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distorting ADAM s3A
Old 11th November 2008
  #1
Gear Nut
 

distorting ADAM s3A

Dear Gearslutzzzz!!

I own a pair of Adam s3a, and I really love them...only it seems as if they are not able to play some signals without some kind of distortion :-(
For example piano recordings seem to distort in some places, without having too much low-end or without listening too loud...It seems as if they are not able to manage some frequencies in the mid-range very well.... Now I don´t know if my speakers have a damage, or if that might be a general problem of the s3A....I wouldn´t know where a damage would com from, as I don´t crank up the speakers....

does anyone of you have the same problem? I would appreciate to know your experiences about that! thanks a lot!

Patrick
Old 11th November 2008
  #2
jmk
Here for the gear
 

I have a 12" sub that had a "Fuse" problem. Apparently it's a known problem. Bad batch of parts. You can't tell by just looking at the fuse.
Contact Adam audio in Westlake village CA. They were very prompt in sending me a new one which fixed the problem.
Hopefully it's that simple.
Old 11th November 2008
  #3
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matucha's Avatar
I'm on the same "wagon". Pianos/Rhodes are affected mostly. But in the whole mix it can't be heard.

A fuse problem? WTF? I've lived with this distortion for some time, because there was no time to send the speakers to germany and then wait and wait with all the work standing. But if it could be solved so easily...

JMK please let us know if it was as simple as just changing the fuse.
Old 11th November 2008
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I can´t imagine that the problem is a fuse....sounds more as if the speaker couldn´t handle some complex signals like piano....which would be crazy for a speaker costing almost 4000€ a pair....I´v sent a message to ADAM asking for an idea for that problem....but no answer yet....
Old 11th November 2008
  #5
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steveschizoid's Avatar
I've never heard any speaker distortion coming from my S3a's. One of their tech guys posts on here regularly. He's a nice nice guy, you'll probably hear from him soon. If not, do an advance search for username bryce and pm him.
Old 11th November 2008
  #6
Gear Nut
 

test-file

Here I have a sound-snippet, where I can hear some distortion on my s3a....do you hear what I mean? Would be interesting to know if you can hear some distortion, too! Listen to it at medium level...
thanks!!
Patrick
Attached Files

test.wav (4.09 MB, 410 views)

Old 11th November 2008
  #7
Gear Nut
 
jondoe1972's Avatar
 

Hi Tidalwave,

Is it possible that the S3a's are revealing distortion in the recording itself not evident on other speakers?

Thanks
Old 11th November 2008
  #8
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steveschizoid's Avatar
I played your file through my S3a's and didn't hear anything that I would describe as distortion. Some of the low notes (like the one after the descending scale at 8s) sound, I don't know, unpeasant, but I'm pretty sure that's the recording, not the speakers.
Old 11th November 2008
  #9
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matucha's Avatar
No it is definitely the s3a... because there is no trace of such a distortion in the headphones (akg k270) for example.

This sample is not so severe. I have some mid intensive piano stuff, that's even more obvious. The distortion has "hair" up to high frequencies so it is quite annoying on cleaner material. It doesn't sound nothing like clipping to me, it is like some electrical low-level buzz/overload that appears under certain frequencies. Hard to describe.

Funny is I found about the distortion long long after buying the speakers. Well I've spotted it on some ocasions, but I thought it was in the material or because of some plugins. I'm way out of warranty now.

BTW my speaker serial nrs are P-7062 & P-7063. Those are old ones with the cooler ribs on the back.
Old 11th November 2008
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Hi Matucha!

heh...same thing with me!! I own those speakers for 3 years now, but I built a new studio, and here in the new control room, I hear more details, as it seems...:-)
I didn´t notice those distortions before....
The Sample I posted is not soooo severe, but there is smothing! And that really sucks...if I am mixing a cd with lots of piano, and playing back to my clients, it´s a shame like that!! Si I have to find other speakers that sound as good, but clean :-/

btw: the piano I posted is from a really good keyboard...with tons of headroom, and recorded with focusrite red1...no distortion here ;-)

cheers!!
Old 11th November 2008
  #11
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steveschizoid's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tidalwave View Post
btw: the piano I posted is from a really good keyboard
This is certainly relative; it didn't sound that great to me. Your playing is nice though. I didn't hear any distortion in the sample on my S3a's. Could you put up a more severe example? Was the note I mentioned one where you are hearing the distortion?
Old 11th November 2008
  #12
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matucha's Avatar
Love the detail ;-), try KH O300D though it has less detail (imo) and sound more hifi/smiley... or get something more expensive (barefoot? ATC? PMC? BW?).

