ADA open day at TLC Broadcast.06/03/10

Jon P

Active Member
On the 6th of March TLC held an open day to demonstrate the A.D.A. processor and their power amps.

On demonstration was the Suite 7.1HD, 3 PF-2502's and a PTM-6150 running on a 7.2 setup of Aerial Acoustics' System 1 TheaterWall and a JVC 950 projector. The system had been professionally EQ'd for the room.

Previous people who've listen to ADA systems on the forum have been blown away with the quality and the new Suite 7.1HD delivers an even better audio experience.

Below you can find peoples view an dexperiences of the day.

 
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Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Everyone,

For those wondering about the performance of the systems that you will be able to hear at TLC I would suggest checking this video from an event we did back in October 2008.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/video-productions/847697-avforums-high-end-home-cinema-event.html

The Platinum room the guys experienced here used the same speakers but much smaller amps and the previous generation processor. For those who heard this system before expect at least a 30% improvement!

Oh and Graham is going over to EQ it all tomorrow...
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
30%! :eek:

My guess is that will have a lot to the Room and Graham having enough time to work his magic. I remember the JVC rooms were pretty horrid things with very active floating floors (no butt shakers required) but it was still an amazing demo.

I expect people will be pinned to their seats with those new amps.

Sounds like a great event I am sure people are going to be thoroughly impressed.

Not sure if I will be able to get there myself but I wish everyone a great time, the ADA and AA stuff is a bit special :)

Adam
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
I had a sneak peak at the new cinema room at TLC at the weekend and it really is stunning in everyway.

The new black walls and ceiling really do enhance the black levels from the JVC 950 to produce a picture that I find hard to imagine could really be bettered epsecially after being very underwhelmed by the new LED Sim2 projector I saw at Bristol over the weekend @ £16,000.

As for the sound from the ADA processor and amps all I can say is that there is a clarity that really does have to be heard, the detail retrieval and surround steering is also especially impressive, I may find it more noticeable than some comming from the AV888 which I find a little laid back when it comes to movie soundtracks.

We Watched the scene form Dark Knight when they bring the helicoptor down and the Batmobile explodes and it was real room shaking stuff showing that the amps have plenty of power and are more than capable of immersing you into the film.

As for music, again it is the clarity and detail that jumps out, but it does produce a sound very different from the AV888 and as I'm used to the Arcam I think I would need an extended listening period with the Ada to get used to its different presentation.

If anyone is around Saturday though It would definately be worth popping into TLC to get a taste of that movie experince many of us are trying to replicate in our homes, if I had the chance though I think I could quite easily just live at TLC :)
 

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member

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Vipers

Well-known Member
You're doing a great job so far, but soon you'll have to move house just to accommodate all the kit!

Tony

I just need your stereo room really :)

At long last I've just fired up my JVC 750 for the first time in 6 months after it patiently sitting in its box while I re-decorated to make the living room projector friendly, trouble is after seeing the 950 in your refurbished cinema room Tony it all looks, well a bit grey, time to get the black Velvet out :rolleyes:
 

stevefish69

Well-known Member
I now have no work tomorrow so can i add my name to the list. Sounds like an interesting day :smashin:
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
I now have no work tomorrow so can i add my name to the list. Sounds like an interesting day :smashin:

See ya there :thumbsup:

Just spoke to Tony at TLC and apparently Graham has spent all day there playing with the room eq and now it is supposed to sound absolutely amazing, can't wait to find out :)
 

stevefish69

Well-known Member
See ya there :thumbsup:

Just spoke to Tony at TLC and apparently Graham has spent all day there playing with the room eq and now it is supposed to sound absolutely amazing, can't wait to find out :)

I'm looking forward to this now and meeting other members but will probably not get there until around 11am due to excessive Friday night beer consumption :D
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Hope I can sneak out today ;)
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
See you all at 2.30-3.00 ;)
 

Welwynnick

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

Just got back from TLC. I'm shepherding kids today, so only had an hour to pop in. It was good to see some familiar faces, plus a few new ones, like Graham. I went to the blu-ray player shootouts at TLC in Sept and Oct last year, so I'm pretty familiar with the reference dem room.

