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ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

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ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby nrorganist » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:01 pm

Hi all,

Two items:

1. As a member of the Hauptwerk Forum for the last 2 years, the information and discussions have been so high quality and complete, and the Forum search results so efficient to use that I have always been able to find the answers and guidance I have needed to any Hauptwerk question I have had. Thank you all! The HW Forum truly is a Hauptwerk treasure. Now, to my first question ...

2. About high quality, but budget-priced active studio monitors for Hauptwerk use - I just noticed that ADAM Audio recently released 2 budget models sometime this Spring:
I have always heard that ADAM Audio monitors are wonderful and the company has a great reputation. But ADAM monitor cost has been quite high, particularly for use beyond stereo. Instead, I chose Behringer B3031As and have really enjoyed their clarity and accuracy (for Hauptwerk use) of their 2 inch ribbon tweeters and 8.75 inch kevlar woofers. This choice enabled me to afford a Rythmik F12 subwoofer for the 16 and 32 foot octaves.

As previously has been shared, sadly Behringer discontinued the B3031As. Personally, I have not been able to purchase new ones since 2016. I know that B2031As are definitely a Hauptwerk favorite, but I have also seen Behringer offering Nexxst K8s and Nexxst K5s more recently.

Given the new ADAMs, I am wondering if anyone has tried the T7V or T5V with Hauptwerk in stereo, surround or multi-channel and could share some review feedback, particularly compared to B3031As and B2031As?

Are T7Vs possibly the best successor (or even a step up) to B3031As for Hauptwerk at this 250 USD price point? If not, which currently available active studio monitors are?

How do T5Vs sound for Hauptwerk, relative to T7Vs and all of the Behringer choices?

Much appreciated,
Mark
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby organsRgreat » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:48 pm

My point of reference is a pair of Quad ESL57 electrostatic speakers; unfortunately a pair of those is as much as I can afford or find space for. So when I started building my Hauptwerk system I initially tried a pair of Behringer B2031A, which I found desperately lacking in “top” when compared with the electrostatics. Fortunately Adam's A3X monitors gave a much better sound, so I now have a group of eight and I'm very happy with them.

It seems to me that organ sounds have so much brightness that only speakers with ribbon tweeters do the job properly - as you found with the Behringer 3031. After the A3X Adam brought out the F5 and F7; these were quickly succeeded by the T5V and T7V. These have the same type of ribbon tweeter as all the Adam series, so I would expect them to be equally suitable for organ sound. You may find this review helpful:

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/video- ... o-monitors

Even the earliest Quad electrostatics, marketed from 1956 (despite the 57 designation!) are still considered to give as good a sound as almost anything made since; a friend of mine had ATCs for a while, then tried Magnepan, and ended up with modern Quad electrostatics. Ideally you should hear the current Adams before buying, but if that is not possible try one pair to start with - you have time to change your mind if you're not happy with them, but I doubt that there's anything better for the price.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby magnaton » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:30 pm

Hello Mark:

I too followed a similar route as you. I considered the Behringer 3031A monitors but couldn't find any to try out. By the time I got serious with my HW project they were discontinued. I went with the 2031A models as they were plentiful on the used market and I got some great deals to afford 12 of these units!

You are correct about the quality and positive reviews on Adam monitors. I have demo'd these at my local GC by playing different types of music through. They offer a lot of "presence" in playback. Not so noticeable until you can do an A-B-C-D . . . . compare of other brands via a switching panel they had setup. Of course the real test is attaching them to your HW instrument. I'm betting the T7V will perform wonderfully.

A few caveats I noticed:
These are rear ported vs front ported that the Behringers have. So your placement may need some consideration.
There is only an XLR connector for a balanced input. The Behringers (and other monitors) offer both XLR and TRS. So you may have to buy additional cables.
The volume control doesn't have a center notch for zero DB. So if you want to adjust them while they are on a shelf, you'll have turn them around to see the position on the knob vs by feel.

