Recording - January 2013 - 24

BY LORENZ RYCHNER

ADAM Audio is based in Berlin, Germany. The company makes loudspeakers for a variety of markets, from home to installed audio to multimedia systems, and a number of its products are squarely aimed at the control rooms of audio production facilities large and small. Over the last ten years we have reviewed a number of these monitors, from the fairly pricey S-1A to more affordable models like the A3X, ANF-10, A5, and A7. Now comes a new pair of monitors, looking identical except for their size, the self-powered F5 and F7. These models are to be released early in 2013 and are aimed at the budget recordist while promising the special sound of which ADAM is justly proud. An optional subwoofer (not reviewed here) will also be released, the SubF, designed to enhance both the F5 and F7 speakers. The boxes Here’s what the F5 and F7 have in common: Both are black, with a broad porthole in front below the woofer that sits in the middle of the fascia, below the tweeter that we’ll examine in a moment. Below the woofer is the ADAM logo, next to an LED that lights green when a signal is present, dim red when in power-saving standby mode, and bright red in a rare case when overheating should occur (it would take insane output levels that would fry your ears long before the speakers...). An auto-sensing circuit activates the speakers within seconds from standby mode as soon as a signal is applied. On the back both models have an RCA input and an XLR/TRS combo input (connecting the RCA mutes the combo), a volume knob ranging from –∞ (silence) to +6 dB, a 3-position high-shelf eq toggle (flat or ±6 dB above 5 kHz), a 3-position low-shelf eq toggle (flat or ±6 dB below 300 Hz), a 2-way toggle switch for flat or highpass at 80 Hz (for use with the subwoofer), a voltage selector and power switch and a standard IEC 3prong AC socket. These boxes are not magnetically shielded. Here’s how the F5 and F7 differ: The F5 weighs 15 lbs. and measures 11.5" x 7.5" x 9". Its woofer has a 5" diameter, its stated frequency response (no deviation plot given) is 52 Hz–50 kHz, and it has two 25 W power amplifiers. The F7 weighs 19.8 lbs. and measures 12.6" x 9" x 10.5". Its woofer has a 7" diameter, its stated frequency response (no deviation plot
24
RECORDING January 2013

ADAM Audio
given) is 44 Hz–50 kHz, and it has two power amps, 60 W for the woofer ands 40 W for the tweeter. The crossover frequency isn’t supplied by ADAM Audio for either speaker. About that tweeter Both models, the F5 and F7, share the same tweeter. Behind the squarish waveguide with rounded edges sits the item that makes all the difference according to ADAM Audio—not the usual circular tweeter but a newly designed version of ADAM Audio’s proprietary Accelerating Ribbon Technology (ART). This is ADAM Audio’s adaptation of a technology first developed by physicist Oskar Heil, who found that a set of pleated ribbons could do a fine job as a high-frequency transducer. He called it the Air Motion Transformer, AMT for short. Rather than performing the push/pull in/out motion of a conventional speaker element, the pleated ribbon assembly with its folds acts more like the human voicebox. ADAM Audio offers technical details and diagrams at www.adam-audio.com/en/technology/x-art. If you wish to see an animation of this type of membrane in action, go to the website of a Swiss company that also continues in Dr. Heil’s footsteps, found at www.precide.ch/eng/eheil/ eheildetails.htm. Positioning The unusual tweeter technology has no bearing on how you should set up these boxes. They are nearfield monitors (a term coined and trademarked by Ed Long about four decades ago), and the usual guidelines apply: Set them up in an equilateral triangle, meaning that the tweeter-to-tweeter


http://www.adam-audio.com/en/technology/x-art http://www.precide.ch/eng/eheil/eheildetails.htm http://www.precide.ch/eng/eheil/eheildetails.htm

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2013

Recording - January 2013
Fade In.
Table of Contents
Talkback.
2012 AES Convention Report.
Universal Audio Apollo.
ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Monitors & Monitoring.
Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Getting Into Your Head.
Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Readers’ Tapes.
iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
Advertiser Index.
2012 Annual Index.
Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Recording - January 2013
Recording - January 2013 - Cover2
Recording - January 2013 - 1
Recording - January 2013 - 2
Recording - January 2013 - 3
Recording - January 2013 - Fade In.
Recording - January 2013 - 5
Recording - January 2013 - Table of Contents
Recording - January 2013 - 7
Recording - January 2013 - Talkback.
Recording - January 2013 - 9
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 AES Convention Report.
Recording - January 2013 - 11
Recording - January 2013 - 12
Recording - January 2013 - 13
Recording - January 2013 - 14
Recording - January 2013 - 15
Recording - January 2013 - 16
Recording - January 2013 - 17
Recording - January 2013 - 18
Recording - January 2013 - 19
Recording - January 2013 - Universal Audio Apollo.
Recording - January 2013 - 21
Recording - January 2013 - 22
Recording - January 2013 - 23
Recording - January 2013 - ADAM Audio F5 and F7 Monitors.
Recording - January 2013 - 25
Recording - January 2013 - Earthworks ZDT 1022 Mic Preamp.
Recording - January 2013 - 27
Recording - January 2013 - Trident HG3 Close Field Monitoring System.
Recording - January 2013 - 29
Recording - January 2013 - AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 31
Recording - January 2013 - 32
Recording - January 2013 - 33
Recording - January 2013 - Grace Design m903 Reference Headphone Amplifier.
Recording - January 2013 - 35
Recording - January 2013 - Monitors & Monitoring.
Recording - January 2013 - 37
Recording - January 2013 - 38
Recording - January 2013 - 39
Recording - January 2013 - Lauten Atlantis FC-387 Condenser Microphone.
Recording - January 2013 - 41
Recording - January 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 13: Monitors Part 2.
Recording - January 2013 - 43
Recording - January 2013 - PreSonus BlueTube DP V2.
Recording - January 2013 - 45
Recording - January 2013 - Getting Into Your Head.
Recording - January 2013 - 47
Recording - January 2013 - 48
Recording - January 2013 - 49
Recording - January 2013 - Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones.
Recording - January 2013 - 51
Recording - January 2013 - 52
Recording - January 2013 - 53
Recording - January 2013 - 54
Recording - January 2013 - 55
Recording - January 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
Recording - January 2013 - 57
Recording - January 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Recording - January 2013 - 59
Recording - January 2013 - 60
Recording - January 2013 - 61
Recording - January 2013 - Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
Recording - January 2013 - Advertiser Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 64
Recording - January 2013 - 65
Recording - January 2013 - 66
Recording - January 2013 - 67
Recording - January 2013 - 68
Recording - January 2013 - 69
Recording - January 2013 - 2012 Annual Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 71
Recording - January 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Cover3
Recording - January 2013 - Cover4
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