The ADAM Audio A8X 2-way monitor features ADAM’s proprietary X-ART folded ribbon tweeter and 8.5" carbon/Rohacell®/glass fiber woofer, 50W/150W custom amplification, and can be used as both a nearfield or midfield monitor.
The most powerful 2-way monitor in the AX range, the A8X has more to offer than just a bigger woofer. Along with the clarity, detail and wide sweet spot that all AX-series monitors have in common, the 8.5" A8X offers an affordable entry to midfield monitor—great to impress clients and get that party started. More importantly, certain styles of music such as electronica, R&B, and hip-hop require high playback levels in order to get the full effect—and that’s where the A8X shines. If you’re working in bass-heavy styles, you need a monitor that reach down really low, with clarity and power. That’s where ADAM’s proprietary 150-watt PWM (pulse-width modulation) amplifier comes in. Of course, electronic music isn’t all bass. You need a monitor that can reveal all the fine detail of reverb and modulation effects, filter sweeps, cutoff, resonance, and other high-frequency components of modern music. The A8X excels there as well, thanks to ADAM’s proprietary X-ART ribbon tweeter, which extends the A8X’s frequency range up to 50kHz. It’s the A8X’s ability to reproduce harmonics above human hearing in linear phase that has a profound effect on the audible spectrum.
Adam A8X key features and tech:
- X-ART folded ribbon tweeter
- 5" carbon/Rohacell®/glass fiber mid-woofer
- 50W/100W amplification
- Front panel on-/off-switch and volume gain
- Tweeter gain and 2 shelf filters on the rear panel
- 38Hz-50kHz frequency range
- XLR and RCA connectors
- 120dB max peak SPL per pair
- 5-year warranty (2-year with 3-year optional extension)
ADAM A8X—Behind the Grille
X-ART folded ribbon tweeter technology
From its inception, ADAM Audio emerged as a major force to be reckoned with in pro audio monitoring, mainly due to its innovative folded ribbon tweeter. The ribbon tweeter is based on the Air Motion Transformer concept developed by Dr. Oskar Heil, which is a pleated diaphragm similar to the shape of bellows. From the standpoint of surface area response, a 1-inch-wide pleated diaphragm is comparable in function to an 8"-diameter cone. The folded driver acts like a point-source version of a larger driver, which inherently results in lower distortion during sound reproduction. Another property of the folded diaphragm is that its squeezing movement projects air with a speed approximately five times faster than the speed of the ribbon driver itself.
ADAM engineers took this technology and improved on it, incorporating superior geometries and materials to achieve unprecedented audio fidelity. The latest iteration of the ADAM folded ribbon tweeter is the X-ART, which explores new paths in the kinematics of moving air, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the quality of audio reproduction.
The X-ART membrane consists of a pleated diaphragm in which the folds compress or expand according to the audio signal applied to them. The result is that air is drawn in and squeezed out, like the bellows of an accordion.
The ADAM X-ART design overcomes the piston-like motion of all conventional drivers and their inevitable problems, such as narrow directivity, by achieving an improvement in air loading by a factor of 4 over conventional transducers. In addition, the X-ART tweeter’s pleated membrane avoids the typical breakup/distortion and subsequent dynamic limiting at higher frequencies found in dome and cone tweeters. Another positive result of the X-ART design is that the driving “stripes” are in direct contact with the outer air and are cooled immediately.
Diaphragm area is another important factor in determining the dynamic range of a transducer. Basically, what you see is what you get. The cone area you can see is always the acoustically active area of the loudspeaker–this is true for practically all other drive units. By folding the X-ART diaphragm into the 3rd dimension (as seen from the listener’s position) a larger foil can be used, thus increasing the acoustically effective area of the diaphragm by a factor of more than 2.5 times. This results in a higher dynamic output with extremely wide dispersion.
Custom A/B amplifier
While the X-ART tweeter’s solved certain problems associated with conical tweeter designs, its wide bandwidth up to 50kHz, though responsible for the musicality and openness of the A3X’s high-frequency response, also created a problem in terms of amplification. PWM (pulse-width modulation) amplifiers, which have become popular due to their high power efficiency and low distortion, require a low-pass filter to separate the modulation frequency (the point where power switches from the supply rails) from the audio band. It imposes a limitation on the high-frequency reproduction of the X-ART tweeter. To preserve the wide bandwidth, which in turn preserves the phase coherency and resultant realism of audio in the audible range, ADAM put considerable time and effort into creating a high-frequency power amp to allow the high-frequency tweeter to live up to its potential.
The perfect partner for X-ART
An internal bandwidth of more than 1MHz is externally limited so that the unit delivers an ultra-wide response up to 300kHz. With nothing limiting the abilities of the X-ART tweeter, the monitor has unsurpassed clarity and openness which will daze and amaze even the most jaded professional ear.
