NEW DESIGN CONCEPTS
A giant leap forward was achieved with the use of modern materials like rare-earth magnets and high-strength diaphragm foils that made new driver geometry possible. New developments arose from the new design concepts that despite all of their innovative approaches showed amazing reliability, sound radiation characteristics, low distortion and high efficiency. With these improvements, a significant improvement was achieved compared to traditional driver technology.
The newly developed tweeter design became the embodiment of a transparent, highly defined and authentic sound that is the most defining development of ADAM Audio’s proprietary designs today. With the tweeter driver being made and tested painstakingly by hand in the Berlin factory, ADAM Audio’s high-frequency driver proves itself to be a rare exception in times of automated mass production. From Berlin, ADAM Audiospeakers are delivered all over the world to satisfy the needs of audio engineers and music lovers alike.
While constantly improving our own technologies, the latest development of the renowned X-ART tweeter has been designed: The S-ART tweeter, produced to tighter tolerances than ever before. Furthermore, newly designed, solid aluminum HPS™-and MPS™-Waveguides have been developed, which make dispersion more consistent and imaging more stable over a wider area.
The new X-ART tweeters and midrange speakers are characterized by an extended frequency range and higher efficiency compared to their predecessors. In order to realize the full bandwidth of the X-ART and S-ART tweeter of up to 50 kHz, ADAM Audio has developed their own A/B amplifier with a bandwidth of up to 300 kHz which has brought significant improvements to sound reproduction. ADAM Audio now offers a range of unique monitors that receive rave reviews and appreciation from audio experts and audio recording engineers all over the world.
RAISING STANDARDS IN AUDIO REPRODUCTION
At the same time, this technical innovation did define the aim of the company – to raise standards in audio reproduction noticeably and audibly. And indeed, the Advanced Dynamic Audio Monitors (ADAM) was immediately in a position to change the game of professional monitoring.
Since then, further innovations and technologies have been introduced:
- The DCH™ -Midrange Driver is completely new designed by ADAM Audio’s engineering department for the S Series and comes with a leading-edge hybrid design: part cone and part dome driver
- The new bass drivers with ELE™ and SMA™ Technology
- Fundamental redevelopment of cabinets incl. custom designed waveguides and a high performance DSP module.
ADAM Audio employs over 60 people worldwide and is represented around the globe through a network of distributors and dealers in more than 75 countries. ADAM Audio has local branches in the USA (Nashville) and China. A growing number of the most famous and prestigious studios around the world own and use ADAM Audio monitors. A wealth of glowing print reviews and a consistent stream of praise across many internet forums prove ADAM Audio monitors as being among the most dependable and desirable audio recording and production tools available. Since July 2019, ADAM Audio is part of the Focusrite Group, which comprises the Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Novation and Ampify Music brands.
The HPS (High-frequency Propagation System) waveguide was initially designed at ADAM Audio for the S-ART tweeter of the S Series range with the aid of the latest computer modeling techniques. It hones the dispersion of the speakers to an even, uniform consistency, broad in the horizontal axis but tightly focused in the vertical plane. This minimizes potentially distracting reflections from the horizontal surfaces of significant studio furniture (for example mixing consoles), ensures that imaging remains constant, and creates a large, well-controlled and stable ‘sweet spot’, even at high output levels.
The U-ART tweeter as used in the T Series is fitted to a precision waveguide with the same dispersion-control attributes as the HPS waveguide used in ADAM Audio’s flagship S Series studio monitors.
On the S5H and S5V, the DCH mid-range driver is set into an additional waveguide, the MPS (Mid-range Propagation System), which ensures that dispersion remains wide and smooth even over longer listening distances.
Milled from a solid block of aluminum, it hones the dispersion of the speakers to an even, uniform consistency, broad in the horizontal axis but tightly focused in the vertical plane. This minimizes potentially distracting reflections from the horizontal surfaces of significant studio furniture (for example mixing consoles), ensures that imaging remains constant, and creates a large, well-controlled and stable ‘sweet spot’, even at high output levels
Every progress comes with new questions and difficulties. The new X-ART tweeter with its extended frequency band up to 50 kHz (-3 dB point) caused an interesting kind of problem: PWM amplifiers need a low pass filter to separate the modulation frequency from the audio band, and this may limit the reproduction capabilities of the new tweeter. So ADAM spared no efforts and decided to design its own high frequency power amp to allow the new high frequency unit to live up to its unique talents.
