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Adam A7+Sub8 - good for general listening?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for some small speakers to put in my bedroom and was wondering about this combo. How much would the sub add to the sound? Could you get away without it for low volume listening? I have the money for the sub but would prefer not to spend it.

The speakers are 28cm deep but would need to be placed on the monitor shelf of my desk which is only 25cm deep at best (it's really only 22cm and then tapers off). They'd also be close to the wall, probably only about an 2.5cm away. Would either of those be a problem do you think?

Any suggestions other than Adam A7s for around £1000?
post #2 of 13
While I personally love listening to the Adams with a sub, it takes a bit of work to get them to play well together, especially in a small room. For one the more sub-bass frequencies you introduce the more important acoustic treatment becomes in order to hear the music accurately. Not to mention finding the right position for the sub (you can't just put it anywhere), the right crossover frequency, and the right amount of equalization if necessary in order to smooth out room modes.

A lot of times it's a lot easier to just get speakers that play down low enough (ie: ones w/8" woofers) in order to avoid all that hassle. It all depends what kind of music you listen to though. The Adams might even be perfectly adequate enough for you bass-wise once you factor in room gain, but the only way to find out would be to put them in your room and see what they sound like.

As far as being close to the wall, they are front ported so it shouldn't be that much of a problem.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that helps a lot. I'm very limited in where I could locate a sub (basically on or under my desk) and the room is untreated and will remain so. I'm not going for ultimate accuracy, just something that sounds really good. May be best to hold off on the sub then.

The type of music I listen to varies from classical to drum and bass so I'm looking for a good all rounder. The room is 25.392m3 in size according to Google SketchUp. Basically 10ftx10ft square with a small bit added on around the door.

Other speakers I've looked at are the Genelec 8030/40As and Adam P11A. The Genelec's are rear ported though and the 8040s would be pushing the boat out a fair bit price wise. The P11A has a slightly bigger enclosure (but luckily the same depth) so I guess they should have more bass than the A7s.

Are near-field monitors a problem as far as filling the room with sound? I'm not looking for anything with high volume output but I'd imagine the sweet spot would be rather small.
post #4 of 13
a square room is the worst as far as reproducing bass frequencies go, which means you even more should lean towards getting speakers that go low enough on their own without a sub.

Are near-field monitors a problem as far as filling the room with sound? I'm not looking for anything with high volume output but I'd imagine the sweet spot would be rather small.
they can be but not always. near-fields are usually optimized for best on-axis response, so you do have a sweet spot right in front of the speakres, and home stereo/hi-fi speakers are usually optimized to have a good response off-axis, giving you a wider sweet spot.

that's not to say near-fields can't sound good off-axis though, some do. I see Genelec and Mackie nearfields used in home theater set-ups quite a bit, but if you are concerned with the sound being even in a wide portion of the room you might want to consider speakers designed for that purpose.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
You may well be right. I've just been looking at active monitors because it would keep things neat. I don't have an amp and don't have much room to put one (could manage though). Seemed a simple idea to just hook up some speakers via XLR straight to my DAC1, which I already use for headphones.

Not really sure what to look for now. Guess I'll have to do more research.
post #6 of 13
The Adam A7 is a great sounding monitor, but the bass is limited by the woofer size. Complemented with a sub is a great combo, but the only way to know if this will work in your room is trying. The same problem you will have with any other setup. If you have room for a bigger monitor, you can get one with a 8" woofer (like the yamaha hs80m). If not, get the adams with a sub and play positioning them. You wont regret it.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I wish I had more room but even the A7 is pushing it. I've just heard about the Focal CMS 50 which is supposed to be similar to the A7 but a bit smaller. Again, I guess bass could be a problem but I could add a sub later if needed.

What's the room like that your A7s are in? Do you have them close to any walls? I'm probably going to have to put them right up against a wall and I'm wondering what impact that would have on the sound.

Do you use them to listen to music or just mixing?
post #8 of 13
Small room (4m x 2m), close to the walls. The adam a7 is front ported, and therefore the bass does not go back to the walls. I listen (do not mix) like at 1.5m from them; they are very good for near field listening. If those are too big, the yamaha msp5 or even the msp3 with a sub might do it. But if you can afford them and have the room (and all you need is some room around the computer table), the a7 is a great little monitor, even without a sub.

I have a couple of Focal twin 6 be, and those are a different animal, bigger, very detailed and with more bass. I love them, but I haven't heard the cms 50.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for pointing me towards the MSP line. Even the MSP7 is a fair bit smaller than the A7, so would probably be a good option. They also have a waveguide, albeit shallow, which I think would be beneficial for my purposes.

I've read the CMS 50 has more bass than the A7 (obviously doesn't extend as low though), which is why I've been considering them. Would be good if I could get away without a sub for space and monetary reasons. The Twins are obviously in a completely different league to the CMS 50s. I'd love to even just hear those some day.
post #10 of 13
I've been an A7 owner for a few years.
Haven't had any experience, other than purely occasional, with some monitors you've mentioned. I did own a pair of Dynaudio's, before getting the A7.

The P11 are great as well, albeit more expensive.

In terms of positioning I've found them difficult, as they perfom truly great when put on proper stands clear of walls and obstacles. But not as good when stuck near a wall.
Being font ported helps a lot and avoids the excessive boom problem.

In terms of bass I find them very well suited to my room ( ~25 sq. meters) and my taste (because I enjoy their speed, detail and neutrality).
A subwoofer is difficult to integrate flawlessly, especially when you'd be placing the speakers so close to the wall.

My advice is to give them a listen. If you like them , then buy them.
You can always add a sub or improve their placement afterwards
post #11 of 13
i'm very curious to know how the bass is like with the Adam A7s, mainly because i've seen plenty of people comment on them having thin bass. But according to specs, they go down to 46Hz? And the woofer doesn't look that weak too. I'm been going back and forth between the A7 and dyn bm5as, but what i've read about thin bass in A7 makes me worried
post #12 of 13
My previous Dynaudio monitors were BM6a, I don't know the BM5a very well.

The bass has been one of my issues with the Dynaudios and a big credit towards the A7.

BM6a provided a bit more low end, but I felt there was a mid-bass boost in their response which sometimes blurred things a bit. Worked very well with some kinds of music, and not at all with others.
However this conclusion was influenced by the acoustics of my room and I'm sure they can do better in larger spaces.

The A7 sounded more neutral to me, adding more definition in the lower notes. Also the transients on bass and lower mids sound more natural (meaning faster that Dyns).
In terms of sheer extension I cannot say one was better than the other. A7 can go way deep if music call for it.
Listening to the opening movement of R. Strauss' Zarathustra, there is plenty of presence and impact in the low organ notes (you can literally feel the deep and imposing 'breath' of the pipes)

I can understand why they are called sometimes thinner than other monitors, but I do not share the opinion.

Also keep in mind that there are settings on both monitors for tuning the response according to taste or room acoustics.
post #13 of 13

I realize this is an old thread but...I've been looking for a Sub 8 and, apparently, they're no longer available in the U.S. Might anyone suggest another subwoofer that mates well with the A7x?  Thanks

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