ADA Suite 7.1 HD (part 2)

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Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Hi all

I thought it was worth starting a new thread as the old one was locked, but can we make sure that none of the rules are broken as at least one ADA thread should stay unlocked :)

My interest is more than a little piqued with this product (although my wallet isn't) and I'm hoping I can hear it in two different environments shortly. I might have to delay buying one for a while due to other financial priorities (like not eating into the next house fund too much, hope the wife isn't reading this :devil: ), but after reading the original lengthy thread I'm quite excited about hearing one.

I also thought it worth putting a link to Adam's review (the only review I can find anywhere), which makes great reading :) You can read the review HERE.

One question I have though, which Adam asked but I couldn't find an answer to (maybe I should read his review again :suicide: ), but is there a HDMI overlay for volume control etc? This has always bugged me if it isn't present, and I would assume for most ADA installs the kit would be hidden away and one wouldn't necessarily have an instant view of the front panel display?

Cheers
Matt
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Hi Matt,

There is no OSD overlay because the ADA has no video processing at all. You can't have one without the other.

There are ways to get round it if you have a bi directional remote etc to display info on it's screen. My main concern was the volume so I made some custom buttons to set the volume to my preferred listening levels, that way it it is easy to know where you are.

The lack of OSD was a big concern for me prior to purchase but it is surprising how you get used to things and although it would be nice to have one it isn't the problem I thought it might be.


Adam :)
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Hi Matt,

There is no OSD overlay because the ADA has no video processing at all. You can't have one without the other.

There are ways to get round it if you have a bi directional remote etc to display info on it's screen. My main concern was the volume so I made some custom buttons to set the volume to my preferred listening levels, that way it it is easy to know where you are.

The lack of OSD was a big concern for me prior to purchase but it is surprising how you get used to things and although it would be nice to have one it isn't the problem I thought it might be.


Adam :)

Cheers Adam. So am I right in thinking that I can have icons on my Harmony touchscreen to switch the volume to say -10db, or -30db etc?

This option sounds great imho :)

Sadly it really does look like I'm going to delay any possible purchase here as with new speakers and TV I've already spent over £5k :(
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Hi Matt,

Yes that is exactly how it works, but you should also be able to write a script to display the actual volume, dsp mode and input on the remote, if that is what you want. Although you would need to have an RS232 connection to the ADA for that to work.

What speakers did you get in the end?

Adam
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
What speakers did you get in the end?

Adam

I haven't yet unfortunately, it's impossible for me to have a proper demo of the Genelecs in question before I buy them but I hope to be able to nab some speakers from Digital Village tomorrow for a home dem (if they let me!)

I'm pretty much set on actives (I think) but your AB/XTZ combo will likely come in around the same price. On the processor side I think I'm just going to stick to my Yamaha Z7 for now. After reading your review, I'm not sure a rented house for a year will show the biggest benefits of the ADA - pointless paying to get it calibrated for such a short space of time (although I'm sure you could show me what you do at some point ;) - I've never even used REW :laugh: )

Unfortunately everything is tempered by what I think I should be spending rather than what I want. :( Alternatively, there is a part of me which says "sod it", and a demon in my head which says "go on, you know you want to". I have it on good authority that the Genelecs and ADA are a fantastic combo - I wonder how much you'd have to spend to top what I'm thinking about. Bugger, here comes that slippery slope again :devil:
 
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Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Well I've bought the Genelecs....now it's a case of whether I can (or whether I should) sneak in a rather small but extremely expensive piece of kit :D
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Well I've bought the Genelecs....now it's a case of whether I can (or whether I should) sneak in a rather small but extremely expensive piece of kit :D

Nice one. Which Gennies did you go for in the end?

Adam :)
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just subscribing to the thread. I am happy to answer direct questions as always but will do my best to avoid any rule breaking :facepalm:
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Wife is away from Wednesday next week until Monday I think so if you want to bring them round, let me know. :)

Adam
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Great :) Only one problem though...I have no speaker stands :( I've ordered a set of Partington Broadsides but they won't be with me for 2 weeks....
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Don't worry, Fatty (slightly less fat nowadays) will bring his stands as he fancies an earwig too.

Adam :)
 

baritone

Active Member
Hello there,

Andy Bone is still having an open day in the coming weeks to show off the ADA and other products in the next few weeks.He has been having problems with his website(Premieraudiovideo) so information can also be obtained from, mailto:[email protected]),if you are at all interested in the ADA processor i would recommend a visit.

Regards............Alan
 
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Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Don't worry, Fatty (slightly less fat nowadays) will bring his stands as he fancies an earwig too.

Adam :)

Looking forward to hearing the Genelecs on the end of the ADA, roll on the weekend :thumbsup:

A quick question for those in the know - with actives, how important is the unbalanced -> balanced converter. Is it really essential? And is there really any difference? Initially cable runs would be about 6m?

