You can read more reviews like this, along with Tony’s productions at his personal site -> Tony Long Music.
ADAM A77X ACTIVE STUDIO MONITORS - INTRODUCTION
Following on from my review of the outstanding award-winning Adam A7X monitors, I now have a pair of the massive A77X monitors to put some serious sounds through and test their performance. These speakers were announced at Musikmesse 2011 and round off Adam's AX series, utilising their X-ART Tweeter with its extended frequency response (reaching up to an amazing 50kHz!)
So why the number 77 you may ask? Well, Adam have put two seven inch speakers in these monitors and designed them to be set up horizontally instead of vertically.
Adam Professional Audio is a German company, based in Berlin, with distributors all over the world. The UK base is in London - Adam Audio UK Ltd.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Adam A77X Studio Monitors"]](https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/monitors-472/adam-a77x-active-studio-monitors-pair-47030)[/caption]
ADAM A77X MONITORS - OUT OF THE BOX
The A77X comes in a reasonably heavy box with excellent packaging. Inside you will find two large, thick, dense foam pieces that fully protect the monitors, along with a mains lead and a thin 32 page Operation Manual (only 16 English pages - so not much to read).
As I took this black professional looking speaker out of the box, I knew that I had something special. Each speaker weighs 12.8 kg (28.2 lbs.) and their size is 9.5" (235 mm) high x 21" (530 mm) wide x 11" (280 mm) deep. It is also designed with the sleek look of the rest of the AX series, although it of course has those two woofers instead of the standard one. All-in-all, their size and design will look superb in any studio - if the sound matches the look then I'm hooked...
ADAM A77X MONITORS - AMPLIFICATION
With two of these in your studio, you will certainly have a very powerful set-up. Each A77X has two bass/mid-woofers, which are driven by 100 Watt PWM amplifiers (100 Watt RMS/150 Watt Music), whilst a 50 Watt A/B amplifier drives that lovely X-ART tweeter (50 Watt RMS/75 Watt Music). All of these amplifiers can handle peak levels of 50% above their nominal rating.
I like the idea of having the power switch on the front of the speaker (very sensible and I wish more manufacturers did this) and there is also a volume control on the front panel.
ADAM A77X MONITORS - SPEAK TO ME
With each cabinet having two seven inch woofers as well as a tweeter, the design of the A77X had to be carefully considered to avoid interference between them. Adam decided to have both of the woofers dealing with the low end of the sound (up to 400kHz), with only one of them handling the mid-frequencies. This is quite apparent when you play music through them and watch the cones vibrate differently and most importantly, I really liked the sound of them, which was helped by the fact that they accurately cover an exceptionally wide frequency range from 38 Hz - 50 kHz. Overall, the A77X's give you a little bit more low-end in relation to the A7X's, although these still have a fantastic range, from 42 Hz - 50 kHz.
The X-ART principle (which allows the tweeter to reproduce frequencies up to 50 kHz) is the ability to move the air in a 4:1 ratio and increase the acoustically effective area of the diaphragm by a factor of more than 2.5 times. This gives you a higher dynamic output with extremely wide dispersion.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Adam A77X - Rear"]](https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/monitors-472/adam-a77x-active-studio-monitors-pair-47030)[/caption]
ADAM A77X MONITORS - CONNECTIONS
Making your connections is very important before you switch your system on and in the case of Adam A77X monitors, you need to check that when you buy them, you have a Speaker 'A' and a Speaker 'B' as it is very easy to think that they are 'all the same'... but they aren't!
When you receive your speakers, you should see a sticker on the side of the boxes that says, for example, 'Adam A77X Speaker A' (or of course 'Adam A77X Speaker B'). This information is also printed on the back of each speaker.
The reason for the 'A' and 'B' labelling is that the speakers are not designed so that they can be interchangeably used between placement on the left and the right. Therefore, Speaker A is designed to be used on the left and Speaker B is designed to be used on the right and you have to set them up in this configuration in order to achieve 'correct' stereo imaging.
Around the back of the A77X, the panel has both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections. I think that this is sensible thinking, to cater for setups ranging from home to mid-sized professional studios. There is also a Gain control for the high frequencies (with plus or minus 4dB range).
As a nice addition you also get two Shelf Filters (with plus or minus 6dB) for the high frequencies (5kHz) and low frequencies (400 Hz). You can adjust the shelving filters to your personal taste to suit both the room and the positioning of your monitors. These are adjusted with a screwdriver, giving you precise control.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Adam A77X Studio Monitor"]](https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/monitors-472/adam-a77x-active-studio-monitors-pair-47030)[/caption]
ADAM A77X MONITORS - SOUND TESTS
I decided to carry out the same test on the A77Xs that I did on the A7Xs, although unfortunately I did not have the two to physically compare so I am relying on my memory.
