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Dont buy Adam A7 - good trble, high mid lower end missing.

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by mandrum, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. mandrum

    mandrum Active Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Ok, I have just bought into all the stuff on the adam a7 power monitors which if you you want to find bad reviews these days its easy for these they were almost impossible to find even then, minor quibbles. Ok, whats my quibble?
    Every time i mix on these and it sounds fairly balanced not bass heavy(with computer), quite light actually, I then try the recording out on my hi fi system and what I get is quite different. My system is very good quality and uses b&w 604s speakers (which are a bit bass heavy i find). However match my recordings done with the adam's up to any industry standard, you will find mine are silly, bass mud fever!!!
    Now before anyone crits the recordings, yeah ok I am no mutt lang, however I do know simple balance( i am a semi pro conductor/musical director). And dont try to tell me about bass woofers, i have spent enough already for a home studio. Just wish i had bought something which were more realistic. Isnt there another way to help with what i've got though, so that the recordings i mix can be more realistic as i mix?
  2. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Decatur Il
    I'm not really familiar with the A7s but I can tell you this; Mixing on any small, near field monitors that roll off frequencies before the major bottom is going to give you trouble if you are putting low frequency material in your mix. I cant speak for every monitir but I am sure this is a common problem in a lot of home studios. I mixed my first full album of heavy rock a few years ago with bass parts in the low B and then flatted. I was mixing with Alesis M1 actives ( I still use these ) and I was having all kinds of trouble with the low end. I just kept making mixes, burning them to cd, and then taking them into different cars and living rooms until I got what I needed. Now I have bought a sub and it makes one hell of a difference. Now if there is a major build-up of bass frequencies, I hear it. For anything current, you really need a sub or a set of monitors that will really cover those frequencies. I know that the Adams are highly rated by many so maybe adding a sub is the ticket for you. Also, as anyone willl tell you, play similiar material that you are familiar with through the speakers and listen to what's going on. Then you'll have a real reference to guide you. Hope this helps.


    Ps: The title of your thread really sucks. You should edit that. It comes off way too negative and potentially damaging to a company that really does know how to build monitors.
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    I have a colleague with A7's. He has done electronica recordings since the 70's. He's cut demoes for Buchla, Arturia and Nord, and he worked for Bob Moog back in the 80's at Big Briar. His tracks are great, very balanced and clean.
    Maybe you should evaluate the placement of the monitors as well as the acoustical environment before you make a blanket statement like that.
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Most speakers have shortcomings in one area or another. You need to make yourself aware of those shortcomings so that you understand them and can work with them.

    As Eric said, play some material you are familiar with on them. Listen to how those speakers reproduce the sound compared to your home speakers. From that you can begin to know what may be lacking from the Adam's and then start compensating for it.

    and yes...change the thread title. Maybe "I don't like Adam A7's and here's why".
  5. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Do Adam monitors have a burn-in period? If so, perhaps you should just let them run for 72 hours or so, then take another listen.

    I've heard people complain about really good headphones, only to find out they're making their decision directly out of the box.
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Re: Dont buy Adam A7 - good trble, high mid lower end missin

    A couple of things

    Since room acoustics and speaker placement play such a large roll in how well speakers perform have you tried other placements? For a start I would go here and set up your speakers using this calculator both for your studio and for your stereo setup. http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=insights&content_id=26&pagestring=Room+Setup at least this will get you into the ball park and you can adjust from there.

    Then I would take some pink noise and play it back in both your studio and your stereo listening room to see if it sounds the same to your ears. If it sounds weak and thin in one room and full and robust in the other then something is seriously wrong in one of your rooms. I have heard the Adams in the dealer showroom and to my ears they sounded a bit over bright in the treble and somewhat lacking in the low bass but this was not a optimal setup as they were sitting on a shelf with a lot of other speakers around them and none of them was in an optimal spot for the room dimensions.

    After you have done a pink noise test and corrected any errors then I would take some commercially recorded music and play it back in both rooms and note the difference on a piece of paper. Your ears are the best piece of test equipment ever invented. If you have access to an audio oscillator you could also sweep both rooms and note from the audio oscillator where the sound gets louder and softer as you sweep the oscillator from 20 Hz to 20000 Hz and that will tell you were your rooms have peaks and dips in their frequency response.

