1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Where we are now: The site is back up and running! The character set encoding issue has been fixed so old posts should now look ok. I am currently working on themes/skins etc and I will be deleting the temporary green skin very soon as it has many issues. I will do a very quick variation on the stock blue skin first just to get a light-grey background and san-serif font, and I will set this as default. Later this week I will hopefully add a professional third-party skin in pfm colours (life is way too short to do this crap myself, and I've found one I really like than needs next to no tweaking). We are getting there slowly...
    Dismiss Notice
  3. May I please request people check and update their email address if it is out if date. I ask as I’m getting countless bounce errors as the server fails to send notifications through etc. I’ll eventually figure out how to send these to a black hole somewhere, but it makes sense to address it at source as quite a few folk are obviously not getting the thread and conversations notifications they have set in their preferences.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

At last... (Audiolab) - part III

Discussion in 'audio' started by MrScott, Jan 24, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MrScott

    MrScott Member

    I'm not John, but I would like to give you the advice to check out the ADAM Compact Mk3 (Active Version) speakers before "wasting" too much money. You won't regret it, please believe me.
  2. arthur

    arthur Banned


    I have a new cdq which I think is very good indeed and quite amazing for the money, top marks to John and Dominic.

    I've been reading this thread (takes a while doesn't it?) and I need some speakers now too.

    Do you think the Adam Audio pro stuff is good enough for the house?

    I have a budget of £1000 and was thinking of a pair of P11a's

    I have never heard a pair of active speakers so I'd quite appreciate your thoughts?

  3. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    I don't find this reassuring.

    I know all the reasons why putting the CD transport in with the DAC makes it easier to pull out a jitter free stream. I know that using a wordclock output from the DAC helps overcome the limitations of the spdif standard. Somewhere back at the beginning of this thread (see post #166) John spoke about the MDAC (and therefore I would assume and hope, also the QDAC) having an external clock loop to improve the jitter of external spdif devices

    But the CD counterparts are bit perfect, and so 25 years after the creation of the CD digital standard and with the amount of silicon available at low cost ... I expect better

    So, referring back to Dominic's comments in post #250, I fully acknowledge that "the way to get the best results (jitter rejection) is not having to perform any". But despite Dominic's comment in that "There is no perfect jitter rejection in this world"...

    on the basis that in high quality audio reproduction there is no limitation on time delay within the audio decoding process (this isn't HT and we don't need to sync image and sound), I can't see why data can't be pulled in and buffered and then clocked out in a perfectly stable, controlled and 'jitter-free' way. I do understand that this will/may introduce further circuit design and clocking problems and tasks.

    None of this is intended as negative comments on what has been endeavoured and appears to have been achieved in the current designs - I'm waiting for the QDAC as it appears to be just the digital/analogue preamp I'm looking for. Prior to this (thread) I'd been eyeing up the Buffalo and Wyred4Sound offerings, but John & Dominic's designs do seem to genuinely advance the state of the art at a surprisingly low price point.

    However, I think that something more universal should be possible for the 'digital source era' ;)

    They really are just 0s and 1s

  4. MrScott

    MrScott Member

    Most of the Adam Audio Pro stuff are "Nearfield Monitors" for studio work (which means one person in the small sweet acoustic spot is judging a mix and makes corrections). If you're out of that sweet spot the sound gets more or less weird. So, NO the Adam Audio Pro stuff is not meant to be run in a house (living room). That's the reason why Adam Audio has a Home Audio division as well. If I remember right the ADAM "Home Audio" Compact Mk3 (Active Version) is based on the ADAM "Pro Audio" S2X speaker, but I could be wrong.

    Forget the P11a's - both the much cheaper old (and no longer produced) A7 and it's follow up model A7x are better in every aspect except the lowest frequencies. But keep in mind these are Nearfield Monitors as well.

    In theory active speakers do have an advantage over passive speakers, but it depends on who do you ask. ;) Sometimes the Built-in Amplifiers of cheaper active speakers (like the old ADAM A7) are a bit noisy if the music is too quiet.
  5. amdismal

    amdismal pfm Member

    That's it! You've done it! The crucial step of genius that the digital audio industry has been looking for all this time!

    Unless it's a bit more complicated than you might think somehow... ;-)
  6. LittleToast

    LittleToast pfm Member

    I am using the Adam Compact Mk3 (Piano finish). My friend who runs a high end system with audionote monoblocks, shindo preamp, Avantgarde duo horns, turntable (not familiar with it) were pretty impressed with the Adam when he came listen. Really looking forward to try out the CDQ in my system. Where I am, the next batch will come only mid Feb. As I have my own transport, if I can only wait till April, DQ will be quite fabulous as well.
  7. arthur

    arthur Banned

    Hello MrScott.

    Thank you for your thoughts. A bit of a bummer though as I had thought the Adam's were simply reboxed pro speakers.:(

    Does this mean that the pro's 'beam' music at a certain spot as it were?

    I don't seem able to find any s/h Adam's just about anywhere, perhaps they are so good they never leave the original owners? :D
  8. arthur

    arthur Banned

    From what I can gather on this thread it seems the qdac may end up being a fair bit later than april.

