I was in the market for an upgrade to my current pair of JBL 305's. After some research and word of mouth, I landed on the package deal for the pair of ADAM A5Xs and the Sub8. Granted, I had gone to a friend's studio recently to listen to his ribbon tweeter speakers, but he had a pair of HEDD Type 05s. I remember a super clear image that was very silky at the same time. I thought I was sold.
I figured the sub would be fine in my studio room since it's slightly treated to control any modal issues with three large traps. I've also got various amounts of foam in hot spots. The Sub8 ended up being a charm! I am finally hearing that lower content has been missing from just a standard pair of 5" speakers. It's been great to work with, and I ended up working out a proposal to keep the sub from the package. But the ADAM A5X speakers themselves are a different story.
Right off the bat I noticed I was missing something but couldn't quite land my finger on it without more analysis. After listening for almost two days straight, I concluded that the depth and air on the top end content was missing. The sound ended up being very flat and two dimensional, leaving my reference tracks sounding very lifeless and even harsh at times (which is very unusual). My cheaper JBLs are better at producing that content for some reason. And not being able to produce depth is just a no go for me.
I was able to tame the harshness with the high shelf option on the back, which was adjusted two notches down. Mind you, I have never had to adjust my JBLs. But even after adjusting them to my liking, the problem with no depth or air was still present.
All in all, they have great stereo imaging, and a very crisp high mid range that is nice and even desirable on certain songs, but these monitors just weren't for me. After all the hype and testimonies online, I ended up being really let down by these speakers. If I were to try a ribbon tweeter system again, I would purchase the HEDD Type 05s as a last hope that I could actually enjoy listening through them. But until then, these puppies are headed back to the warehouse.
If you've had any similar or different experiences with these speakers, drop a comment.
TruID is the author and maintains all of these blog posts.