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Sometimes but not always, the impressions left by a piece of gear crystallize into a few words that seem to capture what the component is all about. With the recent Accustic Arts Preamp I assignment, richness would not get out of my mind. The G7.1f was not cornered as easily yet some characteristics emerged consistently over the weeks regardless of associated gear or types of music. So let me tell you a tale about homogeneity, clarity, honesty and value; the tale of a speaker I learnt to enjoy over the weeks - which was not necessarily a foregone conclusion.

One of the things I typically reproach multi-way speakers about is not speaking with a singular voice from top to bottom. Even with the very best of them, I can typically hear discontinuity at least at the crossover points and for the worst, even between transducers. I don't really know whether that's due to phase, timing, lack of tonal coherence, frequency emphasis or any specific combination thereof. So far no more than a handful of speakers have managed to completely escape this criticism. For the most part they were more or less full range electrostatic panels or widebanders, both breeds often coming with their own issues. My 2-way FJ OMs do not escape this rule. Their overlap of tweeter and mid/woofer is hard to miss and probably accentuated by the tweeter being front firing while the midrange is an upfiring omni.

The Genesis G7.1f is that very rare animal with five transducers per side which sounds absolutely homogenous. It has one voice from top to bottom without any hint of discontinuity I could detect (and I did try). It is very panel-like in many ways. I was particularly impressed by how the ribbon tweeter integrates with the mid/woofers. I don't know at what frequency this occurs. This level of seamless continuity should be impossible considering how impressively revealing, fast and detailed that tweeter is. Yet it hands over to the mids without creating any emphasis or sacrificing resolution and speed.

So let's take a minute to talk about these tweeters. Genesis claims they are the best in the world. I initially discarded that as the usual marketing boast but they just might be. If not the best, they are definitely one of the top contenders. [Lansche's Corona tweeter and Raal's ribbon would be others I think - Ed.] This quality is made up of utmost transparency and absolute lack of aggression, two qualities rarely fully compatible. But the Genesis tweeters are ultra resolving. The usual reviewer trick of saying that you hear things you never heard before fully applies especially on SACDs. There is a life beyond Redbook and it brings a lot of wonderful things to the music.

As I pointed out in the introduction, tweeter output is adjustable over a -/+ 1dB range which would seem fairly useless at first. In reality the impact of this is easy to notice. Turn the tweeters down too far and the whole range loses texture and resolution (the treble itself is actually the least affected range). Turn it up too far and the treble starts to sizzle and ring (audible especially on cymbals). The perfect blend in my room was reached around minus one sixth of a dB and I didn't feel the need for any subsequent changes.

One small downside of this kind of resolution is that the G7.1fs are fantastic noise sniffers. If you have noisy tube electronics, they will let you know. Not a bad thing actually. You'll discover as I did that such noise is not just a steady hiss but composed of various frequencies at various levels. If a tweeter resolves that, imagine what it does with tiny musical signals but also with power-line grunge! With these speakers, high-quality power filters on your electronics are no luxury. They will be extremely rewarding. Just insure they are not of the overdamping kind because you'll hear that too. The Isotek Titan and Nova and their superb transient capabilities proved perfect at filtering unwanted grunge and breaking a ground loop without impeding dynamics one iota. If you consider the G7.1f, put some of your savings versus competing speakers towards at least a Nova. You'll be surprised by the benefits in stage depth and noise reduction.

The most important thing to reiterate is that the tweeters pull their resolving trick without a hint of aggression. That will be hard to believe for most of us who learnt to fear Beryllium domes, metallic tweeters in general and poorly executed diamond tweeters. Yet the G7.1f offers resolution without harshness, pain or excess. It resolves the finest details but does not push them forward in any way. To take advantage you will need the quietest electronics. What I heard using the Esoteric C03, Esoteric X03 and Genesis GR360 amplifier was completely new territory. Since my hearing is not exceptional (not bad but I am no superman), I expect most people will enjoy what this extreme treble resolution brings to the overall musical picture – a sense of life and air not accessible to most traditional dome tweeters.

Back to homogeneity, the revelation becomes the fact that there does not seem to be any loss of resolution once we move downward in frequency and transition to the pure Titanium mids. They offer the same speed, precision and detail retrieval as the tweeters. If you want to know what's really on your discs, all of it, the G7.1f is your daddy!

Moving down to those metallic, servo-controlled woofers, the same speed and resolution dominate once more. Again I could not spot the transition from front to the side-firing metal transducers. They are so smoothly integrated that the speakers' voice remains unchanged. This gets us to first characteristic of the G7.1f that won't necessarily be of universal appeal. The bass is deep (in my room not quite the 22Hz announced but 28 to 30Hz without any problem to be more than enough for my listening style), fast, detailed and lean. It actually sounds very natural but compared to what a large paper woofer can do, you will definitely miss weight and punch in the lower register. This is a trade-off you'll have to judge for yourself - distortion free, finely articulated bass or weight and heft. To get both you'll have to graduate to one of the more expensive speakers at the top of the Genesis range. You can easily add bass amplitude thanks to the on-board amplifier but I would not recommend pushing it too far. At least in my room it very quickly muddied up the midrange.

I would have preferred a touch more weight in the upper bass especially as drums lacked a little impact and pure physicality. On the other hand, it would probably have distracted from the speaker's perfect homogeneity. If you really are a bass hound, you may want to turn down the G7.1f bass and add one or two of their highly praised subwoofers. In my room that would have been colossal overkill but in larger listening environments, it could turn out to be the better choice. Still, on large symphonic pieces I found myself wanting for more drama from drums, celli and double basses. On the Beethoven Overtures disc, each instrument was in its rightful place and clearly identified yet the overall orchestral power and impact could not really be felt. It was a very nice and clean but not a stirring presentation. Compared to what the Nomad Audio RPDs used to deliver or more recently my new Zu Essence, some jump factor
was amiss. A similar frustration arose during the final bars of Saint-Saens' 3rd Symphony with organ. That organ was deep and powerful and the trumpets and horns blazing but the kettle drums just would not explode like they normally do. I could hear them but they had no oomph, none of that British wallop I expected.

All in all, if only one thing remains in your memory about the G7.1f, it would have to be this fast, detailed, tight and transparent character unbroken from the treble through to the reasonably deep bass. What it does for the music we'll cover under clarity and honesty but before closing out these more generalized comments, I need to emphasize how room-friendly these speakers are (one of the side benefits of lacking a little in the kick department).

I had major reservations when it came to bringing this arsenal of driver weaponry into my small room. Gary Koh did not and he was right. I followed the detailed set-up instructions coming with the speakers and gave them about 25 inches from the front wall to breathe and set them 6 feet apart firing almost straight forward. That worked like a charm. The tweeter adjustments were a breeze (probably helped by Franck Tchang's acoustic resonators), and although I needed to fiddle just a bit with bass gain, it was mostly a question of optimizing midrange clarity vs. bass presence rather than any difficulty of obtaining clean and deep bass.