A 650$ Studio Monitor disassembly

Hello all,

Today I got a non working Genelec 8020B Studio Monitor which cost about 550-650 $ on various sites ( since i am from India, i decided to check its price in India too, wooow it cost a Whooping 57k INR!!). Watching its specs and quality, i doubted that, there must be a gainclone chip inside it. So curious about it, I decided to fix it. and took it apart. here is what i found.

Construction

The speaker enclosure is made of aluminium, with matte anodized grey finish, and have a floor stand ( mine didn't had that, may be missing ) and it is pretty heavy and sturdy for such a size. The speaker grills are made of metal black mesh, the woofer is a 4 inch one and .75 inch tweeters which are bi-amped rated at 20+20 watts, ( i am not going into frequency responses and such things , if you are interested read it here 8020B Studio Monitor | Genelec.com )

The two half's are joined together with long hex screws and a vibration proof rubber beeding surrounding its edges. inside the enclose , i suddenly noticed the resonance pipe, made of plastic, ( something closely resembles Boss wave guide tech.) And every speakers are securely tighten with heavy metal clamps, along with vibration resistant rubber/tape assembly. Even the small main pcb had 5 screws in it. And then there was damping sponges . In total , it is a pretty neat and quality build.

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/mtlvexp5p/20160612_153816.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/rn1161w9p/20160612_153735.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/i3vxqby59/20160612_142123.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/s2gwct7kt/20160612_142132.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

Circuit

As i expected, the circuit is based on a chip amp LM1876T ( oh, common, you guys wont need the details of it, since its one of your everyday meal ;) )
And since the speaker itself is designed to take balanced mic inputs with control for bass and treble tilts and roll-off, there are some opamp chips based on TL072 and N5572 ( again, your daily stuffs), then there is 2*3300uf filter capacitors (ya, u read it right, there is no dinosorous filter capacitors) , some solid state capacitors, and all usual stuffs... all arranged neatly on double sided glass epoxy pcb.

The power is provided by a cute torroidal transformer, which again is neatly placed on the bottom corner of the box.

The power ic , which is configured as a bi-amp is not screwed to any dedicated heat sinks, but tightly secured to the aluminum body with spring clamps and isolation pad :)cool: ). since the screws for that clamp was under the pcb, it was a pin to re-fit the whole thing back again after i fixed it.

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/yu7bfnwkd/20160612_142613.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/8gnu2vfrx/20160612_142633.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

[IMGDEAD]http://s20.postimg.org/nkelkprj1/20160612_142729.jpg[/IMGDEAD]


Perfomance

well.. there is nothing much to say about that, since its a studio monitor, you can expect its quality, well.. no wonder, you cant even detect if it is powered on, even at full volume , but yes, the usual culprit is there, the " power off pop "( of course there was no relay for the speaker, and hence LM's will show its characters, but since the power capacitors are not big, even that pop can be only heared if u place your ears close to the speaker).

My thoughts.

Well, if studio monitors can be made out of our usual chips ( lol, i used 7 of its sibling in my custom home theater (LM1875) ), and with out fancy components, and beefy capacitors and audiophile grade bla bla bla... , yet able to retain something so beautiful and calm and quite, then some of our usual assumptions about filtering, circuit designs, audiophile quality mods etc should be changed. I know there is nothing worth 650 dollars inside it, it was our basic circuit, but the thing is, they have managed to set it neatly and balanced... with out any fancy components( that is the point i say.. with out any fancy components!!).


Thank you all, may be you guys get some ideas for your next project from this. :)
 

Arty

Member
2011-02-24 5:04 pm
thank you, nailed it.
no, for studio monitor performance you don't need anything special.
in fact i suspect mostly any DIYer can make a setup where the record quality is the bottleneck. allso...
when it comes to speakers, not hard to outpreform most of the overpriced ones out there,
if we are honest. i does not take that mutch to build a set of speakers that can exceed what you will ever need with cd audio quality or vinyl.
 
Not worth the money? If you count parts cost alone there isn't. But the company that fabricates it must design and develop its products, pay for the factory, staff, inventory, taxes, warranty service, allow for some markup for the dealer network and if possible still make some profit.

but brother, you just think from the side of a company, which makes thousands of them, and thousands of other models, do you think that wont be enough for all these costs?

and then think from the side of a consumer, what he gets? as far as i know i can custom make the entire circuit in less than 1000 INR, and then all together the entire thing will cost less than 5000 INR or so. At a max , even using Audiophile goodies, it may cost less than 10000 INR for custom built.
But, look at the price they ask for it 57k INR!!!
 

Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
I think you should look at it in terms of US$ price, the Indian pricing of most products tends to be based on the whims and fancies of those importing and selling it. I know of a case where a $1800 (~INR 127k) product sells for INR 240k. It defies logic. There are some exceptions though, some brands are available lower than US price but these are rare.

