April 23, 2011

An afternoon with Adam Speakers

Adam are one of not too many speaker manufacturers who make active speakers for home use. I paid a visit to the home of one owner to have a listen and help with taking some measurements. I had heard these speakers in this room before and this time they left a different impression.

The first time around, they had a forward and precise sound. Out of curiosity I had a look at the rear panel controls and noted that the treble had been turned up - that explained the forwardness of the presentation. This time they were quite a bit more mellow and the level had been reduced by 2db shy of flat, which turned out to be a nice balance.

Never heard of Adam speakers?

Adam professional audio >

They make both home audio and studio speakers. The speaker in question here is the Tensor Delta. It has a 9" woofer combined with a Heil mid and tweeter. They are driven by built-in class D amps and a class AB amp for the tweeter. What you can't tell from the website is how well finished they are. The finish is pristine and the build quality exceptional.

You may notice some foam behind the speakers. I brought some along as temporary "bass trap reinforcements." You can see one of the existing bass traps in the corner on the left. We took some measurements with Fuzz Measure and in the waterfalls we could see some improvement with the four added foam scrap traps in the corners. They are not nearly big enough or the right material to fully trap a room, but they were enough for us to see a difference in the measurements.
We took some gated measurements at 1m in less than ideal conditions with boundaries a little too close. Ideally one would elevate the speaker to a height of 1.8m outdoors and gate out the first reflection from the floor. We didn't quite have the space or time so we did a "cheat measurement" using foam to damp the nearest two reflections as shown. This allows us to measure to lower frequencies. We took a series of measurements, including nearfield, farfield, and gated @ 1m.

The nearfield plots revealed a very smooth and flat response.

This isn't the normal way to measure speakers, but it is more common for a subwoofer. I took a nearfield measurement of the woofer, but the other drivers were measured that way out of curiosity.

One thing that was demonstrated was the way in which having less bass can make a speaker "room friendly." For a stand mount, these are certainly bass capable. While the room has not been tamed with extensive EQ or bass traps, the owner had turned back the bass a little to compensate. On most tracks this resulted in the bass sounding well under control.


  1. Hi Paul. Did you use Fuzz measure to do the gated measurements? If so, how do you do this? Steve. PS Rythmik sub built and ready to be integrated - 125 litres of 25mm braced box - cannot be moved by single person !!

  2. Yes, we did. You gate by moving the shaded arrows in the impulse response. You can also enter the time for the gates numerically.

    REW is much better for the bass side of things. Fuzz is good for full range measurements.

  3. Paul, I can't see any graphs. What gives?


  4. Dan, perhaps that's because I didn't include any!

  5. So you take measurements just for the fun of it?

    1. On average I take measurements a number of times each week, either as part of consulting work (calibration, room analysis etc) or speaker development. Rarely it's "just for the fun of it" although in that case, it was. That was four years ago.


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