Adam T8V Studio Monitor Active 50+20 Watt RMS Speakers
About this deal
With the large 8 inch driver, I could play as loud as I wanted and in this regard, they are superior to just about any studio monitor I have tested in this situation. I did not detect any distortion at my 1 meter listening distance. All three T-Series monitors incorporate ADAM’s U-ART 1.9′-inch Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter, made from a pleated polyamide film. It’s an extremely efficient design that draws air into and out of its folds as it expands and contracts, making it capable of moving air four times faster than dome tweeters. Its performance is further enhanced by the HPS waveguide, which behaves like the units built into the company’s flagship S Series monitors, ensuring controlled and even high-frequency dispersal while providing a wide sweet spot. Sharing the same build quality and many of the features of its smaller siblings, the T8V monitor measures 400 x 250 x 335mm but weighs in at just 9.8kg. This is in no small part due to the lightweight yet powerful onboard Class D amplification, which is more compact and more efficient than standard Class A/B transistor amplifiers. Because ADAM’s PWM (pulse width modulation) amplifiers are switching types that use power transistors too, they’re able to run much cooler than traditional solid-state amps, meaning there’s no need for heat sinks in the cabinet enclosures. Mr T Firing up a new pair of studio monitors is a similar feeling to getting a new pair of glasses. The sensation of sitting between a fine pair of monitors and hearing a dense mix being teased apart into its constituent components is similar to seeing the world a little more clearly than before. I find this analogy a useful mental starting point when reviewing studio monitors – a good monitor will offer new clarity and insight into music I may be already familiar with. BIG BOYS’ TOYS Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.
Introduced in 2018, German maker ADAM Audio’s T Series was launched with the T5V and T7V monitors, which feature five-inch and seven-inch mid/bass drivers, respectively. We reviewed both favourably upon their release, concluding that they offer outstanding performance for a remarkably low price. The T5V impressed us so much, in fact, that we not only awarded it our coveted MusicTech Excellence award but also our Value merit. The U-ART 1.9-inch accelerated Ribbon tweeter offers a more dynamic range which means even if you move around your desk, you can hear the same frequencies. During sound generation, the by folded U-ART membrane leads to direct and fast response even when maxed out or trialled with complex transients. This accompanied with the HPS waveguide taken from Adam Audio’s flagship S Series ensures the monitor has a consistent dispersion, stable imaging over a broader area and reduces early reflections on surfaces.The highs and the mids are detailed, balanced, and ample. What they are not, though, is neutral. This is not the flattest response you can get in studio monitors. They do color the sound a little with the signature ADAM timbre. Sonically these speakers give a very good account of themselves, especially given their position in the market, coming over as punchy, detailed and revealing, with no unforgivable vices. They also present a credible stereo image with a usefully wide sweet spot. In a slightly unfair comparison, my Event Opals produced a slightly tighter, more solid bass end and smoother highs — but they are also far more expensive. Importantly though, such technical imperfections as they do exhibit won't get in the way of their ability to help you produce a reliable mix. As with any monitor, you just need to take some time to get used to them. As for inputs, you get the usual balanced TRS, balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections. A slide switch activates the RCA input, so if you won’t be using it, leave this off and save yourself a smidge of summing noise. A gain knob and switchable +4/-10dB input sensitivity round out the T8V’s control options. You won’t find any onboard EQ presets to compensate for speaker positioning as is common on many monitors today. The colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) listening experience.
As is often the case with the mid-sized monitors, the Adam T7V is the one that makes you wonder if the added weight and size is worth it when the only moderately bigger and heavier. Adam T8V offers way more power and bass response.The new flagship of ADAM's T‑series offers serious bass extension even for those with limited budgets. ADAM Audio has included the HPS waveguide (high-frequency propagation system) in the T Series which is also found on the flagship S Series. Framing the ribbon tweeter, the square-ish waveguide disperses treble broadly on the horizontal plane but keeps vertical dispersion narrow to minimise reflections off horizontal surfaces like desks or consoles. Powering the T8V is efficient Class D amplification supplying 70W to the woofer and 20W to the tweeter. A DSP controlled crossover splits the drivers at 2.6kHz. LISTENING TEST
As aforementioned, the Adam T8V offers the broadest bass response. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Adam T5V does not deliver here. If anything, the compact delivery of the same is quite remarkable. One of the critical specs you’ll find listed is the Frequency Response or Frequency Range. This gives you an indication of the frequencies the speaker can accurately represent.After looking around a lot, I settled on either plunking down a LOT of cash on some Genelec One series, or saving a lot of money and trying out the "budget" option in Adam T8V. I was not disappointed. I love the high-end these produce. Coupled with a scan using REW (Room EQ Wizard) and corrections from the Behringer Ultra-Curve Pro, I'm able to really dial in the sound of the room, eliminating any major spikes or dips in frequency response, then shaping the overall sound to taste (I prefer a little bit of the classic smily-face EQ shape. The resulting sound is consistent, non-fatiguing, and accurate (other than my minor overall adjustments). It allows you to compare the performances of different speakers before even laying your ears hands on them. Even for more modern EDM, Hip-Hop, or classical music with deeper bass, it delivers all you need without needing a subwoofer for near-field monitoring. This is a problem because it means that Spinorama alone, unfortunately, won't give us all we need. Placement and reflections play an equally important role there too. This is why most A-class brands (like SVS, Bang & Olufsen, etc) often come up with room correction features, adjusted either manually or automatically. The EQ adapts itself to the placement (room, corner, center, etc) for a better (deeper and more accurate) sound. Which is great.