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Adam S3xv for mastering?
Old 17th June 2015
  #1
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Synthpark's Avatar
Adam S3xv for mastering?

Lately, the vertical version of Adams, S3XV, got my attention. Compared to Neumann 310 I expect them to have more headroom while being flat enough.

Currently using A7s as a second speaker set I am used to the tight Adam sound.

Anyone having these babies (S3xv) for mastering purposes? I know they are not the absolute high end solution, but within my price range.

Any deficiencies compared to the horizontal version? There are not so many reviews on this board or others.
Old 17th June 2015
  #2
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Never heard of these speakers. You really think the 310 have insufficient headroom? The Hummel & Klein surely did but these works fine for me as my near field pair.
Old 17th June 2015
  #3
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Hi,
I was at listening session at friend's studio, where I had chance to hear both horizontal and vertical version of S3X besides other speakers. To me horizontal version was clearly better in terms of midrange details and overall more balanced sound. Both S3X sounded very nice to me, maybe to extent, I was curious, if it isn't flattering material and what it would do with real-world translation, especially with its transient presentation. But take it with a pinch of salt, monitors are always very subjective subject and to really evaluate it, it will be necessary to have it at own room for several days at least.. That is also, what I would probably recommend anyway at this price category, if it is possible to settle about it with your dealer of Adam speakers.
To its suitability as mastering monitor, I would say - why not. I know some folks, who use these monitors also for mastering duties with quite good results. But to me it is more matter of engineer's taste, personal preference and familiarity with particular speakers. At its price category it seemed to me like quite respectable pair of speakers.

Michal
Old 24th June 2015
  #4
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Synthpark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Hi,
I was at listening session at friend's studio, where I had chance to hear both horizontal and vertical version of S3X besides other speakers. To me horizontal version was clearly better in terms of midrange details and overall more balanced sound. Both S3X sounded very nice to me, maybe to extent, I was curious, if it isn't flattering material and what it would do with real-world translation, especially with its transient presentation. But take it with a pinch of salt, monitors are always very subjective subject and to really evaluate it, it will be necessary to have it at own room for several days at least.. That is also, what I would probably recommend anyway at this price category, if it is possible to settle about it with your dealer of Adam speakers.
To its suitability as mastering monitor, I would say - why not. I know some folks, who use these monitors also for mastering duties with quite good results. But to me it is more matter of engineer's taste, personal preference and familiarity with particular speakers. At its price category it seemed to me like quite respectable pair of speakers.

Michal
Thanks for your input, Michal.

Since you rate the vertical version to have better midrange, I cannot avoid to listen to both of them in a showroom. I usually like the way, transients are represented by the Adams.
Old 24th June 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melopie View Post
Never heard of these speakers. You really think the 310 have insufficient headroom? The Hummel & Klein surely did but these works fine for me as my near field pair.
Not quite sure if there is some compression going on for frequencies below 50 Hz. Taking the data sheet there is some residual THD and this comes from compression. On the other hand, they improved the headroom by some 6 dB or so, compared to the old KHs.
Old 24th June 2015
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthpark View Post
Thanks for your input, Michal.

Since you rate the vertical version to have better midrange, I cannot avoid to listen to both of them in a showroom. I usually like the way, transients are represented by the Adams.
No, it is other way around, I hope, I haven't confused you completely , the horizontal version seemed to have better midrange to me.
This one:
S3X-H - Description | ADAM Audio GmbH

But as I mentioned, personal preference, room.. etc. plays significant role here.

Good luck!

Michal
Old 24th June 2015
  #7
Gear Nut
 

since both V & H have the same mid/hi drivers, same amps and crossover the only difference left is the polar response due to differences in cabinet width.
I prefer the Vs - for mastering coupled with a pair of subwoofers
Old 29th June 2015
  #8
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lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
No no

The ADAM line has gone to hell by cheapening everything, I'm thinking they are on last legs.

And this was never a great mastering speaker.

