Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Adam ARTist 3 or Other?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adam ARTist 3 or Other?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I am keen on the input options for the ARTist 3, but am not sure it will sound as good as the tried-and-true and well-reviewed CMS 40. Unless the new cabinet improves the mids somehow,the ARTist 3 might also suffer from the reduced (according to reviews) mid qualities of the A3X. Went to demo the A3X today, but the local shop only had the A7X out on display. Not overly impressed, but the salesperson did mention that the floor model had been beaten to death by way of constant high volume demonstrations. That said, which of the two would you choose and what other options would you suggest in a 1K near-field monitor of equivalent size? 

Edited by adamlau - 11/21/11 at 10:59pm
post #2 of 30

bump as im interested too

post #3 of 30

The only monitor I can think of that fits all of your critia is the BM5A Compact.


You can google the following string for some useful threads about it: site:gearslutz.com bm5a compact


$1000 is not really a small investment, do you absolutely need something that small?

post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

I would prefer something that small, going up in size opens up too many options, additional research and demonstrations.

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

ARTist 3 changes over the AX3:


  • 3.5mm stereo jack input
  • TI PCM2704 16/48 USB DAC input
  • Glossy cabinet sans angled front plate
  • Included front protection grill
  • Smaller, single top-rear port


The sonic signature of the ARTist 3 has obviously been tweaked to accomodate the changes, to what extent I am unaware of as I have not had the opportunity to demo the units. Relocating the ports towards the top and reducing its overall size should improve mid-end response (as will the increased resonance from the squared corners). And even though all TI USB 2.0 DACs are limited to 16/48, I feel shortchanged on the PM2704. 16/48? Really? All in all, the ARTist 3 should be a better overall product than the A3X, but can it best the CMS 40 in general playback SQ (across all genres) being that the retail pricing between the two is so similar? Regardless, leaning towards the ARTist 3 simply based on it being the new puppy on the block. Has anybody had the opportunity to listen to the ARTist 3?

Edited by adamlau - 11/19/11 at 2:16am
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

Definitely tuned for multimedia, better imaging with an improved midrange (versus the A3X) according to ADAM Audio USA. ETA to US retailers unknown as of yet :( .

Edited by adamlau - 10/24/11 at 9:58am
post #7 of 30

Here's a Pro Audio Review Monitor Shoot Out that focused on compact monitors. Personally, I've had some experience with the K+H O 110 and the Genelec 8020B; the O 110 is a tier above the 8020B (wider soundstage & deeper bass), but the price almost doubles. If you are thinking about keep these long term, then maybe you could consider the O 110.

post #8 of 30

I have Dyaudio Bm5a they are not the most detailed speakers but they are very realstic and not fatiguing to listen also the midrange & bass is the best Ive heard.

post #9 of 30

when it comes to higher end of studio monitor speakers, its best to test it out urself. i may like the cms40 very much but u would tink otherwise

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, an ARTist 3 demonstration would be particularly difficult to come by being that the units are not available for purchase in the US market as of yet. That said, just shelled out for a pair of ARTist 3 + ARTist Sub over at Thomann :) . Will post initial and ongoing impressions once they arrive...

Edited by adamlau - 11/19/11 at 2:04am
post #11 of 30

I was going to recommend the new Neumann KH 120 which is the replacement for the Klein + Hummel O110; I kept these after demoing both the Focal CMS 40 and 50 for nearly a month. They are smoother, tighter, and extend further on both end. Really good, and I think a notch above the Focals, which are also very nice.

post #12 of 30
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

I was going to recommend the new Neumann KH 120 which is the replacement for the Klein + Hummel O110; I kept these after demoing both the Focal CMS 40 and 50 for nearly a month. They are smoother, tighter, and extend further on both end. Really good, and I think a notch above the Focals, which are also very nice.

They're also on average about £300 more expensive than the 50's, coming in at around a £1000 for a pair (I got my CMS 50's for about £700). I'd say the Focal Solo6 would be a better comparison... but then they're around £1500 a pair, so it's the same problem. The CMS are hard to beat for the price, but obviously you can spend more and get better. I'd love to audition some Focal Twin 6's vs Event Opals as a future upgrade when a richer me living in a bigger room fancies an upgrade,

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

ARTist 3 speakers arrived today from Thomann, ARTist Sub expected this coming Mon/Tue beyersmile.png .





Leave it to me to forget to request NEMA 5-15 power plugs, turned out to be a fine excuse to order three Shunyata Venom 3 cords to try out:) . I'll post up additional shots when the ARTist Sub arrives. Interconnects used include AudioQuest Ruby Hyperlitz and Tributaries Silver Series. From a minimal Arch Linux build running DeaDBeeF with OSS4 (vmix disabled) and a Xonar ST w/ stock opamps:


  • Gloss finish is not as well laquered as that of the Sonoro Elements W. Too bad.
  • Stereo Link feature does not work with XLR; Stereo imaging seemed a bit off with Stereo Link (via RCA input) enabled.
  • Mids are somewhat pronounced, played back a number of '97 remastered Zeppelin FLAC files off the SHM-CD box set.
  • This mid forward approach plays right into the hands of movies and video playback where mids tend to dominate. 
  • Stereo imaging was excellent with XLR/RCA to each speaker (no Stereo Link). This is right after listening to a pair of Dynaudio Focus 110 passive in mid-field.
  • There is no amp heatsink, the images for the ARTist 3 on the ADAM website are confusingly grouped with the ARTist 5.
  • Speaker (LR) gain at 0, PC level at 95:95 is about all the speakers can take without distorting with most AF/DCC/MFSL classic rock. Impressive.
  • An accompanying sub is a must, there is literally nothing there when you play hard hitting hip-hop/house. Should clean up the mids as well. 
  • They need some distance between them (min four feet in my estimation), else the imaging suffers and the music starts sounding as if it were coming out of a box.
  • Build quality is very, very good. No external cabinet defects out of the box and the inputs, potentiometers and rocker switches feel solid.
  • Speaker grills are of soft fabric and attached to the housing magnetically. Who uses speaker grills anyways?


