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AVI ADM9.1 - Initial impressions

Bialykot

Well-known member
Feb 4, 2010
5
0
18,520
OK. Been reading various threads on the ADM9.1 active speakers on this forum and am surprised by all the emotive comments, either for or against the loudspeakers. It seems that people either love them or hate them (but some of the haters apparently haven't auditioned them!). So here goes - I've actually purchased a pair recently, replacing a Meridian 588CD, 502 pre, 557 power amp with B&W Nautilus 805 speakers using balanced Van Den Hul interconnects through the chain. My main motivation after years of satisfied listening with the above kit was simple and twofold: 1) reduce the clutter - my wife loves music but hates boxes and wires and 2) my vast CD collection has been scattered all over the place as my kids have grown up, ending up in cars, bedrooms, flats - resulting in me not being able to easily find the music I'm looking for and switching the TV on instead of listening to music after work as it became too difficult to keep finding and organising a library of CDs in smashed cases. I still possess a good set of ears for critical listening even after 40 years pursuing my hifi passion. I've used everything from original Quad amps and speakers, Stax electrostatic headphones, Linn and Ariston turntables, Dynavector Diamond and Ruby cartridges (partly through testing products for manufacturers back in the 70s and 80s). So I took the plunge, sold my Meridian/Nautilus gear (with some sadness I must confess) and bought the ADM9.1s (plus a NAS and a Sonos system). Only had the speakers for a short time - but first impressions are very positive indeed. Huge dynamic range. They go extremely loud without distorting (your ears 'crack' before the speakers show any breakup). The imaging on these is absolutely rock solid - actually better than the Nautilus ones I had (which were excellent). The speakers are much easier to place as well without much variation in sound. My room is 'awkward' as it has a suspended wooden floor and plasterboard walls which make the sound (and bass in particular) bounce around and boom a little bit. To my surprise the bass on the ADM9.1s is very well controlled and I can hear bass lines very clearly. Some people would call the speakers a bit 'light' in the bass. In reality they are 'fast' here - and as a consequence don't have the 'warm bloom' of some passive speakers which in turn is mistaken for deeper bass. They do sound ' exciting' and make you want to listen - and not as laid
back as some other gear I've listened to in the past. They actually sound much closer to my electrostatic headphones than
most speakers I've heard (these can also sound light for the same
reasons - but if you really listen, the bass notes are there - deep and
clean and very easy to follow). The midband and
treble is fabulous - but can seem bright and punchy - but I believe that is quite
accurate and compares well to my headphones (in terms of handling
sibilance etc...). So are there any downsides? Well - first of all, they are so revealing that badly recorded music sounds... well... bad. That's most pop that's compressed at the recording or production stages. But that's not the speakers' fault, is it? With well-recorded music (jazz, blues, classical) they really do excel - huge dynamics and good control. Secondly, I have to say that I did prefer the looks of my old rounded Nautilus speakers with external tweeter (not to say that the 9.1s look bad). The 9.1s can benefit from a sub - as they do roll off below 50 or 60Hz quite quickly - but most speakers of this size do. I have tried a small sub with these (not AVIs own one) and have achieved a reasonably balanced and more extended sound (on some music that does produce much deeper bass - eg electronic, organ etc... ). But not strictly necessary.

Lastly, the gentleman who runs the AVI company (Ashley) has come under some flak in these forums (I'm not going to go into why and don't even care quite frankly) - and yes, maybe he can seem a little 'over-passionate' about his product. But (impartially) in my case, he has been courteous, very helpful (not just re his products, but also in other areas such as computerised audio, wireless streaming etc...) and very professional in his dealings.

Oh yes, and the most important bit of all ... I now come home from work, the TV does NOT get switched on, I use the Sonos remote to access some (lossless) music from the NAS upstairs - all played back beautifully through the ADM9.1s. And the room seems much bigger now. Result!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
reminds me of when I was 5 years old .... met father Christmas for the 1st time, but somehow knew that we had met before
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I'm sorry but given the antics of known AVI / A James acolytes (now banned) I have reason to doubt the authenticity of a first time poster extolling the virtue of these emotive and infamous speakers.

Interesting that the 'review' addresses common criticisms of the AVI's (limited range, light bass).

Thanks for the review anyway.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
Hello Bialykot.

Are you going to plug in the Ariston RD110s/774/Dynavector Ruby to the analogue input on the ADM9.1?

I read your 'bio' in another place. (AOS) Very interesting stuff especially the University audio laboratory test work for KEF and Ariston.

I would love to know more about that research (especially the KEF work) and what products came out of it.

Oh yeah, welcome.
 

matengawhat

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
670
5
18,895
what makes me laugh about these and those on the avi website is the over use of the () brackets to tell a story about the family ect this to me is a clear indictaion that they are all written by the same writer
 
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Anonymous

Guest
the record spot:Aye, these boxes that can do no wrong...
To be fair, at the price, no they can't really!
 

Escapism

New member
Nov 19, 2009
0
0
0
Welcome Bailykot, don't mind the usual AVI-haters on here, not all WHF forum members are this unhospitipal. I'm sure Everard will set a good example for others.....oh no, wait..
 
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the record spot

Guest
igglebert:the record spot:Aye, these boxes that can do no wrong...
To be fair, at the price, no they can't really!

But the same could be applied to many others no? And with less hype? AVI would do themselves more favours if they just shut up and let their products do the talking!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Escapism:Welcome Bailykot, don't mind the usual AVI-haters on here, not all WHF forum members are this unhospitipal. I'm sure Everard will set a good example for others.....oh no, wait..

Aye and wor Ashley's a sight for sore eyes for the tired audiophile then is he?

The product is no doubt very good for the money, but ditch the hyperbole, spare me the hype and then I'll take the company seriously. Do you see Peter Comeau pulling this number for every speaker he's put together? Hint: you'll have a long wait.
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
Had mine since last june and theyre just rubbish. only reason im keeping them is because i need to be punished for buying them in the first place.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Shame on you. Anyone would have you down as an AVI shill.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Personally, I'd ban first time posters who give reviews on how their £1,000 AVI's are far better than their current £5k/£10k hi-fi systems. It's just blatant advertising. As already mentioned, if the products are so good, let them sell themselves.

Or maybe I should ditch the 207/2's and Bryston 7b's and try these superior loudspeakers......
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
FrankHarveyHiFi:

Personally, I'd ban first time posters who give reviews on how their £1,000 AVI's are far better than their current £5k/£10k hi-fi systems. It's just blatant advertising. As already mentioned, if the products are so good, let them sell themselves.

Or maybe I should ditch the 207/2's and Bryston 7b's and try these superior loudspeakers......

Yes, maybe you should. personally i wouldnt mind seeing the back of retailers. especially ones who crop up to get at these speakers regualarly.

Now you can feel all warm and cozy at the number of people who rush to your defence. Its ok, i know you're grateful.
 

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