Field Report: Genelec 6010A & 5040A

April 1, 2009

One of the most bizarre-looking machines ever invented is the monster truck. Failing to notice the tires on monster trucks is impossible, as they weigh nearly 1,000 pounds each. While not suitable for daily driving, monster truck tires are perfect for their task: crushing cars.

Many smaller production studios today simply have a computer, a microphone and possibly a favorite rack-mounted processor or two. Plus, if editing software is loaded onto a laptop, one must ask, Does a pair of permanently mounted near-reference studio speakers look like monster truck tires by comparison? When it comes to choosing speakers, deciding on their size, SPL and frequency response is tough. To make the choice easier Genelec developed the 6010A and 5040A active speaker system and it performs like a car-crushing, all-weather radial.

Start at the bottom

The system is actually a union of the 6010A active loudspeaker and the 5040A active subwoofer. The sub is a 12" round metal canister-like LFE speaker (next page) that fits nicely under a desk or in a corner. It weighs just under 14 pounds and is the connection point for the system, which can facilitate two to five 6010A loudspeakers (stereo or 5.1 surround). Inputs and adjustments are located on the bottom of the speaker facing the floor (the sub sits on three legs for total height of 10").

Performance at a glance
Magnetically shielded design
Volume control unit for arm's-reach volume control
Compact size
Independent two-way amplifiers
RCA and 3.5mm connections
Iso-Pod desktop mounts for speaker isolation
35Hz to 18kHz response

For stereo operation (using two 6010As), two RCA jacks or a 3.5mm stereo jack are available. The 3.5mm input jack makes portable setups quick and easy, as the headphone output from a laptop or other editing device can feed the system. The connector and control section of the 5040A contains all audio inputs and outputs, the mains input, subwoofer level control, volume control unit jack, and roll off and phase dipswitch adjustments. The subwoofer level control adjusts the sub level to the main speakers. Roll off adjustments can be set in 2dB increments to achieve anechoic response. Phase control dipswitches allow for phase correction due to subwoofer placement in relation to the main loudspeakers, and can be adjusted in 90-degree increments.

The handiest feature of the system is the volume control unit. It looks like a miniature 5040A, except that it sits on the desk at arm's reach. The 5040A is equipped with six inputs to facilitate 5.1 surround operation. The integrated crossover network in the sub feeds five main channels, directing frequencies below 85Hz to the subwoofer and the rest of the range to the loudspeakers. It contains a 6.5" magnetically shield driver with a response range from 35 to 120Hz that can generate SPLs up to 98dB (measured at 1 meter). The driver cone faces downward toward the floor. The design of the 5040A makes its placement in the studio seemingly transparent. It reacts well to the acoustic environment, making LFE reproduction true and accurate. Of course with any speaker system, experimentation in subwoofer placement is inarguably mandatory.

Moving on up

With the low end taken care of by the 5040A, 120Hz and above is accurately handled by a pair (or more if in surround) of 6010A active loudspeakers. The sleek and compact design complements any desktop where pristine 74Hz to 18kHz response is needed. It is just over 7" high, about 4.5" square, weighing 3 pounds. It contains a 3" bass driver and 0.75" metal dome treble driver (each with their own independent 12W amplifiers) and can produce an SPL greater than 100dB.

5040A subwoofer with volume control

5040A subwoofer with volume control

As is the 5040A, the 6010A is made of die-cast aluminum and boasts the Minimum Diffraction Enclosure design, which reduces edge diffraction. It also boasts Directivity Control Waveguide, which helps correct frequency imbalances in poor acoustic environments. The 6010A is magnetically shielded, making it operable near CRT monitors.

While not necessary for normal operation, the 6010A is fed by the RCA outputs on the 5040A (cables supplied), but it can be fed by other means if the sub is not included in the system. Level control, bass tilt and desktop control, along with power mains and audio input are located on the back of the speaker. Level control adjusts the input sensitivity of the speaker for proper level matching. Bass tilt dipswitches allow for bass response adjustment in increments of 2dB. This feature is used when the 6010A is placed near a wall or other boundary that may skew the behavior of its lower frequencies. Desktop control attenuates frequencies near 200Hz by 4dB, which can be problematic when a horizontal reflective surface exists between the user and the speaker. The 6010A has three pairs of threaded holes on the back that are compatible with Omnimount, Vesa or Sanus brackets. However, for everyday desktop use, it sits on the Iso-Pod, which very effectively insulates the table from speaker vibrations. The adjustable Iso-Pod allows for correct alignment. The 6010A can also be mounted on a mic stand using the 3/8" UNC threaded hole.


The evolution of our industry and audio production is moving us toward more condensed gear. Genelec's 6010A and 5040A system is portable and compact with no sacrifice of quality and accuracy. When car-crushing reference monitors are needed and lack of space and portability are the reality, this all-terrain system is the right fix.

Wygal is the programmer, engineer and Web designer for WRVL in Lynchburg, VA.

Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.

These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.

It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.