For most manufacturers across most categories the average markup over parts cost is about 100% except for very low value products, where it tends to be much higher. Think Aerated Beverages, it's about 10,000%, or biscuits where it's about 8,000% because the manufacturing process is more expensive than the parts.

So when it goes to market the product cost is x, and then you have to add all the other costs the manufacturer needs to load on to be able to get it to the market. Then the chain loads its cost to be able to get it to the consumer, right until it reaches them. The reason you feel indignant is not unusual, but it takes money to get things from point A to point B.

Without attempting to justify the cost of this specific unit, there are a few issues to consider.

One is consistent performance from unit to unit. Which means if you buy a 8020B today, and one ten years later, both will have very closely matched responses and be usable as a pair. You can 'never' do that in DIY projects, or even on a small manufacturing scale.

Two is the assurance of proper acoustic performance (note, not only circuit-related). Again, this is almost impossible to do for an average Joe, who does not have access to an anechoic environment and a proper measurement setup. Maybe some high-end DIY'ers can, but to keep it consistent from unit to unit using retail drivers? Not a chance!

Three is the most important issue, that at the heart of capitalism itself: It's not about what it costs, it's about what it's worth. An engineer will gladly pay the premium for any equipment that helps him get a better product. The monitor is a tool, and some people can have the best tools and turn out crap, and others can make amazing sound with a piece of string and two tins. Well not really, but you understand. In any case the final product is reputation. Some people will want to invest in it, and some will not need to, and yet others will and still won't be able to build it.

If you feel that you can do just as well, by all means do so. I personally did and I have very good results but that doesn't mean I think Genelecs are not worth it. They are - and not for the circuit or the parts but for the whole package. I just can't afford them, not even to pull apart like that.

Overall though, if the monitors cost $600 I think INR 57k is a logical price. It is high, but with the rupee where it is for whatever reason, if you add 30% customs duty it is actually not too bad a price. The guy selling it has to eat, too.

And if I didn't mention it before, thanks for the teardown. It is tremendously useful.
 
Last edited:

Arty

Member
2011-02-24 5:04 pm
on the toherhand, a product development is a fixed sum.
manufacturers can purchase parts in bulk, giving them a far better price.
development of the product is divided by the number of sales,
so actually this should be pretty cheap.

in reality its just a pair of .. lets be honest, about medicore active speakers with nothing special, selling for a special price. for no good reason at all.
 

Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
The issue is not about these speakers. It's about what things cost versus what you (not you, specifically) think they're worth.

You can open up almost any product today and find parts worth much less the selling price plus what one thinks is a reasonable profit margin. That depends totally on your chosen filed of interest or profession. You could apply this to cars or deep freezers, for example, and come up with a lot of reasons why things cost a lot more than what you think they should.

But the reason things cost what they do is because of what the market is willing to pay for them. For the manufacturer, that's as good a reason as any.
 
on the toherhand, a product development is a fixed sum.
manufacturers can purchase parts in bulk, giving them a far better price.
development of the product is divided by the number of sales,
so actually this should be pretty cheap.

in reality its just a pair of .. lets be honest, about medicore active speakers with nothing special, selling for a special price. for no good reason at all.

Have you listened to them ? If not your comment is worthless.
 
thank you, nailed it.
no, for studio monitor performance you don't need anything special.
in fact i suspect mostly any DIYer can make a setup where the record quality is the bottleneck. allso...
when it comes to speakers, not hard to outpreform most of the overpriced ones out there,
if we are honest. i does not take that mutch to build a set of speakers that can exceed what you will ever need with cd audio quality or vinyl.

Have you ever recorded anything? Doesn't sound like it. Most of the time your listening to a live feed, a mic or DI not the playback of a recorder. And nobody records at 44.1/16 anymore.
 
In good low power active speakers yor paying for the speaker not the amp. As many here know a properly designed amp will not color the sound. So what type of drivers are they using and an aluminum box is not cheap, but they use one because it makes a difference. And a good part of the price is R&D, not like Bose where all the R&D money goes to marketing.
 
In the UK they cost £280ea.

That includes 20%VAT, leaving £224 of which 25% are dealer mark up so I suspect the speaker leaves the factory for about £170 or 16 000 rupees.

I don't think that this is unreasonable particularly considering that (depending on numbers made) the aluminium die-cast cab probably is the most expensive component and then there are high, northern-european labour costs.
(In Finland the average work hour costs an employer €31 or 2 400 rupee according to official statistics).
 
And there customer base is small (studios) compared to Bose etc. you want to bitch about speakers pick on Bose. Talk about mark up. And most of it goes to marketing. Ask people on the street if they have heard of Genelec. Than ask yourself why. They spend there money on research not marketing. And I guess for some here that's what counts.