Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Adam A7x Audiophile Review by Digital Newbie
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adam A7x Audiophile Review by Digital Newbie

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 


I started building my digital only/active only rig last Oct. 2012, it began with interest in the following desktop speakers; Audioengine A5, then Swan M200 MK II/lll, then Swan T200B and finally moved on to true studio monitors after waking my hi-fi analog memories. I researched Yamaha, JBL, Mackie, KRK, Dynaudio, Focal, Genelec, M-Audio, Adam and all the below 1k (per) usual suspects. The Adam ribbon tweeter technology and price/performance ratio drew me in so I pulled the trigger purchasing the Adam A5x's. Loved the A5x relaxed, analytical but musical 2-way presentation but wanted a fuller (boxier) 3-wayish type sound since my application is playback (midfield) listening only rather than a traditional nearfield recording studio setup. So I upgraded the A5x to the A7x which added a bit of enclosure reverb to the revealing A5's signature sound. The new A7x's fit my needs so perfectly that this Adam love affair began😍! I matched them with a tube-dac that added the perfect warmth/mid-bass extension to the technical (neutral) studio monitor sound.  I just added the Adam Sub-8 (bass woofer more so than sub) to my setup equaling a classic 3-way sound. Playing high-res 24/96 flac files on my new digital rig is moving closer to my 80's vinyl reference rig (10in rosewood technic tt, nakamichi dragon, carver preamp & mono blocks, ads bi-amp 4-way towers).  The sub is really not needed for 95% of my listening requirements but it does add that subtle growl that is present in most recordings from time to time and when your this close to digital mid-fi bliss (on a shoestring budget) with analog hi-fi memories, why stop short LOL!!  I replaced the power cables on both monitors and sub with higher-end aftermarket power amp cables for additional dynamics and bass extension IMO!  The cable upgrades and tube-dac are not needed for great sound though, I used the A7x with my MBP audio out via rca adapter for the first month and they sounded very very nice.

My goal is to make this mid level active setup sound as close to pro audiophile (speaker/amp) quality as I can afford since this is my only system at the moment. After getting my digital rig to this halfway point, I don't think I will ever go back to passive speakers again. Low volume listening with active monitors is lovely indeed, my jazz and mature R&B sound incredible with low level detail that use to require massive ultra clean amperage in my tower days. The great thing is that while researching the final pieces to my current digital flow I've seen several upgrade paths to super audiophile level dac's, preamp's and active speakers including several Big Brothers of my beloved Adam's. biggrin.gif yeaha! ---->$$$ Oh Oh😱😭!!

Mission accomplished "GREAT MONITORS":cool.gif!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Edited by SwanSong - 4/26/13 at 7:46pm
post #2 of 53

Thanks for the write-up! I'm also considering A7X for my nearfield desktop setup. Do you recommend A7X or A5x for nearfield purposes? I'm a little bit worried that A7X will be too boomy on my desk. I will be pairing the monitors with Centrance Dacmini. 

post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Aras,
I think the A5x will be outstanding for desktop listening. You are going to be blown away with the tight bottom the A5x have just make sure you isolate them from the desk. I use Adam Hall flat pads on stands but other vendors make wedge platforms that will position them perfectly.
post #4 of 53

SwanSong,

 

Thanks for the feedback. I'm wondering why did you recommend A5X over A7X? 

post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

SwanSong,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm wondering why did you recommend A5X over A7X? 
The main reason being your using them as desktop speakers and the size. Also you mentioned the bottom and the A7x will have more bottom but not as tight as A5x. Since I had the A5x for a month I think they have a more balanced sound for near field but either will make you happy I'm sure. The reason I changed is because I'm looking for a mini loudspeaker setup vs desktop but I miss the analytical A5x flat freq, A7x are more scooped.

After I get the rest of my digital chain in place I plan to use the shelf trim adjustment on the Adam's to flatten A7x freq. You can't go wrong with either, share your feedback when you decide!
Edited by SwanSong - 5/4/13 at 8:53am
post #6 of 53

I see, A5X it is then. 

post #7 of 53
+1 on the Adam Audio. My set up is with the smallest A3x and they are connected to my Imac via analog out of the AudioEngine D1. A very low cost system, nothing "hi end" per se, but I dig the fast transient of the Heil air motion tweeter. Bass is tight and dead accurate. However, I think the mid-range could be better.

Do not get me wrong, I think the Adam Audio gear is closer the truth as one can get without color added to please one's ears. They are definitely not a hi-fi monitors as the AudioEngine A5+ but a true active studio monitors.

For acoustic instruments, this is pretty IT. Gary Moore, BB king, Stevie R. Rayvaughn...guitar licks arephenomenon re producing.

I would love to have the Neuman kh 120 for in home audition but boy, their aluminin paint job on the casing are so ugly to love.
post #8 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDOAN View Post

+1 on the Adam Audio. My set up is with the smallest A3x and they are connected to my Imac via analog out of the AudioEngine D1. A very low cost system, nothing "hi end" per se, but I dig the fast transient of the Heil air motion tweeter. Bass is tight and dead accurate. However, I think the mid-range could be better.