    If you are anywhere near Sunderland I could visit with my cdq :) that would help both of us out.
  9. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    It was done in Chord DAC64

    And it's what Dominik is referring to (again in post 250)
    " Asynchronous USB Audio is like a 'Clock Locked' CD transport and unlike an S/PDIF or Adaptive/Synchronous USB Audio"

    So if a USB input can be "clock locked" why can't an intermediate "clock locked" module be implemented for a buffered spdif input?
    ... for that is exactly what an async usb input is for a computer

    I know of two DACs which have done this, so "Unless it's a bit more complicated than you might think somehow" does rather miss the point for all the other DACs.

    Most spdif inputs rely upon a PLL or desperately hope that async resampling will smooth over the samples.

    My question here is one of genuine interest (Domink, John)
    - what really are the problems with this?
    rather than an "... it's a bit more complicated..." admission of defeat

    BTW - the other one is the NAD M2, and I suspect there are others

  10. Dominik

    Dominik Trade: Lakewest

    Dear Chris,

    You are absolutely right - same data are same data and should ideally result in the same sound. Addressing this issue properly requires more silicon - preferably custom silicon - and that's the way we are going in the future. The current designs have a long and winding history where at the beginning (early 2008) was an attempt at the least complexity best bang for the buck DAC based on ES9008 with Async USB to be launched under Lakewest brand. The current and upcoming Audiolab range is a stretch of that design. It is by no means the best we can do, rather a solid design for the BOM target we had. A design which more or less rely on the ESS chip and it's ability to suppress incoming jitter, which in theory should work very well, but as you can see - not perfect. There are a number of reasons for that and we are going to address them while working on our own silicon later this year. The good news is M/QDAC will have an improved jitter rejection, but still not the ultimate solution.

  11. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    Thank you

    QDAC looks the right next step for me,
    but I also have eager anticipation for whatever follows
    ...somewhere beyond 2012 I suspect
  12. dlcastles

    dlcastles pfm Member

    Thanks for the recommendation. It's for the Adam Classic Series Compact mk3, yes?
    Can I ask where you bought them and what price they come in at?
    The finish (and presence of grilles) on these appears to be far more living-room friendly than a lot of the pro-gear, but from general reading I'm not sure the pro-gear is necessarily a bad match to the home. The Focals, for example, are supposed to be near and midfield, so fine for a listening distance up to 3m. As always the ultimate test is what the system sounds like in your own house, but are the Adams designed to have a much deeper range than that?
    Cheers, Duncan
  13. LittleToast

    LittleToast pfm Member

    I don't stay near Sunderland. In another country really. Bummer :)

    Right now I am kind of stuck as I sold off some stuff and I only have left my CEC transport and the Adam Compact Mk3. I really need a preamp/dac.

    BTW, the Adam Compact Mk3 only takes in balanced connection. Do note that. In my search, I think the Artisan Silver cables may be worth trying.

    The DQ is different from the qdac. I think that's like the CDQ but without the cd transport. Last heard in this thread could be April/May time frame. I am not totally certain.
  14. technobear

    technobear Ursine Audiophile

    If you want the best out of the CDQ and must use a streaming device, the Logitech Transporter is the best choice.

    An alternative for more money but the same performance and harder to use would be the Linn DS stuff.

    The Squeezebox Classic is a budget source. The Squeezebox Touch is better but still not a Transporter.

    Better and cheaper to get a quiet computer (or laptop/netbook) and connect it directly to the CDQ via USB.

    When using USB, you may notice some ground borne 'processor noises' coming through from the PC if you have the volume way up high or have a very sensitive system. I have now taken delivery of a USB isolator and this cures that potential problem completely. It was £40 from here:


    As for active speakers, if your considering the Adam Compact which I think is around £2800 a pair then also consider the The Rock by Unity Audio for £1850 a pair:


  15. Fender

    Fender pfm Member

    Confused, why is this thread about a product allowed to advertise etc etc when if it was AVI it would be shot down?..
  16. Dan.Scott1234

    Dan.Scott1234 pfm Member

    It is at least contained to this thread and all trade representatives are on labelled trade accounts so you know their angle (For want of a better word)
  17. technobear

    technobear Ursine Audiophile

    There is no advertising. This thread is a discussion about the technical merits of a ground-breaking design. The thread was started specifically to discuss this particular design and has not deviated from it.
  18. domho7

    domho7 Active Member

    After following more than 90pages, I am impressed with this tread. I dont see any advertising but just discussion about the design and sharing of info about the product. :D
  19. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Because I started it, and I have no connection with John or Audiolab, own none of their products and have gained nothing from it. This thread is entirely on topic and has benefited greatly from the insight of both John and Dominic.

    If we had been talking to some arsehole from the marketing dept then you might have a point.

    It is interesting however to see how lovers of AVI and their paid shills attempt to appropriate this thread for their own ends every so often.
  20. MrScott

    MrScott Member

    Yes, the Adam Classic Series Compact mk3 are great, especially if you prefer a neutral sound with lots of detail.
    Bought mine from a dealer called "Hoerzone" in Munich (Germany) - demo models in new condition for 2000€.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page