband sound with performance comparable to much larger systems.

Over the years, Genelec has been presented with numerous industry awards for its innovative designs and technical excellence. These include: the 1990 Finland Enterpriser of the Year Award, 1993 Export Award of Fintra (Finnish Foreign Trade Association), 1993 TEC Award for the model 1038A, 1995 TEC Award for the model 1030A, 1995 Export Award of the President of Finland, 1995 Professional’s Choice Award for the model 1031AP, and 1996 TEC Award for the model 1039A. The 1029A/1091A Monitoring System has received the 1996 PAR Excellence Award, 1996 EQ Blue Ribbon Award, 1997 BE Radio NAB Pick Hit Award, and 1997 Musician Magazine Editor’s Pick Award. In addition, Genelec’s 1036A Main Control Room Monitoring System garnered a 1999 PAR Excellence Award and 2000 TEC Award, the LSE Active Subwoofer Series received a 2002 EQ Blue Ribbon Award, and most recently the 7073A Active Subwoofer was honored with the 2003 EQ Blue Ribbon Award.

Genelec’s current range of products is the most complete line of active monitoring loudspeakers available from any manufacturer, definitively positioning Genelec as the leader in its field. Genelec’s challenging and original concept that “active” monitor loudspeakers are necessary to achieve true and accurate sound reproduction has gained widespread acceptance in the industry, resulting in competitive manufacturers recognizing the importance of the active monitor. When asked to comment on the company philosophy, Genelec President Ilpo Martikainen replied, “At Genelec, we simply design monitors that speak the truth of the recording.”

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Genelec, the pioneer in Active Monitoring technology, was founded in 1978 and has concentrated its efforts and resources into the design and manufacturing of active monitoring loudspeakers with unparalleled sonic accuracy. Genelec has been credited with promoting the concept of active monitors, a trend in technology that some manufacturers are just now incorporating into their products. Genelec has a complete line of active main, mid-field, and near-field monitors for application in the postproduction, project studio, broadcast, TV, and CD mastering markets.

Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

—For more information on the complete range of Genelec Active Monitoring Systems, contact: Genelec Inc., 7 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760. Tel: (508) 652-0900; Fax: (508) 652-0909;
Web: http://www.genelecusa.com.