Behringer's Nexxst model offering is most likely for marketing as many competitors are introducing new models or upgraded versions of existing models. Its advantageous to have 'new' gear to show off and create a marketing buzz at NAMM or at dealer promotions. The 2031A models are still in production.

Since you mentioned surround sound, I personally wouldn't use choice studio monitors since these add ambience of the reflected (sometimes highly reflective) wave samples. A pair of passive speakers or like the Polk TSi100 book shelf speakers, mentioned on here on the form a couple times. If indeed active studio monitors as surround speakers would work best for your environment, then consider a pair of used KRK monitors. They seem to plentiful on the used market. I use a pair of 2031P monitors (the passive version of the 2031A) as my surround sound speakers. I bought them used in mint condition and they work great.

Danny B.
Last edited by magnaton on Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby mnailor » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:37 am

I'm kind of excited about this. I use 4 A8X and 8 A3X (and 4 KRK RP10), and don't want to keep paying so much to expand. I already had to replace one A8X because the volume locked at max.

Even if the T7V probably won't sound as clean and detailed with its reduced tweeter frequency range, it makes sense to go less expensive for my next speaker group.

Please post if you try them with HW.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby nrorganist » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:32 pm

Thanks for the speedy replies!

It sounds like there is general optimism for the Adam T7V and T5V active studio monitors at a budget price point, and we'll look forward to hearing feedback on their use with Hauptwerk.

I want to follow up with Danny on caution of use in a surround setup. I haven't set up surround yet, but am hoping that my room's 10/12 pitched ceiling and angled corner shelving will lessen reflection and resonance issues. I am interested in understanding in more detail the concern about adding ambiance of reflected wave samples and how passive monitors have optimized your setup. If there is a preference to discuss offline, I am happy to PM.

Thanks,
Mark
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby magnaton » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:06 pm

nrorganist wrote:I want to follow up with Danny on caution of use in a surround setup. I haven't set up surround yet, but am hoping that my room's 10/12 pitched ceiling and angled corner shelving will lessen reflection and resonance issues. I am interested in understanding in more detail the concern about adding ambiance of reflected wave samples and how passive monitors have optimized your setup. If there is a preference to discuss offline, I am happy to PM.


Hey Mark:

The basis of my post on passive speakers for surround sound was about cost savings not sound substance. Given the surround sound ranks add ambience and are less detailed than their Front and Diffused counterparts, using choice active monitors dedicated for this is overkill in my opinion. Passive speakers generally cost less.

I was intending to purchase the Polk TSi100 or TSi200 speakers for my surround sound setup using a Yamaha home receiver deck I had laying around. Instead I stumbled on a great deal on the Behringer 2031P monitors for about the same price as the TSi100s. I actually bought 2 pairs and have them in parallel in my studio space which is 27' X 16'. They are mounted high about 18" from the ceiling, one pair about 10' back and the 2nd pair about 20' back. I don't really hear the 2nd pair from the console, which is at the far end, but visitors certainly can. Or course I hear them when playing back a MIDI file and not seated at the console. Since they are high up, having to run only a stereo cable to them and not worry about AC power was part of the decision too.

Yes, feel free to PM me if you'd like to continue this discussion.

Danny B.
Last edited by magnaton on Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby scottherbert » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 am

Hey Danny, blame it on the tinkerer in me but would there be any feasibility in replacing the tweeter of a Behringer 2031 with a ribbon tweeter?

~S
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby magnaton » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:59 am

Hi Scott:

Actually that would be a great question for forum member John Kinkennon who owns/knows both of these Behringer models: 3031A & 2031A. From my point of view, it would be a lot of work and additional expense for a minimal gain. The front bezel between the 2031A and 3031A models are different, round vs rectangle respectively. Behringer doesn't sell these bezels separately, I know because I inquired a couple years ago. The crossover circuitry would probably be different since the ribbon tweeter specs differ from the dome one. When comparing these two models years ago, product reviews stated the ribbon tweeter offered a better, natural sound but more focused, so you had narrower sweet spot (compared to a dome tweeter). If you are using several of these like we are for a multichannel setup, this attribute is probably moot.

