In order to present something inspiring you first need to have inspiration yourself. It was the enthusiasm for sound and electronics of two young students, Mr Ilpo Martikainen and Mr Topi Partanen, some 40 years ago, which later made them become founders of Genelec. They did not know it at that time, but such foundation was needed before ideas and products could become visible.

The same can be seen in the work of many of our friends: the desire to reach their dream, the motivation to achieve something remarkable, the willingness to put their heart into their work.
Before it can come out, one needs to have that internal flame.

No wonder one of the values of Genelec is Enthusiasm. This is something we share with our customers.

Sound Reinforcement

At its best, sound reinforcement was half of the business of Genelec. The company installed many drama theaters in Finland (among others the National Theatre, City Theatres of Rovaniemi and Kuopio, etc.), the congress hall of the new Cardiologic Hospital in Moscow, the Moscow Circus and even two recording vans for YLE. The last contract job was Tampere Hall and the last reinforcement system supplied went to the Royal Opera in Madrid.

Genelec wanted to become known as a monitor manufacturer above all, and so the decision was taken in 1989 to depart from sound contracting. It became clear that the decision was the right one. But the years spent in contracting taught many valuable lessons – among other things knowing what the life of a contractor is. It is a profession of its own. What could have taught better how to listen to the needs of contractors – whether for commercial installations or for high class residential installations for home entertainment? The basis of the best-in-class loudspeaker systems is there for these expanding applications.

Respect is also an important value at Genelec. Respect includes our relation and attitude to customers, fellow employees, partners, competitors and environment.

Aluminium for Heavy Metal

Many people think a good loudspeaker enclosure must be made from wood-based material. That is not the case. The first Genelec die-cast aluminium model was the 1029A, introduced in 1996. The birth of this small miracle was triggered by our Italian and French distributors who saw the need for a smaller product. Die-cast aluminium offered, among stiffness and other benefits, large internal volume in relation to the external enclosure size.

As this technology proved its value, it was natural to continue on this route. Co-operation with Harri Koskinen, one of the most acknowledged industrial designers of our time, lead first to the birth of the 6040A (2002) and then to the launch of the 8000 Series (2004). With the curved and stiff Minimum Diffraction Enclosure™, advanced DCW™, optimised die-cast aluminium structure, high performance reflex port design, new low distortion drivers with sophisticated filtering technique, versatile mounting features and Iso-Pod™ (Isolation Positioner/Decoupler), these products set a new standard in two-way monitors.

At first – and form a distance – some people were mistaken to believe these smoothly curved speakers were made of plastic, as was customary for rounded shapes. But a closer look revealed the true construction. The extremely durable semi-matt finish and acoustically optimised metal grilles allow for intensive handling without damaging the monitor. It is light metal and capable of handling demanding monitoring with minimum distortion!

In the Hall of Fame

End of 1990 Italian Radio RAI were looking for new monitors and a sked if Genelec could design a larger two-way monitor than the existing 1019A. The R&D work started immediately and the basic design decisions were taken after a couple of prototype rounds. The use of the DCW had started in 1984 in the three-way active 1022A and later in 1989 in the large format 1035A. In the 1031A the tweeter DCW was made square and reflex ports were located on its sides to follow the design pattern adopted in larger three-way 1035A, 1034A and 1033A. A new amplifier design featured a separate discrete power amplifier driver module and clever thermal design: power transistors were located on the vertical centre of the rear panel. The amplifier was also modular and the crossover filter was efficiently a plug-in board. Additionally, to prevent any rattles, the amplifier was mounted on rubber shock mounts to isolate it from any vibration caused by the woofer.

In 1991, the high performance 1031A was released and offered a flat response up to 23 kHz, two 120 watts power amplifiers and the ability to reach 120 dB maximum peak output per pair at 1 m with music material. Featuring high, neutral output, wide bandwidth and controlled directivity in a compact, reliable package with extremely tight response tolerances and room response tailoring options, a classic was born. All of these made the 1031A a popular choice with top engineers and producers, studios and broadcasters worldwide. It stayed in production for 15 years, eventually being replaced by the 8050A, part of the 8000 Series monitors.

In 2014, the Genelec 1031A two-way active monitor was inducted in the TECnology Hall of Fame which honours and recognises audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology.