Adsum Audio - The Detonator Speaker
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.
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