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Adam S2V Studio Monitor Review

beefkabob

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#21
I was thinking how good can a 7" woofer plus a tweeter sound compared to something larger but then for mixing I suppose they need smaller speakers and these solve many issues, 350 watts amplification each is included, USB PC front end software and a claimed SPL of up to 120dB per pair.
Seems it can be pretty good.
 

pozz

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#22
This was my monitor. I paid around $4500 CAD for a pair in 2017 very soon after they came out with a discount from a local dealer. The serial numbers show that they were among the first pairs shipped from ADAM.

I set them up for nearfield listening, around 1.5m or so away. Out of the box they were bothersomely bright and forward. To fix that I listened to them about 20° off-axis. I never suspected shelving because of ADAM's specs and my very small "studio", assuming that whatever I saw when measuring in-room had little to do with their true output. Since then I've moved and these speakers haven't seen much use for about a year, partially coinciding with the time I joined ASR.

The best thing about them was the really crisp transient response and imaging, though I couldn't say that initially. Then, when I had first bought them, they sounded very similar to my old A7s. After some moderate treatment using a mix of 12cm to 20cm broadband absorbers and membrane traps on all the walls and ceiling (a lot of you will say this is overkill, but I'd strongly disagree), the imaging and clarity was incredible. In fact it was the best I've heard from any setup. I don't have audiophile friends with really high-end speakers and amateur producers tend to have low-end kit as a fact of life, so maybe I don't have a good reference.

The worst thing was the vertical directivity. No slouching allowed if you don't want the sound the shift. Or, if you do slouch, then set your stands at slouch height.

Ah well. Thanks so much Amir for measuring this one:)
 
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#23
I know, I know. You think that step deep is because the speaker went into compression. Not so. The levels were already lower than what I use with passive speakers. But to stay on the safe side, I ran the entire ~3 hour measurement at less half the level and got the identical outcome. Levels were extremely low in the second try and the shelving behavior was there. The frequency is too low to have anything to do with directivity. I suspect this is a correction curve applied to the speaker on purpose, hoping that the room gain fills in the rest.
That shelving thing seems to me to be a raw driver response thing. It's present in many mid-woofers.
I happens when the mass of the cone and the surround don't act together. It's a design choice that some driver manufacturers choose to dampen and others don't. Often it's smoothed out in measurements even by driver manufacturers.
 

Xyrium

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#24
This was my monitor. I paid around $4500 CAD for a pair in 2017 very soon after they came out with a discount from a local dealer. The serial numbers show that they were among the first pairs shipped from ADAM.

SNIP

The best thing about them was the really crisp transient response and imaging, though I couldn't say that initially. Then, when I had first bought them, they sounded very similar to my old A7s. After some moderate treatment using a mix of 12cm to 20cm broadband absorbers and membrane traps on all the walls and ceiling (a lot of you will say this is overkill, but I'd strongly disagree), the imaging and clarity was incredible. In fact it was the best I've heard from any setup. I don't have audiophile friends with really high-end speakers and amateur producers tend to have low-end kit as a fact of life, so maybe I don't have a good reference.

SNIP

Ah well. Thanks so much Amir for measuring this one:)
I knew it! I've viewed your sig before, and have said to myself "that lucky sob!". I've had the Focal Solo6's before, and honestly, I add quite a few absorbers to my room as well, and they never took off for me. I just couldn't get the LF response that I wanted out of them, though the HF's were smooth as silk. Adams were on my list when I was shopping for the Focals, and I should have upped the ante slightly for 'em.

I see your work rig uses 7506's, you find them to be a similar signature as the Adam's? I was thinking they'd be just the opposite from past experience with those cans.
 

Blumlein 88

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#26
"We still have a dip though around 200 to 500 kHz so bass performance will still be a bit light."


Man if not for that 200 to 500 khz bass dip. Ruins the ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra sonic treble sound of the bass. Sorry couldn't resist poking a little fun.
You might want to correct that. @amirm

Nicely done review, and looks to be a pretty nice speaker. I'm just eyeballing, but probably a new top of the heap on the subjective predictions score.
 