Cheers
Matt
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Looking forward to hearing the Genelecs on the end of the ADA, roll on the weekend :thumbsup:

A quick question for those in the know - with actives, how important is the unbalanced -> balanced converter. Is it really essential? And is there really any difference? Initially cable runs would be about 6m?

Cheers
Matt

I hate to offer opinions based on nothing but have been drinking so damn the consequences :rolleyes: :D.

I would say that you will know as soon as you plug them in. If you get an unacceptable level of noise then you may well benefit but if you have not suffered with noise from your subwoofer, then my guess is you won't with the speakers either.

Not much help when you are between houses of course. :)

Adam
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I hate to offer opinions based on nothing but have been drinking so damn the consequences :rolleyes: :D

I would say that you will know as soon as you plug them in. If you get an unacceptable level of noise then you may well benefit but if you have not suffered with noise from your subwoofer, then my guess is you won't with the speakers either.

Not much help when you are between houses of course. :)

Adam

Maybe I need to start drinking then, as your comment is making me feel like Forest Gump :laugh:

Bit obvious when you think about it:facepalm:
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Does anyone have any recommendations for remotes with this unit? To get the most out of the ADA I've read that you need a 2 way unit, so effectively you get information showing on the screen of the remote itself? Is there anything out there which doesn't cost the earth? (I've just bought a Harmony 900 but could send it back if there's something more appropriate available)

Cheers
Matt
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Does anyone have any recommendations for remotes with this unit? To get the most out of the ADA I've read that you need a 2 way unit, so effectively you get information showing on the screen of the remote itself? Is there anything out there which doesn't cost the earth? (I've just bought a Harmony 900 but could send it back if there's something more appropriate available)

Cheers
Matt

Hi Matt,

I struggled with this question myself. I Owned 3 Harmonies (665, 895 & 1001) and they never really worked well in any of my systems. The former two were the best, the 895 had RF so perfect for my remote rack, but the 1001 was the biggest pile of crud going.

The biggest problem with all of them was the lag, most noticeably on SkyHD, where you clicked and the remote seemed to think for 50ms before doing its thing, a nightmare when trying to navigate quickly as the remote was always catching up and you often 'over keyed' shooting past what you wanted.

I did try all the various options to improve this and even the excellent logitech support couldn't cure it on any of my remotes.

I also found that touchscreen remotes are the spawn of the devil and you at least need the basic nav controls in hard buttons. The 1001 was useless as you had to hold it in 2 hands and look at what you were doing, just to control Sky... rubbish.

I also didn't want to spend a fortune but a little research left me with only a few relatively expensive options:


  • Philips Pronto TSU9200 ~ £300
  • Philips Pronto TSU9300 ~ £500
  • Nevo Q5 ~ £550
I eventually went for the Nevo, however you usually have to buy these through an installer who programs them for you. You could get one a lot cheaper from eBay but most likely it will be US spec so you couldn't use it with UK spec RF devices such as light switches, curtains, heating systems etc. Not an issue if you just want IR control of a rack in your room of course.

I decided on the Nevo based on ergonomics/usibility (this is going from pictures only) as their are precious few reviews of either online, the Nevo with its big chunky buttons seemed ideal for using in the dark by feel only and had a decent sized touch screen for adding any other commands I wanted (TSU9200 has no touchscreen but a scrollable and selectable graphical menu. The TSU9300 has a small touchscreen and no Sky/DVD hard buttons :nono:).

I ended up buying the Nevo Q50 with a NevoConnect base station for RF control of my Rack via several adapters and sensors. A serial/RS232 for the ADA (my God this makes a difference to how responsive it is compared to IR!:eek:), a video sensor to detect when the SkyHD box is on and some 12v trigger sensors to tell when everuthing else is on. The sensors aren't strictly needed if you have the full set of on/off codes from the various manufacturers but I have bad memories from Harmony of when things get out of sync.

The whole lot ended up costing a fair bit, crazy when i think what else I might have bought really but I finally have a 'perfect' working system that is millisecond responsive to all commands, has hard buttons programmed for different volume settings and a touchscreen full of handy ADA functions.

I'll admit programming the Nevo took some time (ahem I mean getting my installer to do it :rolleyes:) but there are plenty of video tutorials available.

All in all I absolutely LOVE my Nevo, it suits me perfectly and the family have no problems with it either, to coin a phrase, it just works :thumbsup:.

Adam
 
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Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Looking forward to hearing the Genelecs on the end of the ADA, roll on the weekend :thumbsup:

A quick question for those in the know - with actives, how important is the unbalanced -> balanced converter. Is it really essential? And is there really any difference? Initially cable runs would be about 6m?

