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Genesis Advanced Technologies Event at Distinctive Stereo

09-17-2019 | By Marshall Nack | Issue 105

Gary L. Koh, Chief Designer and CEO of Genesis Advanced Technologies, was the principal speaker at an event held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, at Distinctive Stereo LLC, a specialty audio store in northern New Jersey. Also, on hand were Mat Weisfeld of VPI and Merrill Wettasinghe of Merrill Audio Technologies.

Gary began his presentation by retelling the history of the Genesis Speaker brand, which can be traced way back to 1993, with the fabled Infinity IRS towers. He spoke at length about the room/speaker interface—how speakers interact with rooms—then segued into his current take on the subject. (I might note, it is a fairly radical departure from audio orthodoxy.) He mentioned he has started to offer his own line of audio electronics and wires.

The System

The demonstration system was comprised of:

  • Genesis Maestro loudspeakers. MSRP $30,000
  • Genesis phono stage. MSRP $12,000
  • VPI HW-40 turntable, with a van den Hull cartridge.
  • Merrill Audio Christine Linestage. MSRP $12,000
  • Merrill Audio Element 116 monoblock amplifiers. MSRP $22,000

Lynn and I hitched a ride with Merrill and Myles Astor. We arrived early and this was fortunate, as Gary was in the final stages of setting up the system and was delighted to treat us to a private listening session. We had an hour before the room was packed with about 20 invited guests.

The unspoken focus of the session was vinyl, spun on the VPI HW-40 direct drive turntable, which met with no objections from this crowd. I hadn't seen the HW-40 before (or the Avenger Reference model next to it). When told it has a $15,000 MSRP, including the tonearm, I confess to some degree of reverse sticker shock. The impressive Avenger Reference looked like a million but was only $20,000. Nice things are coming out of VPI House these days.

The Sound

The Maestro speaker is a "dipole radiation" design: it produces sound from both the front and rear, one out of phase with the other. Perhaps this accounts for a soundstage that didn't appear to come from any specific place—it was certainly not localized in the drivers. More ambient and atmospheric, you sensed you were hearing the room rather than the speakers.

Most speakers are two or three-way; the Maestro is a seven-way with a lot of drivers. Still, I was unable to detect any discontinuity at the crossover points. The system was notable for very smooth, saturated tone; extremely wide dynamic range; and an ease that made it seem effortless.

Among the many user-friendly features of the speaker, one stood out in particular: each driver its own level adjustment (except for the one in the midrange, which Gary calls the mid-bass driver). This allows you to easily tailor the frequency response exactly as you like it.

Distinctive Stereo is happy to work with Gary representing Genesis on the east coast of the U.S. market. You can catch them at the Capitol Audio Fest coming up November 1-3.

Genesis Advanced Technologies


Distinctive Stereo


[email protected]