I have used the previous Adam model, the A7 for a number of years and so I thought it would be useful to have a direct comparison of the two models.
I imagined the A7X would be simply an A7 with more bass but it's an all together different animal. The larger enclosure, woofer and twin ports certainly allow for a more impressive low end extension (and without the A7's port noise) but with it comes a more defined and whole listening experience.
Initially, its very obvious that the A7X has a much less aggressive tweeter response.
The A7's are brutal and voice the top mid and highs right in your face even at very low volume.
I think this will help them become a classic mixing speaker in years to come.
This lack of hostility on the new model worried me at first. I'd become accustomed to the brutish nature of the A7 and found it a useful mix character.
However, the more I listened the more I realised the 7X is much more balanced speaker.
The low mids are way more present, the bass is tight and full (only missing the very bottom octave) and the higher frequencies although slightly tamed compared to my old 'shouty' friend are clear and more natural with better separation.
The image is also a lot wider on the A7X. The A7 seems to box in or stack the instruments a bit more.
The A7X reminds me of a very well set up and balanced, high quality P.A. (like a 'Funktion One') at an outdoor event.
Since I do a lot of live music, this appealed to me.
The old A7 is a great tool and if I could afford it, I would keep them as a second reference and for low volume/late night mixing.
But if you can only have one then the A7X gives you more to work with.
I must say though that I did some good mixes with the A7's and have yet to complete one with the new set so it remains to be seen if my work will improve (I'm fairly confident it will).
I’ve owned my pair of Adam A7X’s for around a year now, and whilst it has taken me about this time to truly learn to mix well on them, I appreciated the upgrade they provided as soon as I had them set up.
Starting off with Tannoy Reveal 5a’s and a Presonus Firebox, I upgraded the Firebox to a MOTU 828 Mk2, the Tannoys to my Adams, and the MOTU to an RME FireFace UC. Each time the swap has been an upgrade, but the Adams were the only unnecessary one – The interfaces keeled over, and I had to replace them, whereas upon hearing the Adams in store I actively wanted to upgrade to them.
I tried out the Yamaha HS80s, KRK Rokit RP8s and the Adam A7Xs before coming to the conclusion that the Adams represented the audio coming through them in a way that I wanted to hear it. Deep, rich and detailed. I pulled out my card and didn’t feel burnt doing so, which is a pretty good test for me as to whether I’m following my gut or my brain.
I lugged the Adams home and boxed up the Tannoys, never to be seen again, and marvelled at the extra frequencies the Adams could provide listening to a few tracks. They helped me realise the attention that goes into a great sounding mix. For example, I’d not even noticed the start of BT’s “The Antikythera Mechanism” sounds all broken, small and distant initially, and simply glides out of the speakers when the piano rolls in. Lovely, and just what I’d bought the Adams for. Front to back, and side to side definition. Nice crisp highs and... what’s that? Bass! Something i’d been guessing at with the Tannoys was now apparent and mixable. Whilst they could maybe do with a little more (I suppose that’s what the A8X’s are for, amongst other things) Turning them up a little brings it out further, and I’m sure appropriate bass traps would help too. Regardless, I’m pleased with how my mixes sound, even on club systems where the bass is much more obvious.
That said, therein lay a problem, whilst wombling about below 100hz the Adams would emit a resonant tone around G0. Ugh..! After tinkering about I’d realised that the sound was coming from the two bass ports. Good thing was, Adam had realised this too, and instantaneously offered to collect and correct the speakers with a new curved port once I’d contacted them. I believe it was about a week before a brand new pair arrived, (out come the Tannoys! One last hurrah) all paid for via 24hr courier. The team at Adam were very courteous along the way. I’ve come to believe customer service is a pretty important part of an item’s value, as unfortunately things do go wrong, and speaking to a bunch of incompetents to fix them isn’t fun. This makes me glad I spent my money with them.
Returned and within my setup, I’d say the FireFace UC and Adams do each other justice – the Adams represent the UC’s sonic abilities well, and vice versa. Importantly, I think they’ll both do me justice for a good while. Rather than secretly yearning for upgrades, the two have instead made me look at room treatment to further improve things, and enabled me to improve my technique and mixes.
Whilst I appreciate there are probably even better monitors out there, I feel the Adams will last me a long time, for my budget they were the best of the bunch and music coming from them sounded as I’d like for it to sound.
Monitors are subjective.Don’t let the internet be the deciding factor in your choice, so go and try a pair for yourself and see what your ears have to say.
Had these for 3 years now and I don't think I'll ever need to upgrade. I have been bringing mixes to highly regarded mastering engineers in Chicago for the past few years and my mixes seem to translate better and better with each record. The last pass the engineer noted that he needed to do very little to the original mixes.
Limitations: The A7's don't provide a ton of sub bass and I do roll off a bit of highs because the ribbon tweeters can be bright.
Strenghts: They have a large sweet spot, excellent depth of field, and are EXTREMELY detailed. I noticed a substantial difference when upgrading from Diamond Wharfedale 8.2 actives and now that I know these speakers my hunt for a great set of monitors is over. If you can't mix well on these you can't mix well. Period.
