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ADAM A5X

A number of ADAM loudspeakers have formed part of our product portfolio for many years now. ADAM have managed to integrate ribbon tweeter technology into professional monitors more effectively than most, often successfully reproducing exceptional high-frequency detail, while maintaining a faithful midrange.

Whilst its not quite the smallest speaker in the ADAM range, we’ve found the A5X to be about the most compact monitor available that does reliably facilitate professional-level critical listening. Despite its size, the A5X has a surprisingly powerful low end. Many of our clients have noted how the speakers maintain that excitement and punch that is so often the first thing to disappear from a mix on smaller monitors.

Like all of ADAM’s professional speakers, the A5X utilises the proprietary X-ART ribbon tweeter. We’ve long been of the opinion that these tweeters provide a far greater level of high frequency detail than most dome-tweeter alternatives. In our own listening tests we’ve noted on a number of occasions the enhanced spacial cues that these tweeters provide, which does seem to make many recordings sound considerably more natural. High frequency precision isn’t always flattering, and can reveal recording imperfections, but for many this only serves to provoke a more accurate mix stage.

Loudspeakers with ribbon tweeters often suffer inaccuracy (often perceived as gaps) in the high-mid range. This can be a result of the crossover and/or woofer not catering adequately for the relatively steep drop in the ribbon’s response in this area, which is considerably higher in frequency than with dome tweeters. Whilst there are still without doubt improvements to be made in this area, the A5X is smoother and more faithful than most ribbon-based competitors, including other products in the ADAM range.

Applications

The A5Xs can be an excellent monitoring solution when space and/or budget is at a premium. Whilst the 5.5” driver doesn’t facilitate the low frequency extension and power of larger speakers; their accuracy over the remainder of the frequency range makes them a realistic choice for many audio professionals. Many small rooms produce such pronounced low-frequency inconsistencies, that a smaller monitor, concentrating on midband and high-frequency accuracy can turn out to be the best solution. Their compact size can also make them a good choice for wall-mounted installation work.

Pros and Cons

Ribbon tweeters continue to divide opinion in the industry. Whilst many consider their reproduction extremely natural and revealing, others find the top end of recordings quite the opposite, and note the aforementioned gaps in the high-mid range. However, most agree that the A5X provides a virtually unparalleled level of high-frequency detail; and whilst their diminutive stature prevents the extended low-frequency capability of larger studio monitors, they posses a surprisingly punchy bottom end. As a small monitor that we believe can be used in professional environments for critical listening, it also represents excellent value for money. 

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