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AVI ADM9/ADM9.1 10" active Subwoofer

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I have been happy with my ADM9 speakers for almost a year now, so thought I'd save up my pennies and treat them to a subwoofer to fill in the lowest notes.


The speakers have been fine without one, but occasionally I felt like I wouldn't mind a little bit more going on down below. The ADM9 is such a well-controlled speaker that it may appear leaner than some rivals, but once accustomed to it you realise that they are right, and other speakers are booming. The high damping factor offered by the active design means that bass notes are far more articulate.


This leads me on to the integration with the subwoofer. Because the speakers are well-behaved, they integrate easily and there is no overlap or slowness in the bass. I tried a couple of others at the weekend by B&W (PV1) and Monitor Audio (RSW10), both of which were fine, but I settled with the AVI option because it was designed to go with my speakers and I know that you get much more value for money with AVI products, from experience.


The sub is tight, punchy, and extended. The whole frequency spectrum from top to bottom is coherent and smooth, and despite my modest room size there is no boom. The sub sounds "at one" with the speakers, whereas others I tried sounded a bit separate.


The 10" drive unit is a monster - very tough and heavy. I believe there is 200w amp inside derived from their old v2 power amp series, and the box is sealed, not ported.


Sadly a cherry finish isn't available, so I've had to go for black, although I could have ordered it in white. I've included some pics to give an idea of size, but I think it looks a bit smaller in them than it does in real life. The driver is 10" and the box is about 43cm wide, for reference.






There is more connectivity on the back than I need, but at least it's future-proof if I added home cinema, for example, in the future. I think the connections are line in L+R, LFR L+R, and line out L+R. There is a nob for selecting phase, one for line volume, one for LFE volume, one for crossover point, and another to allow you to mix line inputs with the LFE.




Overall I'm very happy with the performance I am getting now. I've also maintained that the ADM9s are better than most small two ways and separates, which is why I sold up. Adding the sub improves scale and weight, obviously, but the whole picture is nicer on the whole, even higher up the frequency range.


The only downside is that it's going to cost me £10k+ to upgrade on the sound I'm getting down, should I ever want to.




Apple + AVI = heaven


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  • 4 weeks later...



I always thought the 9.1s were great at low-levels but obviously the sub adds a little meat.


There are good scientific reasons for it too, if that sort of thing interests you...




Fletcher-Munson curves are contours of equal loudness that represent the SPL that needs to be played at each frequency to be perceived as equal by the human ear. In short, bass needs to be jacked up a bit at louder volumes to sound the same relative to the other frequencies. Think of the effect of the "loudness" buttons on older Jap amps.


Further reading:




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Sat and listened to Decade In The Sun: The Best Of The Stereophonics streaming off Napster and then some tracks ripped lossless.


At mid and higher volume levels the sound is really excellent. There is nothing wrong with the sound at lower volumes, its just that when you crank up the volume the lower end really fills out.


I know this is typical in most systems, but I was wondering if the sub would help with this?



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The Sub will definitely help in this respect because you can adjust the level to suit. The human ear does not have a flat amplitude response, it rises steeply to 3 kHz so that when you turn down the volume, you can still hear the upper frequencies but the lower ones have dropped below audibility. With a sub you can control the volume of the bass to get the result you want.


I hope this helps




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I have to return the AVI sub I am borrowing to my dealer Wednesday. While the 9s do not need a sub to sound good as I have posted in other threads the sub brings them into serious three way floorstanding territory. I could not believe how well it cleans up the midrange and allows all of these little details through that I had not heard before. The sub seems to have a great effect on voices which also surprised me.


ADM9.1s ,2.0 Ghz Mac Mini, Panasonic BD-35 blu-ray player.

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We rely on the natural roll off of the bass drivers in the ADM9.1s and do not filter them. As you're probably aware, we're good friends of Paul White and Hugh Robjohns of SOS and they gave us a list of Pro Audio Active monitors to check out because some of them run up to over 120Hz and actually have a crossover. They do this to increase SPL but we didn't like the result, especially as the ADM9.1s can produce 108 dB continuously with peaks of 118 Db!. Also most of the UK subs including REL were designed and made by our good friends and Subcontractors www.ls-design.co.uk , so we had a very good knowledge base on which to build. We think we have the most effective compromise.


The Sub has no LF protection because it's in a sealed box, it has a choice of cut off frequencies at the top and we recommend 60 Hz, for best results. I think most agree that ours is a sub that works.




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...what a shame you can't take the saw to your gorgeous AV unit and slip the sub right in there!!! That middle section seems built for the job :-) How are you finding the sub? I am only a few weeks into the ADM 9.1's and they just get better and better - very impressed.


After watching your vids on the various options you tried, which did you end up with as your favoured source? I am still running the SqueezeBox into the ADM's as well as airport Express via the MacBook and occasionally the MacBook direct via optical toslink. Although it is usually on my lap as I am surfing so I was thinking of a Mac Mini and iPod Touch - the Mini would have to do service as a media centre as well, and I have read about display incompatibilities.



Qobuz -> Auralic Aries Mini -> Chord Mojo DAC -> Heed Obelisk SI -> Mark Audio Pluvia 11 Custom Built  Mass Loaded Transmission Line Speakers

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"What a shame you can't take the saw to your gorgeous AV unit and slip the sub right in there!!! That middle section seems built for the job :-) "


Who said you can't. Looks like a perfect fit to me. And when since should stupid A/V furniture dictate good audio arrangements.


Just cut out the two inner shelves, attach foot wide supports to the existing internal side panels from the floor to the underside of the top shelf. The sub should slip right in. Even if you hire a carpenter to alter your furniture, it shouldn't cost more than $100 and it should look great.


