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Gear Review: ADAM A3x 50w Studio Monitors

11 08 2011

I try to keep this blog fairly varied between movie reviews, retrospectives, lists and my own personal projects.  One thing that I have not covered very extensively, however,  is gear, which is definitely of interest to those of you practitioners out there.  Through my freelance work, and more so through my positions at UNC-Greensboro and Novant, I have had the ability to use a wide array of motion picture and audio production gear.  So, I have decided to put my two cents into a series of equipment reviews to help those of you who might be considering some of these items.  This series of reviews, which will be ongoing, will not detract from the film reviews and other facets of the site, but rather, be incorporated into the mix.  With that introduction out of the way, on we go to the first review:

Adam Professional A3x stock photo

Make: Adam Professional Audio

Model: A3x

My use: I ordered these as my primary monitors for my workstation at my current position with Novant Health.  I use them daily and they are an integral part of my system.

Average Price: $329 per speaker

My thoughts: Though my primary income comes from visual production, audio quality is very important to me.  I have been a musician for over 10 years and for several years played with a band on a semi-professional level (about 50% of my then income was from the band and, yes, it did pay the bills).  So, having the background of a musician has definitely led me to be a little more audio savvy than your regular cameraman.  When I came on board here at Novant as a Multimedia Specialist about three weeks ago, they let me more-or-less order the workstation I wanted to use.  For audio monitors, in scouring over a lot of various manufacturers and models, I came across the Adam A3x and was intrigued by reviews and it’s size.  I ordered two on that intrigue and they arrived about a week later.  These really are tiny little studio monitors, as you can see by the dimensions in the below manufacturer specs.  However, the sound these speakers put out is amazing.  In listening to Pandora through the day while I work, songs come on that I have heard on the radio for years.  However, theses little guys seem to dig so deep into replicating the mix that I find I hear nuances to the songs that I have never noticed before.  Furthermore, the stereo spectrum these speakers emit is beautifully produced and the highs and lows of various pieces are emitted much better than a lot of much larger studio monitors I have come across over the years.

Technical Specs from the Manufacturer: 

Low Frequency Driver 4.5″ (114mm) Carbon Fiber Woofer
High Frequency Driver X-ART Tweeter
LF Amplifier 25W RMS
HF Amplifier 25W RMS
Crossover 2.8kHz
Frequency Range 60Hz – 50kHz
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL) 106dB, Peak
Connectors 1 x XLR Input
1 x RCA Input
1 x RCA Stereolink Connector (2 Jacks)
1 x Power Input
Input Impedance 10 kOhms
Controls and Indicators 1 x Power Switch
1 x Gain Control
1 x Tweeter Gain Control
Shielded No
Dimensions (HxWxD) 10 x 6 x 7.5″ (252 x 150 x 185mm)
Weight 10.1 lbs (4.6kg)

Bottom Line: These are extremely high quality, versatile mid-range studio monitors.  They sound amazing and pack a huge bang into a little casing.  I would recommend for any small work space, home office or home studio that needs clean audio with punch and clarity.

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