Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Powered Speakers for computer office setup, low volume listening (Adam a5x, swan m200mkiii?)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Powered Speakers for computer office setup, low volume listening (Adam a5x, swan m200mkiii?) - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

The A5x was definitely stretching the budget already for where I wanted to go, so the Artist 5 were definitely out for me!  So far I think I'm liking the A5X better than the t200, but waiting for full break in before I start comparing seriously

 

The A5X definitely seem to be able to kick sound around the house a lot better though. The extra power in the amps probably helps there!  (I've been having both sets up as loud as I can get away with doing burn in while nobody is home)

 


Bump.
So, what did you ultimately decide? Can you compare them in more detail? I'm very interested.

 

post #17 of 27

Offhand, the A5X should be able to outshine the T200 as it not only specs better all around on paper (grain of salt here), but comes equipped with true input sensitivity controls (not volume pots), shelving filters and a tweeter gain pot to counter the influence of room acoustics. I found the X-ART much more detailed than that of the BM 5A MKII soft dome and doubt that the Swan tweeter can acheive what even the Dynaudio could not. What I am most interested in is how the alumag mid-woofers of the T200 sound. Aside from its striking design, the TB200 certainly appears better built than the A5X as well. Sound Anchors Tabletop Stand > Primacoustics Recoil Stabilizer > Auralex MoPAD. I went through all three before settling on the first. 

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by melie View Post


Bump.
So, what did you ultimately decide? Can you compare them in more detail? I'm very interested.

 



I'm actually still deciding.   Both of these speakers seem to improve substantially with age, and they definitely have a little different focus.  Essentially, I'm still leaning towards the A5X, and I think that's where I will end up.  The Swans do have some things to recommend them as well though.

post #19 of 27

get the A5X/Artist 5 maybe they sound more analitical/flat then the Swans, but generally they are for sure better quallity speakers, which will offer more detailed, depth and soundstage regarding SQ then the Swans.

 

FWIW my HD595 are blown out of the water when i compare it to my A3x, amazing sounding speakers.... (starting to get disappointed from my HD595 lol!) lame comparasion i know but just for info, so you get another vote for Artist 5/Ax5, you won't regret for sure.

 

BTW, i compared the A3x with the next speakers they where better from all,

 

 

1. Yamaha HS80 (good sounding kinda off close, not for the coloration of sound but overall they where best sounding behind the A3x)
2. Yamaha HS50(not good as HS80 but also kinda close to A3x)
3.Wharfedale Diamond 10.1.
4. KRK Rokit G2 5
5. M-audio CX5a
6. Berhinger B2031
7. M-audio BX5a


Edited by Psyside - 1/17/12 at 1:34am
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyside View Post

get the A5X/Artist 5 maybe they sound more analitical/flat then the Swans, but generally they are for sure better quallity speakers, which will offer more detailed, depth and soundstage regarding SQ then the Swans.

 

FWIW my HD595 are blown out of the water when i compare it to my A3x, amazing sounding speakers.... (starting to get disappointed from my HD595 lol!) lame comparasion i know but just for info, so you get another vote for Artist 5/Ax5, you won't regret for sure.

 

BTW, i compared the A3x with the next speakers they where better from all,

 

 

1. Yamaha HS80 (good sounding kinda off close, not for the coloration of sound but overall they where best sounding behind the A3x)
2. Yamaha HS50(not good as HS80 but also kinda close to A3x)
3.Wharfedale Diamond 10.1.
4. KRK Rokit G2 5
5. M-audio CX5a
6. Berhinger B2031
7. M-audio BX5a


As I said, I'm definitely leaning towards the A5X, although the detail level difference with the Swans isn't as much as you might suspect.  The presentation difference has the A5X being a fair bit brighter than the Swans which makes the A5X seem hyper detailed, however when you listen closer to the swans there is still a lot of  detail there.  Personally, I think the difference comes down to the amplification, not so much the speakers themselves.  

 

This is also where I think the main difference is between the A3X and the A5X.   Not only do you get better bass out of the A5s, but you get considerably better clarity in the details and in the mid range and all round.  My personal theory is that the better amplification with the A5s gives it a lot more control on the speakers all the way around.  That said, the A3s were still a great speaker.  However, at the same price point as the T200B, I think it's going to come down more to signature preference between the A3X and the T200b.  

 

BTW in comparison with my headphones, the A5X does not have quite the detail level that my T1s or my Miracles offer, however, they have a great presentation and soundstage which I really enjoy and the details are close enough and sufficient that I'm quite happy with it.  

 

post #21 of 27

Ronrad, I am planning to buy a couple of Adam A3 for my office but I am not sure which external DAC I should buy for them. Any suggestions? Thanks.

post #22 of 27


Great post, thanks!

 

So your saying the A5x are huge improvement over the A3x? nice to hear for my future upgrade :D
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post


As I said, I'm definitely leaning towards the A5X, although the detail level difference with the Swans isn't as much as you might suspect.  The presentation difference has the A5X being a fair bit brighter than the Swans which makes the A5X seem hyper detailed, however when you listen closer to the swans there is still a lot of  detail there.  Personally, I think the difference comes down to the amplification, not so much the speakers themselves.  

 

This is also where I think the main difference is between the A3X and the A5X.   Not only do you get better bass out of the A5s, but you get considerably better clarity in the details and in the mid range and all round.  My personal theory is that the better amplification with the A5s gives it a lot more control on the speakers all the way around.  That said, the A3s were still a great speaker.  However, at the same price point as the T200B, I think it's going to come down more to signature preference between the A3X and the T200b.  