What you're calling "tight" is perhaps the narrow thrown of the tweeter that makes them image very clearly

But at what cost to cohesion?
Old 1st July 2015
  #9
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Synthpark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
No, it is other way around, I hope, I haven't confused you completely , the horizontal version seemed to have better midrange to me.
This one:
S3X-H - Description | ADAM Audio GmbH

But as I mentioned, personal preference, room.. etc. plays significant role here.

Good luck!

Michal
oh that was just a typo, I meant horizontal
Old 1st July 2015
  #10
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Synthpark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
No no

The ADAM line has gone to hell by cheapening everything, I'm thinking they are on last legs.

And this was never a great mastering speaker.

What you're calling "tight" is perhaps the narrow thrown of the tweeter that makes them image very clearly

But at what cost to cohesion?
Is it true? Compared to the older S3a, at least the prices are similar. I will check them out in a demo room anyway.
Old 1st July 2015
  #11
ECM
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthpark View Post
Is it true? Compared to the older S3a, at least the prices are similar. I will check them out in a demo room anyway.
No its far from true, they improved the quality of the components and build vastly from the older series, the newer models are a big upgrade in every way (SX especially)

Allot of engineers use the newer SX for Mixing & Mastering, many studio's around the world have them installed, they are not one of the top 3 brands of selling monitors to some of the biggest studio's and engineers in the world for nothing.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #12
I had the vertical version for more than a year, and then went to the horizontal, but never compared the two of them side by side.
For my ear, mids and highs are pretty much the same in both, but like the bass a little better on the horizontals (tighter).

Anyway, both of them work better with a sub (ADAM 12 fits nicely), since the bass reflex port noise can be listened when working on heavy bass program and both of them won't get lower than 40/35hz.

In fact I sealed the bass ports, the noise is gone and the bass response decays softer at the lower octave. The difference in bass response is not much.

They do translate very nicely and are not forgiving or flattering speakers.

The quality and sound compared to the old ADAMs is way better imho.
Old 16th December 2015
  #13
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We have four sets of Adam Audio S3X-H's and S3X-V's. I personally think the S3X-H's are a more refined sounding speaker. Separate, they also have the punchiest bass I have ever heard in my life.
Old 17th December 2015
  #14
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxo View Post
We have four sets of Adam Audio S3X-H's and S3X-V's. I personally think the S3X-H's are a more refined sounding speaker. Separate, they also have the punchiest bass I have ever heard in my life.
Punchy bass from small speakers always throws up a red flag. Much of that punch comes from LF distortion, not the program material. LF rarely translates well from small speakers that sound punchy. The kick / bass blend is very hard to get right since the speakers under-represent the fundamental of the kick and the LF distortion over-represents the harmonics of the bass. I hear it frequently in the mixes I receive. Excessive energy in the 30-50Hz range and light in the 100-200Hz range is the classic signature of a mix made on small, punchy speakers. Be careful and check your mixes on non-punchy speakers.

I have a friend who moved from Mackies to Adams and is now mixing on a '70s era set of Fisher hi-fi speakers. Best mixes he's done in years. No translation problems and no sign of the small speaker signature mentioned above.
Old 17th December 2015
  #15
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I think one good sign for speaker quality is how selective a speaker can sound. If it sound soft and loose when feeded with soft and loose sounding music, and punchy and tight when the music delivers that, then the speaker makes at least something right. A speaker that always sounds punchy isnt really capable for critical work.
Old 15th July 2019
  #16
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Punchy bass from small speakers always throws up a red flag. Much of that punch comes from LF distortion, not the program material. LF rarely translates well from small speakers that sound punchy. The kick / bass blend is very hard to get right since the speakers under-represent the fundamental of the kick and the LF distortion over-represents the harmonics of the bass. I hear it frequently in the mixes I receive. Excessive energy in the 30-50Hz range and light in the 100-200Hz range is the classic signature of a mix made on small, punchy speakers. Be careful and check your mixes on non-punchy speakers.

I have a friend who moved from Mackies to Adams and is now mixing on a '70s era set of Fisher hi-fi speakers. Best mixes he's done in years. No translation problems and no sign of the small speaker signature mentioned above.

I’ve been using them for a week. The bass is really fast on them... it doesn’t boom out like other speakers. That could also be perceived as punchy.
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