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Adamson Systems CS-Series

Jason Reynolds • December 2020Road Tests • December 10, 2020

Adamson’s CS-Series. From left: two CS7 arrays atop a CS118 sub; CS10p point-source; two CS10 arrays with a CS119 sub; and the point-source CS7p.

I’ve been a freelance audio engineer for almost 20 years, having toured worldwide with artists such as Shaggy, Stephen Marley, Magic! and many others. I also design and install systems, predominantly for houses of worship, through Soundbox Productions in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Having used Adamson Systems products for some time, I looked forward to checking out the new CS-Series products at the factory. It wasn’t my first encounter with some of these products, as I tried out a pair of the CS7p speakers a few months ago. I’ve been a fan of Adamson product since mixing on a full E-Series rig for 60,000 people in Netherlands back in 2017, while on tour with Shaggy.

I headed to the factory at Port Perry, Ontario with some of my most trusted tools — my DiGiCo SD12, Waves Extreme Server and multi-tracks of a show I mixed and have used many times for mix clinics and gear demos. It’s usually easy to make mastered music playbacks sound good, but the real test is always how it performs in a live-style environment.

I’ve come to love Adamson products for a few reasons — first and foremost, the incredible vocal clarity and smoothness in the midrange, even at longer distances. As an engineer who mixes predominantly reggae and R&B, the tightness and musicality of the E219 and the E119 have made them some of my favorite subwoofers. In the install space, Adamson provides cost-effective solutions that never compromise on quality, and their products always deliver for our clients.

The CS-Series is no different, bringing Adamson’s sub-compact S-Series into the networked future with onboard power and DSP, plus Milan-ready AVB connectivity.

‡‡         Diving Right In

I began by running my mix through a pair of CS7p point-source speakers, one per side, each paired with CS118 subs. No added processing on this package, just analog, straight out of the box. I was astonished, to say the least. This little system sounded huge. I was surprised at how well my mix sounded with absolutely no processing or tuning. This little rig is the ultimate solution for small spaces or smaller bands. The fact that it’s powered is a huge plus, and the price point makes it one of the best solutions in this space. The CS7p is quite small, but the size of the speaker does not limit the performance, and I would definitely recommend it for corporate events or the above-mentioned applications. The subwoofer’s pole mount is handy for keeping the footprint small.

Next was a pair of CS10p running full range, with no subs. I was again surprised by how full the sound was coming from these speakers, not something you would usually expect from a point-source box, with quite a bit of low-end. And the onboard powering negates the need for amplifier racks, so they’re perfect for applications where space is limited.

Moving to the line array speakers, first up was the CS7, with six boxes per side, paired with three CS119 subs per side. When I turned on the mix, my colleague and I both wondered if it was the dual-10” CS10 playing rather than the dual-7” CS7. I was surprised at how full and musical the CS7s sounded — nothing like I’d expect from an ultra-compact line array. The mix was full sounding and not lacking in the low-mids. There’s a noticeable jump in performance in the 80-160 Hz range when moving up to the size of the CS10, but that’s expected. You can’t have it all, but I could really hear the separation in my mix, and everything sat perfectly where it needed to be, especially in the midrange where Adamson speakers always shine.

The highlight of these tests was hearing the CS10’s. I listened to the mix, first with subs, and then without. Wow! Having a musical-sounding P.A. is very important to me. The musicality of my mix comes from my tops with the sub only working for feel. I was again impressed by the clarity in the midrange, but more so by the musicality of the low-mids. My kick drum and bass guitar sat perfectly. Besides being very musical, the definition of the bass was impeccable. I shouldn’t be too surprised, having mixed on S10 rigs many times, and it’s really more of the same. However, I was really impressed with the vocal range. With so much information in that area on that particular show, it sometimes takes some effort to get the vocal, the snare rim shots and the guitar to all play nicely. Right off the bat, the CS10 was excellent. It is very rare that I un-mute my show file with virtual sound check and don’t need anything done to the P.A. This was one of those rare times.

The P.A. was just as smooth and coherent at 250 feet as it was from 25 feet away. When optimization was turned on, it was immediately obvious in how it affected the smoothness of the transients from front to back.

Often with a line array, it can be a challenge to get a consistent listening experience from front to back, but the optimization makes this possible. The fact that the optimization is achieved with no latency is also a testament to the work that team Adamson has put into these products. I was also quite surprised at the small footprint of the distro that was being used to power the entire system. The lack of amp racks will be appreciated in reducing truck space and weight, while not compromising the quality of the system. The boxes, like all Adamson speakers, are light and easy to rig — another plus for the system.