Do not get me wrong, I think the Adam Audio gear is closer the truth as one can get without color added to please one's ears. They are definitely not a hi-fi monitors as the AudioEngine A5+ but a true active studio monitors.

For acoustic instruments, this is pretty IT. Gary Moore, BB king, Stevie R. Rayvaughn...guitar licks arephenomenon re producing.

I would love to have the Neuman kh 120 for in home audition but boy, their aluminin paint job on the casing are so ugly to love.

For Aras, you won't have a midrange issue with the A5x, that's there strong suit. +1 for the ribon tweeter acoustic jazz sounds sweet.
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwanSong View Post


For Aras, you won't have a midrange issue with the A5x, that's there strong suit. +1 for the ribon tweeter acoustic jazz sounds sweet.


This is an addiction that never can be stopped. I have just order the A7X and use my A3x as desk top near field listening. Thanks to you and sorry for my bank card. Actually, I was about to order thhe JBL 4328 for midfield listening but the air motion tweeters are like opium, very addictive.

post #10 of 53

Let us know how A7X turns out!! Are you gonna use them as mid field monitors?

post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDOAN View Post


This is an addiction that never can be stopped. I have just order the A7X and use my A3x as desk top near field listening. Thanks to you and sorry for my bank card. Actually, I was about to order thhe JBL 4328 for midfield listening but the air motion tweeters are like opium, very addictive.
Good choice the A7x are a beast and very good SPL for midfield speakers without distortion. The A3x could be used in a mini surround with the A7x for a killer system. I was thinking about a 4.1 setup using that configuration for music only, no HT! But I decided that the S3x-v would be my logical upgrade path with the A7x as surround monitors. No time soon though I'm very happy with SQ for now until I finish my digital chain (Dedicated music server, USB converter and raid HD)

Let us know the details when get them I promise your going to love the fullness/low level detail.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwanSong View Post


Good choice the A7x are a beast and very good SPL for midfield speakers without distortion. The A3x could be used in a mini surround with the A7x for a killer system. I was thinking about a 4.1 setup using that configuration for music only, no HT! But I decided that the S3x-v would be my logical upgrade path with the A7x as surround monitors. No time soon though I'm very happy with SQ for now until I finish my digital chain (Dedicated music server, USB converter and raid HD)

Let us know the details when get them I promise your going to love the fullness/low level detail.

 

Thank you for sharing the same appreciation for the Adam audio. I looked at the F7 too and I like the auto on-off feature but I leave my gear on 24/7 anyway so a little saving on electric bill does not really a break or make purchase decision for me. I do not like the lesser quality mid bass driver of the F7 and the 2 yrs warranty instead of 5 yrs of the F7. For Aras, I have the A3x as the desktop near field listening for my Imac desktop. The a7x will be used to spin LPs and CDs. My old Cary Audio CDP has variable analog output so I do not need a DAC/ Pre right now. I wish I had never sold my LS12 Audio Research preamp some moons ago. I may have to get a tube pre either from Audio Research or Cary Audio at the end. Happy listening.
Edited by ACDOAN - 5/23/13 at 7:03am
post #13 of 53

ACDOAN,

 

What is your source for the A3X? Are you using some kind of DAC? I feel like a tube dac like Grantfidelity TubeDac will be great match with these monitors. I don't know if there is a better compact tube dac like that. I think TubeDac is what SwanSong is using as well. 

post #14 of 53

Aras, the application for the A3Xs is for multimedia monitors. Mostly, MOG, Spotify premium and CD playbacks via the IMac build in CD driver. DAC is currently an AudioEngine UBS DAC D1. It's a simple system for me to relax but not for critical listening which I do not do much lately. I am happy with the set up for now.

 

The A 7X s will be used for different application and eventually I will get a DAC but meanwhile my Cary 308 CDP sounds good enough for me and it has variable analog output so nothing in between. Straight and direct hook up from CD player to the A 7Xs. I really do not spin much of the LPs lately. I play some of the CDs from Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Barber Patricia, Lee Ritenour, John Scofield...on my day off.

 

 

Both systems for near field and mid field listening are in the same 14X16 room along with some other junkies from B & W / Samsung Ipod speaker docks.

 

I have not touched my big rig for over 3 to 6 months now. I am getting old and lazy... Cheers!

post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

ACDOAN,

What is your source for the A3X? Are you using some kind of DAC? I feel like a tube dac like Grantfidelity TubeDac will be great match with these monitors. I don't know if there is a better compact tube dac like that. I think TubeDac is what SwanSong is using as well. 
I highly recommend the tubedac-11, it gives a nice analog type sound. You wont think digital at all with the Adam Ax series combo, even mp3's sound nice. The fun part is tube rolling once you have everything setup and burned in fully. If you have any questions hit me up!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Adam A7x Audiophile Review by Digital Newbie