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Alternatives to Adam S3A Studio Monitors
Old 12th March 2008
  #1
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Alternatives to Adam S3A

Tried A7's. Liked them, but wanted more. Am trying S3A's + Sub12. I like them more , but they have a quiet tweeter hiss that I can't get rid of.

What alternatives are there that offer similar performance but without the hiss? I'm monitoring about 3 feet from the S3As.

The hiss isn't very loud and I'm sure would be fine in most environments, but it's objectionable for me as my room is otherwise very quiet -- I have cables going through the floor to rack-mounted gear in the basement. I assume the hiss is just from the built-in amps as it's present with no signal connected, and when fed clean balanced power. I tried setting the input gain to -10db, etc. but the leftover hiss is still noticable...
Old 12th March 2008
  #2
CKK
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Personaly, I think the A7 produce more hiss than the S3A's.
Old 12th March 2008
  #3
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Fletcher's Avatar
Maybe you have something going on with your set but I haven't noticed any "hiss" coming from my tweeters when the monitors are at idle. Does the hiss still exist when you unplug any input to the monitors?

If it does I would recommend contacting your dealer and telling them about the problem... if the hiss goes away when nothing is plugged into the monitors then perhaps it's not the monitors.

FWIW, I've never found need for a subwoofer with my S3-A's and don't know if that could also be part of the problem [though I doubt it... but anything is possible].

Best of luck getting the problem sorted!!

Peace.
Old 12th March 2008
  #4
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Mine have a touch of hiss when you press your ear up against them but I can't say that I really notice...and I have a fanless, no-moving-parts control room. I'm about 5 or 6 feet from the tweeters though.
Old 12th March 2008
  #5
I also have this problem- I also monitor form about 3 feet and I can hear a constant low level hiss- without any audio cables connected to them. I checked them at my delaers place and they seemed silent there- I guess it might be some kind of a voltage/current problem. Anyway- I gave up on that. these monitors are great anyway and I made many great mixes with it.
As Fletcher mentioned, I also have no need whatsoever for a sub with those babies.

Cheers

M
Old 12th March 2008
  #6
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...
Old 12th March 2008
  #7
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Then there's something wrong with YOUR pair of monitors or signal chain, because there is no "hiss" in the S3As.
Old 12th March 2008
  #8
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Tiny, tiny bit of hiss here, but you can't hear it if you're more than 10cm away. And even then it's ridiculously low level, most people would say there is 'no hiss at all'.

If it's noticeable from your mix position, then something is wrong.
Old 12th March 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Maybe you have something going on with your set but I haven't noticed any "hiss" coming from my tweeters when the monitors are at idle. Does the hiss still exist when you unplug any input to the monitors?
Peace.
I can hear the hiss with no signal connected, and tried a variety of different sockets, no ground, unplugged all other equipment, etc. It's a very quiet hiss, barely noticable, but it's there. I suppose I can try swapping out the S3A's to see if the quiet hiss is specific to this set.

Any ideas on alternative monitors to try? Are barefoots quieter? Is this just a tradeoff for having active monitors?

I'd be willing to try a filtering solution, however I have a rackmount tripplite 2200 W UPS that I already tried as a filter. No difference. I have it operating in online double conversion mode so it should produce a clean sine. AC -> DC -> AC.
Old 13th March 2008
  #10
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Monitor hiss

The monitor(s) are more likely to have hiss if nothing is connected. Remove the cable to the input, then connect the leg(s) of the input to ground. That should be totally quiet.
Old 13th March 2008
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
The monitor(s) are more likely to have hiss if nothing is connected. Remove the cable to the input, then connect the leg(s) of the input to ground. That should be totally quiet.
Well, you've got your PMC ALM1's, your K&H's, Westlakes. There are so many to choose from. My 2 cents is that if you've actually managed to find some monitors that really work for you, accept the tiny bit if hiss.
Old 13th March 2008
  #12
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very quiet hiss, definitely noticeable if you put your ear to it, but does not get louder with volume. no hiss with gennies or others from the same power supply in my room. i have subs also, but did not remove and re-check. i overlook it because i really like them. if i had to ditch them I would hit the barefoot mm's, i liked them when i heard them.
Old 13th March 2008
  #13
Two question:

JEGG - What do You mean by saying „connect a leg”? What's a leg? Sorry - English is not my first language ;-)

SEcond question - I decided to put the Adams vertically as it fits in my studio better this way- but I dont know i I should put them with the two „subwoofer holes” „outside” the mix position or „inside” (towards the panorama center)?

