Canadian Musician - January/February 2023 - Page 24

ROAD TEST

Adam Audio A7V & A4V Studio Monitors

By Adam Gallant

I

’ m very excited to test out Adam Audio ’ s successor to the popular A7X studio monitors , which have been seen in so many studios over the last 12 years . In this issue , I test out both the A7V ( 7-in . driver ) and A4V ( 4-in . driver ) versions of this line . I ’ ll touch on some of the new features as well as compare both sets of speakers to help inform you about what may best suit your needs . This new line of speakers comprises five unique models . I encourage you to have a look at all the form factors Adam Audio have put forward as there are some exciting new designs to be seen .
The A7Vs , along with all the new formats in this A Series monitor line , are equipped with user-controllable DSP as well as hardware upgrades that will make them as ubiquitous as the X series became over the last decade . Most excitingly , we have a new remote software control panel that can be used to tune the speakers , in real-time , via your PC or Mac . A Control Remote Software is available once the speakers have been registered via the MyADAM dashboard . Remote speaker configuration is done with the speakers connected to a router or switch via the rear ethernet port . The A Control software has a lovely UI and contains both broad stroke and finely-detailed equalisation parameters that can be adjusted and heard on playback instantaneously . Also , Adam Audio have announced a partnership with Sonarworks to automate and simplify the tedious job of tuning each speaker in a room with the help of the new SoundID Reference software . The A Series speakers come with a 60-day trial for the software .
On the back of the speaker we see an EQ interface and some other added functions . The EQ interface is mimicked in the A Control Software and EQ curves can be manipulated from either the speaker or the software . Adam Audio has also included EQ presets that will likely suit most use cases right out of the box without doing the deep-dive into room correction . These presets are available via the “ Voicing ” button on the back of the speaker or the “ Adaption ” button in the software .
We did the deep dive and configured both the A7Vs and A4Vs to playback optimally in our studio by first measuring the frequency response of each speaker , independently at listening position , then applying an EQ curve
via the A Control Software . This EQ curve is bespoke to each speaker and is designed to reduce the room ’ s effect on playback via the speakers . Issues like standing waves and sound bouncing off of desks and other surfaces cloud one ’ s ability to hear in a way that is true and translatable to other playback systems . By using either the Sonarworks SoundID Reference or something like Room EQ Wizard , the sound at the listening position can be measured across the full frequency spectrum . Room modes and other acoustical interferences can be identified and managed to create the most accurate playback possible . Packaging this tunability into the speakers ’ DSP is a massive technological step forward and few speaker manufactures have been able to provide this in such a sleek and inviting way .
The X-Art tweeter from the flagship S Series has been adapted for use in the A Series speakers . Possibly the most iconic aspect to Adam Audio ’ s designs , this tweeter has an extremely neutral high-frequency response . Playback presents a sense of clarity and detail that Adam Audio users have come to rely on . In the A line , these tweeters are user-configurable for both horizontal and vertical speaker placements . With an Allen key , simply unscrew the fasteners that surround the tweeter , rotate the Waveguide that holds the tweeter 90 degrees , re-secure and your speaker has been set up for its new orientation at your desk . On the topic of placement , Adam Audio have their eyes on the Atmos market with all A Series models containing screw holes for mounting , located on the bottom of the speakers . The company has announced plans to release a comprehensive range of wall , ceiling , and pole mounting options , too . I can imagine a very cost effective Atmos playback system with A4Vs as the satellites . Weighing in at 12 lbs ., the A4Vs are not as intimidating to hang as other speakers often seen in Atmos rooms .
On paper , the A7Vs are rated down to 40 Hz while the A4Vs land at 52 Hz . In use , the two sets of speakers feel different to the ear across the full frequency spectrum . The top end still has a familiar feeling of clarity and detail , especially around 3 KHz and up .
Both the A4Vs and A7Vs represent an astounding amount of value when you consider the expanded software capabilities , X-Art tweeters , zero compromise build quality and mounting options . Incredible work by the team at Adam Audio with this line of speakers and the software that supports them .
Adam Gallant has worked in all facets of digital audio production , from music composition to location and post audio for television and film . He currently owns and operates The Hill Sound Studio in Charlottetown , PE . www . thehillsoundstudio . com .
24 CANADIAN MUSICIAN