- Sep 26, 2012
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. yeaha! ---->$$$ Oh Oh!!
Mission accomplished "GREAT MONITORS":!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!