Celebrating 20 Years of the Genelec 8000 Series: A Legacy of Innovation and Courage

null Celebrating 20 Years of the Genelec 8000 Series: A Legacy of Innovation and Courage

Celebrating 20 Years of the Genelec 8000 Series: A Legacy of Innovation and Courage

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Genelec 8000 series, it’s a time to reflect on the remarkable journey that has led to this milestone. The series represents not only a significant part of Genelec’s history – but also a transformative moment for the wider audio industry. In this blog post, we explore the visionary insights and bold decisions that laid the foundations for the 8000 series, and the enduring impact it has had.

The inception of the 8000 series was driven by a need to make a significant leap forward in the design and functionality of studio monitors. We reached a point in the late '80s and '90s where we felt it was time to make a major new choice in our development path. Genelec had already established itself as an innovator in the industry with our active monitoring technology, but we needed to evolve further.

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A Visionary's Influence

Genelec co-founder Ilpo Martikainen had many unconventional ideas for the time. He sketched various solutions, focusing on enclosure designs, inspired by his deep understanding of acoustics. His vision – along with the involvement of talented industrial designer Harri Koskinen – led to the development of the rounded contours that first appeared in the 1022 model.

This forward-thinking approach, along with our increasing focus on sustainability, led to the groundbreaking idea of using aluminium for the enclosures. While it seemed challenging and costly initially, the potential for creating shapes driven purely by acoustic needs was compelling, and despite the technical difficulties and higher costs, we decided to pursue this path.

Innovation Through Persistence

The journey to the 8000 series was marked by relentless experimentation and perseverance. It was a challenging process with numerous trials and errors. Had we known how much work it would involve, we might never have started. We didn’t realise how challenging it would be, involving a lot of hard work and overcoming numerous obstacles, big and small. But maybe we were lucky, as we managed to succeed with a small team. Through persistence and a bit of luck, we developed a solution that proved to be excellent, not only acoustically but also environmentally, as the aluminium we use is recyclable.

At the time, we were developing three models simultaneously: the 8030, 8040, and 8050. Fortunately, they were all designed similarly, just different sizes, which saved us from having to invent everything from scratch for each model. When we later developed the 8020 and 8010, their design process was significantly faster due to the experience we had gained.

Long-term dedication to scientific research and innovation was critical to the development of the new models. Contrary to popular belief, creativity and innovation often stem from sustained effort and scientific inquiry, and our history of active technology and the continuous refinement of design concepts laid the groundwork for the 8000 series.

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Overcoming Industry Scepticism

Introducing the 8000 series to the market was not without its challenges. Initially, there was scepticism about the new design, form and materials. It took time to convince both customers and retailers of its merits. However, once the series gained acceptance, it not only succeeded but also influenced broader industry trends towards more acoustically optimised designs.

In the early stages, the design and aluminium enclosure was a significant disruptor in the market, creating curiosity among users. It took years for the 8000 series to be fully accepted, but once it was, it changed the direction of the audio monitoring industry.

A Legacy of Excellence

The 8000 series is built upon a rich history of innovation at Genelec. We had a strong foundation with the S30 and especially the 1031, which brought us international recognition. The 1031 changed how audio monitoring was approached and significantly expanded our customer base, and this legacy of excellence set the stage for the radical leap represented by the 8000 series.

The 8000 series stands as a testament to Genelec's commitment to pushing boundaries and taking risks. If we hadn’t ventured into this new territory, Genelec might not be here today. The series’ success laid the foundation for future innovations, including the acclaimed ‘The Ones’ series, and continues to inspire the company’s development path.

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A Tribute to Courage and Collaboration

It's been an honour to be part of this journey, seeing how courage and visionary thinking can lead to groundbreaking achievements. You have to be willing to take risks if you want to succeed in the long run. This persistence and the ability to innovate have been crucial, and we want to thank everyone who believed in and contributed to this vision.

As we celebrate 20 years of the 8000 series, we honour the legacy of innovation, courage, and collaboration that defines Genelec. This anniversary is not just a commemoration of a product line but a celebration of the spirit and culture of creativity that drives us to continually exceed expectations and set new standards in the audio monitoring industry.

About the Authors

Siamäk Naghian & Topi Partanen

Siamäk Naghian travelled from his native Iran to settle in Finland in the 1980s and continue his studies. After graduating, he went on to hold senior positions at telecommunications giant Nokia before joining Genelec in 2005 as R&D Director. Siamäk has been Genelec’s Managing Director since 2011, and lives in Lapinlahti with his family.

Topi Partanen’s love of music and passion for acoustics saw him co-found Genelec with his childhood friend Ilpo Martikainen. As the company’s first R&D Director, Topi has played a key role in the company’s development over the years, and he now sits on Genelec’s board of directors.

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