Life after ADS

When I first started this hobby a few years ago I was immediately drawn to vintage ADS speakers because of the performance/price ratio plus they are just flat out musical.

Many well regarded speakers have come and gone that offered an amazing hi-fi listening experience but I always kept at least one or two pair of ADS speakers around for background music and so forth.

It has taken me the better part of three years to find a mint pair of L1530's and wouldn't you know it a pair came up for sale to me locally and I grabbed them. However I am moving into a smaller house and will not be able to keep them. My first question is what would be a good modern monitor to replace them with.

I will say I listened to some Adam Audio's (not sure what model)and for the money they were very good. In fact I am thinking of getting a pair. The ribbon tweeter sounded very open and detailed without being harsh or aggressive. Before I get the Adams are there any other speakers with ribbon tweeters I should consider? Others I have been looking at are LSA Statements, Vapor, and Evolution Acoustics.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

The Adams are going to be hard to beat .
Check out Aerial.. you might like how they sound if you like ADS. Aerial is owned and designed by Michael Kelly, who for years used be Executive VP of R&D and manufacturing for ADS. Just a thought.
If you love the ADS sound, how about the ADS L-1290 mkII? It's a very slender floorstander with a footprint of around a square foot, taking up less space than many a monitor on a stand. Works well in smallish rooms. Many find it to be among the best-sounding ADS. And you can generally find a nice pair for south of $400.
I also have been/am a devotee of ADS' speakers. Having owned the 1530's like you, they were a superb sounding speaker. I also had to go to a smaller footprint later on, and so I now own the 1290/2's and the 1590/2's. If you loved the 1530's, you'd love these also. The 1590/2's are more similar to what you had as for speaker compliment, but either one more than fills the bill as to a smaller footprint. Those 1530's, at 2' wide, were a bear to place in a room. You might have to search a bit, but they do come up frequently on the internet.
The LSA's are superb and under-valued. You might also consider the Reference 3A de Capo i. There're a pair for sale now on agon.
How do those ADS models compare to the 810's, which I have heard and was impressed with?
I had both a pair of L1090s (like the 1290s, but slightly smaller woofers and not bi-ampable) and a pair of L810s. They had a very similar sound, as they both used the same drivers--the sticky soft dome midrange and tweeter, and a pair of woofers made of ADS's proprietary "Stifflite". The L1090 and 1290 have the advantage of placement, as they are towers with a small footprint. They also have the advantage of a narrower front baffle, which lowers the amount of sound bounced from the front baffle and theoretically improves imaging.

In actual use I think it's pretty hard to tell them apart sonically. Basically, if you come across L1090/II, L1290/II, L710 or L810, they'll all give you what you're looking for, though the towers take up less floor space and don't require the stands. OTOH, I highly recommend getting outriggers for the L1090/1290 because on their own those speakers aren't very stable on carpet.

Depending on your tastes and room interactions, you may want to add a sub or two for the 710s or 1090s.
I've had 8 or 9 pairs of ADS, up to the wonderful 1590-2. I've had the LSA Statements, and have heard the Evolution Micros.
I found the Evolutions are mostly great, but too bright on top and volume limited, and the LSAs surprisingly too laid back; too much so for me. The top line ADS are so well balanced you might find these to have too much character, one way or another.
Selah audio's models are always very well balanced and well integrated; the RAAL tweeter models are particularly fine and the prices are very reasonable. Check the ads here; they do turn up form time to time.
I've heard good things about the Vapors and they look promising. The RAAL tweeter is a standout performer.
check out Goldenear Technology, if you like Adam Audio's ribbon tweeter.
Call me crazy, but the currently available speakers that give me the tonal balance, clean bass, low level detail, imaging, and transparency that variously equals or exceeds the L-series ADS's are my Magneplanar 1.7s.

