ADAM's new sub is an affordable way to add serious bass to your monitoring system.
Designed to work alongside ADAM's T?series active monitors, the T10S subwoofer houses a downward-firing 10-inch driver, and is driven by a 130W Class–D amplifier to deliver a frequency response of 28 to 120 Hz and a maximum SPL of 104dB at one metre. Its active crossover can be set to either 80Hz, 120Hz or bypass, and appropriately high-pass–filtered outputs are provided to feed the connected 'tops'. This adjustability means the T10S can also be used with non–ADAM speakers, where desired. ADAM have the T10S subwoofer manufactured in China, which keeps the price attractive — indeed, you can buy the sub and a couple of T?series five-inch tops for under ￡600 if you shop around.
The cabinet, which is rear-ported via a slot above the control panel, employs an unfussy construction and is made from 18mm MDF covered with a textured, black plastic foil. It stands on stubby rubbery legs to provide isolation and to allow the downward-facing speaker to couple with the room. ADAM's familiar 'Stealth' contours adorn the front edges of the cabinet, and a small green LED above the ADAM Audio logo shows when the speaker is powered up. Tipping the cabinet on its side shows the fully exposed driver mounted in the centre of the cabinet's bottom panel. Though impressively powerful for its size, the T10S weighs just 12.2kg and measures 390 x 318 x 413 mm.
All the controls and connectors are located on the flush steel rear panel, and these include stereo inputs and outputs on both balanced XLRs and unbalanced RCA phonos (but not jacks). The control panel gives access to the crossover frequency three-way slide switch, a polarity invert switch, and a volume knob with 0dB marked just past the mid-way position. A footswitch input allows the sub and the high-pass filter to be switched out, so it is possible to hear the tops on their own, and finally there's an IEC mains inlet (two-pin, no ground) but, curiously, no power switch.
The extra depth made for a more complete monitoring experience and the sub behaved perfectly without drawing attention to itself...
Before testing the performance of a sub, it is essential to find the best place in the room to locate it. ADAM suggest having the front of the cabinet in line with the front of the main speakers, but in my experience it may be necessary to move the sub off-centre to provide the most even-sounding result. One technique is to stand the sub where you normally sit to mix, play some music with a busy bass line, then listen along the front wall, close to the floor, to see where the bass sounds the most even. Ideally that's the place to put your sub. If you need to put it on a side wall, then try the listening test with the polarity switch in both settings to see which gives the smoothest crossover with the main speakers.
Calibration settings are provided for use with the T?series speakers but as I did my tests using my own ADAM A7s, I had to set the main/sub balance myself. Often users have their sub set way too loud, but the right way to set it is so that when you hit the footswitch to compare the sound with the main speakers on their own, all you miss is that lower octave — there should be no extra sense of loudness at the bass end with the switched sub in, just a sense of more depth. I'm happy to say that at normal listening levels the sub seemed to be barely ticking over, so it has plenty of headroom on tap for those brief 'turn it up' moments. With my A7s and in my room, the extra depth made for a more complete monitoring experience and the sub behaved perfectly without drawing attention to itself — I could hear no port noise, rattles or mid-range mumblings. A ported cabinet will always introduce a little time 'smearing' but in this case there was nothing to cause me concern, and given the low cost of this sub I thought it performed admirably.
As long as you set the sub/main balance correctly, I see no reason not to use this sub with mains from other manufacturers — it could breathe new life into smaller monitors. The only caveat is that the lower your monitoring system goes, the more the sound is impacted by imperfect room acoustics, but at least having a separate sub enables you to move it around to find the placement that gives the most even bass. Indeed, if you're looking for something to make movie earthquakes sound more convincing, you could do a lot worse than buy one to go with your TV sound system, as it costs less than many technically inferior consumer systems.
- Straightforward operation.
- Good performance.
- No mains power switch.
A practical and compact sub designed for use with Adam's T-series speakers but compatible with the majority of small active speakers.