Today we were watching the JVC 950 projector again, but it was quite a different experience this time. As soon as the lights went down the screen seemed to leap away from the wall, and we saw real blacks like I hadn't seen since a Barco 909 CRT. I have a JVC RS2, which I thought was good until I saw this - accurate, dramatic and holographic, the image was immersive and captivating like cinemas can only dream about. The room changes made a tremendous difference, so Tony's hard work has really paid off.

I was keen to hear the new ADA Suite 7.1 processor that we'd all been hearing about. I've tried half a dozen different processors in as many months, and I was looing forwards to hearing this. We played a few clips from Kung-Fu Panda, and it was an experience like little other. The sound had a big envelope, dynamically, spatially and tonally, and it was great to hear such a system stretch its legs. Within that envelope though, it was still clean, transparent and uncoloured. The equalisation was obviously effective, as there was no false emphasis that people sometimes mistake for detail or vibrancy. The system played it straight, and got it right, but there hadn't been any need to exaggerate any tonal or dynamic contrasts to achieve the impact or involvement. Its great to hear bass done properly as well - real weight, but no overhang or loss of control.

We also listened to Michael Jackson "Beat It" on CD, which was also an ear-opening experience. The system was neutral and transparent again, and the resolution of the detail and dynamics was dramatic. The system gave a wide sound-stage, and was good at getting out of the way of the music, without imposing its own colours. I guess some of that will be down to the success of the room equalisation. I'd like to hear something like this over a longer period with a greater mix of music, and get used to it before coming to any sort of conclusion.

I suspect that it would suit some folks more than others for music, and the outcome might depend on the rest of the system. Some systems are good at temporal resolution, and get percussion right, while others are better at tonal resolution, and get strings right, for example. Its difficult to meet in the middle, and I thought the ADA system seemed to be transient-led, and tended to emphasise things that were changing from second to second, rather than what was continuing through the duration of a few bars for example. I'd like to be sure with more melodic music, that it didn't try to emphasis detail or crank up the pace where that wouldn't have been the original intention.

Had a good chat with Phil afterwards as well.

Gotta take the kids to a party now,

BR, Nick
 
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IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I thought the room had moved on dramatically for film. Black levels were proper, image quality excellent. I would love a 950, but whilst better than I get at home it was still in the same ball park (I have more dark velvet and less projector contrast and punch, so my picture feels 8.0/10 as opposed to 9.5/10)

I will still wait on the projector front until the HD100 in a dedicated room is destroyed. Second place yes, but destroyed no.

The sound for film was superb, stunning dynamics with excellent bass weight and speed. The low frequencies were very impressive. No overhang, no unnecessary bloom and feeling of reserve and ability to move as much air as required.

Spacial steering and voices were tremendous. The film experience was immersive and impressive.

For film I was not left wanting, dynamics and resolution was very high indeed.

Music for me was not so good, The image sounded a little flat and lacking depth (probably speaker positioning as the side speakers being in wall has no toe in and were either side of the screen).

The presentation focusses on resolution and clarity with a little hardness and leanness in the upper mid.

We musn't forget that everything is a little new, so I suspect the whole thing will be better still in a few weeks time.

The 2 channel was not set up and was still using room correction. I personally find that the less you do to 2 channel the better. Processing somehow seems to work far better for multichannel and less well with two channel for me.

For film it was a superb experience, my ears are still ringing :smashin:
 

stevefish69

Well-known Member
I too have just got back from a day at TLC - Thanks for a great day guys. I backup what Nick and IWC Dopplel have stated above. I'm not as good as some of you guys at reviews ect but here goes......

For films, i was totally blow away - The dynamics, steering and impact were better than i'd ever experienced before and i could not believe the amount of detail present. Every whisper of what was going on in the background could clearly be heard above the main track. It truely was as if you were hearing it live and was a very immersive feeling. The Impact and depth from the two Subs was especially good.

