ARTist 3 + 5 reviewed by german magazine Sound & RecordingReviews
Berlin, October 8th, 2011
Compact monitors equipped with USB Interface and new X-ART Air Motion Transformer tweeters
[…] Both monitors are true fully active two-way systems powered by amps with 2x 40 W / Peak (ARTist 3) and 2x 75 W / Peak (ARTist 5). On the rear you can find XLR, RCA and USB connectors. On the front is another input that accepts 3,5 mm stereo mini plugs. All inputs except the balanced ones can be connected for stereo applications to only one speaker, which will pass on the second stereo channel to the second speaker via the stereo link interface. In a stereo-linked setup the first monitor acts as the master that can be used to control the main volume of the whole setup by turning the generously sized volume knob on the front. Principally all monitors are built the same and thus can be combined at will. There are no explicit ‘master’ or ‘slave’ models.
The MDF speaker enclosures are available in precious high glossy black or white finish and look great not only in the studio but in non-technical environments as well. For desktop use along with a computer screen there is a special stand available for the ARTist 3 that slightly raises the speaker into a favourable listening position which makes real nearfield monitoring possible on any desk the finest way.
Inside the box it looks as proper as on the outside. The pictures of the opened rear panel reveal proper built electronics with reliably sealed sockets and switches and also foam hose coated cable bundles which are common in automotive electrics in order to prevent rattling noises. All the screws are sealed and also the plug-in connectors are tightly secured. This is the way things should be if you want to enjoy your monitor for a long time. […]
Despite the measuring results we already had at hand the listening test turned out as a real surprise. The expectations generated by the results were high but those have been exceeded significantly. The reproduction of high frequencies can be described without any exaggeration as sensational, the bass frequencies are amazingly present for the size of the ARTist speaker also at higher volumes (this is true for the ARTist 3 as well). The spatial representation of the sound respectively the sound source detection during reproduction works perfectly. In comparison to the ARTist 3 the slight boost in the treble range makes the ARTist 5 almost too beefy in the higher frequencies but this is quickly adjusted by using the High-EQ or depending on setup may disappear by itself.
Without any exaggeration ADAM has delivered a big hit with the ARTist 3 and ARTist 5 models. The new X-ART tweeter is not only new and different but also significantly better in performance than its predecessor. Along with this prominent and unique characteristic these small monitors of course offer very good woofers too. Besides that, they provide high quality electronics, substantial and sensible connectivity options together with an excellent workmanship which applies to the exterior and the interior of the speaker alike, a feature not always self-evident nowadays.
With a price tag of 700 Euro (ARTist 3) and 920 Euro (ARTist 5) for the pair the ARTist speakers are not necessarily a bargain in their size class but in relation to the given performance they are a definite recommendation that’s hard to beat at the moment.
Sound & Recording, issue 09/2011