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#1557745 - 01/14/18 12:15 PM Roland DS90 or Adam F5 monitors?
MasterTrax Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2973
Loc: Southeast Texas
I'm looking to upgrade my nearfield monitors. I can get a great deal on either the Adams or Rolands. I like the fact that the Rolands have digital ins, but I have Apogee d/a so I can still get good audio from my 2480 to the Adams. I also like the fact that the Rolands have larger drivers, but I've never heard either one of them in person

Anyone have thoughts on these? Which would you choose, and why?

Thanks!
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#1557759 - 01/14/18 02:31 PM Re: Roland DS90 or Adam F5 monitors? [Re: MasterTrax]
uptildawn Online   content
Planeteer


Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 7854
Loc: Iowa
I was actually really impressed by how powerful the Roland DS90 sounded coming right off of the analog output on a friend's system many years ago. He didn't bother with the digital connection for various reason that I don't exactly recall today... maybe he didn't want to give up a set of digital outputs...

I've never heard the Adams in person, so I have no reference..... and have never heard them side by side with the Roland, which is the only way I can imagine being able to compare them.

I've been getting along nicely with Genelec 1030a monitors for a long time..... I think what I was impressed most about the DS90 was how punchy the bass sounded, but I think mine suffers a bit there because of the smaller bass driver and that may have colored my impressions. Also, his room was smaller with less treatment and the speaker placement was tighter as well. Not just the bass was punchier - the entire sound was very punchy.

I don't know whether or not I would have liked spending hours at a time editing and mixing on them..... maybe, maybe not. I'm very comfortable working with the Genelec for long periods of time. They can be punchy as well, but not in the same way, I think.

Personally, I think the A7 would be a much better match with the DS90, because of the better low end response, but if you're trying to decide between two available monitors at the moment, then the A5 is what you have to deal with. I see the A5 as being made more for use as computer desktop speakers and are probably meant to be combined with a sub to achieve a more desirable balance between bass mids and highs.

The DS90 is quite large for a pc desktop application. If memory serves, a DS90 probably stands as high as a 17" LCD monitor and probably 2/3 as wide, as well.

I suppose the rest of the debate for you is all about what sort of music you'd be putting into them most often, what your work environment is like, whether or not you'd add a sub at some point and how flat or hyped you want the sound coming out of them to be... There's not much you can do but listen to them in your own environment for an extended period of time in order to answer those questions. Of course, it's also possible to train your ears to translate what you hear into what you want over time (not exactly ideal), so sometimes that's where you end up.
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uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1557773 - 01/14/18 04:30 PM Re: Roland DS90 or Adam F5 monitors? [Re: uptildawn]
I_CaneFire Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 136
Loc: Maryland U.S.A.
I am not a fan of the Roland monitors. When I first bought my VS I was thinking about getting them and after listening I was not so impressed.

Now the important thing is that once you get your monitors you learn them. If you get the Roland monitors just stick with them and over time you will know the good and the bad about them. Over time you will get a feel for which frequencies are their strengths and which are the weak links.

Some people use more than one pair of monitors in studio.

I recall the good thing was that when you use the VS modelling mics, or amps and such when plugged digitally into the ROland DS you can get a better sense of the modelling. Those monitors were made to assist with that sound model.

The Rolands are not for me though. THe Adams I always liked. So it is an unfair comparison for me. THough I did not buy those either.

Cheers,
Ian

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#1557953 - 01/16/18 03:23 AM Re: Roland DS90 or Adam F5 monitors? [Re: MasterTrax]
ricco Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 99
Loc: Victoria BC, Canada
I've owned a pair of DS90"s for 6 months now, and I like them: but only because I got them for a reasonable price. I too, thought that the speaker modeling deal might be handy, but what I found, to my ears, is that I could run the speaker modeling effect on my analog Alesis M Actives, and, since I run my DS90's beside my Alesis (switching the Alesis on/off as needed) I found it really tough to tell the difference as far as the sp modeling effect goes.
Just side by side, I'd have to say the DS90's have slightly tighter sounding lower end. The whole digital thing? Well, there again, even with master and monitor cranked, I hear very little hiss from the Alesis, vs none in the DS90's.
Rick (ricco)

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#1558047 - 01/16/18 06:19 PM Re: Roland DS90 or Adam F5 monitors? [Re: ricco]
LarryG Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 02/04/00
Posts: 1599
Loc: SW Florida
Never heard the F5s.

Have used the DS90s for over a decade. Like them a lot. No issues.

As someone mentioned previously, they are large.

/L

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