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Genelec 1031 > Adam S3A help
Old 4th August 2005
  #1
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Genelec 1031 > Adam S3A help

Well I just got the S3As in the studio to evaluate. I have been using Genelec 1031s and NS10s for about 10 years. I always felt the 1031 sounded too nice and never really liked the NS10s (although I find them useful for checking mids and high mids).

I have been mixing with the 1031s for a while and have learned them. My mixes are pretty good and translate fairly well ( have to go back and do some tweaking at times). The problem is that things sound good even before I begin to really mix. I know whats wrong but the clients can't hear it.

Now, I have been listening to the S3As for about two hours. Some commercial CDs, Michael Brecker, Tales from the Hudson, Best of Earth Wind and Fire, and some of my mixes. Man everything sounds so different. It has me very confused. On a CD I just mixed this year with Steve Gadd on drums, his brushes sounded very present and almost too loud on the S3A. They were fine on the 1031 and the client was happy. Stereo seperation is much better on the S3As but the bass seams almost too tight. I know I need to do more listening and I am working on a cd now that I will try to mix on the Adams.

Anyone make the same transition have the same confusion I am having?
Old 4th August 2005
  #2
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

I haven't heard the S3A's. But I have this confusion when I listen to the Genelecs. Everything sounds weird in proportion. Not talking about frequencys which is also weird , but levels for me personaly I can't get them right with the genelecs. I'm a producer/songwriter whatever.. and my studio buddy has taken a very long time to get used to the genelecs. I'm sure, what you are hearing on the s3a's is a way more exact representation of what's going on than with the genies..

a common comment about the s3a's around here, is that there is no learning curve. what you hear is what you get from the start. that's why i've been dreaming of getting those forever.
Old 4th August 2005
  #3
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Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
I know I need to do more listening and I am working on a cd now that I will try to mix on the Adams.
That should tell you more than listening to CDs or to work you've done on other monitors.

Do a mix, and don't try to learn the S3As - just make it sound the way you think it should sound. Then check and see how it translates.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 4th August 2005
  #4
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Hi Johns,

I made exactly that transition about 18 months ago. I had owned the 1031s for about 2 years and really struggled with translation - sounds amazing in the studio but not on your boombox or car system.

-Firstly I would say the ADAMs are not as immune to room and placement issues as some would have you believe. I spent a couple of days moving mine around my room and working with the onboard attenuators and eq to get them working for me. I ended up with the high gain rolled back 1db and everything else flat.

Get good stands, I had mine made at a local engineering works for 75 euro and filled them with dried sand. I also preffered the imaging in my room when using the S3As on end (so that the drivers are in a vertical line) but many prefer them the other way or don't notice a difference.

-I spent several days listening to my ref cds trying to get my head around the sound of the Adams. What I knew to be great sounded really great whereas marginal recordings were exposed for what they were. Don't listen to refernce cds that sounded good on the 1031s, listen to cds that you know sound good everywhere.

-As Dave advised the best thing you can do is start mixing. On my very first day mixing with the Adams I mixed for 8 hours listening occasionally to some known music and when I took the mix to my various test systems like the car and boombox it needed no changes, not one. In 2 years of mixing on the Genelecs I had never had this experience. If the vocal feels right it probably is right, same with the kick, bass etc etc.

-I suffer no ear fatigue with the Adams, Because of the detail I monitor at very low levels (just below 80db)


Best of luck with your new purchase, if you need anymore help feel free to PM me,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 4th August 2005
  #5
Reverb level setting on Adams is interesting....

I have the S4a-C versions

Old 5th August 2005
  #6
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Yeah, I'm thinking of taking the plunge from gennies to s3as too..
interested in the transition stories as well
Old 5th August 2005
  #7
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Thanks all for your replys. I have started doing some mixing so I will have a better idea of things soon. The thing that had me confused is that some commercial CDs do not sound good on the Adams, but sound great in almost any other consumer speakers I listen to. I just listened to Lee Ritenours "Color Rit" which I think I know the sound of well, and don't like the sound much on the S3As in my control room. I'm going to see how the mixing goes.