These come highly reccomended and I think are about as good as you can do for around $900.
The adam a7x are my first real studio monitors. I was using a home stereo"aiwa" for monitoring before...blew up one of the mid speakers.
I don't live in a place where you can audition different monitors. So, I had to go from reviews and I find these monitors are very revealing especially in the higher frequencies. To me the bass is good not overwhelming and especially tight.
I did have one woofer amp blow on me. Adam was great about giving me new speakers, and I say speakers because I did have port noise, when soloed with heavy bass which is all good now with new ports(really it wasn't much of a problem unless you hit the right frequency soloed). One thing to note about that is I never heard the port noise with commercial material, Although playing a bass line with the default bass software instruments in logic 9 would bring it out on about 3 or 4 keys.
It does take time to get used too these monitors. To me they are like a magnifying glass into the mids to treble range. If you have a hiss somewhere in your chain these will let you know and like mentioned above forget about enjoying low bit rate mp3's as these will expose their flaws.
Alas,Their 5 year warranty is a good piece of mind.
Very Detailed with great presentation, output and imaging.
The box and general packing is very good , nice big box for each speaker with strong foam that protects all angles of each speaker, you just need to pull them out from the bottom a bit as the fit is quite tight.
Upon first use without any burn in time, the sound is not a true reflection of how the A7X will be once they have burned in and are at optimal performance. The first thing I noticed was the tweeter being a bit harsh in this burn in process, which made me put the hi shelf filter on -2. After a good number of hours (And over a week) the sound across the spectrum was getting to how it should be, and the harshness from the tweeter was gone, so I could put the hi self back to its default setting at 0. In general even after a couple of weeks the general sound was still improving so the burn in time can take a little while.
After the burn in process the overall sound is very balanced, yet open and very clear. The detail in the top end is the best I've heard in this category of monitors below £1500. You can hear all the fine details and fix things very easily due to the immense detail and presentation that comes from the X-ART tweeter. There is no harshness (once burned in) and the sound is very clean, and not over hyped at all. The mid and low end is of very good detail also, you can pin point all the fine details and fix things with ease across the spectrum. The overall level to detail and accuracy is second to none, and the stereo imaging excellent.
Of course the low sub frequencies below 40Hz are hard to hear and fix giving the price of the monitors, but testing test tones I can hear down to 38Hz at a reasonable output volume.
The A7X have a massive amount of output, I've not pushed them near their max yet but have them at quite high output levels often, but even when I've got them going very loud there is still quite a bit of headroom. The output is similar to some midfield's I've heard, that's how good the output is, which is impressive for nearfields. (They have the best output compared to it's rival's from my experience)
I've had the A7X in four different rooms, two treated. What I've experienced is that the overall balance can change allot from each room. The current room I am in is quite well treated and the overall sound is not aggressive at all, it's more laid back, open and very clean, while in the none treated rooms I found the low end to be lost somewhere and the overall sound being very aggressive and not balanced, and in one room the top end sounding a little harsh due to no control of it in the room. I feel testing these in bad rooms can give a bad presentation of their true sound and detail as they are sensitive to room treatment (More so than say the 120A or CMS 50 / 65)
I'd also like to add that I picked the A7X because for me they presented all the details the best and made things much easier to fix / work with, I do not get monitors which just sound the best, it's all about the translation, imaging, general detail, balance and output for me.
I've tested the old A7 at a friends and I can say the A7X are a big step up in every possible area, which is a big thing considering how good the A7 are, but there is no harshness from the tweeter, and the low end , stereo image, detail and output are all a big step up from the A7, and for me personally the best in its class.
So far everything translates wonderful and I'm improving my personal abilities each time I use the A7X.
Overall the build quality is very good, the only downside is the front material marks very easy, such as finger prints etc, which are hard to get off, other than that the build quality is very solid and the old port noise issue was fixed ages ago so you would have to be very unlucky to get port noise issues, or get sold very old stock.
I work with more bass heavy electronic music and some acoustic stuff and for me these work perfect for this, the A7X rival's I've tested I found I had to work harder to get the same results and they don't present all the details as good. (Only ones not tested are Dynaudio etc)
I am rating the A7X based on their competition area, thus the high scores, I won't compare them to higher end / more expensive monitors but only to their rivals.
The 5 year warranty also helped pick these over others with less warranty.
I won't say get any monitors based on hear say, I've just noted down all my personal experience with the A7X and hope it can help some of you. Nothing beats testing monitors in your own space so if you're in the shop for some make sure you test a few monitors in your space and don't get on hearsay.
Used some A7s last year as a second monitoring system and found them to be quite nice. They're not hyped, not shrill, actually a very good option for those of you who do not like NS-10s! Sometimes it takes time to get used to new speakers but I found myself transitioning very quickly to using these. Also very good for the price range!
