null Beyond High Fidelity - Genelec visits Markku Lohvansuu

Beyond High Fidelity - Genelec visits Markku Lohvansuu

We recently caught up with audiophile and experienced Genelec user, Markku Lohvansuu from Oulu, Finland, to check out his home listening setup and find out more about his passion for sound.

What was your first home audio system?

My first HiFi setup combined a Yamaha R-500 AM/FM receiver, Dual CS 731Q turntable (inc. Ortofon cartridge), NAD 6150C stereo cassette deck, BBX 445-BR three-way speakers and a pair of Audio Technica ATH-7 electrostatic headphones. That was in the early 80s.

What was the last piece of hi-fi gear you bought?

My most recent purchase was a Bryston Audio BDA-3 digital to analogue converter. It's a high-quality piece of kit that can take many different audio inputs, including Toslink optical, HDMI, USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF RCA and S/PDIF BNC, and output the signal via two analogue balanced-XLR or RCA outs.

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Can you tell us more about the home listening setup you have today?

These days, I have two audio systems in my home. In my living room, the setup is for audio only, and it features a Primare SP32 AV pre-amp, Primare BD32 Blu-ray player, Bryston Audio BDA-3 D/A converter, Thorens TD320 belt-drive turntable (inc. Shure ML 120HE cartridge), Aracam rPhono phono preamp and a pair of Grado Labs GS-1000 headphones with a matching Grado headphone amp. The cables are a mixture of Supra, Taralabs and Nordost, some of which were bought second hand, and the power supply is also Supra.

In my home theatre, I've combined a Marantz AV8805 AV pre-amp, Pioneer UDP-LX800 Blu-ray player and Panasonic TX-65GZ2000E OLED TV. In both cases, the signal is fed into a Genelec loudspeaker system!

What's been important to you when creating your setups?

In my opinion, room treatment, loudspeaker choice and calibration are the most important factors to consider when you're setting up for HiFi listening. Personally, I don't pay much attention to the kind of cables and power supply that are used.

I feel that sound quality - especially with loudspeakers - is the most important criteria when I'm choosing gear.

From all the formats we've seen over the years, what's your favourite way to experience audio?

For me, multi-channel audio is the most enjoyable way to experience music, and I'll listen this way whenever I can. I feel like it's impossible to go back entirely to stereo after you've heard a decent multi-channel system! Of course, I'm also very impressed by modern immersive audio, so I'm very much looking forward to it becoming more widely used in movies, for example.

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How did you get started with Genelec, and which models do you own?

To be honest, I can't recall the exact moment when I first heard Genelec loudspeakers. It was probably in the early 90s at the old 'HiFi Studio 17' (now 'HiFiStudio') showroom in Helsinki.

These days, my living room has a set of three 8361s, two S360s and two 7380 subwoofers, and my separate home theatre has three 8250s, two 8240s and one 7270 subwoofer - all of which are DSP-based and feature Genelec's Smart Active Monitoring Technology.

For the investment I made, I feel like these models give me the absolute best benefits possible - as close as can be to absolute audio perfection, considering my room acoustics. 

If you had to pick one album or movie to enjoy on your system, what would it be?

I'd like to pick an album and a movie! The album would be 'Cançons de la Catalunya mil·lenària' by Montserrat Figueras, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Jordi Savall, and the movie would be my Blu-ray copy of 'Ran' by Akira Kurosawa.

And finally, can you tell how it feels to listen to exceptional audio on a high-quality system?

That feeling is perhaps the best I have found in life, at least among the things that are available from day to day.

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