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The evolution of a legendary nearfield monitor.
More than 30 glowing reviews, numerous awards, and countless dedicated fans made the A7, the predecessor of this new model, a true legend in nearfield monitoring. Now, the legend continues with the A7X: All drivers, all amplifiers, as well as the cabinet have been revised, resulting in a speaker that claims nothing less but to be a new benchmark in nearfield monitoring.
The first aspect that distiguishes the old from the new model is the X-ART tweeter. The ‘X’ stands for ‘eXtended frequency response’ and thus for one of the features of the Accelerating Ribbon Technology that has been drastically improved: the frequency response. It now extends all the way up to 50kHz. In addition, the X-ART tweeter has a higher efficiency and higher maximum sound pressure levels.
The perfect integration with the lower frequencies has been achieved with a newly designed 7” midwoofer. It has been redesigned with a much bigger voice coil (1.5”) and is driven by an amplifier with twice the power compared to its predecessor. This combination produces an amazing sound and pressure levels with an almost distortion-free musical reproduction.
Amplifiers / controls
Each driver has its own dedicated amplifier. A 50W A/B amp is responsible for the X-ART tweeter, while the midwoofer is being driven by a 100W PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) amp. The front panel includes a power switch and a control for the volume that retains the volume setting independently from the on/off switch.
On the rear panel of the A7X are several additional controls: a gain for the high frequencies (± 4dB) and two shelf filters for high and low frequencies. To ensure greater compatibility, there are both XLR (balanced) and RCA (unbalanced) connectors.
The X-ART (eXtended Accelerating Ribbon Technology) tweeters and midranges incorporate a new approach to the Air Motion Transformer concept originally developed by Dr. Oskar Heil. ADAM Audio has improved upon this splendid idea utilizing superior geometries and materials to achieve unprecedented audio fidelity. X-ART strikes a new path concerning the kinematics of moving air, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the quality of audio reproduction.
The X-ART membrane consists of a pleated diaphragm in which the folds compress or expand according to the audio signal applied to them. The result is that air is drawn in and squeezed out, like the bellows of an accordion.
The ADAM X-ART design overcomes the piston-like motion of all conventional drivers and their inevitable problems by achieving an improvement in air loading by a factor of 4 over conventional transducers. To illustrate the basic principle by a comparison: When you breathe, your thorax is moving slowly whereas the air is moving comparably fast. Similarly, the X-ART diaphragm presses the air faster in or out of its folds than they themselves are moving. This markedly superior ”motor” is responsible for the unprecedented clarity and pristine transient reproduction that can be heard with the ADAM X-ART drive units.
In addition, the X-ART tweeter’s pleated membrane avoids the typical breakup/distortion and subsequent dynamic limiting at higher frequencies of stiffer voice coil designs, such as those found in dome and cone tweeters. Another positive result of the X-ART design is that the driving ”stripes” are in direct contact with the outer air and are cooled immediately.
Pulse Width Modulation
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) – sometimes referred to as Class D amplification, sometimes called Switching Amp Technology – converts the incoming signal to a series of rectangular waveforms of equal height. The width of the rectangles varies in time and the relation of the width of the rectangles represents the musical signal. This waveform can be amplified much more simply, as the transistors are not modulated anymore; instead they are used as switches that only turn the power supply voltage on and off.
It is possible that a very fast mechanical switch could do the job, but power transistors are a better choice for the task, so PWM amplifiers still work pretty much like conventional Class AB designs. It is important to note there are no bits and bytes involved, so “Digital Amplifier” is a misleading and inaccurate term.
The main advantage of PWM amplifiers is their extremely high efficiency (>90%). As a consequence the heat to be dissipated is only one fifth of earlier designs, leading to much lower temperatures within the amps and making the use of heat sinks obsolete.
This principle has been known for decades, but time was needed to develop units that perform at the leading edge in sonic reproduction quality and yet still maintain the high efficiency mentioned previously. The ADAM units use the new technology for both the amp and the power supply section (i.e. no more transformers) combined with state of the art input and filter sections to achieve the best in multi-channel active studio monitoring.
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Reviewed by 3 customers
Displaying reviews 1-3
Comments about ADAM Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor:
I haven't listened to every monitor available so I would feel guilty giving it a straight 10 but what I can say is that these speakers are very helpful. They make decisions easy to make. Honestly, recording music shouldn't be a struggle and these speakers will save you time and frustration.
