ADAM ARTist5 Powered Desktop Monitor Speaker (Playback 60)


According to ADAM’s published specifications, the ARTist 5’s roll off their bass at 50 Hz. Most of the time I fed the ARTist 5’s a balanced full-range signal via XLR inputs from a balanced preamp. I let them roll off naturally without using a crossover and then used a Velodyne DD+ 10 subwoofer I had on hand to fill in the low bass. You could gain some headroom by using a crossover to roll off the ARTist 5’s bass response at 80 Hz or higher if you need an extra couple of dBs in clean level.

All ARTist 5 speakers have a volume control on the front panel of the speaker, but depending on your preferences you can have either have a volume control for each speaker or a master volume control for both speakers via ADAM’s “stereolink” connection. I prefer to have a volume for each speaker since it allows me to make critical balance adjustments and use my preamp as the overall master volume control.


When I reviewed the now-discontinued ADAM Model A5 in our famous sister publication The Absolute Sound, I spent quite a bit of time extolling the virtues of its X-ART tweeter. High frequencies were fast, clean, uncolored, detailed, and the tweeter was superb at handling dynamics. But the mid/bass driver on the original Model 5 just couldn’t keep up. It was clearly outclassed in terms of speed, transparency, and lack of coloration by the X-ART tweeter. Fortunately the ARTist 5 has a redesigned midrange/woofer that is clearly superior to the unit used in the older A5.

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