The room itself was fantastic, and i now realise how important light control is for Projectors. The picture on the JVC 950 was jaw dropping in that room. I've seen it before elsewhere but the inky blacks, detail and depth were amazing. The clips of Kun foo Panda we watched almost had a 3D feel to them.

I'm not really a music person but found that it was very directional. When sitting in the left seat i could mostly hear the Left speaker and visa versa. Maybe i'm just used to the Kef sound which is a bit easier when listening off center.

If i had not recently spent a small fortune on a new Center speaker i could have seriously been tempted to walk away with the ADA processor :D

Is it £4K better than my current Audiolab. That's hard to say personally as i feel the differences are a combination of loads of things(let alone 5 power amps and £30K's worth of speakers:D) . I think i'd need to try a home demo of one before such a massive outlay.
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
Just got back form a long day at TLC also and I'm sure I should be sitting watching the TV with my wife after being out all day but I just wanted to post my thoughts whilst still fresh.

Again it was good to see some familar faces and some new ones, good to meet Graham at last after reading his posts and listening to him on the podcasts for so long, this guy really does know his stuff when it comes to audio.

As for the day and the ADA Suite what amazed me was how different it sounded from a week earlier which was put down to giving it a chance to run in over the week and a few more tweaks from Graham which in my opinion for films resulted in a sound and experience that I'd imagine would be hard to beat, I really couldn't imagine what more you could possibly want.

The detail and clarity is in a different league to my Arcam AV888, I know its a cliche but you really could hear details that I'd never heard before, an example, in Casino Royale with the beginning chase scene when they were jumping off the buildings you could hear the sand scatter as they land, which I've just tried on my AV888 and it is present but only if you really listen. Also with the Hitman scene the impact and punch of the bass was stunning, there is a real control to the bass that keeps it tight and powerful, as for the Behind Enemy Lines scene when he is running through the mine field all I can say is absolutely mind blowing, a real movie experience that was like a real rollercoaster ride, it was almost scary but you didn't want it to stop :) we listened to this scene at reference level which to be honest was a little over the top but for a 5 minute burst was sensational.

What I took from today was how important good eq in a system is, and obviously this is one area were the Ada processor wins hands down against the AV888, I really feel after spending a small fortune on our AV systems its crazy to not get it all calibrated to get the best from it and this is definatley the area that has sparked my interest in the Ada.

I think most people agreed that the Ada is pretty much second to none when it comes to film soundtracks but is maybe a required taste when it comes to music playback, but after talking to Graham at some length it seems that the Ada is so adaptoble that you can pretty much create any sound preference you have and at the end of the day it doesn't colour the sound at all anyway so you get it how it is intended to sound.

All in all a very very interesting day, one that I went into with not much intenetion of getting the Ada processor but now I'm starting to get very interested, all I need now is to try it on my EB1's and see how it will sound with 2ch.
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
It seems there is a pretty consistent view from posters.
HT is as good, if not better than it gets, with great dynamism and detail.
Music is less straightforward, with concerns about a somewhat hard sound and at the tendency to emphasise dynamism and transients at the expense of melody and see through soundstage.
However, it has to be said that this is quite likely to be caused by the subsidiary equipment. I notice the valve/horn speaker setup for one poster, and clearly this will provide a very different presentation to the set up at TLC.
It may well be that the ADA is fully transparent, and that we are hearing through this to the rest of the kit used.
 

Vipers

Well-known Member
It may well be that the ADA is fully transparent, and that we are hearing through this to the rest of the kit used.

I Know the setup yesterday was soley setup to give the best experience when it came to movies which it clearly did and Ideally Graham said he would have liked to have had another eq preset setup for music but he didn't have a chance.

