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Another ADM9T Review

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Overdose's picture
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I'm not very good at subjective reviews, so I'll try to be as meaningful as possible. Firstly, I'd like to say that I didn't buy the AVI ADM9Ts expecting them to be leaps and bounds ahead of the Dynaudio BM5As, in fact, I don't know at his level what would constitute a large step up anyway if we are to confine the comparisons to speakers with 6" drivers and similar cabinet sizes.

The ADMs look very nice and the finish and build quality seems very good, they are clearly very well put together. The gloss finish is preferable to me over the black ash of the Dyns and the addition of the grills is a must with small children around. Other big bonuses are the remote and the means to remove another box in the equipment stakes.All in all, these benefits to me, are worth the price differential alone and it needs to be born in mind that my system was part second hand and part heavily discounted from new. Like for like, a new Dacmagic + and BM5A MkII setup would be almost on a par with the ADM9RS for price.

The two speakers are very similar in size.

Now for the sound.

I have listened to a range of music now, the latest tracks were

Ed Allyne-Johnson - Oxford Suite Pt IIIPendulum - SlamEagles - No More Walks In The Woods Mazzy Star - Into Dust

It was immediately obvious that the presentation of the two pairs of speakers was different. The Dyns are more forward in the top end and the bass, whilst very good, ie tight, there was a slight tendancy for booming, very noticeable on Adeles Rolling In The Deep when the bass line kicks in. This must be in part, due to the placement of the speakers, which are against a wall. I could not do much about this, so I had to live with the situation. In contrast, the ADMs do not appear to have any boom at all, with the bass being very tight and seemingly just as low as the Dyns, this was evident when listening to Pendulum - Slam. It was at this point that I very briefly considered the sub, not because the ADMs lack bass, because they don't, but because tracks such as this need sub bass that no 6" drivers will be able to put out and that job is best left to a sub. It is worth noting though, that it is a minority of music that is mixed with this much sub bass.What also stood out was the midrange clarity and even-handedness of the presentation, the Eagles and Mazzy Star tracks highlighted this. These speakers do do vocals very well.

Regarding loudness, there's plenty of headroom, no question and I feel that they would be happy in a room twice the size of mine (3.5m x 6m, speakers firing across the width) and perhaps larger.

To summarise, these speakers represent a real terms upgrade to me for all of the reasons stated. I think that the ADMs are very even in their presentation, they have excellent clarity and well controlled bass, without hint of boom and value for money is superb.

Smile

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

A nice balanced review, and I'm glad you are pleased and find them an improvement ,...which at thend of the day, is all that counts.

beauty, eh

Cno

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

Yep, nice review Overdose.  Hope you continue to enjoy your new ADMs for years to come.

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

CnoEvil wrote:

A nice balanced review, and I'm glad you are pleased and find them an improvement ,...which at thend of the day, is all that counts.

beauty, eh

Cno

Thanks Cno.

I do prefer balance for a review and try to be factual, otherwise it's only relevant to me and is of no real use to anyone else.

Regarding the owner being happy thing, I totally agree. Whichever standpoint you have on hifi and whatever your beliefs, that's all that really matters. The rest is just there for the sake of discussion or argument. We wouldn't have much to say if we all agreed.

beauty, eh

I'd put in another cheers, but I'm down to my last Henry Westons Medium Dry.

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drummerman's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

Most 'new' users of the ADM's posting a review describe them as you did, most of them also say they have 'enough' bass as is, without a sub.

Then, almost inevitably, many slowly come round to realizing that they do want a subwoofer, despite the apparently deep and tight low frequencies.

Lacklustre may seem to harsh a description but the ones I heard sounded unbalanced without one.

Still, good results can be achieved with cheaper subs than AVI's if money is tight.

regards

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

What is the difference between the ADM9T and the ADM9RS ?

I know - from discussions here - that the RSS option  is an RS with an improved Scanspeak tweeter,  but I don't know what the 'T' denotes. (Is it a current model below the RS or an older version?)

Gets a bit confusing after ADM9, ADM9.1, ADM9.1T, ADM9T. ADM9RS, ADM9RSS. (Still not sure if 9.1T is/was the same as the 9T.)

Do you have the improved  mid/bass driver on your 'T' versions?

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

drummerman wrote:

Most 'new' users of the ADM's posting a review describe them as you did, most of them also say they have 'enough' bass as is, without a sub.

Then, almost inevitably, many slowly come round to realizing that they do want a subwoofer, despite the apparently deep and tight low frequencies.

Lacklustre may seem to harsh a description but the ones I heard sounded unbalanced without one.

Still, good results can be achieved with cheaper subs than AVI's if money is tight.

regards

I did successfully integrate a Tannoy sub with my Dyns until the sub packed up, but my room is not ideal. The sub was not the best, but did add an extra element of 'fun' and 'atmosphere' for certain music.

