In a previous article about ADAM’s new S series range of monitors, the S Series, I asked some tough questions. Why, for example, does it not include a subwoofer? What exactly are the on-board DSP capabilities? ADAM’s CEO David Angress has been in touch to answer my questions, and some new information came to light on ways in which ADAM are trying to future-proof the new S Series.
The iconic ADAM model for audio engineers has always been the S3A, so this seems a good starting point in appraoching the new S series. It transpires that the third DSP preset on the S3H mimics the response of an original S3A. It’s not direct modelling, apparently, but a copy of an S3A’s on-axis response. I think this is pretty cool, as it effectively provides those users who know the sound of an S3A an additional set of monitors to check their mixes on.
Another aspect that according to David was a focus during S series’ development was the (HPS) waveguide. One issue with the S3A many of us will recall, is how much the off-axis sound varied. Judging by what David told me, it seems the new series attempts to address this. He was also keen to tell me about a new mid-range driver on the S3’s and S5’s. Technical details are scanty at the moment, but he mentioned that there’s been a focus on improving its precision. It has a dished carbon fibre dome with “an extremely powerful” motor on the back.
One issue I raised was the lack of a new subwoofer to the range. Although he couldn’t comment whether there is a new sub under development, he did say that they were only announcing what ‘they’re ready with’. Interpret that how you like. They’re clearly working hard over at ADAM and – as expected – David projects a great deal of confidence in the products they’re about to ship.
Main monitor upgrades
I also asked why ADAM are not upgrading their larger main monitors. The S series wasn’t, David says, designed to replace the existing S6 or S7 models, but that the new S5V and S5H represent an “adjustment” to the main monitors from this range. The new S5’s attempt to combine the size of the existing S4’s with a performance that surpasses even the existing S5’s, David went on.
This will hopefully mean that they are able to price the system in favour of the customer while improving performance. Prices are due to be announced very soon, and as I touched on in the previous article, these are critical to the S Series success as the market has changed. It sounds like the prices of the new S2’s and S5’s are going to be ‘agreeable’, while the new S3’s are likely to be on a par with the existing S3’s.
According to David, ADAM see the new series as a “platform”. He hinted that digital, connectivity and usability aspects were likely to see upgrades over time. This is quite unusual, as most pro audio manufacturers will tend to just release a new product. Although ADAM’s official marketing doesn’t focus on this aspect, my impression talking to David was that these new products will protect your investment over time in a way that other makers currently don’t. They are, it seems, bucking the trend of our throw-away society. For example, the DSP engine inside these units are – apparently – very powerful, and the current features are only using a small part of the processing available, hinting that new features will be added. I’m not convinced there is likely to be a room measurement and adjustment system for these monitors, but David did not rule it out.
For the initial release, though, the user EQ settings have up to 6 parametric bands, plus a HP and LP filter, which they felt was adequate. The USB port on the rear will allow for future firmware updates to be loaded. More interestingly though, these new monitors will ship with a USB remote control unit to access the user preset settings while sitting in front of the monitors. This is great news as these items are often considered as optional accessories.
Mysterious blank panel for future upgrades?
Then we come to the mysterious what’s behind that mysterious blank panel… We can reveal that at some point in the future an option card will be released with two RJ45 sockets on it. I think it’s safe to assume some form of AoIP connectivity will be available. ADAM have opted to omit the RJ45 connectors for now, David said, as adding a simple Dante connection would have meant a 300-400 USD hit to the customer. David also hinted at some upcoming networking features. He also mentioned Dolby and DTS multi-speaker systems, which ADAM have seemingly identified as a trend for the future.
I look forward to hearing these speakers, then watching their journey over the coming months and years and seeing how they measure up with what the competition come up with. We hope to keep you posted with more news when we have it.
More Information on the S Series
Visit this Gearnews webpage to read my initial story about the S Series.
Visit the new webpage on Adam’s own site for more information about the S Series.