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dazed1 17th November 2012 04:00 PM

AMP quality of studio monitors (generally) really low grade?
Hi, first off, lets say i'm kind off noob with audio and stuff, so please don't judge me, i'm also new to this forums so bare that in mind, i hope i'm not offtopic.

Anyway i got one very very experienced friend who is into electronics/audio stuff, he build speakers and also fix problems with it, hes electro-engineer, hes really skilled.

Now on the point.

I bought Adam A3x studio monitors 8 months ago, i'm generally very satisfied with this speakers, but today i noticed something i didn't liked, and my friend was telling me that i'm wrong when i think the studio monitors (on cheap) are build with quality parts.

I was listening to a song, and i'm using ASIO driver, which make the volume 100% whenever i play something with AIMP3,(the input is very high) so dunno if that could cuase the problem but here is what happened. now when i There was big distrotion on 50% volume on both speakers, when i played a song with strong bass, well not really strong but lets say maybe a bit stogner then ussual.

I decided to talk to my friend and he said it was cause the internal amps in the Adam A3x sux, same as many others in similar price range.

He also said, to ask anyone what kind off AMP does this speakers use? he stated that hes 90% sure, they use some low grade amp, (can't recall the model) and he show me there was huge 10% distortion when u crank up the volume, same as i experienced, he showed me some tehnical data PDF.

So long story short, is this true? does studio monitors entry/mid level really have low grade amps? and does anyone here know what parts are used into various models of monitors, is there any site where you can check the internal parts of speaker - ratings/specs wise?

Thanks in advance.

sreten 17th November 2012 04:39 PM


The practise of rating power output at 10% (common with AV stuff) should be roundly condemned, but it tells you nothing about the sound quality.

The real figures are the levels of distortion up to say 10/20 W, and the real
output power at 1% distortion (or 0.1%), whaatever, the real clipping point.

Any amplifier from the uber exotic to dirt cheap budget crap will do 10%
distortion if you drive into clipping, your friend doesn't understand what
he's talking about and can't read /understand a spec sheet properly.

rgds, sreten.

Your speakers probably use the TDA2050 :
For 10% distortion it does 22W 8R and 35W 4R.
For 0.5% distortion it does 18W 8R and 28W 4R.
Below clipping level distortion is typically < 0.03%.

dazed1 17th November 2012 04:49 PM

Thanks for the answer, actually i dont know for what exactly was that rating, but i was telling him the quality is great etc, and after he saw the 10% THD at certain power input, yes he also compared at 1W/THD/SPL and other imporant stuff, he stated the same like you now when i remember about it.

He also said that ratings like that is for low level of AMPS and that generally most of the integrated AMPS are crap compared to dedicated.

The sound quality of my speakers is good, i'm satisfied, but i didn't knew they will fail to not make distortion at only 50% i tought at 70/80% maybe, but at 50 isn't that to low for such distrotion? could this be avoided by getting lets say Focal CMS 50? thanks dude.

Arty 17th November 2012 05:01 PM

"dude" --> gees...

anyways.. does 18 watt of input power makes these speakers loud enoguh for You ?
if so, then its okay. Just do not push them harder.
If not, then get a better amp.

dazed1 17th November 2012 05:10 PM

Whats wrong with dude?

However, as i said i'm noob with audio and stuff, i started to learn recently, so bare that in mind, and i don't get it when you say buy better amp, how would that work? my speakers already have amps don't they?

sreten 17th November 2012 07:38 PM


Any pair of active speakers will distort of you overdrive them.

If you reduce the speakers gain and it still happens then
you've got clipping in the signal before the active speakers.
Otherwise set the gain to avoid overload, and that depends
on the crest factor of the signaal, not some % output number.

rgds, sreten.

dazed1 18th November 2012 04:31 PM

Thanks for the answers.

Now few more questions.

I'm planning to upgrade my speakers, and i'm looking at Focal CMS 50, Adam A7x and Neuman KH 120, which from this 3 monitors, use best quality parts? amps/crossovers/tweeters etc? thanks one more time.

sreten 18th November 2012 05:07 PM

Hi, upgrade ? add a proper subwoofer, rgds, sreten.

dazed1 18th November 2012 05:15 PM

You think its better option? mind you i'm using my speakers for music listening not mixing or any studio work :)

Arty 18th November 2012 05:31 PM

then go for a proper sub.
integrated correctly with the speakers you allready have.

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