Re. my review, the reference to a sub was in the context of the music and not really the speakers. The ADMs do not give any more or less bass than the BM5As. For most people and for most of the time, sans sub is ideal. The thing is, a sub has been designed specifically for the ADMs and this has an attraction in itself, as not many hifi speakers have a system specific sub in the line up.

There are not many genres of music that require a lot of sub bass capability, but drum and bass is one, if you want to hear it as the producer intended. If the bass is right, it gives this type of music its final polish and can really draw you in, if it's wrong, you get a horrible window rattling, blurry mess, so it's best to let the smaller speakers handle what they can realistically do well and give the bass duties to a more capable sub.

To listen to the ADMs, or most active speakers for that matter for the first time will be a suprise to many, as the presentation is quite different. I cannot over-emphasise the difference between tight controlled bass and not. This is not a passive vs active statement, merely one of how things generally are. Whether the term 'bass light' is used or 'bass tight' (to quote someone elses phrase), it is a sound presentation that I have come to prefer. I guess it's really a matter of whether or not you can adjust to the difference, just like any speaker change I suppose.

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moon's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

nice to read your review, looks like youve found a winner for you.

If you like a bit of breakbeat then play a track called " Metropolis" of an album called Circles by Adam F . that will give them a good run out!

 

have fun

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

Not a question of adding sub bass, just a little warmth and punch.

In other respects great speakers though and good value.

Enjoy

regards

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

chebby wrote:

What is the difference between the ADM9T and the ADM9RS ?

I know - from discussions here - that the RSS option  is an RS with an improved Scanspeak tweeter,  but I don't know what the 'T' denotes. (Is it a current model below the RS or an older version?)

Gets a bit confusing after ADM9, ADM9.1, ADM9.1T, ADM9T. ADM9RS, ADM9RSS. (Still not sure if 9.1T is/was the same as the 9T.)

Do you have the improved  mid/bass driver on your 'T' versions?

I couldn't real off what all of the itterations are, but mine are the ADM9Ts and precede the RS (Red Spot with improved mid/bass driver) and RSS (addition of Scanspeak tweeter). I have no idea what the actual differences are in terms of sound, but I would imagine that the new midrange drivers dig a bit deeper.

I bought the Ts because I was offered them at a very good price which made all of the practical gains worthwhile and the improved sound quality was a bonus if it came and luckily it did. I don't know that I would recommend a blind purchase to anyone, because of individual takes on preference in sound, but I do believe that you'd need to go a long way to improve on the clarity of these. That is fairly obvious once you have heard them and not a subjective take.

If starting from scratch, I would have to include them in a list of recomended systems to listen to before buying, as for the package that they offer, they are a rather compelling purchase.

If your question is whether or not you need the latest drivers, then I can't answer that, as I haven't heard them, but the Ts are good and no mistake.

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Overdose's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

drummerman wrote:

Not a question of adding sub bass, just a little warmth and punch.

In other respects great speakers though and good value.

Enjoy

regards

I haven't yet noticed that they lack anything and perhaps more importantly add anything. I can always EQ in some warmth.

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

IRRC, it goes something like this . . . over approx six years . . . 

The original ADM9s were USB digital input, and analogue too, with stereo L+R sub outs.

Then came revisions to provide two additional optical digital inputs, delete the USB input and combine L+R sub signals in the pre-amp, instead of in the sub main amp. These were called optical ADM9s. The sub inputs were revised too.

The 9.1 was a revision involving newly available Wolfson DAC components, and consequently a revised pre-amp configuration.

9.1T was as a result of noticing that having done the aforesaid revisions, the tweeters then slightly benefited from a phase adjustment (Tweak).

9.1RS was an entire re-design, it's really a completely new LS, because a new mid/bass driver became available following R&D work, and consequently the crossover frequency was altered as well.  The new model was annotated by affixing a red spot (RS) to the existing back plates.

Actually the best way of identifying the RS model is by the matt surface texture of the driver dust cap dome (previously shiny).

AVI also then, later, realised that the change in crossover frequency provided the opportunity to use a much more expensive tweeter, from the ADM40, which due to cost was offered as an option.  This is known as the 9.1RSS (Red Spot Scanspeak).

All this is from memory, but if anyone wishes to know more, or check my recollections, I'm sure Ashley or Martin will help.

 

JC

 

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

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RE: Another ADM9T Review

 

AVI universal remote control, - used with all ADM type loudspeakers, and with the N5 2.1 speakers + sub (set).

Phileas's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

jcbrum wrote:
This is known as the 9.1RSS (Red Spot Scanspeak).

I may well be wrong here but I thought the RSS stood for Red Spot Spot. 

Of course, the RSS also now has the nickname A**e.  excellent!

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BigColz's picture
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RE: Another ADM9T Review

moon wrote:

nice to read your review, looks like youve found a winner for you.

If you like a bit of breakbeat then play a track called " Metropolis" of an album called Circles by Adam F . that will give them a good run out!

 

have fun

 

Thats a good tune but it's D&B.. Check this breakbeat out! Going to watch him tonight  party time! woohoo! woohoo! beauty, eh

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GkhBuZnE38

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