Cheers
Matt

There are three different options for going unbalanced to balanced

1. Use a barrel converter with RCA input and XLR output.
2. Use a properly made cable with an RCA plug on one side and an XLR on the other.
3. Use an active balancer to do an impedance match and add gain to the line level signal.

Different preamps have different quality gain stages. The ADA has quite a high signal level capability before it starts to distort. Other preamps have surprisingly low output capability before they start to distort. As always this is a mark of quality that should set any processor apart from using pre outs on a receiver for example.

Although it doesn't sound like much, 6dB of gain is actually a lot! If you have a preamp that distorts at a relatively low signal level then this is the difference between playing loud cleanly or playing loud with terrible sounding distortion.

Therefore using an active unbalanced to balanced converter which can add gain is universally the best option. It means you need a lower signal level out of the preamp which moves the signal away from the limits where distortion might occur. Since this is also true even when the device can offer a high level RCA output you never loose although the difference will certainly be much less dramatic.

When using longer runs of cable to run active speakers it is advised that you will maximise performance by going with an active converter.

When going between equipment in a rack and if you have sufficiently high gain from the preamp then option 2 may be perfectly acceptable but note the part about the cable being correctly made.

Option 1 is to be avoided unless no other possible option exists. I would never have believed that is possible to make something seemingly so straightforward in so many different ways. If you get it wrong then sound quality can really suffer and you place stress on the electronics. I'll dig out a link since it makes such an interesting read.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Hi Neil,

Any update from ADA on the new firmware?

Thanks,

Adam
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
There are three different options for going unbalanced to balanced

1. Use a barrel converter with RCA input and XLR output.
2. Use a properly made cable with an RCA plug on one side and an XLR on the other.
3. Use an active balancer to do an impedance match and add gain to the line level signal.

Different preamps have different quality gain stages. The ADA has quite a high signal level capability before it starts to distort. Other preamps have surprisingly low output capability before they start to distort. As always this is a mark of quality that should set any processor apart from using pre outs on a receiver for example.

Although it doesn't sound like much, 6dB of gain is actually a lot! If you have a preamp that distorts at a relatively low signal level then this is the difference between playing loud cleanly or playing loud with terrible sounding distortion.

Therefore using an active unbalanced to balanced converter which can add gain is universally the best option. It means you need a lower signal level out of the preamp which moves the signal away from the limits where distortion might occur. Since this is also true even when the device can offer a high level RCA output you never loose although the difference will certainly be much less dramatic.

When using longer runs of cable to run active speakers it is advised that you will maximise performance by going with an active converter.

When going between equipment in a rack and if you have sufficiently high gain from the preamp then option 2 may be perfectly acceptable but note the part about the cable being correctly made.

Option 1 is to be avoided unless no other possible option exists. I would never have believed that is possible to make something seemingly so straightforward in so many different ways. If you get it wrong then sound quality can really suffer and you place stress on the electronics. I'll dig out a link since it makes such an interesting read.

Hi Neil

I'm still not quite sure if that answers my question. As you know the HT series Gens have RCA as well as XLR options, so why would I need a barrel converter?

Are there any reviews or documents out there which compares sound quality? As I understand it, balanced eliminates interference over long runs, but surely this will only manifest itself with humming from the speakers. Even if I use long runs, but get no hum, then surely the need for balanced is a moot point? Or am I not understanding something obvious here?

Thanks
Matt
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I'm still not quite sure if that answers my question.

Well,, your question was...

Smurfin said:
A quick question for those in the know - with actives, how important is the unbalanced -> balanced converter.

If your question had been do I need an unbalanced to balanced converter when using the Suite 7.1 HD with the Genelec HT series speakers the answer would have been a lot shorter: NO!

With any other preamp you would need to try it and see if the sound was compromised for the reasons I gave in my other post.

HTH
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
If your question had been do I need an unbalanced to balanced converter when using the Suite 7.1 HD with the Genelec HT series speakers the answer would have been a lot shorter: NO!

With any other preamp you would need to try it and see if the sound was compromised for the reasons I gave in my other post.

HTH

Thanks Neil :)
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Neil,

Any update from ADA on the new firmware?

Thanks,

Adam

It is going to be tested by us next week with any luck (because we are so busy rather than waiting for the software)

Graham took time off his holiday in New York last week to catch up with our friends at ADA and they had news for him.
 

Normal Bias

Active Member
If you go the RCA-XLR conversion route, it is worth noting that it may be better to use 3-core XLR cable than 2 core RCA. In other words, put an RCA plug on the end of an XLR cable rather than the other way round.

source: Genelec website FAQ.

btw which Gens did you buy again? The link you gave is just a generic one to their 2-way range. Thx.
 
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