I've also heard newer S3As that sounded considerably different compared to mine (different and larger room was also big part of equation). They sounded less agressive with nicer bass too. Dunno. Would't it been nice if it was only the fuse? ;-)
Old 11th November 2008
  #13
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matucha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveschizoid View Post
This is certainly relative; it didn't sound that great to me. Your playing is nice though. I didn't hear any distortion in the sample on my S3a's. Could you put up a more severe example? Was the note I mentioned one where you are hearing the distortion?
Take any piano and put (quite steep) low pass filter on it. Frequency set to 300-1200Hz, if you have this problem, you'll hear it. If not --- you're lucky.
Old 11th November 2008
  #14
Here for the gear
 

i have the s3a and the 12 inch sub..adams just replaced my fuses which degrade over time and now i'm back to work after a couple of weeks wondering what the hell was the problem...i also hear the distortion problem with piano sounds...but i thought it was me or my signal path or
soul asylum studios
atlanta ga
Old 11th November 2008
  #15
Here too !

Yes , there is distortion with S3A here too.
On piano solo especially and solo sounds very rich in mid frequencies.
Nothing on mix or complex sounds;
i listen with a Grace m904 with three sets of speakers (S3A / HR824 / NS10) and Sony CD3000 Headphones.
Very annoying sometimes
:(
Old 11th November 2008
  #16
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Volodia's Avatar
 

Hi,

I hear distortion with your snippet but I hear on headphones too ( Sony MDR 7506) .
Old 11th November 2008
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Well....it just seems as if the s3a don´t like piano ;-)
On my headphones, the snippet is very clean ( Sennheiser HD 565)...

damn...what can we do ? Except from those details, they sound really fine....anyone owning a pair of the old series, and one of the newer one? maybe they got it fixed? My serial number is 8249/8250...
Old 11th November 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tidalwave View Post
My serial number is 8249/8250...
Serial P24519 / P24520 for me and a Sub10 serial P21726
and sometimes they don't like solo warm-sinusoidal-pads too !
Old 11th November 2008
  #19
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matucha's Avatar
Well I wrote an e-mail to ADAM (Berlin) about this issue. Will see what answers we're going to get ;-). I should have done it long time ago, but I was perhaps waiting for some impulse. I'm curious about the american side too.
Old 12th November 2008
  #20
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h4nc0's Avatar
My S3-As are a bit noisier (not a power problem thank u). It's been 6-7 years since I first got 'em. Do the fuses need to be replaced regularly? I was going to send my pair for service but couldn't find the time for it.
Old 12th November 2008
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4nc0 View Post
My S3-As are a bit noisier .
Yes, you have to lower the input gain on the front,
otherwise you can easily hear a continuous Hisssssssss,
I love my S3A ;-)
Old 12th November 2008
  #22
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h4nc0's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyonel View Post
Yes, you have to lower the input gain on the front,
otherwise you can easily hear a continuous Hisssssssss,
I love my S3A ;-)
Umm, no I meant, it became noisier than before.heh
Old 12th November 2008
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4nc0 View Post
Do the fuses need to be replaced regularly?
I had never heard that a Fuse can change the sound of a Device.
It's just a protection ..... ?
No ?
Old 12th November 2008
  #24
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matucha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4nc0 View Post
Umm, no I meant, it became noisier than before.heh
That's hard to recognize. I think mine hiss the same as they did in the begining. I have them at -10dB too.

BTW I also tried to raise the input gain to 0dB to try if the distortion problem isn't due to some input pad clipping, but it had no effect.

The distortion seems to need some midrange (low midrange) energy to develop. I tried sine sweeps and heard nothing wrong. But hit the chord with full round lower midrange and no harmonics to hide distortion and there we go. Lowering volume on avocet or minidac (tried with both) doesn't make it go away.
Old 12th November 2008
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Matucha:

Exactly the same here :-(
And still no statement from Adam....I guess there is nothing to say...
Old 12th November 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
MOST DEFINITELY distortion on the D and E flats section of the melody right hand section.

That's a problem. Sounds like those notes set of a higher resonant section of the speaker --- in which case there is nothing you can do about it.

Make sure the piano is not doing this (it can to some pianos on high humidity days).

Have you played this back on another speaker system?
Old 12th November 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
 

piano....

As it is an expensive and well sounding Sample-Based Keyboard that was used (Roland Fantom), I don´t think that that one is distorting :-)
As well, I recorded with good converters, and hiclass DI-Box through Focusrite Red1 Preamp with far enough headroom...so I would guess, that the recording is clean...
And I can´t hear that distortionkindof noise on other speakers, nor on headphones...

Could still be the monitor-section of my desk....but since other s3a users seem to hear what I hear, I guess it´s the speakers....too sad!

thanks!

Patrick
Old 12th November 2008
  #28
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matucha's Avatar
No reply so far, but I guess it isn't easy to respond... I'm giving them their time.
Old 12th November 2008
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tidalwave View Post
but since other s3a users seem to hear what I hear....
Definitely yes !
Old 12th November 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Glad I found this thread.

Mine are P15013 i think.

No distortion on mine to speak of, at least not subtle.

18 months ago, my right speaker (i do vertical, ports inside) shot out über loud noise randomly. they replaced the amp.

Last Monday, my left speaker just would not power on. No light, no orange LED no nothing. It's being worked on up here in Canada, and they think it's also a fuse problem.

My dealer (from 3 years ago) was very cool to offer a pair of loaner speakers, small K+H's.
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