    Putting a pair of really high quality speakers in an untreated listening room in the wrong physical setup can make them sound worse than a pair of $9.95 computer speakers.

    Best of luck and let us know what you find out.
  7. fmw

    fmw Guest

    I promise you. Speakers don't "break in." It is a common misconception but a misconception just the same. What happens is that we "break in" to the sound of the speakers.

    I think eric has the answer. I think you should employ a sub. I hear way too many bass heavy mixes these days. I don't know whether the engineers are catering to the car subwoofer crowd or just don't have enough bass response in the monitors. Typical near field monitors are bass shy. They simply don't move enough air to get down low. A sub can do a lot to help you nail things down. If you want a bass heavy mix then you can do it on purpose, not because you couldn't hear the bass accurately in the monitors.
  8. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Same guy, same message:

    It is a CLASSIC case of the technician blaming the tools.
  9. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I have a pair of A7s. I like them. In this prise range (about $500 each)
    I most of monitors have low end at about 50 Hz. So, or you deal with it:
    - right placement, reference, room treatment etc;
    - ad a sub;
    or if you want to have low end down to 30 Hz with nearfield only, buy
    a pair of Dynaudio MB 15A ($1250 each) and be happy.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW

    You are right AND wrong in the first part of your post.

    You are 'right' in saying that everyone no matter how much experience you may have needs to aclimate their ears to any new speakers.

    You are 'wrong' in saying that new speakers, especially higher end monitors and reference type of speakers dont require a break-in and exercise time. Most manufacturers of these will give you a round basic figure for you to apply to this.

    And finally you are right about the sub. In as small a room as this poster is mixing in a sub is a necessity not a luxury.

    I have a small mix room and a set of Genelec 1029's. I wouldnt much like them for some styles of music without the sub. And I can mix on anything.....and have.
  11. fmw

    fmw Guest

    Well, actually, speakers do not break in. Or more accurately, speakers don't display any audible differences after a few scores of hours of use when compared to brand new ones. We've done the tests. The manufacturers recommend a break in period so that a customer doesn't get frustrated prior to getting used to their sound. The "break in period" is the single most effective tool they have to reduce returns.
  12. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Now that's pretty clever. Trick the end user into thinking it needs time to break in, when in reality the company just wants your ears to adjust to them.

    Gotta hand it to those shifty sons of bs.
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I dont know how long you've been buying high-end speakers but when I got my first set of JBL 4310's in 197something, they recommended at least 72 hours of continuous program through them at 80 db's and there wasnt a single thing in this information regarding sitting there and listening to this.....for how long????????.....72 hours for yer earballs pardner.......please...... :roll:

    I dont think that even trying to fool us they really believe someone is going to sit there for that long listening...

    It IS to exercise the cone surrounds and such. Also the fail rate is higher in this time period......
  14. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Must be why my speakers don't sound so good. I should have stayed and listened!!!
  15. Greener

    Greener Guest

    [quote="fmw"We've done the tests.[/quote]

    Finding nothing does not prove _anything_.

    An absence of something proves nothing?

    Here's a hypothetical.
    The Government releases a study saying that imported Cheese Sandwiches may contain trace amounts of Arsenic. A group of guys, being the local budding scientist, have a gas chromatic mass spectrometer mounted on a truck in someones garage... It's a project the guys did in the years following Uni, betwixt shifts at the "plant". Anyways, wanting to be good citizens they collect an example of their locals best and worst Cheese Sandwiches. Processing through many long and cold nights they find no Arsenic. Also, they find no Cheese.
    Now, anyone who has consumed plastic cheese before knows what I'm on about. But _you_ now have a lack of Arsenic and a complete mystery about where the Cheese has gone...
    What to do? Well, I'd ask the government two questions. One, is your molecular finding capability more advanced than Jim Bobs inbreed pair of sibling microwaves mated to the back end of a pick-up truck? And why do you let people call this $*^t Cheese?

    All it is, is a platform to ask questions from. Not a mandate to make statements.

    Once again, an absence/lack/not-there-ness of something is NOT proof of anything.
  16. fmw

    fmw Guest

    Then don't believe what I say. That's your right. If you say the absense of something isn't a proof then all I can say is that an audible difference between used speakers and new speakers is absent. So, from your perspective there is no way to prove it. Here's how we proved it.

