Dynaudio Bm6a vs Adam A3x ?
The mid to low range of Dynaudio and Adam speakers have proved themselves to be two of the most popular brands among Psytrance producers in recent years.
Easy to see why as they are a good balance between revealing detail, pleasing sound and price.
So here's a question that I keep hearing lately: What are the best monitors Dynaudio or Adam?
But before we get onto that, let me say that room treatment is vital.
If you're making bass heavy modern electronic dance music - which you are - then bass traps are a *must* if you want to have any kind of ability to accurately judge what is actually happening in your mix's bottom end.
I know that it's not what you want to hear but that's how it is.
You'll save yourself a *lot* of time and aggravation by building yourself a bunch of bass traps and mounting them across the corners of your room. You literally can't have too many bass traps, the more you add the flatter will be the room's LF response. Which will cut out all that guesswork. You know what I'm talking about...
Couple that with a couple of first reflection point absorbers placed at the first reflection points and the stereo image will suddenly become much sharper and 3 dimensional. (assuming correctly positioned monitors)
This combined will make whichever current monitors you have suddenly sound twice as good.
You may even find that you don't have to buy a new set of monitors at all because you'll be able to judge instrument balance, pan placements, fx and reverb levels, and most importantly bass levels accurately.
O.k assuming the above as read, back to the question of Adam vs Dynaudio
My main monitors are Dynaudio BM6a I also have a set of little Adam A3x bought when they first came out to use as a secondary reference.
Both are excellent monitors. And having recently finished mixing a tune on the A3x's I find that I can mix tunes on either set with no problem.
Interestingly to me, even though the A3x LF -3db cutoff point is 60hz, after one initial cross reference to the Dyn's at the start of the tune to assess and tweak the level of sub on both kick and bass (independantly and then together), mixing the rest of a tune was no problem. The fact the woofer does not also have to produce the sub bass frequencies appeared to allow better bass transient response on the woofer driver - very useful when tweaking synth bass line envelope parameters and fine tweaking relative kick and bass levels.
The BM6a's sound nicer to my ears, with more front to back depth and a wider and very pleasing 3d stereo image. (Bm6as go plenty low enough for Trance btw, unless you have a large room and like to monitor at excessive volumes)
The Adam's are perhaps slightly less pleasant to listen to by comparison to the BM6s but still pleasant nonetheless. I certainly wouldn't characterize them as "fatiguing."
Imaging is very good, pinsharp in fact.
The so called "sweet spot" I found to be narrower on the A3x than on the BM6a's - even with a lot of position and monitor stand jiggling the A3x were more fussy about positioning.
However I've been pleasantly surprised to find that the Adam's reveal even small e.q. tweaks in the midrange and high end with surprising detail. Better than the Bm6a in fact. Reviewing a mix that I'd been working on previously on the Dynaudios, the A3x very quickly drew my attention to where I got a bit carried away with mid boosts on one or two parts.
When using a Transient Shaper plug-in to give a little more definition to a 909 off hi-hat (which I liked the sound of and that fitted into the mix nicely, except for the fact that the attack transient had been smeared by previous limiting) the tweeters revealed all the adjustments to the front end of the sample clearly, enabling me to tweak up the transient on the front end of the hi-hat with great precision to give it just enough bite to fit it perfectly into the mix, but without overdoing it. Leaving aside the subject of whether I should have chosen another sample to begin with, this should gives you some idea of the A3x's detail.
I'm pretty impressed with the ribbon tweeters on Adam A3x, in particular the accuracy of the transient detail. It's the same tweeter used on the whole of the new Adam AX series of monitors.
If I was looking at a new set of monitors today, I'd be checking out the A7x and A8x or possibly the A5x or with a small sub.
>i have read on gearsluts it s a design flaw , lot of the new adams make woofer noise <
Yeah I saw that thread. The A3x when driven hard also make an audible port noise.
However, I have never yet heard a pair of speakers which had front firing reflex ports that *didn't* have port noise when driven hard. (or part my hair!)
Dyn's have a rear facing reflex port as do Genelecs which helps mask port noise but has the small disadvantage that it's becomes necessary to keep them further away from the rear wall when positioning.
I don't drive the A3x's that hard, so port noise not a problem for me. But overall I think a rear port is a better design.
Given that the port noise is the caused by sub bass frequencies, coupling the A5x with a small sub like the Sub7 would remove the port noise as the sattelites would be High-Pass filtered at 85hz. Also, freeing up the woofer drivers from having to perform sub-bass duties may give them an even better transient response.
I won't be selling the Bm6a's just yet but if the A3x are anything to go by, the rest of new Adams Ax range are excellent monitors and definitely worth considering for Psytrance production.
Since writing this review I bought a Adam sub7 to extend the range of the A3X speakers.
Those two little speakers as part of a 3 way system now sound fully fat and fabulous - once the positioning and callibration of the sub was sorted. Sounds excellent, slightly more limited on power that a pair of BM6A's (but goes lower) and easily enough for my monitoring environment. Any more power an it would start to push too far into ear damaging territory. I've learned to work at sensible volumes over the years
Also I found that I need bleed only a little of the sub in to get a comfortable balance. Much, much less than the 0db position on the knob would suggest.
I have the sub on a footswitch so I can switch it on or off with ease, switching on for assessing kick and bass levels and switching it off when I want to see how the mix would sound on typical home stereo and car speakers or if I'm working in the early hours.
Rear panel of the Adam Sub7
Here's a great article about positioning and callibration of subwoofers for anyone that's interested: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul02/articles/subwoofers.asp
Adam A3x review Dynaudio BM6a review