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Genelec 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System (HT208B/HT206B/HTS3B) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
Article Index
Genelec 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System (HT208B/HT206B/HTS3B)
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The Downside
The Genelec system’s speakers, performing together or individually, are very neutral in their presentation when set up correctly. They are faithful to the material they are playing, but can be somewhat bright if the material dictates it. I could see a tube preamp and a very resolute CD player as an optimal music playback system for someone who wanted the best of both worlds. Don’t misunderstand the reason for me bringing up the sonic flavor of the speakers in the downside, as I am just discussing this aspect of speakers that are used mostly for pro applications. You will hear what is upstream from your Genelec speakers, which is more of a compliment than a knock.

While I wasn’t driven to disgust by the finish of the speakers, I will say their sound is 10 times nicer than the available finish. Would these speakers be worth double to consumer clients in a sexy finish? There is no question in my mind. If you are seeking modern sculpture for your living room, look at KEF’s Muon speakers (assuming you have $140,000 to spend on speakers). If you want sound that can compete for $14,000 for a 5.1 system, look at a Genelec system with my full recommendation.

My “passive” loudspeaker bias has been reset by this impressive loudspeaker system. The dynamics sounded spectacular and I was surprised at the overall volume that such small speakers could produce in my listening room. Detail and imaging were exemplary, and tonal balance and midrange were absolutely enjoyable. The Genelec system remained true to whatever I put through it and added real excitement to movie soundtracks. Music was accurate and engaging on every source, from my iPod to DVD-Audio. Soundstaging and spatial cues were very good, and leading edge transients were a hallmark of quality.

The HTS3B subwoofer is the best sub I have had in my system. Period. Taut, quick and supple, the HTS3B matched stride for stride with the HT208s and HT206s, always blending perfectly and complimenting every aspect of audio playback. It never sounded boomy or plodding in its presentation, and made it through admirably on my sub torture track.

As far as value is concerned, I don’t think that your money could be spent more wisely, considering that you could be free of the huge external amplifier and expensive speaker cables. Creatively, you could even make an argument, in the spirit of the best possible sound for your money, that you could hock your audiophile speaker cables and beefcake power amp to pay the modest asking price for a Genelec system. I can guarantee that you will be getting one hell of a sound system without blowing the budget. Take a listen at a dealer, and I am sure you will agree.

The only thing you have to do is to change your mindset. I know I have. All in all, the experience was rewarding and educational. Highly recommended.

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