If you're looking for a not good but great mid range near field monitor you will probably have looked at your standard KRK offerings, perhaps Dynaudio BM5aMKII's and many others as I did. I then come to the realization that for a few more bucks I got a lot more bang. The ADAM A7X has improved outta site. I recently spent three & a half hours in the 'sweetspot' monitor room at Soundcorp and played a range of music and styles and the ADAM's where the only one that delivered the deep full bottom end bass for the likes of a darbuca drum. At$1500AU a pair it is great value for a small studio near-field arrangement and If you're into new or different technologies then the 'advanced ribbon technology' used is just that and it provides a fantastic frequency response. Also 7" cool Kevlar cones that help deliver that bottom end distortion free with 100w PWM ( that's Pulse Width Modulation) amp (this is supposed to provide better efficiency & heat dissipation). It's obviously subjective when it comes to monitors and also what style of music you're into but I found these a good all rounder as I did the Dyna's though they didn't deliver that bass I love All up if your looking in this range or class of monitor be sure to check the these out and correct me if i'm wrong but you wont be dissappointed
These rather small speakers were my first pair of monitors for mixing. Before them I had B&W DM610, which sounded nice but, had too much scoop in the midrange.
These speakers are quite accurate and can produce lots of bass in spite of the small speakers. On the back panel there are 3 knobs (Low shelf, High shelf, Tweeter Lvl.), so you can tweak the speakers to your liking. This easy access is very important, when most of owners - I assume - are on a budget, and therefore may not have the best sounding room.
The only thing I miss about these speakers are a bit more range in the low end. It's hard to make an accurate mix in the low end, when the speakers only go down to 50Hz. That's what you get with an 7".
I've heard other speakers in the same price range, and these speakers are definitely one of the most accurate sounding!
Having owned and worked with the originals for years I worked with these recently a bit.
I do think they sound different extended lows yes.
Sme have buzzed about the port noise which I did not notice on my original a7s though I have heard they also suffered form this but perhaps less.
I did not really encounter this too much but could see how it could become a consuming glitch
If you like the originals are these better? Too personal to say
I did not like them better as I had grown accustomed to the mid and highs on the a7 and I still feel low mids are very difficult to do well on two way speakers, in this range.
If you hear the two side by side you might give preference to the deeper bass on the a7x but it is the total speaker balance that is the real issue by which we judge a monitors ability.
I feel the a7 is still every bit as good as the x version but in your room you might prefer the a7x
To be fair the a7x still is bass shy for full range , but near fields were never supposed to be full range but rather to get the engineer close with minimal reflections and give you the idea of performance on smaller speakers.
I do like the Adam tweeter the ribbon tweeter sound and if you have not worked with them they are worth hearing.
In some sense I think it would make more sense to upgrade to a8x as they are a larger speaker but then you are entering a whole other set of options for speakers in that range.
So if the a7x is an improvement perhaps not as big as I would have guessed.
But a good speaker none the less
I've had these monitors now for over a year now to replace my 15 year old Event 20/20Bas. At first I was concerned with the 7" speaker to replace Events 8" speaker. But once I tweaked settings I was all set. There are dials where you can adjust the ribbon tweeters, I initially had these turned down before my room was treated and the below, now they are almost flat.
I initially had some issues with the port noise problem that was shown here on the GS forums. A bit of hassle from my local store, but an Adam rep came right on the forum and expedited the return and replacement. With the new port fix, there was an instant satisfaction with the replacements. While surfing I also picked up a used Adam Sub7. I found that I had to better treat my room with the Sub 7, but after treating my room better, I found I didn't need the Sub7 at all. My mixes are getting better and better. I can hear things the 15 year old 20/20Bas didn't show. The don't get hot, I can pump them all day long, I really enjoy these things more and more everyday. I added the Primacoustic pads as well which added some clarity. One funny thing people say when they enter my room, why are your monitors upside down? Again, I can't explain why, but I can hear everything clear as day with them upside down. Am I imagining? maybe. Out the door I was in the $1500 range, but well worth the $$. I listened to what other monitors were available, nothing in this price range had that clarity. That ribbon tweeter adds something I can't explain, but mojo, magic maybe. They get used everyday, I am not worried they will crap out on me, they have been 100% reliable after the port noise fix. Once in a while when I want that boom sound, I enable the Sub7 just to get the room rattling, but again they are not needed for mixing, I can hear way down there while mixing. They look great in my room, the black finish is haunting, they look killer!
Of course now there are the new F series coming out!
Sigh, the typical GAS has hit again.
No regrets, I hope you take time to give them a listen.
Thanks for reading
Simply put, I was blown away. Of course, I was upgrading from KRK Rokit 6's and that's what my comparison is based upon.
It was as big a change in price as it was in sound. It was like getting a brand new pair of ears. The highs in the Adams are more present than in the KRK's, so my mixes don't translate too bright to other systems anymore . The mids are much more defined and clear, the bottom is sooo much better. I was using the sub I had with my computer speakers almost all the time with my Rokit 6's to better gauge the bottom end, but no more! I have not had to adjust any of the controls in the A7X's since getting them.
Another thing I noticed was a huge difference in the stereo image. It felt like it was suddenly spread out in front of me, whereas the RP6's sounded more focused. This spread revealed a lot more detail than I could ever get with the KRK's, so I believe the price difference is well justified by the performace.