Of course, they present a large facade, but they're only 2" deep, reasonably lightweight, and can be tucked against a wall between uses and brought out to play.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have owned 710, 620, L8e, l9e, s700, L980's & of course the 1530's and have heard at least 6 others in the line up. The only other Michael Kelly design I have owned were a pair of ERA D5 (great little speaker). I just purchased a pair of LSA 1 Statements and will be interesting to see how it goes. I will say I enjoy my ADS as much and often even more than my Proac 2.5's and Speaker Art Super Clefs. I've always thought spending much more money on speakers would get me much better sound but I always seem to go back to that ADS sound. Perhaps Aerial's would be the way to go. Anyone have experience with the 5's? Thanks.
I have been and still am an admirer of Kelley's ADS efforts. I still own a pair of 1290s that I use in my HT system. I did not suggest you consider magnepans because of your space limitations, but as Johnny mentioned, they probably capture most of the sonic virtues of the old ADS speakers better than anything else I have heard. The ribbon or QR ribbons will give a bit different treble than the ADS soft dome tweets, but other than that, I suspect you will find much to like. Consider if one of the smaller Maggies with a sub might work in your new location. For what its worth, to the extent I have had opportunities to hear the Aerials, I have not found in them the old ADS magic. Perhaps you will.
If you love ADS (as I do, and own have owned many pairs), I would suggest you stick with ADS. Try the BC8s (rare, but I have a pair if you want to trade) or the L400s with a sub-woofer out of sight.
I owned L810s for over 20 years and I am now perfectly happy with a pair of Kelly's Aerial 9s. Not exactly the same sound as the ADS, but every bit as musical, IMO. I would however like to hear some of the bigger ADS speakers you guys are discussing.
Another vote for Proac...but one really can't go wrong with Dynaudio, Monitor Audio, Spendour, Sonus Faber...
Also..Red Rose monitors from awhile back have ribbon tweets
As I said before I purchased a pair of LSA Statement monitors to try. While im still trying to configure them in my room, compared to my Speaker Art speakers at half the cost is really is no comparison, the Super Clef's are better in just about every aspect. Again this is in my system in my room. I guess one would have to spend a substantial amount of money to better the ADS or the Superclefs.
While im still trying to configure them in my room, compared to my Speaker Art speakers at half the cost is really is no comparison, the Super Clef's are better in just about every aspect.
I'm not disputing your evaluation; in fact I appreciate you making me aware of Speaker Art speakers. But the LSA 1 Statements are now $1299/pair in rosewood. So I don't understand where you say "Speaker Art speakers at half the costÂ…" Seems to me they're in the same basic price range and the LSA1 Statements are around $500/pair less.

I'm not in the market for speakers anymore, but those Super Clefs seem to do what very few mfrs are doing--a larger stand-mount speaker (22"h) that has all the soundstage and imaging, but with substantial bass as well. I had a cheap pair of Dahlquist Profiles 8" 2-ways, and even they had surprisingly thunderous bass.
I do not see the statements listed in the link for the price you quote. They are 1799.00 through Walter now but were almost $3000 when they first came out. Have any of you ADS owners heard anything from the sat or cm series? I have my eye on a pair of sat 6's but not sure if they will have the old magic like the older stuff. I have read conflicting opinions.
I had the 3-way CM7 and found it not to my taste. Back then my system wasn't nearly as good as it is now so I may be being unfair with my criticism. I found it to be forward with an overly aggressive upper midrange and lower treble: steely and cold sounding. Looking back I don't know if it was my then imperfect system or this speaker. I was disappointed and moved on to Acoustat 1+1's. Really wanted to like the CM7 what with all its technology and good looks. My friend had the smaller 2-way CM6 and it was a more coherent speaker. Again, this is one opinion. Anyone else out there who has/had CM7's? I'd love to hear some comment. You never hear anything about this speaker.
ADS fans...what is the best sounding most easily obtainable models to look for? L780\880s?
haven't heard 'em all but the 70s x10 series (710, 810 etc.) are ubiquitous on ebay and sound surprisingly modern. the mid 80s xx90s (1290, 1590) are the real prizes, however, and hold up remarkably well.
I have owned the following L710, 620, l8e, l9e, l980, l1530, s700 and have heard the 520, 570, l990, l1290, l780 & l880. I most regret selling the 710 and l9e. The 710 have a very well balanced sound with a very nice open and airy top end albeit the imaging wasn't as good as the l9e but they were startling at first listen. They are much easier to drive than the later 4 ohm bookshelves and are the ones that got me started on ADS.

For the money I think the L980 are the best I have heard but I don't think you could go wrong with anything in the L series. I was least impressed with the 780 and 990.
Found a local pair of 710s for $400. That seems high.
Depending on condition I would say yes that is a little high. Most of the 710 I see go for around 200-300. I paid 100 for mine but had to refinish the cabs. It will also depend on where you live as well. I've have seen sellers command high prices in areas where they don't come up for sale very often. Keep in mind the series with the metal grills and the rounded edges on the cabinets are much more sought after.
With proper medication, ADS is survivable. And life afterwards can be both rewarding and fulfilling. At least that's what the medical journals seem to indicate. Stay strong, my friend, stay strong.
Not funny
"Not funny"

Totally agree. It's about time we took this subject seriously.
Found a pair of L420s...metal grills...are these worth investigating?...anybody have history of this model?
I have history with their bigger brother the L520. Bought a pair brand new in 1980 and still have them. They are still in near mint condition and I just can't seem to part with them. I use them in a secondary system and drive them with a NAD 326BEE amp. I would think the L420's are similar, just won't go down as low.