I will say that there are some things about these speakers that I love right of the bat. The stereo seperation is excellent. I can hear compression settings and reverb tails much better than before. They don't seem to cause ear fatigue (although, unlike some people here, I found the Genelecs to be good in that area too). We'll see how it goes.
Old 5th August 2005
  #8
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matucha's Avatar
no exp with genies... but since I have S3A I have much better hit/miss ratio... oh yeah things sound very different, but that's it, you can recognize a lot of things with adams, for sure it is not a greatest box on earth, but it works most of the time for me and for many guys around here. If tannoy didn't called their budget speakers "reveals", I'd place sticker "reveal" on my S3A ;-) It just doesn't allow a bad mix to leave your room. Bad thing for you, you have to work hard to do it.

The only problem that I had was one mixes bass. I did a lot of correction of bad recorded contrabas (eq automation to compensate for dead notes), it sounded ok at my place, it sounded ok elsewhere, but played through radio (as a pre - version), there was pumping bigtime, sucking all the mid-high energy out. Well I blame the room. After some changes concentrating on the low-end I was able to semi-cure the problem, but not completly (and there were no near-DC stuff).
Old 5th August 2005
  #9
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
Thanks all for your replys. I have started doing some mixing so I will have a better idea of things soon. The thing that had me confused is that some commercial CDs do not sound good on the Adams, but sound great in almost any other consumer speakers I listen to. I just listened to Lee Ritenours "Color Rit" which I think I know the sound of well, and don't like the sound much on the S3As in my control room. I'm going to see how the mixing goes.

try it again... listening on other systems AFTER listening on the ADAM's. i found out that a LOT of things you once thought sounded good realyl dont afterwards of being exposed to the downfalls of them... i know that seems like a bizarre concept, but hearing them on other systems afterwards... they lost quality in those as well once becoming aware of the downside of them.

i think i listened to my entire cd collection over and discovered a LOT of things...

best way to "learn" the ADAMs however is to just mix on them. make it sound good on them. and btw, i prefer them vertical with the subs on top, lowmids on bottom.... try all directions, but vertical they have the best coherency.
Old 5th August 2005
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
The thing that had me confused is that some commercial CDs do not sound good on the Adams, but sound great in almost any other consumer speakers I listen to. I just listened to Lee Ritenours "Color Rit" which I think I know the sound of well, and don't like the sound much on the S3As in my control room. I'm going to see how the mixing goes.
I hate to say it because Lee's stuff is so good but.. it was mixed by a human and... well... her or she are only human right??

I just got my S2A's a few weeks back so I am just playing the learing game myself so what do I know but I am convinced that what I hear in the S2A's is the real deal, like it or not.

As I said in a post here (about half way down the page)
Quote:
there is no way in hell I would ever go back from the S2A to the 824. You better show up with a tank and a few helicopters to get the ADAMs out of my room.
Old 5th August 2005
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
try it again... listening on other systems AFTER listening on the ADAM's. i found out that a LOT of things you once thought sounded good realyl dont afterwards of being exposed to the downfalls of them... i know that seems like a bizarre concept, but hearing them on other systems afterwards... they lost quality in those as well once becoming aware of the downside of them.

i think i listened to my entire cd collection over and discovered a LOT of things...

best way to "learn" the ADAMs however is to just mix on them. make it sound good on them. and btw, i prefer them vertical with the subs on top, lowmids on bottom.... try all directions, but vertical they have the best coherency.
I hear what you are saying. The Color Rit CD, which I have always liked, sounds like it was over compressed when listened through the S3As. I had them set up vertically and switched to horizontal to hear the difference. Not sure which is best yet. More work to do.
Old 5th August 2005
  #12
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Family Hoof's Avatar
 

The S3-As can be a harsh dose reality and take a long time to get used to. It's almost like hearing the truth for the first time and you'll never hear it anywhere else, not on the Genelecs or out in the real world. One thing that really troubled me at first was the apparent lack of low end (too tight as you put it). I later realized that it's just because they're the only speakers I'd ever used which didn't hype the low end. Hyped low end was such a de facto part of mixing that I'd learned to depend on it. Hard to get over. You may want to add a sub. Mix on them for a few weeks, take the beating, work harder, and I think you might end being very greatful.
Old 5th August 2005
  #13
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jjblair's Avatar
I'm about to evaluate some S2As. If you can believe it, their rep said I might like the less expensive version better. My room is only 14x14, so that might be why. I'll let you know what I think when I get mine. I've been addicted to 1031s for the last eleven years.
Old 5th August 2005
  #14
Gear Head
 

Anyone who has been using 1031's should check out the new 8050's.
extended bass ' more linear mid range, reduced mid bass artifacts, better imaging. These and their smaller brothers are being quietly used by major platers.