Like others have stated here, I have never been disappointed with recommendations discussed on this forum.

Danny B.
Last edited by magnaton on Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby scottherbert » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:19 pm

Thanks Danny, in my reading on ribbon tweeters (not the ones in the 3031) they are supposed to have a wider dispersion, so this is interesting. It was just a point of conversation really.

~S
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby Wwhel21 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:16 pm

I'm also considering the Adam T7V speakers as my very first pair of studio monitors after reading/ viewing multiple positive reviews. I've also been looking at Presonus E8s, which are in the same price range but have a slightly lower range in the bass (E8: 35 - 22,000hz; T7V: 39 - 25,000hz)

I currently have Infinity Alpha 50 tower speakers as my front mains, Polk Audio T15s for surround, and a small Polk Audio PSW-10" sub. The Alpha 50s are rated 35-22,000hz.

I have a few concerns about my setup that may factor in the choice of monitors and I'd appreciate any feedback you might provide to help me in the decision-making process:

My room space is about 14' x 14' with 7.5' ceiling height. The back of my console and the back of my tower speakers are against a wall and the right-hand tower speaker is in a corner (adjacent to the perpendicular wall). I'm anticipating placing the new monitors on top of the towers. Any other placement of console and speakers would not work in the current space.

So my questions:
1. Is my room size too small to notice a clear benefit from a multichannel expansion?
2. Would the back-ported T7Vs be too 'boomy' with the port only an inch or two from a wall (and on the right side from two walls)?
3. If that is the case, would I be better off with either the smaller T5Vs or the front-ported Presonus E8s? The Adam T5Vs have a frequency response of 45-25,000hz, but since my tower speakers go down to 35hz is it reasonable to think I may not need to have as wide a frequency range in the new monitors?
4. I've also looked at Behringer 2031a, but the frequency range is even more restricted: 50-21,000hz. You can tell me if you think I'm too hung up on the frequency spectrum ... I can take it :)
4. Do ribbon tweeters have a clear advantage over soft dome tweeters for HW if I'm adding only a single pair of monitors?
5. Are speaker isolation pads helpful/ necessary under the monitors if mounted on the towers? Are there DIY workarounds to build your own and cut some of the costs on this project?
6. As to pricing of monitors, some of the lowest advertised prices are from a company called ProAudioStar. I'm wondering if buying from them has been a good experience for HW users ... or are those prices too good to be true?


Sorry for all these questions, but I trust feedback on this Forum more than I do many of the reviews. And hopefully my questions and your responses will help others as well. Thanks very much!
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby scottherbert » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:39 pm

Those are all great questions, but unfortunately, only you can answer them! Personal taste and hearing goes the farthest when it comes to speakers and sound. As I have stated SO many times, nothing other than politics sparks a more heated debate than speakers! :D

That said, The buzz is that ribbon, air motion transformers and planer speakers are supposed to render cleaner, higher and more accurate high pitches than most other tweeters. They are also among the most expensive and difficult to work with!

Your question about rear ports and booming could only be answered by trial and error, you may like the sound! The difference of 4 Hz m/l in the bottom of a manufacturers rating isn't going to matter much in the real world, it's what they do in your real room that matters. One can get so caught up in chasing the "perfect stats" that one loses perspective of what really matters, the actual sound! I have been guilty of that myself!!!

I know this doesn't help much unless you can audition them for yourself at home, and that requires a generous return policy from a vendor! But it is the best way to answer those questions. Good luck in your search!

~S
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby jkinkennon » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:44 pm

I have ribbon tweeters in the 3031A's as was mentioned earlier. I like these monitors a lot but it's impossible for me to make valid comparisons with the 2031A's since I never had the two models in the same space at the same time.

The ribbons get used on some very pricey monitors and in parts catalogs they tend to be more expensive. My choice of the 3031A was also driven by the Kevlar woofer cones. I guess the ribbon tweeters remain my preference if the price difference is not to great. I'm aware of two fantastic sounding virtual organs in area churches where 12 to 24 or more 2031A's are in use.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby magnaton » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:24 pm

First off forum member scottherbert did a nice job of answering your questions in a summary form. I'm in agreement with him. Here are my answers to some of your questions more directly.

