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distance is equal to the tweeter-to-ear distance, that distance being somewhere between 3 and no more than 5 feet. Any further and you’ll hear too little direct sound from the speakers and too many room reflections. With the tweeters at ear level you’ll have the best chance at hearing precise imaging and critical detail. The owner’s manual (18 pages in English, 18 pages in German) states that it is okay to lay the speakers on their sides, as long as there is symmetry in the way you set them up—either both tweeters on the outside or both tweeters on the inside. That would be indicated if you have a console with a meter bridge, where upright positioning would raise the tweeters too far above your ear level. I tried both the F5 and F7 every which way, and I achieved much better precision with the tweeters on the inside than on the outside when laying on their side. But my best results came from upright positioning, on speaker stands at least 5 feet from the nearest wall. Which brings us to the crux of the matter—the sound. Listening As I mentioned, I didn’t have the sub to review. Does that mean I was missing bass? Not in the least. In fact, even the smaller F5 produced serious bass, not enhanced by either the eq on the back of the box, or by any other bass boost, nor wall or corner
mentioned, the Diana Krall album (where she sings, plays the grand piano, and is backed by a full-on big band) and Ray Brown’s, showed up enough material for critical listening to tell me that there is balance in the F5 and F7. The upper highs— cymbals, solo violin, triangle and such— speak clearly, without undue harshness. Listening to a variety of other source material revealed that the overall tonality is on the bright side, a statement that goes for both the F5 and the F7. But they are not identical in sound. Different strokes I set the two pairs up side by side, with the F7s flanking the F5s, and I rigged the signal flow so I could switch instantly between them. The difference between the two models was a bit starker than I would have expected, especially in the tweeter, and since they are supposed to share that tweeter, I’m at a loss as to why I heard what I heard. When switching between speakers while a straight-ahead jazz drummer was riding cymbals, the cymbals sounded more ping-y and less swish-y on the F5s, and it was not a matter of (shorter) envelope decay, it was strictly a tonal matter. On the F7s it sounded as if the overheads had been a couple of feet higher, giving a broader sound than that from the F5s. Neither presentation was objectionable,
IsoAcoustics ISO•L8R200 Speaker Stand
In our April 2012 issue we reviewed the ISO•L8R155 stands from IsoAcoustics (www. isoacoustics.com), and now we can report that we’ve evaluated the new ISO•L8R200 ($179.99/pair; $149.99 street) that had been announced at AES 2012. These speaker stands enhance the listening experience by decoupling the cabinets from the surface on which they are placed. This can make a considerable difference depending on just what and where that surface is. This larger model is named after the approximate size in millimeters, 200 mm being the rough equivalent to the width of 7.8", while the length is 10".
F5 and F7 Monitors
The ribbon-tweeter revolution reaches a new audience with these affordable speakers
reinforcement—with the boxes standing out in the open the bass was plentiful. Bassist/ producer Marcus Miller’s “Infatuation” (from the CD Tales) has a huge low end, and what I heard from both the F5 and the F7 was appropriately huge. That track is not the most subtle down low, with more girth than luster. So I continued listening with tracks featuring bassists like studio ace Robert Hurst, with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra on Diana Krall’s From This Moment On, recorded by Al Schmitt, and Ray Brown’s “Some Of My Best Friends Are Piano Players”. It turns out that the bass you can get from the F5 and F7 includes the subtleties that only an upright bass in the hands of a master can deliver. The F7 has deeper bass, as you’d expect, but the F5 is not shy down low! But did that serious bass projection leave room for midrange quality? It’s one thing to have a big low end, but if it obliterates the rest of the spectrum, all is for naught. I’m happy to report that the vocal range and the entire range of the piano are not suffering from being impacted by the impressive bass production. Both CDs but crosschecking on other playback systems at hand told me that the F5s were pushing the highs more than did the F7s. As should be expected, the smaller F5s give a narrower sound field, and as soon as I switched from the F7s to the F5s the stage not only narrowed but the overall impression of the music was more forward, tighter, in my face. That’s what speaker size will do. At times I preferred this forward character from the F5s, as it can help to highlight certain details. But then again, the broader sound field from the F7s makes for better overall balance. Given these differences, I recommend listening carefully to both models and deciding which best fits your studio and gives the sound that works best for your music production style. Regardless of which you choose, both models can do good service in your studio—and with a friendly price tag we’re not used to seeing on speakers bearing the ADAM name. Prices: F5, $499/pair; F7, $799/pair More from: ADAM Audio, www.adam-audio.com
The unit is made up of six components: A lower platform that stands on four rubber feet, an upper rectangular frame that carries the speaker cabinet, and the connecting four vertical tubes, one in each corner. The user can choose a shorter 4" or taller 8" set of tubes. The isolation is provided by friction-fit rubberized sleeves in the corners of the platform and the upper frame where the tubes fit snugly but with minimal transmission of vibrations. In difficult positioning situations even this choice of stand height may not bring the tweeters to the user’s ear level. For such cases, if the speakers need to be tilted towards the listening position, a set of inserts are available to allow for different angles. As with the 155, these stands can provide a marked difference in bass response and overall speaker tone, especially if the speakers are sitting on a resonant surface like a tabletop. If you have heavy, isolated speaker stands they can still improve your sound, but in smaller studios where furniture is catch as catch can, they can be a lifesaver.—LzR
RECORDING January 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2013
Recording - January 2013
Table of Contents
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.
iOS Music Tools: Last-Minute Audio Gifts!
Sennheiser HD800 Headphones.
2012 Annual Index.
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.
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Recording - January 2013 - Universal Audio Apollo.
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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
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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.
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Recording - January 2013 - 2012 Annual Index.
Recording - January 2013 - 71
Recording - January 2013 - Fade Out.
Recording - January 2013 - Cover3
Recording - January 2013 - Cover4