Would appreciate any help

Cheers
<M
Old 13th March 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
SEcond question - I decided to put the Adams vertically as it fits in my studio better this way- but I dont know i I should put them with the two „subwoofer holes” „outside” the mix position or „inside” (towards the panorama center)?
The vertical configuration preferred by most is A speaker on the left hand side, B speaker on the right, ports facing in. That will result in the "sub" woofer being the lower one.

That being said, there are a few people who orient them vertically who prefer them with the B on the left hand side, ports in ("sub" up). Depends on your room, your taste, etc.

Try both....you won't hurt anything.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 13th March 2008
  #15
Thanks- by „ports facing in”*do You mean the rear inputs facing in?

M
Old 13th March 2008
  #16
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Ports in means that the circular ports on the front (venting the cabinet) are on the inside when you are facing them from the mix position.

My suggestion is that you place the subwoofer driver furthest from ear level, as the midrange driver still has directionality and should be fairly close to ear level as should the tweeter. That determination will be made by your speaker stands height vs. your mix position height.
Old 13th March 2008
  #17
Thanks- that's the way I placed them now- ports inside. Unfortunatley I dont have to much options moving those speakers around. Stay on a little stands on a desk ( I know this is not the best option, but I got some psysicall limitations of the room, which can not be fixed at this time) I got the tweeter directly on my ear level , so I think I should be fine.

There is one thing that still bugz me - with the ports in- it seems like I have the woofer (by woofer I mean the second diaphragm that kicks in on the lowe frequencies) on top and the „regular” (midrange?) diaphragm on the bottom- should'nt be the other way or am I just to fussy about all this stuff?

M
Old 13th March 2008
  #18
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Well if the tweeters are dead-on ear level, then where the sub drivers should be really is going to depend on how things sound in the room. The midrange driver should be less obstructed if there are obstructions. So try both orientations (exchanging the speakers) and see what sounds better to you!
Old 13th March 2008
  #19
Ok- I will exchange them, cause when I was listening to them yesterday they sounded „funky” - I dont know why yet, casue I am all messed up with a flu and cant hear anything besides my nose snoring

But thanks for suggestions.

Cheers
M
Old 13th March 2008
  #20
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I really liked my S3a's but i have to say I'm extremely pleased to have moved over to the Barefoots.



..
Old 13th March 2008
  #21
Gear Addict
 

liked the S3A's a lot, now have them as a mobile pair. very very happy with the ATC SCM50's (a bit more pricey) but I also tried out a pair of the 20ASL's as a main pair (which I've got as my surrounds now.)

Apart from low end extension which perhaps wasn't quite as good as the Adam's, they are scary revealing.

I think demoing them a bit is vital, if you have an understanding dealer local.
Old 13th March 2008
  #22
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
There is one thing that still bugz me - with the ports in- it seems like I have the woofer (by woofer I mean the second diaphragm that kicks in on the lowe frequencies) on top and the „regular” (midrange?) diaphragm on the bottom- should'nt be the other way or am I just to fussy about all this stuff?

that's how my friend has his 3a's, and that's how i have my twins set up. the mid detail comes thru so much better ime.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 13th March 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
There is one thing that still bugz me - with the ports in- it seems like I have the woofer (by woofer I mean the second diaphragm that kicks in on the lowe frequencies) on top and the „regular” (midrange?) diaphragm on the bottom- should'nt be the other way
It depends which speaker is on which side.

If you have the B speaker on the left hand side placed vertically and the ports are facing inwards, the "sub" woofer (the one that joins the first one below 150Hz) is on top. If it's the A speaker on the left hand side with the ports facing in, the "sub" is on the bottom.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 14th March 2008
  #24
Ok - great - now I got it all cleaered up - thanks a lot guys.

M
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