Mike Chafee
Old 5th August 2005
  #15
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

be careful tho with the bass.... they are so controlled on teh S3-As you CAN overdo it. the bottom is the hardest to learn on them, but the easiest way is if air is blowing out the ports, you have too much.
Old 5th August 2005
  #16
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
I'm about to evaluate some S2As. If you can believe it, their rep said I might like the less expensive version better. My room is only 14x14, so that might be why. I'll let you know what I think when I get mine. I've been addicted to 1031s for the last eleven years.
JJ, make sure you test the S3a's also. I had the S2a's, S2.5a's and S3a's in my studio (which is about 11x15) and the S3a's were WAY better than the S2a's in my place, not even close. Not just in the lowend, the S2a's sounded harsh compared to the S3a's.
I don't know, some people really seem to dig the 2's and perhaps the pair I got had issues (which I don't think they did), but the S3a's are trully fantastic. The bass is fabilous and so much easier to get translation right since the bass does not distort. Yes, the bass stays unrealistically tights, but you can learn very easily how far you can go.

Greetings,
Dirk

P.S. yes, S3a's vertical with bass woofer on top...
Old 5th August 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Chafee
Anyone who has been using 1031's should check out the new 8050's.
extended bass ' more linear mid range, reduced mid bass artifacts, better imaging. These and their smaller brothers are being quietly used by major platers.

Mike Chafee
I have considered checking out the 8050s. So little time. I am starting to get a handle on the S3As. The bass is really tight, which does take some getting used to. I just finished the mixes on a couple of songs for an R&B cd. They sound pretty good. My primary work is jazz and classical, so I am curious to see how it goes with a jazz quartet cd that I will start mixing on Monday. Some observations after about 10 hours of work.
1. You can get the volume up pretty high and the bass stays tight and focused. The 1031s would start to fold at highter volumes

2. The midrange seems very detailed but not harsh. This is something I really like. The 1031s seemed to mask the mids. I could not always tell when there was too much of too little information in the mid frequencies on the 1031.

3. I have tried three configurations, horizontal, sub on bottom and sub on top. Hugh differences with each. Right now subs on top seem best in my control room.

4. I haven't touched the eq and input sensitivity yet. Need to hear it flat to know know what I am dealing with.

5. The sweet spot is comfortably wide.

6. They cost a lot of money
Old 6th August 2005
  #18
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jjblair's Avatar
Dirk, and I'm guessing that you have a properly designed room and all that, so that the environment was not one of the factors? Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind.
Old 6th August 2005
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
1. You can get the volume up pretty high and the bass stays tight and focused. The 1031s would start to fold at highter volumes

1031's work best with the right sub.

With the right subwoofer it becomes a whole other speaker in its own right.

The mids becaome easier to hear.
Old 6th August 2005
  #20
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

are you mixing analog? [like feeding their input via console?]

i use mine with a DAC outputs and a NHT PVCpro which i found the DAC's output level was WAY loud for the NHT>ADAMs to be in the "sweet spot" of the pot so i turned the input gains all the way down on the ADAMs... helped tremendously especially listening at low levels. cant crank them as loud technically but pot full on overloaded the inputs on the ADAMs anyways. just a note for all the users out there, thx to vince @ speck for this tidbit.
Old 6th August 2005
  #21
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Right now, I am running from the outputs of a Yamaha 02R96. I know I will have to adjust the sensitivity, because I have had the overload light come on a couple of times, and I don't monitor loud.
Old 6th August 2005
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
1031's work best with the right sub.

With the right subwoofer it becomes a whole other speaker in its own right.

The mids becaome easier to hear.
I have never actually thought about using a sub with the 1031s but I probably should have. My control room is fairly small 10X15. Which subs are you using and how has it altered you opinion of the Genelecs?
Old 6th August 2005
  #23
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
Right now, I am running from the outputs of a Yamaha 02R96. I know I will have to adjust the sensitivity, because I have had the overload light come on a couple of times, and I don't monitor loud.
adjusting mine was more about geting the pot into its "sweet spot".... but i had not thought of it before.
Old 6th August 2005
  #24
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sonic dogg's Avatar
Being a Genelec 'fan' I gotta agree with the take on the newer models being a touch better. The 8050's and the little brother 8040's and 8030's are more focused with the mids issue and they stay together better at higher volumes. That being said, the sub with the 1031's makes an incredible amount of difference along these lines and the right sub with the 8050 is very nice. I know we all search and search to find that perfect balance of tones, but after a lot of hours on something I would imagine the transition to something WAY different would be troubling . Good luck!
Old 6th August 2005
  #25
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Dirk, and I'm guessing that you have a properly designed room and all that, so that the environment was not one of the factors? Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind.
Well, in a room my size, it is very hard to have no room mode issues in the 50-250Hz area, but my room is indeed treated with lot's of basstrapping, treated for early reflections and basically sounds relatively good.

