Engineer Michael Wagener (pictured)—whose credits include Metallica, Dokken, Skid Row, Janet Jackson, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne—has installed ADAM Audio S3A studio monitors in his Nashville facility, WireWorld Studio.
"I've tried a bunch of different speaker brands in my studio and each one had their shortcomings," Wagener says. "I have always spent a long time getting a mix together, and when I took it home or listened in the car, it would sound much different than it had in the studio. I almost lost trust in my hearing ability!
"When I finally tried the ADAM S3A's they changed my life—literally! Mixes come very easily now, and they translate extremely well to systems outside of the studio. There is no ear fatigue, even over long periods of listening. The sweet spot in front of the speakers is very wide and doesn't nail you down to a few inches in the middle."
Wagener favors ADAM's folded ribbon tweeter design, which is dubbed A.R.T. for Accelerated Ribbon Technology. ADAM's S3A is designed to produce smooth, natural sounding high frequencies while maintaining a large sweet spot and avoiding brittleness. ADAM states that its folded ribbon tweeter moves air in an accordion-like fashion at four times the rate as a traditional tweeter, resulting in a wide, even image or "sweet spot," and increases mass and rigidity.
Wagener states the ultimate goal in using studio monitors is the ability to hear everything, including flaws in a mix. "You hear problems in your mixes immediately and you might be surprised at how odd some commercially released CDs sound on these speakers," he says. "The trick to figuring out how the S3As work is to mix on them, trust them, and then take your mix outside the studio. I'm sure that, like me, you'll will find that the S3As don't lie to you. I would not record or mix without my S3As again. After all, if you don't hear it, you can't fix it!"