THE PERFECT PARTNER FOR X-ART
An internal bandwidth of more than 1 MHz is externally limited so that the unit delivers an ultra wide response up to 300 kHz. With nothing limiting the talents of the X-ART tweeter, the monitor has unsurpassed clarity and openness which will please, amaze and thrill even the most experienced professional ear.
“…a response up to 50kHz it makes the clarity even wider.”
“The famous ART tweeter … has also undergone reconstruction in the X model providing 4dB higher efficiency and reproducing frequencies accurately all the way to 50kHz, which has made such a difference.”
The 100mm (4 inch) mid-range driver, newly designed by ADAM Audio’s engineering department for the S Series, is a hybrid design: part cone and part dome driver. The extremely rigid one-piece drive element combines the clean decay characteristic and linear frequency response of a dome driver with the high excursion advantages of a cone driver, audibly improving transparency in the critical mid-range and producing excellent, distortion-free reproduction at high output levels. In conjunction with the high-quality S Series suspension, which properly controls large-scale excursions, wobble is completely excluded. In addition, the DCH’s output extends down an octave further than competing mid-range drivers (as far as 200 Hz), ensuring a clean and consistent dispersion without tonal coloration.
The DCH™ is manufactured using a specially laminated carbon composite material and its domed form renders it very stable. It behaves as a piston up to 8 kHz (one and a half octaves beyond its operational frequency response), does not produce unwanted vibrations and does not deform, even at high output levels. Unwanted ringing and resonances, of the kind that obscure sonic detail and produce listening fatigue, are almost completely excluded, and reproduction remains extremely clean across the driver’s entire operational frequency range.
The robust construction of the DCH also allows it to be placed nearer to the S-ART treble driver. Together, the pair act as a more coherent sound source for the all-important mid-range information, making overall dispersion wider, more consistent and more accurate. Several features resembling those from the ELE bass driver also appear on the DCH™, suitably adapted, such as the linear magnet assembly and suspension and damping systems, vented pole piece, the heat-dissipating chassis/basket, and the large 65 mm (2.5 inch) voice coil. There are a few differences: for instance, the mid-range driver surround is manufactured from a specially formulated foam material. As with the low-frequency driver, fine, highly dynamic details are reproduced without coloration or filtering.
The S Series ELE™ bass driver (short for Extended Linear Excursion) is a custom design created especially for and in parallel with the S Series cabinet and bass-reflex system. Realized by an ingenious combination of human engineering skill and the latest computer modeling techniques, it guarantees accurate audio reproduction at an extremely high resolution thanks to the precision-designed relationship between its low weight, optimized inner damping and highly rigid honeycomb cone, in conjunction with a basket which has been developed to eliminate unwanted resonance and distortion. The result is a bass driver that offers audio professionals a clarity and transparency hitherto unexperienced in low-frequency audio reproduction, operating with great precision even at high sound pressure levels.
Another notable feature of the ELE™ driver is its mechanical suspension, which operates optimally even over large excursions in either direction, allowing bass frequencies to be reproduced without distortion at high SPLs. Low-frequency energy is not limited as it is on similar systems, and the dynamics of the original audio are preserved in full. ‘Softer’, less highly tensioned driver suspensions may allow uncontrolled displacement at high SPLs. The highly tensioned linear S Series suspension system, by contrast, dampens the movements of the membrane at high output levels in a controlled manner and returns it to its rest position. The suspension is extremely robust and ensures distortion-free reproduction across the entire audible frequency spectrum.
The newly created long-throw speaker surround was also carefully engineered to be considerably more resilient than competing modern designs. This greatly increases the maximum possible excursion of the driver membrane, improving dynamic range and reducing distortion.
Finally, the loudspeaker basket is anodized by means of a specially optimized process during manufacture: the material’s black finish absorbs heat and provides another means by which the driver is kept cool.
SMA™ – SYMMETRICAL MAGNET ASSEMBLY
The newly developed magnet assembly in the bass driver, which ADAM Audio has named the SMA™ (Symmetrical Magnet Assembly), extends the maximum possible excursion of the electromagnetic voice coil by a factor of three compared to previous designs. The greatly extended travel ensures that the membrane operates in linear fashion over a relatively large distance, displaces a greater volume of air, and is capable of higher maximum output. The design allows the driver to accurately reproduce low-frequency signals without distortion, even when called upon to produce extremely large excursions. An ingenious built-in ventilation system also prevents warming of the large, custom-designed voice coils, and thus reduces the effects of power compression below the threshold of audibility. As voice coils warm, their ohmic resistance changes, damping and dynamic range are reduced, operational parameters change, and low frequencies are no longer reproduced cleanly. These unwanted effects are avoided in ADAM Audio’s new design.