Wwhel21 wrote:So my questions:
1. Is my room size too small to notice a clear benefit from a multichannel expansion?

Multichannel adds realism. Having notes and or ranks speak from different sources can be inspiring. Review some HW installation pictures and you'll see some modest size rooms with multiple speakers. There are many points in the audio chain to adjust the volume. BTW, the self contained Johannus Live organ has 5 audio channels (its their response to HW's popularity).

Wwhel21 wrote:3. If that is the case, would I be better off with either the smaller T5Vs or the front-ported Presonus E8s? The Adam T5Vs have a frequency response of 45-25,000hz, but since my tower speakers go down to 35hz is it reasonable to think I may not need to have as wide a frequency range in the new monitors?


I personally would stick with the T7V so 8' flue stops can resonate fully in the last octave. The larger diameter woofer will move more air which becomes noticeable with sustained organ tone. Plus if you review the frequency graphs, there is some db falloff at the lower end (i.e. -3db starting 40hz). I've been very impressed with Presonus products. I haven't heard them on a HW rig but in studios and other environments.

Wwhel21 wrote:4a. I've also looked at Behringer 2031a, but the frequency range is even more restricted: 50-21,000hz. You can tell me if you think I'm too hung up on the frequency spectrum ... I can take it :)


Good question! Before responding I went and did some testing with my 2031A monitors with 8' Flute and Diapason ranks playing chromatic runs in the lower octave. Maybe its the basic design or high amp output but these have plenty of low end. Studio monitors are designed for playback and mixing live recordings. With a flat response and no subwoofer, engineers can create a mixdown that sounds equally well on a home stereo, car stereo, and ear buds.

Wwhel21 wrote:5. Are speaker isolation pads helpful/ necessary under the monitors if mounted on the towers? Are there DIY workarounds to build your own and cut some of the costs on this project?


Have you seen these? They are no more than angled cut foam. If they were priced at $1 each I'd say sure but for isolation they provide it doesn't add that much value if any. I use thick drawer and shelf liner. Its much cheaper, adds a cushion layer between the monitor and what it sits on, plus 'locks' it in place preventing any movement caused by vibration.

Wwhel21 wrote:6. As to pricing of monitors, some of the lowest advertised prices are from a company called ProAudioStar. I'm wondering if buying from them has been a good experience for HW users ... or are those prices too good to be true?


Since you are still deciding on a direction, consider auditioning a pair of each. I'd hate for you to have buyer's remorse. Hauptwerk offers some great audio flexibility by having identical pairs of active monitors. So treat this as an important decision. Choosing model X means the next pairs being purchased will be also be model X. :) Find a retailer with a consumer friendly return policy (i.e. no restocking fee). If purchased online, you are responsible for return shipping and may require insurance. Since active monitors are heavy it could be expensive. Not familiar with ProAudioStar but I just saw Crutchfied (http://www.crutchfield.com) carries PreSonus monitors and it would be $20 ($10 per package) to return within 60 days.

If you audition or purchase the Adam monitors please report back with your findings.

Danny B.
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby Wwhel21 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:08 pm

Thank you Scott, John, and Danny for providing both a general perspective on the importance of auditioning and specific responses to my questions - all very helpful!

I now feel more comfortable that pursuing monitors is the way to go - even in a smaller space - without being tied too much to specs. In particular, to hear that the Behringer 2031a monitors should not be ruled out. I did see a pair of used 2031as listed as being in 'great condition' on the Guitar Center site for $179, which would do wonders for my budget! They are also in a better price range than used Presonus and Adam speakers for future expansion. Also, I can return them to the local Guitar Center store if I'm not happy with them. Before I place an order I will audition all three at the store.

You guys, and others like you, rock for all you do for this Forum - thank you again!

Bill
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Re: ADAM Audio T7V, T5V Active Studio Monitors - reviews?

Postby scottherbert » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:41 pm

:D
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