I don't buy the "these speakers have too much bass for your room" thing. Especially not with the S3a's. Listening to the S2a's only won't give you a big enough picture what the Adam line has to offer...
The S2.5a's where also cool, but in a different kind of way. The imaging, both L/R and front/back on the S3a's is just phenomenal and the bass is extremely tight with no distortion when cranking up, which makes eq-ing in the 50-150 area really a lot easier. The S2a's lacked this quality severely...

But that's just my opinion.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 6th August 2005
  #26
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RTA FFT ? anyone take a look?

Do you guys know a buddy in the Live pro sound side who use sia smaartlive at all?

I would be curious to see what the adams look like in smaart. Everytime I've heard them they seem to go way up there in the top, WAY up there, Which may be a false observation because I know I dont hear much above 14kHz. So is there a phase distortion free top that appears to extend the top end?

Really like to see a fft analyasis of the adams, and a transfer function curve too.
Old 6th August 2005
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Well, in a room my size, it is very hard to have no room mode issues in the 50-250Hz area, but my room is indeed treated with lot's of basstrapping, treated for early reflections and basically sounds relatively good.

I don't buy the "these speakers have too much bass for your room" thing. Especially not with the S3a's. Listening to the S2a's only won't give you a big enough picture what the Adam line has to offer...
The S2.5a's where also cool, but in a different kind of way. The imaging, both L/R and front/back on the S3a's is just phenomenal and the bass is extremely tight with no distortion when cranking up, which makes eq-ing in the 50-150 area really a lot easier. The S2a's lacked this quality severely...

But that's just my opinion.

Greetings,
Dirk
As you said, to each their own. I LOVE my S2A's, absolutely love them!! I do wish that I had that last bottom octave which I might make up with a sub at some point but to say that S2A's are severely lacking in anything is just not my experience at all. Not even remotely and I have used plenty of speakers. Even without the sub I can mix on these like no other speaker I have ever used... period. They suprised the hell out of me the first time I turned them on.

Also there are others in some pretty hefty studios that have actually picked the S2A's over the S3As so I think I am not the only one who is digging them.

I just don't understand why you are so against the S2A's?? Maybe the pair you had were having problems or maybe they did not fit your room somehow but I think to have such a negative take against one pair in one enviroment seems a bit... harsh, to me....

Again to each their own.
Old 6th August 2005
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns
I have never actually thought about using a sub with the 1031s but I probably should have. My control room is fairly small 10X15. Which subs are you using and how has it altered you opinion of the Genelecs?

When i did a Tannoy AMS10A(no longer made).

Works great with a pair of NS10's also.
Old 6th August 2005
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic dogg
Being a Genelec 'fan' I gotta agree with the take on the newer models being a touch better. The 8050's and the little brother 8040's and 8030's are more focused with the mids issue and they stay together better at higher volumes. That being said, the sub with the 1031's makes an incredible amount of difference along these lines and the right sub with the 8050 is very nice. I know we all search and search to find that perfect balance of tones, but after a lot of hours on something I would imagine the transition to something WAY different would be troubling . Good luck!
More confusion for me Doing the sub thing was not on my radar but now..... I have 5 cds in the works right now and auditioning 8050s and subs with my 1031s etc, etc, will take a lot of time and screw up my work flow. I also wanted to check out the S2.5s. Wow. Things are getting crazy.

One thing I want to clear up. Unlike some here, I didn't hate the Genelecs. I always had trouble determining mids on them, but found them pretty good to work on. I have sessions at times going 10 to 15 hours straight, and have not had ear fatique with them. I have just always felt I was guessing a little with them. A tipical problem would be working on a mix, getting it close, then puttting it up on the NS10s. I would do and adjustment on the mids and highs, put it back on the Genelecs, and not hear the difference. I would have to make some drastic changes on the NS10s to hear it on the 1031s. Maybe a sub would help.
Old 6th August 2005
  #30
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Tetness's Avatar
I did exactly the same transition. Once you get going on the S3A's, you'll never look back.
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