ADAM driver technology
The A8X’s perfect integration of the X-ART tweeter with the lower frequencies is the result of a re-designed 8.5" mid-woofer with a much bigger voice coil (1.5") that operates in the range of 38 Hz to 2.3 kHz with a seamless transition in the crossover to the X-Art tweeter. The A7X composite driver is driven by an amplifier with twice the power of its predecessor, which achieves a very clean and nuanced reproduction of the midrange frequencies. This configuration produces amazing sound at high-pressure levels, offering distortion-free musical reproduction.
PWM custom amplifier
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) also known as Class D amplification or switching amp technology (and mistakenly digital amplification), converts the incoming signal to a series of rectangular waveforms of equal height. The width of the rectangles varies in time and represents the musical signal. This waveform can be amplified much more simply, as the transistors are used as switches that only turn the power supply voltage on and off.
It is possible that a very fast mechanical switch could do the job, but power transistors are a better choice for the task, as such, PWM amplifiers work pretty much like conventional Class AB designs.
Advantages of PWM
The main advantage of PWM amplifiers is their extremely high efficiency (>90%). As a consequence the heat to be dissipated is only one-fifth of earlier designs, leading to much lower temperatures within the amps and making the use of heat sinks unnecessary.
While PWM is highly efficient, pulse-width modulation causes signal distortion due to non-linearity of the modulation based on transient response. Usually, some form of noise-shaping filter is required to eliminate the distortion. However, that alone wasn’t good enough for ADAM engineers, who set out to develop PWM units that would perform at the leading edge of sonic quality while maintaining high efficiency. The ADAM units use a proprietary technology for both the amp and the power supply section (i.e. no more transformers) combined with state-of-the-art input and filter sections to achieve the best in multi-channel active monitoring.
Cabinet and bass reflex construction
Like the other AX-Series models, the upper corners of the A8X are slanted to minimize reflections that otherwise would cause comb filtering with the direct signal. The very large, double bass reflex tubes on the front have been specifically designed to perfectly match the mid-woofer and its large voice coil.
Front- and rear-panel controls and I/O
The front panel of the A8X has a power switch and a volume control with level settings up to +14dB. Rear-panel controls include high-frequency gain (± 4dB) and two room compensation shelf EQs for high and low frequencies (±6dB). Rear-panel connections include an IEC connector with a 115V/230V switch for international use, unbalanced RCA input, and balanced XLR input.
What the pros are saying about the ADAM A8X
“Upgrading the already very successful A-Series was no easy task for the German manufacturer. But once again, we have to acknowledge that ADAM Audio successfully took up the challenge with this A8X monitor - the flagship of the new AX Series.”(Audiofanzine.com)
“The A8X is a powerful link between ADAM ́s AX Series and the formidable and more expensive SX Series. It's all-in-all homogenous tuning, the deep and precise bass as well as the brilliant mid- and high-frequency reproduction make this speaker a huge recommendation for ambitious people without deep pockets.” (Professional Audio, Germany)
“Even if it optically does not fit into every living room, audiophiles looking for pure sound should rally to find a dealer for a demo session. These speakers tend to transform favorite songs with a hitherto unheard of clarity. The combination of the 220mm mid/low woofer and the X-ART AMT let this speaker sound powerful and detailed at the same time.” (Audio Test, Germany)
The ADAM A8X provides exceptional clarity at high SPL, letting you hear detail that might otherwise go unnoticed. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Professional.
ADAM A8X specifications:
- Tweeter: X-ART
- Velocity transform ratio: 4:1
- Equivalent diaphragm diameter: 2" / 56 mm
- Woofer: 8.5" / 220 mm
- Woofer material: Carbon/Rohacell®/glass fiber
- LF amplifier: 150W RMS/225W music, type PWM
- HF amplifier: 50W RMS/75W music, type A/B
- Input sensitivity: -∞ to +14dB
- Tweeter gain: ±4dB
- High shelf EQ > 5kHz: ±6dB
- Low shelf EQ < 300Hz: ±6dB
- Frequency response: 38Hz – 50kHz
- THD 90dB/1m>100Hz: ≤ 0.5%
- SPL with sine wave 100Hz-3kHz in 1m: ≥ 112dB
- Peak acoustic output in 1m per pair: ≥ 120dB
- Crossover frequency: 2.3kHz
- Input: XLR/RCA
- Input impedance: 30k ohm
- Magnetically shielded: N/A
- Dimensions (HWD): 13-1/2" x 8" x11" (337 x 201 x 280 mm)
- Weight: 28.7 lb. / 13 kg