HiFi Bargains: ADAM Audio A3X Active Studio Monitor

Sometimes we need not look beyond our desktop to find a HiFi Bargain.

the ADAM A3X’s backside is all business

The ADAM Audio A3X Active Studio Monitor hit the shelves in 2011 as the least expensive ADAM monitor to employ the company’s much-loved X-Art (eXtended Accelerated Ribbon Technology) ribbon tweeter:

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.

…When you breathe, your thorax is moving slowly whereas the air is moving comparably fast. Similarly, the X-ART diaphragm presses the air faster in or out of its folds than they themselves are moving. This markedly superior ”motor” is responsible for the unprecedented clarity and pristine transient reproduction that can be heard with the ADAM X-ART drive units.

The A3X pairs that X-Art ribbon tweeter with a 4.5″ Carbon Fiber woofer while a pair of Class A/B amplifiers are dedicated to each driver for a claimed frequency response of 60 Hz – 50 kHz! Inputs include a lone single-ended RCA and balanced XLR while the Stereolink Input/Output allows for a single speaker to control volume for the pair. A rear-mounted knob facilitates tweeter level adjustment.

A volume control knob sits on the front face of each speaker along with the power switch and the A3X’s 6″ width and 7.5″ depth make them a perfect size for my desktop while their utilitarian appearance suits me just fine. You’ll see mine sitting on a pair of isoAcoustics stands which I consider to be an integral aspect of the A3X’s overall performance. Since I now stand at my desk, some extra height is provided by stacked ply blocks.

I’ve had a pair of Adam A3X singing on my desktop since 2012, with an AudioQuest DragonFly handling D/A duties (another HiFi Bargain), and in that time I’ve never had the itch to replace them. The combination of super-crazy clarity with a nice controlled and tuneful kick makes the A3X a very special speaker. And if we divide their $700/pair asking price by eight years of near-daily enjoyment, the result is a smile-worthy HiFi Bargain of the highest order.

ADAM A3X Specifications

Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 50 kHz
THD: 90 dB / 1 m > 100 Hz ≤0.8 %
Max. SPL with sine wave acoustic 100 Hz to 3 kHz at 1 m: ≥98 dB
Max. SPL per pair at 1 m: ≥106 dB
Crossover Frequencies: 2800 Hz
Input Impedance: 10 kOhm
Weight: 10.1 lb (4,6 kg)
Magnetically Shielded: No
Height x Width x Depth: 10″ (252 mm) x 6″ (150 mm) x 7.5″ (185 mm)
Warranty: 5 years (2 years warranty plus 3 years optional with product registration)
Delivery Contents: Cinch-cable, power cord, manual

Company Website: ADAM Audio