On the road with ADAM Audio

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On the road with ADAM Audio

ADAM Audio
Words by Paul French

With the larger ADAM Audio A Series speakers rested upon Woodstock’s stunning 1970s Neve 8014 console (complete with 16 channels of 1066 EQ modules, no less), we set about running through a diverse list of playback material, flicking between models and genres on the fly and getting a feel for the differences between each. 

ADAM Audio are amongst the most highly revered studio monitors in the industry. If you are a fervent reader of this fine publication, then you are most likely aware of our zealot-like appreciation (see: obsession) for studio monitoring.

ADAM Audio A Series

But alas, discussing the ins and outs of monitoring and the listening experience is often akin to trying to describe a colour or feeling—it’s something that needs to be experienced in person, in order to be fully appreciated and understood at the visceral level. ADAM Audio knows this better than most. 

Read up on all the latest interviews, features and columns here.

The German company’s dedication to innovation (particularly in regards to their nearfield and 3-way active designs) have seen them emerge as one of the defacto monitor manufacturers of the current generation, finding their way into hundreds of top tier studios and having their fingerprints on a plethora of big name releases over the last handful of years.

Not content with merely presenting their products as inanimate specs on a page, the brand recently descended upon Melbourne’s historic Woodstock studios, working in cahoots with Borleyco (the Australian distributor for game changing intelligent room correction software, Sonarworks) to showcase their new ADAM Audio A-Series speaker range and the level of monitoring accuracy than can be achieved with this winning combination of A-Series and Sonarworks integration. 

Suffice to say, the results were nothing short of breathtaking, with the new driver composition and cab design, coupled with the new A-Series ability to run Sonarworks SoundID natively from the hardware itself, providing some truly stellar listening and workflow opportunities for those who managed to get down to Balaclava for a listen.

ADAM Audio’s UK parent company Focusrite Group first brought the A series to Australia back in late 2022, with Regional Sales Manager Cris Stevens being one of the local representatives tasked with introducing the new range to the Australian market.

Having been associated with the brand for over ten years, Cris knew the A-Series’ biggest strength was in their ability to provide stellar listening experiences in the open air, something which is best served with hands-on time in front of the monitors. This is precisely the thinking behind the ADAM Roadshow, with stops in other top flight recording facilities in Brisbane and Sydney—inturn bringing the A-Series listening experience to the whole eastern seaboard.

Woodstock Studios

“There’s no right or wrong in any of this. It’s finding something that inspires you or connects you. Music at that level needs to touch you on an emotional level. The speaker is the thing that brings that to you to it… or not as the case might be.” explains Stevens from the driver’s seat in front of the console in the Woodstock control room.

“It’s getting people together in front of the speakers and letting them speak for themselves.”

One thing that became instantly apparent after getting in front of the speakers ourselves was the clarity and breadth of the soundstage that can be found across all of the current range, something that ADAM Audio have clearly focused on with this release. Equipped with the onboard Sonarworks SoundID as well as some of the finest driver design and dispersion characteristics in the business, there was no doubt a recurrent theme trickling through from one model to the next. Make no mistake, the new ADAM speakers put a premium on broadness of soundstage and transient clarity. In practice, things like panned percussion and M/S (mide-side) processing of low frequency material could be easily identified and were highly directional in a way that would allow for easy placement in the stereo field. 

“With this new range of mid-priced monitors, ADAM have built upon their previous sound profile with upgraded composite woofers and transducers that perform under maximum sound pressure with extremely low distortion,” explains Cris.

“Given the current nature of the content cycle and the emergence of immersive audio, soundstage has become an increasingly important factor in regards to speaker design.” he notes, before adding: 

“The ribbon tweeter features a new high frequency waveguide which controls vertical dispersion to minimise ceiling, desk and floor reflections, whilst presenting a wide horizontal sound stage to ensure a smooth response, even when listening to the speakers off axis. This stability of the stereo image creates a larger ‘sweet spot’ to work within. That’s what you can hear there.”

Of particular note were the new A8H 3-way speakers, which offered some jaw dropping low frequency response in the time domain. The speed and clarity with which these low frequency bass fundamentals are reproduced and the tightness of the recoil is something to behold. The combination of 8-inch resonant Multi-Layer Mineral (MLM) fibre woofer, innovative midrange driver, and handmade precision X-ART tweeter really served as a perfect pairing for Electronic and Hip Hop program material, taking to 808’s and thumping bass with remarkable accuracy, whilst providing incredible clarity in the upper mids and crossover points.

ADAM A Series monitors

This theme of impressive LF response was also present in the brand’s small scale offerings, the A44H and A4V providing some of the most robust and controlled low end you are ever likely to hear in a speaker of such diminutive size. The kind of clean SPL these were capable of producing was impressive. 

All in all, the ADAM Roadshow was a perfect opportunity to showcase the new range and their capabilities. Building on an already successful foundation of previous A-Series incarnations, the new driver design and introduction of Sonarworks SoundID, and only served to strengthen an already strong product line.

“What I love about ADAM is that we have a complete range, from an entry level offering, mid-price offering and premium offering. The same amount of care and forethought is put into everything they put their hand to.”

For more info, visit ADAM Audio here.