I started off again by connecting a Roland GAIA, which really has a great sonic range. I am pleased to say that I was instantly aware that everything sounded superb, with lots of detail (as it did with the A7X monitors), but there was noticeably a lot more power and the bottom end sounded just great, with no distortion - all very natural sounding. I had an arpeggiated bassline playing and it sounded tight and pleasantly solid - just the type of sound quality I wanted for this type of sound. It was not at all boomy and what I really liked was the way I could clearly hear the three oscillators of the Roland GAIA and their subtle differences auto-panning across the stereo field.
Next I tried playing some Dance/Trance and Electro tracks from a CD. I could not fault the low-end of the A77Xs and they gave the bass and kick drum great power and presence. The bright synth sounds also sounded crystal clear through the X-ART tweeter. In my initial tests, it was only in the mid-range that I felt I wanted a tiny bit more, but I think that it may have just been that the highs and lows were that good that it fooled my sense of judgement! I also tend to forget that when I am listening through studio monitors, they are revealing areas of a mix that need to be improved and not trying to polish a song, so this could also have had something to do with it as well. This really made me want to start going through my CD collection, which is exactly what I did, and it made such a refreshing change to listening to MP3s.
I also tried playing some Progressive Rock through my A77X set-up and they brought out loads of little sonic details that I originally had no idea were even there...in fact, songs sounded so good that I could have been fooled into thinking that I was listening to vinyl records!
I then pulled out some old vocal recordings that I did with Sonar 8. Interestingly, I did not like them as much as when I listened back to them through my old studio monitors as they did not seem to sit as well in the mix. I can only assume that my old, cheaper monitors had failed to highlight these issues, and that the A77Xs were actually letting me hear a truer representation of the music. I am sure that I would have made different mixing decisions if I had Adam A77X monitors in place at the time and I felt confident that the Adam's would have yielded better results. I did however find that the rest of my tracks sounded more detailed and open.
Lastly, I thought I would try using the Adam A77X monitors to play sounds from my iPad as there were MP3s, synths, samples and drum machines on there. They all sounded fantastic with a wide and spacious quality. I tried such an assortment of Apps, which included the Animoog, Yamaha Tenori-On TNR-i, Korg iKaossilator, Native Instruments iMaschine, Beat_Machine, African Drums, ElectroBeats by David Guetta, Sunrizer Synth, MorphWiz by Jordan Rudess, SynthTronica, Crystal Synth and Geo Synthesizer by Jordan Rudess. I experimented with different volume levels and frequencies, to cover sounds from down in your boots to as high as the mountains, and the whole setup performed admirably with no distortion and nothing but a punchy and crisp output!
I was particularly impressed with how good the A77Xs sounded at very low volumes. I would usually expect some loss of detail in these situations but this didn't seem to be the case at all with the Adam A77Xs. At the other extreme they can also go very loud and still remain clear.
ADAM A77X MONITORS - OTHER FEATURE SPECIFICATIONS
Here are just a few facts for you experienced technical folk to ponder over and compare with other makes and models:
• THD 90dB/1m > 100 Hz: 0.5 %
• Long term output: 114 dB
• Max. peak: 122 dB
• Crossover frequencies: 400 / 3000 Hz
• Input impedance: 30 kOhm
ADAM A77X MONITORS - CONCLUSION
In relation to my previous review of the A7X, I ask myself, are two speakers better than one? And my answer is.... yes! In my opinion at least! I think that Adam have gone a stage further with the A77X and I can't find anything negative to say about them! After all, I do like the extra power, dynamics, detail and improved low end! Adam state that they have achieved higher compression-free maximum sound pressure levels and I agree with this statement.
The A77Xs felt very comfortable to work with, even after long periods. Some people describe ribbon tweeters as sounding a bit harsh but I would not say that of the Adam X-ART. I am not sure how Adam have integrated the X-ART tweeter into A77X differently from the A7X but I do prefer it and it seems to sit better in the sound as a whole and you can really hear separation of instruments well.
I was also surprised and pleased that the A77Xs highlighted weaknesses in my mixes, which after all, is what good studio monitoring is all about. I also like their look, with that sleek black professional finish and styled corners, which are sloped. You also cannot help notice that there are also two large bass ports and these certainly account for the improved lower frequencies.
Adam has done extremely well in dealing with any colouration that this type of design would usually produce. They come with a five year warranty like the rest of the Adam family and I don't think it will be very long before we are all referring to them as the 'award-winning A77Xs'. I think that you seriously need to try out a pair of these today... I am glad I have.
For more information on Adam A77X studio monitors, click the link below or give us a call on 01202 597180.