Obviously when it comes to 2ch playback we all have different needs and tastes and buy our speakers accordingly to give the sound we want to hear, personally I love the PMC sound which works particularly well for the music I listen too, infact I think they work well with most kinds of music, and I know if they were hooked upto the ADA Suite yesterday I would have found music playback far more agreeable, definatley something to try soon :)
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
As can be seen from the above posts, general consensus is that the ADA processor/power amp solution is certainly something special in terms of its use with movie soundtracks.

However, it's important to make things clear in terms of the context of the overall solution presented (although I realise this is the Processor/Power Amp sub forum), which for me made the far bigger impact compared to just the prowess of the ADA kit in isolation.

I too have been a frequent visitor at TLC, having taken part in the Blu Ray shoot outs last year and often "popping in" (it's always difficult to tear yourself away from the array of demo rooms/kit on offer and Tony & Co are always extremely welcoming and accommodating) and so am very familiar with their reference demo room.

On entering the newly refurbished room, I cannot understate the aesthetic impact that the new decor and primarily the Aerial Acoustics Theartrewall has on me - not that you could see it, but that is my point.

Rather than an in wall speaker system, with the added structural/installation issues and potential compromises such a solution poses, the Theatrewall is a completely customisable solution placed in front of an existing wall where the speakers are placed within/on a metal gantry/frame configured in a bespoke manner to suit your particular environment,with a projection screen fixed across the front.

At TLC this has been covered with (what I assume is) an acoustically transparent black fabric.

I know many will like to have their high end speakers on show so they can see what they have spent their money on, but for me many speakers are not the most aesthetically pleasing devices and can be very big and bulky and really encroach on a room.

The Theaterwall made the room scream cinema/movie theatre at me as soon as I walk in and has a majorly positive effect on the whole overall experience.

So, I settle down on the sofa to watch some scenes from "Hit Man" and am quite literally blown away.

It just sounds right. The level of detail and dynamics are excellent, steering precise and the bass powerful and intense without being overbearing (I have never felt the sofa vibrate at TLC before) all in a seemingly effortless manner, never feeling strained and without ever sacrificing clarity.

The JVC 950 also produces the best images I have seen in this room before, deep blacks and a punchy image that is hard to imagine can be bettered by any major degree.

Don't forget that my and all the others comments are based on this solution where the front L&R, Centre plus 2x Subwoofers cannot be seen (though they are certainly heard!).

I think perhaps that psychologically/subconsciously the ADA kit in conjunction with the Theatrewall solution adds another benefit to the sound experience as without the visibility of the speakers your focus is 100% on the screen and the experience becomes more fully immersive and you don't have your brain trying to process and pinpoint acoustics confused by the visual distraction of the speakers themselves - just maybe...?

The only caveat for me (and this may have been just me as no one else has commented) was that something was not quite 100% with dialog and it occasionally felt a little disjointed from the image.

Now, in fairness, most scenes I viewed were primarily action scenes and the Hit Man disc certainly seemed to be suffering from lip sync issues, which didn't help, but even so I couldn't quite get over the nagging doubt.

It may have just sounded different than what I am used to (although possibly/probably more accurate) or maybe that the solution did too good a job at dialog placement and that it was too accurately coming from beneath the screen.

The beauty with this solution though is firstly, because of the customisable gantry system, the centre could easily be placed slap bang centre behind an acoustically transparent screen (which would be my preferred solution) and secondly, due to capabilities of the ADA processor, things can very much be tweaked to personal taste.

It would be interesting to see if other processors would be as successful working in conjunction with the Theatrewall solution, or whether it is the capabilities of the ADA kit that brings it all to life.

2 channel music didn't quite do it for me either, I won't go into detail as others have explained their thoughts better than I could. It certainly wasn't bad in any major way but certainly not up to stand alone 2 channel systems I have heard.

Unfortunately this complete solution will not work in my current space (primarily due to a doorway behind the drop down screen) but I recommend it certainly be on the audition list for anyone with a dedicated viewing room.

It should be noted that anyone thinking of going down the ADA processor route should not even consider doing so without having someone like Graeme to come along and professionally calibrate it to your room, you really need to optimise its capabilities or you will not get the return your investment deserves.