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Thank you for the complements and ideas.


It would be nice to slip the sub in there as long as I make no sonic compromises. As Zorro suggests, getting a carpenter to do it probably would be better in the longer-run as he could make sure it is supported, and perhaps make it such that the shelves could be put back in if I so wished at a later date...




My source is the Mac Mini.


For music the control is iTouch.


The photo and films the control is Apple Remote.


I liked my Duet to begin with but the control isn't as good as the Touch. I also liked my PS3 to begin with for video, but the Mini is more quiet and stylish, and has a nicer interface.


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Hi Darren - went into the Apple store yesterday for their one day special sale event, the Touch was down a bit in price but I still couldn't justify £160 for a remote that only works with iTunes :-/ I tried really hard as well! If I could say I listened to music on the move then of course it would have another purpose (its main purpose for most folk I suppose in fairness, but even then 8gb is measly!) or if I played games (but I don't) or if I thought Google maps might be something I would use (but tethered to my settee I might as well just open the Macbook surely?) - so sadly I had to leave it sat there looking gorgeous on the shelf. What it really needed to shine was Internet connectivity anywhere on the move, so I could say listen Last.FM whilst driving for example - but that would be the iPhone I suppose! Ok Plan B - better just wait 6 months or so and change my phone when the contract is up :-)


As for sources Gaz, I had a serious listen the other day to my Macbook with optical digital out compared to the SqueezeBox likewise connected to the ADM's. By switching sources and carefully setting volume levels I could swap from one source to another instantly. I have to say (and my old audiophile ears have sometimes been considered of the 'Golden' variety (hah!) - I couldn't tell a halfpenny of difference! I used to be so sensitive to source equipment in my system, which CD player/transport I had made a huge difference, but since I have been using computer audio as a source, however the digits get to the DAC don't seem to make anything other than the very slightest difference - on's and off's as they say! I have compared the Chord 64 DAC and the PS audio III DAC and my old Meridian DAC - no appreciable change on s/pdif in. When I had the PS audio DAC I did compare my old Windows laptop USB output and it was harsh by comparison with the SqueezeBox direct coax. I think a good DAC design could level the playing field when it comes to digital sources, and all I can say is these ADM's do the business remarkably well, whether it be as a DAC, or an amplifier or as speakers :-)








Qobuz -> Auralic Aries Mini -> Chord Mojo DAC -> Heed Obelisk SI -> Mark Audio Pluvia 11 Custom Built  Mass Loaded Transmission Line Speakers

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I commented in another thread about MP3's and lossless and I too have been comparing them.

For example, MP3 quality streaming from Napster against a CD and of course there are some differences, but for me only on certain tracks and certain types of music and certainly not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the music.

I will be experimenting more.......


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Tim's comments above "I think a good DAC design could level the playing field when it comes to digital sources, and all I can say is these ADM's do the business remarkably well, whether it be as a DAC, or an amplifier or as speakers :-)" ...


This is pretty much what you have explained to me in the past I believe. Is it fair to say that, for example, the ADMs wouldn't (or shouldn't) sound different if I passed the same file to them via the optcal out of a Mac or say the optical out of an expensive audio card.


Have you tested this yourself ?




HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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There is no reason why a different card should make the slightest difference, but I think many of these perceptions are as a result of the problems in XP that caused audible distortion.


I'm afraid that we haven't made a conscious effort to listen to different digital output per se, because there is no need.


I'd also warn that level differences always result in the loudest being preferred, even if they are tiny.




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Just wondering, as we seem to be pioneers hanging over here at Chris's place (:-)) does anyone actually really know what these operating systems do with audio (Chris probably!), or what the chipsets that output the digital stream from things like Macbooks measure like? I mean, if I asked say what was the circuitry like in a Wadia transport I am sure someone would know the IC's involved and how they performed, they would also be able to tell me why the company had designed things a certain way and what that was hoped to achieve. When a computer reads an audio file I presume it treats it just like any other file, grabs it from wherever it lives on the disc chopped up in fragments and gives it to the playback software that requested it. The playback software then sends the decoded result to the operating system and the OS then sends it to the sound card and out into the world!


The reason I ask is I was listening the other night and I really didn't think things sounded right - I rebooted the Mac and I felt the music was back on course. But was it, was it me, had the OS screwed up, or was I just imagining it? There is a lot of stuff doing lots of work in a computer - outputting audio is probably not a priority for the designers - are we really expecting too much to get a perfect digital stream out of these things every time we press play? Is there some way of checking we are getting out what we expect?



Qobuz -> Auralic Aries Mini -> Chord Mojo DAC -> Heed Obelisk SI -> Mark Audio Pluvia 11 Custom Built  Mass Loaded Transmission Line Speakers

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Every day I'm asked the same question and when I turn to Martin for re-assurance he points out that the drivel that flows so freely from my keyboard arrives exactly as I typed it, via optical cables, on poor Chris's Forum and that music will do exactly the same. It's all noughts and ones he says and if any are missing it'll be bloody obvious!


When in doubt I refer to the prose of the Great Tim Farney and he said that we can measure more than we can hear, but what we can't measure is what the brain does to what it receives from the ear! And therein lies the problem. This is the bit that less principled hi fi salesmen have been playing on for years, but it's getting more difficult for them to deal with an almost limitless source of noughts and ones mathematically generated with absolute precision.


Meanwhile if we're too confident with our hearing we should remember how well witnesses perform if asked to describe a traffic accident or Bank robbery. If our eyes screw up, then so will our ears IMO.




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