There are very few cons for me with this lineup of products. For those getting into the CS-Series, who already have existing Adamson products, there is currently no way to tie the AVB used to run the CS into AES/Dante without a third-party device. My colleague and I both agreed that this speaker series, especially with the optimization component, would provide incredible offerings in the install space. The touring grade rigging makes the box more expensive than its externally amplified IS-Series counterparts, so an install-specific version might be a nice addition. I’m sure that Adamson will be working to add the install options due to the success of its IS-Series speakers.

‡‡         The Verdict

I had a great time putting the CS-Series loudspeakers through their paces. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking into this category of speakers. Whether you’re a small mobile church, a theater, a larger church with a permanent facility or a small/medium/large production company, the CS-Series has something for you. And they’re made in Canada, which is always a plus!

Jason Reynolds is a freelance audio engineer and system designer/installer.

Enter The CS-Series

All CS-Series loudspeakers have onboard DSP and are networkable via Adamson’s proprietary CS software platform for remote monitoring/control/diagnostics and redundant Milan scheme.

CS-Series speakers feature the same form factors as their S-Series counterparts, with sonic signatures uniform with the S-Series and IS-Series, ensuring scalable configurations in portable, touring or installed systems. An upgrade kit is available to convert existing S-Series loudspeakers to powered CS-Series cabinets.

The two-way, full-range CS7 array enclosure has dual 7” neodymium Kevlar woofers, a 1.4” exit HF driver, 2,400 watts (2,000W LF/400W HF) of onboard biamplification, 100°x12.5° dispersion and the Slidelock Rigging System. Weight is just 36 pounds. The CS7p puts the same driver package and powering into a 41-pound, point-source format, with rotatable 70°x40° or 100°x50° dispersion, integrated rigging and pole mount. The CS10 has two 10” neodymium woofers with a 1.5” exit HF driver, 2,400 watts of powering, and 110°x10° dispersion in an 86.4-pound, compact array design, also with Slidelock Rigging. The CS-10n is similar, but in a narrow (80°x10°) dispersion version. A 66-pound, point-source CS10p (rotatable 70°x40° or 100°x50°) model is also available.

Subs in the family include the powered single-18, flyable CS118 — companion to the CS7 and CS7p — and the 19” CS119. Both have internal 3,000W powering and are flyable with an integrated rigging system or ground stackable with M20 pole mount.

 

At a Glance

Powering and Networking Made Easy

Adamson enters the powered speaker market with a versatile, AVB/Milan networkable series that should appeal to line array and point-source users in a wide range of production applications. Models include the CS7, CS7p CS10, CS10n, CS10p, CS118 and CS119.

Adamson Systems CS-Series

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Easy setups
  • Musical, great sounding

CONS

  • No install-specific rigging option
  • Third-party device required for Dante compatibility

SPECS

  • CS7: 80 Hz – 18 kHz; 100° x 12.5°; 138 dB max SPL
  • CS7p: 80 Hz – 18 kHz; 70° x 40° or 100° x 50°; 136.5 dB max SPL
  • CS10: 60 Hz – 18 kHz; 110° x 10°; 141.3 dB max SPL
  • CS10n: 60 Hz – 18 kHz; 80° x 10°; 141.3 dB max SPL
  • CS10p: 60 Hz – 18 kHz; 70° x 40° or 100° x 50°; 139 dB max SPL
  • CS118: 35 Hz – 100 Hz; 133 dB max SPL
  • CS119: 30 Hz – 100 Hz; 138 dB max SPL

STATS

  • Drivers: CS7/CS7p, (2) 7” woofers/1.4” exit HF; CS10/CS10p, (2) 10” woofers/1.5” exit HF
  • Powering: Top boxes, 2,400 watts (2,000W LF/400W HF); subs, 3,000W
  • Amplifier Topology: Class-D
  • Connections: (2) etherCON network; (2) analog XLR
  • Dimensions: CS7, 20.75x8x16.2”; CS7p, 20.75×9.8×14”; CS10, 10.4x29x20.7”; CS10p, 29.3×12.9×17.5” (HxWxD)
  • Weight: CS7, 36 lbs; CS7p, 41 lbs; CS10, 86.4 lbs; CS10p, 66 lbs; CS118, 75 lbs; CS119, 112.5 lbs
  • Networking: Milan/AVB
  • AC Voltage: 100-240 VAC

Manufacturer: Adamson Systems Engineering

More Info: www.adamsonsystems.com

 

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