    Our group tested the concept several years ago. We took loudspeakers that had been used for several months and compared them to brand new ones of the same model in bias-controlled listening tests. We were able to do this because one of the members of the group was an audio dealer who arranged it with his customers.

    We found no audible difference between the "broken in" speakers and the new ones. That's the fact. If you want to accept the opinions instead of the fact, that's up to you. The speaker manufacturers know this. The break-in has been used to help prevent returns for over 1/2 a century.

    I should add that tests like these have been done by other experienced testers with the same results. So something may break in or not in a speaker, but it isn't audible - or at least isn't audible in any speaker that has been tested so far.

    One of the problems with audio is the bias and perception we all deal with in our hearing. It is perfectly human and natural but it isn't understood by most people.

    Again, when audible differences are subtle to non existent, the human brain substitutes audible differences through bias. The audible differences between one model of speaker and another is not subtle and it is real. The audible difference between the same speaker new and used is either non existent or subtle enough that bias is involved. The way to discover that is to do bias controlled testing. It's the best we can do.
  17. fmw

    fmw Guest

    I understand, Dave. That is the common belief. All I can suggest is, that if you get an opportunity to test it for yourself and do it in a bias controlled manner, do it. I promise you, you will abandon that belief. I've been doing this stuff for over 10 years. I've learned which audio phenomena are real and which are affected by bias.

    We can trust our ears when audible differences are meaningful. It gets a little hazy when they aren't.
  18. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The problem is that your test is biased. If you are listening for no change or some change it doesn't matter which speaker is which. Even if you took 10 speakers of the same make and model, 5 used, and 5 new, and had 10 people rank them from 1 to 10 it wouldn't prove anything. You have to remember you are also testing the hearing ability of the listener.

    Your test is not measurable or repeatable. If you want a real answer, measure the frequency response and transient response across a broad band. After measuring all 10 speakers, measure them again. This will give you correlation. If your standard deviation on each measurement is smaller than twice your max-min spread at each point of measurement, then you have data you can work with...

    My point is that "proof" is not sitting in front of speakers saying "I think they sound the same" From your post that's what is sounds like you did. If you did something different I would like to hear.
  19. Greener

    Greener Guest

    How about when you put a brand new big block crate engine into your shiny car.
    The manufacturer tells you to run it in, specifically to run the cam in. Now, if you don't would you be able to tell a difference driving that car? Compared to one that was run in? Willing to do this test blind?

    Anyways, when you shear a lobe off the cam you'll know which car your in. :p

    I honestly do believe that manufactures use the "running in" period to quell antsy cunstomers, but the way you talk about bias controlled listening tests without telling me where, who, how, what and without giving any access to testimonials, which is what you're basing all this on.
    I'll argue psychology all day long. Because you can't be wrong. :p

    Oh, and don't get me wrong, I just like to argue. :p
  20. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Meanwhile, to get back the original topic (which I agree is a bit harsh and perhaps over the top). If I may add my .02 worth here, devalued due to the current economy, of course....

    I reviewed a larger version of this line of speaker - the Adam P33A - for Mix magazine a while back, and wasn't terribly happy with them for a few things. (At least for mixing and mastering purposes). I even offered to pass on the review and give it on to someone else. I was told: No, it's ok, we'll run with what you feel is honest. Well, they mostly did that, as you can read below. (You may want to read BETWEEN the lines as well here, as the article goes on. Most of the review they used is just a list of specs, if you catch my drift.)


    I suspect part of the problem is the tweeter design and the lack of sub. (as I implied in the review). I'm not slamming ADAM here, and I'm not recommending anyone buys (or doesn't buy) their stuff. But I couldn't help noticing the title of this thread and was of course intrigued.

    I may be out of step with the rest of the world, but I just didn't feel they were the right choice for ME, for critical mixing & mastering. I can tell you, the Adam rep was NOT happy about it either, and said some not too nice things to say about me at the time....heheheh. :twisted:

    PS: I've heard the "Break in" suggestions from other Manufacturers as well for some of the other reviews I've done. I go with the automobile internal parts & drive-train analogy, and I take it with a grain of salt, assuming there's SOMETHING to the argument with brand-new, right out of the box items. One company insisted I keep their product for a MONTH before doing any reviews. Wellllll, sure....if you insist! ;-)

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