Genelec Brings RAW Power To Sweden’s B26

JML-System recently specified Genelec’s new RAW finish 4000 Series installation loudspeakers as the solution for Sweden’s first co-working facility, B26.

B26 in Västerås offers 5000m2 of space over seven floors for companies to work, do business, meet and create together. 

“We needed to think about design and function as well as cutting edge technology,” explains JML-System’s Johnny Franzén. “As B26 is a very new concept, the client wanted assurances that we would not only provide the best of what is available today in a style suited to the industrial feel of the building, but that it would also stand the test of time. We worked on the project for a long time before agreeing on the best way forward.

“When it became clear that Genelec’s RAW finish was available, all the pieces fell into place,” he admits. “Visually, the RAW models with their ‘unfinished’ natural aluminium casings are a perfect fit for the old factory environment with its exposed bricks and ductwork. The fact that they are environmentally friendly was also a big plus point for B26, as part of their philosophy is to actively reduce their environmental impact.” 

Genelec’s RAW models require no painting and less finishing material, providing an environmentally friendly solution. The speaker enclosures are already made from recycled aluminium, and the RAW option takes full advantage of the natural beauty of the material to give a uniquely nuanced finish for each loudspeaker. 

All RAW models feature Genelec’s Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE) design, whose curved form delivers incredibly flat frequency response, precise imaging and unparalleled acoustical performance. Aside from the aesthetics, the technical requirement was for a high quality audio system that would work at low levels during the day but could be turned up after hours to create a clublike, party atmosphere with no loss of quality. 

JML-System specified a multi-zone, distributed system based on 42 4040 installation loudspeakers – the largest in the 4000 Series – and 20 of the compact 4020 loudspeakers for the smaller areas. There is also a pair of 8050B nearfield studio loudspeakers that deliver cinema-quality audio for the drop-down projector screen in the main open plan meeting and social space, which incorporates a cleverly designed raked seating area. 

“We opted for the 4040s in the larger areas as they are sufficiently powerful and develop enough low end that we didn’t need to supplement them with subwoofers,” says Franzén. “This saved on cost, space and also meant that we didn’t have to worry about uneven levels or low-end hot spots. The 4040s have enough headroom to be used at pretty high levels to generate a real ‘club’ atmosphere after work, and still sound amazing. The smaller 4020s were perfect for the smaller spaces.” 

In addition to audio quality, another major consideration for JML-System was the fact that the Genelec 4000 Series loudspeakers are active. “This was important for us as it makes installation a lot simpler,” notes Franzén. “We don’t have to worry about extra cabling or finding room for amplifiers; everything you need is already in the box, and Genelec has a wide range of mounting accessories that are perfectly suited to most situations.” 

In keeping with the modern industrial feel of the B26 premises, all of the loudspeaker cables are housed in shiny metal pipework which marries perfectly with the RAW recycled aluminium finish of the loudspeakers. 

Franzén is delighted with the results. “From an audio perspective, we know we can count on Genelec to deliver the highest quality, and it’s the case for B26. In partnership with our subcontractor One4All AB, we’ve delivered a flexible, easy-to-use system that sounds great both at low and high levels with no hot spots or dead zones. However, I think the real plus for this installation was the RAW finish – it looks absolutely amazing, and it’s an even more environmentally friendly product from a Scandinavian company that already ranks very high on the sustainability scale. This was definitely what tipped the balance for B26, who are absolutely thrilled with the results at every level.” 

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