Finally an apology to Phil for being such a rubbish video interviewee. I am sure/hope you have some footage that you can actually use from some of the others - I won't give up the day job.

Any one interested get yourselves along to TLC for demo, you will not be disappointed...
 
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IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Dean, Your right there was a bit of lip sync on Hit Man, but this would easily be remedied with something like the ADA. Much less easy for me with only the BR and processor in bypass, fortunately I seldom have sync issues, but if I do I have to work much harder to resolve.

The inwall install makes the cinema experience that much better IMO, no distracting speakers, just screen and sound.

I am coming to the conclusion that high end 2 channel can work side, by side with home cinema. It's just that pulling it together takes time and effort.

I still think in a perfect world you would have two systems if only to not stare at a blank screen when listening to music. May be cinema curtains could be used to great effect, an open stage for a music performance and drawn back for film ?!.........

I wish I had a flat above that room, I wish I wasn't semi detached. The one thing that was clear to all was that as a film experience the ADA setup was superb.

Well done TLC, a great product and a great set up worthy of high end cinema kit :smashin:

How many places can you properly review a set up like this ?

A handful at most ............
 

GrahamMG

Well-known Member
Hi guys.
I am glad you all enjoyed the day and we had the chance to talk at length obout many subjects and setup criteria, I would only add and re-enforce some of the points raised here as follows:-

Never ever under-estimate the effect a room has on the overall sound. Personally when I first visited the room, I thought it was going to be a real challenge and so it proved to be. Many other speakers could not overcome the rooms limitations (and for music especailly) thus the kit that was installed was chosen to ensure those limts were overcome as much as humanly possible. A small note here for those that have not been to TLC, the rooms are ex-studio suites, whilst the other rooms Tony has at his disposal are good rooms, the main demo room designer should have been hung drawn and quartered as only the current crop of equipement and speakers make the room perform really well. It is certianly true that given another room (your own home) you might use less amplification (ADA naturally :))and get even better results, coupled with the delightful ADA Suite 7.1HD or Rhapsody MachIV you cannot help but masively improve matters.

Second, in line with all businesses, a budget has to be set and as a result the existing screen had to remain (but having shown what the Screen Excellence AT material and DNP supernova could bring to the party to universal approval!) but as it was not Acoustically Transparent the main speakers had to go to the side and below the screen, couple that with the fact that this meant the placement was too wide for the seated position and the settee could not be placed against a back wall (for obvious reasons) you have to accept that some slight compromises may be apparent compared with clients own rooms. This will always be more apparent with 2 channel music than movies, that said, Aerial Acoiustics make some of the finest speakers available so ultimate limitations of a room are the only limiting factor that is upon us here.

I would be tempted to say that putting any other speaker in the same positions would just show eveeryone just how well the System 1 was performing. Just imagine for a second what that means if the system was in your home:eek:

Third, the Nevo control pad was not programmed (the Nevo guy was going on holiday to Corwall so fair enough!) to allow me to set different EQ presets (of which we have 4 available) nor specific tone/vol presets (a further 4 each) which could have been used to further enhance performance.

The system is ineed very new, apart from the obvious speaker running in phase, big amp power supplies have very large capacitor banks and these also benfit from a bedding in period and heat cycles, I noticed that during the course of the day the amps were getting better and beter and interestingly more efficent as the CD tracks were being played at -18dB (zero being reference level) and could have done with a few less dB later in the day but hey by then everyone was enjoying themselves so much it would have been a bit mean :) And remember we used a Blu-ray player for the CD's (abit a very good one IMHO), some would prefer a dedicated CD player to good efect.

Anyway, I close by thanking Tony and Jon for their efforts in putting on the event and having the oppotunity to meet and chat with the assembled masses that formed an orderly queue to witness the HT setup.

I'll wager they all went home dug out the same disks and said "bugger I need that ADA stuff" :rotfl: I warned everyone listening to this setup would end up with a lot of wallets opening;)
 

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