 

BTW in comparison with my headphones, the A5X does not have quite the detail level that my T1s or my Miracles offer, however, they have a great presentation and soundstage which I really enjoy and the details are close enough and sufficient that I'm quite happy with it.  

 



 

post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankie67 View Post

Ronrad, I am planning to buy a couple of Adam A3 for my office but I am not sure which external DAC I should buy for them. Any suggestions? Thanks.



I'm afraid my external DAC that I use is what I have on hand, and have owned for a long time.   (Purchased new in about 1997 or so)  It's a Parasound DAC 2000.  Personally, I think if you can find one used on ebay / craigslist they are a steal for what they are currently going for used.  It is a very clean and pretty neutral DAC, which I think suits the purpose of the Adams pretty well.   

 

However, I haven't given it a comparison head to head with any of the more recent / modern DACs with the exception of my D10 cobra.   The Parasound sounds considerably better in my system, but there are a number of other variables as well.  A big one being that I'm using the balanced out from the Parasound (XLR cable).  I just did an a/b with the Parasound on balanced vs unbalanced, and to my ears anyway there is a nice improvement in the balanced setup.  (more details and an overall fuller sound)   So, I would recommend using a DAC with a balanced output. 

 

Also, I have my setup from the DAC to the matching Parasound pre, and I found it super nice to have a volume control on the pre, so I don't need to adjust the gain on the individual monitors at all.  (Atlhough in theory the Adams have the volume link, which I haven't tried using, just from a practical standpoint, the speakers are our of reach from my arms, and the pre is within reach for easy adjustment)

 

I tested the A3Xs in the store directly from my Android Nexus S, and the sound quality difference from my desktop setup was pretty substantial.  (So much so that when I was in the store I was pretty much thinking the A3X wouldn't cut it and when I got them home, it took me a while with my desktop setup before I actually came to that same conclusion)

post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyside View Post


Great post, thanks!

 

So your saying the A5x are huge improvement over the A3x? nice to hear for my future upgrade :D
 



 


They are a very big upgrade on the A3X.  On the other hand, at $650 for a pair of A3x and $1000 for a pair of A5X I would hope they are!  Also, you can definitely tell they are from a similar family.  The sound character is similar. Just cleaner, and better extended on the A5X.

 

post #25 of 27

The A3X uses class A/B amplification for the mid-woofer whereas the A5X uses PWM, so this makes sense.  Also Stereolink is a super handy feature for sure.  It gets used all the time when I take my A5Xs to friends houses.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

Personally, I think the difference comes down to the amplification, not so much the speakers themselves.  

 

This is also where I think the main difference is between the A3X and the A5X.   Not only do you get better bass out of the A5s, but you get considerably better clarity in the details and in the mid range and all round.  My personal theory is that the better amplification with the A5s gives it a lot more control on the speakers all the way around.

 

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ok.  More updates.

 

I spent several emails with Jon from the AudioInsider.  

 

First off, I'd have to say his support has been awesome, great buying experience.  One of the things he pointed out was that the Swans work much better with a solid mount and they totally do not recommend something like the Auralex pads underneath it.  So, by following some of his pointers, I have put the Swans on the desk directly without the pads, and played around with placement a huge amount.

 

That and some more break-in time, and I actually think I've come to like the Swans either equal to or better than the Adams.  And yes, given the price difference, I'm trying *really* hard to like them better :)  The Swans seem to be *extremely* sensitive to placement, in particular with reference to their soundstage, and imaging.

 

The Adams seemed to be more forgiving, at least in my setup.

 

Also, they did better on the Auralex pads, however, I think a lot of that may be due to getting the woofer up off the desk.  With the swans, both drivers are already sitting way higher off the desk, which may be why they do just fine on the desk.

 

That said, I suspect that the Adams would do well with a solid mount stand.  However, I don't have the ability to test that.  Trying to come up with the time and consistency to do a review, however, I keep fooling around with the Swans in particular, and end up having to redo my a/b.

 

At any rate, with the Swans coming in at basically $450 cheaper when you work with tax and the Auralex pads thrown in, I'm trying to figure out if the Adams have enough of an edge to justify the price diff.

 

One thing that ended up being a very interesting test.    I tend to Video Skype with my folks so they can chat with the grandkids.   My dad's setup has stereo microphones on a laptop.   The other day with the Adams, I was startled to get an incredible placement of my parents voices relative to what I was seeing in the video.  I had never really noticed this before with other speaker setups, and for that matter, I hadn't noticed it as much even with my T1s.   Basically, one parent would be standing and the other sitting, and they were offset left to right, and with the Adams the voices were spot on to their picture placement in the video (both vertically and horizontall).   As they moved, the voice placement moved.  

 

A day or so later, I had the Swans hooked up, (still on the Auralex pads) and the placement seemed less precise.  (My parents voices seemed to be coming from less distinct points)  One of my chief issues with the Swans had been that I had felt the imaging to be less precise than the Adams.  However, after todays setup, I'm feeling the imaging to be on par!  So, I need to make another call soon to verify.

 

*EDIT* Ok I just switched back to the Adams, on the pads and in the same new spot I had found for the Swans.  Imaging and soundstage from the Adams still seems to have a slight leg up on the Swans, but now it's a lot closer than it was.


Edited by ronrad - 1/25/12 at 11:46pm
post #27 of 27
Ronrad,

I found your review and found it helpful. I have been unable to find videos to hear Swan t200b but have seen several Adam a5x vids.
How would you describe the sound diff between them. High note? Mids? Bass ? Soundstage? By the way which did you decide on?

Thanks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Powered Speakers for computer office setup, low volume listening (Adam a5x, swan m200mkiii?)