The Finnish studio monitor gurus from Genelec appeared at MusikMesse this year with a number of new speakers in hand, all designed to flesh out and expand the options to be found within the company's current generation SAM speaker range. In amongst those five new additions was the Genelec 8430A IP SAM studio monitor, which possibly gives us a look into a direction that we can expect Genelec to take its speakers over the coming years.
This model integrates Ravenna's AES67 compatible audio-over-IP streaming technology, standard within the Genelec range for the first time, making it the first commercially available monitor that handles AES67 on the market. Whilst a number of well-established proprietary network standards are already with us, AES67 is purposely more restricted in scope than solutions such as the popular Dante and AVB standards, but one that is capable of exchanging audio between them and any other AES67 compatible service or device attached to the network. Whilst using Dante or AVB, you may be able to send control data or signaling commands over the network to other machines, the AES67 standard purposely ignores the use of this normally cross network incompatible data. In fact, AES67 restricts itself to transferring the audio and very little else over the network, in a bid to deliver the highest level of interoperability that it can, in order to get your signal as quickly and efficiently as possible between points A and B.
A key feature behind this and, unlike AVB, which requires specific AVB features to be implemented at the hardware level, AES67 can be handled by regular switches found on any pre-existing network, helping to simplify the deployment and keep the costs of implementation down. This simplicity has helped to ensure a quick development cycle and the openness of the standard should hopefully encourage wider spread adoption in the future.
In this instance, Genelec has implemented it as an option for carrying your audio to your speaker, so whilst the speaker still has a standard XLR jack input, it is now accompanied by an ethernet connection, as well allowing you to patch it directly off your network and no doubt simplify your cable runs.
Another key strength of AES67 is its ability to run alongside other control data and, in this instance, with the speaker being part of the SAM series of monitors, you have the option of running the Genelec Loudspeaker Manager control network and software. This allows you to make adjustments to the regular monitor settings, as well as giving you full control of the Genelec AutoCal feature that allows you to automatically align every monitor on the network for level, timing and equalisation of room response anomalies. With the ability to connect and control up to 30 monitors at time, the need for this level of fine tuning will come into its own during large scale deployments.
Genelec's core business back in its early years was largely grown by supporting the broadcast audio market and, even today, it still proves to be a popular choice for those applications. Genelec's range reflects this with a number of multi-speaker configurations that are rarely found in other manufacture product lines, but can be essential for surround sound and post production setups. With the control, configurability and scalability options on offer here, there's obviously plenty to appeal to that market, although the flexibility on offer should certainly see Genelec as being a prime choice in many other scenarios, too.
- Maximum sound pressure: 104 dB
- Frequency range 45 Hz – 23 kHz (-6 dB)
- Accuracy of the passband ± 1.5 dB (58 Hz – 20 kHz)
- Crossover frequency 3.0 kHz
- Drivers: Woofer 130 mm (5 in) + Tweeter 19 mm (3/4 in) metal dome + DCW™
- Amplified power: Woofer 50 W + Tweeter 50 W
- Dimensions: H 11.88 x W 7.50 x D 7.06 inches [H 299 x W 189 x D 178 mm]
- Weight: 5.5 kg / 12.1 lb
- Connections: 1 x XLR balanced analog input
- 1 x XLR-housed RJ45 Ethernet connection for AES67 audio-over-IP input
- 2 x RJ45 GLM control network connectors