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thewas_

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#27
From memory the founder/developer of Adam Audio is also they guy who started HEDD which is getting lots of hype (maybe deservedly?)
A bit more complicated, ADAM was founded by Klaus Heinz who worked before in German hifi companies like A.R.E.S. and ELAC and Roland Stenz, later Heinz left Adam and founded HEDD while Stenz left Adam and founded EVE, resulting that there are now 3 German studio monitor companies in Berlin which use AMT tweeters. :D
 
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#28
For what it's worth. I think it may be a difficult speaker in reality. That -30dB dip at 3kHz is at just 20-30 degrees. And it's right in the most sensitive part of our hearing. In reality such crossover dip is audible at 3kHz already at -3dB or so, so at 10-15 degrees vertical angle. In nearfield situations quite easy to move up and down and hear it or get a reflection from a desk / console etc.
And it's a really really nasty sounding thing that I personally hate most. I have experience with it in other studio monitors which have a very similar vertical off-axis. Just put a notch filter at 3kHz to hear the effect. It's terrible. I prefer speakers that cross lower where a crossover dip is less nasty / audible and is at a bigger vertical angle.

And @amirm , for the subjective listening setup I can really advice room treatment.
If I understood your listening conditions correctly the following should make a VERY big difference. A bigger audible difference than between any speakers tested here.
Using Knauf Ecose fiberglass, less dense soft versions (don't know product names in the US) cover the side walls, front wall and slanted ceiling, 20 to 30cm thick (8 to 12inch), simple minimal wooden frame to hold the fiberglas and for putting the fabric cover under tension and cover it with a non-reflective fabric (I use fleece, nice and cheap). This is all non-toxic and cheap (get the Knauf Ecose though otherwise it's dusty and stinky and not so good for indoor airquality).
And then for the open part of your listening space close that entirely with absorbing curtains something like this: https://www.vocalboothtogo.com/prod...ets-sound-absorption-panels-producers-choice/
Proper room treatment like this will make ALL the difference in subjective listening. Only then can you fully appreciate and hear the difference with low distortion etc and hear into the recording better than with any headphones etc.
And the above can probably be done for under $2000.
 

amirm

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#30
Any plans to review some Genelec SAM monitors, @amirm? They seem quite interesting with their native DSP connection...
None has been offered yet. But I am sure it will come soon enough.
 

restorer-john

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#31
@amirm With active DSP speakers, do you think a measurement of overall latency/delay would be beneficial? I would expect the pro powered speakers to be pretty good in that respect.

Are there situations where an excessive processing latency would upset any of Klippel's measurements?
 
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#32
ADAM's are amazing speakers, I've had a pair of Tensor Beta Actives in my setup. Big 3 way 'bookshelf' with about 450W of amplification, these indeed do not run out of power.

+Correction, it was the Delta Active.
 
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andreasmaaan

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#37
Speaker Distortion Measurements
You can see the true SPL levels in my first measurement presented above:
@amirm could you please clarify at what level these distortion measurements were taken?

Adam's own distortion measurements at 90dB SPL (presumably @1m) are thus:



Yours seem to be signifcantly better. I'm just trying to work out if that could be related to the SPL at which they were taken...

Thanks :)
 
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Francis Vaughan

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#38
The bass driver looks very much like a variant of an Eton hex-core driver. (Basically just an inverted dust cap as customisation.) Eton also make an AMT tweeter, and I bet they custom make both these drivers for ADAM.
Their bass drivers have the usual usual sharp wiggle due to resonance in the surround at about 1.5 kHz. It is very hard to find drivers without this. This won't have anything to do with the 500Hz shelf. What is just plain odd about that shelf is that it is so sharp. The waterfall plot confirms this sharpness, with lots of energy in the decay. 500Hz is pretty much spot on for the baffle step frequency. I wonder if the various compensation curves provided are built around the baffle step frequency (it would make much sense to do so) and the combination of a number of effects is the reson for such a sharp bump.
 
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