First of all, I record acoustic singer songwriter material as a hobby in my treated spare bedroom. I haven't had personal experience with too many other monitors and am not claiming to be a pro by any stretch but what I can say is this; mixing immediately became easier when I began using the Adam A7X's. It was definitely easier to locate problem areas in the lower midrange frequencies, which was normally a struggle for me. Also, the top end is very honest and it was easy to tell when a 'stringy' acoustic guitar needed to be reigned in. Stereo imaging is superb.
The construction quality seems very good. I'm definitely a fan of the looks. Neither speaker has given me any reason to question the degree of care that seems to be taken in the construction of these monitors.
I was very prepared to return these speakers if I didn't find them useful. They were at the very top end of what I was willing to spend but once I reviewed my previous home recorded material, it was easy to hear the bad choices that I made - too much reverb, too much compression, eq issues, etc. To me, that honesty was worth more than the price.
Comments about ADAM Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor:
While the sound and response deserve all the accolades these monitors have received, the quality of the amplifiers, the quality of service and the overall hassles you'll encounter due to the fact they are not made to last, are simply NOT worth the cost.
I remain a fan of passive monitors, (especially if you want something dependable!) I will purchase another set of powered monitors, but will NOT spend over $500 for a pair. It doesn't seem to matter how much they cost, or how good they say they are, powered monitors simply DO NOT stand up to the level of use they get in a working studio. Nice to check mixes through something different, but don't put yourself in a corner by depending on them!
These are GREAT sounding monitors! Unfortunately, quality control is an issue as it is with anything when an item gets popular.
My first foray into powered monitors wasn't at all smooth. On arrival one of the monitors was completely dead. Send it back and get a replacement, but the design was different! Took me two months to get a matched set. Can't believe anyone in the music business would not realize that two different monitors are NOT what you need in a studio control room. I would expect that a pair of monitors should be matched so they sound as close as possible. My old Event 20/20's were, and still are a matched set.
So, I resisted powered monitors for many years. Been to other studios where they have, and continue to be, a problem. If you have passive monitors there is little that can go wrong with them, (unless you constantly overdrive them, but that's YOUR fault!) Powered monitors seem to ALL have amplifier problems. ADAM is no exception. After pulling my hair out to get a matched WORKING set, they lasted all of two years before one of them took a dump. One monitor is pretty useless when you're working stereo mixes.
Comments about ADAM Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor:
I feel spoiled by the A7Xs. Listening to music or trying to mix on other speakers doesn't work for me anymore. I love the true and accurate response, the detail and the look of these speakers. It sounds like I have a real band playing in my home studio. They've transformed my insane obsession with sound design and music into an even larger one. If you're looking to save money, you can purchase the A7s, they're still worthy of the cash. However, the A7Xs are worth every extra penny and they provide better low frequency response.
The Adam A7X monitors provide an easy-to-reach On/Off switch and volume control on the front. The back of the unit houses shelving filter controls to modify the output to complement the placement of the speakers in your room. The back of the unit also houses the XLR and RCA inputs, both of which provide sturdy and reliable connections -- you don't have to worry about your cables falling out or a loose connection being made. These connectors are as solid as it gets. The frequency response extends from 42Hz to 50kHz, providing a flatter response in the audible frequencies. In terms of features, the A7X provides everything you need at the right price. And, if you ever move to Europe, you won't need a power convertor: Just flip the switch on the back!!
I've heard and tested the Adam A7s, and when they came out I was determined to buy them. They provided clear, detailed sound and a level of honesty other similarly priced monitors just don't measure up to. The Adam A7Xs, however, improve upon the design of the A7s. The audio sounds flatter, clearer, and more detailed. I've never heard such detailed mixes at this price point, I'm truly amazed. If you want to ensure that everything in your mix is exactly where it should be, these are the monitors. They don't make your audio sound nicer, so it's up to you to do the work. The bass response is also better than the A7s. I use the A7Xs without an additional sub and I have no complaints. They certainly give me everything I need in the frequency and power departments. Adam has truly gotten the double-ported design right, not an easy task by any measure.
Listening to music on the A7Xs is truly a pleasure. Vocals sound more realistic and the instrumentals are truly 3-dimensional. These monitors know how to fill the space.
The construction of the monitors is rock-solid. The enclosures are durable, the knobs move smoothly, buttons stay put and the screwdriver-turnable filter knobs on the back only move when you want them to. The design is visually appealing, clean and sleek.
The A7Xs cost more than their predecessor, the A7, but they are worth every last penny. Sound, construction, functionality and even the manual add to the value of these monitors.