The carefully engineered construction makes use of materials designed to encourage heat dissipation, and also keeps unwanted air turbulence and compression out of the magnet assembly, minimizing distortion.
The SMA™ also features several other innovations developed by ADAM Audio especially for the S Series:An elongated pole piece is employed in the low-frequency driver, extending beyond the magnet assembly to widen the reach of the resulting magnetic field and also to render it symmetrical. This keeps the driver’s performance linear, and reduces distortion in the output to a minimum. The magnet assembly operates over a larger travel than other comparable low-frequency drivers, allowing the voice coil much greater scope for downward motion and preventing it from being damaged at high output levels. The pole piece is also vented to encourage ventilation and maintain constant pressure in the magnet assembly. To reduce turbulence and air noise, the venting is aerodynamically rounded.
The S2V, S3H and S3V’s parabolic pole pieces prevent unwanted modulation of the driver’s magnetic field, drastically reducing non-linear second-order distortion, while demodulation rings help the magnetic field remain symmetrical and also minimize non-linear third-order distortion.
The largest S Series models, the S5H and S5V, have an additional refinement: another magnet of opposing polarity is situated on top of the elongated pole piece to further streamline the magnetic field lines and render them symmetrical. This ensures that the movement of the voice coil remains linear and keeps distortion to a minimum, even at high listening levels.
HIGH PERFORMANCE DSP MODULE
The high-performance DSP engine was developed especially for the S Series and implements perfectly tuned crossovers, guaranteeing optimal frequency response, and a dynamic range greater than that offered by traditional analog crossovers, with no loss of resolution.
The DSP engine developed for the S Series provides users of all models in the range with a comprehensive array of options for in-room optimization. The intuitive OLED display allows control over overall level, two parametric shelving filters (one for the bass, the other for the highs) as well as six further fully parametric EQs with variable Q that may be assigned to boost or cut level at specific frequencies.
Five memories are also provided to store voicing presets. On most S Series models, the first two of these are supplied by ADAM and are non-editable; the first is known as ‘Pure’ and is the factory default tuning, with an extremely accurate frequency response. The second is a dynamic, natural-sounding response curve of ADAM’s own design, which is known as UNR™ (the Uniform Natural Response). The remaining three memories are available to store users’ own personal voicing presets. Only on the new S3H is the situation slightly different; as on the rest of the S Series range, the non-editable Pure and UNR settings occupy the first two presets, but only the final two are available for user presets. The third memory on the S3H is a further non-editable option designed to emulate the sound of what is possibly ADAM’s best-known monitor, the highly regarded S3A.
The DSP also offers limiter-based protection, AES3 digital inputs, and connectors for future expansion options. A USB connector allows software upgrades and facilitates connection to computer-based editing software, so that voicing adjustments or preset selection can be carried out without the need to access the rear panel of your monitors – a useful option if they are soffit-mounted.
ADAM AUDIO – A GERMAN PRECISION TOOL MAKER
In the beginning, ADAM Audio monitors were only known by insiders among working professionals in the recording industry. After only fifteen years, our monitors have earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent tool for sound engineers based on technological innovations that we’ve established in the field of loudspeaker technology. Most importantly, these innovations are fundamental to what most distinguishes a monitor – its sonic characteristics.
The most basic and well known of these innovations is the ADAM proprietary eXtended Accelerating Ribbon Technology: Each ADAM speaker uses X-ART drivers that are all handmade and calibrated in our own manufacturing facility in Berlin. With their nearly at frequency response up to 50kHz, X-ART drivers are largely responsible for the natural, realistic sound of the ADAM speakers.
ADAM Audio’s engineering innovations are not limited to our proprietary X-ART technology, but also include other areas of loudspeaker design such as high technology diaphragm materials, the development and application of high-class ampliers, the coupling of drivers and cabinets, control panels and more.
The following chapters will provide you with descriptions of the fundamental approaches of our technological innovations along with detailed explanations of the technologies mentioned above.