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Genelec Active Monitoring Celebrates 30 Years Of Sustainable Development [NAB 2008]

United States
A historical look at the pioneer in Active Monitoring technology

NAB CONVENTION, LAS VEGAS, NV, April 14, 2008 — When the first Genelec Active Monitoring Loudspeaker, the S30, was introduced thirty 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 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 professional recording, project, post-production, broadcast and high-end custom install/home theater 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. Extremely high standards were set for the design criteria on this product, including the use of Genelec’s proprietary Directivity Control Waveguide Technology™ 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 legendary 103x range of Active DCW™-equipped monitors.

Since the company’s founding and the advent of active monitoring technology, Genelec has taken great pride in its entire ever-evolving product line. Several products in particular represent landmark technological advances, relevant to not only Genelec but also the wider industry as a whole.

A short list of notable Genelec products:

- S30 Monitoring Speaker (1978): The very first Genelec product, single-handedly revolutionizing the monitoring paradigm by 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 greatly 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 became a standard in reference monitors to audio professionals worldwide and to this day is still used by leading engineers, producers and facilities.

- 1029A Bi-Amplified Monitoring System (1996): Genelec’s first sub-compact monitor made from die-cast aluminum, offering unprecedented volume and reliability relative to unit size.

- 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 extremely 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.

- 7000 LSE™ Series Subwoofers (2002): A complete line of products that introduced Genelec’s Laminar Spiral Enclosure (LSE) technology.

- 8000 MDE™ Series Bi-Amplified Monitors (2005): The introduction of Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE) technology. The 8000 Series eventually replaced the venerable 1029A, 1030A and 1031A Active Monitors.

- 8200 Bi-Amplified Monitor/7200 Subwoofer (DSP Series Products, 2006): Built on the solid foundation of Genelec’s celebrated 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. Employing the company’s proprietary DSP (Digital Signal Processing), GLM™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software) and AutoCal™ (Automated Calibration software) technologies yields a robust and reliable speaker system that maximizes ease of integration into the end-user’s studio environment.

- AIW Series Active In-Wall/In-Ceiling Products (2006): Genelec’s Custom Installation Systems introduced a new level of convenience for system integrators and those looking for the most advanced/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 further underscores Genelec Home Theater Sound Systems’ ongoing commitment to the high-end home theater and custom installation market.

- 6010A Bi-Amplified Active Monitor/5040A Active Subwoofer (2008): Company now 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. However, size is no handicap to performance as the 6010A two-way Active Monitor and 5040A Active Subwoofer system incorporates Genelec’s acoustic design innovations to minimize all forms of distortion.

In addition to its continued dominance in the recording and home studio market, in recent years, Genelec has been honored with providing active monitoring solutions for high-profile 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. Additionally, year after year, Genelec consistently has been presented with numerous industry awards for its innovative designs and technical excellence.

Genelec’s current range of 44 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 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.”
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