ADAM touts the ARTIST 3 as both a multimedia-centric and a sonically upgraded version of the A3X. I can certainly vouch for the improvement in the mids (though it can get muddy depending on gain and what you play back) as I had auditioned the A3X at several locations, including Guitar Center, Hollywood. All those reviews regarding the A3X having adequate bass? Again, depends on what you play back. I would qualify the bass output as 'loose' rather than 'boomy' (depends on gain), 'sufficient' for general playback, 'not nearly enough' for modern movie soundtracks (DTS and TrueHD decoded to two-channel) and 'nothing there' for deep, synthesized bass tracks. Slightly convex sound curve to my ears. I did not find the X-ART implementation in the ARTist 3 bright in the least. What I did not expect was its clarity at low-level listening volumes (0 gain, 50:50). Crisp and clear with the right decay where expected. Have to run these speakers in a bit before a definitive statement can be made. Does not have the warmth of the Dynaudio Focus 110 A (amplified) at mid-field distances, but that is to be expected with the difference in driver size.


I threw a lot at these speaker, mostly AF/DCC/MFSL ripped classic rock, SACD/XRCD ripped classical and jazz (samplers) and overcompressed heavy metal, hip-hop and pop FLACs. Pantera's Cemetery Gates (both the '90 original press and the '10 compressed remaster) sounds particularly lively with these speakers. Might move up to the ARTist 5 to take advantage of its shelving filters, primarily to cut the mids. Then again, the 85 Hz high-pass of the ARTist Sub might be able to provide enough separation of duties to suit. Offhand, I might have preferred to establish the preset high-pass slightly higher at 70-75 Hz for use with the ARTist 3. Would also have preferred functional aesthetics including an angled front plate and/or non-parallel cabinet sides.


So initial impressions are favorable with reservations. As standalone computer speakers, I give them a 7 out of 10 so far. The integration of the ARTist Sub may vault that to an 8. Or not. Time will tell. An additional layer of lacquer would have been nice. Will have to demo the Mini Maggie as a point of comparison at some point as well. Second Primacoustic RX5-UF has not yet arrived, Shunyata Venom 3 power and two sets of Shunyata Black Mamba-IC XLR interconnects on their way (I won't be using the Stereo Link feature). Will also be pairing this up with an Audiolab M-DAC (already pre-ordered) via Xonar ST digital coax out. Would have used my onboard S/PDIF TOSLINK port, but OSS4 support for onboard S/PDIF is not to be had just yet. Major Linux drawback (don't talk to me about ALSA, or PulseAudio). Have to use a supported soundcard for S/PDIF out e.g. Xonar ST. Bummer...I paid for three DACs (Xonar ST/ARTist 3/M-DAC) only to end up using just one (M-DAC)...But at least I'm not running Windows...


BTW, thanks for the suggestions all bigsmile_face.gif ....

I'm steering away from Dynaudio and their lack of input options this time around...

The KH 120 D is still an option with its 24/192 S/PDIF input, just waiting until more details are released...



Edited by adamlau - 12/2/11 at 12:50am
post #14 of 30
Originally Posted by adamlau View Post

I'm steering away from Dynaudio and their lack of input options this time around...

The KH 120 D is still an option with its 24/192 S/PDIF input, just waiting until more details are released...

This is the official K+H 120A/D thread on Gearlutz. I had some experience with the K+H 0110, and if the 120 series is anything like its predecessor, then it should be great again.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Since my initial review, I have:


  • Added a dedicated 20A circuit for audio
  • Installed a Shunyata SR-Z1 (20A) receptacle
  • Installed a SurgeX XS10 as an AC RF/EMI filter
  • Installed Shunyata Black Mamba-IC XLR (two pair)
  • Installed Shunyata Venom 3 (three cords)
  • Added an ADAM ARTist Sub (7)





The ARTist 3 now reveals a completely different sonic signature than what I had initially surmised. The addition of the ARTist Sub added expected range and body, yet its inclusion did little to control the forward mids. Notable has been the use of the Shunyata Black Mamba-IC as speaker cables.  Heavy-handed mid reverb has been absolutely tamed, bass has tightened up considerably, I am hearing layers in recordings I never heard before, particularly in the low-mid to mid-bass regions. Much closer now to what a neutral presentation should sound like.  Speakers can now go louder without distorting, amazing what cleaner power and better cabling can do. Placebo effect? Not this time around. Not with the cascade of improvements. Time for a few Real Traps to really set the course straight. Now my interest has really piqued on what a Shunyata Python IC +  KH 120 D combination would sound like...



Edited by adamlau - 12/2/11 at 12:48am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Adam ARTist 3 or Other?