Ad­sum Audio - The Det­o­na­tor Speaker

NOVO - - PRODUCT REVIEW - Jeremy Phan

Ad­sum Audio is a rel­a­tive new­comer to the speaker mar­ket, hav­ing re­leased their in­au­gu­ral speak­ers, the Det­o­na­tors, in April of 2013. Founded in 2009 by James Osual­dini and win­ner of the 2011 Hatch Business Plan Com­pe­ti­tion at the North­ern Al­berta In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, the Cana­dian company based out of Ed­mon­ton, is aim­ing their prod­ucts at con­sumers that are mak­ing the tran­si­tion from the lo-fi mar­ket (read: MP3s and overly pro­cessed por­ta­ble audio) to the hifi space and are look­ing for qual­ity speak­ers at a rea­son­able price. As such, a pair of Det­o­na­tors has a bud­get-friendly MSRP of $849 CAD, with free Cana­dian shipping, di­rect from Ad­sum Audio’s web­site.

de­sign | fea­tures

The com­pact speak­ers, re­sem­ble a pair of dice with their cubed shape and tri­an­gu­lar ta­pered cor­ners, ex­cept that on top of the cube houses a tweeter, con­nected by a small cir­cu­lar col­umn. Mea­sur­ing 183 x 183 x 265 mm (L x W x H), the main cab­i­net fea­tures a 100mm / 4” woofer made with a com­bi­na­tion mag­ne­sium / alu­minum cone while the tweeter above it is a 19mm / 0.75” dual-ring ra­di­a­tor. Fre­quency re­sponse is 65 Hz - 40 KHz (± 3dB), with a sen­si­tiv­ity of 85 dB (2.83V/m), and nom­i­nal impedance of 8 (min­i­mum 2.9 ). Rec­om­mended power to drive the pair is 20 - 120 W. On the left and right sides each, are 100mm / 4” pas­sive pa­per cone ra­di­a­tors, which elim­i­nate the need for a port tube for the woofer. From the sides, the speaker looks like the plunger-based trig­ger for an ex- plo­sive de­vice and hence the name - the Det­o­na­tor. The bot­tom cab­i­net comes in a choice of glossy white or pi­ano lac­quer black. The tweeter can be fin­ished sim­i­larly to the woofer cab­i­net or for an ex­tra hit of colour, in ad­di­tional choices such dark ply­wood, red, metal­lic cop­per, or lime green. A spe­cial edi­tion with the tweet­ers fin­ished in car­bon fiber is also avail­able for $1,100 CAD/pair. Each speaker weighs just 3.5 kg and comes with a 5-year war­ranty.

With the in­ten­tion of get­ting “ev­ery­one into audio,” the Det­o­na­tors are ad­ver­tised as be­ing “flat” and not tak­ing away or adding to the audio. For­tu­nately, with the in­creased avail­abil­ity of hi-res­o­lu­tion loss­less audio as well as the resurg­ing pop­u­lar­ity of vinyl, it looks like Ad­sum Audio will have a bur­geon­ing new au­di­ence for their prod­ucts and one can only hope that upon hear­ing mu­sic ac­cu­rately re­pro­duced, the new lis­tener can ap­pre­ci­ate the pur­pose of ac­cu­racy over thump­ing bass.

Set­ting up the speak­ers, they melded in nicely on top of my dark wooden cab­i­net, with the ply­wood tweet­ers and slightly irides­cent, ex­posed gold woofer cone adding a sub­tle ac­cent. Their com­pact di­men­sions and at­trac­tive styling should al­low them to blend eas­ily into just about any space. Thanks to their unique cab­i­net de­sign, they are sure to be­come a great con­ver­sa­tion piece with fam­ily and friends. After putting them through a 24hour burn-in pe­riod (made up of a week­long pe­riod of 4-hour ses­sions), as rec­om­mended by the small in­struc­tion book­let that came with the speak­ers, the speak­ers were ready to be put through their paces.

per­for­mance

Dur­ing the re­view, I used an Adcom GFP-555 preamplifier, along with a Classé CA-201 am­pli­fier. I started by play­ing tunes from my com­puter through an Au­dioquest Drag­on­Fly v1.2 DAC as well as a a Classé CDP-502 CD player. Queu­ing up Jack John­son’s “From Here to Now to You” (2013), the first test would be Jack’s voice and acous­tic gui­tar

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