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Adam T8V Studio Monitor Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Adam T8V active monitors (speaker). It was kindly sent to me by the company a few months ago. I was surprised at the very low cost of these speakers at US $299 (each) considering that they are DSP speakers with dual amplification.

This is one giant of a monitor, certainly far larger than other speakers in this price range:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker review.jpg


One great thing about these speakers is that they generate essentially no tweeter hiss. This is a common problem in many budget monitors and is something that when you become sensitive to it, you hear it more when not much is playing.

The back panel shows something unusual for the class:
Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker review back panel.jpg


See it? It is the RCA input. It is very rare to see such on a studio monitor. Only computer powered speakers have these, not pro monitors. This makes it easier to integrate for hi-fi applications.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 800 measurement which resulted in error rate of less than 1% throughout the range.

Temperature was 59 degrees F (yes, it is getting cold here). Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Reference axis was the tweeter center.

Adam T8V Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Frequency Response Measurements.png


Starting on the left, it is nice to see almost flat response to 45 Hz. Response remains flat until about 2 kHz where we see a dip. And farther up in frequency we have a narrow notch around 4.6 kHz. The highs are a hair higher in amplitude on axis but listening window is flatter.

Early reflections indicate more of a dip in crossover region:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Early Reflection Frequency Response Measurements.png


Predicted in-room response is for far field listening so may not apply if you sit very close to these monitors and put them on desks/meter bridges and such:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Predicted In-room Frequency Response Measurements.png


Measuring the drivers/port at close distance tells us mostly what they are doing:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Driver Frequency Response Measurements.png


That same notch is there at 4.6 kHz in the tweeter response (green). And its response has fair bit of variations.

Distortion is well controlled at 86 dBSPL but gets messy at 96 dBSPL:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Relative THD Distortion Measurements.png


Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker 96 dB THD Distortion Measurements.png


Is the distortion tail end of woofer or early response of the tweeter? I can't tell.

Beamwidth is nicely controlled horizontally:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Horizontal Beamwidth Measurements.png


So moving left and right should not change their tonalities much.

Here is our horizontal and vertical directivity:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Horizontal Directivity Measurements.png


Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Vertical Directivity Measurements.png


As you see, there is a hole in the response where the arrow points if you go below tweeter height. So be sure to place the speaker vertically where the tweeter is at or below your ear level or the crossover hole gets worse.

Playing detective, I looked at the 3-D response of the speaker at 4.6 kHz:

Adam T8V Active Powered Monitor Studio Speaker Driver Interference Measurements.png


It seems the woofer is still whaling at that frequency as is the tweeter so perhaps that is causing the cancellation at that frequency.

Adam T8V Speaker Listening Tests
I simply don't have room for such a large speaker on my desk/workstation. Still, I managed to fit them in. Overall, I was very pleased with the sound. There is plenty of bass and tonality on the warm/balanced front. I tried to put an EQ in the crossover to pull that up a bit and while that increased detail some, it made them too bright so I just listened with no EQ.

I think I have some bass modes that are not normally activated by studio monitors since they don't go low enough. The T8V does and I thought that caused a bit of boominess which needs correction.

With the large 8 inch driver, I could play as loud as I wanted and in this regard, they are superior to just about any studio monitor I have tested in this situation. I did not detect any distortion at my 1 meter listening distance.

I let the T8V play for a while and the response is very easy to listen to with no hint of high frequency brightness.

Conclusions
Adam has managed to create the most optimal execution of an active monitor in this price range. I still can't believe they cost only $300 each. For hi-fi use, remember that you are getting amplification here and with little reminders of "oh, I think I need a sub." No the ground does not shake but the bass response is extended enough that you don't think you are listening to "little speakers."

Overall, I am happy to recommend the Adam T8V. If you were looking for a budget powered monitor with plenty of bass and good overall frequency response, your search is over.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Picked what was left of the Asian eggplants from the greenhouse:

Asian Eggplants.jpg


I don't know why some of them are yellow. As far as I remember, they were all supposed to be purple. Maybe they cross pollinated with melons next to them!

As always appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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tktran303

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#3
Great result for a product.

almost perfection in $300 except for the tweeter, but ultimately distortion doesn’t raise its ugly head.

the sweet spot is the T7V, but for two-ways, you (and hundreds of other manufacturers already know that...)
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #6

xykreinov

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#8
Seems like a decent value, especially with that bass extension, comfy treble, and lack of amplifier hiss. Well styled, too. The okayish treble response balances out the rest of the positives.
It's nice to take a break from the roller coaster reviews of exceptionally good and unbelievably bad products, and just have a review of something that's pretty nice, but not all that groundbreaking either.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #9
Here is a good overview video from the company:


Note the bit at the end about 5 year warranty with registration. Good feature for active speakers where if the amp goes, the speaker becomes non-functional with it.
 

YSC

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#10
finally seeing this after pressed the button on the 8030Cs and kills my bonus. It looks like their lower end brothers T5V will be remarkable costing 1/3 of the genelec which I should kept secret to my wife:p

though the crossover cancellation puzzles me as I think the T series are dsp active crossovers which should let them make perfect cross overs and not needed the gentle roll off for passive crossovers?
 
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#11
I have to the equivalent in JBL to answer that. I have one to test so look for that in the future....
Hi Amir thanks for the review and respond, looking forward to reviews of jbl speakers either active or passive. Do you have comments about their build quality? Amazon listed them at 11 lbs each and thats considerably a lot lighter than the infinity r162 at 18 lbs each even with a larger woofer (8 inch vs 6 inch) and active amplification inside the Adams. Did they cut a lot of corners on build quality or is it solid?
 

infinitesymphony

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#15
I have to the equivalent in JBL to answer that. I have one to test so look for that in the future....
Yeah, it's going to be a real shootout between this and the JBL LSR308 in the <$1K/pair 8" active speaker category.

Interested to see what the preference score looks like for the Adam T8V before and after EQ.
 
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EchoChamber

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#16
Well engineered and executed studio monitors are hard to beat... Since I moved to Genelec, my systems are much more capable... I often find myself in awe in front of all the information I've been missing...
 

restorer-john

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#18
For that sort of money and performance, particularly with a distinct lack of residual noise/hiss, I think they'd be worth a listen.

@amirm Did you drive them via the XLR or the RCA? Much difference in noise levels?
 

tktran303

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#19
The dip around 4-5Khz is present in the T5V and T7V, according to Adam’s own measurements published in their website.

So the issue here is due to the tweeter, and hence the distortion rise in that area is a tweeter issue too.

but it looks a lot worse than it sounds... Because H2 @ 4.5Khz is 9Kz.... High in frequency and sufficiently down in level that it won’t bother the ears....
 
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PeteL

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#20
Thanks for the review. I’ve been using Adam F5 as my desktop speakers for many years, the F series was their budget line, replaced by the TxV serie. It´s a solid performer as well. I see no evidence of DSP from the available info tough. Are you sure those filters are not Analog?
 
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