The L series are reasonably high in sensitivity at 92 db but are low in impedance at 6 Ohms nominal, 4 Ohms minimum. They are also acoustic suspension speakers so they do like power. A 4 Ohm stable amp is recommended. Overall, I still think they sound awesome after all these years and I absolutely love the metal grills. You can see the drivers through them. Kind of alleviates the argument of grills on or off.

Good luck!
The L420 is a great little speaker, but you should probably use a sub with it as the 6" woofer doesn't quite go low enough.
Most ADS speakers use a 1" tweeter (the 1290/1590 use a 3/4" tweeter), they use either a 1.5" or 2" midrange if the speaker uses one, and the woofers vary in size. Depending on the configuration, the bigger the woofer the lower they go and more power handling. Some, like the L718/810 and others use double woofers for increased power .handling
The L420 actually uses a 7" Stifflite Woofer along with its 1" dome tweeter. Published frequency response by ADS is 48-20K hz +/- 3 Db. Like I said earlier, it is 6 Ohm nominal, 4 Ohm minimum with a sensitivity of 92 Db.

Phasecorrect, suggest you also go over to Audiokarma to learn more about ADS speakers. Lots of ADS fans and owners over there.
Nice, thanks guys...very informative. Report back later on my findings.
@ kevinkwann that was funny actually. To Phasecorrect the ADS threads on Audiokarma are very informative as Paraneer points out and quite extensive. The one member on AK who has the most knowledge on the company was a former ADS employee and goes by Soundmotor.

After buying and demoing many bookshelf speakers lately I have finally settled on a pair of Soundfield Audio Monitor 1's. Amazing speakers with true full range sound in my small room.
I know I am about a year late on this thread, and I have not read all the posts, but are you leaving the ads 1530 sound strictly based on room size?

They have some excellent smaller bookshelf models that are quite impressive for sound, one being the L-880, it's a bit smaller than the L-810, but the sound is perhaps a bit larger.
Actually I wanted to try something new that offered similar dynamics of the 1530 in a smaller room. I found that in the sound field audio m1. I do still own a few pairs of ads speakers but haven't even thought about hooking them up since I got the m1's.
It's a/d/s.

As I have mentioned in other threads, my CAR system in 1980 sounded better than many home systems I have heard through the years:

a Nakamichi 250 cassette player with bi amplified a/d/s 2001 speakers.
It wasn't always a/d/s/ in fact I think the best speakers they made were back when it was ADS.
Chrschan137 -

my reference is THIEL speakers- CS 2.7 or CS 3.7 depending on your listening space size. These speakers absolutely nail-down timbre (if this is your thing).

Excellent rich sound, outstanding top-end & bottom end to boot. Nothing is left out w/ these models. I was a big fan of a/d/s as well. The Aerial speakers were not to my liking.
Keep me posted and happy listening!
I used ADS L880 from 1984 to 1999. I still enjoy them in my workshop. In 1999 I got Proac 3.8. Love both speakers. I am just now thinking of a change to maybe something more dynamic.
Chrschn137, have you contemplated sending your Clef's back to Bob for a change to either his new ribbon tweeter or back to his mid 90's metal tweeter? Might be just what you're looking for.

I've personally finished a demo with the ribbon at his house & must admit that it's amazing(I also own a set of Super Clef's). Give him a call or shoot him an email, just might save you a ton of headache.
Rmenergy....I have a pair of the original Clefs with the metal tweeter as well. I had been looking for a speaker in my smallish room and was afraid the Clefs would overload the room. Well I put them in to see how it would go and I have to say it sounds great. I have since sold off all of my other speakers except my Clef and Super Clefs. I talk to Bob regularly and I have spoken with him about the Ribbon Clefs and I am very tempted to add a pair to my collection. Nice to meet a fellow owner of these excellent under the radar speakers.

Glad to hear that the metal dome worked out for you.

The Clef's really are wonderfully adaptive designs that seem to change attitude with the tweeter/xover changes. The ribbon version really surprised me & I'd like to see what it would be like in a TL variation.
Hi fellow ADS lovers. Thought I would share my experience with a pair of L1530s that now sound amazing, better than new. I rewired them with OCC copper and silver with gold plated brass quick-connects and WBT silver solder. I also retrofitted a set of WBT0708 connectors with 15 AWG OCC copper pigtails soldered to the circuit board. You would not believe how much louder and quieter they are. You can hear the space in the sound stage and they are 2-3 db higher in efficiency. Frequency response was also dramatically extended at the extremes (20Hz & 20kHz). This update also resolved a design flaw in the connection between the connector and the x over circuit board. With a Sonic Frontiers Power 2 these speakers can compete with some of the finest speakers available today.